Thursday, April 26, 2007

Kathy Weller's New book

Check it out ... one of my favorite artists has just finished a new illustrated children's book. It is called "The Months: Fun With Friends All Year 'round".

If you have little ones to buy for you need to add this to your shopping list.

Way to go Kathy!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Naked Poppy

Naked Poppy
Originally uploaded by artpaw.
Ok, so I am breaking away from dog art a bit here. This naked poppy stem really makes me happy. I have been shooting a lot this year with a new Macro lens. It is very hard to take a "bad" shot with the new lens. Getting up close to flowers is a lot of fun and it is so very easy to snap pretty pics of flowers. It is much harder to try and find a beautiful shot that is not so obvious ... a shot that I have not seen time and again. My naked poppy feels fresh to me. I look at this and imagine that this stem is like 20 feet high and lives on a foreign planet, you know something right out of Star Trek.

Ok ... now on to printing & proofing.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Cat Eye

Louie eye
Originally uploaded by artpaw.
Macro shot of Louie the Siamese cat. We visited with family on Sunday and I got a great detail of Louie's blue eye. The week ahead promises to be quite busy. I am usually off on Mondays, but I have a few printing & shipping duties this afternoon.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Earth Day

More wet petals
Originally uploaded by artpaw.
Happy Earth Day. Go outside, enjoy the planet.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Year Of The Dog Movie

A new movie called Year Of The Dog is opening here in Dallas this week. Starring Molly Shannon this movie deals with the subject of pet loss & grief with a light hand. It appears to be a comedy about a tough subject that affects us all at some point. I hope to catch it this next week, and I'll be sure and post a review. The trailer looks great.

Check out the Flash Website for more info.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Flare The Toy Poodle

I often receive client snapshots where one or both eyes are partially hidden under fluffy hair. For an artist an eyeball has three main parts: the iris (color area) the pupil (the black area), and the highlights ( white dot or dots where light is reflected). When an eyeball has hair in front of it I feel it is important to erase or reduce the hair just enough to paint in a highlight and any missing pupil. When I leave a tiny bit of fluff in front of the eye I think it helps speak to who that puppy really is ... and in all honesty I like a scruffy pup that is not too overly groomed or too perfect. Stray hairs are part of being a dog.

This is Flare. This adorable little red poodle had a great photo that needed just a tiny bit more sparkle in the eyes. I gave the eye to the left a highlight and allowed a small bit of stray orange hair to wisp in front. If you scroll down to yesterday's post of Dash below you will see that he too has a tiny bit of hair in front of his eye. Stray hairs are just one of many details I think about when working on a piece.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Dash Maltese / Poodle Portrait

Today I finalized 2 portraits. Flare is a cute little red poodle that I will blog on tomorrow, and Dash is an adorable little Maltese-Poodle mix. Dash's original photo was sort of tough in that Dash's face was very dark and the entire file was only 48k ...which is a pretty tiny resolution. Once I enlarged the image I spent an hour or so dealing with the pixelation that occured. Using the blur tool I went over the pup smoothing out the jagged pixels and creating a very soft blurry image. I then used the Wacom tablet and stylus to paint in the missing detail. Digital paint stroke by digital paint stroke I worked in some fun loose line work and also added some highlights and sparkle to the eyes. I am very pleased with this piece.
Detail of Original Photo
Detail of Artwork

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Funny Cat Video

Soon I will get back to posting about art ...for now I offer a really silly cat video found on-line:

Monday, April 16, 2007


Well it is tax time again. Not much to blog about today. We have been crunching the numbers all day and my eyes are crossing.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Originally uploaded by artpaw.
This is a shot taken downtown here in Dallas. This is the old Majestic theater. I saw Johnny Cash here several years ago. He was really great.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Scottie Video

Not much to talk about today. All politics aside, I will share this cute video found over at YouTube. Be sure & turn up your sound.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wholesale Pet Products

Allison has finalized our wholesale shopping site. If you have a doggy boutique or know someone that is running an upscale pet oriented business you might want to check out our wholesale offerings. We also sell at wholesale prices to doggy breed groups and rescue orgs for fundraising activities.
Check out to learn more.

Monday, April 09, 2007

More Tips For Pet Portrait Artists

Today I offer up a few tips for other portrait artists ... please leave a comment and share your own insights if you have time.

#1 Build those relationships!

I am working on this one myself. We have all heard this before and it is true... "word of mouth" advertising is the best kind. I have tried to maintain lists and do mailings and I find this is not my strong suit, however I am working on it.

#2 Keep your sanity ... do artwork for yourself too!
I love doing commissions and yet I find that being able to play with my own "non-directed" artwork keeps me very happy and more than willing to jump through creative hoops for my clients as needed. When you have a lot of freedom in your personal work you tend to be more open to advice and direction in your commercial endeavors.

#3 Go to an art museum or gallery at least once a month
When we were younger it was easy to find ourselves at gallery openings several times a month, after all if the art was bad you still had the free wine and cheese. As we get busier and older we often forget about all the great art that is just down the block. Artists need visual stimulation, and while the web is amazing, there is something special about seeing art in the real world.

#4 Experiment
Try something new every week. Work in media that you are not good at, paint a subject you have never painted, take a class. Do something to push yourself out of your comfort zone, because the "comfort zone" in our commercial work is our biggest enemy.

#5 Teach, share, and lead.
If you have been doing your own thing for awhile, you must have some of your own special techniques, and ideas for success. You can regard every little thing you do as "secret sauce" and guard your knowledge carefully or you can share and earn the rewards that come from being a leader. In business it is often hard to feel safe sharing, but when you can connect with other artists that also have a lot to give you find that it gets easier and easier to take off the armor.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!
Originally uploaded by artpaw.
This is my Ajax with bunny ears. Happy Easter everyone. Not much to blog about today. We will back at work on Tuesday.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Izzy the Dappled Doxie

Izzy is a Traveling Girl
Originally uploaded by artpaw.
This is Miss Izzy and she is my 100th post to Flickr. I hope to play some more with this girl over the weekend and add her to the site soon.

Izzy is an unusual little dappled Doxie with one blue eye and one brown eye. She is shown here in her green traveling tote. Sometimes you see tiny little toy pups in bags and you sorta wonder if the dog is a fashion accessory or what. This little girl on the other hand looks like a real scrapper to me, and when you read her human's Flickr blog you discover that this little pup gets to go hiking in a backpack and she travels to many cool places other than the Mall and Starbucks.

You can see Izzy's original pic here.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Dandelion #3
Originally uploaded by artpaw.
This is a macro shot of a dandelion in my yard. Funny how a common weed can have it's own inner world. How many things do you walk by every day without pausing to really notice? Learning to see is an ongoing process for an artist. My husband and I have found our recently adopted hobby of photography has made us see more in the world even when we do not have a camera at our side.
If you click the photo above you will be taken to my Flickr pics.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Messy Chihuahua Art

I have a few Chihuahuas in-house right now. Today I played with Desi ... and I do mean "play". His proof will be uploaded tomorrow and there will be some milder options for his human to choose from. I created a few flattering painterly portraits of this little boy today and then decided to try and get messy. I painted a hard black line around Desi and then decided to paint outside those lines a tad. Sometimes I focus so hard on making things pretty that I forget to loosen up and really throw some pixels around. I love this piece, and look forward to posting the rest of this guy's art soon.