I was tagged to participate in the black and white photo challenge for a second time in recent weeks. Of course I could not say no to a good creative challenge, so I decided to participate, again. What I loved about this challenge is that it forced me to go back into my photo archives and really look at a lot of photos (hundreds at least), and decide what would make a good b&w image. I looked for subject matter with good texture, shadow and contrast, as not any old image would suffice as decent b&w photography. Some are as recent early this year, while others go back as far as from a decade ago.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Yesterday I went with Kris to see The Gift of Nothing's worldwide premier performance at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. I also did a guest blog post about it HERE at the ComicsDC blog!
Saturday, November 8, 2014
If you can't make it to the Outsider Art Fair in NYC this January, why not stop by Art Enables to see what folks from all around the DC area are doing instead? Today is the last day to catch their annual Outsider Art Inside the Beltway exhibit, which is indeed a spectacular show. I got a lot of shots from the exhibit, but as always, the art is well worth seeing in person. Plus, they're having a great workshop lined up today, for participants of all ages! If you're in the area, be sure not to miss it!
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Monday, October 27, 2014
I think this year we'll be skipping the pumpkin carving, costumes and decor for Halloween, however, I did get into the spirit last Saturday and did some "monster mash" doodles on some mail I sent out to a couple friends. Hope they like the art work!
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
In time for the 2014 GRUMP holiday arts and crafts event at Artisphere, Arlington, VA, I made a couple of GRUMP yetis. The yeti is the official GRUMP mascot, so I tried my hand at a couple of different versions, the top one being a Splotch Yeti, while the bottom was more in a tattoo/street art style, with the clean lines and all. I really bombed the first time trying my hand at the bottom one - it turning out looking like some kind of strung out Charlie Manson, so that promptly was scrapped. I'm glad I hung in there and went back to the drawing board for a second attempt. The top one was made on some thick black paper with white watercolor ink only. I used the other end of my paint brush to poke out impressions for the eyes and mouth. He was more or less influenced by the big ol' Wampa from the Empire Strikes Back. It took no more than about five-to-ten minutes to complete. The bottom one, showing a very grumpy grump of a yeti, who misplaced his present on the top of his head, took about three hours, if you include the first attempt, which involved lots of line work, only to get worse and worse as I added more and more lines and detail. My original intent was to keep it clean and minimal, but somehow I derailed and ultimately failed. During the second attempt, I made sure to stick to the initial plan, and pencil everything out first, while changing the facial features and overall look of the beast. In the meantime, my wife Kris (whose own grumpy yeti is down at the bottom of the post) will be selling work, as well as myself at GRUMP, whose official date is Sunday, December 14th, from 11am - 4pm. It's going to be "super sized" this time, and a ton o' fun!
Monday, October 13, 2014
Been listening a lot lately to the brand new album by Washington, DC band The Funk Ark, titled Man is a Monster. First off, loving the album. In fact, I've been thoroughly enjoying their whole back catalogue, which currently consists of three albums. The band has gone in a slightly "darker" direction with this one, reflected by the album's artwork, courtesy of JJ Cromer and myself. I'm so glad the band chose the cover work from me and JJ's "Splotch/Asterisk" collaboration from 2013, which is what I was hoping for when I was told about the then tentative album title. I'm also so glad JJ was up for including this work to grace their cover, and I know I personally wouldn't want my art on the cover of music I thought lacked integrity. Probably the best part about having our Splotch/Asterisk art on an album cover was discovering a genre and style of music I'm not all too familiar with. As folks who know me can tell you, I've always been and always will be an electronic music nerd to the core, but it's good to get out and explore other styles of music, and their multilayered, mostly instrumental sound resonates with me big time. Let's hope more folks, both locally and internationally discover such a fantastic band. In the meantime, you can order your copy of this fine album HERE!
Sunday, October 5, 2014
I used to think that the older you got, the less special your birthday would be, but last Friday, that was not the case. When I got home from work, Kris surprised me with a beautiful watercolor painting of our boy Gammera. I don't know how or where she found the time to paint it, but it turned out amazing. She even made the sign for my cake, by hand as well!
The real celebrating began Saturday, however, as we visited downtown Leesburg, VA for a walk around town. We took some pictures, including one (below) of the cool glass jar light fixtures at Hopscotch Coffee (formerly King Street Coffee)!
While the Fall foliage was just beginning to appear some, we still managed to get some nice shots and a good walk around the wedding garden at Ida Lee Park. This is where I proposed to Kris and where we got married, and it'll always be a place of peace and joy for me.
Later that afternoon we visited one of our favorite wineries, Loudoun Valley Vineyards, just outside of Hamilton, going west on Charlestown Pike/Rt 9. We enjoyed a sunny (but very windy) afternoon with a bottle of some Route 9 Red, Kris' favorite from the vineyard.
This evening I capped off my birthday weekend with a viewing of one of my all time favorite movies, The Iron Giant. It's such a modern classic, I really hope it does come out on Blu Ray soon. Anyhow, with the movie's gorgeous autumnal setting in Maine, I always feel like watching this movie early Fall (which was when I saw it four times in the theaters when it first came out).
In the meantime, if you need a good pet portrait in watercolor, don't hesitate to contact Kris at her site HERE. She'll be more than happy to accept commissions!