Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sleepy Sundays

At this time of year we only take one day off a week, and we usually like to spend it doing the least amount of anything that we can. These are some older photos of pets that have come and gone. The 1st is Dan & Atticus & Nessie at our 1st place together. The other pic is Atticus & Poppy. Poppy was a visiting rescue pup.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Selling Art On the Internet

A lot of my local artist pals are in awe of my ability to run a successful on-line art business. These same pals are doing good if they check their e-mail once a day. I get occasional calls from very talented portrait artists that are new to the web and wanting some coaching. Today I offer one piece of advice ... buy something right now on-line from an artist you like. If you are not buying art on-line why do you think anyone else would. If you are not a savvy on-line art buyer, how do you expect to be a savvy seller? Sure you can study your competition to see what they are up to and how they do things, but there is nothing quite like purchasing from another artist to learn about e-commerce. Even if you have a bad buying experience, it will teach you something. I have been very lucky to deal with only first-rate sellers this summer.

To show that I practice what I preach I will share some of my summer finds. Check out my cool purchases ... I own these goodies!
My most recent purchase is this stunning octopus collage by Jodie Hurt. It was shipped with some colorful mini-business cards that were 1/2 the size of standard cards.

Below is a fun little toy from artist Jeff Soto. We also have a couple of his prints and a limited edition book by him. Jeff seems to always include free stickers with his shipments.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Levi Kitty Art

This is Levi, another portrait for the San Diego Animal Care Clinic.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Yet Another Photography Link

Yesterday I was bragging on Allison's photography, but you should also check out the work of our other Photographer, Dianne Sapra. Dianne is a very talented studio photographer and works with clients in the pet industry. Check out her site at

Monday, September 24, 2007

Tommy shot by Allison

Originally uploaded by iheartbabyjr
This is a photo taken by Allison over the weekend. Did you know that you can rent special lenses for your camera? Allison rented a 16 mm fish eye lens and this is one of the results of that experiment. Tommy really adores Allison. He is not really a people dog so much as he is all consumed by his ball. He does love Allison though and is very protective of her. He is the easiest dog we have to shoot because all you have to do to get him to sit still is show him the ball and he will sit frozen until you let him have it.
Anyway click this image to go to Allison's photo stream at Flickr.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pirate in the sky

Pirate in the sky
Originally uploaded by artpaw
Today is Sunday and I like posting sleeping pet photos on Sunday however today we got up at 5:00 a.m. to see the hot air balloons in Plano take off. It was fun to break from our normal day of rest routine. Allison suggested I take Dan out there to shoot. We had a blast. Allison is quite the photographer so if you want to see some really cool balloon photos check her Flickr page. She has been experimenting with a fish eye lens.

You can also see more pics from the day in my balloon set at Flickr.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Wrestling Octopus Mosaic

"Wrestle This Sucker"

Today I went and picked up a few of my recent mosaic pieces that I was having framed. This one is called "Wrestle This Sucker". In researching Octopus for my first glass mosaic project I discovered that young men use to wrestle octopus back in the 60's. I found this quite shocking and a little sad. I know that these cephalopods look like slimy monsters however once you start reading about octopus you sort of get attached to them. Below is a detail of a photo collaged under my glass that shows 3 men holding a defeated Octopus. Of course the huge tentacles holding the yellowed photo indicate a much larger Octopus reflecting on maybe a loved one lost or something. I dunno, it is a decorative piece without too much deep meaning. The collaged text that you can read has words like predator and human and so on. I really had fun with this one. It was my 2nd piece, and it measures 12 x 12. It is framed in a brushed aluminum.

My addiction to mosaic work started with a simple class that I took a few months ago at The Dallas Creative Arts Center. Most major cities have some sort of arts center or community college that offer a wide variety of classes to spark your creativity. It is hard to set aside the time for a class but once you do you can regain a deeper sense of self, and taking care of that self.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Meeting with an old Pal

Today I met with an old photographer pal. Kris Hundt was part of an artist's networking group I belonged to back in the 90's. The group was really more of a support group for Dallas creatives struggling to make a living with their art. We had all read the The Artist's Way and the group was structured around Julia Cameron's writing. Today Kris is just ridiculously successful and shoots stunning photos of the famous and not so famous among us. It was fun to meet up and share resources and ideas.

Kris is never afraid to put herself out there. She has a fun little promo clip over at You Tube. Check it out below:

Kris probably does not realize it but she is partially responsible for the creation of Art Paw. It was one of her photographs of my dog Atticus that inspired me to play around in Photoshop 9 years ago. Thanks again Kris!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Jack The Boxer

This is a memorial project for Jack the Boxer. This sweet boy's proofs will be on the main site tomorrow. I have been away from the blog for awhile this last week as I try in vain to get ahead of my work. I do feel like I am on target with our commissions, and we are eager to gear up for the holidays.

I enjoyed playing with composition on Mr. Jack. You will notice an entirely different mood in the top image which seems more playful due to the angle and rotation. This shot was taken during his last week on a favorite blanket. The handsome and noble straight on look in the image below may be very appropriate depending on the mood Jack's Mom is wanting.

Monday, September 10, 2007


This old gal is Nikki. She is one of about 19 portraits we are working on for an Animal Care Clinic in San Diego. We are very excited to be working on portraits of pets belonging to the clinic staff. These canvas prints will decorate the lobby and exam rooms.

I really fell in love with this gal and all the white in her muzzle & face. This slightly asymmetrical composition makes me grin, that ear on the right is just too cute hanging off to the side the way it does.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Self Publishing Advice

Check out this list of terrific articles from Daniel M. Davis:
Self Publishing Advice

Daniel is a very talented independent artist and runs the groovy site Steam Crow Press.
He is very generous on his site and offers articles with advice for other illustrators and artists.

When looking for business inspiration on the web you can find it in such a wide variety of places. I enjoy checking out the hip well designed sites from young artists and designers. I also like looking at huge commercial sites like my favorite 3 "A's" ... Amazon, Adobe and Apple.

Time spent surfing the web is never wasted ... you never know when you will bump into some little tid-bit of knowledge or inspiration that will take your business in a whole new direction.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Art Paw is 9 Today!

Happy Birthday to us!
Thanks to all of our loyal clients!
We turn nine today. I started my pet portraiture business way back in September of 1998, and we have been on-line here at for 8 years today. Before we purchased our official domain we had a tiny little website hosted for free with Earthlink. I grew my business slowly for about 3 years and then started hiring helpers and other artists to help me grow faster. It has been a wild ride, and I have been fortunate to work with some really talented people and I have met some great pet lovers along the way.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Bella The Bulldog in progress

I started on Miss Bella today. I have a lot more work to do I think. At any rate I want to play a bit longer before I proof her human. She needs a stronger shadow beneath her to ground her. Shadows are hard sometimes. As I compare the original I fear that she may tell me I went too crazy with the pink on her face ... a habit I have if there is even a hint of pink showing on white coated puppies.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Bella The Bulldog

This week we are finalizing several orders and working on a few graphic design projects.

This sweet Bulldog puppy is Bella and she is an excellent example of a good snapshot to work from. The original image that Bella's human sent us was 300 dpi and the pup's image was 6 x 8 inches. I can not wait to dig into this new painterly portrait project.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Snoozing Kitties

In keeping with last month's sleepy pets on Sunday theme I offer up these snoozing felines. This is an older project from 05 .

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Listening For Inspiration / Podcasts

Last year I was in the habit if sharing tips and resource links for other artists on Saturdays. I am going to try to get back into that habit again. Last Thursday my post was about inspiration and I asked you guys what inspires you. Lately I have been finding inspiration in listening to podcasts from the creative community.

Here are a few links to some great audio stuff:
The Prepared Mind