Here’s video of me un-boxing proof copies of my artist book “Dogs by Sue Clancy”
Here’s video of me un-boxing proof copies of my artist book “Dogs by Sue Clancy”
The official release date for my newly printed artist book “Dogs by Sue Clancy” is Feb 17th 2017… but you can see (and get) an advance copy online here: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy
One of the purposes of the book is to aid and abet my art gallery exhibits and in this blog post I’ll share one of the written descriptions of the book – but just between us I’m highly amused that there are many more words written about my book “Dogs…” than there are actually in the book! The book is largely wordless…
Anyway, here’s a book description:
In an artist book featuring various dog breeds, artist Sue Clancy whimsically combines man’s best friend and many of life’s pleasant experiences by drawing them using a dip pen, a brush and Sumi ink on handmade paper.
For each of the artworks in this book Sue Clancy thought of “something pleasant” and created a dog-character to help describe that pleasantness. By combining attributes of a dog breed with an activity she has enjoyed she accents the pleasant feelings.
More than an exhibit catalog or a collection of reproductions of a body of artistic works the book “Dogs by Sue Clancy” is an artist book organized around an artistic idea: collecting pleasant thoughts and describing those thoughts using imaginary dog characters (based on a real-life dog breed) in order to highlight the pleasant feelings. This idea has its roots in healthy mental health habits and the practice of happiness; creating gratitude lists, purposefully turning ones thoughts toward pleasant things, playing with ones imagination, and a meditative practice of enjoying time, memory, attention and whimsy. Dogs were selected as characters because for Sue Clancy dogs of all breeds represent a joyful exuberant delight at being alive.
Genre/Subject: Art, Animals in Art, Dogs in Art
Sub genre: Individual artists/artist books
Book Details: 26 pages, 21 images, 245 words
Available where ever books are sold
For more about the artist see http://www.sueclancy.com
You can see the original artwork (and more of my dogs) – or commission me to draw your favorite dog at Caplan Art Designs www.caplanartdesigns.com.
Here’s a picture of me drawing a dog. If you want to see a close-up of the dog I’m drawing look for “Larry” on my dog portraits website page https://sueclancy.com/dog-portraits/. Yes, as you see in the photo, I use brush and Sumi ink to do my dog drawings.
The ink is quite permanent so it makes me really think before I make a mark. That’s one of the reasons I use this medium. Its a way for me to practice not being “too precious”, or anxious, about creating. Take a deep breath, relax, focus and let it flow. I figure if I really mess up all I’ve done is waste a bit of ink and paper. It’s not brain surgery. Nobody is going to die.
But yet there’s still a dare-devil-daring-do-risk-taking of it that I relish. I’ve committed to an idea. In ink. It can’t be erased or easily undone. It means I stood flat-footed said something and meant it.
For some reason doing a drawing in permanent ink feels more like I’m “really doing something” than when I’m manipulating pixels on a screen.
“Really doing something” is what I figure is meant by the phrases “living life with no regrets” or “living purposefully”.
So sometimes when I walk out of my studio to wash out my brush and Judy, my wife, asks me how I’m doing – I reply, with a big satisfactory smile on my face, “Living dangerously!”
Photo of Sue Clancy creating a dog portrait using a Sumi brush and ink. Photo by Judy Sullens
I’ve kept sketchbooks for many years – and I have drawn dogs a lot. I sketch and draw in ink almost every day. Some time ago my wife Judy saw some of my dog drawings in my bound sketchbook and said “I really wish you’d do these on good paper.” The phrase ‘good paper’ in our house means handmade paper.
So I did.
After a while I had a lot of drawings-on-good-paper. Then Judy said “I wish you’d show these to Amy.” Amy is the gallery owner of Caplan Art Designs.
So I did.
And now Amy has been selling my dog drawings almost as fast as I can make them! I love being this busy! To make my drawings I use fountain pens and brush-and-ink. Occasionally I’ll use a very sharp pointed pen-nib and the ink – for very fine lines. I use that when a dog has lots of whiskers.
Then Judy said “I wish you’d post some of these regularly on your blog.”
So I am….starting now.
Last evening I was looking up something in a book called “Drawing Masterclass” and I read this (again): “Animals as subject matter for the visual arts have a longer history than any other subject. The first images drawn by the human race depicted the animals that were hunted for survival [cave paintings]…. There is no period in art when animals have not played a major role.”
In my fine art animals become characters; my creative process is much like the way a novelist creates a character, a compilation of authorial thoughts and observations – a “collage” of them you might say – merged into one person/character within their story. I create anthropomorphic animal characters because I see humans as part of the natural world and the natural world as part of humanity. I’m inspired by both nature and culture.
So when I do animal portraits, people are there too. When I do a portrait of a particular dog, for example, a particular person (someone, or several someone’s I saw in real life) is also reflected. It becomes a visual story of that animal and that person. I define “story” as a plot where there is some surprise. The surprise in one of my visual stories might be the realization of how a human can be like a dachshund.
For example in my artwork titled “Happy Hour” (see image below) inside I sometimes feel happy and excited like my dachshund Rusty looks when he is bouncing around wagging his tail and dancing for his supper. (Places and objects enter in to my visual story creation too but that’s another discussion.)
My gallery agents often explain to clients that I create (as special commissions) portraits of pets as their pet owners; an imaginative merging of pet and person. And that’s true.
Here, so you can see what I’m talking about, are some of my animal portraits currently available at either Caplan Art Designs www.caplanartdesigns.com and at Joseph Gierek Fine Art www.gierek.com – please contact each gallery for more details.
I was contacted about a week ago by a magazine located in the U.K called Creative Digest – http://www.creativedigest.co.uk/ – they wanted to do a profile about me and my artwork! They sent me a bunch of questions, and requested art images… it went back and forth…. and now the magazine profile is out!
They titled the profile “Charming animal illustrations by Sue Clancy” – how nice is that? This is one of my artworks they chose to feature on the front page. Going to go happy dance! I’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts….
All of my artwork has been delivered to the Caplan Art Designs gallery for my one-person exhibit opening Oct 1st at The Daily in the Pearl in Portland Oregon! Here’s a pic of me handing one of my new artworks to the owner of the gallery (yeah, okay we’re posing for a photo):
I took all of my work to the gallery and a few days later the gallery owner sent me an image of the exhibit – my artwork installed! Looks nice huh? There will be a 3 course dinner with wine pairings on opening night – Oct 1st – hence all the tables and chairs.
I had no clue as to the order the artworks would be hung – that I left up to the gallery owner’s considerable experience – so as I created the works over the last year I tried to make sure all of the art pieces would “make sense” when grouped together no matter what the order turned out to be. Essentially I worked to a “theme”.
In a blog post titled “pleasure patterns” I talked about my theme development process so I’ll not repeat that here. But here is a photo of the exhibit statement as it is posted on the wall of the exhibit. It’ll give you a clue about the theme I worked toward.
Now all that’s left to do before the exhibit opens Oct 1st is the “shouting” – i.e. the P.R., social media stuff, email invitations etc…. here’s an example: http://dailyinthepearl.com/events.html
Thank heavens the Caplan Art Designs gallery and the Daily in the Pearl are also doing P.R. and social media – it’s not completely left to me! This is a prime example of what I’ve talked about before (like in this post titled “riding the P.R. train“) about how the life of a professional artist becomes about many more people than just the artist. It’s a team effort. Thank goodness!
Actually I misspoke – it’ not just the P.R. that’s left to do – I’m also writing and practicing a short 5 minute talk that I’m giving during the opening dinner party.
So… speech-writing… public speaking…. hoo boy, that’s a topic for another day.
In my last blog post, titled ‘down to the wire‘, I listed 10 tips for prepping art for gallery display – and someone asked me to post some photos of the finished backs of my artwork. So here are those requested photos:
To make my labels I type up a Word file with all of the data then print it out on full sheet label paper that I get from an office supply store. I’ve heard from my various gallery owners that they appreciate the legibility.
Here is a close-up photo of the D-ring held on with a screw – and the coated wire on the D-ring. Extra wire is left on so that the gallery or the client can adjust it if necessary.
Here’s another photo of the back of a different artwork – this one is a larger, heavier work so I put the felt “feet” on the bottom to help protect the wall. Also whenever there is a ‘makers mark’ on the back of my cradled board (in this case this board was made by Ampersand) I place my label so I won’t cover up the board makers mark. If some art conservator someday had to do a repair on my artwork that information could be helpful.
I’m sure you’ll note that the back of this piece also has the coated wire, the D-rings with screws and the printed label. I strive for consistency as much as possible in both the kind of artwork I do on the front and the kind of work I do on the backs.
And did I mention that the wire is coated? Yep! Coated hanging wire is as essential in the art studio as water is in a kitchen!
Soon I’m taking more new artwork to the Caplan Art Designs gallery. I’ve put the hanging wire on the backs of the latest 3 new works and as I worked I thought of various things I’ve learned, over the past umpteen years as a professional artist, about prepping artwork for display and delivery.
Here are 10 tips along with a picture of me wiring one of my new pieces:
2. Place the artwork face down on a soft surface large enough to hold my art and my tools.
3. Put the clearly typed label on the back of the artwork in the correct position so that I always know which end is “up”.
4. Use quality “D” rings and screws – NOT the saw-tooth hangers or any other cheap-o hanging method that will come loose over time and let the art fall to the floor unexpectedly.
5. Pre-drill the holes in the wood where the screws will go. (Measure for hole placement at least 2 times)
6. Carefully remove any drill-dust so it will not transfer to and/or mar the art surface.
7. Put a bit of Liquid Nails onto the tip of the screw just prior to screwing it into wood so that the screw will not come loose.
8. Use coated hanging wire – even if it is more expensive – it is kinder to my hands, my gallery owners hands and ultimately my client’s hands. Leave enough slack in the wire that a hand can easily reach behind and position it over a hook.
9. Do the best to make the backs of the artwork as neat as the front. The wire and label matter because without them there will be nothing on the wall for anyone to see. Without a clear label the gallery owner won’t know what art is what – and thus won’t display it. How art looks on the wall is often all down to the wire. Literally.
10. During delivery – aka stacking art in the car in prep for driving to the gallery in a Zen-cool calm fashion – nest the artworks together face to face – i.e the face of one artwork next to the face of another artwork – with some soft padding between them like a towel or blanket, using the Russian-doll method of stacking; largest on bottom and in succeeding sizes until the smallest is on top. (Shipping art is another topic…)
Sue Clancy in her studio wiring her fine art in preparation for an exhibit
Details about my upcoming exhibit is here: fb.me/1pQ0TfItC
About a year ago I began working towards my upcoming October exhibit at Caplan Art Designs. From a book I’d created years ago with Dr. Bob Hoke titled “Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit” (aka The First Aid Kit) I selected a ‘living well’ aspect to explore via fine art. Then I spent the next year making art.
The aspect I’d selected from The First Aid Kit was: (and I’m paraphrasing) “happiness is not about getting what you want from the external world – it’s how you interpret the things you perceive in the external world”. (You can see some sample pages from The First Aid Kit here: https://sueclancy.com/artist-books/ – and you can see links for getting either an ebook copy or a print copy of it there too. )
So fast forwarding to now: a year’s worth of artwork has been created and/or selected by the gallery and I’m working on the paperwork for my exhibit. The gallery likes to have an “exhibit statement” i.e. they want me to create some text based handle by which people visiting my exhibit could have a framework, a context, for understanding my work. I came up with this:
By Sue Clancy
(exhibit statement for exhibit at The Daily in the Pearl October 2016 via Caplan Art Designs)
I read somewhere that “Happiness is a skill to be practiced like the violin” and I asked myself “How do I practice happiness?” Then after attending a friend’s mother’s 90th birthday party I began thinking about how our lives are made up of patterns; patterns in nature, patterns in culture, as well as our own mental patterns or habits of mind. So I began to collect, from my daily life, “pleasant patterns” of happiness and have recreated those moments for you.