Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gertie The Bulldog

© rebecca collins /
This is Gertie the Bulldog. Her Mom took advantage of our 50% off sale and she will be shipping out tomorrow. She ordered Monday and Gertie will ship on Friday. That is super fast, and it is super fast because this is a "non -proofing sale". My client chose her favorite red themed background and I got busy and created her portrait and now I get to ship asap.  Proofing is a lot of fun, and I usually enjoy providing 14 different colorful samples on-line, but proofing does add a significant amount of time to a project. That is why I decided to offer a deep discount for Valentines day on "non-proofed" projects.  It also allows me to hold a very unique sale that hopefully will not irk any clients that have paid full price in the past weeks or months. After all it is a totally different sort of custom art service, and a little less extensive from what I usually offer at full price.

Anyway ... the sale ends at midnight tonight so click here if you want to order and save on a project for your sweetheart.  I have several folks that have ordered multiple projects. I have a busy week ahead of me.... yay!

Gertie Detail.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Huesday-Tuesday / Red & Green

"Bird & Giant Berries"
© rebecca collins /

Complimentary colors are those opposite each other on the color wheel. Red & Green are my absolute favorite complementary colors. They just make each other pop. Often people are afraid to combine these colors because they think that they look like Christmas. While it is true that a pure Kelly green and a cherry red may look a little bit like a Christmas tree, the reality is there are tons of dirty shades of green and deep blood reds that can combine to create pure magic.  Today I will post a few of my digital paintings that take advantage of the power of Red & Green.

"Dezi the Bulldog"
© rebecca collins /
I love the colors above in the background, the green is so sour and yellow it is almost a gold.

"Big Tommy & Ball"
© rebecca collins /

This is one of my favorite works I did of our Big Tommy. The lime green ball at the top right makes this piece pop. It gives it an action and a story.

"Beetle sketch"
© rebecca collins /

The Beetle sketch above almost vibrates due to two different complimentary color duos,  red & green are bouncing off of each other and also the purple antennas are playing off of the yellow background.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Pet Portrait Sale 4 days Only

Save 50% for a limited time
Sale ends 1/31/13

I am having a last minute Valentines day sale! If you want to order and have me ship your artwork super fast and you want a red background then this is the sale for you.  It is a "non-proofing sale", which means that instead of providing you with 14 colorful samples to choose from ( often time consuming on my end and on your end); I just create the artwork and ship it out to you. You do have the option of choosing from 6 different red themed backgrounds.

Use Promo code : "red" when you order
Hit recalculate and see your savings.
Then e-mail us a photo to :

Click here for more detail and to see the background options!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pet Portraits Last December!

Art Paw Custom Pet Portrait Proofing Page
Wow, looking back at December last year we did around 38 pet portraits! A lot more than we will see this month. Things have slowed down a bit. I did get in an order yesterday, but for the first time in a long time I feel caught up. That is a nice yet scary feeling.  So far this month I have proofed 9 clients.   I guess next week I will send out a newsletter and see what I can do to drum up some business. If you are a repeat client don't forget that you can save 15% on future work by using the promo code : repeat when you order on-line with our shopping cart.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mosaic Monday/ Non-traditional Mosaics

"My Eye" 2012 By Mary Ellen Croteau

The mosaic above was made from bottle caps. Mary Ellen Croteau is a fine artist working in variety of media. She works large and small. She ended up on my radar from a post over at Artaic Innovative Mosaic Blog.  I was in search for mosaics created from non traditional materials for a slide show presentation I will be sharing with my mosaic class this Thursday evening.

"Close" By Mary Ellen Croteau

Mary has nested bottle caps inside of each other and the end result is really breathtaking. This self portrait is 8 feet x 7 feet. I have a false story in my head that women do not take on large scale projects very often, and large scale works seem to get noticed in the art world. Maybe I only think that because "I" am afraid of scale, Mary is obviously not afraid of much! Check out more of her work on her website it is very well done and includes diverse galleries, spanning over 2 decades and even video interviews. ...


So my Mosaic class starts up again Thursday night at The Creative Arts Center. I have started using Pinterest as a means to cull images for slideshow presentations. I do not like to borrow too much time away from my student's actual working time each session, but I do like to try and squeeze in one short slideshow.   In my first class I did a presentation on the design elements and this time I want to get my students to start thinking outside the box on what types of materials they can use in a mosaic, and just what is "mosaic"? I love finding original works that do not fit neatly into a tight little definition of "mosaic". There are so many artists out there doing such cool stuff with recycled plastic. We think of Smalti lasting forever, the realty is that a lot of our garbage is going to last forever too ... why not turn it into art?

There is still time to sign up for a mosaic class in Dallas this week, and the Creative Arts Center has a variety of talented Mosaic instructors teaching weekends, mornings and evenings. Come join us!

Non traditional Mosaic Board at Pinterest

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Huesday - Tuesday / Red

"Seeing Red"
My Inspiration Board on Pinterest

I started a Red Board today over at Pinterest. Red is one of my favorite colors and yet I have done boards for pink, blue, orange, and yellow before I even thought of tackling red. I think I prefer red off-line more than on. It is so strong and often hard to photograph.  I have found some yummy examples though.  Check out my pins and follow me on My Seeing Red Board.

I am still waiting for my book about the history of red to arrive from Amazon ... maybe next week I can share some facts on pigments and dyes with you.

My own thoughts on The Color Red:
Red can be a sledge hammer and honestly who does not want to throw down a sledge hammer every once in awhile. Red is an exclamation point, it seldom whispers, it is full of attitude and strength. You can try and class it up a bit with white, grey and black, but at the end of the day it is still going to be red. You never have to wonder about it ... it will not pretend. As gregarious and overly demonstrative as it can  be ... red will never cheat on you.

I use a lot of red and warm tones in my work.  Often clients will request reds when ordering a pet portrait for a man. It is a masculine color I guess, although I think of it as pretty gender neutral.

Artist Quotes About Red:

"A thimbleful of red is redder than a bucketful. " - Henri Matisse

"I love red so much that I almost want to paint everything red."--Alexander Calder

"My mother warned me to avoid things coloured red." -  Claes Oldenburg

"Red protects itself. No colour is as territorial. It stakes a claim, is on the alert against the spectrum." - Derek Jarman

" I want a red to be sonorous, to sound like a bell. If it doesn't turn out that way, I add more reds and other colors until I get it." - Pierre-Auguste Renoir

"You can't go wrong with the use of red; every painting should have red in it." - George De Groat

"A good painter needs only three colours: black, white and red." - Titian

"What I love most about red is green." - Rebecca Collins

Monday, January 07, 2013

Mosaic Monday/ The Color Red

"Poste" Italy 2012
© rebecca collins
"What I love most about Red is Green" ....

For my first post of 2013 I chose the "Poste" image above because it is red ... and yes it has a splash of green, is that electric or what? The other day I was thinking about doing color studies in Mosaic this year and a title for a piece came to mind before the actual piece even started to happen in my brain and that title is "What I love most about red is green".  So anyway yea, I have a title for a mosaic so now I need to get busy with it.

Setting up learning challenges for myself...
For the past couple of years I have tried to take on difficult things to challenge myself artistically. In 2011 I played with the color pink all year long because I hated it and thought it was weak. Well I kicked pink's ass and I used it in every way possible that was not overly sweet and girly. Now I love pink,  it is one of my favorite colors.  Last year in 2012 I focused a lot on ceramics. I had a story going that I was not very good at ceramics and so I wanted to try the medium again and see what I could do with it. I can not say that I kicked clay's ass, but I will say it is my friend and I am very comfortable there now.

So here we are in  2013 and I am going to study and embrace my strong suit .... color. I am great at color, anybody will tell you that. I never worry about my color choices and instead I work intuitively and play with color like a child with a new box of crayons. I told my best friend about my choice for 2013 and she asked why do you feel like you need to study color? I told her it had nothing at all to do with need and while I think she was hearing the word "study" as intense focused hard work, I can only see studying as playing.  I can not wait to get started!  I do not know why it never occurred to me before that studying and exploring something you are already good at can be a challenge in itself. How to start fresh with color as though you have beginner eyes?

How Will I Study Color?
I am going to choose a different color each month and focus on it both in my mosaic work and here at Art Paw. I am going to try hard to do one small color study mosaic per week. Those little works will be for sell in my Etsy shop. I am going to borrow from the web and other bloggers and start doing Tuesday-Huesday posts here on the blog. These posts will talk about one color for an entire month, so there will be 3 posts this month all about the color red!

More ways to study Color ...
I am going to be reading books about color and every time I go to an art show or museum I am going to really think even harder about the color choices that other people make and how those choices are unique to those artists.  Last night we watched the 1990's movie Dick Tracy and I thought I was going to absolutely drown in pure reds, greens and yellows. If you have not seen it in awhile it is worth a revisit ... yummy color-candy there.  So my study in  2013 looks like this ... I will be reading books, going to museums, watching movies and making art! Not a bad life.

So anyway ... please check back on the blog with me this year.... I will have lots to talk about.