Three New Images including a Gas Pump!

First Up, the Alameda Ballena Isle Marina Gas Pump

The aforementioned Gas Pump, is not your typical gas pump. I created this image during the Alameda On Camera annual event and gallery. I was assigned a section of the island of Alameda where I live, and had 48 hours to take pictures within that area. In my area is a lovely marina. I was extremely fortunate on my first morning that there was a fog that rolled in which made for some lovely photos. This particular image is of a gasoline pump that is on the docks in that marina where the boats fuel up. It made a very rustic old-world look to the pump which I think is practically an antique. Here is the stipple image I did from the photo I took.

Alameda Ballena Isle Marina Gas Pump

Alameda Ballena Isle Marina Gas Pump

The other two: Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk

You may recognize these two. I recently posted a blog announcing when I had finished these (You can see that blog here). Well, now I’d like to announce that they have finally been added to my website. Click either of the images below to be taken to my website, straight to those pages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for checking out these images and my website. I have recently updated all the pages in my stipple gallery to include the purchasing buttons. Some of you may have noticed that some of the buttons were in the “Coming Soon” stage. Well, They’re here!

That’s it for now. Thank you all for your continued attention. More art soon.

Craig P. Smith

 

 

New Artwork!

Hello, faithful readers. It’s time for one of those Blogs you all wait for… NEW IMAGES!

Golden Retriever Mutt - Original Photo

Golden Retriever Mutt – Original Photo

In today’s offering, we have new portrait artwork. Actually, TWO new images. These are samples of commission pieces for pet portraits. The last time I was wandering around Alameda for the annual “Alameda on Camera” event, I came across a couple people walking their dog. I asked to take a couple pictures of him since I had my camera handy. One of the pictures came out great for portraits. Since it wasn’t a commission that anyone was paying me to do, I decided to take that image and use it as samples for my website of the various styles in which you can commission artwork. So, I’m taking the same image, and doing three portraits in different medium, so you can have a great comparison of style. These are the first two. One, a black and white graphite pencil drawing, and the second one, a pen & ink stipple.

Golden Retriever Mutt - Graphite

Golden Retriever Mutt – Graphite

Golden Retriever Mutt - Stipple

Golden Retriever Mutt – Stipple

 

In a couple days, I’ll have them on my website in the galleries, but you get to see them now. If you have a dog that looks like this or if you are a big fan of the breed, I have the originals, as well as prints available.

If you’d like to order a portrait of your pet, or even a human, click here and you’ll be taken to my website where you can see the guidelines, and order a commission. Don’t forget… portraits make great Christmas presents that are sure to be unique, remembered, and treasured. Get your order in NOW, before I book up for the season.

Also, updated pricing! Check the commissions page for details.

Thanks,

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

Slave to Creativity

Fair Warning: I won’t be the best at what I do!

wolverine_im-the-best

For decades now, the business and industrial worlds have been busy telling us that you must be working full bore all the time for as much time as you can manage… and then some. The key to promotions and bonuses, they say, is to work overtime, nights and weekends, researching and learning on your own time without pay to get ahead. Just doing your job well enough and gaining experience isn’t enough to better your position, only to stay where you are, and in a lot of cases even lose ground.

As we journey into the age of enlightenment, this situation is getting exposed as asinine and damaging to the psyche, physical well being, and is actually counterproductive. Even though the business world is still espousing this belief as a virtue. There’s a war on.

I just read an article that triggered something in me, and ticked me right off. It’s an article on creativity, and creative personalities and how saying ‘no’ is an important tool to help the creative person succeed. Here is the article if you’d like to read it.

Even though I agree with the article about saying ‘No’ and the ramifications of that, what upset me about this article is that it is using the same kind of language to inadvertently shame and control creatives. And they are portraying it as a virtue. The article says things like “Creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations.” and “No matter what you read, no matter what they claim, nearly all creators spend nearly all their time on the work of creation”.

I saw a meme on Facebook that said something to the effect of “I’ve never met a ‘Great Person’ who has not had a troubled or challenging past”. What a backhanded way of saying “If you haven’t had a challenging or troubled past, you’ll never be ‘great’. To that I say ‘that’s absolutely NOT true’.

Regardless of what all these ‘helpful’, ‘inspirational’ sayings advocate, there is now pressure on creative people to work full time, all the time on their creative processes and projects, and damn the consequences. Well, having gone back to school for animation as an adult, I was ‘competing’ with post-high-school-aged kids. Most of whom still lived at home, and had no other real responsibilities and were free to work on their stuff day, night, and weekend. I, on the other hand, I had rent to make, as well as all the other bills, and I had a young daughter. Because of a divorce, I only got to see her every other weekend, and I’ll be damned if I was going to spend any less time with her and neglect her because I was trying to be the absolute best animator in the world and work for Disney. That sentiment is no less strong now, after leaving school.

Over the years, I have also found and married the love of my life, and we have built a wonderful magical world together. Should I shove that aside to spend all my waking hours at the drawing board? If I want to be “Great”, I’m told that I should (or automatically would).

busy-at-drawingboard

If that is what it takes to be great, then forget it! I’m not buying in. I love spending time with my family. I love my wife and daughter and won’t give them an ounce less love and attention and TIME than they deserve and that feeds all our souls. I want weekends and vacations. I want to be healthy and unstressed. I want to travel and see the world. And I want to ENJOY all that!

I refuse to accept that stress they are trying to make me feel with that unattainable carrot of being the “Best at what I do”. Therefore, I’m giving up the idea of being great. I will still draw and create. I will still strive toward goals I would like to obtain. But I will only be as good as that will make me. And If I never get into Pixar because I don’t have willingness to abandon my life to make the time to get as good as they want me to be. Tough. Their loss. I’ll be happy traveling to Australia, the British Isles, and Africa with my family and living a wondrous life.

I hope you all enjoy my ‘only so good’ work.

Craig Smith.

www.masartwork.com/art

 

Artists Tributes

Hey Everybody. Today, I’d like to talk a little about celebrity deaths, and share a couple tributes from some great artists that I came by recently.

Unfortunately we’ve recently lost some celebrities to cancer, and it has hit us pretty hard as a collective consciousness. I’m mainly talking about David Bowie and Alan Rickman (and just before posting this, Glenn Fry also passed away). This has sparked a slew of tributes posted to social media, and rightfully so. Both of these men, especially Bowie, seemed to strike a chord with creative types. While Bowie was a musician, and Rickman an actor (in simplest terms), both were creative artists, and certainly prompted responses within the visual arts community.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to make the time to create my own works of art in their honor. Therefore, I thought I’d share some artwork from other artists whose work I appreciated. Here are some images below, and I’ve captioned them with the name of the artist.

I also thought I’d muse a little bit about my reactions to these events, which may be different than you might expect. First of all, let me say that I wasn’t much of a fan of David Bowie. I didn’t DISlike him, and I certainly enjoyed his performance as the Goblin King in the Labyrinth. How can you not appreciate the glass ball juggling (I still want to learn how to do that), and I appreciated him as a musician. His style just wasn’t my cup of tea. I was more of a fan of Alan Rickman. My favorite role of his being, of course, Hans Gruber in Die Hard. I also enjoyed him immensely in Galaxy Quest and the Harry Potter movies.

Let me say up front, that I’m a pretty sensitive guy. I grew up with two sisters (no brothers) and my Mom. And my Dad had 4 sisters (and no brothers). So, I’m very much in touch with my feminine side. I enjoy romantic movies, and cry heartily at touching movies, and even select commercials. This is why I find it extremely surprising that the news of celebrities passing doesn’t hit me as hard as it seems to hit others. Even the death of Robin Williams, I think, hit my daughter harder than it did me. We both grew up on his performances, albeit different eras. I grew up on Mork & Mindy, Dead Poets Society, and HBO’s Comic Relief specials. My daughter grew up on Mrs. Doubtfire, Aladdin, Hook and Flubber.

Also, growing up, I never really had a personal experience with death. I had great-grandparents that lived long lives, and finally died in their late 90’s. All four of them. And I only lost a couple grandparents around the time I was in college. That’s about it. So, nobody really really close to me, and no one was lost to anything close to a horrible disease like cancer or Alzheimer’s. Maybe I don’t have the childhood trauma to well up in me and make me relate, like many people have.

My wife Alyx was a huge fan of Jim Henson. When he died, it hit her very hard. It was very emotional for her. Something about losing a childhood hero, someone that helped shape your childhood, can feel like the loss of a close friend or dear relative. Even if you’ve never met the person. So, with the recent losses of Bowie and Rickman, many people feel that loss very profoundly.

But not me. For some reason, I didn’t connect. It got me wondering… what it would take? Who do I revere enough, that it would profoundly affect me at their passing? Do I just not project that feeling of closeness or family onto celebrities? Do I actively hold people, famous or not, at a big enough distance to keep me from feeling the hurt? I certainly hope I don’t. Would the loss of Mark Hamill do it to me? Ralph Macchio? John Lassiter? Since I grew up on science fiction, fantasy and comic books, many of the characters and people that might mean something to me are fictional. So, their deaths are also the stuff of fiction and don’t affect me. Maybe I have too real a grasp on the reality of an actor’s role, and that they are doing a job, so I separate them from their characters, connecting personally to the character, more-so than the performer. I don’t know.

A few years ago, I lost my Dad, and that DID devastate me. So I know I’m not immune to or desensitized by death. That it can and does affect me, and losing a loved one will hit me very hard. I just wonder why I don’t have that reaction to celebrity deaths like others tend to. Or have I just not come across the ones that would mean enough to me yet?

I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts on what I’ve said. Also what, if any, celebrity death hit you in a special way.

Thanks,

Craig.

Welcome, Marilyn Monroe to our new portrait website.

Craig Smith here, and today we welcome a new entry to my art website. The honorable, talented, sexy, and even quotable Marilyn Monroe.

MarilynMonroe_eyes_400px-wideAs many of you may know, I just launched my portrait art-based website (www.masartwork.com/art). Now, I am starting to create more portraits of famous people to populate the site. There is no one better to start with, than Marilyn. I decided to start small; this portrait is only 5″x7″, but I wanted to do one relatively quickly. Luckily, the stippling style stands up to enlargement really well, so this will look good at almost any size.

When choosing the image, I wanted to select a photo where she was easily recognizable and iconic, yet an image that hasn’t been seen a lot (at least by me). So, the images of her over the sewer grate were definitely out. I came across this one, and think it shows the beauty of Marilyn without it being a caricature of herself. It shows the more mature side of her, yet still hints at the innate sexiness of her confidence and intelligence.

MarilynMonroe_Coat_300max

This piece took me around two months of lunch hours and evenings to complete, and I think it came together fairly smoothly. With a subject like Marilyn, how can you go wrong? I’ll tell you how. Too many dots in the wrong places and it could make her look really old, or with bad skin, or a lazy eye or something. I think I sidestepped those landmines quite successfully.

 

So, without further ado, here is a thumbnail of the image. To see it larger, just click it, and it’ll take you to my website where you can enjoy it full size, as well as many other pieces of my artwork.

 

Also…

The base M•A•S Artwork site used to hold both Alyx’s photography as well as my artwork. I have now removed my stipple art from the site, so it is now fully dedicated to my wife’s photography. You can click here (www.masartwork.com) to see her unique images and order some prints for Christmas.

Stay tuned for more images from each of us, and don’t forget to share our websites and blogs with your friends. I’m sure they like looking at great artwork too. Really, you’re doing them a favor.

Thanks,

Craig P. Smith

 

Launching New Website! Just in time for Christmas.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, announcing a brand new website from us at M•A•S Artwork.

Portraits by Craig Smith!

Now you can commission personal artwork from me, and take advantage of the years I’ve spent honing my craft at drawing likenesses of people and animals. I’ve drawn portraits since I was in junior high, babysitting for my neighbors kids and drawing them from their school pictures. Throughout the years, I’ve created artwork for comics and conventions selling prints of famous characters and actors. No matter which profession I’ve pursued, I always seem to gravitate back to portraits, I think, because I love seeing the joy on the client’s face when they see the piece of art carefully depicting their loved one(s). Click the image below to go to my website and start looking around.

MASArt-Launch1Christmas is right around the corner. So is Valentine’s Day (you don’t have to wait until the new year). Remember, it takes time to actually produce the piece of art, and my availability may fill up fast, so get in your orders for a commission early. You can also buy prints of most of my previous work to hang on your own walls, or give them as gifts too.

There are more changes coming to the website, and a few little bits are still under construction, but the site will be complete in a couple days. But I didn’t want you to have to wait, so you can start looking around right now.

MASArt-Launch2http://www.masartwork.com/art/

Thanks for reading our blog and visiting our web sites. Don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletters too.

Craig.