Way of all fresh food

A Creative Life, animals in art, art techniques, artist book, artistic inspirations, Authors, books, Books In Art, cat portrait, Cats in art, dog portrait, Dogs in Art, fine art, food in art, kitchen art, life of the mind, reading in art, story, visual story

I’ve been working on a large painting and posted a pic of me at work on my Instagram page. A friend asked me to explain my symbolism when I finished it …so here goes:

First the painting. It’s titled “The Way Of All Fresh (Food)“. The size is 36 by 24 inches and I used ink, gouache and color pencil to make it.

The Way Of All Fresh (Food) – by Clancy

As evidenced by recent posts of my sketchbook pages I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the life of the mind. I’ve also been reading classic fiction on the topic: “Stoner” by John Williams, “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin and “The Way Of All Flesh” by Samuel Butler.

When creating fine art I like to use symbolism that originates in literature and mythology as a way to orient myself in order to create a visual story.

In this case Butler’s novel had me thinking, as I read, of the ways mental development, new learning – like love – can sneak up on us, and yet it’s something that we process daily. The challenges and necessity of purposefully participating in one’s own mental life dominated my thoughts – especially after I finished reading Butler. I thought of how the maintenance of one’s mind is similar to the maintenance of one’s physical body.

With that as a bare bones thesis I sought, and selected from literary history, symbols with which to construct my visual story:

Lizards represent inner life, taking time to reflect. (I also remembered a quote from the children’s book author Madeleine L’Engle “Love is a funny thing, shaped like a lizard, that runs up and down and tickles your gizzard.”)

Celery, in Ancient Greek writings, represents victory and a warding off of evil spirits. Parts of the celery plants were woven into garlands, crowns, and given to the winner of sporting events. They were also woven into funeral wreaths.

Parsley stands for useful knowledge, joy and feasting. (Practical stuff of life.)

Apples have a long literary history signaling love, knowledge, self-awareness, attainable joys….all elements of life that have been, in some stories, forbidden or used to trick (think Snow White and the 7 dwarves). So I see an element of good critical thinking skill development in an apple but I digress.

Bulldog represents tenacity, courage, willingness to do the right thing.

Cat represents curiosity.

In addition to playing with symbols I’ve also hidden what’s known in the movie and gaming industries as “easter eggs“. Some of the eggs I hid are:

The cat portrait in this painting is a spoof of my own artwork, i.e. there exists an artwork by me that’s similar to this painting within the painting. (There’s also a jigsaw puzzle I designed with this cat artwork.)

I’ve waved “hello” to many of my friends – the kitchen furniture waves to my interior decorator, visionary friend, Carolyn. The cutting board high-fives Kevin, a friend who’s a talented woodworker. The lizards are a shared giggle with my friend Kim. The socks are a howdy to Frank and Elaine. The purple shirt is there because of Beverly, Kris H and Erica M. The book and the heart-art are for my spouse – as always.

Since the lizards represent time to reflect I’ve included a clock near the heart and brain artwork with a special time on it. Most days by 10:40 a.m. I have spent time writing and drawing in my sketchbook. One of my methods to cultivate my own inner life. (And yes, I post these sketchbook pages on Instagram and make artist books from them. You can see some of the books here.)

Oh, almost forgot, there’s a yummy celery, apple and parsley salad recipe that goes with this painting too.

There now. I’ve told most, but not all, of the punchlines. Enjoy!

Clancy’s view of Tralfamadore

A Creative Life, art techniques, Art Word Combinations, artist book, artistic inspirations, Authors, Books In Art, creative thinking, drawing as thinking, fine art, graphic narrative, magic realism, mundane and magical moments, visual story, words and pictures

In Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, the (ahem) text, for my recent painting (last post) Vonnegut talks of Tralfamadore another planet where time is viewed panoramically by the Tralfamadorians.

After posting about my painting “Slaughterhouse Chives” some friends said they’d like to see my view of Tralfamadore. So here, below, are several views of my artist book titled “Clancy’s View Of Tralfamadore * a homage to Kurt Vonnegut and other intervals of time”.

Including, (wink) a panoramic photo of the inside contents of my book. The book is 7 inches tall and 4.5 in wide when closed. It opens to span 36 inches. I made this book with ink and gouache on handmade paper.

Front cover
Back cover
Panoramic view of the contents

In my artwork generally I think about time a lot, about the importance of the present moment, how we create – or curate – our present moments to our good or ill or something between. I think of how books are time capsules, messages from another era, another geographic region, another lived duration.

One of my favorite quotes is from a book called A Sideways Look At Time by Jay Griffiths the quote goes “The French philosopher Henri Bergeson, who greatly influenced Proust, understood the sublime importance of the present moment “time is creation or it is nothing at all” and lived durations are not simply intervals but are the very stuff of reality.”

I put that quote as a long-running phrase across the entire 36 inch accordion format that makes up “Clancy’s View Of Tralfamadore…” Around that phrase I’ve included references to the intervals of lived durations, Vonnegut (of course) and other authors I’ve read recently who’ve passed on to the eternal library in the sky. Also included are meaningful time intervals related to flowers/plants and soup. Each duration mentioned is an important part of this interval I’m living in. (For example; I’m aware that without flowers we wouldn’t have vegetables and other soup ingredients, or paper or…)

And for any extra amusement in it here’s a video of “Clancy’s View Of Tralfamador * a homage to Kurt Vonnegut and other intervals of time”

Video of the one- of-a-kind artist book by Clancy titled “Clancy’s View of Tralfamadore * a homage to Kurt Vonnegut and other intervals of time”

Thank you for sharing this present moment with me.

Time Tavern traveling

A Creative Life, animals in art, artist book, artistic inspirations, Dogs in Art, ebook, graphic narrative, public art, The Sketchbook Project, visual story, words and pictures

I’ve finished my sketchbook for the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project, packed it up and put it into the postal slot. But before I did that I created an ebook version of the book – and a video.  I was going to post more photos of work-in-progress and such – but I’ve gotten very busy so… you can download-to-own an ebook version here. And below is the video…

 

more from time tavern

A Creative Life, artist book, sketchbook, The Sketchbook Project, visual story

I’ve been very busy lately on several major projects that I can’t talk about publicly yet. Which is why you’ve not seen much of me online. I have managed to squeeze in a bit of work, 5 minutes here or there, on my sketchbook for the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project. I’m still thinking the title of my sketchbook is “Time Tavern”.

Anyway, below are pics of what I’ve gotten done.

And yes, when I can I’ll post about the projects that I can’t talk about yet.

time tavern sketchbook progress

A Creative Life, artist book, sketchbook, The Sketchbook Project, visual story

The sketchbook I’m working on for the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project now has a name, a working title: “Time Tavern”.  As you can see from previous posts I’m thinking about time – and uses of time in cooking, food service, music and in telling wordless visual stories.

When I began this project I’d thought “Time Tavern” would be the title but I held off declaring it until I’d drawn a few pages.  Things sometimes change as a drawing progresses – particularly when I’m working on a wordless visual story.

In my earlier posts (see below for links) I’d shown close-ups of musicians and a chef at work. I’d also shown a birthday party in progress.  These 3 story strands are main ones – but they also need context in order to become a story.  The association or juxtaposition of images – and the sequence of them – is how I’m crafting my tale visually rather than by written words in a row.

The issue is how to do the same things writers who use written words do – plot movement, foreshadowing and character development – but in my case how to do those using only visual imagery.

As part of my original planning for this story I created a “layout” of the “Time Tavern” the pub setting where my story takes place.  This layout is part of my story strand weaving strategy.  Here you see my architectural layout:

TimeTavernLayout72

This architectural drawing won’t be included in my sketchbook – that’s just to help me organize my story.  The book to the side in the above photo is included as it shows me referring to my architectural drawing during work on that sketchbook page.

Below is one of the first setting drawings within my “Time Tavern” sketchbook – it shows the chef looking at his recipe cards. In the background you see the bartender looking at her recipe cards. You also see a bit of the stage area the musicians will use.  Perhaps you can see how I’ll be using my setting drawings as story context – and foreshadowing?

TimeTavernSettingView172

I’m sure you’ll also note the large clocks in my settings – I’m using those as a story device to show the progression of time…

TimeTavernSetting72

Lots more to work to do…

My past posts regarding this project (so you can follow my progress) are here:  https://sueclancy.com/2017/08/10/sketchbook-project-progress/    https://sueclancy.com/2017/08/14/story-strands-in-my-sketchbook-project/  https://sueclancy.com/2017/08/16/sketchbook-progress-time/

General info about the Sketchbook Project is here: https://www.sketchbookproject.com/

Exhibit Teaser Stories

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Click on one of the images in this blog post for a slideshow of 5 (out of 21) artworks currently on exhibit at Burnt Bridge Cellars.  Since I think things (!) while I’m designing each of my visual stories (aka artworks) I’m including a short sentence about my thoughts behind each piece followed by details of media, size etc. – contact Caplan Art Designs directly www.caplanartdesigns.com if you’re interested in one of these works. (BTW Caplan’s will ship art anywhere in the world.)

Relevant links:

www.burntbridgecellars.com

A blog post here: https://sueclancy.com/2016/05/31/fine-art-and-fine-wine/ containing details about the opening reception (food! wine!) at Burnt Bridge Cellars Friday June 3rd 2016.

www.caplanartdesigns.com

working on new artwork

A Creative Life, animals in art, art exhibit, fine art, visual story

As you know from previous posts I’ve been working on new artwork for my upcoming art exhibits.  In this post I shared a design I’d drawn in my sketchbook.  Then in the post here is a photo of me making one of the papers that I’d need towards the new artwork design I’d drawn in my sketchbook.  After days of dyeing, and cutting out a gajillion more pieces of handmade paper – today in this photo I’ve cut out the shapes of a dogs teeth out of paper and am in the act of gluing that cut paper into the dogs mouth.  I now have sympathy for dentist’s.

Sue Clancy gluing hand dyed paper that has been cut into the shape of a dog's set of lower teeth.

Sue Clancy gluing hand dyed paper that has been cut into the shape of a dog’s set of lower teeth.