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BookSmithStudio.com | Nikki Smith Book & Visual Artist

Handmade books and various art explorations

Posts Tagged ‘music’

Artwork on the cover of Flair Magazine!

February 21st, 2014 by Nikki Smith

I am soooo excited to share this news! My artwork is on the cover of Flair Magazine!
Flair Magazine Spring/Summe 2014This Spring/Summer 2014 issue is devoted to music, and I am thrilled that my Music Lovers’ series of artwork is featured! Julie LaFargue Giles interviewed me for the article and we talked about my artistic journey and how music inspires my artwork. If you are local to the Brazos Valley or surrounding communities, you can pick up a copy of the magazine at many local establishments (it will be delivered over the next few days).  The cover artwork is “Sweet Jenny Bursting with Music” and the back cover features “Guitar Siren.”  There are several other music fine art pieces from this series in the magazine, too.

Artwork from my Music Lovers’ series will be on display at First Fridays in Bryan, Texas later this summer (details to be announced soon).  If you would like to be informed of the gallery show opening, please sign-up for my newsletter and I’ll keep you posted.  No spam (I promise), just amazing art and a bit of personality.  🙂

To check out the complete series or to purchase artwork featured in the magazine, head over to the gallery for my Music Lovers’ artwork series where you will find these images plus many more.  Fine art prints are available on canvas, specialty fine art papers, acrylic, and metal in sizes up to 45″ x 60″.

If you would like to commission a one-of-a-kind, exclusive portrait, just get in touch with me.  And if you love art and music as much as I do, we really should connect!  You can connect with me on Google Plus, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, About.Me and, of course, in person.  I love meeting fellow art and music enthusiasts!

(Pardon me while I do a little happy dance!)

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?

Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars…

May 31st, 2013 by Nikki Smith

I love music.  I love how it can sweep me away, create a mood, give me energy and lift my spirits.  More and more, I’m seeing my artwork reflect the music that inspires me to create.  This piece is no exception:


Copyright Nikki Smith, 2013; All Rights Reserved.
Model: Jenna Kellen as photographed by: Marcus Ranum

Can you hear the music?  That’s Frank Sinatra singing:

“Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars
In other words, hold my hand
In other words, darling, kiss me

Fill my heart with song
And let me sing for ever more
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore
In other words, please be true
In other words, I love you

(Lyrics written by Bart Howard in 1954)

In the interest of introducing you to a new musical artist you can’t live without, here is a beautiful cover of this song by musician Daniela Andrade:

And here is a classic performance by Frank Sinatra in 1969, dedicated to the astronauts who had just landed on the moon:

Now, can you hear the music?  Life is full of song and beauty, everywhere you turn.  You just need to listen…

A Musical Affair: paper necklace tutorial

March 9th, 2013 by Nikki Smith

I’m lovin’ the paper necklaces that my friend Andreea and I made on our art date last week. The concept is as simple as can be (though it requires some patience) and the resulting jewelry is stunningly elegant, lean-in-for-a-closer-look, touchable and oh so fun!

We were inspired by a project by Jason Thompson in his book, “Playing with Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book.” (I highly recommend it!)  Of course, we put our own spin on the project and learned some tricks and tips along the way.  If you would like to make a similar necklace for yourself, here’s how:

Total project time: 2 to 4 hours.

Ingredients:

Paper — Fun ideas include: sheet music, a recycled book, old maps, colorful magazines, text in foreign languages, an illustrated children’s book, etc.

Paper punches —  A hole punch and a circle punch or other fun, simple shape.  I used a double-heart paper punch instead of two punches.  While not identical, this is the closest I could find online:

Necklace — chain, wire, leather, etc.

Optional — beads for spacers, glue, paintbrush, wooden skewer & cork (for holding punched paper)

Creating the Necklace:

Tip: Determine how many pages your punch can cut through at once.  I started out punching these shapes one at a time (yikes!) and it would have taken me days to complete if I hadn’t realized this simple time saving trick.  My friend was able to cut six sheets of paper at a time with her newer punches, while the double-heart punch I used could cut about four sheets at a time.

If you are using a punch that already has a hole in the middle (as I did with the double heart punch shown above) then line up your papers and start punching.  Otherwise, begin by using the small hole punch to make the holes for the centers of your paper shapes.  Next, turn your circle or shape punch upside down so you can see through it and line up the punch so that the inner hole is as close as possible to the center of the final shape.

Punch, punch, punch and punch some more…  (Turn on some tunes!)

Bonus Tip:  My hands got tired and sore after a few hours but I was determined to keep going.  Then it dawned on me that I could also punch on a hard floor using my foot and the heel of my shoe rather than the palm of my hand.  This won’t work with every style of punch, but it sure helped my hands feel better.  🙂

Optional:  I placed my cut paper shapes on a wooden skewer with a piece of cork at the end for easy storage while I continued punching.

Now for the fun part!  There are a few ways to proceed from here, depending on what style you like best…

Version 1:  String your paper shapes onto the necklace and try it on. The paper shapes will tend to lie flush with each other, perpendicular to your skin.

Version 2:  Use beads (or even paper beads) to space the necklace out.

Version 3:  This is my own variation, which I love!  To make the papers overlap nicely so that details can be seen all along the necklace (as shown in the photos here), you will need to glue a few small clusters of paper shapes together and space them around the necklace.  I took groups of four to six hearts and threaded them on to my wire necklace, gently overlapping them.  I applied a small amount of glue (I used ModgePodge) with a paint brush to where the papers overlapped and then let the set dry on the wire.  You can see one of these clusters in the lower-right corner of the photo below.  I made about eight of these clusters and spaced them around the necklace.  All other hearts are loose, individual papers.  The clusters have the effect of forcing the other papers to lay at an angle and overlap.  Beautiful, and so touchable!

I hope you have enjoyed this little tutorial!  I believe this is the third sheet-music necklace I’ve made, each in a completely different style.  One was a charming little booklace (mini-book on a necklace) as featured on CraftGawker, and another was based on a tear-drop shaped piece of vintage sheet music coated with ice resin for a transparent look.  I’m passionate about music, and I love expressing this passion in my artwork, especially in such a touchable form!  How have you incorporated music in your artwork?