Friday, November 29, 2013

An Artist Lives Here / A place to create

Dreaming today about my perfect studio space.
A perfect artist studio:

•  has tons of natural lighting
• has a sink
• climate controlled and yet it can open up during the 2 nice bug-free months in Texas
• large open space
• it opens to a balcony
• room for a pull out sofa in case other artists or family wants to crash

Browsing Houzz today for ideas, and I will post a few amazing finds below.

Eclectic Home Office by Winters Photographers Dave Adams Photography

Above: I love the skylights and the large open doors leading to an outdoor balcony
The wooden ceiling is also not too shabby.

Contemporary Exterior by San Francisco Architects & Designers TRG Architects

Above: With an outdoor balcony not only do you have a place to sit and relax, you also have the perfect spot to take something outside to dry, thinking wet clay, thinking recently painted surfaces, thinking anything that needs a little air to cure.

Contemporary Home Office by Westport Architects & Designers Sellars Lathrop Architects, llc

Above: Another lovely skylight. I also like the white walls, I seldom can tolerate a white wall in my home, but I am going to try it in my studio once we build it.  

Modern Home Office by Essex Architects & Designers Joseph Bergin Architect PC

Above: Love the clearstory windows,  the track lighting is not particularly attractive, but it looks very functional.  I like how the room has a huge open feeling and yet there is a little nook on that far wall. Lovely space. I am sure that the white wooden flooring makes it all seem even bigger, and yet I can not imagine a white floor in a studio space.

Industrial Home Office by Everett Windows Quantum Windows & Doors, Inc.

Above: Love the dark blue metal and light maple doors here. Of course the upper windows are just perfect.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Commission A Pet Portrait For the Holidays

I am starting to get crazy busy around here for the holidays so I thought I would post our holiday 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 even catch me on a Sat.)
We will ship Amazon and Etsy Giftshop orders out twice a week on Weds. and Fri.
 Printing and shipping pet portraits every Weds. and Fri.

Tips For Ordering Your Holiday Pet Portrait:
• Order by 11/30 if you want to receive your portrait in time for Christmas
• The fastest way to order is via the shopping cart on-line.
• Send an image that is a minimum of 500K in size ( very important)
If you need help 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 can cause confusion on our end.
 • 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 ( 214-321-1150).
• 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.

Monday, November 18, 2013

An Artist Lives Here / Lovely Fall Morning

 "Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that life is more interesting than it really is. "  - Charles M. Schulz

My front Door
Actually an older shot of my door, the mosaic framing was not done when this shot
was taken, and we have added 2 new knockers since then.

Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is. Charles M. Schulz
A few weeks ago one of my out of state Photoshop students dropped by before she had to get on a plane.  Her first words as she walked through my door is "Yes this is an Artist's home".   I have been thinking about home a lot lately and place. Dan and I shopped for a new home for about one year solid and with each wonderful larger house we saw we would come home to our tiny place and as we drove down our tree lined street we would shake our heads and say no, that street can not compare to our street.
A couple of weeks ago one of my out of state Photoshop students dropped by for a visit before she had to get on a plane. The first words out of her mouth as she entered my door were "yes, this is an artist's home".  I have been thinking a lot about home and place recently. For one year solid Dan and I shopped for a new home that would be large enough for all of our creative pursuits. Each time we would go see a larger lovely home we would return to our neighborhood and drive down our tree lined street shaking our heads saying no, that street can not compare to our street.

 Our tiny cottage was built in 1941 and almost all 1,204 square feet of it is covered in art and books.  We have decided to stay where we are and renovate. We have plans to double the size, adding a master suite for comfort and a huge fine art studio for pleasure, work and life.  I am starting a series on this blog called "An Artist Lives Here". I think it will eventually be a weekly Friday post. I want to share not only a glimpse into my world and home but also share with you a peek inside the homes and studios of other artists I know and possibly even a few stunning artist studios that I might stumble across on-line as I study artist homes and really start to think about creative space in 2014.

3 terriers cuddle for warmth

Very Short Video I shot early this morning outside my front door.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Custom Pet Portrait Holiday Deadlines


Well it is that time of year again where I need to post my holiday deadlines.  Order by 11/30 and get my very best unhurried work with a guaranteed holiday delivery.

This is the cut off date that I have been using year after year and it is a soft deadline which means that if I am caught up the first week of December and feel like I can handle a few more projects I will take in a few in December, however I can not promise that I can deliver on time if you decide to order past my posted deadlines.

Ordering now means that your pet will get the time they deserve and I will even have an extra pad of time so I can make a few color changes if they are needed.


Click here To order your Pet Portrait Today.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mosaic Monday/ Books Books Books!

Yay ... I am so excited I finally purchased my copy of Christine Brallier's book The Night Before Christmas. Christine has worked a long time on this project creating 15 lovely mosaics for the book. Click this link to get your copy!  Or click this link to purchase Christine's book along with Barbara Keith's 2 books for only $29, a very good deal indeed!

Christine Brallier Site

Ok, one more book link for those of you that have little ones to buy for.  A family friend, Steve Jackson, has illustrated a kids book called " If Dogs Had Pockets".  Check it out over on Amazon.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Mosaic Monday/ Carol Shelkin Workshop

WIP My Dan
© rebecca collins

WIP My Dan
© rebecca collins
This last weekend I took part in  a two day workshop on realism in Mosaic. Our instructor was Carol Shelkin.  This is the second time I have taken from her and she is just so much fun.  Carol comes from a fine art background and she paints with glass. She teaches her students to see the different tonal values in colors and teaches from a very basic design principles background.

Mosaic art is very technique intensive and it has such a rich history.  There are tons of wonderful vocabulary words to learn when you start studying mosaic, many with Italian origins. Too often it is easy to get caught up in everything that is unique to the craft as we go about studying and teaching mosaic art. I guess because I too have entered the world of mosaic through the back door so to speak, approaching it as just another art technique to be used and explored, I really can relate to Carols' teaching methods.

On day one we spent the morning listening to Carol talk about color and composition and we watched her slide show presentation. Even though our hands were itching to nip glass we did not even start working until after the lunch break. Much of the design info she presented was stuff I had already been exposed to because of the many years of art education I have had. Was I bored? Was I wishing I had slept in?  No way! I really believe that no matter how many design courses you have had in life or how far along you may think you are as an artist,  the design principles are our bible. Much of how I work is intuitive at this point in my career and that is why when I hear an instructor go over the design basics with enthusiasm and with a unique perspective on it all, well I feel like I am learning it for the very first time. 

Best Shelkin quote from the workshop: "It is not where we are that matters, but where we are going".  

Everyone in the class really liked hearing her say that. It was almost like you could hear the sound of a big weight being lifted off of our shoulders. Every time you want to beat yourself up over your art not turning out how you imagined you really need to say that out loud. I am very kind to myself in general however I see too many artists, many that are very close to me, beat themselves up over and over again. Try not to get too attached to the work in front of you, love it and give it your all, but know that it is not the last or best project you are ever going to do. Be kind to yourself. Each piece of art we create in life is a learning exercise that gets us further down the road to where we are going.

Funniest Shelkin quote ... hmmm, well it had to do with venues and male _ _ ( censored ). I won't go into the details, you will just have to ask her about it when you take a workshop from her in the future. Did I mention she is funny as hell? Well she is.