Craig Mitchell Smith Announcement

I’m thrilled to announce some significant news: I am now the official photographer for renowned glass artist, Craig Mitchell Smith. This collaboration presents an immense opportunity for me to venture into new creative avenues.

One of Craig Mitchell Smith’s glass works of art.
One of Craig Mitchell Smith’s glass works of art.

Craig’s talent in glasswork is unparalleled, making him a standout in the world of art.

Our journey began a couple of years ago when friends introduced us to Craig and his husband, Rick. At that time, he had an exhibition at Dow Gardens in Midland, Michigan. With the exhibit scheduled to end the following week, my wife, Cindee and I felt an immediate urge to experience it before it concluded. And it was nothing short of extraordinary—a testament to the beauty of Craig’s craftsmanship.

Earlier this year, we had the privilege of house sitting for Craig and Rick, ensuring their home and garden near the picturesque Lake Michigan, close to Charlevoix, remained in top condition during their travels. Their yard showcased an impressive collection of Craig’s art. On a whim, I decided to photograph these exquisite pieces. Many of you might have glimpsed them on my Facebook page.

Then, this summer, Craig reached out with an intriguing proposition. He has an upcoming show at the Museum of Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, VA. To my astonishment, Craig wanted me to be his official photographer for this exhibition! Despite identifying primarily as an artist and not having a significant reputation in photography, Craig believed that I captured his work’s essence better than any other photographer he’d collaborated with. I was deeply honored by such a profound compliment.

Over recent months, I’ve made several visits to Craig and Rick, documenting Craig’s latest creations. This experience has undoubtedly enhanced my photography skills, and I eagerly anticipate where this journey might lead me next.

Today marked another milestone. I submitted a collection of photographs to the Museum of Shenandoah Valley. The adventure doesn’t stop here; I’ll be traveling to Winchester next year to capture the exhibition’s setup and its final display.

While there’s another exciting project on the horizon, it’s a tad early to spill the beans. Stay tuned for that revelation in a future post!

Painting Life onto the Brewery’s Wall

Jim Young stood before the vast, blank expanse of the Right Brain Brewery wall, located in the heart of Traverse City, Michigan. With the mural’s design clear in his mind, he realized that this vision would require more than just his hands. That’s when Ashley Sorvisto and I stepped in, eager to tackle the challenge. Russell Springsteen, the owner of Right Brain, had long dreamt of a mural enhancing that wall, and with our combined talents, that dream was on the verge of becoming a reality.

Right Brain Brewery Mural
Right Brain Brewery Mural

Jim’s initial concept aimed to encapsulate the unique spirit of Right Brain. However, faced with city regulations, he showcased his flexibility. Refocusing his design on the fundamental ingredients of beer, Jim’s rendition highlighted water, grain, and hops, aiming to represent these elements in their purest, most captivating form.

Once the design was finalized, Ashley and I joined the project. Our collective goal was to preserve the integrity of Jim’s unique style. Every brushstroke we made was in homage to his original vision, and the synergy of our collaboration radiated from the finished work.

Choosing latex paint, Jim intentionally forwent the ease of spray cans. This decision was a reflection of the artisanal ethos of Right Brain Brewery. As vibrant hues began to materialize on the wall, it didn’t take long for intrigued onlookers to stop and admire, their appreciative glances and words of praise becoming a familiar and heartening refrain.

For Jim, this endeavor marked a departure from his customary solitary undertakings. Teaming up with Ashley and me, however, opened up new vistas of creativity, showcasing the wonders of collaborative artistry.

For Ashley, this project was a rejuvenating experience. Beyond the brilliant colors she contributed, the endeavor reinvigorated her passion for art. She mused about the invaluable discussions we had, be it selecting the ideal colors or fine-tuning the mural’s proportions.

Personally, I had never embarked on such a direct wall painting project before. The experience was enlightening and will forever be etched in my memory.

As the day waned and dusk bathed our mural in a soft, golden light, we paused to admire our collective creation. The Right Brain Brewery wall was no longer just brick and mortar; it was a canvas telling a tale of beer, innovation, and the splendor of teamwork—a narrative we were immensely proud of.

Many Changes!

Images at Right Brain

The past couple of years have seen so many changes for all of our lives. Some good, some not so good. I’m not going to focus on the bad things today, such as pandemics, lockdowns, deaths, and war. I’m going to talk about the good things that have been happening in my life and work.

I moved into a new studio this year. It is going great! The studio is small, but it gives me a place to be creative, and make it my own. If all I was doing was working on my computer, I would not need the studio. That is far from the only thing I have going. Not only does the studio give me a place to do my work, it gives me a place to meet with my clients. I far prefer that over having them come to my home. Helps keep things separate.

I’ve been branching out with my artwork. I’m doing acrylic pouring, digital images, photo manipulation, vinyl cutting, custom mugs, and many other things. A local brewery even offered to let me put some of my artwork on their walls. I’m very excited about that. Nice to have a place to show my work.

The local Macintosh dealer closed. That makes me sad. I loved CityMac. I was a customer of theirs for almost thirty years. Last year, they asked me if I’d be interested in helping any of their customers who want help with software at their home of office. It seemed like a good fit, so I agreed to it. Then early this year they decided that they couldn’t go on, and closed the store. They referred all of their customers to me for software support. It is keeping me busy, but not overwhelming me. I still have time to create my art.

You may have noticed a new page on my site, Purchase My Artwork. It is a direct link to my Fine Art America page. I have several pieces posted there, and you can purchase them in many different formats. I’d love to get some of your feedback.

I started a Substack blog. I will admit that I have not posted much there recently. I’m going to work on that. It is called Strings of Bits and Pieces. There, I talk about many parts of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

There are more things in the works. I’m doing my best to make this year a good one for Rick Stringer Creative Services, LLC.

Branching Out

2021 has been a year of change. At the end of 2020, I stopped working for Corbin Design as an employee. I do still contract some work with Corbin, but I'm free to pursue more things as Rick Stringer Creative Services, LLC. Sorry I have not kept up with this blog. My intent is for that to change. Starting with this post.

One thing that I've been working on is expanding my own creative work. My past work has always leaned heavily towards realistic artwork. That is how it all started. Here are a couple of examples of my artwork from early in my career.

Currus Celerrimus
Out of the Shadows

My career evolved from the airbrush to the computer. That is primarily what I did at Corbin Design.

This year, I decided to try something totally different. Something out of my comfort zone. Acrylic pouring. It is abstract work, and as far from realistic as you can get. To be honest, I’m loving it. Here are some examples.


So, now I have some questions for you. Do you like this new direction? Is this artwork something you would pay for? Should I start selling these pieces on-line?

I’m looking for some honest feedback here. You can comment on this page, or you can send me an email at: Contact.

Thank you for taking the time to look at my post, and if you give me some feedback, I will be so very grateful!