Friday, October 10, 2014

This Artist's Growing Pains

So much has been happening this year, it is a year of both major growth and major loss. Back in June we had to say goodbye to our sweetest pup Ajax. His illness came out of nowhere and with tons of tests we still do not know what took him and we are still blaming ourselves for things we could have done better and second guessing the choices we made.  Those are things I tell my clients never to do, and yet it is human nature, especially when you are hurting so much.

© rebecca collins /
Sweetest Boy Ever ... Ajax

In August we adopted a wee little pup named Higgins, he and Whitman are the best of friends. The name was given to him by his foster Mom and I liked it so it stuck. Higgins combined with Whitman makes us sound like a masterpiece theater household or something.  Pixel ( A.K.A. Pickle)  likes him ok although she does have to snap at him on occasion just to keep him in line.   Our sweet Scottie girl has bladder cancer and was diagnosed back in February. She has great days and months and then a week or more where we think it is time for her to leave us.We were worried about bringing a new guy into the mix while she has been getting so much additional love and attention, but in reality she has enjoyed watching the boys play so hard and their antics keep her amused.

Lazy dogs Whitman & Pickle
Doggy loss is a road we are not unfamiliar with and we accept it as part of the deal. Whenever it happens the world keeps turning, as much as it feels like we are loosing a kid since they are our surrogate children after all, and as much as it hurts we move forward and often that has meant pouring myself into my work. This year however I have not totally immersed myself in either the fine art mosaics or Art Paw. I am keeping up with my commissions and loving all of the pet projects in front of me but the true distraction and area of focus is the construction happening in my back yard.   

Yes, we are finally building on to our little bungalow in East Dallas. We have a 2 bedroom one bath cottage on a huge lot. I have always enjoyed sitting in my backyard and saying that the yard is my largest and favorite room. Well that yard and that space has gotten eaten up by new home square footage.  We are doubling the size of our home, adding a master suite, laundry room and huge studio space that will house both Art Paw and our fine art pursuits.  I am super excited and hope to be moving into the space by the spring of 2015.  Having a smaller backyard will mean less area to landscape so it will be easier to make  a big statement with my plantings.
© Modern Craft LLC
Rendering above of our new space
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We love our builder!
 So the Growing Pains ... well living where construction is happening is never easy. I do not feel like I am doing nearly enough creative work in my off hours. I feel like I am in some weird purgatory space, it is neither Heaven or Hell. My one salvation ... I have been taking Figure drawing classes with Dan and I am loving that. Susan Giller is a terrific drawing teacher at the Dallas Creative Arts Center.  It is such a luxury to have live models to draw.  Drawing in general is a wonderful discipline for any artist, I do not know why drawing the human figure is so special, but you know what ... it sort of is. Below are a couple of 20 minute contour drawings from class. I created these on leftover paper that was used for spray painting so there is a lovely layer of color and texture beneath the line drawings.
© rebecca collins
original drawing available for purchase

© rebecca collins
original drawing available for purchase


Madges Hatbox said...

Your post is a real circle of life. Sorrowful loss and wonderful gain. Can't wait to see the final results of your construction. I don't think I've read "We love our builder".

Rebecca Collins said...

Thanks Pam! LOl ... well I can not say that every step along the way has been smooth. He is flexible though. He is also talented.