Experimentation

I’ve done enough research to know that I have no idea what my “signature style” is yet.  And apparently giving the answer of “A lot of different stuff” when asked what I specialize in isn’t looked upon too favorably.  So I’m clearly still in the “discovery” phase of my journey.  Thankfully, that means I get to play . . . a lot.

I’ve been taking a photography class at a local college just to see what’s out there, & we’re getting ready to turn in our portfolio, so I thought I’d share them with you.  I don’t know whether or not any of these images will make it to the website, but you might be seeing the stirrings of some future shots.

pool-dividers-from-090316

This image is kind of similar to stuff I currently have up in the “Miscellaneous” gallery.  It’s very indicative of some of my favorite things; repeating patterns, & cool lighting contrasts.  The image was neat enough in color, but I think the black & white helps to set it off even more.

 

 

 

glass-swirl-3

We spent one class day shooting various pieces of glass.  MAN did I love that!  I’ve always loved glass objects (I could sit & watch the glass blowers at amusement parks for hours), & this object especially caught my eye.  I have a couple other angles of this piece, but I really liked the light reflections in this shot.  I could probably write the entire blog about this day’s images, but there are other photos to see.

 

 

 

 

car-show-vent-wheel

We also spent a day at another nearby college for their annual car show.  The cars were more modern than I normally like to see at a car show, but this gave me the opportunity to do what I do best . . . focus on the details.  I got to see the newest trends in wheels & hub caps, & MAN is there some cool stuff out there nowadays!

 

 

 

 

inverted-railing-from-090816

These next two images are where I got to play the most & find a possible new style.  I was just playing around in Photoshop while editing, & hit the “Invert” option.  BAM!  This lovely image came out.  I originally took the photo because of the lovely curving line of the handrail, but the color version had too many similar brown tones.  But when I inverted it, all these cool blues & purples came out.  I tried playing with it some more to bring the dark blue/black “mountain” in the middle of the photo up to the top as well, but it never quite came out right.

 

 

 

glass-swirl-inversion

I tried this inversion technique on the glass object above as well.  The shot is from one of those other angles I mentioned earlier, & while I like the non-inverted image, I also like the simplicity of this one.  You can see the light reflection REALLY well, & all the nooks & crannies of the swirls look really cool in the darker tone.

 

 

 

So there you have it . . . some new images & possibly new directions for me to venture into.  It’s definitely fun learning & trying out new tricks . . . even if it doesn’t help me hone in on my signature style.

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

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

And the Winners Are . . .

Every year that I’ve been a part of the Alameda on Camera exhibit, sponsored by the Frank Bette Center for the Arts, I’ve had a tough time knowing which pieces to submit.  Each of the 48 artists are guaranteed at least one piece to be displayed, but each artist may have even more than that, depending on how many are submitted overall, and how they work in the layout of the gallery.

I’m sure part of what makes it difficult for me is that I still don’t have a fully objective eye when it comes to my stuff.  While I might think I took an awesome shot–maybe because of the difficulty I went through to acquire said picture–perhaps that image doesn’t translate well to others.  After all, unless the viewing public was there when I took the picture, they have no idea if it was the first one I took, or the 31st.

I tend to take anywhere from 300-900 pictures during the 48 hours we’re given to shoot for the exhibit, but I tend to narrow it down to about 10 that I really like, and then I whittle it down further to print/mat/frame just 4 or 5 pieces to deliver to the gallery.  When the people at FBCA lay out the gallery with all the images, there’s usually one of mine that doesn’t make the cut (which is true for other artists, again, depending on how many have been submitted).  Last year, the one that was cut was my favorite, and this year, the one that didn’t make it was the one I spent the most time on, but I understand . . . not everything is going to be worthy of being hung.

So, that being said, here are the ones that DID make the cut this year.  I’m very proud of them, and I hope you enjoy them, too.

Window-and-GateFirst up is this quaint window with a wrought iron gate around the bottom of it.  When I saw this, it immediately made me think of the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet.  The window’s much smaller than it might appear here, so Juliet would’ve had to have been no taller than four feet, if she were to recite her monologue from here, but I still found it romantic enough.

 

 

 

 

Wagon-WheelThe next one I’ve titled Wagon Wheel.  The house itself was a little run down, which, in color, wasn’t much to look at, but when I turned it black and white, the ramshackle-ness of it helped evoke a feeling of the Old West.

 

 

 

 

 

Next we come to my favorite part of this year’s event . . . morning dew.  That Saturday morning was foggy in other parts of the island (as you can see from one of Craig’s photos, here), but in my section, that meant there was a lot of condensation on the flora.  I love capturing light in my images, so I’m sure you won’t be surprised when you learn that more than half of the shots I took were trying to capture this somehow.  Both of the ones that I turned in made it, thankfully.  Here is the first:

Morning-Dew-on-Yellow-FlowerAnd here is the second:

Flower-with-Dew-BWThey’re the same type of flower, though not from the same bush, but the first looked so much better with the color pop, while the second is much prettier in black and white.

I’ve heard that it’s a bad idea for an artist to fall in love with his/her work, but I just can’t help it with these two . . . it’s been a small goal of mine to be able to capture the morning dew in such a manner, and I’m very proud of what I came up with.

This year’s event is filled with even more lovely images from many talented artists, some of whose work you can see here.  The exhibit will be going on through the end of May, so if you’re over on the east side of the San Francisco Bay, I encourage you to stop on by and check it out.  You can find the center’s hours here. All of the images above (as well as the ones Craig submitted this year) are available on our website for purchase now, so check them out!

Do Yourself a Favor; Come to a Gallery

As Alyx wrote last time in this blog, it’s time for the Alameda On Camera Event again at Frank Bette Center for the Arts. I would like to personally invite you to the gallery to check it out. It doesn’t cost anything and there’s plenty of free parking. The Gala Opening event takes place 4/10/15 at 7 to 9pm. That’s this Friday.

If you can’t make it for the opening, don’t panic. This event will be up in the gallery until May 30th.
For those of you who would like to know how the Alameda On Camera, or 48-48-48 event works, check out Alyx’s blog from last year that explains the in’s and out’s.

Seriously, when was the last time you ventured out and checked out a gallery? I think it’s time. For those living in the SF Bay Area, I want to emphasize that it’s not that difficult to get to Alameda. It’s a wonderful community just off the Bay Bridge and squeezed in beside Oakland. If you visit, you’ll see a lot of the charm and personality that we keep going on about, and that makes up the subject of the current photography/art exhibit at Frank Bette. And it’s all FREE (did I mention that?)!

Here is the address and a map to the gallery so you don’t have to go hunt it down.
Frank Bette Center for the Arts
1601 Paru Street (at Lincoln)
Alameda, CA 94501
510-523-6957

https://www.google.com/maps/@37.774166,-122.2575802,18z?hl=en

Here are a few images that I took for this year’s event that I didn’t submit for the final images.

Model T at Sunset - BWFoggy Marina Line-Up

 

 

 

 

 

School Buses in the FogVictorian Porch with Green Man OrbVictorian and Palm Tree

 

 

 

 

 

As Alyx mentioned in the last Blog, if you know when you’re going to be visiting, drop us a note. We’d love to hear from you, and may be able to meet you there and show you around the place. Don’t be shy, and enjoy the art.

Branching out

Hello everyone, Craig here. Sorry again for the late post. Today I want to talk about branching out. As most of you know, my wife Alyx and I have a website where we sell our photography and Illustration prints (www.masartwork.com). Although I have a small share of photographs myself, the majority of the photography is my wife’s. Because of this, and other factors, I’ve decided that I’m going to start a new website focusing more on my stippling images as well as portrait commissions. This new site will still be under our M•A•S Artwork branded umbrella.

BabyAthena_300max    DebrasDaughters_300max

Esther_On-the-Rocks_300max    Sheri-NY_300max

The new website isn’t up and running yet, but I’m shooting for a launch in the next couple months. This site will have a place where you can buy prints of my stipple pieces, along with some of my colored pencil portraits, and black and white images. The big difference will be that you can also commission a personal work of art there, in any of the three styles. I will have a page explaining the pricing for the different medium, and also a page with suggestions and tips on how to choose or to take photos that will result in the best artwork.

So, look for that soon, and in the mean time visit our current site where you can purchase prints of some wonderful photography and my one of a kind hand-drawn stipple artwork. www.masartwork.com

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you soon.

Craig Smith
M•A•S Artwork