Here she is… AUDREY!

Here it is. the first official portrait in my series “Silver Screen Icons: Series 1”. What better way to kick things off than with the epitome of style, class, and grace.The one and only, Audrey Hepburn.

This image only took 12 or so hours, and I was able to complete it within the month, as scheduled. Unfortunately, this months entry is definitely going to be a challenge to finish (More on that later). As an extra feature, I recorded video of myself as I worked on this image that my lovely wife will be compiling and editing. You’ll be able to see it soon on our new YouTube Channel (Coming Soon). We’ll let you know where to go when we get it all set up. There will also be a link to it from our website (www.masartwork.com/art).

audreyhepburn_750max

audreyhepburn_closeup2

And, who IS the subject of the next portrait? I’ll give you a couple hints. It’s going to be the first one in a different series. So, it won’t be a “Silver Screen Icon”. This person will be a major military leader. Also, they are fictitious. So, if I’ve already told you, or you know somehow. Don’t tell. If you don’t know, feel free to take a guess in the comments below.

As always, thank you for reading our Blogs and we hope to hear from you soon.

~ Craig

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.

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.

Travels to the Midwest

Alyx and I are currently on a vacation trip to our homeland of the Midwest. Specifically, Mid-Michigan. We both grew up there in neighboring small towns, and both graduated from Holt High School in Holt, Michigan. We took this vacation to show my daughter Athena where we grew up, and introduce her to the finer things of Michigan, such as: its summer, Faygo Pop (Red Pop, Rock & Rye, Creme Soda, etc.), Vernor’s Ginger Ale, swimming in Lake Michigan and the many inland lakes. Athena was in Michigan only once before, but she was only two years old, so she doesn’t remember it. It was in the winter-time, so it was her first experience with snow. We bundled her up in a snow suit and went sledding as Michiganders do in the winter months. She had a ball, but as I said, she doesn’t remember it. So, now that she’s 14, she’ll remember this trip much more, and the bonus is a very wonderful Michigan summer.

Michigan had a really long, cold, snowy winter this year, which is now resulting in such lush greenery I feel like I’m wearing emerald goggles at the Emerald City in Oz. My first picture is a typical dirt road in Michigan. Let me just say to all of you that live in cities and never see them that, yes, they still exist. This is the quintessential dirt road in my mind.

A Michigan Dirt RoadWhile we were staying with my wife’s family, we took our cameras on our short journeys and didn’t have to travel far to get great pictures of some interesting barns. Here are a couple images for all you barn- and country-loving people out there. These barns can be found in Mason, Michigan.

Broken Barn DoorSpare Barn with Wagon WheelsMany people from Michigan are vary familiar with the phrase “going up to the lake”. ‘Up’ in this instance can mean anywhere north of Lansing. There are countless small to midland sized lakes in the lower peninsula, and more in the upper peninsula. Most Michiganders have relatives, or know friends or friends’ relatives that have summer cabins on on of these lakes, and it is a great summer past time. My wife has family with a cabin at Crooked Lake. Here are a couple pictures from that area “up at the lake”.

Dock on Crooked Lake Michigan Stone HouseBecause of our trip (and my own procrastination), this blog is a little late in the launch. I apologize to everyone for the delay, especially those who wait with baited breath every 2 weeks to see what we are up to. I’m sorry.

If you’d like to be one of those baited breath people, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog, and be free with the comments. That’s what makes it fun for us, and hopefully you as well.

Thanks for stopping by today,

Craig.

www.masartwork.com

Past Vacations – Yosemite National Park

Alyx and I find ourselves with lots of great photos whenever we go on vacation. If we took every picture we love and made prints of them, we’d have thousands, and you would spend days and days sifting through them. So, we need to go through a very painful process of choosing which ones we WON’T post and sell on our website.

So, we decided that this Blog was a prefect venue to post some really great pictures from vacations and trips in our past. Here are some pictures that were taken by me during a trip to Yosemite Valley for Alyx’s birthday some years back.

Yosemite - Cloud-Spotted Valley

Yosemite – Cloud-Spotted Valley

This trip was a single day adventure to the Yosemite Valley. This photo was taken on our way out near the end of the day. I loved the way a few puffy clouds dotted the valley.

Yosemite - Artistic Tree Roots

Yosemite – Artistic Tree Roots

This fallen tree can be found on the south side before you get to the valley. It’s in one of the first hiking trail areas that have some of the tallest redwoods of the Yosemite area (or the world, for that matter). What caught me about this image was the radial patterns made by the combination of the roots and the shadows and light.

Yosemite - Bridalveil Falls Mist

Yosemite – Bridalveil Falls Mist

 

Bridalveil Falls is one of the most popular sights in the Yosemite Valley. We were lucky that this particular spring had a good amount of rain and snow, so there was still a great flow of water in June. We got quite close on this brilliantly sunny day, and the mists made for a wonderfully atmospheric portrait of this majestic waterfall.

 

 

Yosemite Valley - Mountainous Granite

Yosemite Valley – Mountainous Granite

 

For those that have never been to Yosemite National Park, what makes it the awesome spectacle that it is, is just the immensity of the rock formations. Massive boulders of rock, separated by massive amounts of space (air). In this picture I tried to show the comparison between the flat expanse of meadow on the valley floor, and then this massive chunk of granite the size of a mountain (which it is), plopped right in the middle of it. Remember, most of the trees you see at the base are about the size of a 5-story building already.

 

Yosemite Valley Crying Arches

Yosemite Valley Crying Arches

Even within the massive formations are infinitely numerous and wonderful forms of nature. The above picture is of the Royal Arches, but I loved how the vertical stripes of the dripping water cut perpendicular to the lines of the arches.

Yosemite - Half Dome from the Valley Floor

Yosemite – Half Dome from the Valley Floor

Here is your obligatory picture of Half Dome taken from the valley floor.

Ahwahnee Lodge Greenery

Ahwahnee Lodge Greenery

If you’re ever at Yosemite, it’s worth it to visit the Ahwahnee Lodge. It’s a gorgeous lodge that has nice dining, and of course, awesome views. Even if you don’t stay there, or dine there, you can still look around, learn some of it’s history, and stand in their huge walk-in fireplaces. Seriously, the openings are about 5 feet tall. This picture was taken just outside and the perfect leaves and the fabulous green makes this one of my favorite pictures, even though there’s nothing famous about it.

As you leave the valley, and I’ll leave the blog with this, there are mini-falls at the side of the road. Some bigger, some smaller, but all beautiful and dotted here and there as you drive. Sometimes it is hard to find a spot to pull over to take pictures and not stop traffic, but there are still plenty of opportunities to do so. Here is one of my favorite little nooks half way up the valley slope.

Yosemite Valley Slope Mini-Falls

Yosemite Valley Slope Mini-Falls

I hope you had a good time taking this mini vacation with me. If you like the photos, be sure to visit our website for more. www.masartwork.com. And don’t forget to comment below, just for the heck of it.

Thanks,

Craig.