Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Boston Terrier Art

I love working on Boston Terriers. Today I just proofed Miss Gracie. I have one other Boston to work on this week and a cow dog for a terrific repeat client. Things are a little slow this month, but I am excited about the portrait projects I have in house and I am happy to have some great quality photos to play with.

I will post a few images of Gracie's pet portrait proofs and a couple of Boston Terrier Videos.

© rebecca collins /
© rebecca collins /

This movie shows all of the many proofing options that I showed to my client. In this movie I talk about a little Boston terrier I had growing up and I show up many Boston Terriers I have created art for over the years.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

An Artist Lives Here / The Bower Bird

I have always thought that if I was going to be a bird I would be a red tailed hawk because when I see them they take my breath away, they are my favorite feathered friend here in East Dallas. With that said, today while listening to NPR I discovered a bird that I may truly have the most kinship to and that is the male Bower Bird.  He is an artist and an interior decorator. Although their distribution is centered on the tropical regions of New Guinea and northern Australia, some species extend into central, western, and southeastern Australia. They occupy a range of different habitats, including rain forest, eucalyptus and acacia forest, and shrub lands.

The male bower bird decorates his bower with brightly colored found objects that range from natural berries to plastic toys and bottle caps. He arranges them all meticulously to attract the female. He even understands perspective and will in fact arrange objects in a way to make himself  appear larger. They arrange objects in the bower's court area from smallest to largest, creating a forced perspective which holds the attention of the female for longer. Males with objects arranged in a way that have a strong optical illusion are likely to have higher mating success.When you go in and move the items around he will return to his bower and put things back in their proper place.

I love this bird ... he looks like a natural mosaic artist to me ... finding bits and pieces and placing them thoughtfully in the perfect spot. He often will work in one color scheme.

Here is a video that shows a Bower Bird in action:

You might also want to check out Tim Laman's amazing photos of Bower Birds and their decor.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mosaic Monday / Xerces Blue Beta An Artificial Pollinator

Xerces Blue Beta / An Artificial Pollinator
Work In Progress
© rebecca collins

Well I am working on my Salon piece for the Sama convention in late April. For over a year I have wanted to do a mechanical looking Robot Butterfly and I have finally started on one. I did a few hours of research on-line before starting this project and my surfing really drove a lot of choices on this piece. I knew before I started that I wanted to create more than just a pretty mosaic butterfly since there are so many wonderful ones out there already. I wanted something edgier and when I discovered that scientists are creating artificial pollinators I knew that I had not only a title for my piece but possibly the beginning of an entire series. I want to create beautiful objects that draw the viewer closer and then surprise them with my materials and the layered ideas and messages.

You can see more of this project and hear my thoughts on it by watching the video below.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Robot Invasion Workshop

 Robot Collage Class
Materials : Recycled packaging, metal eyelets, cardboard, spray paint, metal washers, found objects, gems, glue.

Yesterday I taught a class over at Pigment School of the Arts here in Dallas. It was a kid's workshop and I had 5 students that varied in age. We had a lot of fun and I was very impressed with all of the creativity and imagination these young artists demonstrated.   The kids were all a breeze to work with, they were each very focused and enthusiastic. Here is a real quick little slideshow I created with some cell phone pics of our projects. My assistant Brittany and I did a couple that you will also see in here as samples ...

Below are just a few things I learned yesterday about working with young artists: 

• Younger hands are not as strong as mine and simple tools like a hole puncher may be difficult on sturdier card stock and cardboard. 
•  A little conversation and asking questions before you start creating can stir the imagination and ideas will emerge easily for them. We talked about Robots a little and what types of jobs they do ... even what types of hobbies they may have.
•  Kids use a lot of glue when making collages. I told them to use a lot to get things to stick and boy they did! I had plenty, and I am glad I took the big jug of weldbond.
• I took some acrylic sleeves for them to place their finished projects in ... the same sleeves we send our little 8 x 10 Etsy prints out in ... the sleeves were a big hit! Giving my students a way to neatly protect their finished works gave them additional pride in their creations and taught them at an early age about presentation.
• I should have taken my good camera to get decent photographs of all of the projects.  My cell phone pics captured the day, but the image quality does not do justice to their terrific Robot collages.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Jade The Cow Dog is Hungry

I am just about caught up with orders. I am currently fine tuning Jade for a terrific repeat client in Australia. I have one more project to do for her and then I will be totally caught up with commissions from Feb. I did hear from a nice gentleman this morning that may send in a Golden Retriever for me to play with. I hope he does, I have not done many retrievers yet this year and I love their strong lines.

Below are a few proofing samples of Jade. My client wanted to see more green options in the backgrounds to match up well with her kitchen.  I went a little crazy and gave her 20 new options to choose from. I usually do not go overboard like that on revisions as it can often just make the approval process tougher, making it very hard for clients to choose. I love Sarah though, she always gives me great photos to play with and she is pretty good at knowing her favorites and drilling down to what she likes best. All 20 revision proofs can be found on my proofing site.

Oh ... and yes it is pretty wonderful and appropriate that this food bowl portrait will grace her kitchen walls ... pet people are really the best you know.  I do love it when folks send me pics that tell a story!

"Jade With Food Bowl"
© rebecca collins /

"Jade With Food Bowl"
© rebecca collins /
"Jade With Food Bowl"
© rebecca collins /

"Jade With Food Bowl"
© rebecca collins /