Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Clients

Bob Opening His Gift

A happy client sent us this photo of her husband opening his gift on Christmas morning.  I love the colors in her bright open home. I think our artwork will fit in great.  This client was local and not too far from our studio so Lola actually hand delivered her project to her work place a few days before Christmas.

I love it when clients send us photos ... please keep them coming!

The week so far:  Well, we got back to work yesterday and now Lola is out sick with a bad cold. Today I am at my desk organizing new orders and sort of working at a snail's pace compared to the focused adrenaline high we were on before the holidays. I am so thankful to all of our terrific clients this past season and for all their friends that are now getting on-line to check out Art Paw.

Next week:  We will be creating artwork again full time and Lola is going to create a slide show video for us of all of the holiday projects.  I will post my yearly wrap up of Art Paw news and accomplishments on the blog. A lot of people start the New Year off thinking about resolutions and things they want to "fix" about themselves. There is nothing wrong with setting goals in life, but before you make a long list of things to improve upon, be sure and take a moment to write a list of all the great things you accomplished in 2009. I have a list for Art Paw, a list for my mosaics and a personal "life" list that includes minor stuff like fun travels.  I started doing this in 2008 and I find that it is great fun to go back and review previous years.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

This shot is from last year, but it catches our lazy mood today. Hope everyone has a great Christmas and a creative New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Chihuahua Art

I am working on my 50th pet portrait of the month, and the first that does not actually have to be under the tree on Christmas morning. We finally got the last of our holiday orders shipped. I have one local client due at anytime to pick up in person. I am officially done with Christmas orders (I think). I will review all the paid projects one last time this evening to see if I missed anything.

About This Project:
Duke is a cutie pie all warm & cozy in his blanket.  This is a 24 x 24 portrait and I have a bit more work to do creating more brush strokes and more color combos.  I really love the greens that I added to the bedding.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mosaic Monday

Today I want to share a link to the only video that turned up over at when I searched for mosaic. Click Here to follow the video journey of a  centuries-old mosaic that made its way from Turkey to Indy by way of the Louvre.  The video is a bit long, but interesting. Even more interesting is the discovery of artbabble.orgThis website is all video, and all art all the time. Check it out and be inspired.

If you want more info on the history of mosaics stumble on over to Amazon.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A little off-topic

I just learned that Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson's album "10 New Songs" was included in the Rolling Stones 100 best Albums of the Decade. 
This is one of my all time favorite albums. I grabbed on to it after wearing out Cohen's disc The Future. "10 New Songs" is a  slow meditative switch from that high energy album. It took me a couple of listens to fall head over heels in love with it.  It is now one of my all time favorites and it gets better with each listen.

Bella on her Bed

"Bella" ( see all proofs)
© 2009 rebecca collins

This is Miss Bella. She shipped out yesterday. The bottom image is sort of different for me. I took the soft and smushy painterly work and slammed posterize on it. The filter made everything crispy sharp and it colorized the floral bed texture in a fun way. That pattern was achieved with a Photoshop brush. The client went with the top option. It is softer with more detail.

We are at the count down stage now! I am up and running again with my printer thanks to the terrific folks over at Amcad Graphics for coming out to replace that cyan printhead again. Lola will be in shortly and she has 5 to stretch today. Tonight when I close my eyes I will rest very easy knowing that every client that ordered by posted deadlines has shipped. Yes, I will have conquered this week, and the season!

I am still creating artwork for a few late folks that squeaked in a project after all posted deadlines. You guys know who you are.... and yes I am still planning to get you all proofed by Friday the 18th. No worries.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Many Approved Projects Shipped

Today we shipped almost all approved projects.

I was down to the wire with just 3 approved pet portraits left to ship and I had to do battle with the printer. It seems the new light cyan print head we just replaced is not happy and will have to be replaced again tomorrow, this made me very sad. On the up side, 15 projects did ship today.

All new and "late" holiday orders that have trickled in during the last 2 weeks will be proofed by Friday the 18th if they have been paid for and if quality photos were sent. I am working on new projects in the order they were received with priority being given to rush projects. Be aware that adding a rush to an order does not guarantee a holiday delivery, it only pushes you to the very front of the line.

I am currently accepting new portrait projects for 2010.

If you have questions about an existing order, please call Lola on Thursday. She will be by the phone from 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. If you sent in pics by e-mail and never actually paid for your project it is probably held up on our pending board so please do call us.

We will conquer this week,
we will deliver all approved projects on time!

We will conquer this week,
we will deliver all approved projects on time!

We will conquer this week,
we will deliver all approved projects on time!

Finishing up Holiday Pet Portraits

Are my wrinkles showing this week?

Ok it is really starting to feel like Christmas around here. Tomorrow we will try to stretch and ship all projects that have been approved so far. That means all of my wonderful clients that ordered by posted deadlines, and then approved quickly and easily will be getting a print under the tree in time for the holidays! YAY.

Today I am working on design updates for clients that have requested changes. Late tonight I will start on all of the straggler projects that have been squeaking in after posted deadlines. Please be aware that any new commissions placed as of today will not be touched until after the holidays. At some point I have to say "no you can not get this by Christmas", and I have to really mean it. This last week before the holidays is always so stressful because in addition to getting things out the door I have to say no to a lot of people that want to order late and get a custom piece of artwork within one week. I wish I could clone myself and get more work done. I hate letting potential clients down, but there are only 3 of us here at Art Paw and I am the only one creating the painterly portraits.

We will conquer this week, we will deliver all approved projects on time!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Doggy Nicknames in My Art

"Ali" ( see all proofs )
© 2009 rebecca collins/

Every now and then I get fun special requests from clients that require me to come up with new solutions and new ways of designing a background. Ali's Mom asked me to include a rather long nickname that evolved from her husband coming home each day when Ali was a pup and bestowing a new word to a long running name he created for this special girl, rather she is a "special precious unique beautiful darling loving kind angel number one" sort of girl. I have the best clients on the planet and they always make me smile.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Art Paw on Good Morning Texas

Thanks again to Dr. Shawn. He was on Good Morning Texas today on Channel 8 and dropped a plug for Art Paw. YAY! If I can find some video on-line of it I will post it here soon.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Dogs with Toys

"Cyrus" ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins/

I love it when clients send in photos of their dogs playing with toys. Today was very productive and I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. I am almost caught up with all projects that were ordered before our holiday deadlines. Tomorrow we print & ship a lot of portrait projects. Lola worked on a couple of Warhol projects and I proofed a few painterly orders. We are in very good shape!

Today we put our Amazon shop on vacation so we can focus 100% on our portrait commissions. On Friday we will take down our Etsy listings until 2010 so if you want something from our Etsy shop you need order by Friday. I find that if I don't place a hold on some of our various selling venues we will be trying to fill orders for bookmarks right up until the 24th and then people wonder why their bookmark or other gift item order did not arrive on time.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Wow, survived a live Radio Interview!

Tonight I am sending out thanks to Dr. Shawn for interviewing me on his radio program. Yay, I think I did ok. I am a pretty shy person, but when it comes to promotional opportunities I do manage to find my voice. I always get nervous, but each time it gets a little bit easier. Of course it helps that Dr. Shawn has a talent for putting his guests at ease.

This last month I enjoyed working on Dr. Shawn's kitties. You may recall that earlier this spring we worked on his King Charles Spaniel. This new artwork was designed to work well with that portrait.

If you get a chance check out Dr. Shawn's website He has great articles and advice on-line. Or if you are looking for that perfect book for the animal lover on your list check out his Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Dutch & Greta The Beagles

© 2009 rebecca collins /
(Click Here To See All Proofs)

© 2009 rebecca collins /
(Click Here To See All Proofs)

About the Art:
Dutch & Greta were a lot of fun to play with. They are a great example of what is possible when our clients send in photographs with very expressive eyes. In this case I worked from actual printed photos that we scanned in at a very high resolution. I am very pleased with these two pretty Beagles.

Crazy Holiday Work Week Ahead:
This weekend we proofed around 7 clients. I know many of you are still waiting on proofs, just hang tight and let me do my work, I still have about 12 days before things get too tight to ship. If your photos have been sent and your payment made then you should be able to see your name and proofing date on the calendar below. If you made payment, sent photos and do not see your name below then please do give us a call. Our deadline has passed for new holiday orders so those of you placing a brand new order this week will be sent "proofing only" before Christmas. The late order proofing option is still a fun way to have a creative and exciting original gift to give. Instead of a print to wrap you just pop open the laptop and show your loved one their 10 colorful proofing choices and then they get to choose their favorite.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A few new pet portrait projets

© 2009 rebecca collins

© 2009 rebecca collins

© 2009 rebecca collins

© 2009 rebecca collins

Today I am posting just a few of the many projects we have worked on this last month. You can click here to see our proofing site and take a peek at more pet portraits. It looks like we did 38 projects in November and this month we have 5 posted so far, although I think Lola is working on 4 new proofing pages today.

We have a lot more work to do, and I do apologize if my e-mail replies are a bit slow this week. I am really focused on getting some projects out the door. I wish we had a huge customer service department staffed with helpful e-mail responders and phone receptionists, however it is just me and Lola so try to be patient with us.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Last Day For Out Of State Portrait Commissions

Santa's Elves are working overtime
at Art Paw!

Today is the last day for out of state clients to order a holiday portrait with a guaranteed print delivery. We are working day and night to get all of our current projects proofed. I love this time of year. So much creative energy is flying around the studio, bouncing off the walls and landing on my Wacom tablet. Click here and place your order for a custom portrait today.

We will still be taking orders and proofing clients on-line, however we can not 100% promise a print delivery. You can gather around the laptop and share their proofing link with your loved ones on Christmas morning. Then they can choose their favorite colors. We will even try to ship out a few more late orders when people are willing to upgrade their shipping options. (If we finish a project on December 19th we can not use our standard ground shipping and be confident that Fedex will be able to get it to you during the final week of holiday shipping madness.)

Local Dallas Clients:
You have until the 7th to place your order if you want to pick up your prints in person.

Other Gift Ideas:
Gift certificates are quick and easy. Click here to order an e-cert that you can print out and place inside a holiday card. We also have tons of fun dog and cat gift items in our Cafe Press Gift shop, Or check us out on Etsy.