Thursday, September 01, 2016

Revisiting the Color Pink

In 2011 I spent the entire year focused on the color pink. I added it in to pet portraiture work and in to my mosaics. I concentrated on it because I hated it, I figured it would be a terrific challenge to find original ways to use a hue that is so laden with stereotypes and misunderstanding. I am a huge fan of the artist Jeff Soto and he often uses the color pink in the most amazing ways. I think his work was a big inspiration for me to adopt the color pink and make it my own.  The end result of my experiment is that I fell in love with the color pink.
© rebecca collins
© rebecca collins

Flash Forward 2016: Lisa Huffaker is a pal that is big into zine making, you might even call her the "zine queen" and she has launched her White Rock Zine Machine down at Deep Vellum books. Her next round of zines will be on the theme of color and she has asked me to contribute a zine based on the color pink. Of course I jumped at the chance to work on a collaborative project that is all about color. There will be three visual artists and nine writers creating one hundred colorful tiny zines each in a rainbow of hues. These hand crafted books will be available in an old fashion baseball trading card dispenser. For just a quarter you can spin the knob and be the proud owner of a tiny book of poetry and art.  The color zine event launch is October 7th at 7:00 p.m. at Deep Vellum books.

This weekend I will be cutting paper and starting the assembly work on this labor intensive labor of love. I am using the project as an excuse to revisit pink and will be posting about the color here on the blog in September and on my facebook pages as well. So stay tuned for trivia, art links and more on pink.  I will also be creating trading card sized mosaics and assemblages in the color pink this month. Below are just a few examples of the direction my personal work is heading.

Pink is not for Sissies!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Robots Robots Robots

I have been working in the studio on a series of robot assemblages and glass mosaics. I have some more "serious" projects in the works but sometimes nothing clears my head or makes me happier than playing around with these silly little robots. You can find these guys in my Etsy shop on sale at 50% off until the 19th of August and then they jump back to regular pricing.

© Rebecca Collins

© Rebecca Collins

© Rebecca Collins

© Rebecca Collins

Monday, July 11, 2016

Mosaic Monday / On Starting New Projects

Self Portrait
Work In Progress
Countless times over the years I have seen students sit in front of a new project and move at a snail's pace to really start. They take their time getting their mind around where to begin to even begin because they can not see where they are going and they know that due to the nature of mosaic there will be twists and turns and detours within the journey.  They are fearful to even start because they can not see it finished and totally designed in their mind.  I felt all of that when I started this project. I glued nothing down yesterday; zero, nada, zilch! I played with glass rod, smalti, big thick clear glass with spray paint on top, and I fretted a lot. I worried that this might be a big waste of materials and time. Then I slowed down and started thinking about what I knew was true about this project. I came up with a list and it will be my starting guide post.

• I want to use glass rod and round pieces to echo the half-tone dot pattern in the digital print.

• I want glass circles to be used, circles that make me think about cells, healthy happy cells.
• I want to use thick clear glass and spray paint a dot pattern on top to tamp down the shininess of the glass. I can brush off some of it with a scrubby sponge so that it has a nice grunge effect.
• I do not want to have this be just another painterly portrait like the one I recently finished of my husband.  I love that mosaic, but I want to try something new. I want to experiment with having some of the paper showing, and having paint on the surface of the glass, as well as below.

• I want paper and spray paint to move to the top of the project and mix in with the final layering of materials.
• I will not grout and so I plan to work tight and allow myself to layer upwards with my materials, placing glass on top of glass.
I want this to have the feeling of a glass collage with paint on top.

So my advice when you are not sure where to begin is to make a list of what excites you about the project, and what things are for sure the things you plan to use or incorporate into the piece. Write it down an then dive in ... go to the deep end of the pool and dive in. That first jolt of cold water is a shocker, but then it starts to feel really nice after awhile.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ginger, Sadie, and Mellie

Work feels steady yet somehow slow right at the moment. I will get 2 or 3 orders done and think I am caught up and then a  couple more projects will trickle in. Summertime is the perfect time to order pet portraits for yourself. During the holidays I am usually overwhelmed with projects that are being ordered as gifts and everything has a sense of urgency about it. In the summertime I get to take my time with each pet portrait project in front of me.
I will post a few recent pup portraits below.


Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Filling The Well / Finding Inspiration

Artists have to take time to fill the "inspiration well" and to do this we have to take vacations, go to galleries, read books and sometimes unplug from the web. Last week I got to do just that. I went to Gulf Shores Alabama with my family and had the best time. In the pics my husband took of me I look like a totally different person, I guess on vacation I am a different person.

Last night I started teaching again up at the Creative Arts Center of Dallas. I am teaching mixed media mosaics. This morning on my dog walk I found some cool metal bits that I can add to my box of found objects for future projects.  My students always inspire me and I learn so much when I am teaching. 
Rusty Found Objects

I find inspiration from my Peers!
Last but not least I have to post a fun pic from Monday night of a couple of my mosaic pals. Gila Rayberg was in town teaching last week and Barbara Dybala was hosting her for a few days. Barb invited me out for Gila's last evening in town. I have been following Gila's work for years, I think we first bumped into each other over on Flickr. She was so warm and so much fun. The evening was just way too short.  After dinner we had coffee at Barbara's magical mosaic compound in Rockwall. I came home with a dozen duck eggs and a smile on my face, ( Barbara & David raise ducks).

Barbara Dybala, Gila Rayberg, Rebecca Collins
Mosaic Mural by Barbara Dybala
Dan Collins, David Dybala
Mosaic Mural by Barbara Dybala

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dappled Beauty Found

Dappled Beauty
This morning on my dog walk I found these lovely leaves. This scan does not do them justice, they are really perfect little dappled things.  I slept so good last night and found myself very present this morning on my walk. Usually I am in my head planning out the day, but this morning I was observing and it was a lovely walk.

Yesterday I had a chemo infusion, it really is a breeze at this point. I am no longer on the really tough drug, just two maintenance drugs that keep the beast at bay. I met a lovely woman in the elevator that complimented me on my periwinkle hair. Her hair had just started coming back after her treatments and I told her it looked like it was coming in very strong.  We both agreed that life is too short and we may as well have fun. She said she may do a bold color when she gets more length. I often touch up my hair right before a day at Baylor because the people there are so positive and supportive. Everyone from the patients to the Doctors totally get it.


 Evie is here today stretching canvas for me and we will be shipping out a few finished projects. I have a couple of new orders to attend to and of course paperwork is always waiting for me. I will post today's orders below.  Art Paw is steady right now. I should do some marketing to try and get crazy busy again, but I sort of like just being steady with work.  I get to have more fun and take my time with each project in front of me.

"Thor & Matilda"

Monday, May 02, 2016

Mosaic Monday / Luna Mosaic Interview/ Community

Today I want to send a thanks and a shout out to both Sally May Kinsey  and Cherie Bosela  for the terrific interview and feature they gave me on Luna Mosaics' new website. 
Luna Mosaic Arts is Cherie's new shopping site and brick and mortar mosaic shop located in Orlando Florida. Each month they will be featuring a new artist.  Last month they talked with Flair Robinson  and showcased her wonderful brightly colored creations. This month I was featured, you can read the full article on-line here.

Luna Mosaic Arts ... Go buy some candy!

Featured Artist ... me!

 When Sally sent me the interview questions one that I had to really think about was "Tell us about your single greatest mosaic moment."  I could have talked about going to Italy to study with a very special group of mosaic pals that I met at the Creative arts Center of Dallas, or the trading card parties we use to have, or any number of shows, or my first Sama conference and meeting cyber pals for the first time, or teaching my first class. The one moment in time that really stood out was the "Tres Milagros" show I was invited to participate in back in 2011. It was the brain child of my teacher and mentor Katrina Doran and she invited both Apryl Begay and me to be part of it. We all three worked for months on pieces for the show.  We often took over my dining room table and worked together all day on Sundays bringing in food from a local Mediterranean restaurant. Everyone had serious life challenges and losses along the way that year and yet the mosaic work happened and a close bond formed.

 In looking back over the years all of the mosaic events and special moments that I cherish have less to do with the work itself and more to do with the people and the communities that I am part of. I have a feeling that Cherie is going to do great with this new business venture because bringing Sally on board to write these artist interviews is all about community. When you know your community and you are committed to them you are bound to be successful.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Mosaic Monday " Petri Dish"

Been away from the blog for too long. Today I am posting my most recent finished mosaic project. It is a donation for the Creative Arts Center of Dallas's Blue Plate Fundraiser.  
The instructors and art students at the center have glazed plates and platters for the event that will be auctioned off on April 30th. I decided to mosaic mine since that is what I am best at. I felt a little weird straying from the glazing but I heard rumor that a few other artists have also backed away from the glazes, choosing other methods to embellish their platters..

" Petri Dish"
© rebecca collins

The project started out with an original cell drawing that I created while receiving chemo at Baylor hospital. I cut the drawing out and did a layer of spray paint on top of it and then added clear gems that magnify the little cells and hairs. I have always loved anatomical drawings and biology charts and diagrams. Being so focused on my health this last year has me thinking about healthy cells and fantasy biological worlds. The little hairs started appearing on my doodles at about the same time my hair started coming back in. The work is abstract but it has a very personal narrative.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Chihuahua named Chewie

© rebecca collins

January has been a very busy month. I have created around 14 different pet portraits for a variety of clients. I will start sharing those works here on the blog ....starting today with Chewie.  This sweet little pup is a new addition for a terrific repeat client.