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BookSmithStudio.com | Nikki Smith Book & Visual Artist

Handmade books and various art explorations

Posts Tagged ‘guitar’

Ground Control to Major Tom – Out of this world artwork!

January 26th, 2014 by Nikki Smith
Ground Control to Major Tom; artwork copyright Nikki Smith 2013; All Rights Reserved
Ground Control to Major Tom, Copyright by Nikki Smith, All Rights Reserved. (Fine art prints here.)
Responsible pinning and social sharing with credit and a link appreciated.

“Ground Control to Major Tom” is a digital painting created stroke by stroke by Nikki Smith. This piece was inspired by the song “Space Oddity” by David Bowie, recently recorded *in space* by astronaut Chris Hadfield on the International Space Station in a captivating video:

(Thanks, NASA, for the reference photos!)

I love the lyrics of the song, too:

“Ground control to major Tom
Ground control to major Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on
(Ten) Ground control (Nine) to major Tom (Eight)
(Seven, six) Commencing countdown (Five), engines on (Four)
(Three, two) Check ignition (One) and may gods (Blastoff) love be with you

This is ground control to major Tom, you’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare

This is major Tom to ground control, I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
Here am I sitting in a tin can far above the world
Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do

Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles, I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows
Ground control to major Tom, your circuits dead, there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, major Tom?
Can you hear me, major Tom?
Can you hear me, major Tom?
Can you…
Here am I sitting in my tin can far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do”

(Lyrics by David Bowie)

After a recent trip to NASA with the kiddos I discovered that I hadn’t yet shared this artwork on my blog. Shame on me! NASA was a great experience for our kids, who especially loved the “Angry Birds In Space” area. Way to make learning fun, NASA! Here is one of my little astronauts now:

One of my little astronauts at NASA

Internal Flight Trailer – Music by Estas Tonne

January 25th, 2014 by Nikki Smith

One of life’s pleasures is discovering talented artists and musicians that are true masters of their craft. As I’ve often said, music and art have the power to move us in unexpected and powerful ways. Here is one such master musician, guitarist Estas Tonne:

Visit his YouTube Channel, connect with him on FaceBook, or visit his website http://www.EstasTonne.com for more amazing music by Estas Tonne.

What music inspires you?

Music in my veins and art in my soul…

May 5th, 2012 by Nikki Smith


My Guitar can *SING* by Nikki Smith

Copyright 2012 Nikki Smith of BookSmithStudio.com; All Rights Reserved.  Fine art prints available up to 45″ x 60″!

Recently, I’ve been so busy creating art (and, I admit, getting distracted by life in general) that I realize I’ve neglected to blog about so many things!  Even big things like getting published – twice!  So I decided to correct that today (at least a little) by sharing my latest artwork series, inspired by music.

The below piece just tied for 1st place in a competition on Fine Art America this morning, which made my day!


Guitar Lover’s Embrace by Nikki Smith

 Copyright 2012 Nikki Smith of BookSmithStudio.com; All Rights Reserved.  Fine art prints available up to 45″ x 60″!
A kind thank-you to the beautiful model and photographer, Lina Tsu

I’ve decided that I love to create a body of work in a cohesive series whenever possible.  So, naturally, I couldn’t stop with just two.  Here are the next two in this series:


Sexy Saxophone by Nikki Smith

Copyright 2012 Nikki Smith of BookSmithStudio.com; All Rights Reserved.  Fine art prints available up to 45″ x 60″!


Guitar Siren by Nikki Smith

Copyright 2012 Nikki Smith of BookSmithStudio.com; All Rights Reserved.  Fine art prints available up to 45″ x 60″!
A kind thank-you to the beautiful and talented model Sarah Fleming.

I am very tempted to do one of these guitar art poses as a self-portrait, too.  I’m just short a guitar at the moment…

In keeping with the music theme, below is a great resource list of Public Domain and Creative Commons music and sounds.  If you have ever wanted to add (legal!) background music to a YouTube video, needed a stray sound effect or just love to explore new music this list is just what you need:

  1. IMSLP / Petrucci Music Library – over 67,000 music scores
  2. The Freesound Project – A variety of sounds such as: birdsong, thunderstorms, voice snippets
  3. ccMixter – Creative commons licensed music, perfect for backgrounds
  4. Wikipedia Soundlist – Thank-you again, Wikipedia!
  5. Digital History Project – From the University of Houston, this is an incredibly interesting collection of historical, public domain music divided by type and historical period. Jazz, the Gilded Age, the Civil War, World War 1, etc.
  6. Dewey Music – An organized way to search Archive.org’s public domain music
  7. Musopen – Plus, they also have a great collection of public domain sheet music

(Please double-check the license before downloading music files.)

I hope this list helps someone!  I know there are a ton of interesting resources out there.  What are your favorites?

Now, I mentioned that I’ve had a lot going on in my artistic life recently that I haven’t blogged about.  I didn’t want to cram everything into one post, so expect another post in the next week or so on my Steampunk collage mixed-media series (those are so fun to make!), or my patent artwork series, or my recently published artwork and articles…  Hmmm, what to share first?  In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little taste of music.

I’ll leave you with a question — what do you enjoy listening to when you create?  What music moves and inspires you?