Stephenson Showcase: Favorite Subjects & Special Places by Craig Mullins

Stephenson Showcase: Favorite Subjects & Special Places by Craig Mullins

Craig Mullins discovered his natural talent for drawing at an early age. Encouraged by his friends, teachers, and family to pursue his talent in some way, Mullins attended and taught at the College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State University. For most of his career, he worked as a professional architect in Indianapolis. Now retired, Mullins is drawing on those same architectural skills that were inherent in his profession as an artist, thus identifying as an Architect-Artist.

“One of the goals in my work is to capture the memory of a place, then creatively enhance it to inspire the viewer to see more than the original experience,” Mullins says. “My paintings are not a literal or impressionistic translation of what I see, but more of a composition that explores and enhances an image through my personal artistic style and color.” Through this, his pieces capture a specific moment in time with the land, the sky, and the built environment that only a painting can achieve.

Mullins’s artistic attention to detail and precision shines through his work in the landscapes, barnscapes, floral, and wildlife images that he paints with acrylic and pastel mediums on canvas. There is a demanding focus on the subject matter, composition, and color with every painting he creates.

“Many of the elements in my paintings become architecture, literally and figuratively,” Mullins says. “My landscape paintings become spaces that direct your eyes through the composition of the space. Colors in the paintings are bold and complementary; buildings, barns, canoes, and animals are focal points that draw your attention.”

Mullins is grateful for his experience with Nickel Plate Arts, as it has given him a community to showcase, explore, and grow as an artist. Working toward themed exhibits has forced Mullins to explore new subject matter and techniques in his paintings. He looks forward to continuing his work of capturing great rural barns in the landscape as well as delving into new paintings from past American and European travels for the rest of 2023 and 2024.

This year’s exhibit, Favorite Subjects and Special Places, features current works that are predominantly landscape paintings. Many of the paintings are large pieces that can serve as a strong focal point in a room, and he encourages anyone who loves to hike and travel or has a strong affinity for striking landscapes to check out the exhibit.

“Even if there is not a particular landscape painting in the show that you are drawn to, maybe you have a special place that you are drawn to or that you remember in recent travels that you would like to have painted as a commissioned work,” Mullins says. You can reference Mullins’s website,, to see examples of his commissioned paintings.

The full Favorite Subjects and Special Places exhibit can be seen in the Stephenson House August 4th through August 26th, Wednesday through Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can meet Mullins at his reception during the August First Friday event from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Stephenson House on the Nickel Plate Arts campus. 

Les Reinhardt