Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Devon Rex Pet Portrait

© rebecca collins / artpaw.com

From Holly: " I ended up giving the Samarai gift actually on Christmas Day (well, they kept it under the tree to open today). Just got a text from the family saying it is definitely one of the best gifts they've gotten!! Thanks so much!! Feel free to share it. And have a wonderful Christmas."

Thank you again for the beautiful portrait!!"

Monday, December 30, 2013

Praise from Pet Portrait clients!

This has been such a lovely holiday year for me. For some reason I am hearing from twice as many clients this year with praise and so many kind notes after their art was received. I am really lucky to have such supportive fans of my work.

I was not able to share my works before Christmas out of fear that surprises would be spoiled so now it is time for me to start posting the last month. If you want to see your pet on my blog just send me a photo of your Art Paw canvas on your walls at home.

"Hi Rebecca,

I just returned home from being out of town for a week so I just opened the 2 prints. They are absolutely beautiful. I love them! The color should go very well with the other two prints. I will send you a photo once I hang them.

Amy "

© rebecca collins / artpaw.com

Friday, December 27, 2013

My Word for 2014- Choice

This year I am going to pick a word to live into and that word is choice.


noun \ˈchis\
: the act of choosing : the act of picking or deciding between two or more possibilities
: the opportunity or power to choose between two or more possibilities : the opportunity or power to make a decision
: a range of things that can be chosen

 As women when we hear the word choice it is often charged with political overtones, but choice is not just about our bodies, it is about our lives. If I could teach my nieces one thing in life it would be to choose, and know when you are making a choice and when you are just letting life come at you full force like a fire hose. You can not choose anything when you are in a constant state of reaction to the drama of others. Choose your friends, choose your lovers and choose your life. 

Over the years I have struggled to make a living, I have struggled to find love and I have struggled like everyone on else on the planet to be happy.  The times in my life when I was the most unhappy were not due to bad choices, they were due to making no choices at all. 

As an artist in 2014:
I will not be afraid of making bad choices.
I will choose new materials and new techniques for my work.
I will not let the marketplace dictate all of the choices I make concerning my art, maybe some but not all.
I will choose other artists to learn from that inspire me.
I will choose to create art that challenges me.

I  think I have gotten lazy in life and have allowed myself to fall into a bit of a rut. The past few years have been all about finding a balance as I juggle my commercial work with my personal work. I have found my balance really, and I know that at the end of the day the more I do the more I can do. My time here is finite and moving forward I really do need to think about my choices. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Flash Back Friday / Vintage Christmas

My Mom / Sandra Lansdowne 1950's
I wonder if this was the robe from a holiday story told over and over again. One year when my parents were first married my Mom was needling my Dad about what he got her for Christmas. They were driving back home from dinner and she was guessing and finally my Dad snapped at her "quit asking I am not going to tell you that I got you a robe for Christmas!". She got very quiet, and he did not know at first that he had spilled the beans. I love that story. She often got a robe at Christmas when we were kids, probably a repeat gift bought with warm memories of one of their early holidays together.

My Mom / Sandra Lansdowne 1950's
 I love this picture of my Mom, she reminds me so much of my old assistant Lola Cash. Something about the tilt of her head and her smile, and of course her waif like figure.

Mom with packages
Me and my brother Phil
No wonder I like aluminum trees so much, they really were abundant in my childhood. I love how I have so many pretty black and white pics of Mom posing with wrapped presents in the 50's and then boom, the 60's come along, living color,  and it is all bout the kids and posing with unwrapped presents. Yes we were rather spoiled.  I still have the clown doll on that table.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Pet Portrait Gift Certificates

It is not too late to order a pet portrait Gift Certificate for the holidays. Our gift certs are e-mailed to you within 24 hours of order placement. They are colorful and fun and the perfect gift for every pet lover on your list. If you need to order more than 2 gift certs please call us for a discount
( 214-321-1150).

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Winding down the Season

My Joy, My Whitman
© artpaw.com
Almost the middle of the month and we are totally on target with our holiday shipping. All orders placed and approved in November have shipped. I have just a few design updates to work on tomorrow and we will also be shipping out our last round of December orders that have been approved. I have 4 cyber Monday non-proofed orders to ship out and they look great, I think my clients will be very happy with their surprise prints.

I have 2 possible local clients that I may work with and deliver on if they can finalize their orders by Friday. Then I will be done, and hopefully I will have most of next week off to do my own holiday shopping and decorating.

We have had a fantastic season and I am ready for 2014 now.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Dallas is Thawing Out

Japanese Maple In the Ice
© rebecca collins
Well we have had a couple of very cold and icy days.  It is not over yet, but we did get above freezing today. I have been working while the rest of Dallas has been enjoying some time away from work. My husband is in printing and so of course he braved the ice, because nothing stops the presses from running. There was no ice in the hallway between my bedroom and my office so I had no excuse not to go to work this weekend. Even though I work from home and rarely go anywhere besides the post office, I am starting to feel a little cabin fever.

The dogs are restless and totally over the novelty of the hard white ground.  We are very fortunate that we did not loose our power. Many people in Dallas are without power and will be until Oncor gets caught up.

Next week I will be shipping out the last of November's approved projects. I have started on December orders and I feel totally on top of the season. It is an odd feeling. We are a little slower here at Art Paw this year, and I am ok with that. At first when I compared my numbers to last year's I was a bit worried, and now I have decided that busy and steady is a much better way to live than crazed and overwhelmed. 

Thanks to all of my terrific Holiday clients that Have supported the Arts this year!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Doggy Spas

Around here we have 3 main priorities and they are dogs, books and art. Art is our strongest passion and as much a way of life as an object or activity. Books are an indulgence, a collection and I think on some archaic mental level our wealth. In college we had stacks of vinyl records and stacks of books, we drug them from place to place and they really were our most valued possessions. We have managed to let go of our records, but we are still very attached to our books.

And yes, dogs ... our dogs are truly family around here, not a passion, a hobby or collection, although we have been collecting many memories and urns over the years. Last week I shared pics of dream art studios that I found on-line. Late last night I was digging around Houzz to get ides on the perfect doggy washing sink to have designed into our new laundry room. We are in the very early stages of planning a home renovation that will happen in 2014.  Today I will share a few of those dream doggy baths with you guys.  My favorite sink is probably way out of our budget, it is a terrazzo mop sink.

Modern Laundry Room

Ok at 350 lbs and $800 this cool terrazzo mop sink is my favorite  ... what a great doggy wash station. I am sure our builder will come up  with a lower cost solution that will not be an engineering feat to install.

Traditional Laundry Room by Norwich Architects & Designers Smith & Vansant Architects PC

I love the tiled bath above ...perfect for medium large dogs. It even has a little ledge you can sit on while you bath your dog.  We like standing at a sink since we have little dogs. I am afraid if we built a bath area like this the universe might throw a Great Dane at us, and we do not need a large dog.

Contemporary Laundry Room by Carmel Design-Build Firms Case Design & Remodeling Indy

This was my 2nd favorite doggy sink and it looks very practical and more affordable than my first choice.  Love the colors in this cute green laundry room.


Another great tiled bath for larger dogs.

I thought this was a cute pic with doggies waiting for their bath. I have no idea who the artist is.

Spaces by La Vista Kitchen & Bath Designers McKean's Floor to Ceiling

Ok this last one just cracked me up .... the gate says ... no escape from the bath!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Christmas Countdown

Yes the holidays are here. I am busy every day staying ahead of the game and proofing folks non stop. I plan to work this weekend so that I can finalize all holiday shipping by the middle of the month. I seem to have work under control and so I have extended my order deadline to this Friday the 6th on all out of state orders. I will allow a few local projects to trickle in all month long. Dallas clients can order late because they have the ability to pick up their portraits in person.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Save 50% on Custom Pet Portraits Cyber Monday!

You can save 50% on either a 12 x 12 custom painterly style portrait or a large 24 x 24 portrait if you take advantage of my non-proofing sale today only.  This is a non-proofing sale and yes I promise that you will have your portrait in time for Christmas.

Click here to order now and save up to $242 on your portrait.

Holding a sale ... is a tough thing for a small business owner at times. It is especially hard for an artist because I hate the thought that I am discounting my services to people when other folks have ever paid full price ... what about all those folks? How can I be fair and hold a sale ... should I refund money on  all projects placed this year, this month, this week? Well that is not a very smart business model, and I would soon starve if I held sales that way ... my choice instead is to offer a very special deal on a service that nobody has purchased this year and that is the non-proofing option, with a requirement of a decent resolution photograph.  So if you are a loyal client and you have shopped with me before, please know that this sale is for you too! As a repeat client you know I do good work, and while regular proofing is tons of fun, you know I will do a good job and you can trust my artistic instincts .... maybe it is time for yet another pet portrait perhaps?  

Forget about proofing and let me off-leash so I can really play and have fun with your photos!