Saturday, October 1, 2016

Weekend Top 6 Picks for October 1st and 2nd.

Saturday October 1, 2016 
11am to 11pm Free. ARTlando 2016. Orlando Loch Haven Park 900 E Princeton St, Orlando, Florida 32803. ONE DAY. ONE FESTIVAL. ALL ART.
**Art Walk & Competition**
80+ artists cover the lawn, displaying, selling and creating art. Art created on-site will be entered into a competition and thousands given in awards. 100% of revenue from art sales will go directly to the artists.
**Unique Installations and Interactive Exhibits**
This year, participate in the Toyota 'paint by numbers' exhibit as we the community paint in a mural from a local artists, covering an entire Toyota with art. Local artists will also be painting Juice Bike racks to be used at Juice Bike locations, a way to display art year-round in Orlando.
**Outdoor Performing Arts Stage**
Orlando’s most prominent performing arts organizations showcase throughout the day and into the night. From Orlando Ballet to Orlando Fringe, programming transitions from kid-friendly in the morning to general audience in the afternoon and acts for mature audiences in the evening as we move into Artlando After Dark, our party in the park.
**Cultural Attractions**
As the host sponsor, Orlando Museum of Art is an integral part of Artlando. The museum provides an air conditioned environment, and houses exhibits from participating galleries.
**Kid’s Zone**
Family-friendly event! Chalk art, balloon animals, live painting & more!
For more information go to
Sponsored by:
Orlando Museum of Art
New Belgium Brewing
Artegon Marketplace
Tasty Tuesdays
Orlando Weekly

2pm to 10pm $10 Orlando's Most Authentic Oktoberfest. German American Society of Central Florida 381 Orange Ln, Casselberry, Florida 32707. It's Oktoberfest! For all you devotees of Oompa-pa bands, German beer, Bavarian style food, lively crowds and Chicken dancing - do we have the fest for you! If you are looking for authenticity, this is the place to come. Join us in our Biergarten where you will find fabulous German food, plenty of Hofbrau Beer on tap, schunkeling, toasting to Ein Prosit, and live musical entertainment all day long, which when combined brings out the best in fest camaraderie.This is the first for an Oktoberfest in Central Florida and German American Society of Central Florida to serve the Original Hofbrau Oktoberfest Beer - You do not have to travel across the Atlantic to Munich's Wiesn to experience the Mood, Food and Get Beer.
ADMISSION: $10.00 (Pre-Purchase) and $15 (At the gate) for everyone 12 and older. Due to the capacity of our festival area, we ask you to purchase your admission tickets based on your arrival time (2-5 PM or 5-9 PM). This will allow us to manage the walk-in patrons accordingly. With an advanced purchase you will have a separate entrance line and will not have to wait in the "Stand-By" line. Military Discount will require valid ID at the Gate.
TICKETS: There is no need to print out your tickets, unless you have large parties and are not arriving at the same time. We can scan the ticket on your cell phone. For
PARKING: Parking is $5 in the lot at the end of Orange Lane. Surrounding businesses/home owners will offer parking for a fee up to $10 on nearby streets. Please do not park illegally or block driveways, your car might be towed, at your expense, or ticketed by the Sheriff's Office/Casselberry Police. UBER is offering discounts and coupons on our Facebook Event Page.
REFUND: There will be no refunds for Admission Tickets. Food & Drinks Tickets refund, minus the credit card processing fee, can be requested by emailing
Please check out our Facebook Event Page for updates and more information.
The Net profit from this event is to benefit the German American Society of Central Florida (GASOCF), which is a Non-Profit Organization (501c-7). Donations are not tax deductible.

2pm to 10pm Free. 8th Annual Zombietoberfest.  Audubon Park Garden District 3201 Corrine Dr, Orlando, Florida 32803. Come out to our spooky event and enjoy food trucks, beer, wine, vendors market, scavenger hunts, scary stories and more.
2 - 5 pm | Scavenger Hunt Sip and Stroll (Sip and Scavenge!). Family friendly. District Wide. With prizes.
5 - 9 pm | Kids Halloween Carnival Games. Snacks and drinks provided at Emmanuel Episcopal Church Courtyard. FREE. 1603 E. Winter Park Road, Orlando 32803)
5 - 10 pm | Undead Market. Zombie and Halloween vendors, vintage, gifts, and food trucks. West Corrine Plaza. Food trucks include SwedeDISH, Korean BBQ Taco Truck, Currywurst, and La Empanada, plus the Crepe Company cart! FREE admittance.
Scary Stories with Teege Braun. Time TBA. At Stardust Video and Coffee. FREE. (1842 E. Winter Park Road Orlando 32803)

8 pm | Zombie and Zombie Hunter Costume Contest at East End Market Courtyard. FREE. With prizes. (3201 Corrine Drive Orlando 32803)
8:30-ish | Zombie Crawl. FREE. District Wide. Meet in front of Blue Bird bake Shop. (3122 Corrine Drive Orlando 32803)
Special once a year zombie desserts at Blue Bird Bake Shop all day.

Sunday October 2, 2016 
Noon to 3pm Free or donation. Music at the Casa. Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, 656 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789. Flamenco Guitarist Luis Garcia. 

2pm to 4pm Free. UCF University Chorus. Cathedral Church of St. Luke 130 N. Magnolia Are, Orlando FL. 

2pm to 4pm Free. Yoga. Lake Eola Park, 195 N Rosalind Ave, Orlando, FL near red gazebo. Weekly.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Free Your Head with AHHA Dance.

Rokaya Mikhailenko was kind enough to let me sketch a late night  rehearsal of Free Your Head. This is her first effort choreographing as AHHADance. It is a joint effort with the Coby Dance Project with a guest artist from Afro-Latin Project. The rehearsal started at 9:15 at The Center for Contemporary Dance on Aloma. I went to a mindful meditation at 7pm to slow down and clear my head. When I arrived at the dance studio they were just about to get started. 

The show has a play for 60s vibe mixed wit some surreal Alice in Wonderland trippiness. Cool aid will be served along with M&Ms in pill bottles. The choreography is hip and modern with underlying expressive story lines. In one routine, thin dancer walked up to me and politely suggest that I should read more. Now that I don't have a TV that is a very reasonable goal. I do read myself to sleep some nights. 

Some choreography is playful an joyful. A song about sweet pink elephants had the dancers gesturing toward each other with doll-like mechanical movements. As usually happens with me, I began to follow one dancer's movements. Though dancers might move in sync, there is often some subtle magic that makes a dancer's movement purely expressive. There is a mindfulness and purity of intention. That purity manages to shine through even in a rehearsal at the end of a long exhausting day. That is what I like about rehearsals, dancers can fall without ever being concerned about how they will look when they hit the ground. There isn't the concern of showing off to an audience, there is just the joy of moving in the moment. 

AHHA Dance presents their first full evening of modern dance, with a playful nod to 60's counterculture. Aliens, go-go dancers, a rabbit named Lady and more! Expand your mind to free your head.  Pre-show at 8 featuring Fat Martha and the Mamalukes
Ages 18+

Free your Head will be performed September 30, 2016 in the Orange Studio, 1121 N Mills Ave, Orlando, Florida 32803. Tickets are $12.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Mennello Museum Indie-Folkfest.

The final assignment for the Valentines Day Sketch Tour was for all the artists to explore and sketch the very crowded Mennello Museum Indie-Folk Festival. This was a chance for me to finally get out my own sketchbook. I immediately sat in front of the outdoor stage l sketch The Brown Bag Brass Band. I had just danced the night away several nights before, listening this band at a Mardi Gras celebration at Dexter's in Winter Park with a friend. We danced to the point of exhilarated exhaustion. That same energy was very much alive at this outdoor performance. Dancing however seemed reserved for the kids.

Indie-Folkfest puts a twist on the Mennello Museum's traditional Orlando Folk Festival turning it into a Valentine’s Day-themed family folk picnic that features local music, art and food. The museum partnered with East End Market for food, Joseph Martens for the music lineup, as well as local bars to throw a fun-filled picnic in the beautiful Sculpture Garden of The Mennello Museum of American Art. Approximately 3,000 guests, including plenty of dogs and kids, spread out picnic blankets, made Valentine cards and enjoyed a daylong lineup of music against the backdrop of Lake Formosa in the winter sunshine.It was the second annual day dedicated to Music + Art + Picnic + Love.

All the artists gathered back at our lakeside classroom to share our sketches and experiences. Sketching on location always opens the possibilities of meeting someone new or learning something new. It is a way exciting to go out in to the world and do what you love and share it with others. This is the message I keep trying to convey to a new generation of artists. We all posed for a group photo before class was adjourned.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Rock of Ages at the Dr. Phillips Center of the Performing Arts.

Scott A. Cook invited me to sketch a tech, dress rehearsal for Rock of Ages at the Dr. Phillips Center of the Performing Arts, (445 South Magnolia Avenue Orlando FL). The sound check took quite some time to balance the levels between the casts head mics and the band. Regina's mic was not working. The battery had to be replaced but it still didn't work. She had round glasses, rosy cheeks and long dreads tied neatly behind her. She wore a flowing rainbow striped dress and a long orange crocheted vest. Because she was such a highlight of the sound check, I assumed she must be the heroine of the story. I empathized with her plight of not being heard. The rehearsal covered just part of act two, so I'm not sure how important her story arch is to the overall show. In my mind there should always be more Regina. She reminds me of the 60s movement towards positive change.

Rock of Ages is a rock musical, with a book by Chris D'Arienzo, built around classic rock songs from the 1980s, especially from the famous glam metal bands of that decade. The musical features songs from Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Steve Perry, Poison and Europe among other well-known rock bands. Mixed into this is the story of an aspiring actress who joins a strip club to make ends meet. She wants to develop a back a story for her character and understand her motivation. Her first over acted attempts at being sensual are quite hilarious. The other bored dancers give the costumers exactly what they want (Any Way You Want It) without any effort. Despite her awkward beginnings, the new girl is a natural and she catches the eyes of several sleazy record producers.

A construction foreman plays an important roll in praising the ceaseless construction. In a German accent he shouts, "Isn't it beautiful?" Two scaffolds are wheeled out and dancers perform scaffholdography, by spinning and then dancing a round the scaffolds. Protesters arrive with signs and there is a squirmish with riot police. Regina is front and center in the protest. So she is the heroine I imagined. She and the entire cast sang a rousing rendition of We're not Gonna take It and I was humming the song on the long walk back to my car.

Rock of Ages runs from September 28th to October 9th at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.  

Show Dates/Times
SAT OCT 1 - 2PM & 8PM
SUN OCT 2 - 2PM & 7PM
SAT OCT 8 - 2PM & 8PM
SUN OCT 9 - 2PM & 7PM

Rock Of Ages - Ticket Prices:
Tue/Wed/Thu performances: $26.75, $29.75, $32.75
Fri/Sat/Sun performances: $32.75, $35.75, $38.75
There is a 12% DPC handling fee for all online/phone orders.
The 12% DPC handing fee can be avoided by purchasing tickets in person at the DPC Box Office.

Online Tickets:
Box Office: 844.513.2014
Group Sales (8 or more): 407.455.5550 or
Mon-Fri 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sat 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

#iwannarock #roatwf2016 #roapartytrain #orlandosbiggestpartyever

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Pulse employee Neema Bahrami.

Pamela Schwartz, the Orange County Regional History Center program manager, is conducting Or I history interviews with people associated with the Pulse incident.  Neema Bahrami never wears red. Yet on the night of June 12, 2016, he wore a red shirt to his job as the Latin Night event organizer at Pulse. Someone joked with him that he should change his shirt since red is the cause of evil. Toward the end of the evening he walked to the front of the club to cash out. There are chains that hang over the entry. He  didn't see the shooter enter the club. He thinks he must have entered by the back gate. He later learned the gunman's car was parked back there. Then he heard the bangs. There is a DJ that incorporates the sounds of gun shots into his music mix, but he was not the DJ that night. Neema looked into the dub and saw muzzle flashes. People ran toward him. A young boy fell on him. He gathered the employees up front and got out. There was a policeman right outside, who told everyone to go to Dunkin' Donuts. The gunman came to the entry at a glass waterfall and began shooting towards the cop. Neema wrote on Facebook "Omg I can't believe this please God." Followed by, "I am safe everyone give me a minute trying to make sure the staff and guest that are with me are safe."

When police arrived, they began firing into the club entry. Neema was concerned about friendly fire. Outside, he got a cell phone call from an employee still in the dressing room. He informed police that he was on the phone with someone inside. People inside had to live through three hours of the worst fear imaginable. Dancers hid in cabinets. he realized, that if an air conditioner unit was removed, then the employees could crawl out through a hole in the wall. He drew a diagram for police. There were nine employees trapped in that room. Police didn't take his advice. He says he was near the AC unit when he heard a loud explosion. Police had blown open a wall to the bathroom. Moments later, the gunman was shot dead.

Unharmed survivors were herded into a bus to go to the police station. Neema's interrogation took just 5 minutes. No phones were gathered as evidence. After the interrogation he was released with no ride, out into a sea of waiting reporters. His dear friend Eddie Sotomayor didn't make it out alive. When he finally got home Neema collapsed and cried. He sees signs of Eddie everywhere he goes. In the weeks that followed, a comfort dog sat in his lap. The dogs name was Eddie. A tree had the names of all 49 victims and, as he stood looking at the tree, Eddies name fluttered free and dropped to the floor at his feet.

The next day, he found a paper heart taped to his door. It said,"Love is free, hugs are free, we all love you." Because of this sign of hope Neema decided to create the Hang a Heart Foundation, which promotes love regardless of religion, race or gender. He feels that, if any good came from that horrible night, it is that people are learning to accept the gay community. It has opened peoples hearts. Churches invite them in to make paper hearts.

Neema has been traveling with Pulse club owner Barbara Poma to NYC Pride, Memphis Tennessee Pride, and Palm Springs Pride along with a endless string of fundraisers. He said, that if Barbara rebuilds, Pulse will be bigger and better than ever. He showed a photo of a gorgeous rainbow colored tree. "Wouldn't that be gorgeous in the club" he said. In the meantime his life is on hold. His only income is from donations. He is angry at officials who said they would help. He filled out form after form seeking help. However only people who were shot will eventually get funds.

One month after the shooting he returned to the club. In the empty space, he felt the souls touching him. The place was stripped bare. "They took the TV, they took the money." He walked into the dressing room and all feeling left his body. In the bathroom he could feel the trauma. There is no greater terror.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Valentines Day Sketch Tour notes.

These are thumbnail studies made at the Valentines Day Sketch Tour. Kelly Medford from Rome was offering advice on making simple value studies. I used a blunt black colored pencil to quickly fog in some grey valves and line work. Although the exercise wasn't about color, I couldn't resist adding a few watercolor washes. The color swatches were added to show the colors available with the palette we gave each student. First a thick swatch us added with plenty of pigment. Then the color was thinned with to of water to show how light values cool be achieved. Our lakeside classroom felt a be in like a Colosseum with the gentle arch of the shoreline.

After all the mornings sketches, we all took a lunch break an found food from vendors in the Mennello Museum's Folk Festival. After lunch it was my turn to inspire artists to try and populate their sketches. I posed and the had several students pose to give everyone an idea of how to quickly block in a figure. Then I explained one and 2 point perspective and had student create a for grid plane. They then took the figure studies the Did and added them to the grid plane. Large figures were is the foreground and small figures were is the background. Then we all explored the crowded Folk Festival, with the objective to incorporate as mane figures in one sketch as was possible. We agreed to return to our quiet lakeside classroom to share the results.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Valentines Day Sketch Tour.

On Valentines Day, Kelly Medford, a plein air painter from Rome came to Orlando and co-hosted a Valentines Day Sketch Tour at the Mennello Museum Museum of American Art. The Mennello Museum was having it's annual Folk Festival. All the artist met by the lake close to the foot bridge.

We gave each artist a Strathmore Sketchbook, a travel sized watercolor palette, a pencil, pen and water brush. Kelly began the morning by introducing the supplies and getting everyone started doing Blind contour drawings. From there we started doing simple thumbnail studies. It was nice to sit back and be a student again.  I did these two sketches using just watercolor washes followed by minimal line. I usually finish the whole drawing in line be for I start adding watercolor, so this was a liberating departure. of course with more time, I could refine and ad detail, but I like the freshness of splashing watercolor first. My challenge now is finding ways to mix larger puddles of color to cover more of the sketch at once. I'm considering just using a bowl as a palette.

We had a good crowd of artists show up for the day. It is wonderful to see everyone unique approaches. The Folk Festive was just setting up as we were doing these sketches. You can see the first tents popping up just on the on the other side of the wrought iron fence. All of these loose instructional sketches were shared with everyone in the workshop online. I will not post them all on this site. There are far to many events and news to report on.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sketch Orlando Workshop at Lake Eola.

I co-hosted a sketch outing with Greg Bryla, a Senior Landscape Architect at Dix.Hite + Partners. Viviana Castro and Kristen Koehnemann helped organize the event. Every artist that attended, got a small travel size watercolor palette, sheets of watercolor paper, a pencil and water brush. We all met outside the Eola House (512 E. Washington St, Orlando, FL). The newly formed Orlando Urban Sketcher's group joined with landscape architects for a morning of sketching a the Lake Eola Farmers Market. We met in the open field next to the Eola House and all the supplies were placed a folding table for artists to pick up. A bicycle cop stopped by and told us the table wasn't allowed in the park, so it was broken down and supplies went on the ground. Artists are all about breaking rules.

Greg and I gave short talks about how to catch a quick scene in a sketch. Then we all scattered to do a 20 minute sketch. I usually take an hour to two hours to complete my sketches so I really had to pick up the pace. Luckily the sheet of watercolor paper was small allowing for just a quick thumbnail study. I focused on the BBQ guy setting up for the morning. He had to stoke the fire and put out all his wares. I just sketched him over a over again to populate the scene. There was only enough time to throw in a few light washes before heading back to the base camp.

We all placed our sketches on the lawn to see what worked and what might need improvement. It is always wonderful to see how different and unique each sketch is. Variety is who makes sketching so exciting. Two artiss couldn't draw the same scene the same way if they tried. Each sketch involves millions of decisions that make each sketch unique. Any advice is just a guiding suggestion. I would never want to change the way an artist interprets a scene. Instruction is just a way to help artists truly see. Most of sketching is patience and perseverance.

Then it started to rain, so we all ran to World of Beer (431 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL) where we sipped beers and sketched on the outside patio. I sketched the artists on the couches refining their sketches. The shower was short lived, just long enough to down one beer and pay up. The landscape architects had one more surprise up their sleeve. Across the lake they had a table set up with a delicious Polynesian pulled pork lunch spread.  I must say that landscape architects really know how to organize a sketch outing. Remnants of the Pulse memorial items still surrounded the lake. There were tons of candle holders and dead flowers everywhere. Had it not rained this emotional refuge would have certainly been the topic of my sketch. A bicycle cop once again stopped to inform us that it is illegal to serve food in the park. The table was broken down and the buffet was dropped in the grass. Once again the artist, anarchists were caught trying to picnic in the park. After the mass murder of 49 people I would think the police might have loftier goals.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Weekend Top 6 Picks for September 24th and 25th.

Saturday September 24, 2016 
10pm to 4pm Free. Orlando Elks Vintage Faire. Elk Lodge 1079 12 N Primrose Drive Orlando FL.

7pm to 10pm $15 49 Portraits opening. Gatlin Creative 4940 S. Orange Ave. Orlando 32806. The 49 Portraits were created by Orlando artists on the evening of July 3rd, 2016.
Thomas Thorspecken, of Analog Artist Digital World, hosts a monthly drawing event called ODD (Orlando Drink and Draw).
For the July event, they decided to create 49 portraits of the Pulse Tragedy victims in one night.
Over a dozen artists answered the call and they each had to complete about 4 portraits to finish by the end of the evening.
All the artists worked in silence, focusing on the task at hand. It was a creatively challenging and highly emotional evening.
Now to honor them, Thomas, in collaboration with The Gatlin Creative, will be hosting an exhibit of the works of art. These portraits are to be given to the families in memory of their loved ones.
There will be a $15/person donation at the door with a portion of the proceeds going to support the victims and families of the tragedy.
Beer, wine and entertainment will be provided
Entertainment TBD
All ages
For questions call: 323-420-8663
The participating artists include:
Betsy Brabandt
Colin Boyer
KC Cali
Bob Hague
John Hurst
Lisa Ikegami
Lauren Jane
David McWhertor
Tony Philippou
Plinio Pinto
Charles Richardson
Shelaine Roustio
Mitch Scott
Andrew Spear
Wendi Swanson
Thomas Thorspecken

10:30pm to 12:30pm Order food or dink. Son Flamenco. Ceviche Tapas Orlando, 125 W Church St, Orlando, FL. Hot blooded flamenco dancing live on stage. 

Sunday September 25, 2016 
Noon to 2pm Order food or drink. Florida Gospel Jam. Fish on Fire 7937 Daetwyler Drive Belle Isle FL. Every 2nd and 4th Sunday. 

2pm to 4pm Order coffee. Irish Music. Olivia's Coffee House, 108 N Bay St, Eustis, FL.

2pm to 4pm Free. Yoga. Lake Eola Park, 195 N Rosalind Ave, Orlando, FL.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Prints at Art Systems.

When clients order prints of my work I get them made at Art Systems (1740 FL-436, Winter Park, FL 32792). The great thing is that the store is just a 10 minute drive from my Winter Part Chateau. Nadia is an animation major at UCF and is an artist. She likes to flip through my sketchbooks when I have them on hand, which is always. She gives me prints with perfect color matching to the original. Watercolors are tricky because color is created from light shooting through thin layers of pigment and then bouncing off the white page.  When I paint opaque paint on the same sketch it throws of the color that the scanner and computer see. It takes a keen eye to spot and correct the limited senses of a computer.

There has been a change in the print shop. The former reprographics manager left and all the prints were removed from the walls. A new manager, Sarah Jane Rozman  took his place. She is an artist who loves to paint birds. She is a pretty amazing artist. She handled the print I brought in and got the colors spot on. A person running the print shop is much like a barber or bartender. The client waits as the print is being made and conversation lightens the wait. Sarah and I started talking about events following the Pulse shooting, and I found myself in an emotionally charged conversation that I didn't expect. Sarah listened with compassion and understanding. Hopefully this is happening all or Orlando as the city heals. Three months after the tragic event I am more caught up in trying to understand what happened than ever. I am sketching Pulse employees and survivors from that night and the conflicting stories keep me thinking as I lie awake and try to sleep at night. 

I leave behind some piece of myself  everywhere I go. I forgot my umbrella at Art Systems and Sarah held on to it for the three weeks or so when I returned to make another print. Nadia was there as well and she insisted I see an animated film by Leica Studio called Kubo. I took her advice and it as an amazing film. Go see it! Characters are given time to breath and think. Stop motion, CGI and traditional animation are all used to breath life into an incredible hero's journey. I went to a late night screening alone and was blown away. " When we grow stronger the world gets more dangerous." 

So my trips to the print shop for clients are not just business as usual. I go knowing I might learn something new, become a bit more emotionally grounded, or be inspired. A trip to to the print shop is an adventure.