Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Kina & Vesty

"Kina & Vesty"
© rebecca collins /

Goodbye to sweet Kina & Vesty. I am so very sorry to hear that these sweet pups have gone on to the bridge.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Pet Portrait Video

Lola knocked out another video today of  Art Paw's recent pet portrait commissions from July. I really enjoy it when we can get these quick monthly portfolios on-line and I hope if you see your pet here that you will share the link with your pals.  I am sure as we get busier towards the fall with more commissions we will have to put video making on the back burner.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sketch My Pet Contest

I am in the mood to draw and experiment this month and I am having a contest over at Facebook. I will be doing Wacom Sketches of 20 pets. I have decided that 10 of the winners will be based on vote count and 10 winners will be just based on photo quality and my own personal whims. 

Click here to Enter Your Pet Snapshots!

 I will be mailing out 8 x 10 prints and goody bags to all winners at the close of the contest.

• You must be a fan over on facebook to enter.
• You may vote every day and encourage your pals to vote.
• The photo you submit must be of your pet and taken by you or other non professional ( in other words no copyright protected professional photographs.)
• You understand that Art Paw holds the copyright on all artwork created from your photos.
• Your artwork may be used in marketing materials or printed book portfolios.
• Contest ends September 1st.

What is a Wacom Sketch?

A wacom sketch is a quick drawing that I create using my wacom drawing tablet and photoshop. These works are different from my standard portraits in that they are much faster, looser and there is more emphasis on line work.  You can see samples below, or check out my facebook page for some examples of winners from last week. It is not too late to enter, I am picking new winners almost every day of the week.

© rebecca collins /

© rebecca collins /

© rebecca collins /

© rebecca collins /

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mosaic Monday / New Robot Mosaic Started

© rebecca collins / work in progress
This is the start of a new mosaic. I am still painting on the board right now. It will be my very first mixed media mosaic that will combine some of my ceramic elements. I think of it as a "spare part robot totem". A totem seems like a natural transition from some of the Mounted Bot Trophies that I have been painting and working with earlier in the year.  Totem poles and taxidermy make me think about reverence and sometimes the irreverence that man has shown for nature and wildlife over the centuries. Treating technology and robot related stuff with the same exalted status that we reserve for animals is a little silly and quirky. I could get philosophical and talk about "the machine versus nature", and tons of other smarty pants art talk, but the reality is it just makes me giggle and that is why I am doing it. Maybe there is a lot of deeper stuff going on that I am not even aware of, but it makes me smile and that is reason enough to do it.

About This Art Project:
The background artwork will be covered in translucent glass. The center strip of black has a white circuit board pattern and it will be raised up on a thin board that will be bolted to the main board, the bolts will of course show. The background portion of the board will get grouted however the main totem part will not be grouted and it will have lots of chunky tessera to go with the chunky ceramic parts. I have a rusted spark plug and rusted piece of metal that I found on one of my dog walks and I will be using lots of that sort of stuff on the top totem portion. I think the found metal objects will mesh perfectly with my ceramic bits.

The Mosaic Challenge:
My mixed media mosaic work has always been layered, however the layering has been underneath the surface with the top of the mosaic work being relatively smooth due to the nature of my stained glass material. My goal with this project is to start getting chunkier and allow my layers to start coming forward by creating a very rich surface texture with chunky tile and mixed media elements.

My other big challenge is a constant design issue that I face and that is the problem I always create for myself by having so much going on. I am not into big bold simple compositions, I tend to throw everything possible that I can find into a piece including the kitchen sink. The result can be that sometimes my main subject gets lost a bit. For example the totem portion of this piece might stand out and be more powerful if I were to just do more of a solid bold color on the background board where you see all of the painted work, but of course I like it busy.... and so I will work hard to make it work. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Golden Doodles Shipping Today

Roxy & Westley ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins /
Roxy & Westley ( see all proofs)
© rebecca collins /

It is a rainy cloudy day here in Dallas, (yay). Lola is here and she is stretching several projects today that will ship out very soon. Once I get her projects printed up I will organize the month ahead. We are getting very busy here at Art Paw.  Today we ship: Roxy & Westley, Chewy, Nico, Lara, Buster & Mishka.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Mosaic Monday / Mosaics Dallas

Looking forward to a trip to the Dallas Museum soon to check out the show " The Legacy of The Plumed Serpent in Ancient Mexico". It runs through November 25th and is the first large-scale exploration of the ancient kingdoms of southern Mexico and their patron deity, Quetzalcoatl, an incarnation of the spirit force of wind and rain that combined the attributes of a serpent with those of the quetzal bird, thus the name “Plumed Serpent.” The mosaic disc below looks like a must see.

Turquoise-mosaic Disk, Mexico, Yucatan, Chichen Itza, Maya, AD 900–1200. Wood and turquoise. Diameter: 9 5/8 in. (24.4 cm). Museo Nacional de AntropologĂ­a, Mexico City (10-9649). Photo Credit:  Museum Associates/LACMA, by Jorge PĂ©rez de Lara

 Mosaic Learning Opportunities in Dallas:

In other news, I will be teaching a mosaic class at the Creative Arts Center that starts on August 23rd. There is still time to register on-line.  I have already heard from one student that is planning on doing a mosaic pet portrait, and I really look forward to helping her with that. Class is Thursday evenings 6:30 - 9:30.

My friend Katrina Doran is teaching a glass on glass Mosaic workshop this fall at the Dallas  Arboretum that is based on finding inspiration from the glass works of Dale Chihuly. You can learn more and find contact info at the Aboretum website or by calling them at 214-515-6500.
© 2012 Katrina Doran
9 x 12 inch glass-on-glass mosaic designed by Katrina Doran
for her upcoming workshop at the Dallas Arboretum. October 27, 2012 9am - 3pm.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Hearing From Pet Portrait Clients

I always enjoy hearing from my pet portrait clients. A local client picked up his project last week and he sent me this very kind e-mail note:
"I just wanted to take a moment to thank you again.  Your unique product combined with this rare Tibetan Mastiff, makes this gift a one-of-a-kind original.  We kept asking ourselves what we could get for someone who has the ability to buy anything for himself that he wants, and we found it with this art.  Thank you so much! We will be giving it to him tomorrow and have no doubt that it will be very special to him."

Today I spoke with a terrific repeat client that is doing her 4rth project with us. She always orders 24 x 24 because she says the thought of going down in size makes her feel guilty, as though maybe the pet with the smaller print is going to know somehow or appear to be less loved. I can understand that thinking. Those of us with multiple pet households must always strive to be fair after all.

Below is a shot sent in from a client for me to use as reference on his next portrait that I just started working on this week. I think this client is on project #5.  This is a great shot that shows how terrific a grouping can look.