Professional Dog, Gallery exhibits in a pandemic and being Santa’s elf

A Creative Life, animals in art, art exhibit, art gallery, artistic inspirations, author illustrator, books, creative thinking, fabric design, fine art, humor in art, illustrated gifts, mental health, Sustainable creativity, The Professional Dog, whimsical art

There are 3 major art gallery exhibits in my life but more on that in a bit. First here are this weeks 3 dogs from The Professional Dog.

Here’s a larger image of each dog portrait with the book text beneath.

The Opera Singer’s dog is an optimistic dog.
The Park Ranger’s dog is a patient dog.
The Pilot’s dog is a positive dog.

In times past I went in person to local exhibits especially when my work was featured. But I haven’t gone physically to one since the start of the pandemic in 2020. The galleries are handling openings much differently too, more videos and social media online, more appointments and more shipping and delivery.

This is now the 2nd year of things working this new way and I have discovered a wonderful benefit – deaf me can “hear” people better because everything is written. Lip reading and trying to hear with my hearing aids in a noisy Gallery isn’t an issue now so I feel like my engagement with people has improved! But because I’ve spent more than 30 years doing in person exhibits and only 2 years doing exhibits virtually I still get nervous about this new method even though I think I like it.

So before the Holiday Box Exhibit began at Caplan Art Designs on Thursday evening I charged up my phone and kept my phone on so I could see and respond to anything happening at the Gallery.

While I waited for things to actually start Thursday night I read this article about Ann Patchett and how she’s enjoying doing things virtually and doesn’t plan to do the old style in person book tours again. It was an interesting read and helped me settle into my virtual event. Here’s the article –

The Caplan Art Designs Gallery began posting on social media in advance of the Thursday opening, sharing 2 or 3 of the 7 artist’s work per post. Then as the opening began Thursday night the Gallery posted videos of the entire exhibit and some photos of people at the Gallery… not the crowds of the pre-pandemic days but safe methods of visiting. It did my artist heart good to see them and know that everyone was so caring!

I tried to quickly share on my social media what the Gallery posted or to echo it at least. People who follow the Gallery social media commented there. People who follow me commented on my pages. I tried to be quickly responsive. The Gallery owner and 2 associates were sharing and replying on the Gallery pages and the artist pages too. Below is an example of one of the Gallery posts prior to the event…

… and the Gallery shared the comments made in person at the Gallery about the work during the evening. One client said my work reminded them of Piero Fornasseti. I had to Google Fornasseti first but after I looked I agreed and made a note to myself to study more!

Early in the evening my work “All The Chances” sold! By the end of the evening 5 out of 7 artists works had sold and it was quickly apparent that the entire 7 piece exhibit would likely be sold before the weekend was over.

I am constantly proud of and amazed by how well and how creatively the Caplan Gallery has dealt with the pandemic challenges.

So it was quite a hectic opening evening even though I (and many others) participated online from home. I was tired at the end of the night but not half as worn out as I have been back in the days of attending exhibits in person and trying to hear in a noisy room. Again this new pandemic way of exhibit openings felt more satisfying like I had been able to more fully engage with people.

When I think about it this new way of doing openings is akin to arts and antique auctions, where there’s the in person bidding, the phone bidding and the online bidding. And somehow everything is kept organized.

Anyway, this photo below got posted within minutes of the sale… and was such a delightful surprise!

The very next night, Friday, was the opening exhibit at the Aurora Gallery!This Gallery too has been amazing in their ability to adapt and respond to pandemic challenges. The Aurora Gallery told me that they sold out of my signed copies of The Professional Dog (and would I please restock asap) and they said that there was a “socially distanced line of people buying Clancy fine art and artist books”!

Several of the people who went to the Aurora Gallery posted on social media about their visit or texted me directly! Oh this is such a fun way to share and enjoy art together!

I love hearing from people who are enjoying something I made. Below are some photos shared by someone who’d put my whimsical coasters around their table!

I’ve loved sharing cheerfulness in unexpected ways like this! I like it when people are able to be creative using things I’ve made! My coasters or “mug mats” are available individually on my Zazzle shop

…and they’re available as sets only at the Aurora Gallery but the gallery will ship anywhere.

I’ve also enjoyed it that people have asked me to make, using my artwork from The Professional Dog series, cups, prints, face masks (for kids and adults) and fabric! There was even a request for a simple 30 piece jigsaw puzzle with extra large pieces for kids!

I wonder if this is how Santa does it, gets requests first and then puts the elves to work? πŸ€” Artwork, books and gift giving are about connecting with people so…

Anyway, here’s the cup

Here’s the print

Here’s the face masks….

Here’s the fabric

Here’s the 30 piece jigsaw puzzle

This week my friend Bernadette shared some of my favorite relax-for-the-holiday recipes on her blog This is yet another fun way to safely connect with people via art and good food!

December 9 there’s another exhibit with some of my artwork at Joseph Gierek Fine Art in Oklahoma! I will be supporting this exhibit from my Pacific Northwest home too. I’ve worked with Joe for about 25 years and he’s one of the most innovative Gallery people in the business! He tells about selling art from the trunk of his car way back when he was starting out… the things he has dealt with and come out on top over are inspiring. I wish he’d write a book.

Anyway it really helps me to get through these challenging times to be surrounded by creative and encouraging Gallery owners!

Despite all of the past weeks activity I’ve still been managing (mostly) to sketch in the mornings and have hot chocolate and read a bit before bed. (See the hot chocolate recipe above) Perhaps after this week I can rest more? We’ll see…

I hope your upcoming week is a good one! See you next Monday?

11 thoughts on “Professional Dog, Gallery exhibits in a pandemic and being Santa’s elf

  1. Congratulations on all of your success! I am so thrilled that the pragmatic changes caused by the pandemic have not only been effective but also beneficial for you. That’s great. I too have experienced changes at work that I plan to keep in places even when (if?) we get to the other side of this pandemic.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad that you too have had some helpful changes!
      I hope we all reach the other side of this pandemic with a few useful new tools in our toolbox. ❀

  2. Hi, Sue! I’m thrilled that your gallery openings have been so successful. And the merch!! You have a runaway hit on your hands. Copies of The Professional Dog made it in time to go out in Christmas boxes today, one for my daughter and son-in-law and one for my two grand-nephews.

    1. Oh I’m delighted that your copies of Professional Dog made it in time to go out in your Christmas boxes!! Yippee!!! And thank you for your kind words about my gallery openings! ❀

  3. How wonderful the box sold. I can see why…It’s wonderful! I’m happy you’re able to interact and give and gain encouragement through the galleries’ online shows and social media opportunities. I’ve been enjoying those interactions too, and thoroughly enjoyed doing a reading at a library Zoom meeting – along with other authors in my group – this past week. I liked that I was able to get a link to a recording of the ‘show’ and post it on my blogs so people can enjoy it anytime instead of having to be available at the time it was live online.
    And there’s something more intimate about seeing just the head and shoulders of each author and artist as they speak from their own homes, studios or offices instead of being in a crowded room of people at the library as seeing each other across a wide circle or at the front over heads of the rows of sitting folks. Like you say, I could hear better and see better. There were less distractions so I really got into each reading, listening with more depth.
    Seems odd it was more intimate to not meet the people in person. It calls into question just what ‘meeting someone’ really is.
    I’m looking forward to some in-person events again eventually, but I too plan to continue online programs for readings and other author events.
    By the way …. If you made it through reading all of that, LOL, I bought Professional Dogs and Numpurrs books and mailed to my friends’ home for Christmas. They have an ongoing thing about whether cats or dogs are better – though actually they both love them all! They have 6 pets with some of each, so I think the books will find a good home. πŸ˜‰

    1. Oh! Thank you so much for finding my dog and cat books such a good pet friendly home!! β€πŸ˜»πŸΆπŸ“š
      I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying online kinds of interactions too! Yes, that ability to share things digitally during a digital “meeting” tops that old in-person stammer about needing to go and fetch something. It’s funny now to think about how many times I had in-person meeting to discuss what we needed to bring to an in-person meeting in order to get some work done…πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ And I totally agree with you that people seem more relaxed when speaking from their homes or studios and can get right to it with fewer distractions. Yes, it makes me too ponder what “meeting someone” means. I have more than a few people scattered around the world that I only know online but I care deeply for them. We may not be able to physically help each other with something (in the old fashioned sense of “who’d bring you chicken broth when you’re sick”) but we’re certainly reliably there for each other. Does that make any sense?
      When I think about it even before the pandemic us writer artists sorts had editors, publishers, gallery owners etc that we were in regular touch with – they were integral parts of our lives – but we rarely saw each other in person. Anyway my point is that perhaps we creatives were perhaps a little less shocked by the pandemic distancing? I don’t know…
      Looking forward to hearing more about your projects!! And thank you again for your kind comment!!

Thank you for reading and sharing encouragements!