Bowing Out: Trials and Tribulations

Hello everyone! Craig here.

I address you today with sad news. At the beginning of the year, I gave myself an artwork challenge. One stipple portrait per month (Year-long Challenge – 2017). In that, I failed miserably. I completed three and a quarter portraits. Then things got busy. We had our summer cruise, which was fantastic. Then we came home and went right into our back-to-back weekends at art fairs. The fall and winter have been no less hectic.

Mt-Rushmore-of-portraitsi

I’m not making excuses as to why the artwork wasn’t done, I’m just pointing out how much stuff there is complicating my life. I’ve had to make hard choices about what’s important, and what I need to spend my time on. The conclusion I’ve come to is that I need to step away from the art fair side of things. I will not be continuing to post on this MAS Artwork blog or going to the art fairs (unless it’s to help out and support my wife Alyx while she does it).

Important! Alyx WILL continue to write this blog and do art fairs. The focus will be solely on her photography.

Although I will not be actively posting or marketing, I will nevertheless keep hosting my online presence www.masartwork.com/art, and prints will still available at my website for anyone who would still like to purchase my artwork.

Thank you for all your support, and I hope I will get my life in order enough to return. I’ll see you all then. Feel free to stay in touch.

Craig P. Smith
craig@craigpsmith.com

 

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Art Fair Wrap-Up 2017

Hey there everyone.  Apologies for being incommunicado for a month or so, but we were busy getting things set up for our back-to-back art fairs this month.  These were two new festivals for us, in new cities, so there was a lot of planning to be done.

We had decided not to do the fairs we’d done in the past, for a few reasons:

  1.  We wanted to test out new areas, to see if there was more interest in our stuff
  2.  We wanted to spread knowledge of our art to other areas . . . gain new followers
  3.  Test out new art fair promoters

And the results were great!

We did, in fact, receive a lot of new interest in our artwork.  And that interest even resulted in quite a few sales!  The promoters were really nice, and there was a lot more traffic than at our previous art fairs.  We even had a couple previous purchasers show up in our booth and sing our praises to their friend(s) who’d tagged along.  So, all in all, they were great experiences on their own.

The only trouble came with the fact that they were so close together, and–since we both still have day-jobs–we didn’t have any down time between art fairs.  We’re still deciding whether or not we’ll do both of them again next year, but we’ll definitely do at least one of them, so good was the response.

And, an even better part was that we got lots of new people signed up for our newsletter!

As you may remember, we’ve held contests at our last few art fairs, for people who sign up for our newsletter at the fair to get a chance to win one of our prints.  Many people did at both locations, and we have our winners:

From the Mountain View Art and Wine Festival, the winner is Terry F!

From the Lafayette Art and Wine Festival, the winner is Gary C!

Congratulations to both our winners!  And thanks to everyone else who signed up.  We’ve got lots of new stuff coming to the site soon.  And we think a revamp of the site is in the works as well.  So stay tuned . . .

Something NEW from me (Craig)… Color Stipples!

I have two new images to share with you today. You’ve seen them before, but not like this, in COLOR!

I have started to enhance select stipple images, which I normally do in black and white, and give them a subtle color wash. The coloring I do on the computer in Photoshop. I think it gives the images a little extra something, don’t you?

The first image available is the Stairs in the Japanese Gardens at Powerscourt, Ireland. Here is the black and white version, and the new colored version side by side. I think the added color really defines the moss and foliage. Let me know if you agree. If you like them, please share them in all your social media outlets.

The other image is The Palace of Fine Arts. Everyone knows this iconic structure, and I think the color really harkens back to its beginnings, almost looking like an old-fashioned tin-type or postcard. Here are the two versions side-by-side.

We don’t sell the color prints at our Art Fairs, so the website is the only place these prints are available. Get yours today. Get one as a gift for the art lover on your list.

Thanks as always for checking out our blog,

Craig.

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

Alameda Spring Arts Festival

Alameda Spring FestivalDowntown Alameda’s Spring Festival
May 7 & 8, 2016

Well, our first art fair of the year is almost upon us, and Craig and I are busy with all the preparations.  We’ve got our tent, panels, inventory (including some new stuff), and water . . . you need plenty of water!

We really enjoyed our first art fair last July (which we’ll do again this year), but this Spring Arts Festival promises to be a lot of fun, too.
Situated on one of the main streets in Alameda (Park St), there will be TONS of great food on offer (restaurants as well as booths).  There are two stages where you can hear lots of great music.  Kids will have plenty of things to keep them occupied as well.  In addition to all of that, many Alameda businesses will be offering discounts on their classes and merchandise.And last, but not least, are the amazing arts and crafts you can purchase . . .As I mentioned above, Craig and I will be offering some new inventory.  We’ve added more prints (including some of his stipple art), and even a new item for us – greeting card sets.  To keep with the theme of the Spring Festival, these greeting card sets will be lovely flowers that I’ve captured through the years . . . some of which were even taken here in Alameda!So mark your calendars and bring your mom down to Alameda for the Spring Festival!  And stop on by our booth to see our new items, or even to just say “Hi!”

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

First Art Faire Wrap-Up

Well, we just had our first Art Fair experience at the Alameda Art and Wine Faire.

So, I’m sure you’re asking… “How’d you do?”
We were very pleased with our experience overall. The fair was down a main street in Alameda, CA, which is 5-6 blocks from where we live (the proximity was not a coincidence). There was still more work than we thought. And we were being very realistic in our expectations. We rented a van to take all our setup: tent, tables, bins; inventory of framed work; inventory of the prints; office and transaction supplies etc. The hard work came when we had to carry all that equipment and artwork from our office on the 2nd floor (no elevators) down to the van, go to the location, and then unpack the van and carry all that stuff into the tent location. After the show we did it all again in reverse after standing and working the show all weekend. We were POOPED!

Here is how our tent setup looked.
Alyx and Craig in Booth-small

Booth Shot-small

We had a lot of visitors, and almost everyone commented on how much they liked the images (and they weren’t even our relatives). So, our egos got a good healthy boost.
Thank you, to all who signed the guestbook and otherwise joined our newsletters. We really appreciate it. We can’t wait to send out more information and images for you to enjoy.

There was also a really strange and mysterious happening in regards to our location. Apparently, there was something really interesting about the restaurant across the street. There were so many people that walked by staring at that building instead of all the booths and art, that we couldn’t help but to laugh. It became a “thing”. The only thing that would make sense is that it was a fairly new restaurant at that location, but the novelty didn’t seem to match the amount of attention it received. Weird. Here’s what it looked like directly across from our booth. Maybe it’ll make sense to you.
New Restaurant-small

Craig Working on Stipple-small

During the days, I tried to get some extra work done, as well as letting the passers-by see how I do the work I do and get a taste for it. I think it went really well, and I garnered a lot of interest, and many of our business cards left with them, both mine and Alyx’s. Here’s a picture of me doing my stippling on the street.

All in all, we were pleased with how we handled the whole process. Our financial results were less that we had hoped for, but we got a lot of exposure, positive reinforcement, and experience. We signed up some good people to our newsletter, gave out lots of business cards and promotional postcards, and made some sales.
Our goal is to expand to sign up for at least 3 street fairs next year.

In the mean time, don’t forget that you can see our images and purchase prints EVEN NOW on our website (www.masartwork.com). We can’t wait to see you all at the next event. Stay tuned to see what it will be.

 

Craig Smith