Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Riley The Corgi

"Riley" ( See all proofs)
© rebecca collins / artpaw.com

 I just love Corgis. This project of Riley was a joy to create because the original image was pretty decent in resolution and the pose was adorable. I added some pretty strong strokes to the fur to try to get across the texture and the thickness of the fur.
Working on pet portraits today. Clients that are waiting on proofs ...  please relax ... we have 20 shipping days until Christmas. That means I have 19 working days ... I will meet my deadlines, I promise.   

Today is the last day to order a pet portrait with a guaranteed delivery. The best way to order is on-line so click here to place your order today.  If you miss this deadline what I can do is promise you proofing by 12/24.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

3 - Dog Night!!!

Ok just a very quick little text post today. The weather has turned here in Texas and the chill is upon us. I am happy to report that we will be having a 3-dog night. Yes we have a chilly winter evening that requires 3 dogs in the house to keep you warm. Well, the universe has thrown a dog at us and we are back to having THREE again!!! It is way too soon, and we are not ready, but little Ajax needs something to distract him from the empty hole that Big Tommy has left in our hearts when he left us. So...........................

We are adopting a Wire Hair Fox Terrier! Thank you Vikki, for forwarding the info about the rescue puppy "Cliff Lee" ... soon to be renamed .... I think .... probably he will be called "Whitman", after both Walt Whitman and Dan's Grandfather, a sweet crusty old guy that lived to be like 95 or something.

Dan once had a Fox Terrier named Scout years before we married. A mythical creature, with fold down ears, I have long been enamoured with the breed!

So anyway ... watch the blog for pics of our little new Fox Terrier ... soon.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

3 New Doggy Pet Portraits

"Tinker Bell" ( see all proofs)
© Rebecca Collins / artpaw.com

"Hank & Bentley" ( see all proofs)
© Rebecca Collins / artpaw.com

"Dixie" ( see all proofs)
© Rebecca Collins / artpaw.com
Working hard this week and pushing to get a lot of folks proofed before Thanksgiving. My goal is always to try to touch at least 3 projects per day. That does not always happen, but it is the goal.  People are often amazed that I can create so many portrait projects during the holidays. It is simple math really. If you try to work 12 hour days you can give 3 portraits 4 hours of time each. That is usually enough time per project although I can get bogged down when there are several pets in one portrait. I also try to work almost every day of the week during November & December so that gives me extra time. I do not work full days on the weekends, but I do work some.  I get totally stressed out each year during the Christmas push, but this year I refuse to go crazy. I know I will meet my deadlines. In fact that is my mantra as I get out of bed each morning now. I say out loud " I am meeting my deadlines today". 
I do have help ....
Oh, and I happen to have an amazing assistant that does all the stretching, shipping and even lends a hand on occasion with the digital prep work. Lola helps out with setting up my Warhol projects, she can fix glow eye and she erases the backgrounds on the photos that come in.  I could not make it through the holidays without her help. Dan usually helps out too, but he has not had to do any stretching at all lately.
So Stay Tuned...
If you are waiting on a portrait proof please sit tight and know it will happen soon. We have a few weeks to go so relax and give me some time to work.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mosaic Monday/ Centennial Park.

Originally uploaded by Maculata Jones
Found this wonderful Scottie dog over at Flickr. The description says Centennial Park. There are a few other dog mosaic shots in the stream by Maculata Jones.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Getting loose with Homer tonight

© Rebecca Collins / artpaw.com

You know I am trying to break out of my normal art routine when you see the color pink show up. Yes, I have talked about pink before. That hue that seems to only belong to little girls and Barbie®. We saw the new Harry Potter flick this weekend and Professor Delores Umbridge seems to embody everything about pink that drives me crazy. You know what I am talking about, that sticky soft sweetness that is both false and weak. And yet .... if you can manage to punch it up and give it a little contrast, give it some pow, well pink can be rather butch after all. Yea, I said butch, that tired 90's slang referring to testosterone, and how much a guy or a gal may have of it. I happen to think that Homer probably has plenty of it and a little pink in the background of his pet portrait is not going to hurt him at all. With that said I will of course play it safe and show the client some safe blues and greens. I hope they like this proof, cause he is sort of done, and I know this is going to be my favorite proof.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

And The Winner Is....

The winner from my Blog drawing for free Big Tommy Holidays cards is Peri. I did a random draw and Peri's name was picked.

The Winner from my Facebook drawing is John Hill. Again, it was a random draw out of the hat.

Both winners happen to be Terrier owners.   All they need to do to claim their prize of 6 holiday cards is send me an e-mail to collins @artpaw.com with their address and I will slip the cards in the mail next week.

Thanks to everyone that left such great comments here at the blog and over at facebook. I will probably have a few more blog drawings within the next few weeks. So check back.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Last chance to enter Big Tommy Card Drawing

Last Chance to Enter the Drawing for a set of 6 Big Tommy Holiday Cards!  Just leave a comment on this post and I will enter your name in the drawing. I would love it if you would tell me how your pet brings you joy. I will announce the winner tomorrow here on the blog.  The drawing is for a set of 6 of the Scottie cards shown above.


Golden Flakes
It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here! Today I am working on custom holiday cards for a couple of repeat clients and one holiday themed pet portrait. I am currently not accepting any additional requests for designing custom holiday cards. Every year I get  a small handful of requests from folks for this type of design service and I wish I could accept more projects like this, however I really do not make much money on this type of work once I sit down and calculate the time it takes.  I do have a handful of terrific Christmas cards  for sale in my Cafe Press shop with lots of different breeds and types of pets represented.  Click Here to check out some of my snowflake designs.

Rascal is a cutie pie and I am working on updates to his artwork later today. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

6 New Doggy Pet Portraits

"Simba" ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins / artpaw.com

"Sandy" ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins / artpaw.com

"Bailey" ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins / artpaw.com

"Charlie" ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins / artpaw.com

"Peanut" ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins / artpaw.com

"Boss" ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins / artpaw.com
I am posting a few painterly style projects from this last week. I was looking at my smugmug uploads since 2008 when I started using their site as my main proofing tool.  I have uploaded 8,282 proofing images to smugmug.com in the past 2 years.  Dang .... that is a LOT of artwork. Keep in mind I only create around 250 to 300 pet portraits per year so that means every single client is getting an abundance of different proofing options. When I first started my business way back in 1998 I only showed around 4 or 5 proofs and that has pretty much become an industry standard for digital art work. When I started using smugmug I noticed that I could carve around 30 minutes off of the proofing process by not having to create html pages myself.  So instead of adding that time into my margin as a gain I chose to spend it messing around with even more proofs. I now show a minimum of 10 proofing options and often more. I would love to report that the additional proofing options make it easier for people to sign off, but that is not always the case, and that is ok. All I know is that I love my work, and I love my clients. I do have the best job on the planet.  Look at these babies ... I get to play with soft fluffy Spaniels and big ol' bruisers like Boss & Simba. Yes, life is very very good.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Commissioning a Holiday Pet Portrait

I am starting to get crazy busy around here for the holidays so I thought I would post our holidays hours and tips for ordering your pet portrait.

Holiday Work Hours:
I will be answering the phones Mon. - Fri. 10:00 am - 6:00 pm ( you might catch me on a Sat.)
We will ship Amazon and Etsy Giftshop orders out twice a week on Tues. and Thurs.
 Printing and shipping pet portraits every Tues. and Thurs.

Tips For Ordering Your Holiday Pet Portrait:
• Order by 11/30 if you want to receive your portrait in time for Christmas
• Send an image that is a minimum of 500K in size ( very important)
If you need help with figuring out proper image and resolution follow these links:
• When ordering on-line be sure and give us a shipping address that will work for you. Changing your shipping address later is very difficult.
• If you do not want your project on the public blog or calendar just let me know, as I do not want to spoil any surprises.
• I try very hard to proof clients within 7 business days of payment. Please give me that time before sending e-mails asking about your proof.
• Check your spam and bulk folder if you do not see an e-mail from me within about 7 days.
• Do feel free to call me to follow up on your project after 7 days.
• Keep in  mind I work on projects in the order they were received and payment or a deposit is required to get the ball rolling.

Don't forget about our Gift Certificates! Our Pet Portrait E-certs are colorful and immediate.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Free Big Tommy Scottie Christmas Cards

Big Tommy Holiday Cards ( set of 6)
© rebecca collins /artpaw.com

I am missing my Big Headed boy this week. I decided what better way to celebrate him than by giving away some of the cards I created last year with his artwork. I am giving away a set of 6 Big Tommy Christmas cards. The inside greeting says "Joy!" and that is what he gave us every day of his life.

I am going to draw a winner this Saturday and to enter the drawing just leave me a comment here and tell me in what ways your own pets bring you joy ... I want to hear from you, make me laugh or smile. I will announce the winner on the blog this Saturday. You can leave a comment here or on Friday's blog post. If you just want to buy some cards you can also do that over at Etsy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mosaic Monday/ Isaiah Zagar dogs part 1

Last month we went to Philadelphia and saw the amazing mosaic work of Isaiah Zagar. There were common elements that kept popping up in all of his work and they were, faces, hands, boobs, feet, penises, and dogs. Figuring that I needed something to put on the Art Dog Blog I focused more on photographing the dogs than the penises. I just started editing my pics and I think I have enough images for several more posts. So enjoy part one of Isaiah Zagar's dogs.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What are you listening to?

Saturday morning and I am creating artwork of a pup named "Peanut".  Sometimes I like working weekends. The phone does not ring as much and I can go back and forth between Pandora and Rhapsody for my tunes. Today I discovered an old Leonard Cohen album I had not heard  before " New Skin For The Old Ceremony".  Don't you just love discovering new old tunes by singers that you thought you knew?

Friday, November 12, 2010

13 new Pet Portraits this week!

Wow, I have proofed 13 clients this week. That is a lot of artwork. During the holiday rush each year I try hard to work on a couple of portraits every day including weekends.  I usually work late nights  and do what I can do to take care of everyone in a very timely fashion. I really love this time of year. I am posting a few projects from this last week below.

"Tanker" ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins / artpaw.com

"Klondike & Buck" ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins / artpaw.com

"Louie & Phillipe" ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins / artpaw.com

"Bear" ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins / artpaw.com

Sophie ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins / artpaw.com

"Archie" ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins / artpaw.com

"Tess" ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins / artpaw.com

"Sputnik" ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins / artpaw.com

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jenny The Boxer

"Jenny" ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins / artpaw.com

"Jenny" ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins / artpaw.com
This week I am working on new pet portraits each day. This is Jenny the Boxer. I rotated her head slightly for a more playful expression. If you are waiting on a proof, sit tight ... I plan to be caught up with all proofing before Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Last Week To Order A Pet Portrait For The Holidays

Order by 11 /15 to receive proofs and prints by Christmas

Yesterday I finally found some time to add holiday snowflakes and holiday deadlines to the website.  You have until Monday to order a pet portrait for the holidays. After November 15th I will still accept holiday commissions with a 100% guarantee of "proofing" by Christmas.  This means that I will get you proofed as quickly as possible if you order late, but due to the nature of custom artwork and revision requests and so on, I can not promise a holiday print delivery on orders placed after the 15th.  If I get ahead of my work and feel I can extend the deadlines I will.

See my deadline Info by clicking here

Monday, November 08, 2010

Mosaic Monday/ Tiles For America

Busy work day. Just now getting around to the blog. Posting some pics we took in New York. This is a 9/11 memorial on a chain link fence at the corner of 7th Avenue and 11th street. We did not make it down to ground zero this trip ... this casual street memorial that we stumbled across was very moving. It is very much a "mosaic" even though the tiles were held in place with metal jump rings and plastic ties. Some of the tiles were broken, and the mosaic artist in me wanted to see these tiles cemented in place and grouted, while my less conventional side really appreciated the very raw nature of this display.

These tiles dangled on the fence like jewelry and when the wind blew you could even hear the ceramic tinkling against the metal, whispering their messages of hope.