pattern design inspired by Propstra Square

A Creative Life, art techniques, collage, pattern design, psychogeography

I’ve been working on new fine art and as I’d mentioned in my last blog post it’s been unusually hot here in WA so things are taking longer to dry. So rather than do anything constructive like sort out my sock drawer I went and did some sketches in a local Vancouver park. The park, Esther Short Park, has an area within it called Propstra Square. This park has been called “Vancouver’s living room”. And it is! This is one of the many things I love about living here!  Here’s a link for official details about the park http://www.cityofvancouver.us/parksrec/page/esther-short-park-0

When I was there wandering around sketching it seemed that if seen from above the brickwork in Propstra Square would have a plaid or window-pane check pattern. So I sketched the square itself and several “closeup” looks at the brickwork pattern – and got all artistically inspired: wouldn’t it be fun if someone could “wear the square”? My imagination started firing on all pattern design cylinders.

Here’s a photo, taken at my studio, of my sketchbook and to the left in the photo is a tile I created in prep for doing some new apparel designs.  The tile is a collage made with my cut handmade, hand dyed papers, and a bit of color pencil and watercolors.

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Sue Clancy’s sketchbook page of Esther Short Park and Propstra Square in Vancouver WA. Also pictured is the “tile”she was working on in prep for doing an apparel design inspired by the Propstra Square brickwork.

When the tile was finished I photographed it and uploaded it to my Art Director at VIDA. Some computer magic happened somewhere in San Francisco and – Abracadabra – here below is a photo of one of my apparel designs – I trust you can see the relationship between my sketchbook scribble above and the scarf below? If not, please get another cup of coffee and look again. I’ll wait.

If your coffee kicks you into super high gear (Where do you get that super strong coffee stuff? Do tell!) and you just gotta see more of my pattern design apparel work – you can see more at this link: http://shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy

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Apparel design by Sue Clancy inspired by Propstra Square in Vancouver USA – you can see more of Sue’s designs here: http://shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy

art inspired by ice cream

A Creative Life, animals in art, art exhibit, art gallery, art techniques, collage, fine art, handmade papers, psychogeography, sketchbook

As I mentioned in my last blog post – there’s been a rare hot day or two here in Washington. In addition to drinking ice tea and thinking cool thoughts I’ve also eaten ice cream. You are shocked I can tell. But wait – there’s more! The two flavors I had were swirled together in a marble-like pattern – and there were candy sprinkles on top! So guess what I did… yep, before the ice cream melted I sketched the two patterns in my sketchbook.

Back at my art studio I marbled a piece of paper using the Suminagashi Japanese paper marbling technique. When the paper was dry I cut it in the shape of a mound of ice cream. You can see a bit of that paper in the edge of the photo to the left – and then the same paper glued on the board on the right. Then I cut other shapes out of other papers I’d made into a pug (a patron saint of ice cream… right?)… and in the photo to the right you can see me gluing on the sprinkles in a pattern.

I’m loving the contrast of the two random patterns; one swirled and one dotted! The glue will have to dry, more layers glued on… basically lots of work to be done before this fine art collage is finished. So my next blog post or two will probably be about something else – then I’ll post again about this project…anyway, whenever this ice cream piece is done I’ll come up with a fun title, photograph it, do the paperwork – and then it will likely go to Caplan Art Designs for my exhibit October 2016 (see the events page at Caplan Art Designs  www.caplanartdesigns.com)

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Sue Clancy working on a fine art collage inspired by ice cream – and cherries and sprinkles…

 

 

 

iced tea (f)art

A Creative Life, animals in art, art techniques
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Sue Clancy’s paper desk today

Here is a photo of what my desk looks like today. I’ve got lots of art projects going on – big hairy deadlines – but it’s too hot to draw or cut paper and glue it. I’ve been drinking iced tea by the gallon and so far I’ve not spilled tea on the paper. (whew!) The papers I glued earlier are drying slowly because we’re having a rare hot humid day in Washington. So here I am twiddling my virtual thumbs on this blog. And drinking my tea.

Typically I work a everyday on my projects no matter how I feel or what’s going on around me. I don’t think an artist has to “feel” a particular way in order to be creative, and I find that even if I’m “not in the mood” if I just start on a project pretty soon my brain is full of fun artistic stuff, the world falls away and time passes in a blur –  but today…. today my brain is packed with “it’s hot!” – so instead of my art projects I’m thinking cool thoughts and trying to get my brain off the “it’s hot!” mono-wagon.

What would a good bartender would put in my iced tea?  Who invented ice cube trays? I remember the metal trays my grandmother had when I was a kid…the trays had a lever that cracked the ice and enabled you to get a cube out. I stuck my tongue on the metal tray. Once.

If I’m not working on my art projects today at the very least I could draw my iced tea glass.

Naw…. it’s too hot.

See?! That’s very un-like me to brain (f)art like that. Usually I’ll happily draw anything.

What’s the weirdest thing I ever drew? Cow intestines. I was a biological illustrator once-upon-a-time and my cow-innards artwork illustrated a scientific article about bovine digestive systems. Believe it or not it was a fun project and, really, cow intestines aren’t weird…if you’re a cow.

Back to today; maybe I’ll leave my studio desk as it is and go read “Make Good Art” by Neil Gaiman. Usually that book is a jolt of “atta-girl you can do it! The world needs you!” which spurs me on in my art studio work.

In the meantime … will somebody please pass the ice cubes?

the art of Oregon coast sketching

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, art techniques, artist book, illustration, sketchbook, travel art and writing, travelog, travelogue, Uncategorized, words and pictures

In addition to getting ready for a new one woman art exhibit scheduled for October 2016 via Caplan Art Designs I’ve been working on a new Oregon Coast article. The August 2016 issue of Oregon Coast Magazine currently has an article of mine – and it was such fun to do that I’ve started immediately on a new article!

Which means that when “fine art stuff” and “pattern design stuff” needed to dry recently my wife and I took off for a day along the Oregon Coast.  On the coast I used my on-location sketching kit pictured below and sketched what I saw and experienced as it happened.

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Sue Clancy’s portable sketching-on-the-go gear

In my kit: mechanical pencil, eraser, ink pens, paper, a small watercolor set and a clip to keep my pages from blowing in the wind. It all fits in a small bag and can be held in my hand or balanced on my knee at my sketching location.  When something catches my eye during my travels I do quick sketches with my pencil. Then I ink in what lines I want to keep. After that I’ll do some watercolor washes. Generally speaking it takes me about 20 minutes to do a page start to finish – I often work on more than one page at a time. On this sketching trip I did 15 pages total – as well as wrote notes, in longhand, in my sketchbook.

Then once I’m back at the studio sometimes I make an adjustment or two to the pages, and neaten them up (aka, erase pencil lines). My on-the-go kit doesn’t have a lot of greens and blues. So at my studio, for example, I’ll add a few more blue or green colors, if necessary, from my larger studio watercolor set.  Here below is a photo of a few of my new Oregon Coast article pages being touched up.  I do this immediately upon getting home from a trip while everything I experienced is still fresh in my mind.

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Sue Clancy’s latest Oregon Coast sketchbook pages being touched up with the larger watercolor set at Sue’s studio.

Next comes the paperwork for my submission to the Oregon Coast magazine editors: photographing my sketchbook pages, creating the digital files, sorting out which pages work best as illustrations, sorting the pages so they tell the best story, writing a cover letter… etc.

And yes, I am likely to create a new artist book from these sketches! I’m also likely to make some new pattern designs based on what I saw on this trip. Which means there will also be some new fine art….

Basically I’m going to be a very busy camper! What fun!

If you’re curious about the current article I have in the August 2016 issue of Oregon Coast Magazine here is a link to a blog post about that: https://sueclancy.com/2016/08/04/sketching-the-oregon-coast/

from pattern design comes

A Creative Life, animals in art, Art Apparel, art gallery, Art Licensing, art techniques, fine art, pattern design, travelog, travelogue

A road trip to the Oregon Coast took my wife and I through the Oregon wine country. Hills flow up and down along the road giving me a view of vineyards from different angles – including a near “birds eye” view from above. The view inspired a pattern design and I made lots of notes in my sketchbook.

Back at my studio I use a number of techniques to make my patterns on paper: marbling, paste paper, stenciling… and more.. then when the paper is dry I make fine art with it, or an artist book, or art apparel or all of the above if the paper is large enough. Anyway, here’s a picture my wife took of me creating that “vineyard inspired” pattern on paper using my stencil-past-paper combo technique:

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Sue Clancy creating a pattern on paper using a stencil-paste paper technique on hand dyed paper

When I think of a pattern design concept the pattern itself “tells a small story” – so I like to apply that “story” in several different ways. But how I use the “story pattern” depends on the larger story I want to tell. For example: one of my favorite things to do is sit with a glass of wine and read a book while wearing my pajamas – so I used parts of this vineyard inspired patterned paper when I created one of my fine art pieces that is about books/education. The art piece is titled “The Read Hat” and is specifically about how we tenaciously (like little dogs gather toys) collect information into our heads but I’m sure you’ll note the vineyard patterned “pajama’s” the dog is wearing. “The Read Hat” is currently at the Caplan Art Designs gallery in Portland Oregon.

Also I have friends who like scarves – and wine – so, while thinking the fun thought that someone could “wear” a vineyard – like the dog in my fine art piece – I did a scarf design with the same green dot pattern (titled “Vineyard Aerial View) that is now available via VIDA http://www.shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy

Here is a picture of both projects:

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The left image shows a fine art piece by Sue Clancy titled “The Read Hat” which uses the pattern design inspired by an aerial view of a vineyard. The image on the right is of a scarf designed with the same green-dot pattern design titled “Vineyard Aerial View”.

fish school

A Creative Life, animals in art, illustration, poetry, words and pictures, writing

Here’s a new “story poem” with an illustration – both by me.  A little silliness to brighten your day. And yes, I’m thinking “Wouldn’t it be fun someday to make a book full of my short silly somethings and artwork?” So here’s my latest effort toward my dream. Please comment, share or buy me a pizza. (just kidding about that last one) Thanks in advance!

Fish School  By Sue Clancy

“In a few days it’s back to school.”

sighed Tiny Tuna O’Toole

“To learn reeling and writhing,

nosing and diving,

with tests in Fisherman’s Fool.”

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Upick Book Farm Art

A Creative Life, animals in art, art exhibit, art gallery, books, fine art, handmade papers

Finished a new art piece destined for the Caplan Art Designs gallery one-person exhibit I’ll be having in October!  The opening party will be a 3 course wine dinner party at The Daily in The Pearl. You can get more info about that on the Caplan Art Designs events page  – look at “Cooks, Corks and Co-conspirators”. Yep, I’d be a considered a co-conspirator. Anyway, here’s the info about this newbie art piece:

U-Pick Book Farm

By Sue Clancy

12 x 9 x 1.5 inches

Hand dyed paper, handmade paste paper, hand woven paper, found paper, acrylic on cradled board

And, if you missed my prior blog post where I told and showed about this artwork in progress here’s a bit about my thinking behind it:

U-Pick Book Farm by Sue Clancy

Combining the concepts of local u-pick fruit and vegetable farms with local libraries that have baskets for a patron’s book harvest and adding the burrowing, digging instinct of a dachshund.

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U-Pick Book Farm By Sue Clancy 12 x 9 x 1.5 inches Hand dyed paper, handmade paste paper, hand woven paper, found paper, acrylic on cradled board

 

the art of a book basket

A Creative Life, animals in art, art exhibit, art gallery, art techniques, books, fine art

Here in the Pacific Northwest I am able to go to a farm and “U-pick” my own fruits and veg – often the farmer will hand me a bucket to hold my freshly picked produce.

Recently at my local library had about 16 books balanced between my hip and my arm while I used my other hand to look up something on the computer. A librarian saw me standing in this awkward pose and held out a basket saying “Would this help?”. Wow a basket to hold my freshly “picked” books!

Both of these situations inspired some art I’m currently working on for an upcoming one-woman art exhibit via the Caplan Art Design gallery in Portland Oregon.  Anyway, here’s a photo of me arranging my cut hand dyed papers to make a basket full of books just prior to gluing them together. Each paper was hand dyed to be the color and pattern it is – and the “basket” is handwoven hand dyed paper.  Not pictured are the “plants” the books are being harvested from!

Sue Clancy assembling  a fine art piece with her hand dyed papers that have been cut out in different shapes.

Sue Clancy in the process of assembling a fine art piece with her hand dyed papers that have been cut out in different shapes.

 

 

 

 

sketching the Oregon Coast

A Creative Life, illustration, travel art and writing, travelog, travelogue, words and pictures

In the current August 2016 issue of Oregon Coast Magazine I have an article titled “Sketching The Coast”! Right there, in print, on page 42 it says “illustrations by Sue Clancy” (Wow!) !! On the title page of the magazine next to a big 42 it reads “An illustrator records her travel experiences to Newport in whimsical cartoons”. How fun is that for a teaser?!  But just think, my messy sketchbook, in print, in a slick glossy magazine, Oregon Coast Magazine, a gadzillion copies of which are actually available on newsstands right this minute! Blows my mind to contemplate that. Here’s a link to their website: http://www.oregoncoastmagazine.com/index.html – so you can order a copy mailed to you if you live someplace like Ohio, Pennsylvania or Timbuktu – but you’ll only see my article up close if you get an actual physical printed copy! Yep, you guessed it, I’m loving the whole “my art in print” thing!

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Sue Clancy’s illustrated article in the August 2016 issue of Oregon Coast Magazine

quiet books noisy thoughts

A Creative Life, art techniques, artist book, books, handmade books, visual story, words and pictures, writing

I made my first ‘artist book’ when I was about 6 years old. I had become deaf when I was about 4 or 5. It happened in summer and my birthday is in the summer so was I still 4 years old when it happened, or had I turned 5? At any rate the world became silent. This was not a problem for me. It was just my normal life before I got my first set of hearing aids. I lived with my grandmother and life was good. Except for the brief times when I was taken to visit my biological parents. During the weekends at their house an angry yelling adult frequently appeared in my field of vision shouting “BE QUIET!”

This was a mystery to me. What did the phrase “be quiet” mean? I had already learned to read, write and draw. I already knew that the public library was a place full of wonderful magical books full of mysterious things that other people knew. Books were how people collected and kept what they learned and how they made it available for kids like me to see! (Wow!) So after a few weekends of two adults taking turns shouting “BE QUIET” I began my investigation.

I gathered several sheets of paper together and stapled them along one edge. I began to record, mostly in drawings, what I had just been doing when the “BE QUIET” message was delivered at the top of grownup lungs. Between these weekends I went with my grandmother to the library. There I asked a librarian how I would find out what the phrase “be quiet” meant and how someone did that ‘be quiet’ thing.

I don’t recall the exact encounter with the librarian, I mostly remember having a lot of trouble explaining what exactly it was that I wanted to learn. I remember eventually being introduced to the Dictionary and other books containing information about ears, hearing and sound. I wrote and drew, in fat-first-grade pencil, everything I learned into my stapled handmade book. When I was done, and back at home with grandmother again, I created a yellow colored construction paper cover for my book, glued one edge of the construction paper to the staples and titled it, in red crayon, “The Be Quietness Book”.

Long story short I had created my first entry into what, as an adult, I’ve learned is a genre within the Book Arts world: “Books that help you think about and make sense of your experience in the world”

And I’ve been making artist books ever since. You can see some of them on my artist book page here: https://sueclancy.com/artist-books/

Photo of me laughing and drinking coffee while working in my studio.

Photo of me laughing and drinking coffee while working in my studio.