Friday Fudge Judge

A Creative Life, artistic inspirations, illustration, poetry, words and pictures, writing

Earlier today I did a blog post called “Friday Fun In Progress” about a short narrative poem I was in the process of writing and illustrating. Then I took a lunch break. Thanks for waiting so patiently…. and without further ado here’s what I came up with:

The Fudge Judge – By Sue Clancy

A strict, stiff, sober Judge

was asked to jury some fudge.

With unusual glee

he shouted “For me?”

then ran off with the very best fudge.

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The Fudge Judge – illustration and poem by Sue Clancy

 

Friday fun in progress

A Creative Life, art techniques, artistic inspirations, poetry, words and pictures

I’m working on my short narrative practice again; aka writing a quickie poem/story plus creating an illustration for it. I’m thinking of fudge, fudge competitions, and the process of asking people to judge something so subjective as what something tastes like… and what could happen.

Anyway, here’s what my desk looks like right now… more progress to come later, after lunch. All this thinking about fudge and I’ve realized that I’m hungry. Back in a bit…

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Sue Clancy’s work-in-progress; writing a short narrative poem and creating an illustration for it.

 

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

 

 

on writing and giving speeches about art

A Creative Life, animals in art, art exhibit, art gallery, fine art, writing

During my art exhibit opening Oct 1st I’m giving a 5 minute talk about my artwork. If you had told me when I was 9 years old that one day I would, fairly regularly, give short public speeches about my artwork during gallery openings I would not have believed you. At the time I was in speech therapy daily and the thought of talking in class terrified me. I had only worn hearing aids for a year or so and had been deaf for far longer. Hearing sounds was still new and scary.

I spent lots of school and recess time sitting with my speech therapist in a tiny area partitioned off by a curtain from the school’s boiler/heater/janitor’s office, wearing my new hearing aids, trying to understand in that noisy space what the therapist was saying and then accurately repeat out loud what she’d said… well, let’s just say it was a stressful time.

After a year or so of that my therapist and I were good friends – and I’m now 10- but still when it came to answering a teacher aloud during class I’d sweat and my heart would pound and my voice would shake. So my therapist suggested that I take acting classes. I did! And over a long time, and lots of acting classes, I became a regular ham, okay, a ham and cheese on wry, and talking in class or anywhere else became relatively easy.

Eventually the only people who said anything about the quality of my speech, like “you talk funny”, were under the age of 6. The kid’s parents usually gasp in embarrassment and try to un-do their kids comment. I typically ignore the grown-ups and talk directly with the kid, explaining that “I don’t hear like you do” and pull off one of my hearing-aids to show the kid and answer questions. After such a conversation I usually have a friend-for-life in the kid (and profoundly relieved grown-ups).

Fast forward lots of writing classes, lots of practice writing and speaking, lots of reading books on writing, books on giving speeches etc. – and here’s what I’ve learned about writing talking about ones artwork:

When writing a speech: write like you talk, avoid jargon (it is usually hard to say anyway), in simple brief terms describe what kind of art you do, how you do it, a short bit about why you do it – ideally revealing a bit of who you are in the process – then sum up with “what people enjoy about your work”/ “how they benefit” from your work.

When delivering the speech: remember to breathe, talk slowly enough so as to pronounce everything, and keep going even if you mangle a word (most people over the age of 6 are not likely to point out the error). Practice your speech out loud. Practice speaking confidently. Practice smiling at your audience. Practice thanking everyone for listening.

It helps to have a sympathetic supporter listening to you while you do all this practice.

Here is a photo of my speech practice partner – Rusty – who has kindly listened – for days now – as I have practiced the short talk I’m to give Oct 1st.  If only my 9 year old self could see me now! Oh wait…

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Sue Clancy’s dachshund Rusty listening as Sue practices her speech for the Oct 1st wine dinner opening for her fine art exhibit via Caplan Art Designs

 

 

pleasure patterns

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, artist book, artistic inspirations, books, ebook, fine art

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:

Pleasure Patterns

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.

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First Luncheon Of The Ladies With Red Hats by Sue Clancy

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/

the universal drawer

A Creative Life, Authors, illustration, visual story, words and pictures

Here’s my recent effort at flash fiction – with illustrations by me of course.

The Universal Drawer

By Sue Clancy

“Papadopodada” said Nanotzee, said to an adult Alienatzoa who was holding a copy of The Universal times in his four hands. “Papadopodada!” Nanotzee insisted.

“Hmmm?” grunted the adult voice from behind The Times and far far away.

“Papadopodada… where did you get this?”  Nanotzee was looking at the Milky Way Galaxy which lay in chest of drawers.

Nanotzee was doing what all young Alienatzoa do – go through their adults private drawers asking personal questions.

(If you could hear them talking their words would sound a lot like this: “Gooartohozee.  Nanhumota Behoobustic”  and so forth, hard for us Earthlings to understand.)

A corner of The Times folded down and one of 3 eyes peered over it. “Oh. My Papadopodada gave that Universe to me for care and feeding when I was about your age. He thought it would be good for me to take responsibility” said the voice behind The Times.

Those words didn’t make much sense to Nanotzee who pulled the drawer all the way out, carried it and set it on a table carefully.  After looking with three eyes a while, reading the labels and admiring the colors, Nanotzee got out the Spectacularizer.  The Spectacularizer makes things appear larger than they really are. A Spectacularizer looks a lot like this.

illustration of a "Spectacularizer" for a story called "The Universal Drawer" by Sue Clancy

illustration of a “Spectacularizer” for a story called “The Universal Drawer” by Sue Clancy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Wowweezowee!” exclaimed Nanotzee peering through the three eye pieces and adjusting the Spectacularizer’s knobs, buttons and lenses, making the wonderful even more spectacular.

Eventually Nanotzee said “Papadopodada…one rock, labeled Earth, has a lot of little beings all over it. Is that normal?“  A few nanoseconds later Nanotzee added “And why is your universe so big? Mine is only half this size.”

The Times folded in half.  All three of the adult Alienatzoa’s eyes appeared above the fold. “Well… it’s all a matter of perspective.”

(What the adult Alienatzoa really said was “Garbledee garbledum harumphado.”  But that speech took several light years to reach Earth’s atmosphere and it is likely that much was lost in translation.)

Here below is the only known image of an Alienatzoa:

illustration for "The Universal Drawer" a flash fiction story by Sue Clancy

illustration for “The Universal Drawer” a flash fiction story by Sue Clancy

 

watery sketchbook page

A Creative Life, Authors, sketchbook, words and pictures

Draw every day even if it’s only a glass of water. – Sue Clancy

Today’s sketchbook page and an attempt to remember a quote by a famous writer/author I recently heard/read somewhere:

Sue Clancy's sketchbook page with a drawing of a glass of water and a small puddle on the table. Plus some ruminations on writing/famous author's...

Sue Clancy’s sketchbook page with a drawing of a glass of water and a small puddle on the table. Plus some ruminations on writing/famous author’s…

time music art

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, fine art

Here is my first piece off my new easel: “Out Of The Blues” – it was easier to move my easel up and down as I needed to and even though this is a small piece (10 x 8 x 2 inches) the easel was unbelievably comfortable to work on! Watch out world – I’ll be popping my art out now like a creative eye-candy factory!

Out Of The Blues by Sue Clancy, 10 x 8 x 2 inches hand dyed paper, found paper and acrylic on cradled board

Out Of The Blues by Sue Clancy, 10 x 8 x 2 inches hand dyed paper, found paper and acrylic on cradled board

And yes, “Out Of The Blues” is yet another new artwork destined for exhibit via Caplan Art Designs www.caplanartdesigns.com in the coming months.  As you’ve probably already guessed “…Blues” is about surprising delightful musical melodies that arise from within creative constraints.

Alright, back to work; I’m going to do another art piece, write an exhibit statement… there’s a lot to do before an exhibit happens! Fun times!

If you’re just joining this regular programing – the last blog episode about my new easel is here: https://sueclancy.com/2016/05/05/the-easel-has-landed/