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What happened when 165 street artists took over an abandoned building in Berlin.

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A woman who paints tiny masterpieces in an empty Altoids tin (including instructions on how to make your own tin painting kit).

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The definitive ranking of all 12 Star Wars movies.

Polish artist illustrates his fight against depression with these mysterious dark paintings.

A virtual holographic anime character named Azuma Hikari is a voice-powered virtual assistant who can also provide companionship for single men.

I attended a reception for a new art exhibit that’s currently being held at ReCreative Spaces in Mount Rainier, Maryland. It’s called Resist and it features art that was inspired by the new Trump Administration. The parking lot in the back of ReCreative Spaces features this really impressive mural that says “Deport Trump.”

Resist Art Reception

I returned to that mural a couple of days later to photograph it in daylight.

Deport Trump Mural

Here are some more art pieces from that same show that are currently being displayed indoors.

Resist Art Reception

Resist Art Reception

Resist Art Reception

Resist Art Reception

Resist Art Reception

Resist Art Reception

Resist Art Reception

The opening festivities included a coloring event where we could color this page with three raised fists.

Resist Art Reception

Resist Art Reception

The person who ran that activity had posted examples of how we could color our pages by drawing patterns that looked like what I’ve seen in Zentangle. So I decided to follow suit by drawing patterns in my coloring page. I used TanglePatterns.net for pattern ideas. Here is my colored page.

Resist Art Reception

Santa Claus Baby New Year

I happened to be in Brentwood on a sunny yet cold day. I finally did something that I’ve long wanted to do—take a few pictures of the Gateway Community Development Corporation building.

The Gateway CDC building is located in a small yet cozy looking cottage.

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At first glance one would think that he/she is looking at some front windows until you get a close-up view of those “windows” and soon realize that they aren’t really windows. They are actually paintings.

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Both of these painted false “windows” are actually a style of art known as trompe l’oeil.

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One side of the building has real windows along with a sign explaining what the Gateway Community Development Corporation is and what it does (which you can read about online right here).

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The other side of the building also has real windows along with plenty of open ground with a picnic table. I can imagine that it would be the perfect spot for a picnic on a warm sunny day.

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Santa Claus

 

 

 

 

Back in May I took part in the Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, where I braved the rainy weather to see some wonderful art made by local artists. There was recently another Open Studio Tour. This time there was no rain but it was pretty cold outside since it took place in December. I managed to cover more ground on this Open Studio Tour than I was able to back in May.

I started at ReCreative Spaces in Mount Rainier, Maryland, where I not only saw a small arts and crafts show on the lower level but I even saw some of the resident artists who were working on their latest masterpieces.

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Next I went to the Otis Street Arts Project, where I took these photographs.

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

I also visited the Washington Glass School, which is located in the same complex as the Otis Street Arts Project. As you can guess from the name, this place specializes in glass art.

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016
Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

After that visit, I got in my car and I drove to nearby Hyattsville. I was only able to briefly check out the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center before the Open Studio Tour officially ended for the day.

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

I stepped outside the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center just in time to see this moon rising over Route 1 in Hyattsville at twilight.

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

I ended my day by crossing Route 1 over to Franklins Restaurant, Brewery, and General Store, where I saw their Christmas windows.

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

I did some browsing in the General Store part of Franklins before I decided to call it a day and head back home.

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

The opening ceremony for the Festival of Lights happened just a few days earlier, which led the way for the biggest event of this festival: The Festival of Lights Arts & Crafts Show. This is among the events I make an effort to attend each year because I always run into at least two or more friends and I usually find at least one present to give to someone. This year was no exception.

The arts and crafts show runs the entire weekend but I was only able to attend the second and final day. In some ways the second day is better because it ties in with the last Greenbelt Farmers Market of the year before it goes on the winter hiatus until May. I managed to take this picture of some really nicely decorated Christmas decorations that were painted gourds.

Festival of Lights Arts and Crafts Show, Greenbelt, Maryland, December 4, 2016

I saw these nice instruments that were handmade from wood. They were made and sold by Roussell Family Arts.

Festival of Lights Arts and Crafts Show, Greenbelt, Maryland, December 4, 2016

These watercolors were made by Mary Ann Lipovsky, whose workshops I’ve taken in the past when she held them at Makerspace 125. (She told me that there’s a chance that she may start up those workshops at Makerspace 125 again sometime next year.)

Festival of Lights Arts and Crafts Show, Greenbelt, Maryland, December 4, 2016

You can view more of her work here and here.

I also visited my good friend, Tina Van Pelt, who’s a fused glass artist. She surprised me with this gift of a fused glass piece that could be worn as either a pin or a pendant. (She gave it to me as a special “thank you” for helping her out with a few things.) She’s been making fused glass American flags interspersed with safety pins as part of the new trend of wearing safety pins that have taken root since Donald Trump’s election last month. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this special line will go to the ACLU.

Festival of Lights Arts and Crafts Show, Greenbelt, Maryland, December 4, 2016

You can view more of her work through her business, Profusions of Glass.

I purchased this soap as a Christmas present for my mother. (I’m comfortable with mentioning it here before Christmas because she’s not on the Internet at all.) It’s shaped like a popsicle complete with a wooden stick.

Festival of Lights Arts and Crafts Show, Greenbelt, Maryland, December 4, 2016

I think she’ll get a kick out of it. Unfortunately I didn’t get any business cards from the booth where I purchased this soap so I can’t provide any information about the person who made and sold this.

There were more booths at this year’s event but those were the only photos I took because I was more focused on shopping and socializing with friends.

I finally added something new in my RedBubble store for the first time in over a year. Here is some background.

A few weeks ago I attended Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School in Washington, DC. (No, I haven’t uploaded any of the drawings I made there yet but I’m going to do so soon.) I took part in a contest where I incorporated the European Christmas demon known as Krampus. My prize was a drink of my choice from the bar (where I picked a fruity tasting beer whose name now escapes me).

A few days later I came up with an idea for Krampus where I gave him a modern-day twist by merging him with a certain wealthy politician. Here he is: Trumpus.

trumpus-webfriendlyversion

I really had a blast creating this piece. I wished I had thought of this sooner because I could’ve come out with Trumpus products earlier in the holiday shopping season instead of having something just four days before Christmas. I decided to do this product line any way because I know that there has been a trend in recent years where people go post-Christmas shopping. Part of the reason is because of the rise in people giving gift cards as presents and part of the reason is because people are more inclined to shop for themselves if they didn’t get a certain item they wanted for Christmas.

And that’s not to mention that Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20. (The Electoral College decided to certify the popular vote and make Trump president. This happened despite a movement known as the Hamilton Electors cropped up and there was talk of replacing Donald Trump with a moderate Republican alternative like Mitt Romney or John McCain. Well, that didn’t happen.)

I have Trumpus available in t-shirts, laptop/mobile cases, laptop/mobile skins, framed art prints, coffee mugs, and more! Click here to do your Trumpus shopping.

I decided to check out this job fair that was being held at the Beltsville Library because I’m always on the hunt for a day job to pay the bills. It turned out to be a small job fair (I saw maybe three or four tables that were staffed.) I only found one place that I decided to apply to but, as of this writing, I haven’t heard anything further from that place so I don’t know if anything will come of it.

But I liked the design of the library itself so I took a few pictures. I saw that it had a cafe, which was basically a small room that had a few tables and vending machines.

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The main focal point of this library is this very colorful fantasy-themed mural featuring a bunch of animals reading books. I found it to be quite charming.

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The wall mural ended with this stone castle facade that looked pretty cool.

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There was also this charming alligator book holder.

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The library had this large computer area.

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The library was very spacious.

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The Beltsville Library is located right next to a station of the Prince George’s County Police Department. There’s a police memorial for fallen police officers killed in the line of duty that’s outside the station’s doors.

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I recently attended Intervention Con for the first time since 2014. (Last year I opted to attend the 60th anniversary of the Enchanted Forest celebration that was held at Clark’s Elioak Farm that was scheduled at the same weekend. I wanted to go because it was both the 60th anniversary and the fact that the last of the attractions were moved from its former location—now known as the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center—to the farm. Even though it was of those “chance of a lifetime” events, it was so hot and humid on that day—which is typical August weather in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area—that I found myself wishing that I had opted for Intervention Con instead because it was held in an air conditioned hotel. I vowed that in the future I would only go to Clark’s Elioak Farm in the spring and fall because the summer is usually too hot and humid to enjoy anything.) This year I really wanted to go because there were not only a few panels that I was interested in attending but there were also some interesting guests who were going to be there as well.

Even though Intervention was being held at the Hilton Hotel in Rockville, Maryland, I ended up commuting from my home to the hotel while bringing my own food and drinks to save money. I found out that the hotel is located near the Twinbrook Metro station so I parked there instead of paying the hotel’s $15 per day fee for using its parking lot. (Yes, this particular hotel actually charges a parking fee.) The first night I had to pay $8.50 because I didn’t ride Metro. (It’s normally around $5 for those who ride the Metro.) It was still cheaper than what the hotel was charging.

As I was walking from the Metro parking garage to the hotel, I noticed this building that’s right next to the parking garage that has these really cool trompe l’oeil paintings on its warehouse doors.

Cool trompe l'oeil near Twinbrook Metro station on the way to #Interventioncon

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

I arrived at the hotel and paid for a weekend pass. I began to relax once I got my badge as I remembered why I love Intervention Con so much. It’s small compared to something like Otakon or Awesome Con but it’s way more laid back and I don’t have to wait in a long line for at least a half-an-hour in order to ensure that I would get a seat for a certain panel. I spent some time just taking a bunch of photographs of the convention and the hotel in general.

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

The first panel I attended was this one that was given by Jason Cranford Teague on “Children of the (Digital) Revolution.” It was a fun retrospective on how the various technology has changed since the 1970’s, especially with the size of cell phones and computers. I chuckled when he showed a photo of a rotary phone because I grew up with one in my house. (That phone was hooked up to only one line that everyone in the household had to share. There were no such thing as Caller ID or voicemail. There were answering machines but they were so expensive when I was growing up that only businesses had them.)

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

I attended my first presentation that was given by one of the convention’s celebrity guests. Dwight Schultz (left) talked with Ben Taylor on his days as an actor on shows like The A-Team and the various Star Trek series (The Next Generation, Voyager, and First Contact). It was quite an entertaining talk.

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

After that presentation ended I had an hour to kill before my next event. I went to the hotel lobby where I sat at this table that actually had plugs and USB ports where guests could charge their phones and other mobile devices. I ate the dinner that I brought with me while I was recharging my phone.  I glanced over at a group of people just a few feet away and I recognized one of them. It was René Auberjonois, who appeared in such TV shows as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Boston Legal. He started to wheel his suitcase in my direction so I grabbed my smartphone, zoomed in on him (he was at least 10 feet away from where I was ) and snapped this photo.

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

After I took that photo like a paparazzi I finished eating my dinner then walked over to the main event for that evening. Thomas Dolby of “She Blinded Me With Science” fame gave a multimedia presentation about his music and technology career on the first night of Intervention Con.

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

It was an amazing presentation where he started with singing his first major hit, “She Blinded Me With Science,” then he went on to talk about his days as a major pop star when he worked alongside people like Stevie Wonder and David Bowie. Then he talked about what he did since he left the music business, when he became the founder of a technology company that came out with the first ringtones for cell phones back in the 1990’s. He’s currently living in Baltimore where he’s a professor at Johns Hopkins University and the artistic director of Program in Sound on Film at the Station North Arts District. He gave such a fascinating presentation that even just trying to write about what he said wouldn’t do it justice. It’s just as well because Thomas Dolby said that his memoir will be coming out in a few months. I’d love to read it, especially if it’s as entertaining and interesting as his presentation at Intervention Con. He finished his presentation with a live performance of his other 1980’s hit, “Hyperactive.”

After the Dolby event I went to one more event before I called it a night. I went to this panel on “Horror: Folklore and Fairytale: How Tales of the Past Influence the Narratives of Today” that was given by Michelle Sonnier and Melissa Braus. It was a really interesting talk on how much of an effect that folklores and fairytales have on pop culture. (The most obvious example is Disney frequently using the stories written by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen for its animated feature films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Frozen.)

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

One of the presenters had her book on display. She was selling copies of that book at her booth in the Artists Alley throughout the convention.

Intervention Con, Day 1, September 16, 2016

After that last panel ended I drove back home for the evening.

Intervention Con Day 2

Intervention Con Day 3

For the past few years the town of Hyattsville, Maryland has held a fall arts festival each year. This year the organizers decided to combine it with local breweries and rename the festival the Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival. It was also moved a few blocks away from its previous location, which was a surprise to me because I had parked my car closer to the festival’s former location only to discover that I had to walk a few extra blocks.

That day was an unusually hot September day. After the mild nice sunny weather of the Labor Day holiday weekend, the high heat and high humidity returned with a vengeance. The temperature was in the high 90’s when I went to that festival. It was so hot that I ended up cutting my visit short. (That festival was held the same day as the nearby Greenbelt Blues Festival. I ended up skipping the latter festival because I was pretty overheated enough from attending the Hyattsville festival.)

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photos from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ale Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.
Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

The next few photos features an art car that was done by A. Clarke Bedford who has worked on other art cars like this one, this one, and this one. His home, which is located near the festival site, is also a major work of art.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

The one part of the festival that was actually air conditioned was this temporary pop-up gallery that opened its doors for the first time on the same day as the festival. It was known as “Double Down: 22 Years of the 2DK Lab” and it was put on by a group known as the “Double Down Kings of Washington, DC.” This show ran until September 17 and there were also workshops and live entertainment that were held during this show’s short run.

Photo from the 2016 @Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

Photo from the 2016 Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that when I wasn’t spending my Labor Day holiday weekend at the annual Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, I was working on this tiny art canvas for an upcoming contest.

carouselhorsesatnight-webversion

Carousel Horses at Night
Acrylic on canvas
3 inches x 3 inches
8 cm x 8 cm

I recently submitted it to the contest and it’s now on display at the local Artist & Craftsman Supply store in Hyattsville, Maryland along with the other entries. Here is a photo of all the entries.

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Here’s a closeup of the row that includes my own canvas, which is known as number 9.

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Here’s the voting forms and ballot box where the general public can vote for their favorite tiny canvas. Basically you vote according to the number.

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So if you’re in the Washington, DC area and you really like my work, come by to the store and vote for artwork number 9. Here’s the store address:

Artist & Craftsman Supply
4902 43rd Avenue
Hyattsville, Maryland 20781
Phone: (301) 887-1104 or (844) 784-1104
Email: cpkmd@artistcraftsman.com

Voting will end on October 1 so please don’t delay. Get out to the store and vote today!

UPDATE (October 3, 2016): I got my canvas back today. While I got a few votes, I didn’t win. That’s too bad because the grand prize would’ve been a $25 gift certificate that I could’ve used at that store to buy more art and craft supplies. Oh well.

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