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BookSmithStudio.com | Nikki Smith Book & Visual Artist

Handmade books and various art explorations

Archive for the ‘Inspiring Artists’ Category

Leah Saulnier awarded the FAA Artistic Merit Award!

August 1st, 2013 by Nikki Smith

Drum roll please… It is my great privilege to announce the next winner of the FAA Artistic Merit Award, Leah Saulnier the Painting Maniac!

Leah’s artwork is wonderfully imaginative, masterfully executed, frequently laugh-out-loud humorous, and always thought provoking. As a surrealist and humorist painter, Leah is an accomplished story teller in oil with a truly distinctive style.

Koi Art by FAA Artistic Merit Award winner Leah SalnierPlaytime 2050 Fine Art PrintsArt PrintsArt PrintsArt PrintsPhotography PrintsPhotography Prints

For those of you unfamiliar with the FAA Artistic Merit Award, fondly referred to as the “Tony Award”, you can read about the history and view the official list of past Tony Award recipients here.

Congratulations to the very talented Leah!

Love Leah’s art? You can connect with Leah and view more of her incredible artwork at the links below:

Website: http://leah-saulnier.artistwebsites.com
Blog: http://paintingmaniac.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Leah-Saulnier-The-Painting-Maniac/121695561212465
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/104693612959275466592/posts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Paintingmaniac
Tumblr: http://leahsaulnierpaintingmaniac.tumblr.com/

Artists Give Back – Supporting breast cancer research with ART

October 1st, 2012 by Nikki Smith

This fall, over thirty artists donated original artwork in support of breast cancer research and the National Breast Cancer Foundation.  While some of these pieces (including mine) have already found new homes, there is still time to support this great cause and check out the amazing artwork for sale in the Artists Give Back shop!


Here was my artwork donated for this fundraiser:
(SOLD) My Guitar SINGS by Nikki Smith for Artists Give Back
My Guitar SINGS by Nikki Smith
(Original SOLD; similar fine art prints available)

And here are just a few of my favorite pieces still up for grabs:

If a small piece of original artwork isn’t in your budget this year, consider the Exclusive Cloth Paper Scissors Pretty In Pink Peerless Watercolor DrySheet set, formulated just for this event.

What are you waiting for?  Go snag yourself an amazing original piece of artwork in support of a great cause today!

Music Painting

July 23rd, 2011 by Nikki Smith

Sharing something beautiful…

Music Painting” by Alice Ninni is a charming animation of the song “Lacrime de Giulietta” by Matteo Negrin in which the musical notation is the basis for a scrolling illustrated story about humanity and nature.

Go Paint Something!

March 3rd, 2011 by Nikki Smith

Go Paint Something!OK:  Total, unabashed, mommy brag-book moment…Go Paint Something!

My inspiring artist this week is none other than my daughter, Celeste.  Her delightful drawings grace my kitchen walls, windows, fridge and floors (in washable crayola).  And she does inspire me, each and every day.  Here’s to boundless curiosity, endless energy, experimentation and coloring outside the lines!

What are you still doing online?  Go make some art already!  And then drop by and share your inspired creations with me!

CraftGawker.com Addict

March 11th, 2010 by Nikki Smith

OK, I’m officially hooked.  I’ve managed to gawk at over a hundred pages (so far) of delicious, artistic, fabulous, yummy items from some amazing artists.  I’ve also had two projects of my own published on CraftGawker to-date: a close-up of my copper tree collage, and a mini-booklace with sheet music pages.  It’s neat to see my mini-book on the “most gawked” page!  (Thank-you, visitors!)

CraftGawker.com - Mini-booklace

One thing that I appreciate about this site is that it is making me pay more attention to my creative photography skills as well.  My first submission was declined for photo/craft composition (it was a direct shot of a book isolated on a white background.)  Rather than being discouraged, I took this as a challenge!  This led to the great top-down shot of my mini-booklace (above, far right) which has been gawked 49 times and favorited 5 times so far this week.  (Cool!)  Of course, as “daring” as my photo was, someone out-dared me a few days later.  I’ll let you check out the CraftGawker.com site and see if you can spot the photo I’m talking about!  =)  You can see my two submissions here.  Happy gawking!

Artwork by my sister, Cheri Long (1980-2009)

January 9th, 2010 by Nikki Smith

I’m finding out that I have more in common with my sister, Cheri Long.  She passed away this past fall.  Below is a sampling of some artwork created by my sister:

Watercolor by Cheri Long

Watercolor by Cheri Long - her travels

Self Portrait, Cheri Long Hiking

Self Portrait, Cheri Long Hiking

Portrait of Joseph Smith by Cheri Long

Portrait of Joseph Smith by Cheri Long

Enliven by Cheri Long

Enliven by Cheri Long

Knowing my for creating one-of-a-kind artist books, my sister made one for me:

Handmade book by Cheri Long, Cover

Handmade book by Cheri Long, Cover: Three sisters

Handmade book by Cheri Long, Interior

Handmade book by Cheri Long, Interior Pages

Handmade book by Cheri Long, Hidden Pocket

Handmade book by Cheri Long, Hidden Pocket

Thank-you, Cheri.  I love you!

Fun mail day…Artwork by Marsha Jorgensen!

November 10th, 2009 by Nikki Smith

It’s so nice to get fun stuff in the mail rather than just bills and junk! And what could be better than art?  Check out my new Tumble Fish Studio prints by Marsha Jorgensen:

Tumble Fish Studio Limited Ediiton Prints
I was introduced to Marsha’s artwork (a.k.a. Tumble Fish Studio) through a fund raiser for a mutual friend, Tina Wright.  I was the top bidder on a piece of her artwork and a gift certificate to her shop for another print and she was kind enough to send me three!  (Thank-you, I love them!!) Marsha makes these delightful collages the old-fashioned way — by hand.  You can see more at her blog or her etsy shop.

Last week I also received my order of art goodies from The Shoppe at Sommerset.  I now have a set of test tubes, some watch findings (tiny, tiny gears and parts), unusual paper flowers and a cool collage sheet.  Still no time to play with them – maybe this weekend…?  I hope so — I’m going through art withdrawl and my hands are itching to CREATE!

Featured Artist: Vanessa Valencia

January 22nd, 2008 by Nikki Smith

vanessavalencia_blissI spent a relaxing day at the book store with a friend today, chatting while pouring over art books and magazines. It’s good for the soul to have a regular dose of art, friendship and inspiration.

One of the gems I stumbled upon in a Somerset Studios magazine was the artwork of Vanessa Valencia (at left). She makes the most beautiful art pieces with raised clothing from torn and crumpled paper.

Check out her site for more inspiring art pieces at: http://VanessaValencia.com

Featured Artist: Wanda Hibbs

September 16th, 2007 by Nikki Smith

Pet Portrait in Oil by Wanda HibbsWanda Hibbs is an artist in Austin, Texas who paints primarily in oils and has a passion for color.  At left is one of her most recent paintings, a portrait of a couple’s beloved pet dog.

Below are two commissioned oil portraits, “Youngest Daughter” and “Oldest Daughter.”  All three are in private collections.

'Youngest Daughter' by Wanda Hibbs'Oldest Daughter' by Wanda Hibbs

New Artist Link: Thomas Allen

September 5th, 2007 by Nikki Smith

Thomas Allen

Thomas Allen combines altered book arts with photography.  He carefully cuts and folds images from pulp paperback covers to create 3D scenes that pop-out against a backdrop of books.  Fascinating photographs!

His book of photography, “Uncovered,” is coming out in September of 2007.

To see more artists websites, along with resources for Book Artists and links to helpful techniques, visit the “Links” section above.


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