Monday, August 30, 2010

Arvin featured on Explore at flickr

This is Arvin the Avian Bot. He is my recent robot bird mosaic. Just found out that he made the explore results on flickr. Flickr has thousands of images uploaded every week and each day a small number of those photos are selected to show up in the "explore results" that show up on their homepage.

Yay for Arvin! He is my most recent completed mosaic art project.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Team Up Thursday Photos

I have gotten back to my Team up Thursday shooting this week. Our theme was "old". Mine is on the left and Kris Hundt's lovely shot is to the right. My shot is of a lamp I was given that belonged to my best friend in college. He died in the early 90's of complications relating to aids. They did not have the best drugs back then. Anyway, the lamp is one of my favorite antiques and we use to call her the "working girl". She looks like a Russian peasant that has been working in the fields.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bogart & Cleo New Dog art

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

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

Working on pet portraits today. Lola is out this week on vacation. The 2 sweet pups above a part of a large order by a new local client. On this project I am doing 4 pups for a newly decorated interior, the size is 16 x20.  The client loves bold color and does not want anything too matchy-matchy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mosaic Monday/ The Magic Gardens in Philadelphia


Looking around for doggy mosaics to share this morning over at flickr and I found this fun travel photo in one member's stream. This is a back wall at the Magic Gardens in Philadelphia. I am starting to get excited because later this fall Dan and I are going to go visit Philadelphia and check out the work of Isaiah Zagar. We have not been anywhere in ages and we really need a break.  Zagar is an award-winning mosaic mural artist whose work can be found on over 100 public walls throughout the city of Philadelphia and around the world.  I really became fascinated by both the art and the artist after watching The video In a Dream. You can learn more about Zagar's work at and they have an on-line shop where you can order a book on his methods of tiling and grouting.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Busy with Pet Portraits

Baba in Progress
© rebecca collins
Well it is starting to feel like fall around here by the number of pet portrait orders that are starting to come in. I think people are back from their summer travels and starting to focus on the home a bit ready to decorate, nest and settle in.  The work above is an in progress working sketch of Baba. It is a detail crop of a full body portrait. Looking forward to playing more with this cute little Maltese this afternoon and several others that are waiting in line.

Side note on biz stuff: I finally figured out how to create a custom url for our facebook fan page. We are officially at facebook  here: Please join us over their and hit the like our page button. Trying to gain 1000 fans total by the end of the year. I have no idea why ... it just seemed like a rather fun goal. This blog feeds into it and Lola also updates it twice a week with content that we do not post anywhere else.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stray Dog Update / Reconnected

The Dog formally known as Shadow rehomed!
"Bo" is 13 and back at home

We placed Bo back in his home Sunday evening. Things are back to normal around here. We learned that Bo is 13, and a rescue that has been in his current home since April. His people would like to find him a forever home and yet they realize at his age their home might just be his forever home. I hope they can keep him contained. We miss you Bo, and yet we are happy you are back where you belong.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another Kitty Cat Portrait

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

Working on pet portraits today and I have a few giftshop items to ship out. I just proofed Symba. I love tortoise shell cats. Their coats are fun to play with.  Symba's original photo had a lot of detail. The eyes had a bit of an intense glare so I rounded them slightly and added a white highlight. I think there is still plenty of sassy attitude, but the over all mood is a bit lighter now.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mosaic Monday/ On My walls

Yetti, Man Eater and Argonauta By Eve Lynch

This is a random wall in my kitchen. The top 3 mosaics are by Eve Lynch and the bottom 3 robots are my own.  I purchased the little tiny Yetti from Eve's Etsy shop years ago, the Man Eater was a trade, and The Mermaid gal was a recent purchase. I love my new Mermaid gal and bought a frame for her so she may be relocating to a bigger wall space soon. Eve is such a talented artist, you can follow her blog at

This weekend I did not post any artist tips or resources so today I will offer up a word of advice for artists and that word is on-line "communities", ok maybe that is 2 words.   I know a lot of busy artists over the age of 40 that will never find any pleasure in making on-line artist friends or visiting on-line communities of any type. Some people just do not like the computer and I do have to respect that. Other people find that they like the box way too much and have to try to stay away from it so that it does not become a huge time grabber. Chances are if you are reading this post then you do spend some amount of time on-line.  

Is The Computer a Waste of Time?
The thing to understand is that if you do make a few artist friends on-line with similar interests and similar taste there is a strong likely hood that eventually you will make a few sales to people you meet in on-line communities. That is of course not the sole reason or benefit from knowing people on-line, but it is a very nice perk, and I think it clearly shows that the computer is not a waste of time. 

On-line Worlds and Off-line Worlds do connect:
Last week I posted about Andrea, who I met via the Flickr community and the pet portrait I did for her. It was such a real treat to meet her in person, she is such a bright positive happy gal. Next year there is a Mosaic convention in Austin and I am so eager to meet many of the mosaic people that I admire on Flickr. Later this year Dan and I are going to go to New York for a writers event and Philadelphia to see the mosaics of Isaiah Zagar, we are planning to meet one of Dan's cyber friends from his on-line writing community along the way.  So I guess my point is that your on-line worlds and off-line worlds can overlap. You can meet and discover fun people that you are eager to support and that will be eager to support you. I know it may seem as though I am singing to the choir, since blog readers are web users, but a lot of people reading this post will never come out of the shadows to post a comment here or anywhere else on-line.  Don't be shy! Start making friends on-line!

Where are these Web Communities?
All over the place really. I love Flickr and have met both pet lovers and Mosaic people there. My husband enjoys the community Gather and there are some great writers over there.  I also visit the Contemporary Mosaic art Group over at ning. The entire ning network is a great place to start in looking for a group or community that may have similar interests to your own.  Facebook is of course a great place to find community and to connect with many different types of people you know all  in one place. Facebook's only fault is the size and weeding through posts about people's farmville games before you find some news that really interests you.

So ... in summary, if you are going to be on-line anyway ... then start connecting with people.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Creating new Pastel Grounds for Clemmy Kitty

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

About The Art: Clemmy's original photograph was pretty wonderful. Sometimes solid white or solid black pets can get totally blown out by too much light, in Clemmy's case we have lots of detail and value in her coat. Her ears were slightly cropped out in the original, but that was easy to fix. My client has requested pastel grounds in her proofing set. Since I do not usually do a lot of soft pastel options I figured this would be a great time to experiment and add a few new options to my arsenal.  The ground on the first art image above is a remake of an old ground while the other 2 are brand new.  I love this pretty Persian kitty and I am pleased with all the results.

We never stop wanting toys

Why is it that we never stop wanting toys? And why is it that we never stop loving Barbie? I really want this silly video camera even though I have a flip, and even though I have a Canon video recorder. Discovered the Barbie Video Doll via a facebook post today. Check out the video then order your doll at Amazon. I'll have to wait on mine ... really can not justify the expense right now.

Canon 7D vs. Barbie Video Girl from Brandon Bloch on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Me and My Big Tommy

Shot back in 07 in Austin Texas. Want to hurry up and place the stray dog I found last week so we can take a weekend break and get Big Tommy to some clean and cool watering hole for a swim. It has been a long hot summer and we need to get out of Dallas.

We papered the neighborhood yesterday and this morning with found dog signs for Shadow. Why is it I always see 3 "found" dog signs for every one lost dog sign. If I lost my babies I would paper the entire city. Cross your fingers that Shadows people are looking for him. He is old and large, he will be hard to place in a new home if his people do not show up.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Two Dogs Talk About Death

My husband is a painter, writer and poet. He often will take every day happenings and spin them into prose. His most recent post at Gather is about the time Ajax decided to drag a dead squirrel into the house. Last night he got a little silly, found a black beret and some beat poetry tunes and did a reading.You can see the reading below in the player or click through to Gather for the full text.

"The other day I'm minding my business, chewing on a ball,
when Ajax suddenly leaps up and shoots across the lawn like a rocket! Boom!"  Read more

Poetry by Dan Collins

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tag Your Dogs!

Shadow, Jake, Buddy, Murphy ???

This is a friendly stray dog that found me this morning. I do not know his name or where he belongs because he has no tags.  So what is your favorite excuse for not tagging a dog?

Here is a list of some of the dumbest excuses I have heard:
"He never goes outside without me"
"He takes his collar off, can't keep one on him"
"Oh I took his collar off to give him a bath and forgot to put it back on"
"I don't like to hear the tags clinking around"
Tag your dogs people! Put your phone number on the tag.  Tag your dogs, tag your dogs, please tag your dogs ...  and do it today.
If you do not want to tag your dog then microchip them.  Sorry for the rant ... I know that all my readers are devoted pet lovers that tag their dogs ... I just needed to vent.

So Now what ....
Tomorrow, we paper the neighborhood, we visit the pound to place a notice and we wait. We try hard to not get too attached to Shadow ( that is what I am going to call him). We try not to get attached because 4 dogs is our crazy person line that we will be crossing some day when we go from 3 to 4 dogs.  Dan and I are both 100% in agreement that 4 dogs is not going to be a good number for us unless one if us is retired, and that is way way down the road.  If we can not find his people we will have to try to get him into rescue, or get on the waiting list for a no-kill shelter. He is a really great dog. You can see it in his eyes can't you?

Hot August Sale Ends in 3 days

I am having a hot August Holiday promo that ends on the 15th. You can save 50% off of a 24 x 24 Warhol style pet portrait. That is a $320 value for only $160. You have to order on-line and you need to send an image that is a minimum of 500kLearn more by clicking here.  We will be gearing up for the holidays and our busy fall schedule next month so this is a great time to take advantage of summer sales.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Random Pup At White Rock Lake

Shot this back in 09 at the Dallas Dog park. What are you doing with your pups this week to cool off?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Scotties In The Mail!

Check out the really cool present that came today from Andrea. You guys may have seen a recent pic I posted of Andrea and her pet portrait of Curly & Sammy. Today I opened the cutest trio of Scotts that were hand sewn by Andrea. Each Scottie has a little round tag with the name of one of my Scotties on it. I am delighted and really touched. I have the sweetest and most creative friends and clients on the entire planet.

Monday, August 09, 2010

New Dog Portraits/ Schnauzer and Bichon

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

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

All out of words today. I am happy about recent pet portrait projects.

Mosaic Monday/ Fireplace Doggy

Doggie Detail
Originally uploaded by sundogmosaics
This is a detail from artist Donna Van Hooser of Sun Dog Mosaics. It is a detail from a large fireplace project she has going on. Click through the image to see more photos from this cool project. Donna is a designer for Hallmark greeting cards. She has done many amazing detailed dog mosaics over the years. I love the whimsy in this very simple graphic outline doggy. He is a small portion of a large fireplace surround.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Artist Resource/ Storing your art

Looking around on-line today for some sort of artist resource to share. Just when I thought I had nothing to talk about I found this terrific site that sells cradled boards for painting, or in my case mosaics.  Even more exciting than that was the storage unit shown above. Anyone that has ever visited our house knows that we have artwork coming out of our ears.We hang prints, paintings and mosaics on every available square inch of wall space. For every piece of art that is proudly displayed we have 5 more pieces shoved into closets or stored in metal flat files because we just do not have the space to hang everything.  I would love to own this storage unit, but of course at present we have no space for it to live. Maybe some day we will finally tackle that home renovation and double our square footage.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Dreaming Of Galveston Texas

August has arrived with triple digits, bored pups and a longing for the beach. This image was shot back in 09 I think in Galveston Texas when we went and stayed beach front with the dogs.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Andrea, Curly & Sammy

A couple of weeks ago I got to visit with a flickr pal that ordered a pet portrait of Curly & Sammy.  Andrea is a cyber pal that lives close to Dallas and is taking classes at SMU. She is a teacher and a devoted animal lover. I am tagging this under client walls even though these are my walls in the background. I wish you could see her entire outfit. The cute cotton summer dress was balanced well by some funky cowboy boots. I love meeting clients and need to start shooting more of them when they pick up. Sometimes I am shy about asking people to let me shoot them with their work, but this gal is a blogger and a flickr person so I knew she would probably not mind.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Kramer The Boxer Updated

"Kramer Updated"
© rebecca collins /

This is Kramer the Boxer. I got loose and added a lot more color and brush strokes on this updated revision set for Kramer. You can see his update set by clicking here.  Tomorrow I have a little Bichon to proof.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Jackson The Puggle

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

I loved the way all of the proofs turned out on Jackson the Puggle. His original photograph was very cute ... I love how cuddly he looks in his colorful bedding.  I intensified the color on everything and added some sparkle to his eyes.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Mosaic Monday / Bubo Bot Video

I have been working on a new mosaic project this last week. One of the robot sketches I was playing with started looking like an owl so I decided to go with it and I have started on Bubo the Bot. I also made a little work in progress video that you can view below.