Archive for Carolyn Collins

2012 Artist

Posted in Artists, Community, Love, Magic, photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2012 by artlovemagic

2012-headerAhhhh…. Another year comes to a close. 2012 was beautiful. And in its honor, we once again have invited some of our favorite DFW artists to contribute to a collection of standout works created in the last 365 days.

A variety of artists answered the call, from many different mediums. There’s been no effort here to order them into any categories. What follows is a mash up of Dallas area artists from illustrators, to painters, photographers, and even sculptors.  Also included are a few former Dallas-ites who’ve now moved around the world and still have a connection to artlovemagic.



Kari Sams

This painting was a “happy accident.” I was using left over colors that I had mixed together from another painting that I had just finished, and was trying to get it done for an art show. I did not even think about what I was painting, so really, I was just playing with the colors. I usually do abstract color fields with a few forms/lines that are not really defined.  Sometimes my color fields give a feeling of one of the elements coming through (Earth, Fire, Water, Air). This is the most colorful abstract I have ever done and it looks like everything at once (all colors, all elements). I usually just stick to a few colors when I do this, sometimes even monochromatic , and I rarely use black. I like how the black turned out in this though. I see my color fields as an expression of spirit coming through. They communicate a feeling or an essence and are better experienced in person. They are open to interpretation by the viewer. Everyone sees it or feels it through whatever their perception or state of mind is at that moment in time.
To see more of Kari’s work, visit her on facebook:



Brad Albright

In total contrast to the suburban sprawl and retail conveniences surrounding us today, as an illustrator in Texas I’m inspired by the mythology of the Old West and the idea that the state was once a brutal wasteland.  In developing ‘Texindigenous’ I challenged myself with exhaustively researched at the Fort Worth Zoo and Historic Stockyards, and the final illustration was carefully drawn with ink and etched on clay-coated masonite.  This image will appear in 3D for those with red/blue glasses!



Jonathan Davis
“La Lumiere d’Aline”

13 x 20 in. / December 2012
mix medium on cotton paper
model: Aline Allen”The Light of Aline”, is distinctive of my style and my subject matter. It is a mixture of watercolor, acrylics, indian ink, colored pencil and glitter. I leave this year, with this painting being one of my most enjoyable. The first in a series of a new muse, Aline Allen.



Paul Hammerquist
“Water & Balls: Stillframe”

This is a still frame from one of my 3D Animations Water & Balls. It was created using Blender a free (Open Source) 3D modeling program. The animation took 1 week to render a 45 second animation.


Samax Amen

Here’s a look at one of the pieces I did for the Undead Celebrities issue of GhettoManga Quarterly. When I started the call for “Undead Celebrities” submissions, I was hoping somebody would choose to draw iconic wrestling star Andre the Giant. Since no one did, I had to do it myself!
I did three pieces for that issue, but this one is my favorite, because it feels so light and whimsical. I don’t do whimsical nearly as much as I’d like.
Peep more of my work at



Harmony Witte
“Recycle Revolution Mural”

March 2012
Acrylic on cinderblock

This is an approximately 18 foot tall mural I did on the side of the Recycle Revolution warehouse at the corner of Chestnut and Davis in Deep Ellum. This project really stands out to me because it was a huge stretch to accomplish. I had never tackled anything so large and I didn’t have the first idea about graffiti! It turned out as something that makes me proud and was recently used as a backdrop for a HGTV commercial! I began working on it during the Occupy movement and it felt so appropriate to be painting the word “revolution” on the side of a building. It really amazed me how many people from the neighborhood would approach me and talk while I worked. People love to talk about the art they have made or seen that has been stamped on their soul. They would stand and watch me work for hours. I hope that each of them sees this sometimes and feels like a little piece of them is in the wall–I know I do.



Patricia Rodriguez
“The Path of Intuition”

24″ x 24″

acrylic/krylon on canvas
I completed this piece in 2012 and it’s the second in a series I’m working on called “The Path Of”. My pieces are like meditation for me and I approach each piece with no sketch or plan in mind. Sometimes dream images are the inspiration but I paint spontaneously and let the symbols, colors and images just pop into my brain and canvas at the same time. This piece is about following your Intuition and finding the fruits even though you’re blind.
For more work please visit:

Lawwrence Alexander
“Captain America”

Prisma Pencils and black Ink

This piece done and donated at the Dallas Comic Con for The Wounded Warrior Project. Lawrence was one among many local and profession comis artists that donated and perform at the event. The piece was then auctioned off to the final bid of $1025.
To see more of Lawrence’s work, visit:



JC Barbara
“Anatomy Studies”

There was once a time when understanding human anatomy, hierarchy, structure, perspective and design where essential practices for the artist to master. In the 21st century this philosophy seems to continue to dissipate. For this reason I find myself trying to rediscover the spirit that drove the old masters. My focus in this piece centers on the beauty of the back. Studying how the forms stretch and compress depending on which major muscles or bones are pulling or contracting, gives the human back a near infinite reservoir of appealing poses to observe and admire.



Alexandria Quinn
“Lament for the Nations”

36″ x 24″(plus installation of cascading paper flowers on floor below), February 2012.

Lament for the Nations came about as I was seeking to further surrender my artistic talents to the Lord. Last year as I studied the book of Acts I was moved by how willing the first missionaries were to give everything for their Father, MY Father. I learned about Gladys Aylward, who left everything she had known to pursue the Lords will. I also read the words of Susan Bergman who once wrote: “How to draw close to them?” speaking of those who are suffering in Christ. My heart was grieved, how could I connect with those living with persecution and oppression? As I contemplated this prayerfully many scriptures came to mind including these words of Paul: “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:26-27) We are ONE WITH THEM. We share in our sufferings and rejoice in the hope of Jesus Christ, who saves us all from our sins and redeems us to the Father. This piece of art is my prayer, my lament over all the nations to mourn over those that are still lost, but also bring attention to those that have given their life for our Lord. There may be much persecution, but even in that our hope, our love, our faith and God’s kingdom is ever multiplying.


Jose Ramirez
“A girl smoking a cigarette in space.”


Khalid Robertson
“Attack the Block”

One of my favorite movies that I saw this year was Attack the Block. It was epic! I made posters to sell for people, hoping a lot of folk would get it, when I sold them at shows. Alas, all I got was “hey he has a sword!”. The iconic scene in tho movie was when Moses, the kid with the sword, was running from a stack of furry black alien dogs. They made those aliens dark like ink. So I figured, it would be cool to make a piece where that black tone integrated with the letterbox frame and played with the negative space. I dig it, but like all things I see changes I can make.”



Kevin Obregon
“Mus(i)ca Domestica”

“This 22” long sculpture, “Mus(i)ca Domestica”, was a prized auction item for Art Conspiracy 8’s SEED event, and has an embedded digital music player/amplifier built into it’s body, along with a pair of 2″ speakers, which can be found behind the “compound” eyes. The idea came to me when I first heard the selected artists were going to be given speakers as a common thread or theme for this year’s event. The house fly, which oddly enough has the latin name “Musca Domestica”, seemed beautifully serendipitous when it came time to naming it. The piece was auctioned off at $950.”

Kathryn Petroff
“Just Passin’ Through”

Mixed Media on Panel, 30″x48″,
For Sale

The painting I am most proud of this year is “Just Passin’ Through”.  It
is the first painting in a new series I began in 2012, with many more to
follow.  I believe this piece has allowed me to find my voice as an artist
and has awakened a drive and creativity I have never felt so intensely
before in my artworks.  Each of the trinkets she carries has a real
personal story from my friends and family.  The pocket watch belonged to
my grandfather.    The thimble on a string belongs to a friend of mine and
is one of the few items found in her family home after Hurricane Katrina.
I love the idea of “collecting” memories and thinking of the stories these
trinkets carry with them.  I am currently working an a second painting of
this woman, on a new part of her journey.  Many people have asked about
her, and I wanted to know as well.

Visit my website,,
for more portfolio images and to see progress on this new series.

Eddie Walker
“Kaitlin: Dia De Los Muertos”

I really enjoyed doing this piece for the last ArtLoveMagic Art & Coffee I participated in for the 2012 year, held first Friday of November, where the theme was Dia De Los Muertos. The face started out as a white in keeping with the face painting agenda that was the celebration. I didn’t actually know what kind of design to  go for. After looking at several examples, I just decided to wing it. So much fun. The face belongs to Kaitlin Epperson. The design is all mine.
View more of my art at



Carolyn Collins
“Rewind To A New Moment”

In order to appreciate where we are going, what we are capable of, and the possibilities our future holds… we must take into account where we have been, what we have learned, and what we have experienced in our past. Every component of our past is waiting to be rearranged into a new and exciting field of discovery… of all that surrounds us and all that lies within us. I love to collaborate, especially when it’s for a great cause! Borrowing some old watch & clock parts from a friend, I felt like an imaginative & curious child, as I carefully built this temporary sculpture… solely for the purpose of shooting this photograph. 50% of the proceeds from ANY item featuring the Rewind To A New Moment image (including boutique gift items) will go directly to ArtLoveMagic’s Kids Music and Art Workshops. Why? Because KIDS NEED THE ARTS!


Cal Slayton
“Gotham Girls”

I’m very grateful that I got to a lot of illustrations this year. This piece is probably my favorite. I wanted to create an 11 x 17 print I could sell at conventions and decided on doing a Gotham Girls illustration. I also knew I wanted to do a limited color palette. I sketched it out by hand, scanned it and then recreated it using Adobe Illustrator. It took forever to do, but I finally finished it and am really happy with how it turned out.


That’s it! May 2013 produce amazing local art as well.
This blog was put together by Michael Lagocki for artlovemagic.
To see last year’s collection of 2011 art, click here.

Reflections and Perspective

Posted in Artists, Community, Love, Magic, photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2011 by artlovemagic


Photo Credit: Carolyn Collins Photography  (David Rodriguez, Justin Nygren, Michael Lagocki)

As 2011 draws to a close, my heart is full of anticipation for 2012.  I’ve taken the last year off for family business and have had the opportunity to watch this last year’s activity and growth from an outside perspective.  To see the work, the dedication, the passion and the direction grow and evolve has been both humbling and beyond encouraging.  Since 2006 when Mike, Dave and I dreamt over a cup of coffee and planted the seeds for our first show, it seems like the amazing ride we embarked on has only gotten more and more wild.  The best part about it is that we have gone from a small group of dreaming and idealistic friends and grown into an amazing and beautiful community full of intentionality and vision.

My thanks and undying gratitude go out to every one of you, from artist to attendee, sponsor to customer, for every ounce of love that you have poured out into the Dallas arts community.  I can see 2012 bringing us more connections, more focus and more importantly, more Love to you and to our community.  I’m looking forward to hugging your neck at the next show.


Justin Nygren
Co-Founder/Love Ninja/Dot Connector

2011 Artist

Posted in Artists, Magic with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2011 by artlovemagic

As a year ends, it’s good to reflect on the creative work you’ve done. We sent out an invitation to a few dozen artists to share a piece of visual art they created it 2011 and tell us a bit about it. Specifically we asked them to choose a piece they were proud of.

A variety of artists answered the call, from many different mediums. There’s been no effort here to order them into any categories. What follows is a mash up of Dallas area artists from illustrators, to painters, photographers, and even sculptors.  Also included are a few former Dallas-ites who’ve now moved around the world and still have a connection to artlovemagic.

You can click on each image to see it a bit larger, or follow the link after to see more of the artist’s work. Enjoy.

Jonathan Davis

mixed mediums on cotton paper, October 2011
18.5 x 12.75 inches

Medusa was once a beautiful, lovely woman. She was so beautiful and desired, a god took her innocence by force, raped her, and left her all alone. When Medusa came to Athena for help, Athena took the side of the god who raped her, since he was a god as well, and Medusa was simply a human that was as beautiful, if not more, than Athena. She then cursed her to be alone, deformed and never to know love. Athena turned such beauty into such horror, and left her at the end of the world. Later on she was be-headed by Perseus. I just wanted her to be remembered, not as a monster, but a beautiful woman who never had a chance. She symbolizes to me in many ways, what women have been dealing with since the beginning. This is a tribute to Medusa, the most beautiful woman that ever walked the planet.

Lawrence Alexander

I created this piece entirely in Adobe Illustrator. I treated it sort of as an optical illusion meshing his cloths with the background, bringing out the man himself. I used blending and meshing techniques that I have never used before, and I feel it is pretty unique to a lot of art that is out there. It was an open door to more styles of art.

Sherry Smith Muldoon

I have had more mixed emotions this year than any other.  On September 17th, my son was born.   I have never experienced so much pain and joy all at the same time.  It’s really confusing in a way.  Like every other mom with a camera, he has become my biggest muse. This is my favorite image of 2011.  Most newborn photographers do the sleeping baby shots.  But, for Gabriel, I like to see his eyes open.  He has been called an old soul a few times with his incredibly deep eyes.  This image is important because, I have had to do a lot of trusting in God this year.  Gabriel was actually on an incline and I had to be really quick to make this happen.  I was so nervous that the basket would tip over and than I would really label myself a bad mother.  However, when I got the shot back, it was clear that the angels were holding him in place.  I’m pretty sure that you can see it in the photograph, if you really look.

Joshua Boulet

The reason I chose this as the best drawing of 2011 is because of what it represents. An empty Zuccotti Park. Where the Occupy Wall Street revolution began and where I stood as I drew this. My New York struggles and adventure.

Brandon Douglas

The ideas I have for my art come from various conversations I have with my close friends. All of which are creative types. I am very fortunate for that. One conversation we had revolved around perceived value and beauty in people and things. Our talk focused around the treatment of beautiful women. My conclusion from the conversation was that I felt a little sad that most people look at beautiful women just as they would look at a rare object. Never connecting with them on a human level but rather only superficially. Days later as I was waking up I had a vision of a transparent woman blending in with the background and looking away from me. She was content with her position in life but her presence was cold. The title for this piece is “Disconnected”

Snow White

The Calatrava Bridge at sunset.

Cori Berg

This piece was a commission gifted to a friend this year leaving one successful creative career and opening herself up to a new journey of unknown experiences.  Having gone through this myself in the last several years leaving my career in education and administration to pursue my art full time, I was really drawn to this piece.  Many, many people people are going through this  midway or even at the end of their working careers these days, with very unique challenges and struggles.  Immediately, one can struggle with a loss of identity, having lived so much with your job as that piece which people connect to.  There can be feelings of grief over loss of “job relationships,” as well as grief over the tasks that once brought you joy.  One is met with being a novice again, middleaged amongst younger people who may not recognize your skills and value.  But, if one is willing to face this experience with authenticity, courage, and hope, one can find new skills emerge and new sources of joy.  Thus, the image of the bird changing direction mid-flight, wings still spread, still in motion.

Sally Torres

My name is Arazeli Torres and the piece I am most proud of that I’ve done in 2011 is my first metal sculpture I created using scrap metals, computer parts, and clay. The piece is called “Programmed Life” and it represents how some parents don’t allow their kids to follow their dreams. Sometimes you want to become a singer, artist, musician, writer, etc. and your parents don’t allow you to become what you want to be in life.  Many have endured a life of being controlled, led, directed, and programmed into following an occupation or life they are not happy with. Parents need to give their kids confidence and courage to follow their own dreams and show them support.

Hatziel Flores

” Beauty ( inside-out )”
Oil/ Acrylic
36×48 Woodpanel

A inside look at the true beauty that lies inside of us even when in-times it seems to almost fell truly lost, is also second chance or an opportunity to share a side that the close person has missed or not seen before.

Jasna Boudard

“Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.”

Anthony Harris

A watercolor portrait of my grandfather in his workshop constructing a fishing rod.

Dee Hill

This is an image of a room in an old hotel built in the 1880’s
in a small town in East Texas,
Many things in the rooms have pretty much been left most likely
just as they were at least 20 years prior to the day I photographed it.
It’s a beautiful vintage building in need of restoration.
The hotel is also “home” to three known ghosts.
Reported sightings include a woman in a long dress,
a young female child and a gambler often carrying a deck of cards.

Chris and Hallie Garcia

One of my favorite pieces of 2011 was the “family” portrait my husband Chris and I did together. How this happened was purely sparked through ALM. We were asked to be a part ALM’s section of Deep Ellum Arts Fest and Deborah specifically asked us to team up as husband and wife and work on something together. Chris and I hadn’t really done that before but decided it could be fun. Months earlier I had rescued a huge 4’x6′ canvas that was sitting with some neighbor’s trash, and we settled on using that since Deborah asked us to create ‘BIG!” and it was free….so if we messed it up it wasn’t a big loss. Since it was our first true collaborative painting together, the subject matter seemed to be an easy choice! A key to working on this together was using an improv game called The Yes Game. When one player says a statement, the other has to respond with “yes” followed by a statement that only builds the conversation up. So when we went to paint this, we decided to say yes to each others ideas, and follow up with ways we could enhance and see those ideas through. It was a great experience for the both of us and we ended up with a fantastic piece of art we are both proud of and LOVE!  Since we’ve completed this piece, we were commissioned to do other family portraits and have discovered we really love working together on art!

Brandy Collins

I painted this after a strong desire to express my thankfulness and love for the privilege of nursing as a profession. My acrylic version of the original photo. “Staged Kiss.”

Eddie Walker

This is a portrait of Jazna Boudard, photographer, as I’ve seen her on several occasions.
All I had to work from at the time was an iPhone image, but it was great
because the image just flowed onto the canvas… one of those rare occasions.
This was painted live at an event held by Unified Arts at Club Dada.

Cal Slayton

Cloak and Dagger
In a year (luckily) filled with tons of commissions, this was a piece I did for fun. Just for me, just because I wanted to. Cloak and Dagger as such cool characters and there are a lot of cool images of them out there.  It made me realize that in all my years (and that ain’t no small amount of years) of drawing, I’ve only done them a couple of times at the most.  So I thought I’d tackle them and I was pleased with the results.  Pencil, ink, markers, color pencil on this sorta chip board / card stock paper.

Will Klein

“City Life” is a painting that was inspired directly from graffiti and street art.  Art work on the street brings a certain liveliness to the environment. The unavoidability of this art accompanied by its inherent, humanistic qualities reminded me of a unstoppable vine or weed. In this painting, the paint is transforming an otherwise gray wall into an alive scenery. In essence, artwork on the street takes on an entity all its own and brings life to the city.

Robert James Luedke

I’m very proud of this image because it was created using a number of mediums, including: Soft Pastels, colored pencils and markers.  In addition, it was created for a very good cause, the live charity art auction benefiting Heroes for Heroes, sponsored by Art/Love/Magic .

Kathryn Petroff

I am extremely proud of this mural I painted in 2011. Landscape is not at all in my style. In fact, this was my first landscape to ever paint. If you know my work, I specialize in murals and portraits of people and have a much more edgy look to my gallery works. The reason this painting sticks out as my most important work this year is that it wasn’t painted for money, but with love for my son. I worked on this mural throughout most of my pregnancy for our nursery. It felt like it took forever because of the body aches and having to wear a respirator for safety…the progress photos of me working are hysterical! In the end, it was completely worth it. Being a full time artist, it is easy to measure the importance of my works by the amount of money I made or people who will see it. This time it is a mural painted off the clock, for my own little family that has a special place in my heart.

Patricia Rodriguez

This piece is titled “Adrift”, I made it especially for the Cool Waters show I participated in this year. I drew some inspiration from Hokusai and was really shooting for a piece that showed movement and stillness all at once. The branches appear to be caught and suspended in the flow which wants to pull them away with it’s natural force. It is a snapshot of a moment in between currents. This piece is acrylic on canvas and is the flip side of what I do when I’m not painting on vinyl records.

Glenda Williams

The title is “Pippa”, and it’s a portrait of my daughter’s pug. For the past year or so, I’ve been experimenting with acrylics and mixed media, and doing a lot of watercolor pencil drawings. But for “Pippa”, I went back to the medium that feels most natural to me: oil bars. It was interesting to see how my technique had evolved after taking a long break from my preferred medium. I am laying colors down faster and with more confidence, now. I feel that my creativity is flowing more freely than it has in a long time, and that’s the main reason I’m proud of this particular piece from 2011.

Ixchel Aguilar

The Acrylic Painting “Breath of Life” was created in late March of 2011. It is the dawning of new era, the maturity of spring. She is the Goddesshead breathing out the elements in all directions. The fire that purifies, warms, and lights the night. The Water that cleanses and gives us all life. New energy coming into us and the earth the mystic energies charge in preparation for a new dawn.

Jason Kinney

This is my pencil drawing of William Bouguereau’s painting entitled ‘Innocence’. It was certainly a challenge to recreate another artist’s masterpiece, but it lead me on a journey that culminated in my ultimate gratitude to God for giving me the extraordinary gift of art. This is particularly significant to me right now because I am soon to take a leap of faith by pursuing art full time. I gave this drawing to my in laws in gratitude for the support they have given me. I am also truly thankful for ArtLoveMagic, as they have played such a large role in my development as a successful artist.

Luis Torres

My name is Luis Torres and this is one of my favorite pieces of 2011. It’s a metal sculpture called “Balance” made out of mechanical parts, metal circles, scraps from a C&C machines, and a hard molded plastic hand. I called it “Balance” because it represents our need for balance in our lives. There are times in our lives where we find ourselves out of balance and things seem to always go wrong. Through all our struggles and obstacles that come our way we must overcome them and regain the balance in our lives. It is necessary for our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-beings.

Kevin Obregon

Acrylic on Canvas
36″ x 48″
(fyi: this piece is available for purchase. $1800)
“This piece, titled “Unhinged”, like all of my fractured paintings began as blind contour drawings of subjects taken from real life, sometimes a person seated near me who has distinctive features or might be positioned in an interesting way. I started drawing these particular types of images in 1999 and began putting them to paint in 2006. Essentially, once the initial drawing is complete (usually taking anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute), I then place myself into a musical trance state, morphing my hand into a seismograph needle, making short chopped and repetitive lines according according to the rhythmic pulses of the music I choose to listen to, and longer, meandering lines according to bass lines and melodies while being mindful of light and shadow, positive and negative space.  Being a percussionist, I tend to listen to tribal music – elements that are conducive to polyrhythmic stanzas, often resulting in a frenetic realignment of sheet music.”

Carolyn Collins

“The Pianist”
We all have unspoken truths about ourselves (or feelings for someone) that we wish others could understand. Some of us are too humble or too proud to share these truths. Others remain silent in fear of rejection. Still others simply cannot find the words to express their deepest feelings, thoughts, dreams or fears. In February, 2011, I began a photographic journey in conceptual portraiture. Initially using models, I began to reveal hidden truths of my own past, present and future… like love letters bottled and tossed into the sea (see “The Sofa”, “Lost”, “Found” and others on my website). This proved to be a cathartic experience for me as an artist, as a woman, and as a human. Shortly after, I began capturing ‘love letters’ through my lens for clients. “The Pianist” is one such client commission I created for Ocie Powell. I already knew of his love for travel, antiques, photography and the avant garde. When I inquired about his dreams, hopes, regrets, etc., I discovered an even more beautiful spirit in this man. Ocie wishes he had the means to travel the world and shoot legendary photographs to share the beauty of other cultures, and he misses his dear friend whom he lost. He also wishes he could have been a character actor in a Felini film… or a famous classical concert pianist (he’s never learned how to play the piano)… and he hates the cold. As I do with every conceptual shoot, I selected clothing/accessories from his own wardrobe, staged the set design with just the right props/lighting, and directed my client much as a film director might address an actor. Ocie asked me to cast his ‘love letter’ out for all to see. The unforeseen blessing for me in creating conceptual portraits… is that each person has told me that the very process (from start to finish) was a form of healing or self-expression they needed or desired. If you could send one final love letter to a loved one (or even a stranger, as Ocie did), what would those unspoken words look like? Music is my drug, photography is my passion, building bridges between people is my mission. Peace and smiles.

Bianca Elise

“Secretly about YOU (KING) ” (c)2011. Over the last year my focus as an artist has been not just to paint a pretty picture, but to connect with the viewer on an emotional level, particularly concerning self and relationships. The meaning behind the piece is basically, as women we will follow what we Truly Believe in wholeheartedly and blindly. Whatever that Grand belief is becomes our “KING”. This piece is somewhat about dedication, and passion!
Thank you to all the participating artists. Please check out their work and share this post with people you know who love art.
This post was produced by Michael Lagocki for ArtLoveMagic.

Artist Spotlight: Carolyn Collins

Posted in Artists, Community, Love, photography, Spotlight with tags , , on April 4, 2011 by artlovemagic

Tell me a little bit about yourself..

My name is Carolyn Collins and, though my desire as a youth was to become an architectural designer, I spent most of my adult life in business management/marketing, specializing in project management. After a five year journey to free myself from the corporate 8-5 routine to pursue my true passion, Carolyn Collins Photography finally became my fulltime career in 2010.

As you have grown within your talent, what inspires you to create?

There is no solitary muse in my creative life.

MUSIC is my drug, and it is frequently spinning my imagination and my artistic process into new territories. DANCE and MEDITATION (as well as music) are the most effective creatively transcending experiences for me, giving me deeper understanding of myself, of others and creative projects.

My DREAMS have always been in vivid color. Several times each year, I have slipped back into a profound visual during a waking dream (when it begs to live on) in order to lock in every detail so I can immediately sketch and make notes of this visual message. I just recently was able to recreate/project one such vision through my photography, which forced me to dabble in photographic software (photoshop, picasa, etc.) in order to do justice to the vision. This series will continue with past and future dream messages.

NATURE speaks to me in profound ways, and is my sanctuary. LIGHT of any source (but not just any light) is like a child teasingly begging me to watch and play. I am a light chaser and I dance behind my lens to play with this beckoning light. UNSPOKEN STORIES I see in someone’s face compels me to capture this ‘silent song’ through my lens.

How long have you been producing your craft and why did you begin this form of expression?

I am completely self-taught in photography, which has allowed my art to evolve independently. Before I ever picked up a camera, there was always something about ‘openings’ which drew me near, piqued my curiosity, and gave me a deeper sense of presence which I could not describe in words or music. In 2000 (after I started using a camera to capture these intensely moving moments), extended family and friends pointed out the number of doors, etc. I was ‘wasting film’ on. I began stashing these types of images away in my own private collection (as well as other ‘weird’ shots) leaving the ‘safe/normal’ shots out for open viewing. The more time I spent behind the lens, the more I used my camera as my own personal journal of feelings and enlightenment. My first solo exhibit was in 2005, which I consider the ‘launching’ of my photographic career.

What do you ultimately want to accomplish with your talent?

Photography is my passion. Building bridges is my mission. By ‘building bridges’ I mean offering new visual perspectives… and (more importantly) producing images which prompt meaningful dialogue between viewers who have differing perspectives. I also hope that my own passion will somehow inspire others to pursue their passions and their dreams. I am convinced that our passion is the roadmap we were given to make the biggest difference we can in this world.

Outside of your artistry, what other interests do you have?

As a left/right-brained individual with ADD/OCD, interests I have pursued and/or currently pursue (beyond my photography and writing) would resemble someone else’s “bucket list’. The past two years, I committed myself to learn something new and do something different every day, and make at least one stranger smile each day.

My playful, spontaneous disposition allows me to kick back and enjoy movies at home, live performances (especially music), impromptu surprises and adventures with friends. I also treasure one-on-one time with friends and family.

My desire to explore every sensation to its fullest is why I adore such things as roller coasters (speed and heights in general), cooking, nature, playing and listening to music, viewing/collecting art, giving and receiving massage, and a host of other activities.

My deeply curious nature has made me an avid fan of documentary films, self-help and other non-fiction books. It has also led me to physically exploring anything out of the ordinary – caves, cemeteries, architecture, geological formations, tornadoes and much more.

My desire to understand others and our world is why I thirst for travel on a regular basis, whether a short daytrip on the road with a friend or relative… or half-way around the world for months (solo or with someone). I have only explored a dozen countries and still have a few unexplored states in my own country. Whether working on a foreign archaeological dig, living within in a foreign culture, or discovering a mom-and-pop diner on the side of the road, I learn so much about people… how beautifully different we are and how amazingly connected we are.

What was your first experience with ArtLoveMagic?

My first introduction to ArtLoveMagic was in 2008 when I attended an Art&Coffee. Then *BAM* one thing quickly led to another and suddenly I was exhibiting at (and assisting with the event’s artist layout for) VISION, a gallery exhibit and live art/performance event at Life In Deep Ellum. My favorite part of the whole experience was meeting and working with so many kewl creatives on a single project.

What web address can one go to to view more of what you do?

My official website will launch this year, but I have three completely different glimpses into my photography, my writing, and my artistic process…

How can someone contact you?

Artist to Artist – Carolyn Collins

Posted in Artists, photography with tags , on January 17, 2011 by artlovemagic

The ArtLoveMagic  special blog series  “Artist to Artist” continues with photographer Carolyn Collins.    Our goal is to help artists by sharing  the wisdom and experience of  other artists.     What we wanted to know specifically from each artist was:   1)  What did you learn in 2010?     AND     2)  What are you planning for 2011?

Image 1 - Carolyn Collins

(Image 1 – Carolyn was finally compelled to play with photo-editing software in October, 2010 in order to recreate visions she has in her color-filled dreams. This image is the first result of her new dream imaging process, which involved two separate photographs, three different photo-editing software programs, and over a dozen hours. She explains, “Ever since I was 10 years old, I have longed for a dream-projector device so I can show people the amazing, colorful dreams I have when these dreams speak to me. While reviewing thumbnails from two separate documentary shootsI did (in two separate cities), I kept flipping back and forth between one beckoning image from each shoot and finally connected the dots… these were partial ‘slices’ of a dream I had months before I even knew these shoots were coming up. This was far too coincidental to NOT act on the dreamvision.”)

What did you learn in 2010?

Each year has brought new levels of challenge, creativity, opportunity and productivity to my photography. I finally became a full time freelance photographer/artist in the Spring of 2010. Expecting to encounter numerous hurdles, I still could not have imagined the wisdom I would gain in such a short time.

The most important thing I learned in 2010 was to expect the unexpected. I already knew this from life’s experiences, but in the past I had limited that line of thought to dealing with change as it arose. This time, I learned (the hard way) to apply this approach in a more proactive manner. Scheduling photoshoots, meetings, exhibits, live shows, and art production itself requires careful planning to ensure that ‘freetime’ is left open for golden opportunities… whether it be an urgent shoot for a client, an unexpected opportunity to exhibit, or a powerful surge of creative energy (image 3 is just one example). At one point I worked myself into a physical shutdown, causing me to miss a huge event (GirlShow), which would have featured the largest multi-faceted, multi-media photographic production to date for Carolyn Collins Photography. As painful as the physical shutdown was, the pain of letting others down and letting myself down was unbearable. While I immediately took action and developed a solid prioritizing method to meet obligations on the business side, I still had to pull numerous all-nighters within a short period to meet those obligations. It will surprise no one that I fell far short of my own personal project deadlines during 2010 as a result of limited ‘freetime’. This was a serious wakeup call to re-evaluate my pie-chart of earning, giving and creating.

The flip side of this coin is that unexpected opportunities opened in a huge way toward the end of the year… opportunities which just happened to fit the personal creative projects I had not had time to fully pursue and/or develop (images 1 & 2 are just two examples). While I do not believe in destiny, I do believe that the right doors open when we are ready to walk through them. Pursuing one’s passion as an artist must be carefully tended and nurtured, lest we get so wrapped up in producing on demand that we fail to create just for the sake of creating… for this is when the real magic happens. Pursue your passion and expect the unexpected to happen in amazing ways!

Image 2 - Carolyn Collins

(Image 2 – Carolyn has been a closet “image quilter” for three years but is coming out of the closet with her Blindstitch series. There are software applications she could use perhaps, but no… she chose (and is sticking to) the old-school print/cut/layout process. Using multiple handprinted fine art images in various rotational positions, she designs her quilt, then repeats the process with smaller prints. Carolyn then either scans into her laptop or snaps a photograph with her camera once the artwork is completed). The image shown here took 60 hours to complete. Each piece from this series is a hand signed one-off limited edition print. Only one print will be sold, ensuring that the buyer is purchasing a unique piece of artwork. Two of her black and white pieces are currently on display in an unusual, but prominent venue.)

What are you planning for 2011?

I have already begun tackling my goals for 2011, which include:
•  Re-assessment and implementation of the aforementioned pie-chart
•  Official website launch
•  Taking my Photo-Ink Challenge ™ to new levels
•  Collaborating professionally with other artists

Image 3 - Carolyn Collins

(Image 3 – Anyone who has seen Carolyn in action knows that she does indeed literally dance behind her lens. She says she does this when she is trying to capture the feeling of the moment as she visually interprets it. Her resulting photographs (like the one shown here) are unedited, raw shots with no manipulation whatsover, outside occasional cropping.)

To learn more about Carolyn Collins Photography while her new website is being created, please check out these sites:

(Each website offers a unique glimpse into Carolyn’s creative world; enjoy!!)

DART & ArtLoveMagic – Saturday December 4th

Posted in Community, PR, Shows with tags , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2010 by artlovemagic

Saturday (12/4)
Super Saturday with DART
at Downtown Carrollton Square Beltline and Broadway 1-6 pm
ArtLoveMagic proudly announces our second event engagement with DART. Welcoming the largest light rail opening in the nation in more than 20 years, this live outdoor holiday celebration is free to attend and family friendly. You will love this experience.

It will also be an incredible opportunity to buy unique Christmas Gifts from local creators. We’ll have interactive art setups so that you and your kids can create art, and we’ll have live music and painting performances that will blow you away.

Spend this momentous day with over a dozen of Dallas’ finest live artists, musicians and photographers including :
David Rodriguez, Carolyn Collins, Eddie Walker, Matt Barron,Erin Gayden, The Davies Brothers, Conor Muldoon, the Zach Scott Pohl Band, Josh Dryk and many many more.

for more info read the facebook invite here

Art & Coffee photos

Posted in Artists, Deep Ellum, Love, photography, Shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2010 by artlovemagic

post by Michael Lagocki

Art & Coffee, our monthly open mic and live art show has been really good lately. The microphone has welcomed plenty of new talent and built a steady stream of talented regulars. Our mission to provide you with new lineups of live artists every time has created some gorgeous displays.

August’s Art & Coffee was a great time. I walked around a took a few shots (through the lens of my cracked Iphone…sigh) and wanted to share.


We moved the microphone inside for this show, because it rained on and off throughout the night (sound equipment + water = baaaaaad). Our host, Konichiwa Zach held it together as always, bringing up a slew of poets and musicians to the microphone. Personally, I liked the feel with the stage inside. It kept the coffee shop crowded all night and opened up the porch for those who wanted to take a break from the event.

Mitsubishi brought out the car that our artists painted during the LakeSide Market Summer Festival. Four of us who painted it (myself, David Rodriguez, Eddie Walker, and Joshua Boulet) were in attendance, so we took a minute to snap a few more pics with the canvas (I mean “car”).
Very cool.

ArtLoveMagic co-founder David Rodriguez joined the lineup of live artists and worked on a commission piece that was huge. This is a small details of the four panel piece, that when finished, will be viewable as four separate painting or one large image.

One of my favorite local musicians, Erin Gayden, was our feature. She played two sets during the evening.

Josh Dryk brought the fire. Always a cool spectacle.

Josh’s technique with fire painting is evolving. Lately he’s been trying some figurative images that he burns into the wood, like drawing with a small flame.

Local comic book artist Jose Esquivel joined us and drew this Batman while he was there. We encourage many artists who create live with us to work just like they would work at home or in the studio. It’s one way we tear down the walls between the artists and the audience.

Another way to really involve the audience is to set up interactive displays. Carolyn Collins set up a Photo-Ink challenge that encouraged audience members to pick up a pen or marker and interact with her photographs. She put about a dozen images on a huge butcher paper back drop, and audiences wrote captions for them, or drew around and on top of them. It’s good to be creative.

Art & Coffee is a great first show for artists new to ArtLoveMagic. This was Adele Caunce’s first show with us and her BIG UGLY FISHIES sculptures were a hit with our audience, especially the kids who Adele took the time to teach her technique to.

An open mic means there’s always a surprise. This collaborative spoken word piece from our feature poet Darryl Ratcliff and DaVerse Lounge founder Will Richey was a treat.

Great audience, great artists, great performers, great show. Thanks to everyone who participated, particularly our producers Nicole and Kylun Rodriguez. The next Art & Coffee is Friday September 3rd at It’s A Grind. As always it will be an open mic with a fresh lineup of live artists. See you there!

Live from the girlShow pre-meeting

Posted in Artists, Deep Ellum, Shows with tags , , , on June 27, 2010 by artlovemagic

“It really and truly is about connecting people to people”. – Carolyn Collins

Most artlovemagic shows have pre-meetings. It’s a chance for us to get together and go over the ten million details that go into making our shows sing. When it comes to a show the size of girlShow, these meetings are critical. With over 70 artists and performing creating live in one show, there’s an entire sea of details to coordinate and get right.

Carolyn Collins

Right now, I’m sitting in the pre-meeting for girlShow 2010 (July 9-10th). As I type this, girlShow’s producers Deborah Driscoll and Nicole Rodriguez are talking to the artists and performers of the show, leading them through the set-up, the schedule, the way we do live art. All of this plays into our mission of helping artists become self sufficient, to learn how to be their best self as an artist and a professional.

There are a lot of new artists in girlShow, women who’ve never done an artlovemagic show before. To orient them to our unique brand of community, we have a few people tell their stories. In this meeting among others, Carolyn Collins shared the story of her involvement in artlovemagic, how and why she got involved.

Warms my heart, honestly. This is a community, and the more voices the better.

Many thanks to everyone who’s putting this one together. Girls rock. This show is going to be amazing.

-Michael Lagocki


Posted in Artists, Community, Deep Ellum, Love with tags , , , , , , on August 27, 2009 by artlovemagic

As many of you know, Deep Ellum has been going through an outdoor art revival of late. From the creation of the 30 foot tall Traveling Man Statue, to the new murals that run along Good Latimer, to now- the refreshing of DE’s famous Art Park. The Art Park project has involved many local artists including a few core ArtLoveMagic members. The following is the press release created by Tressie Knowlton, pics are by the lovely Carolyn Collins.

Deep Ellum Welcomes New Public Artwork to Art Park

ArtPark 3 by Carolyn Collins.jpgDallas, TX – A Ribbon Cutting event will welcome the new public artwork to Deep Ellum’s Art Park on Saturday, September 12th. From 2-4 pm, the Deep Ellum Foundation invites artists, residents, and visitors to enjoy more than 30 new outdoor paintings.

The concrete sculptures that have greeted visitors since the mid 90s have been repainted for the first time in over a decade. Immediately following the DART Super Saturday event a few blocks over , the Deep Ellum Foundation will host the Art Park Ribbon Cutting. Art Park is located along Commerce Street, Canton Street, and Good Latimer Expressway under Interstate 75. Just walk across Good Latimer from Bark Park Central.

Thanks to funding from the Farmers Market Tax Increment Financing District, the entire Deep Ellum Connector is getting a makeover. The lights that illuminate the sculptures after dark are the result of electrical repairs to Art Park’s lighting system. The lights have not worked for years, but now they shine brightly on the new paintings. ArtPark 2 by Carolyn Collins.jpg

The Deep Ellum Foundation is also working with the Texas Department of Transportation to add mural paintings to many of the highway columns under Interstate 75 as the next phase of the Art Park project.

“The lighting improvements were critical to light the artwork at night and to increase public safety in the area,” says longtime Deep Ellum developer, John Miller of PlanB Development, who is a member of both the Farmers Market and Deep Ellum TIF boards.

“The benefit of the art installation goes a long way in connecting the Farmers Market community to Deep Ellum.”

ArtPark 1 by Carolyn Collins.jpgThe Deep Ellum Foundation organized a contest to select the new images for Art Park. A selection panel reviewed the 60 plus submissions and selected a variety of styles, colors and imagery to adorn the sculptures for years to come.

Jasmine Donnell, a Deep Ellum resident and local artist, painted a sculpture that happens to be one block from where she lives.

There are so many talented artists in the Deep Ellum community, I was honored to have been chosen. Most of my art is normally just viewed by friends, family and clients through my work. So, it’s personally gratifying to have my art displayed in the neighborhood I live in, for the people I admire the most,” explains Donnell.

Michael Lagocki’s image reflects a character he calls “Haley”.  ArtPark 5 by Carolyn Collins.jpg He is glad to share her love with Deep Ellum.

“Outdoor art is about sharing something with the community. My intent with my piece was to bless the neighborhood, maybe put a smile on a few faces, and share a positive emotion.”

The project did, indeed, connect the community. Passersby stopped to ask what was going on, and to watch the artists in action. Many residents taking their dogs for a stroll in Bark Park Central walked over to say hello. Some interested onlookers even staked out for hours.

“It was amazing to see how many people came out while we were painting. They took pictures and thanked us for the art,” tells Lagocki.  ArtPark 6 by Carolyn Collins.jpg

Many of the participating artists will be on hand at the Art Park Ribbon Cutting to answer questions about their pieces and listen to feedback from the community. The Deep Ellum Foundation invites everyone to come enjoy some refreshments and take in the new scenery.

For more information about the Art Park Ribbon Cutting-
Contact: Lee Ann Stone
Deep Ellum Foundation
(214) 747-3337

**Carolyn Collins’ photos in order of appearance:
David Rodriguez in action
Jasmine Donnell and Kate Langley (with parents) working on their sculptures
Eddie Walker painting “She’s DET”
Michael Lagocki and “Haley”
Many locals stopped by to watch the painters

ArtLoveMagic kids workshop

Posted in Artists, Love, Magic with tags , , , , , , on May 18, 2009 by artlovemagic

Samax Amen wrote this article for his ziontiffic blog.
Copy and paste. Thanks, Samax!

you know I love kids… it has only gotten worse (or is that better?) since i had one of my own. so when my boy Mike asked me to participate in the Arts Workshop he had set up for this past Saturday, i was ALL over it!

the event was at the Deep Ellum Community Center in downtown Dallas, so i saddled-up rolled out. even though i had to be there at the ghastly hour of 8:30 am (yes, freelancing from home has spoiled me) i was actually on-time and ready to rock! and rock it did! Mike and I did a drawing demonstation, but there were painters, a potter and graf artists in the house sharing the love of the art with these kids, who were mad eager to learn and show what they could do as well!

it’s very rewarding to get a chance to touch somebody’s life, especially kids. Artists are so seldom seen as valuable for teaching kids not only about art but also about life in general, but that’s what makes artLoveMagic cool, ’cause that’s what we do. i encourage artists to look for opportunities large or small to teach what they do.
words by samax Amen
photos by Carolyn Collins