Sunday, May 31, 2009

Movie review Wendy & Lucy

I never cry at movies. With that said, I must admit this afternoon's movie really got under my skin, and I needed a few tissues after watching Wendy and Lucy. It is a small quite movie that will make you think about how easy it is to become homeless. It is also a movie about love and sacrifice. If you are a fan of independent movies with a slower and often quieter pace then this is a movie for you. There is very little dialogue and nothing blows up, but still a great movie.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Kitty cat artwork

These felines were tough. It is always a challenge to fit multiple pets in one portrait. In this situation we had 3 cats shot from 3 different angles. I love the tabby in the box.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I gave my husband a word the other day. He crafted a poem around it. It is a cool word and a lovely poem. The word is Petrichor. From Wikipedia: Petrichor (from Greek petros, "stone" + ichor "blood of the gods") is the word for the scent of rain on dry earth. I wonder if there is a word for the scent of wet dog after a good rain?

My muse murmurs a word in the dark,

a bug in my ear, caught crawling

through pages, or snatched

from the airwaves, scribbled on scrap,

an atomic surprise just lying in wait.

She's saved it for a stormy night,

or a morning like this,

where the black blood of gods

runs roughshod through gutters,

out to the garden,

down the windows in rivers,

over-topping the birdbath,

to quench the parched maples.

Later, after sunrise, I'll be tempted, I know,

to walk barefoot and shirtless,

take a roll through the grass

while steaming from the cup

that I leave on the porch,

a redolent french roast,

plays counterpoint perfume

to a mushrooming

petrichor mélange.

© 2009 Dan Collins

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Smiling Dog Portraits

"Bocephus" (see all proofs)

Summer time often mean happy smiling pup portraits. This month I have had several shots sent in with wide happy grins. I always encourage folks to run around with their pups before getting the camera out. It will make your pooch relax a bit and if they get heated up you can not help but get a good open mouth smile.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Golden Doodle Art

"Kyia" ( see all proofs)
This sweet Golden Doodle is Kia. Her original image was a tad low in resolution and yet I think the artwork turned out fun. The smile on this blond baby makes the portrait shine. I really like the asymmetrical crop however I also proofed with a more traditional centered version. Later in the week I have a music cd to review and more art to post.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bear's Little Sister Nita

"Nita" ( See all Proofs)

© Team Husar Wildlife Photography

Nothing makes me happier than a stunning photograph to play with. This little girl is Bear's new little sister. We did Bear years ago, and then we did another portrait of Bear and then another. Now we have a new Golden Retriever from the Husar household to play with. Nita is just as cute as can be. We love this original photo. When shooting your own pup remember that sticks, balls, and fluffy toys can add a fun and playful mood to your portrait.

Lisa e-mailed me this info about her sweet new puppy:
"Our new golden girl was born on Jan. 5th and came home with us for good at the end of February. Continuing with the ursine theme, we named her Nita, which means “little bear” in the Choctaw Indian language. As you might guess, she is a little bundle of energy, curiosity and mischief, and has been keeping me quite busy lately. It took big brother Bear a while to adjust to losing his “only child” status, but now he is on-board and is doing really well."

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mosaic Monday New Artist

From Sun Dog Mosaics over at Flickr
Look at the eyes on this Chihuahua!

From Sun Dog Mosaics over at Flickr
The text above is exquisite. Love the grey spots on the coat too.

From Sun Dog Mosaics over at Flickr
Turning that 2nd "o" into a halo is very clever. Great Boston Terrier art!

From Sun Dog Mosaics over at Flickr
I think the Basset Hound above is one of her best pieces, the movement in the fabric is so stunning. The eyes are amazing too. She even got the pink on the droopy under the eye part just right. This amount of detail in mosaics is always fun to see.

I love this gal's artwork. Her domain seems to be expired for some reason, but I was able to view her site via the wayback machine and discovered that this talented woman is Donna Van Hooser, and she worked for 20 years at Hallmark designing cards for kids. Donna is an animal lover that has been making mosaics for the past 18 years. Check Sun Dog Mosaics out at Flickr!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wendy The American Bulldog

This pretty American Bulldog was named after Wendy from Peter Pan. I enjoyed playing with this lovely sweet girl today. I don't know why, but for some reason I wanted to use some purple on her portrait.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kara Dog Art

Anyone that follows my blog has heard me whine on occasion about the low resolution grainy pics that clients send us sometimes. Every now and then we have the opposite problem ... too many fantastic photographs to choose from. Kara's Mom sent us over 20 different very very good photos to choose from. Sometimes this can be sort of a scary trap because several times when this has happened I have spent hours pouring through photos, carefully analyzing in order to determine which would work best. Then I created the artwork only to discover later that the client really had a favorite photo among the ones sent that she really wanted us to use. These days I try hard to avoid that trap by really communicating well before I start why I chose the photo I did and I also give the client an opportunity to trump my decision if they have a favorite in mind. Kara's Mom was actually a breeze to work with and her favorite proof was the top sample.

About The Art:
I rotated Kara slightly in the frame to give her a playful expression. The client requested that I change the bandanna color as pink was a favorite for Kara. The proofs above have colorful highlighting around Kara, and I also proofed her with a more subdued coat option. I loved her eyes in this portrait and their intensity is one reason I chose this photograph to work with. I also loved the fun negative space her ear creates to the left. When you think about composition the negative space is just as important as the space your subject occupies.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Mission Statements And Manifestos

The other day I was over at the accidental creative website and I was reading their manifesto. I really like what Todd has to say about generosity: "We are generous because we are free. We know that the goal is to act on the best idea, whether or not it’s our own. We build other people up, even when they don’t reciprocate." Check out the entire manifesto if you have time.

It really got me thinking about several things, generosity of course and also the entire concept of the "mission statement" or "manifesto". I have always wanted to craft a really good mission statement. Here I am eleven years into my business and I never tried to write one, and now they seem sort of 90's. A manifesto sounds like a cool idea, but so very serious, like I am ready to start an art revolution or something. I think all my qualms about approaching either writing project has more to do with fear than the concept. I am afraid my writing skills may not be good enough and afraid I may not be able to dig deep enough to come up with brilliant bullet points. Are there areas in your life where fear is keeping you from doing something for your business that you really should tackle?

Well next week I am going to sit down and try to do a little writing. I am not going to start with a mission statement however I do want to explore the subject of generosity a bit in relation to the web. We will see where it all goes.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Rebecca Collins Has a new Site

I have been working on a new portfolio site, "". I still have a few kinks to work out in the menu and I need to add more animal art, but the mosaic gallery is looking good. My pet portrait site Art Paw is also due for a makeover, but that will have to wait awhile. I decided it was time to work on my personal site because I am going to be showing my mosaics this month and it has been a long time since I have given that domain any love. I really should try harder to keep it fresh and make sure it reflects what I am working on in my non-commercial art life.

The mosaic below is going to be in an upcoming show at the Dallas Bath House. The show is called "EXQUISITE CREATURES: The Mermaid and Octopus Show ". The opening reception is tomorrow night from 7-9. It is a group show and I am really looking forward to seeing all of the other sea creatures. It should be a fun night.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

What My Pals are Up to

Every now and then I like to do a blog post about what my web buddies are up to.

Kathy Weller has been playing with video and you can check out her painting process videos on her youtube channel.

My pal Bob has created a video with a pooch in it for a competition where he might win a computer. You can check out his rather silly and fun video by clicking here. Be sure and leave a comment and vote for him.

Jamie over at Cowbelly has been writing actual content for her blog ... imagine that! So many of us artists rely on our images alone to fill our posts. Go check out her article on competition and today's post on starting a photography business.

Bernie from A Place To Bark is starting a vlog.

Tomorrow I will post one of my mosaics and a reminder about my upcoming show.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Sheep Dog Art And Cartoon

"Jack & Lady" ( See All Proofs)

Today I just proofed Jack & Lady, the adorable Sheepdogs I used last week in a video about process. In the video I mentioned that Sheepdogs just don't have eyes that are going to show up in a photograph. That got me thinking about an old cartoon I remembered as a child with a working sheepdog. I got on yoytube and found a version of that Merrie Melodies Warner Brothers Cartoon. The date on this is 1962 ... the year I was born. They just don't make them like this anymore. Enjoy Sam The Sheep Dog below.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Mosaic Monday

Life Size Scottie from Raquel Stanek at Etsy

Public art found in Mondoagogo Flickr Stream

Dog's portrait, by Takako Hirai
from kokomosaico/ Flickr

A few doggy mosaics to start the week. I love that top Scottie mosaic. I have some wire form Scotties that I have been wanting to mosaic for months now ...maybe I will tackle them this summer. Raquel's 3-d work is certainly inspiring.

If you are in Dallas please try to come by a show I will be in at the Dallas Bath House Cultural Center. The show is Exquisite Creatures, The Mermaid and Octopus Show, curated by Katrina Doran. It opens on May 9th and will have many terrific works by local artists. There will be mosaics, paintings and even a quilt. I can't wait to see all of the different Octopus & Mermaids! I will post a reminder on Friday about this along with one of the pieces I am showing.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

In Progress Video of Digital Painting

Today I am posting an in progress painting video of Jack & Lady. I sound a little like Donnie Hoyle in it, there is some goofy frustration in my voice as I explain things. What can I tell you, it was late in the day and I was tired I guess. I don't really mean to sound like such a snot. I am having fun with this project and I look forward to finalizing a colorful set of proofs. Sheepdogs are so fun. They are a lot like Bulldogs in that people can not help responding with a smile when they see one out in the world.

For those of you that are not aware of Donnie, you have to check out his You Suck At Photoshop Videos. I stopped following him back at video #10, I thought he was done. I just discovered that he is back and just as funny as ever. Parents be aware he is a little pg-13 in his humor.

Jack & Lady

Friday, May 01, 2009

Last Day for Mother's Day Promo

Today is the last day to order pet portraits with our 50% discount on non-proofed works.
Click here to see that special. It is also the very last day to commission any sort of project with a deadline of Mother's Day.