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I recently made my first trip to the Station North Arts District in Baltimore since 2017 (when I drew some NSFW drawings of disabled burlesque performer Jacqueline Boxx at Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School). I spent 2018 being mostly grounded within a 10-mile radius of my home in the Washington, DC area because my alimony ran out before I found work so I was too poor to do much traveling.

I basically focused on going to the DC chapter of Dr. Sketchy’s mainly because the events were held closer to my home. On that day I decided to check out the Baltimore chapter that was being held that night only to discover that the event was sold out! Yeah, I could’ve bought tickets online the night before but given my current work situation, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to make it until the night of the event when I found that I had time to go to that event. So I took a risk and found that it was sold out. It was the first time I had ever encountered it because usually those events tend not to sell out. Next month I’m going to have to seriously consider buying a ticket online depending on what my work schedule will be like.

So, as a consolation prize, I walked around the area where I found that much has changed since my last visit in 2017. There were a few murals that I haven’t seen before, such as this one.

There were some businesses that have either closed down altogether or moved elsewhere (such as Red Emma’s, the worked-owned cooperative bookstore and coffeehouse that is now located in another part of Baltimore). There were a few places that have opened since my last visit in 2017, such as this one.

There were a couple of wheat pasted posters that looked visually interesting.

I know that in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC there is a Made in DC store where all of the items were made by local artisans. It looks like Baltimore has its own Made in Baltimore store. Unfortunately that store was closed the night I was there so I wasn’t able to go in and look.

Then there is that one billboard that used to get painted over with hand-painted slogans like Who is Land Banking, Where Does the Buck Stop?, and Whoever Died From a Roughride. Since then it looks like someone has decided to crack down on the unauthorized political commentary and replace the painted slogans with this official billboard ad touting how current Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford and the rest of the current state administration all stand with Baltimore.

The only downer of my walk is what happened to this mural that I had photographed on a previous visit back in 2014. At the time there was a convenience store and the mural reminded me of a scene from a silent movie. Here is what it looked like back then.

photo9

That convenience store has since gone out of business but the mural managed to remain as late as 2017. Sadly, on my last visit, some asshole decided to cover it with his/her own graffiti.

It’s one thing to paint on a blank wall outside but to intentionally do that to someone else’s art without any kind of input from the original artist basically makes the graffiti artist proclaim the following to the world: “I AM A SELF-CENTERED ASSHOLE WHO ONLY CARES ABOUT MYSELF AND DON’T GIVE A HOOT ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE’S CREATIVE EFFORTS.” It’s a shame that this happened because I felt it was one of the nicer murals that was on display in that part of Baltimore.

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One day I was walking around the local Unitarian Universalist church when I decided to shoot a photo of a painting that had been hung in that church for years.

The man in the painting is of Reverend Rick Kelley, who’s the minister emeritus of Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church in Adelphi, Maryland (where this painting currently resides). He was the minister who officiated at my wedding (which later ended in divorce but that’s another story). He was the minister when my future husband and I first joined that congregation.

Rick Kelley retired from our church back in 1992 but he is still alive as of this writing. As a thank you for the 20 years of service he gave to this congregation, one of the rooms was named the Kelley Room in his honor and it included this painting of him that was done by one of the fellow church members.

The next photo shows the detail of the signature of the artist who painted his portrait along with the date he created this piece.

The artist who did this was named drex Andrex (who spelled his first name with a lowercase “d”). My then-husband and I first met him through our Unitarian Universalist congregation and we served on a variety of committees together and frequently met with him and his wife, Ann, at a variety of social events. drex would’ve loved to have been able to make a living as an artist but, unfortunately, he never made enough money at his art to pay the bills. He had a day job as a federal employee plus there were the years when he and his wife raised three children so he had to limit doing his art to whenever he had some free time.

drex was mainly into painting landscapes and cityscapes based on places where he and his family lived. (They lived in Europe for a few years—mainly Belgium and the United Kingdom—in the 1970’s and 1980’s.) He painted in an impressionist style and I’ve always loved his work. He tried selling his paintings to galleries and art dealers but he frequently got turned away. Having seen his work, I never understood why the galleries and art dealers rejected him. He was able to have a few art shows here and there but he really deserved better from the art world.

Sadly drex died pretty young of pancreatic cancer when he was only in his mid-50’s over 10 years ago. I still have this Christmas block print he did that I bring out every Christmas. (I even wrote a blog post about it a couple of years ago.)

Reverend Rick Kelley is still alive as of this writing and he currently lives in retirement in the southern U.S. with his wife, Mary Ann.

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I really was busy the first weekend in December. On Saturday I went to the Festival on the Green in Crofton, Maryland then I ended up at the Bowie Public Library because it was raining so hard and the other drivers were being so aggressive at the same time that I decided to ride out the worst of the storm there instead.

On Sunday I went to the Festival of Lights Holiday Market in Greenbelt, Maryland. While I was there I took part in an Artful Afternoon where I made this Norwegian-style heart-shaped woven paper ornament.

After those two events, I headed over to the nearby Greenbelt Makerspace where I attended the weekly animation meetup. After that event was over, I decided to head over to the other makerspace in Greenbelt that’s known simply as The Space. While I was there I took a few photos.

There was a 3Doodler pen that was available for anyone who wanted to do freehand 3D drawings in plastic.

The Space, December 2, 2018

Here is one of the customized vinyl toys on display at The Space.

The Space, December 2, 2018

There was an artist who was working on his latest painting at The Space.

The Space, December 2, 2018

By the time I left The Space it was already nighttime (the days have been growing shorter these days) so I headed home.

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My group for people who are separated or divorced was having a vendor sale where local vendors (some of whom are fellow group members) were selling their wares. They did this in conjunction with the Festival on the Green that was held at the Crofton Country Club located next door to the church where the vendor sale took place (and the same place where weekly meetings are held). Since money is extremely tight with me these days, I thought about skipping it until I received an email saying that they had gotten a recruiter to take part in this. He was collecting resumes because there were supposedly a bunch of places that were looking to hire people, especially in IT. When I learned about that recruiter, I decided to go there because I was curious to see if there is any kind of full-time work that’s available.

I had intended to spend no more than an hour in Crofton—just long enough to drop off my resume, speak with the recruiter, take a brief tour of the vendor sale and the Festival on the Green, then leave. It’s partly because the weather forecast called for rain and it’s partly because I had intended to go to another festival that’s closer to my home because I have a few friends who were vending there and I wanted to say hi to them. So I arrived at the vendor sale and I found out that everyone else had arrived except for the recruiter. The organizers of that vendor sale had said that they texted the recruiter and he texted back that he would be arriving soon but he didn’t know when. So I decided to kill some time by checking out the vendor sale, where I purchased just a couple of someone’s home-baked cookies and ate them. Then I walked over to the Festival on the Green next door and took a few pictures of what I saw there.

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

There was someone selling LuLaRoe clothes from a small blue bus. Just a few days after I took that photo I learned that someone had alleged in court that LuLaRoe is on the brink of collapse.

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

I saw an 18-inch doll (I couldn’t tell if she was an American Girl or a competitor’s doll) with crocheted hats and scarves made for 18-inch dolls.

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

There were heaters and fire pits that were designed to keep people warm as they shopped around the various booths. (It was not only cloudy but it was around in the 40’s as well.)

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

The Grinch showed up along with the Chick-fil-A cow dressed up as Santa Claus.

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

There was a variety of arts and crafts available that one could buy. I could only look since money is pretty tight with me these days.

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

There was an art truck parked where people can see the paintings on sale.

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

There was another truck known as Tin Lizzy that sold fair trade clothing.

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

There was a hands-on demonstration of remote control race cars, which was a huge hit with the kids.

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

There were a variety of food trucks, some of which had unique decorations.

Festival on the Green, December 1, 2018

I ended up eating a $4 bacon and cheese empanada that I purchased from one food truck along with a bag of Utz potato chips and a can of Diet Coke that I purchased from another truck. (I paid a total of $7, which is cheap by eating out standards.) By the time I purchased what I ate for lunch, it started to drizzle. I went back to my car and ate lunch there. After I finished I decided to go back to the church to see if the recruiter had arrived. It turned out that the recruiter still hadn’t arrived. I hung around and socialized with a few fellow members whom I haven’t seen in a while. (I haven’t been going to meetings lately due partly to tight finances and partly because the topics of those meetings tend to repeat and I’ve sat in on some topics at least three or times previously.)

I decided to wait until 1 p.m. for the recruiter, since the support group’s vendor sale as supposed to end at 2 p.m. (The Festival on the Green itself ran until 4 p.m.) So I waited and the guy ended up being a no-show and it started to rain harder outside. I gave up and decided to drive towards home. The rain grew so heavy that I decided to drive along the back roads because I just didn’t want to deal with the crazy assholes who speed in any weather on the interstate highways. When I hit Bowie I became more nervous because of the weather so I ended up stopping at the Bowie Library. It was the first time I had ever stepped inside and I took pictures, which I’ll write about in my next post.

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Like I wrote in a previous blog post, I attended two festivals in one day. The first one was the smaller Greenbelt Blues Festival, which I already wrote about. After attending that festival, I went to the Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, which was a larger event. Here are the photos I took of the event while I was there.

This sign erroneously said that this festival was held on September 10. In reality, it showed up on September 22.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

The festival was well-attended and there were all kinds of arts and crafts on display along with local bands performing. The local craft breweries were selling their craft beers and ales. The weather was warm and pleasant (the humidity was low that day). All in all I had a good time and many of the festival goers also enjoyed themselves as well.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

I only purchased one item at this festival. It’s a small bar of soap made from honey and it has a bee motif on it.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, September 22, 2018

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