Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Showing at Exhibit3 / Day Of The Dead Scottie Mosaic

"Atticus"
© rebecca collins
12 x 12 Mixed Media Mosaic

Hey guys, I am showing at a new gallery in Oak Cliff this weekend. Come out and see me Sunday at Exhibit3. I was invited to show by the gallery owner Adam Spigel. He will be showing his lovely panoramic landscapes and artist Cap Pannell will have some Day of the Dead works on view as well. I will be at the gallery around 7:00 and will hang out in the evening.  Drop by anytime on Sunday, the entire Bishop Arts area is having a Day of the Dead celebration. It should be a fun day to be in Oak Cliff.

About the Mosaic Above:
This is a project I did a few years back in honor of my sweet boy Atticus.  He was my very first Scottie dog and the muse and inspiration behind Art Paw. I think it is one of my most successful earlier mosaics. There is text below the glass about the breed and additional handwritten text about our sweet boy, including favorite nicknames and personality quirks.

2014 EXHIBIT3 Grand Opening - New Bishop Arts Gallery
Sunday, November 2, 2014 12:00p to 10:00p
EXHIBIT3 - 1221 W. Davis Street, Dallas, TX 75208

Friday, October 10, 2014

This Artist's Growing Pains

So much has been happening this year, it is a year of both major growth and major loss. Back in June we had to say goodbye to our sweetest pup Ajax. His illness came out of nowhere and with tons of tests we still do not know what took him and we are still blaming ourselves for things we could have done better and second guessing the choices we made.  Those are things I tell my clients never to do, and yet it is human nature, especially when you are hurting so much.

© rebecca collins / artpaw.com
Sweetest Boy Ever ... Ajax

In August we adopted a wee little pup named Higgins, he and Whitman are the best of friends. The name was given to him by his foster Mom and I liked it so it stuck. Higgins combined with Whitman makes us sound like a masterpiece theater household or something.  Pixel ( A.K.A. Pickle)  likes him ok although she does have to snap at him on occasion just to keep him in line.   Our sweet Scottie girl has bladder cancer and was diagnosed back in February. She has great days and months and then a week or more where we think it is time for her to leave us.We were worried about bringing a new guy into the mix while she has been getting so much additional love and attention, but in reality she has enjoyed watching the boys play so hard and their antics keep her amused.
Higgins

Lazy dogs Whitman & Pickle
Doggy loss is a road we are not unfamiliar with and we accept it as part of the deal. Whenever it happens the world keeps turning, as much as it feels like we are loosing a kid since they are our surrogate children after all, and as much as it hurts we move forward and often that has meant pouring myself into my work. This year however I have not totally immersed myself in either the fine art mosaics or Art Paw. I am keeping up with my commissions and loving all of the pet projects in front of me but the true distraction and area of focus is the construction happening in my back yard.   

Yes, we are finally building on to our little bungalow in East Dallas. We have a 2 bedroom one bath cottage on a huge lot. I have always enjoyed sitting in my backyard and saying that the yard is my largest and favorite room. Well that yard and that space has gotten eaten up by new home square footage.  We are doubling the size of our home, adding a master suite, laundry room and huge studio space that will house both Art Paw and our fine art pursuits.  I am super excited and hope to be moving into the space by the spring of 2015.  Having a smaller backyard will mean less area to landscape so it will be easier to make  a big statement with my plantings.
© Modern Craft LLC
Rendering above of our new space
Check out Modern Craft on Houzz
We love our builder!
 So the Growing Pains ... well living where construction is happening is never easy. I do not feel like I am doing nearly enough creative work in my off hours. I feel like I am in some weird purgatory space, it is neither Heaven or Hell. My one salvation ... I have been taking Figure drawing classes with Dan and I am loving that. Susan Giller is a terrific drawing teacher at the Dallas Creative Arts Center.  It is such a luxury to have live models to draw.  Drawing in general is a wonderful discipline for any artist, I do not know why drawing the human figure is so special, but you know what ... it sort of is. Below are a couple of 20 minute contour drawings from class. I created these on leftover paper that was used for spray painting so there is a lovely layer of color and texture beneath the line drawings.
© rebecca collins
original drawing available for purchase

© rebecca collins
original drawing available for purchase

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mosaic Monday: Tempered Glass Worskhop

"Blast Off"
© rebecca collins 2009

"Blast Off" ( detail)
© rebecca collins 2009

Today I have been prepping to teach a workshop that will take place next Sunday on Tempered Glass Mosaics. I have taken the workshop myself twice and it is always a lot of fun.  Tempered glass is the type of glass we have in our cars.

 Definition:
Tempered glass is a type of safety glass processed by controlled thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength compared with normal glass. Tempering puts the outer surfaces into compression and the inner surfaces into tension. Such stresses cause the glass, when broken, to crumble into small granular chunks instead of splintering into jagged shards as plate glass (aka: annealed glass) create. The granular chunks are less likely to cause injury.

The first step in creating a tempered glass project is to create a fun layered collage and I will be bringing some lovely papers left over from my old greeting card days. Other fun paper elements might include personal photos, stamps, maps, any sort of ephemera that will spark inspiration in the design process.


  I will be structuring the class in such a way that my students will be able to finish an 11 x 14 mosaic in one day ( grouting at home later ). I feel I am particularly well suited to teach this class because of my love of layering and mixed media collage work. Sometimes mosaic purists feel that tempered glass is way too easy because you do not do any precise cutting and instead rely on the fun random crackling of the glass itself to create patterns.  I happen to think that just because a technical process may seem easy at first, it does not mean that it is not worthy of pursuit.  A true artist can create amazing work with a box of crayons and does not necessarily have to spend a million dollars on oil paints. Tempered glass is like that box of crayons, it is affordable, accessible and the only limits are your own imagination.  Check out my Pinterest Board on Tempered glass to see some fun works by a wide variety of mosaic artists: http://www.pinterest.com/artpaw/tempered-glass-mosaic/. 
One of my favorite mosaics using tempered glass is a dragon fly by my pal Cherie Bosela. She combined the glass with other traditional mosaic materials to create a stunning work.

::::::::::::
Tempered Glass Mosaic
Instructor: REBECCA COLLINS
Tempered glass, a type of safety glass, is used to create jewel-like surfaces. In this workshop students explore the various ways tempered glass can be used on both 2-D and 3-D forms. With tempered glass you can create a window of enchantment, displaying a collage of colors, pictures and words. This is a great method for adding an interesting new element to your designs; one that invited the viewer to take a closer look into what you have created. This workshop is for beginners and seasoned mosaicists alike. All materials are provided. Please bring a lunch.



Date & Time:     Sep 21   Register (just a few spots left open)
SUNDAY 10:00am - 4:00pm (1 day)
Location:     Building A - Mosaic Room
Cost:     $95.00 ($125.00 Non-Members)$25.00 Materials Fee

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mosaic Monday/ Butterflies and other news



Above is another Artificial Pollinator that I created for my pal Eve Lynch's Butterfly Mosaic project. You can see a few butterflies from her last project by clicking here.  I missed out on that first call out as I thought I was too busy ... you have to make time for the things that matter and this is such a fun group community project. I just had to take part this time. Eve will be installing the flutter of submissions at an elementary school in Florida.
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Check it out!  I made my local neighborhood magazine the Lakewood Advocate! This is their special pet issue that they do each year. Bottom right corner is my artwork of Prada the Pug.  Hoping that  this ink will make us fortunate enough to find a few new local clients or even just hear from some old ones.

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Higgins never backs down in play!

Higgins ... my sweet new cuddle bunny.
Ok and last but of course not least ... I have to introduce the newest member of our pack ... Higgins is a rescue and our very first random bred baby. I have always wanted a good old fashion mixed breed pup and yet time and time again we have rescued Scotties because they are my husband's breed of choice. I have no complaints, all of our Scotties and of course Whitman the Fox terrier have been amazing companions. I just wanted to mix it up a tiny bit this time and this very wee little guy is just the ticket!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mosaic Monday/ An Artist Lives Here

I took my students on a fun field trip to Barb Dybala's studio in Rockwall Texas this last weekend. I was trying very hard to create a video using i-movie that would combine my shots from my earlier 2011 trip with some voice-over and the editing task became way too daunting today so  I went with a quick little slideshow from just the Saturday trip. I will try to write more soon about the day trip and include a longer movie with voice-over.
Visit Barbara Dybala at her website : http://barbaradybala.com/

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

East Dallas Pet Portraits

Here at Art Paw we ship all over the globe and yet these last few years I find myself creating more and more portraits for clients in my own East Dallas neighborhood and often I know these pets so it makes it even more fun. Today I will post just a few of our local Dallas pups.

"Chloe and Higgins"
 The smiling duo above is an older project. I met Chloe & Higgins' Mom years ago when I rescued a Cow Dog Stray from Little Forest Hills.

"Sophie"
Spinone Italiano
Above is Sophie and her Mom owns the Rocket Science Hair Salon on Garland Road. Since her Mom is a genius with color highlights I figured I should give Sophie some good highlighting. I also did some fun text about her breed in the background, I was tickled and pleased when this proof was chosen.
"Cab"
The handsome cow dog above is Cab and he lives right next door to me. I have known him since he was a wee puppy. His Dad is the President of our neighborhood association.

"Maxie"
Maxie is another neighborhood pup and her Mom owns Blue Ribbon Lady Landscaping.

"Jackson"
Jackson is a local Dallas dog and his Dad did 3 large projects with me years ago. He had 2 huskies and a Bulldog. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mosaic Monday: Working In A Series Class

My next mosaic class starts next Weds. night the 23rd of July. We will be working in a series in this class. I will also help my students write an artist statement towards the end of the class. I will supply three 6 x 6 inch cradle boards and I will ask my students to work on all 3 projects at the same time. We may not finish each mosaic in this short 6 week class however we will get started on a consistent theme and work towards creating a cohesive body of work. Below is an intro video to the class with samples of various thematic works I have created over the years.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

White Rock East Garden Tour 2014 / Birds, Dogs, Cats & Robots

Last weekend I participated in our local neighborhood garden tour here in East Dallas. Every year they invite a few artists to set up in the yards of the homes that are on the garden tour, making it a very well rounded event. I had a great time!
"Analog Crow" 4 x 4 Mixed Media Mosaic Sold
© rebecca collins



"Robot Mosaic Trading Card" Sold
© rebecca collins



When I first started Art Paw way back in 1998 my main form of advertising was local outdoor events, everything from Art Fairs to Spca rescue events. I stopped doing as many of these in 2005 when the demand for my custom pet portraiture was way exceeding my free time.  With that said, I do absolutely love the Garden tour because it allows me to meet new neighbors, see old friends and connect with a few of my mosaic collectors.  I did very well this year and sold everything from clay robot heads to dog and cat bookmarks.  I sold a lot of mosaic work as well this year.

I always feel a bit schizophrenic when I put out my art wares and people see everything from digital art to ceramics.  Sometimes I think I should bring either the traditional media work or the digital work, but the reality is I sell both and different people respond to different work. Some folks like the dogs, some like the robots. If I continue to do a few of these sales I need to work on my signage and my display. I need better fabric coverings for larger tables. I also need to get organized with my work and keep it ready to go in plastic tubs ... after I shoot it well and offer it on Etsy all year long.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Art Paw On TV in Atlanta!

Did you know that Atlanta is #3 on the national list for cities with the most pampered pets? Yep, very cool and this morning we were featured on the morning show there at CBS46! Check out our 15 seconds of fame ...  Gift Ideas to Pamper Your Pet!

Cooper below  is the star pup that I created both a Warhol and a painterly style project for that you will see in the clip.