Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year From Tommy & Art Paw

Big Tommy says have a ball in 08!

Tommy is always waiting for the ball to drop, so around here New Years eve will be a lot like any other evening. Our boy Big Tommy is the first ball obsessed pup we have ever known so when looking for disco ball images for this post it seemed only appropriate to photoshop our boy into the scene. And before anyone asks, nope that is not my backside and it is not Allison either ... just a stock photo. The image is a bit sexy for Art Paw, but what the heck ... it is New Year's Eve. Have a safe and fun night everyone!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Counting Sheep

Wow, I got some sleep this last week ...yep, I have been counting sheep. The artwork above is an order we finalized this last month.
I am back at my desk today doing very light duty. What that means is I am juggling paperwork and answering neglected e-mails. Allison will be coming in to update all our websites, and take down our cyber holiday-decorations. She will also start posting new artwork ...yay!

Officially Art Paw will not be back in full swing until 1/07/08. We are on sort of on a working vacation, which means we are not cranking 12 hours a day every day ...that has stopped. We will be returning calls though and trying to help all of those lucky folks that received an Art Paw Gift certificate this year. Our Gift Cert sales tripled this year. Zowie. I usually want to just fall down and not get up at all in January however the reality is that we stay quite busy from the buzz generated by all the portrait gift-giving.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all. Went hunting on You Tube for some silly dog or cat holiday videos to share and found this instead. Enjoy, and cheers.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Lights

Photo: Dan Collins

Yesterday my pal Rebecca came over and we dressed Dan's old 1958 pick up truck in holiday lights, adding 3 wire-form Scotties wrapped in lights at the tail gate. He shot this image last night working with the HDR technique we keep reading so much about. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. You can find a tutorial about it over at
I think this is a pretty cool shot. He was able to really get a lot of detail in the dark background area. Keep in mind it was pitch black at 9:00 pm

Thursday, December 20, 2007

How did we do it and who are we?

I do not know how we have filled the amount of custom portrait orders that we have filled this season. I do not even have an accurate count yet, however it feels like around 80 projects were worked on in the last 2 months alone. The past couple of weeks we have had to say no to quite a few folks wanting to order past the posted deadlines. I hate saying no to people, and yet if I don't then I can not do my best for everyone that ordered early and on time.

As an artist running an on-line web business I often find myself bouncing back and forth from wanting to look slick and professional like a huge commercial studio and the desire to also look small & home-grown. We are in reality very small ... and we do work out of our home-studio. We always do our very best to give every client 100% because we know how important their 4 -legged family members are to them.

Who are we? Well there is me ... I am Rebecca Collins and I work full time here at Art Paw usually 6 days a week 7 - 8 hours a day. This season it has been more like 7 days a week 12 hours a day. I can't complain too much about overtime as I do love my work.

Then 2nd in command is photographer, artist and web mistress Allison Crane. She works with me 3 days a week for 6 hours a day, and this season she has put in a bit of overtime. We also have photographer Dianne Sapra with us one day a week when her busy freelance schedule permits. Diane does terrific digital artwork.
Rebecca Swann is a talented metals artist and teacher that has been helping one day a week with stretching & shipping ( she is my best girlfriend and has always helped me in my business endeavors). Then last but never least is photographer Dan Collins, he is my husband and he also stretches canvas, troubleshoots tech issues, holds me up when I might fall, and in general keeps me sane. Art Paw is my baby and I am the senior artist, but I could never do the work I do without the support of all of the people mentioned here. I am fortunate to have a small but amazing group of people helping me. Each has their own separate art and their own artistic voice outside of work. Their unique talents and personalities help to make Art Paw what it is.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

HoHo ... almost time to be done!

Well we are very very close to being done. YAY ...Happy Dance!
We have had a blast working on so many custom projects this holiday season. It will be fun to add all these new critters to the site in 08. Allison has been away from her web-work lately helping me with painterly projects and shipping, and proofing, and just about anything else I could think to throw at her. As talented and artistic as she is I know she is probably hungry to get back to her html work. She has been soooo indispensable this season. Everyone should have an Allison.

We will stretch just a few more prints tonight and maybe by Friday I can really be finished.
All clients that paid and placed their orders by our posted deadlines should have been proofed by now and those that gave approvals should have shipped. If for some reason you feel your project has slipped through the cracks you should give us a call 214-321-1150.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Lola The Boxer

This pretty girl is a Lola and her human is a local client. We are still working around the clock trying to take care of just a few more orders. I hope to have everyone finalized by Weds.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

New Bulldogs Tonka & Tini

These two kissing Bulldogs stole my heart. The client opted for the calmer version on aqua below. Here at Art Paw we often find ourselves struggling with low resolution or dark photographs that our clients send us, and yet sometimes we are given a gift like Tonka & Tini. This photograph could not have been more perfect! It was a joy to play with. Thanks Laurie, your print will ship tomorrow. This is a great example of how a quality photograph can totally set the tone for a great portrait.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cherokee on the Wall

I got some praise and an interior hanging shot yesterday from Cherokee's human. YAY. My portrait shipments are getting to their destinations quickly, thanks fedex!

A lot of folks think the large 34 x 34 prints are too huge for their rooms, but as you can see from this shot they actually make a nice statement. And before anyone asks ... no this is not a stock agency photo ... some people actually do have organized clean desks. I love how the orange and red pops against the dark green walls here.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Happy Friday!

I just found this cool Chihuahua reindeer over at istockphoto.
Is he cute or what?

We are in good shape today. We are working on updating around 10 clients and printing & stretching, and small giftshop orders. I hope to get all of our out of state folks shipped no later than Monday. Have a great weekend guys ... take a break & play with your animals! Heck, strap some tree limbs to their heads and get out the camera.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New Art For San Diego Animal Clinic

This is a close up of Puppy and he will hang in the San Diego Animal Clinic Lobby, along with Bacchus below. They are just 2 of a large installation project we have been working on for a few months now.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Late to the tag game...

I am sorta late to this game, but I have been tagged by Kathy Weller so here goes ...

5 things about me that my cyber pals do not know

1). My favorite painting ever is a clown painting that I bought at a garage sale and then later sold at a garage sale. It was very intense and it scared the hell out of me so I had to sell it. Now I look for it at thrift stores hoping it comes back to me ... we should have never sold it. It was thick with paint and well done... no really, I am not kidding it was very good.

2). I have no sense of smell.

3). I am an Elvis fan and saw him live when I was 14.

4). I have a low tolerance for pain today, but when I was a kid I broke my arm in 2nd grade and sat through 3 more hours of school without crying. The teacher that inspected my broken limb said it was not broken ... probably because I was not crying my head off. I was a tough little cuss.

5). I have been self employed for over 13 years now, probably because I do not play well with others. Or maybe I just really like to be the boss.

So I guess now ... I go and tag 5 of my blogging pals? Hmmm should they be untagged by anyone else? What is the protocol on that?
I'll tag Jill , Kelly, Kris,
Linda and Jamie

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hailie The Lab

This puppy shipped today along with about 7 more pretty large canvases. I think my last international order went out today ... Yay. We did a handful of Canada orders this year for some reason.

So here is the deal ... we are still finalizing just a few orders from late November and early December. If you are waiting on a proof with hopes of an actual print do not panic until Friday ... that is the day I have set aside to panic myself, ha no just kidding. Fedex has this wonderful thing called express super saver which is a 3-day guaranteed delivery.

I can not stress this point enough, we are not taking new commissions for the holidays. You can place new orders however they will not be touched until after the holidays.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Work work Work

Lexis on red-orange ground

It is a rainy Sunday and I wish I could stay in bed or work on my glass mosaic projects. Today I am working on proofing and Dan is stretching canvases for me. My regular stretcher came in yesterday and she got 13 prints ready to ship. Dan is helping out a bit today and is knocking out 10 more stretched prints for me. All in all we have about 20 more projects to proof, about a dozen to update, and maybe then we will be done .... crossing fingers. The good news is I have Dan for 3 days next week. He has taken off a few days to help me and to maybe do a little holiday shopping. At least today is nice and quite. During the normal work week it seems like I spend half my day answering e-mails and the other half answering the phone. I am sure everyone feels that way about their jobs though. We are such an on demand society it often feels impossible to unplug and just focus on the work at hand.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Studio Tour

My Dining room above, prints to package. The blue dog in the center shipped to Canada last week.

Since I know a lot of you guys think we sit around watching TV and eating bon bons all day, I'll give you a peek into our cluttered world of organized chaos. Life is crazy and work has taken over the entire house. I love this time of year!

Above: Today's stretching & shipping line-up ...see anyone you know?

Above is my job-ticket board. Last week I ran out of white paper and started using some lime green that I had on hand, I like it ...may start using it all the time.
Above: The silver metal wall-pockets to the left hold pending approvals, update requests and dropped balls. The clip boards hold a list of orders and a shipping log. I have a lot of hard files and paperwork in life. I can not seem to have everything live in the digital world yet.

Above is Allison's new work station. We rearranged the office last month and Al got her own work area. The cat art above is by her and is her own kitty Baby Jr. I do not know why her screen is black ...she must be in the other room eating bonbons and watching Oprah.

Prints above shipped last week.

Yep, those are just a few shots of Holiday madness 07.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Last Day to Order!

Ok is the very last day to order a custom pet portrait and receive a set of 5 proofs prior to Christmas. The deadline to receive actual canvas prints passed a week ago and today will be the very last day to place an order for proofing presentation gifts.
This deadline is firm and for local Dallas clients as well.

We are to put it mildly "SWAMPED".

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Here's looking at you kid

This is Bogey the French Bulldog. I love this little guy. The option below is loud even for us.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Mo Kitty

This is Mo. One of 4 updated projects from today. I will be staying up very late tonight so that I can handle about 15 pending projects that have been started. I am sort buzzing on adrenaline today for some reason and full of confidence that we will be in great shape by the end of the week.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Deck The Halls

I guess we will get our lights up this week. I am so swamped with work I really do not have time to decorate, but once I make the time I will enjoy the season more. The image above is not my tree ....just a stock image with some photo-shopping.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


This 3 panel Pop art kitty portrait is Peepers the tabby kitten. Diane created this fun and bright Warhol inspired portrait. We are stretching this print today and it will ship Monday along with about 10 other prints. Those of you waiting on proofs should sit tight. We still have over 3 weeks until Christmas. We are working 7 days a week now and I am quite confident that everyone will be handled in time for the holidays.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Tools Of The Trade At Amazon

Did you know you can purchase wacom tablets and the way too cool Cintiq tablet type monitor at Amazon? I have been lusting after this monitor for several months after playing with it at a Photoshop workshop. I was hesitant not so much because of the hefty price tag, but the hefty size. I think I will wait for the baby Cintiq 12wx tablet to hit the states.