Monday, March 31, 2008

On my Bookshelf

I started a great book a week ago written by Dr. Nick Trout. It is called Tell Me Where it Hurts. Trout has a great sense of humor and a real sensitivity to his subject matter. I am only half way through and yet I highly recommend this book for any animal lover. He discusses the bond between humans and their animal companions with humor and compassion.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hope your Sunday is long

Originally uploaded by idahostudios
This fun image is a flickr find. We are planning to go to the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth today, stretch a few canvas prints tonight, and maybe watch a movie. Yep, we will try to make this a very long Sunday. Of course first the dogs get to go over to the lake for a quick walk.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Birch Portrait in home

Birch's Da sent this on Friday. His portrait is larger than life! These colors seem to go well with both the living room and Barbara's clothing.

Other clients... please send us pics and we will post them on the blog!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Labrador retriever Art and Video

Over the years we have done probably a hundred Labs. This week Allison set us up with another YouTube video and this one is for Lab lovers. Don't worry there are not 100 slides, it is a very short little clip.

Thursday, March 27, 2008



Busy today printing & shipping. I hope to clear my plate a wee bit so I can work on a mosaic project this weekend.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Digital Artists I Admire

Here is a very brief list of a few digital artists that I have been watching for some time. I have only listed one dog artist because I really wanted to share a variety of subject matter and styles. Enjoy!

Ray Caesar: This guy is my all time favorite web-find. Dark and wonderful. Non animal related although he has done a very odd and wicked Poodle.

Tim Biskup: Just stunning design and an unlimited imagination at work here.

Andrea Innocent
: Innocentgirl says “Let’s be making Happy Pictures!”

Jill Beninato: Dog artist with a great sense of color

Solitaire Miles: Dreamy stuff. Human subject matter. She was a flickr find.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Why Digital Art Is Cool

Last week I discovered a terrific post on the blog "The Art Of Being An Artist" about digital art. The artist listed what she loved about digital art and it made me stop and think. I do love digital art and yet too often I find myself complaining about people that seem to think digital art is easy, fast, or somehow "magic". I am also often perplexed by some "old school" artists that do not yet have their mind around the new medium and often they tend to lump all digital art into one big bag, as though it is all the same. Tomorrow I will post a few links to some really diverse and talented digital artists.
With all that said, I really do adore digital art. Here is my brief list of what is cool about digital art:
#1 No drying time! Unlike oils I do not have to wait a week to ship while canvas dries.
#2 Unlimited exploration. There is always something new to learn in Photoshop. No matter how good I get at my digital craft or how much I know, there will always be more to learn.
#3 Layers, layers layers. I love working in layers in Photoshop and having the ability to turn layers on and off to see different color options. Just reducing a layer's opacity will make all the difference sometimes.
#4 I can do it anywhere. All I need to travel with is my laptop and my small wacom tablet. I can have an entire art studio in my laptop bag.
#5 Excuse to buy more technology. We purchase a new Mac about every 2 years. If this was not my full-time job I would probably still be getting by on my old G-3 from 1999.
#6 Digital is clean. As much as we strive to create a loose and messy painterly look on our artwork, we never get paint on our clothes or have to clean up dirty brushes.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bunny Art For Easter

Ok so how many of you guys are going to hide easter eggs for your dogs tomorrow? I think we will try to get out and take at least one of the pups on a picnic at the lake. With 3 dogs we often find it easier to go on some outings with just one pup. Of course every Sunday morning they all 3 get to walk at the lake for 45 minutes. They are spoiled.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Where did you get those ears?

Where did you get those ears?
Originally uploaded by artpaw
Easter is around the corner. This is a shot from last Easter of Pixel sniffing at Ajax's bunny ears. Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Maggie's Pet Portrait

This sweet little girl is Maggie, she is one of a few pet portraits that are shipping today. Allison got this project started for me earlier this week. I added in a bit of messy line work and finalized her with a set of 6 proofs.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Birch The Wire Hair Fox Terrier

A few proofs of Birch. Some day I really want to have a Wire hair fox terrier. They are just so cute.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Boston Terrier Pups

Boston Pups
Originally uploaded by LR Monkeytoes/ Lisa
With all of the Boston Terrier artwork we have done this month I thought it would be fun to post this cool vintage find from Flickr.

Emma & Hinkley

Emma the Boston Terrier and Hinkley the Bulldog were proofed on Monday. We will still be proofing by e-mail this week until we get caught up on orders. If you are waiting on a proof please hang tight for a few more days.

Monday, March 17, 2008

More New Pet Portraits



It is feeling a little like Christmas today instead of St. Patricks day. We have a little over 2 dozen pet portrait projects on the board for the remainder of the month. I am posting 3 that we proofed today by e-mail. I am going to try very hard to get 2 more clients proofed by the end of the day.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Vintage Dog illustration

I went searching Flickr for vintage dog illustrations and found so much great stuff. It was hard to narrow down this post. You can click through images to dig deeper into the photo streams of these Flickr members.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Keyword "Vintage Dog"

Vintage Postcard ~ Poodle Dog
Originally uploaded by chicks57
Wow, I took the entire day off and now my brain is still on a mini-vacation ... I guess it is called a "weekend". Playing around over at Flickr I searched "vintage dog" and found a large assortment of good stuff. Maybe Sunday I will do one of those long image hot-linking posts ... beats the heck out of writing, and I am determined to post every day this month. Click this image to find more cool vintage images from this terrific Flickr member.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday At Last

Wow ... Friday and we have a huge day ahead of us. We have a few rush projects going out today and several more to get started. At least I have a full staff this afternoon.

Not much to talk about this morning so I will post a fun cat cartoon found on You Tube below.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Naked Boston Terrier

Cute Emma in the frog pose is our next Boston Terrier to work on later next week. Her human asked us to take off her sports jersey for her portrait. So of course we just hit the "naked-dog button" on our special keyboard and shazaam, in 2 minutes flat she was bare. Ok, not really, I am being silly. In reality Dianne worked on this pup for around an hour to fill in the missing details once her jersey was erased. She did a great job, and enjoyed the challenge.

Hey, stroll over to the blog "Dog Art Today" and post a comment to win a contest. Miss Moira is celebrating her blog's b-day and giving away a free t-shirt. Maybe if you win you could take a pic of your dog in the T-shirt then e-mail it to us and we can remove it ... ok I am just being goofy today. I guess I am just feeling feisty because it is almost FRIDAY, and I am taking the entire weekend off. Happy B-day to Dog Art Today!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Boston Terrier Pet Portraits

"Tinker Bella"
We have created many Boston Terrier Portraits over the years. This week we have around 3 in-house to work on. In this post I show Tinker Bella and Zero.

About the artwork: As you can see from the proof directly above and below we get a lot of mileage out of our background textures. By selecting and changing certain colors in the ground you can create dynamically different looks.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Web Finds: More Pet Portrait Artists

Recently I have discovered a few new pet portrait artists that I really admire, and two of them also work in glass.
Linda Lawrence is a lampwork artist, jewelry designer and art educator. She has recently returned to her earlier work in Pet Portraiture. I love the background in the portrait she did above.
Also new to my web radar is Manon Doyle from Canada. Her site showcases her whimsical pet portraits while her other site highlights her amazing and detailed mosaic artwork.
And one more terrific find is Anne Leuck Feldhaus. Her artwork is bright, bold and very fun.
Thanks to Jamie of Cowbelly for making me aware of the last two gals on this list.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Stock Photography & Politics

Here I go again ... straying way off-topic.
I have been purchasing stock photography to dress up my blog and website for awhile now. A few posts ago you saw a Chihuahua sitting atop a laptop, that was from As a small business woman on a budget I love stock photography.

I just read a funny news story about the kid in a recent Clinton ad that is now 18 and an Obama supporter. Yep, she was just 8 when the film footage was shot, and now at 18 she finds her younger self being used to fear monger a few votes ... or at least that is how she sees it. I guess the lesson to be learned is you might think twice before letting your kids model or act for stock film agencies. Oh and if you are a business woman with the money to hire your own actors, you might want to do that.

Read more here

New Pet Portrait " Bailey"

This is Bailey and we are proofing this guy by e-mail today. His project is on a very tight deadline. I could have played with this pup for weeks, he was such a joy and his original photo was just flawless. I really like this handsome pup. We are a little swamped with orders at the moment so we will be proofing most clients by e-mail this week and not on-line. Proofing by e-mail saves time.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

New Pet Portrait " King Davey"

"King Davey"

"King Davey" is from last month's Artist Choice Promotion. If you recall we were focused on wings & crowns in February. I love this happy fellow. I had way too much fun with this guy and he has 6 proofs to review on our main site. I was told that Davey's original photo was shot on his 1st Birthday .... Long Live King Davey!

About the artwork:
This is a variation on a soft painterly sample we created for Davey. The main difference in this sample is that we added the poster edge filter and some violet to his coat. The poster edge filter adds more crunch to an image and bumps up the contrast. It also flattens things a wee bit and moves the artwork away from the softness of the painterly look making things more graphic. "Poster edge" can be a little reminiscent of woodblock printing in it's crisp texture.

Last night we watched the movie "The Darjeeling Limited" and the aqua and lime in the background were inspired by this movie. The quirky flick was a visual feast for color lovers. Every time I see a movie like this I want to paint my walls .... I guess it is easier to put the hues into my work instead.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

Artist Choice Special / March

"Toys, Props and Clothes"

"Eddy" ( prop is the cone)

This month's Artist Choice Promo is called "Toys, Props and Clothes".
As the name implies in order to qualify for this promotion you need to send us a photograph of your pet with a toy, or in their favorite bed, or dressed up in their Sunday best. Any object or accessory that you want included in your portrait will work, even an old chewed up shoe. You do need to send a photo of the prop even if the pet is not engaged with it. You can even take a fluffy toy and lay it right on your scanner! We will work it in.
The special this month is for an 18 x 24 portrait in this theme and you get free ground shipping and free stretching. See our samples in this post for ideas.
Order On-line by clicking here.

"Jean Clawed" ( prop is the string)
"Bosco" ( prop ...the Elvis Shades)

"Pixel" ( prop is scarf)

The artist choice promos are meant to inspire not only our creativity but also our client's creativity as well. By having a theme to work around it is our hope that you guys will get creative with your photography and have a fun time shooting for your project. Remember ... the very best portraits start life from very good photographs.

Friday, March 07, 2008


Your I-Pod can be a terrific on the go portfolio that will allow you to show your artwork to anyone at anytime, anywhere. Check out the video from Natasha Wescoat below to learn more. I love her tax tip ... she suggests that your i-pod can be a tax write off if you use it this way. Ok this is my last post for awhile about promoting your artwork in the digital age. Tomorrow I will post our Artist Choice special for March.

It snowed here in Texas

"Big Tommy In the Snow"

Well today I was going to talk about digital portfolios and new inventive ways to show off your artwork off-line, but that will have to wait. It snowed over night and it has been so long since we have seen snow in Texas I had to get outside and take some pictures of the Scotties in our very light dusting of powder. As always Big Tommy was the most photogenic and the easiest to shoot. That white stuff in between the green is our "powder". I hope all my pals in Colorado do not laugh too hard at my enthusiasm.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Promoting Your Art On the Web


This post is for my fellow artists and any entrepreneur looking to expand their reach. This week I want to discuss ways, places and ideas for promoting your artwork on the web and what it really means to be an artist in this digital age. I am over 40, and trying hard to keep up with all the groovy technology advances that keep popping up all over the place. Suggestions and ideas are welcome, post a comment and tell us what is working for you?

On Web Trends...
It is tough to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the web and what is hot at any given moment. Remember Flash intro pages? Arrrg! I hated those when they were a "must have" for every cool design oriented site. Yep the web has had many fads and as soon as everyone found their comfort zone with blogging then the new thing was "Vlogging". I do not think a "Vlog" would ever be the thing for me, so I do not mind missing that bus. The thing to keep in mind is that while you do not have to jump on each new web trend that comes along, it is still a very good idea to try to stay abreast of what is going on.

About Your Neighborhood ...
So you set up your own website and now what? Your website is like one address in one little city .... so where do you go from here? Where are there some other neighborhoods for you to play in? Do you want to sell on Ebay? Some artists do not like the "all inclusive", garage sale atmosphere of Ebay ... is that you? Ok then maybe that is not the neighborhood for you, what about Etsy? Think about the style of artwork you do and then go out and look for some folks you would like to be neighbors with. If you do floral paintings then dive into the web one night and spend the entire evening looking at other floral painters on-line. Where are they promoting their art? Where are they selling their art?

The Good The Bad and The Ugly ....
When looking at communities or sites to post your artwork on let your design instincts be your guide. If the site is not well designed then you might want to pass. However, you might also want to consider the traffic that a site gets. I decided that due to the overwhelming ease of use, and the sheer number of visitors it is going to be ok for me to post my new portfolio videos on the same website ( that has videos of people getting hit in the face with pies (OK and maybe a lot worse). Your ideal new web-neighborhood will have great art that you admire, and a stunning interface such as If you are brave, you may also want to try some more common hang outs such as You Tube ... it really just depends on your audience.

Finding Time to Market...
Don't have time to promote yourself on-line? I hear this all the time from fellow artists and it is such a cop-out. Break the year up into quarters and promise yourself that you will do one web-oriented marketing task per quarter. By the end of the year you will have a web presence in 4 new on-line market places, or art communities.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Our 15 minutes of fame

Our work was featured this morning on The Today Show and they have already added it to their site so I will try to embed that below:

Thanks to Susanna and Molly!
Visit Susanna by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Art Paw Pet Portrait on the Today Show!

Check out the Today Show tomorrow March 5th, and look for Susanna Salk's heirloom design feature. We are going to have a portrait featured on this design segment. Susanna contacted us a month ago wanting a Master Paw Style Portrait sample to feature. We asked her if we could do her dog for this and she agreed. We are very excited about this fun PR opportunity.
This adorable classic canine is "Molly".

Oh, and anyone wanting a Master Paw Style Portrait should order in March as they have been slightly reduced in price this month to coincide with this terrific Today Show Segment.