Getaway in Sacramento – Photos

Hello everybody.

I recently went on a little mini-getaway to (arguably) nearby Sacramento. As always I took my camera with me. When Alyx and I take pictures in places  we go, we just snap anything and everything that piques our interest. Let’s just say that not all of them are gems. But there are usually several that we really like, but may not make the website.

I thought it would be nice to just throw some of these up on our blog here, just to let you see them. I haven’t decided whether or not these particular images will be included on the website and sold as prints. Some may. Some may not. But I think you all still may enjoy them, so here they are.

These photos were taking in a tourist-y section near downtown called “Old Sacramento”. So most everything is themed or restored to the Gold Rush days of the 1800s.

Thanks for reading our blog, and as always, feel free to share, re-post, re-tweet and visit our website: M·A·S Artwork

Craig P. Smith

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Congratulations to our Free Print Winner…

During our last Art Fair, The Alameda Spring Festival, we ran a drawing for a free print for all those that signed up for our newsletter blog. Congratulations to our winner, Tom Wilson.

Tom has made his choice for his free print. He has chosen the image “Santorini Sunrise“.

Santorini Sunrise

This image is really special to us. This was taken by my wife on our honeymoon, on the gorgeous island of Santorini (famous for it’s buildings with the blue rounded roofs).

Come see some of the other images we took in Greece here, and look around at some of the other places Alyx and I have been. And, as always, leave us a note so we know you were there.

Stay tuned for details on our next Art Fair coming up at the end of July in Alameda, CA! Hope to see you all there.

 

Craig Smith

Double the Exposure

I’ve got two great bits of news for you today . . .

First, I can finally say that the 10th Annual Alameda on Camera event is hung and ready for viewing!  YAY!

As I mentioned in March, this year’s exhibit was delayed by some renovations that the Frank Bette Center for the Arts (FBCA) had to do.  And they’re still in the midst of said renovations, but they were able to secure alternate space for the artists’ items to be displayed and sold.

The art installation is now up at the South Shore Center here in Alameda.  Opening night was last Friday, and it was great to see all the pieces on display by a bunch of new artists this year.  The turnout was also great, and it got crowded with everyone’s friends/family joining us for the event.

The show runs from May 20th through to the end of June (on the weekends, mostly), so there’s plenty of time to come by and see how we artists saw this lovely island of Alameda in 2016.

AOC 2016 Event Workup

The other great piece of news is that the FBCA has another installation going up at the main branch of the Alameda Public Library (1550 Oak St).  This one is titled “10 Years of Alameda on Camera” and will have pieces from winners over the past 10 years of the AOC event . . . including one by yours truly.

Open Reflection

Open Reflection

 

 

 

Yes indeed.  I won an award for my piece titled “Open Reflection” at the 2013 AOC show, so that will be hanging up in this exhibit.  The 10 Years of AOC exhibit will be on display from May 28th through August 28th in the Community Meeting Room space that’s situated behind the Dewey’s Friends Cafe.

 

 

 

So, if you’re going to be in Alameda (or close by) over the next couple of months, be sure to stop by either (or better yet, both) exhibit(s) and see some very cool art!

And the winner is…

We would like to congratulate TOM WILSON. He signed up for our newsletter during the Spring Festival in Alameda, and won a free print!

Tom can now select any image from our website, and he’ll get his new print in the mail shortly thereafter. We can’t wait to see which one he chooses.

M•A•S Artwork would also like to thank all those that came to our booth at the Festival and said ‘hello’. We love meeting our fans and friends and getting introduced to new people.

If you missed this event, you’ll have another chance this year, as we’ll be at the Alameda Art & Wine Faire for our second straight year. Click below for details.

Alameda_art-wine_2016

Hope to see you there!

Sixth Year in a Row!

I’m thrilled to announce that I was once again chosen to be an artist in the Frank Bette Center for the Arts (FBCA) annual show, Alameda on Camera!  This is the sixth year in a row that I’ve been invited to participate in this fun event, and it still makes me giddy to know that they like my stuff enough to include me.

For those of you who are new readers, the Alameda on Camera (AOC) event is a really cool one where the FBCA cuts a map of the island of Alameda into 48 sections, and invites 48 artists to draw a section of the map out of a hat (which is a fun ceremonial evening in and of itself).  We then have 48 hours to take any photos we want in our section (during a specific weekend in February), and then have the month of March to edit those photos and shape them into any sort of art.  Each artist is guaranteed one piece to be shown in the exhibit (which stays up for two months), and people have created glassware, shower curtains, paper products, books, quilts and all sorts of other cool things.  Anything goes, so long as what you create incorporates the photos you took in your section.  One year, someone even devised an Alameda-themed Monopoly game.

Even though Craig and I live in Alameda, this event is a cool way to learn new parts of the island since I rarely draw the same section.  It only happened once–and I could have drawn a different section–but I kept it anyway, and took completely different shots the second year.

The only downfall to doing this event is choosing which images to submit for consideration.  But it’s a “hardship” I’m happy to endure, because it’s just so much fun.  Sometimes when I’m out taking the photos, I can see exactly what I want to do with a particular shot, but other times I have no idea until I start looking at them in Photoshop.  Out of the hundreds of pictures I take during the 48 hours, my initial selection is anywhere from 10 to 20 images, and then I pare it down further to about 5 or 6.

This year, there was a bit of a theme to some of my photos.  I had a section of town that included one of the island’s high schools.  It was early morning as I walked around and took pictures, and there was a nostalgic feeling in the air.  I tried to capture that nostalgia in the finished products:

Go JetsWillie Stargell Field

 

 

 

 

 

Worn Out

I also found a cool, rundown garage in my section, which looks even cooler in black and white . . .

Run Down Garage

. . . and a serene waterfall . . .

Relaxing Waterfall

. . . but these last two pieces are probably my favorites; although for different reasons.

ReflectionFirst, there’s the piece titled “Reflection.”  As I’ve mentioned before, I love to capture light play, and the sun reflecting off of the shiny globe on the statue’s head was amazing to see.  It brought to my mind the power of our thoughts (or inner reflection), hence the double meaning behind the title.

 

 

 

Psychedelic Flower WheelThe last one is one of those pieces that I don’t “see” until later in Photoshop.  I was editing a photo of a beautiful flower, when I went a little too far in the saturation and color balance.  The psychedelic look captured my imagination, and I initially thought of doing something akin to Andy Warhol’s famous Marilyn Monroe piece, but as I thought about it further, I decided to instead turn it into a wheel.  As it began to take shape, I saw that the leaves behind the flowers could help accent the shape and the center leaves formed their own flower petals.  And so, “Psychedelic Flower Wheel” came to be.

 

 

 

The AOC exhibit is normally on display for the months of April and May, but it’s being delayed this year due to some renovations.  But fear not, the exhibit WILL happen, and I’ll let you know when.  Stay tuned to our Facebook page for the announcement.

Announcing: We’ll be at 2 Art Fairs this year! (at least)

Alyx and Craig in Booth-small

M•A•S Artwork proudly announces that Alyx and I have just been accepted to two art fairs this year.

Our first fair in 2016 will be:
Downtown Alameda Spring Festival
Mother’s Day Weekend – May 7th – 8th, 2016.
Located on Park Street in downtown Alameda (literally, ON the street. They’ll have traffic blocked off so the whole street is one long pedestrian-friendly outdoor festival).
Here is the link to find more information: Downtown Alameda Spring Festival

Our second fair will be the same one that started our fair career last year:
Park Street Art & Wine Faire
July 30 & 31, 2016
Here is the link to find more information: Park Street Art & Wine Faire

Click here to read our blog about our experience at last year’s show.

We are also planning on entering one other show this year, but we don’t have details yet. It’ll still be in the Bay Area, but will probably not be on Alameda, so it may be nice for a people in a different region to come meet us.

Craig Working on Stipple-small

Don’t forget put these dates in your calendar early and with a reminder so you don’t forget. We’d love to see you at the show and talk with you all personally, and get a chance to know you. For those of you who stopped by our booth last year, we’ll have some new images and maybe a few surprises, so come on by again.

If you plan to come to one of the shows, let us know in the comments below and we’ll be on the lookout for you.

See you there!

Craig & Alyx

Practice, Practice, Practice

An artist must always continue to hone her craft.  It’s how she grows, learns new methods and maybe even finds new facets of her art to explore.  To that end, I’ve recently signed up for a class in photography, and I’ll be sharing some of my pieces with you from the class.

But I also want to share an online tutorial that I’ve found to help me fumble around in Photoshop and offer some tips and tricks.

I found Yanik Chauvin’s Photoshop & Lightroom for Photographers tutorial through Udemy.com (a place where you can get lots of online courses for very cheap prices).  But in looking at his website, I see that he has quite a few more courses to offer, and they all appear to be free.  I’m still working through the one I got from Udemy, but you can bet your boots that I’ll be signing up for his others, too.  He covers a wide array of tools you can use in Photoshop that I’ve found very helpful and his manner of teaching is calm and thorough.

Another site I’m going to point you to is for a friend of mine.  I met Roi Brooks while working for an advertising company a few years back.  His infectious laugh and wonderful hugs drew me in and I looked forward to seeing him each day.  I found out that he did some photography on the side, and everything I saw was very cool and quirky.

So when I started to get into photography as a career and not just a hobby, I asked for his help in mentoring me.  He currently splits his time between the Bay area and Belize, so we aren’t able to get together that often, but I’ve discovered that he also offers some tips and tricks on his own blog, so I’ll be checking those out in the spaces between our meetings.

Roi travels all over the world, taking product photos and whatnot, so I’d say he’s currently my photography idol.  I’d love to get paid to take photos around the world.  But as you can see on his photography website, he also does some very interesting things with his personal photos.

I’d love to hear any tips or websites you use for enhancing your photos, so please feel free to leave them in the Comments section.

‘Til next time . . .