Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween guys! We have been enjoying the holiday all month long around here with goofy outdoor decorations, candy bought way too early, and spooky bandanas for the dogs. October is always the calm before the storm here at Art Paw. This has been my last month of the year to enjoy a few days off and some fun weekends with the family. I am posting some pics of our yard decor. The skeleton Scottie banner is of course my touch while the huge spider web is Dan's inspiration. You guys have a fun and safe holiday. Secure your pets safely from open doors, keep the chocolate away from your pups and all that common sense stuff.

The pups below are from dogster. Take a stroll over there for more fun doggy costumes.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Art

This week I will be printing Murphy the Wheaten Terrier, and a few other recent completed projects. Murphy was fun ... what a smile! His human went with proof #1 with a groovy patterned background.
I have been way too busy with orders lately to do much blogging. I did take a small break yesterday with Dan and we took Big Tommy to the Lake. I took a lot of photos so maybe I will get around to posting those this week. If you are thinking about ordering a portrait for the holidays now is the time. Yea I know I say that every other post, it is true though!

On a side note I just found an article that I wrote for the folks at ebsq posted in their on-line blog. It was in response to a call for submissions on the subject of "My Life as a Self Representing Artist". I am flattered that they liked it enough to post it. I do not really consider myself much of a writer. EBSQ is a fun little arts community that I participate in when I have time. They have different shows on a variety of subjects. EBSQ is a very safe place for the exchange of ideas, and inspiration.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

My little Scottie girl is one today!

My Miss Pixel turned one today. Her breeder just sent us a happy Birthday e-mail. Now I must sit down and mark this on my calendar so I do not forget next year. I thought she was born in November, I have been meaning to dig out her paperwork to check so we could celebrate. I hope nobody tells her that her Mom forgot her B-day. I guess tonight will be a special food night and I will have to go out and buy her a new toy. She is still just a wee little thing and I guess she will be a small Scottie dog. I like that.

So how many of you guys have elaborate parties for your pups on their Birthdays? We have had a couple of celebrations for our various pups, but usually it is just a special food night and toys. Pixel is my 2nd Scottie girl and she is all terrier. She is a hard headed little thing and we really sort of had to earn her love. Her first love here was Ajax and they are are just too cute together.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Heron Bird Art

This painterly bird project was started by Teryn. I later went in and added a few extra paint strokes and played around with colors a little. I am trying to teach all of our artists how to use the wacom tablet to create subtle painterly effects. We have all been playing around a bit this year with stock animal photos.

I am still currently the only one here that is working on our painterly style pet portrait commissions. The tricky thing with this style of artwork is that while you can teach the use of the wacom tablet, it is much like real painting and every hand will yield a different and quite unique style of artwork. Here at Art Paw we have a strong focus on education and the sharpening of skills. I think this combined with the hiring of talented artists keeps us ahead of the pack in creativity and originality. It also serves to separate us from the more tech-oriented types that strive only to provide a fast digital service versus original fine art.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Keyword Blog

Ok, so here is my Saturday tip of the day ... keyword "blog". What the heck am I talking about? While browsing the web this morning in search of something informative to share, I discovered a new way to play. I was wanting photoshop tutorials so I tried googling "photoshop blog", or "photoshop tutorial blog". I found a few cool blogs and decided to try the word "blog" with more subjects. The phrase "design blog" yielded some very fun results.

It just really dawned on me today what some of you guys may already know and that is that there is a blog on virtually any subject you can think of. While the web becomes more and more saturated with e-commerce every day, the use of the word "blog" attached to any search query helps to yield original content that stands apart from commercial offerings. All blogs are not created equal, and the process may lead ya down some dark and scary blind alleys, but what a fun way to surf.

So here are a few of my new favorite finds...
Keyword "Design Blog":

Keyword "Artist Inspiration Blog":

Keyword " Monkey Art Blog" (hell,why not?):
monkeyfeather.blogspot.com (very nice)
Jinx the Monkey

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wüf a new Pet Spa in Dallas!

Pack your bags doggies there is a new spa in town just for you. I visited today with Charla and Jennifer of Wüf Pet Resort & Spa. I also met Miss Claire an adorable Corgi Mix that seems very comfortable in the role of official greeter. This place is the place to stay for the four-legged crowd. Wüf offers all the luxury accommodationss that you could want for your pup including plush beds, TVs in every suite, luxury treats, shampoos and more. Art Paw is showcasing a few prints in their spacious lobby. Visit Wüf for a tour of their facilities.

Wüf Pet Resort & Spa is open 7 days a week.
Monday through Friday: 6:45am-7pm
Saturday: 9am - 5pm
Sunday: 1pm -7pm
3417 East John Carpenter Freeway,• Irving, Texas 75062


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Spike The Chihuahua

Last week before I left on my trip I was fortunate to meet Spike the Chihuahua and his human. Being an internet based studio we do not get to meet a lot of our 4-legged subjects so it is always a treat when local clients swing by with their pups. This little guy was a perfect gentleman and a real charmer.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Back From Travels

I am settling back in to my work routine after a few days off. Stay tuned to the homepage for new art proofs and updates soon. We are starting to get very busy now and holiday orders are starting to come in. If you have time be sure and checkout our giftshop for fun dog & cat art gifts, we even have a huge section of Christmas cards. Allison has been working hard all year adding new items to our shop. If you are an existing client and would like us to create a giftshop page of goodies using your artwork just give us a call toll-free and we can make that happen (888-225-4278).

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Texas Olive Oil Company

I am still traveling. Yesterday my Dad and I visited an olive orchard and experienced an "olive oil tasting". The hill country here in Texas is sprinkled with several wineries and tasting rooms, however it boasts only one olive orchard. Jack Dougherty owns The First Texas Olive Oil Company and you can find out more about this wonderful little business at his website.

Today it is raining, and we ventured out earlier for a little shopping in Fredericksburg. This little tourist town is abundant with little antique shops and sweet stuff for the ladies. Most of the offerings are not my style, but I did discover a way-cool doggy boutique called Dogology. They have tons of groovy stuff for dogs & their humans. The decor was totally urban modern and it was wonderfully out of place in this quaint little country town, where western shirts and cowboy motifs dominate.
Olive Tree

Texas shaped pool at Holiday Inn

Friday, October 13, 2006

Kerrville Texas

Well I finally was able to break away. I am in Kerrville Texas with my Dad on a quick road trip. We are staying in a nice Holiday Inn that has an absurd Texas shaped pool .... pretty silly and wonderful. I will have to come back when it is warm enough to swim. Dan is holding down the fort at home and helping Allison with Art Paw.

Today I think we are going to go visit an olive oil company that grows their own olives ( yea here in Texas), should be fun. I just did a quick sketch of Ajax from an old favorite picture I had on this laptop. Oh, and Dan hooked me up with a verizon pc card so Yay I am connected while away. This is the first time I have traveled with the internet and boy is it sweet. I answered a couple of client questions from the car yesterday on the way down here. I sort of wish I could take off for 3 months in a silverstream travel trailer and blog and sketch across America with the Scotties in tow. That would be the life. I'll post some travel pics soon.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mystics, Mutts & Moon Pies


Join us Saturday 10/14/06 at White Rock lake for a fun event benefiting Weimaraner Rescue of North Texas. There will a pet psychic on hand and all types of groovy vendors.
We will be there selling prints and showing off our portraits from 12:00-5:00.

October 14th (Noon - 5PM) Mystics, Mutts and Moonpies Festival
Stone Tables at White Rock Lake, Dallas Texas

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Ever been Joe-Jobbed?

Any of you guys out there running websites ever been joe-jobbed? That is the practice of sending tons of spam out that appears to come from a legitimate web site ( like artpaw) that has been high jacked and often times for malicious reasons by a competitor. I will be looking into what the best course of action is to make this stop and in the mean time I do apologize if it appears that you may have gotten spam from us, rest assured that Art Paw does not send out Spam.

In the mean time ... people should really think twice before trying to hurt someone this way, it is illegal ya know:
"Will Spammer's Jail sentence Stop Spam?"

Spammer gets 9 year Jail Sentence

Saturday, October 07, 2006

My Pal Sheila has published a book!

A good friend of mine, Sheila Finkelstein, just published a book through Lulu.com. I am so proud of this lady. When I first met Sheila 6 or 7 years ago she contacted me to help her get her art portfolio on-line. She knew very little about the web and at the age that most women are content to just sit back and watch their grandbabies grow up this gal was ready to jump in head first to the world of web marketing. We have since become good friends and she never ceases to amaze me in her ability to grab on to new tools via the web and learn what she needs to learn to do the things she wants to do. Sheila publishes a daily E-zine and her new book has sprung from her writings for her e-zine. Check out her Launch Celebration and buy a copy of her book. Her writing is very inspirational for anyone with a creative soul, and that is pretty much all of us when you get right down to it. Sprinkled in with her self reflecting queries are her stunning photographs and some areas of blank page to do some journaling of your own. I introduced Sheila to dreamweaver and web-page building years ago and yet she is always teaching me new stuff and is always two steps ahead of me with new web-tools and resources . She keeps her eyes wide open and one hand on the mouse at all times ... she is a power girl for sure.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Red Tailed Hawk

Sketch of hawk from stock photo. I like the patterned ground that reminds me of wallpaper behind such a wild bird. It does not seem to belong .... I like that. Detail of eye below shows the line quality.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

How Now Blue Cow?

This is a recent wacom sketch of a lovely blue cow. It is from a photo I took at my Dad's ranch. I really like the strong black line that I used to define her back.
Things are back to normal around here today. The "internets" are all working well again and life is good. None of the scotties drug in any new prey so it was a day with very little drama.

In the studio/
Allison has started designing a new site for me and she is doing a fantastic job. I will be posting more info on that new domain soon. I had 3 new painterly orders come in this week and I have already started on these. Next week Dan will be here running things while I escape on a mini vacation with my Dad. It will be great to clear my head before the holiday rush really gets going. When I return I will probably be working every day until 07. I don't mind, this is my favorite time of year.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bad modem, Dead squirrel, And more

Ok so this is my art-business blog , and I rarely use it for personal crabbing. With that said .... oh what a day. For the past 36 hours we have been having spotty internet connections and after 3 tech support calls we decide to try a new modem. Well that took 3 visits to 3 different stores and we are now connected again ... man, I had no idea how helpless I feel without the internet. We had a few other tech related issues that sprang from the original problem, but I am back to full work mode finally.

So while Dan was re-configuring the large format printer this afternoon and I was chit chatting with a friend in the front room Ajax comes pacing through the house with one of his fluffy toys hanging out of his mouth. On closer inspection I realized it was not a toy after all but a dead squirrel. I scream to the top of my lungs "Dan it is your turn", (I had dealt with one of Pixel's victims last week). So yea, it has been quite a day.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

"Waiting for their Da"

This is a series of Wacom sketches I just did from a favorite photo of my Scotties waiting for Dan to come home from work. They are just too cute sometimes. I started with a plain black line sketch, then added some grey wash to the pups then I painted in some color. The final full color sketch was created by making use of a photo layer with a "cut-out" filter applied and then layer effects were played with and opacity to get things just right. Then one final additional sketch layer on top