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



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

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.

Alameda on Camera

Here on the island of Alameda, where I live, the Frank Bette Center for the Arts hosts an art show called Alameda on Camera.  For this show, the Frank Bette Center chooses 48 artists who get assigned a section of the map of Alameda (which has been cut up into 48 pieces).  Each artist then has the next 48 hours to take as many pictures of their section as they want.  Then those artists have a whole month to create whatever kind of art they want to out of those photos.  It doesn’t matter if it’s made of glass, fabric, or actual prints; as long as your section of the map is represented in that art, it gets hung up in the gallery.

Waiting on a FriendSo when I came across this show four years ago, I thought I wonder if my photos could be good enough to get me in.  I’d never submitted my pictures to a gallery before.  Heck, I’d never let anyone other than close family and friends see my photos before.  So it took quite a bit of bravery on my part–and encouragement from Craig–to get me to submit that first application.

Two weeks after I applied, I got the wonderful news that I had been chosen as one of the 48 artists that year!  I was so excited, not only that my stuff was considered good enough, but because I’d get to see another area of this island I call home.  Plus, I was guaranteed one piece of art to be hung up on their walls.  I would have my first art showing!  Something I’d never before even dreamed of.

Open ReflectionEach year since, I’ve applied and waited nervously to find out if I would again be among the chosen.  And each year I’ve been elated when I got the email saying that I was going to be able to participate.  I’ve found wonderful surprises in each section that I’ve been assigned, and this year was no exception.

Some of the photos I’m sharing with you are from the past years’ exhibits.  I’m not yet ready to publish the ones I’m submitting for this year’s show, but I invite you to come to the gallery during the months of April and May, when the show is open to the public.  You’ll be able to see some of my images, but there are 47 other extremely talented individuals whose art will also adorn the walls of the Frank Bette Center for the Arts.

Every year I see Alameda in new and fascinating ways, and it’s always cool to see the unique ways that my fellow artists view this lovely island.  So on behalf of them all, we look forward to seeing you there!

Illuminated Sunset

Stippling Victorians

Hello, Craig here.

Today I want to talk about my latest stippled piece. It is a house of Victorian design, and is probably one of the most recognizable and gorgeous on our island of Alameda. Every year, a gallery on the island [Frank Bette Center for the Arts] hosts an event called “Alameda on Camera”. It’s coming up again, so I’m sure that subject will be a blog of its own shortly, so I won’t go into it all here. Suffice it to say, that it’s a group of local artists and photographers that take pictures of various locations around the island. Alyx has done this for three years running, and I did it last year for the first time. While participating in this event, I got the idea to do a stipple piece of this grand Victorian. My assigned location didn’t include this house, but I know my Mom has frequently drooled over this place whenever she visits from South Carolina.

Alameda Victorian

That got me thinking about the various artwork my Mom has displayed in her house. Now, I’m one of three of her children, and all us siblings have a talent for art. For some reason, my Mom has very little of our works displayed. She has a couple watercolors from my sister Jenny that I know of, but the only picture she has of mine is an oil painting that I did for a painting class from community college. It was just a still life of a banana and some grapes, and I’ve never felt that it was one of my best works, and certainly not something I would say says something about me as a person or an artist.

So, when I saw the Victorian, I decided that I would create a stipple illustration of it as a Christmas present for my Mom. One of the great things about doing artwork of Victorian houses, is that it’s so much fun. They have so many details, trim, nooks and crannies that it keeps it fun. Start playing with lights and shadows and it virtually starts jumping off the page. I started work on it back in April or May last year, and got it done about a week and a half before Christmas. It sat dormant for most of the months in between, but I’m so glad I finished it in only one year (and it wasn’t that much of a deadline crunch either. Yay, me). So, I sent it off, and it arrived around Christmas, give or take a day. In the words of my Mother, she was so tickled. Now she has a beautiful original piece of artwork from her son that she can proudly show off and boast about to her friends.And here it is for you to share too.

Alameda Victorian Stipple

Thanks for coming by, and don’t forget to visit our Etsy site for many more images: