animals in my art

A Creative Life, animals in art, art commissions, art gallery, art techniques, artistic inspirations, Authors, psychogeography, visual story

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.

more short nonsense

A Creative Life, illustration, poetry, visual story, words and pictures, writing

Practicing “narrative” additions to my “visual story” thing – and this time I illustrated a short short-poem-story-like-substance.  Please wash your hands after handling (ahem, wink) this one titled:

Haste Accounting by Sue Clancy

An accountant was working in Haste

who added his numbers with paste

saying “If these sums are wrong

then I’ll sing you a song

but there’s simply no accounting for taste.”

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illustration for “Haste Accounting” a poem written and illustrated by Sue Clancy

the art of short nonsense

A Creative Life, animals in art, art techniques, artist book, visual story, words and pictures, writing

I’ve decided I’m going to practice adding more “narrative” information on occasion to the “visual story” thing I do. Particularly when I’m doing my artist books. So, lucky you, you’ll get to watch me practice in public! Here’s a short, short bit of flash-fiction-y nonsense to start with:

Scary Spider Story by Sue Clancy

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Scary Spider Story by Sue Clancy

 

 

new Oregon Coast sketches

A Creative Life, artist book, psychogeography, sketchbook, travel art and writing, visual story, words and pictures

Once upon a time, not too long ago, some friends came from Oklahoma to visit us in the Pacific Northwest. Oklahoma does not have ocean access. The Pacific Northwest does. Our friends wanted to see the sea. However there was a catch; John has a mobility issue….

I drew pictures in ink and watercolor on paper as we worked together to get John as close to the sea as possible along the Oregon Coast.  My pictures were made on location as the action happened. Yes, there was a lot of carefully balancing my paper on my knee, sand in my watercolors and sea spray dampening my paper for me.  Still I got all of the pages done while we were on the coast, we spread them out in the car trunk to dry and when I got back to my studio I sorted the pages and bound them using a Japanese stab binding.

Here is a link to a video of the book: https://youtu.be/lTHsRbKrMiM

Here’s a still photo or two

psychogeography and me

A Creative Life, artistic inspirations, commonplace book, psychogeography, sketchbook

Generally I try to avoid jargon but sometimes it’s necessary. Especially when you’re working with galleries, libraries and museums as I do. While I may prefer the term “visual stories” as the umbrella term for what I’m doing with all of my artwork – the term “psychogeography” and it’s alternative spelling “psycogeography” most accurately apply.

As I apply the term it means: to wander around the physical world, with a sense of wonder, making artistic notes documenting the intersection of the person of me with the place I am located. To revel in the simple pleasures of being alive. Then back in my art studio I create a work of fine art (etc.) that expresses and presents my documentation in a format intended for sharing with a wider audience.

More plainly: for me “psycogeography’ means that I wander around my life with my sketchbook much like people playing Pokemon Go wander around with their phones. Then I use my sketchbook as a launch pad for developing my thought-of-as-I-wandered-ideas back at my studio.

Anyway, I’ll be posting more sketchbook pages on this blog as we go along…and as described above… elements from my sketchbooks will end up as fine art, artist books or as art apparel. That’s just how I roll.  (You can find more details at www.sueclancy.com)

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Sue Clancy’s sketchbook pages created in Esther Short Park, Propstra Square, Vancouver WA

 

 

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/

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.”

FishSchool72

 

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

big artist pants

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, art techniques, artist book, books, handmade books, handmade papers, visual story, words and pictures

Well today I pulled up my big artist pants, squared my shoulders, and submitted my artist book “A Fish Story” to the 23 Sandy Gallery www.23sandy.com for an upcoming juried book arts exhibit titled “Pop-Up Now II”.  Wish me luck! I’m hoping to get to play with the big artists in that exhibit!  The juror’s are impressive (intimidating?!) – the artist’s who were in the first “Pop-Up” exhibit at 23 Sandy were OMG awesome (you can see some of their book-work  via this link here: http://23sandy.com/works/product-category/curated-collections/pop-up-movable) – So I have a serious case of the little kid to big kid adoration. You know stuff along the lines of “Oh I wanna play! Pick me! Please? Pretty please? I’ll show you my glue and paper collection…I can do this… I wanna learn that…Show me how… teach me ….let me…aww com’on…”

And this gives you a glimpse into my philosophy of selecting which gallery and which arts events I try to participate in: Does it inspire me to do my absolute best? Does it challenge me as an artist? If the answer is yes – then I get my brave on and go for it! No matter what the outcome is – I’ll learn something in the process and I’ll become a better artist for the effort!

One of the big learning curves – besides making a pop-up book with 4 different movable pop-up mechanisms (whew!) – was making a video of “A Fish Story”! I’m so gosh-darn proud of it I’m posting a link to it again here: https://youtu.be/3gx6QmzXlpM  – and in case you’ve just joined this show here is a still photo of one of the pages of “A Fish Story” – that green tab lets the viewer move the fish into the water away from the fisherman. (Yep, that mechanism was hard to construct… but details about that is a different blog post.)

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page from the artist book “A Fish Story” by Sue Clancy