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BookSmithStudio.com | Nikki Smith Book & Visual Artist

Handmade books and various art explorations

Archive for December, 2011

Hot Air Balloons in Colorado Springs

December 31st, 2011 by Nikki Smith

Depicted in this painting is the hot air balloon launch for the annual Colorado Springs Balloon Classic, overlooking Prospect Lake in downtown Colorado Springs.  This is colorful and vibrant artwork will delight the eye and and brighten any room.  There is nothing like the feeling of flying free in the crisp, cool air letting your cares fall away and your spirits soar.  I hope you get as much enjoyment from this painting as I had in creating it!

Fine art prints of this artwork on canvas, specialty papers, metal and more are available here: “Hot Air Balloons in Colorado Springs” Fine Art Prints

Wee Rossnowlagh Beach

December 22nd, 2011 by Nikki Smith

A luxury vacation planet, Wee Rossnowlagh Beach offers private sandy beaches perfect for getting away from it all. Go on, relax with the family on the seaside and then write that novel you’ve always planned. There’s no time like today and there’s no place quite like this anywhere else in the known galaxy.

Based on a photo of Rossnowlagh in County Donegal, Ireland

A huge thank-you to photographer Matt Mason for providing the source panorama of Rossnowlagh in County Donegal, Ireland. I was so excited when Matt answered my Open Call for Panoramas!  He shared several interesting photos that may end up as newly discovered planets soon, so stay tuned!

Wee Rossnowlagh Beach Planet is available as a framed Fine Art print on archival paper or canvas in my shop.

Sweet! My Pink Cactus photo won 1st place!

December 16th, 2011 by Nikki Smith

Photography PrintsI was honored to find out that my “Pink Cactus” macro photograph won 1st place (which comes with bragging rights) in the PINK competition on Fine Art America today.  Thank-you to everyone who voted or participated in this contest!

This is a beautiful close-up photograph of a native Texas pink cactus.  I love the texture and color of in this macro shot – nature is amazing! This photo was taken in Kyle, TX near Austin.

P.S.  My mother-in-law will be pleased – it is in her garden!  😉

On Art, Luck, Failure and Growth

December 9th, 2011 by Nikki Smith

I believe we can make (or at least influence) our own luck.  We learn, we observe, we inquire, we act, we fail, we re-examine, we apply what we’ve learned, we try again, we learn something new in the attempt, we share our successes, failures, strategies and insights.  We grow.

Or we don’t try, we don’t fail, we don’t learn, we don’t succeed and we don’t grow.

Personally, I’m for trying.  I love making art.  It is a need and a passion that I ignored for too many years.  My life has been enriched and my spirits raised by making room for making art.  It may not be practical, it may not pay the bills, but it dramatically improves the quality of my life — I have more moments of wonder, I smile more, I am more “whole” as a person.

And if my artwork resonates with someone else, if I can make that connection, then – wow.  I’ve moved them and it moves me.  What a high.

Far from home: Planet Mars, Phoenix Mars Lander (Educator discount!)

December 5th, 2011 by Nikki Smith

Without further ado, here is my latest fine art planet print (educators and home school parents – read on for an educational discount):

This was a fascinating project to work on!  This view of Mars from the Phoenix Mars Lander combines hundreds of images taken during the first several weeks after NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander arrived on an arctic plain at 68.22 degrees north latitude, 234.25 degrees east longitude on Mars. The landing was on May 25, 2008. These images were first combined into a 360 degree panorama and then converted to a “planet view” (stereographic projection) by artist Nikki Smith.

Note that there is a vanishing point (pinch) in the center of the image where the robotic arm could not photograph itself.

Shown in approximately true color, this shows the polygonal patterning of ground at the landing area, similar to patterns in permafrost areas on Earth. Trenches where Phoenix’s robotic arm has been exposing subsurface material are visible. The spacecraft’s meteorology mast, topped by the telltale wind gauge, extends into the sky.

I am offering a 25% discount on the print price to the first 100 educators or home school parents who wish to purchase a fine art print or stretched canvas of Planet Mars, Phoenix Mars Lander.  Just click here to view and customize your fine art or canvas print, add it to your cart, and enter code “TPYESZ” to obtain the discount.  (Note that the discount applies to the print price only, not to materials, shipping or labor which go to FAA.)

I hope you enjoy this most unusual view of the Martian landscape – it is out of this world, literally!