After retiring, he returned to his first love, painting, and gravitated towards watercolors, which he enjoyed as a young artist. He finds working in the medium fresh, spontaneous and lively. Recently Collins incorporated another passion of his, baseball, into his art. His favorite subjects are scenes recalled from the sandlot diamonds of his youth and dynamic “Big League” moments, like the one in the featured piece, “Goner.”
“Baseball allows me to use bright colors and action. I like working wet on wet--juicy paint on we paper--because it lets me get the colors on quick and strong with great action.”
Collins has exhibited in several group shows and a few one-man shows. He belongs to the Lakes Region Watercolor Guild (LRWG) and the Illinois Watercolor Society (IWS), which provide monthly demos and twice yearly workshops that bring fresh techniques into his work. To purchase originals contact Collins via his website at www.ArtByCollins.com.
When framing his own work, Collins favors American Frames’ metal mouldings, particularly our Radius collection. “The bright colors complement the vibrant hues in my paintings. A frame needs to enhance the work it holds, not just fade into the background, and not dominate.”
Our metal sectional frames also offer an economical option when framing several paintings for a show. Often Collins reuses a frame for a different painting because the materials stand up so well and are easy to take apart and reassemble. As a customer, he appreciates our online mock up tool. “I like to see the painting framed and change the background colors before I settle on my treatment.”
With its dynamic composition and bright colors, “Goner” is emblematic of Collins’ work. “When I was a kid listening to baseball on the radio and a hitter got off a home-run, the announcer would always say, ‘Going, going, gone.’ I like this image because it captures that moment so well. You know it’s a homer without even seeing the ball or the field.”
Collins work would fit well in a sport-themed rec room, a boy’s bedroom or a vibrant family room, so we framed “Goner” to highlight this sense of fun and excitement. Starting with an almost neon-blue metal frame from our bold Standard Plus Three collection immediately balances and reinforces the great shocks of blue in the image—hat, shoes, sleeve. Three mats in restful hues—pale blue, white and medium gray—ensure that the image isn’t overwhelmed by its treatment. Note that the blue mat is bottom most. Immediately adjacent to the bright frame it would look washed out, but as an inner liner for the image it acts as a soft echo of color. The indispensable, ever-versatile white mat does a great job of providing a transition between the two colored mats. Without it, the pale blue and medium gray would blend together, losing the crisp sense of perspective the layered mats lend the image. And the great thing about metal is that even with three mats, the whole treatment is still very affordable.