Sunday, September 21, 2014

Melbourne Civic Theatre

One June 20th I got an invitation to sketch at the Melbourne Civic Theatre (817 E Strawbridge Ave, Melbourne, FL). The Theatre is Bevard County's longest running arts organization. I was invited by actress Nellie Brannan who is also an artist and she found out about my work from the Urban Sketcher's site. It was an adventurous drive to the East coast to catch the show which was Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance."

The sky opened up and it poured for the entire trip East.  Thankfully as I arrived in Melbourne, the rain stopped. The Theatre has recently been renovated and expanded. The front lobby was recently purchased from another establishment. La Galerie is a walkway lined with stores. The Theatre entrance used to be in the back but now there is a large lobby where patrons can mingle before finding their seats.

I arrived early, got my ticket at the box office and then sat across the street in front of City Hall to sketch the Theatre. The building to the right was all boarded up. As I noticed people entering the Theatre, I started sketching faster, because I knew it was show time...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

World Cup at Hollerbach's

On June 17th, I went up to Sanford to visit Hollerbach's Willow Tree Deli to watch the World Cup. Hollerbach's is a traditional German restaurant with the goal of providing you with a memorable meal and to experience German Gemuetlichkeit, which is a sense of well-being and happiness that comes from enjoying the company of friends and family while savoring good food and drink. Claudia Mundlos who runs a blog called Sanford 365 gave me a tip that the restaurant is a popular meeting place to watch World Cup Soccer. Apparently the place goes crazy when the German team is playing. Unfortunately I couldn't get to Hollerbach's on the day Germany was playing. 

Brazil was playing Mexico and the game resulted in not a single goal being scored. I'm used to watching basketball where hundreds of points are scores. In comparison, soccer seems slow but I've played and know it is damn fun when you are on the field. Hollerbach's was only mildly full. Most patrons didn't even notice the game. They focused on good food instead. I ordered some schnitzel and it was an amazing meal washed down with a cold beer.

John Rife and his wife Kamrin were in the crowd. He stopped over to say hello. They were on a date night and they stopped at Hollerbach's as a rest stop. Such a small world. My work was on display at John's, East End Market for many months. I just took down the show yesterday. The proprietor of the restaurant recognized my style because an illustration I did for Orlando Life, has been hanging on the wall near the restrooms for several years. The waitress in traditional garb also stopped by several times to check on my progress. I found out that there is one of those drink and paint events at Hollerbach's once a week. For the price of admission people get a canvas and paint and they are walked through every step of creating a painting. I might return to sketch that someday. Even better are the German musicians who rock the place with German music. Check the restaurant's calendar and get out to experience Glemuchlichkeit  for yourself.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks for September 20 and 21

Saturday September 20, 2013
9am to 7pm FLBlogCon 2014. Last chance tickets $85. Full Sail University, 3300 University Blvd, Winter Park, FL. Educating and Empowering Bloggers Across the State of Florida. 

 7:30pm to 11pm Free. Potluck Kerouac House. 1418 Clouser Ave, Orlando, FL. Meet Kerouak Project resident writer, Ann Marie Ni Chureain.

8:30pm to 10:30pm $9.43 Global Peace Film Festival screening, Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.  Bush Auditorium Rollins College. A collection of surprisingly joyful drawings created by school children living among the ruins of Hiroshima in 1947 becomes the heart and soul of this true, inspiring story about an exchange of gifts between Americans and Japanese after a devastating war. This powerful documentary about reconciliation and the power of gift, introduces the children artists (now in their late 70s) who reflect on their early lives amidst the rubble of their decimated city and the hope they shared through their art. In 2010, the newly restored drawings, buried for decades deep inside a church in Washington DC, are taken back to Japan where they are reunited with the artists and exhibited in the very building where they were created.

Sunday September 21, 2014
10am to Noon Free. Ciciovia. E Robinson St, Orlando, FL. Robinson street is shut down to feature all things cycle related.

 Noon to 5pm Free but get a drink or two. Sunday's with Smiling Dan. The Falcon Bar & Gallery, 819 East Washington Street, Orlando, FL. DJ Smiling Dan will liven up your Sunday.

6pm to Midnight Free. Full screening of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Cloak and Dagger 875 Woodbury Road  Orlando FL. Costumes encouraged.  Cloak and Get out and meet some Hobbits and Dwarfs.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Orlando Shakespeare Theater Presents Les Miserables

 I went to the Orlando Shakespeare Theater to sketch work being done on the set for Les Miserables. The key element of this stage is a large rotating lazy Susan that will allow different stage sets to rotate into view. A second level is where some of the fighting will be staged. Stage hands joked that the raw backdrop looked a bit like a Koala. To me it looks like a loudmouthed carved pumpkin. I'm sure that when the set is complete that it will look like the squalid streets of Paris at the turn of the century. For some reason the rotating stage required quite a few stage hands to turn. They worked to remove the friction. New gels had to be added to all the lights in the theater, so a ladder and moving scaffolding were used to get up high enough to reach the lights.

WHAT: Les Misérables Book by Alain Boublil | Music by Claude-Michel Schӧnberg | Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer Directed by DJ Salisbury | Musical Direction by Ken Clifton 
SUMMARY: Set in the early 19th-century, a French peasant named Jean Valjean (played by Michael Hunsaker) is on a quest for redemption after serving nineteen years in jail for stealing a loaf of bread. When a compassionate bishop inspires him with a tremendous act of mercy, Valjean decides to start his life anew, but is relentlessly tracked down by Police Inspector Javert (played by Davis Gaines). Along the way, Valjean and a slew of characters are swept into France’s revolution, where a group of young visionaries make their last stand at a street barricade.
WHEN: September 10 - October 12, 2014 Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: Orlando Shakespeare Theater in the Margeson Theater John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 East Rollins Street, Orlando, FL 32803
TICKET INFORMATION: Previews and Senior Matinees $27, $22, $15
All other Performances $55, $45, $30
Many performances are already sold out, so act fast.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Columbia Icefields Overwhelm in the Jasper National Park

Terry and I stopped at the expansive Columbia Ice fields twice to take in the view. The first time it was rather cold and overcast. Terry decided she wanted to hike to the base of the glacier. I was content to stay near the parking lot and paint the view. As I sketched, the mountains became shrouded in clouds. When the sun disappeared, the temperature plummeted. When it started to rain, I ran to a lean to that was a shelter for some maps of the area. The rain made it hard to complete the watercolor, so I put my supplies away and put on my rain gear. Then I waited in the shelter trying to avoid the cold winds.

Terry seemed to be gone forever. I started to worry that she might have wandered off the trail and gotten lost. There was no cell phone reception, so I couldn't call or text. It turns out that it is a much longer hike to the foot of the glacier than Terry expected. When she did get there, she asked a family with a car if they could drive her back to our car. She played the Disney animator card to get the family excited to meet the artist. It worked and the tourists asked me all about the films I had worked on and then they asked for an autograph.  I was just thankful that Terry was alright. The weather changes quickly at these high altitudes and Terry wasn't really ready for the sudden ice cold rains.

On our second visit we parked at the lot much closer to the receding edge of the glacier. Once again, Terry went off to hike while I did a second sketch of the ice field. Markers on the drive out show how the glacier has receded since the turn of the century.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Hike Up to Johnston Canyon

Terry and I flew to Alberta Canada for a week away in the Rocky mountains. On the flight across America I looked out the plane window and watched the grid of the country slip by. It was clear that we were flying North West because the grid was always at an angle. We landed in Calgary and rented a car for our trip up into the Rockies. The airport hotel we stayed in the first night was located right next to a junkyard. It would have made a scenic sketch, but I never had the time to catch the clutter.

When we drove north west out of Calgary the landscape was surprisingly flat with suburban monotony. When we got to Baniff the mountains finally jutted upward. Our first stop was Johnston Canyon.

In 1910, Johnston Canyon was named after a prospector who discovered gold in the creek. The work that went into building the trails up to the waterfalls is quite impressive. Walkways were built right into the canyon walls. The bridge in the sketch crosses over the canyon and then enters a cave that opens up right at the base of the waterfall letting people experience the full force of the water and it's spray.

Terry decided to walk further up the trail to the top falls and I took the time to get this quick sketch done. Terry tends to get vertigo when on bridges, so it was surprising that she ventured further up on these walkways. It is a testament to the engineers who made the trail vertigo proof. When she got to the top, she took a photo to prove she had made it to the top.

Walter Phillips, a renowned artist and namesake of the Walter Phillips Gallery in Banff, Alberta, said, "Water is the most expressive element in nature. It responds to every mood, from tranquility to turbulence."He was born in England, and  travelled the world before settling down in Canada, specifically Banff, where he fell in love with Johnston Canyon. He spent much of his career sketching and painting the canyon's beauty. I can understand how it could captivate an artist.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Heading to the Canadian Rockies

In high school and college, Terry traveled the world extensively. That wanderlust is back and sometimes I go along for the ride. Our latest trip was to the Canadian Rockies. The Orlando International Airport involved the usual bustle of checking baggage and getting boarding passes. Then there was the long line through security. Shoes came off along with belts and my hat. There was the struggle to juggle bins for electronics and pocket items. Then the full body scan so they could check my junk.

Flight 1407 was a direct flight between Orlando and Calgary Canada. As I sketched my fellow passengers, I had to wonder why they were headed to the North West.  The young girl seated in front of me double fisted her cell phone and laptop. Most people glanced at some digital device at some point to kill the time. One woman however was reading a newspaper. Yes she held real paper in her hands glancing at the headlines.

Terry went to the women's room to take care of business so she would be calm for take off. We all crushed onto the plane and then we were off to the Rockies. I spent the entire flight watching the grid of America slipping by below.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Muse in Langford Park

I did a second sketch as scenes were shot for "The Muse" in Langford Park by Ragtag Troupe Productions. The director Mathew Carroll was always behind the cameraman to see how the scene was being shot. Actress Kelly Wilson who plays Rose was asking Theodore the Magnificent if she could help. She kept asking until Theodore blew up and started shouting at her. In the distance several other actors stumbled into the scene.

Just outside this staging area, Kelly's mom noticed a pile of dog droppings. To help the cast and crew, she decided to mark the spot by pressing a stick nearby as a marker. When she put her weight into pressing the stick down, it snapped and she almost fell face first into the landmine.

While the establishing shot was being filmed for this scene, a mother and her children wandered into the shot. The cast and crew waited but she stayed in the shot. Finally the stage manager walked over to the family to ask them to move. They did, but the mom must have decided she had every right to be in the shot and she was back five minutes later. Any time a car drove by, the shot had to be redone as well. That is one small advantage of a sketch, if I don't want something in the sketch, I can just ignore it.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

"The Muse" Brings the Magic of Fimmaking to Langford Park

On June 16th, I went to Langford Park, (1808 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL) to sketch a film shoot. The Director, Matthew Carroll invited me to sketch a day of filming. The production company, Ragtag Troupe Productions is managed by its founders, Mathew  and Amy Jo Bursley. When I got to the park I walked to a small wooden amphitheater following props and the sound of conversation. Actors chatted with each other but I didn't see any film equipment. I explained that I was there to sketch the production and they pointed me towards the children's playground. I joked that this must be the green room and and actor exclaimed that "It doesn't get much greener that this" as he gestured towards the sun filled trees with a flourish.

Near the playground I found actor Will Warriner and young actress Kelly Wilson seated under a tree with a film crew surrounding them. Will played Hank, a ragtag performer who was sharing his life experiences with Rose, a young girl who finds herself in a surreal world. The main action in this scene involved Rose limping into frame using a crutch, she leans the crutch against the tree and crouches down to talk to Hank. During his monologue he hands her a balloon. Because of the camera's view, he had to retake several shots and choke in his hold on the string to keep the balloon in field. The scene was performed multiple times with the camera moved between takes to allow for multiple shots when it comes time to edit the scene together.

The film, called, "The Muse" is an artistic short film inspired by the works of Terry Gilliam. The story is a coming of age tale about a little girl, Rose, who escapes to her fantasy world after hearing an argument between her parents about money. Once there she meets a traveling troupe of street performers, each representing a different art form, who pledge to help Rose on her quest to find this money in order to keep her family together, but all isn't what it seems.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks for Sept 13 and 14

Saturday September 13, 2014
10am to 5pm Saturday, and Sunday. Advance single day Adult $15 and Child $13. Maker Faire Orlando. Orlando Science Center 777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL.  The faire will be a mix of Arts and Science along with so much more. 

3pm to 8pm Free. Frankie's BIG FUN Market. 659 Bryn Mawr, (College park), Orlando , Florida. SPOTLIGHTING ALL of ORLANDO's local scene! "BIG FUN" occurs on every second Saturday (only). 3pm-8pm There are many ways to participate. We will be growing into an all out sidewalk party, and we will be stretched and inclusive of any and all businesses that are located up and down beautiful Edgewater drive... participating businesses are encouraged to co partner with creatives, host the entertainment in their location, or present creative entertainment in any way that "fits" with their business. This is the main goal. to "match creatives with the businesses that are already there.. but it is not the only aspect of this MARKET.

7:30pm to 10pm Free. Marc With a C and Purple Kloud.  Purplekloud will be up first playing his eclectic and heretofore unheard of blend of rock, hip-hop, soul, and beat poetry. And it's his birthday, so you'll have to clap extra loud because he deserves appreciation for existing.

Marc With a C will go up second with a themed set culled exclusively from the period surrounding his "Bubblegum Romance" album (and related things from the era). To the extent of even using some of the original equipment from the first release party, Possibly with a special guest or two. "Bubblegum Romance" is ten years old this month, and it's just been issued on limited-edition vinyl for the first time. Pink vinyl, too! Get your copy at or pick one up at the show!

Sunday September 14, 2014

10am to 6pm Free. Fashion Square Art Fair. Orlando Fashion Square, 3201 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida. On the 2nd Sunday of every month Gallery Fresh Art Markets and Orlando Fashion Square Mall proudly present our "Fashion Square Art Fair." This is an indoor event showcasing 30 to 60 artists and fine crafts persons located throughout Fashion Square Mall.

1pm to 3pm Free. Script Reading Workshop. Sleuths Mystery Dinner Show, 8267 International Drive, Orlando, FL. Read and workshop plays.

7pm to 9pm Free. Alexandrah Love, Beautiful Chorus feat. DiViNCi, and Terri Binion. The Timucua Arts White House 2000 S Summerlin Ave, Orlando, Florida. A night of heartfelt, soulful, and melodic performances by Alexandrah Love & Beautiful Chorus featuring DiViNCi and the gracefully masterful Terri Binion. This night will conclude the Beautiful Chorus Tour of Love.
We are so blessed to have the spectacularly talented Terri Binion playing a set of her authentic, most soul-inspired, powerful tunes as well.