Monday, December 18, 2017

The Santaland Diaries at Breakthrough Theater.

You can find The Santaland Diaries starring BeeJay Aubertin Clinton.  at Breakthrough Theater (421 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789.) As the audience filled in, the actor on stage was decorating the Christmas Tree.  He turned to Pan and said, "Oh, so that is what you decided to ware?" She was in her sweat pant and a sweatpants.  Granted not an elegant outfit, but comfortable. I was also in a sweatshirt and my hiking boots.  BeeJay had a snarky comment for everyone in the audience to get us warmed up for the show.  

With dreams of someday landing a roll in his favorite soap opera, this actor has to resort to auditioning as an elf for the Christmas Holidays.  To make matters worse, he gets the part.  His dark view of the world is only reaffirmed as he sees the way parents force this Holiday madness on their children.  

BeeJay removed his jeans and shirt to  unveil red snowflake tights and an elf jacket.  His elf hat was under a pillow, and he extricated his sneakers from under a couch.  Clearly this actor wasn't prepared for the saccharine sweet training that followed.  Some sights can't be unseen, like the mom who was encouraging her young son to pee in the fake snow.  The high stakes horror of waiting to meet Santa brings out the worst in any parent.  

This was a fun night of pessimism with a dash of sass.  

Remaining Show Dates and Times:
Monday, December 18, 10 p.m.

Due to my impending divorce, I am no longer ALLOWED to sell my artwork. I therefore have no means of income. I apologize to any interested buyers. I will post when I am again allowed to earn a living.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

What's Up Downtown for the Holidays.

The Downtown Development Board invited people to attend the annual What's Up Downtown  free holiday event held at the Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola.   Held at lunch time, downtown workers were encouraged to pack up a lunch and experience song and dance performances by the Russian Ballet, Mad Cow Theatre, Docs and Dellas, Dr. Phillips Center Premier Performance Ensemble, Howard Middle School Jazz Band and Howard Middle School Show Choir. I decided to sketch the choir whose choreography involved lots of exuberant hand motions. 

Artist German Lemus had an easel set up and was doing a painting of the event. It is encouraging that I wasn't the only artist documenting the occasion.  His painting involved bold acrylic brush strokes.  An office worker in front of me was having a cup of soup.  Some of the young singers were flat and a few wrong notes were blatted out, but seeing so many kids exited to be on stage was heart warming enough.  It was overcast and downright cold, but my tablet manages to help warm my hands.  

Due to my impending divorce, I am no longer ALLOWED to sell my artwork. I therefore have no means of income. I apologize to any interested buyers. I will post when I am again allowed to earn a living.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Sleigh at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center in Sanford.

I went to the final dress rehearsal for Sleigh presented by Gromalot Theater Factory at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center (201 S. Magnolia, Sanford, FL 32771.)In this show, a pair of shopkeepers re-define “rivalry” as they coax customers away from their competitor. And three determined mail carriers fight the elements, a poorly addressed letter, and even each other to make a delivery. The entire show is silent except for sound effects, relying on exaggerated expressions and vaudeville styled gestures to communicate the story.

I had seem Brandon Roberts playing the part of a Christmas tree years ago.  I was a bit sad not to see him reprising his roll.  A silly section of the play involves an actor wearing the foam tree to express holiday cheer.  However the tree outfits are so silly that they just evoke laughter rather than the intended joy.  I recognized the director but couldn't quite place her at first.  It was only after the rehearsal was over that It occurred to me that it was Toni Chandler, who is Brandon Roberts wife.

The stage set resembled a large Christmas card.  When closed it showed a quiet little town to set the locale.  When it was opened it showed two shops next to each other,with the numbers 1223, and 1227.  These were a bell shop and a whistle shop.  The female across would be walking by the shops and the bell shop owner would ring her bell.  The shopper would stop in her tracked and with a huge exaggerated child like joy she would instantly want the bell.  She would pull money from her pocket and with a cha ching, sound effect she would raise it above her head.  Before she could spend the money however the other shop owner would blow his whistle.  She wanted both and the shop owners played tug of war with her desire. 

Sleigh is a quick series of silent comic scenes with plenty of physical comedy.  Actors have many quick costume changes.  In one scene an actor rushed off stage and had to return dresses as a Salvation Army bell ringer.  The scene played out as it should but it took a long while before he realized that he had forgotten to put on his pants in the rush of the costume change.  The result was that the actors where laughing so hard that they had a hard time finishing the scene.  I hope that they leave that wardrobe malfunction in the final production.

The production is laugh out loud funny and your only chance to see it is tonight at 2:00PM and 7:30PM. 

Due to my impending divorce, I am no longer ALLOWED to sell my artwork. I therefore have no means of income. I apologize to any interested buyers. I will post when I am again allowed to earn a living.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Weekend Top 6 Picks for December 16th and 17th.

Saturday December 16, 2017
5 PM to 9:30 PM -  Free.  Orlando Zine Fest 2017(Will's Pub, 1042 N Mills Ave, Orlando, Florida 32803).  Orlando's local zinesters, artists, and writers--plus some folks from farther afield--celebrate and support independent publishing and DIY/T with what they think may be the tenth consecutive annual Orlando Zine Fest outside of Will's Pub/Lil Indie's in the ambitiously appellated Dirty Laundry Amphitheatre.
Accessible venue - swap and/or buy!
Bar at lil indies just inside where we'll be hosting.
Record store pop-ups and screening movies again!
Coffee/tea by Danny ~food trucks - vegan options
REGISTER HERE: no registration fee.
All are welcome growing list of participating zines:
Citrus Beat Press/, Event Horizon/Orlando Area SF Society /, Gnome Comics /, Love Your Rebellion / Nickname /, Reflections on Gun Control Street Type Zine /, Florida is Loud will be ongoing throughout the weekend and Saturday night at Will's.

5:30 PM to 7:30 PM -  $10Orlando Cringe IX - The Holiday Show! SAK Comedy Lab, (29 S Orange, Orlando, FL 32801.) For the last show of 2017, Cringe is teaming up with SAK Comedy Lab for a very special Cringemas Show! They are bringing back a very special reader from Cringe's and SAK's amazing team will be performing improvised scenes completely based on their journals. They also have other surprises, so naughty or nice, it's going to be a great show!

2 PM to 11:30PM - Free.  Kaleidoscope Open House - Yoga, Music, Drawing, Painting Event
Kaleidoscope Venue For The Arts (1991 Corporate Square #1, Longwood, FL). 
Kaleidoscope will be having their first free 'Open House' in conjunction with the Surrealistic Dreams art show on Saturday. The Open House begins at 2:00pm with Free Yoga at 2:00pm and at 6:00pm, Live Model Drawing with Music begins at 7:30pm, the Art Show is from 7:30pm to 11:30pm and they may be adding more things to see and do to this event as it draws closer!

Sunday December 17, 2017
10 AM to 7 PM - Free.  Grandma Party Bazaar 2017! Stardust Video and Coffee (1842 Winter Park Rd, Orlando, FL 32803.) It's the fifteenth Grandma Party Bazaar and you're invited! Bring your friends for the best Sunday of the year. Grandma Party is you and me and all of us making it happen, so you'd better be there because it just won't be the same without you. As always, the party will be held in the parking lot of Stardust Video and Coffee starting at 10 a.m. and closing at Sundown. You can get a taste of what good ol' Gran has to offer this year by following her on Facebook and Instagram (@Grandma_Party). Orlando has some seriously creative artists and makers that were hard to choose from, but she has picked some of the best of the best to share their craft with you. There will be a raffle,  interactive booths and DJ sets by Nigel John and Oled Dad and live music from Von Nacht, Tiger Fawn, TV Dinner and MORE! Of course, lots food and drinks too.

If you are new to the bazaar, be sure to bring your cash (most vendors take cards too), and finish up your holiday shopping with one of a kind treasures. While you're at it, buy yourself a little something too! Parking can be a challenge on this day, but it's a good thing they are located in the great neighborhood of Audubon Park where there are lots of streets. Other options are carpooling, biking and Uber.

4 PM to 9 PM - Free. Winter Garden Christmas Golf Cart Parade. Bradford Park (220 West Division Street, Winter Garden, FL.)  Are you ready for the 2017 WG Christmas Golf Cart Parade?! They will begin their 5th annual Golf Cart Parade by gathering at Bradford Park early to socialize and compare decorations before heading out to tour Downtown Winter Garden and ending near Walker Field near the Plant Street Market. They will have prizes for the best decorated golf carts so take this seriously. All money raised will be graciously donated to the Edgewood Children's Ranch as they have done in past. Golf Carts only and all traffic laws still apply.

7 PM to 9 PM - $10 donation Give ME Cheer. Marshall Ellis Theatre (1300 La Quinta Dr #3, Orlando, FL 32809.) Get in the Christmas spirit and join Give ME Cheer, ME Dance’s first charity ball benefiting local dance organizations, events and scholarships. Enjoy performances, food, drink, meet-and-greets, a silent auction and raffle.

Due to my impending divorce, I am no longer ALLOWED to sell my artwork. I therefore have no means of income. I apologize to any interested buyers. I will post when I am again allowed to earn a living.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Ludovico Einaudi in concert.

On a recent tip to Princeton, New Jersey, I arranged to sketch a concert by Ludovico Einaudi at the McCarter Theatre Center (91 University Place, Princeton, NJ 08540).  Ludovico Einaudi is a renowned pianist and composer. The Italian musician was born in Turin, Italy where his classical career began, before he moved on to create music for film with influences of pop, rock, and folk music.

Einaudi began his career performing classical music in the 1980s after training at the Conservatorio Verdi, when he began composing orchestral and classical pieces, before progressing to more main stream music heard in popular culture in the mid 80s. As well as piano, he plays and composes for guitar, in which he is incredibly skilled and proficient. Although Einaudi is influenced by classical artists, his style is unique with the fusion of classical and popular music bridging the gap between the two genres, making his music extremely accessible to many types of listeners.

From his eclectic back catalogue of tracks he has won several awards, including Best Film Music at the Avingon Film Festival and Best Soundtrack at the Italian Music Awards. His music has also appeared in popular culture worldwide, composing the trailer music for the movie Black Swan.

His album Le Onde written for piano and performed as a solo was the best selling album in the UK and Italy, sending Einaudi to success. Still producing charting music, his latest album "In A Time Lapse" has taken him on a giant US and Canadian tour, as well as landing him a slot at the prestigious iTunes festival.

The house lights were dark for the entire evening, so I struggled to see my sketch by the dim light of my cell phone.  Through the first half of the concert, he was joined on stage by a guitarist, violin, cello, a second electronic pianist and a percussionist.  The lighting was stark with spot lights on each performer. The music is mesmerizing, leaving the impression of a dream state.  The other performers left the stage and then Ludovico performed a solo that lasted forever.  There were periodic pauses where he held his hands suspended over the keys and then the music resumed.  The percussion in one piece had a sheet of metal suspended in a vat of water.  The metal would be shaken to produce thunderous sounds muffled by the liquid.  It was an experimental way of producing unexpected mysterious sounds. Overall it was an amazing concert and if we ever have a chance to see him in concert again, would jump at the opportunity. 

Due to my impending divorce, I am no longer ALLOWED to sell my artwork. I therefore have no means of income. I apologize to any interested buyers. I will post when I am again allowed to earn a living.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Museum of Osteology

The tenth Orlando Urban Sketch Workshop was held at the Museum of Osteology (8441 International Dr Suite 250, Orlando, FL 32819) a few days before Halloween.  The goal of the workshop was to get artists to capture the posed skeletons with simple fluid shapes and gestures.  They were asked to not render each bone with precision, but to focus on the actions of the poses.  The museum is perfect for this since every skeleton is posed as if the creature were alive.

  My favorite example was a small critter digging into a box of Milk Duds.  As an added bonus children were trick or treating at the businesses around the Orlando Eye.  The author Chad Shea of a children's book called, "The Skeleton in the Closet" was in the Museum of Osteology gift shop.  As we were waiting for workshop attendees to show up, he pulled me over to his table to show me his book.  The book comes with a pose-able plastic skeleton that is in line with the tradition of a Christmas Elf on the Shelf.  Parents for generations have hidden elves in their homes for the children to find at Christmas.  Well they took that tradition and have a skeleton in the closet which can be hidden.  It is a clever idea.  The author knew of Analog Artist Digital World and he said he really liked an article I wrote called "The Otter and the Gun." Chad ended up giving me the book and skeleton package, so this will become part of my Halloween tradition in the future.  Some skeletons had a realistic human skull, and others have a skull stylized like the illustrators depiction in the book.  The author popped off a realistic skull and popped on a stylized version to give me. Unfortunately withing a minute of opening the package, I decided to check the mobility of the head and I busted the skull off the spine.  Artists, especially animators,  are the worst on toys. 

The workshop was three hours long and I encouraged students to try and complete a more finished sketch with multiple skeletons together for the last sketch.  Since I was giving each student sketch suggestions I didn't have time to finish up a more finalized sketch myself.  I was content to do a series of studies.

I settled on a a pair of sea otters for my final quick sketch.  I was planning a computer animated film about a sea otter and a sea lion.  I have modeled sea otters in the computer and even modeled their entire skeleton, so I am familiar with their quirky long forms.  I liked the yin and yang posturing of the skeletons.  One otter had his paws behind his head, a pose that isn't often seen in nature.  Since they preen all the time however, it isn't an impossible anthropomorphic pose.

There were some great sketches done that night by attendees.  If you have relatives visiting this holiday season, I would suggest a trip to the Osteology Museum.  It is a rare gem right here in Orlando. 

Due to my impending divorce, I am no longer ALLOWED to sell my artwork. I therefore have no means of income. I apologize to any interested buyers. I will post when I am again allowed to earn a living.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

IMMERSE by the Creative City Project.

On November 21st, the downtown street of Orange Avenue was shut down from just north of Pine Street, down towards South Street.  IMMERSE is an invitation to unexpected creative encounters in the heart of Downtown Orlando. You’ll find yourself truly immersed in art, performance, and interactive installations.

With collaborators like Cirque du Soleil, Orlando Philharmonic, Orlando Ballet, and the Central Florida Community Arts Orchestra, you won’t want to miss this evening which is unlike any other.
In 2016, the Creative City Project brought nearly 1,000 performers to the streets and public spaces of Downtown Orlando for more than 20,000 patrons. IMMERSE 2017 continued the tradition of growth and excitement by bringing you more large scale WOW moments and unexpected, intimate creative encounters.

From Classical to Hip-Hop music, murals, dance, acrobatics, interactive installations, artists from Orlando, around the country, and the around the world converge on Downtown Orlando for one of the largest showcases of innovation and creativity in the performing and installation arts in the country.

I hosted one of the Orlando Urban Sketch Workshops during this incredible event.   With so much going on at the same time it was difficult to decide on a single subject to sketch.  I offered personalized instruction to each Urban Sketcher and then dashed off to do a quick sketch myself.  I decided to focus on performers waiting to get on the stage next.  This gave me some time to focus on them before heading off to see the twirling dancers on the stage. 

Due to my impending divorce, I am no longer ALLOWED to sell my artwork. I therefore have no means of income. I apologize to any interested buyers. I will post when I am again allowed to earn a living.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Art of Medicine Gala at the Orlando Museum of Art.

First Green Bank and The Art of Medicine Foundation invited health care professionals and brain injury survivors to submit artwork to be auctioned for charity. This event is educates and inspires awareness about the impact that brain injuries and other neurological disorders can have on those affected. Proceeds from the event benefited the University of Florida Trauma, Concussion, and Sports Neuromedicine Program.

The gala is in honor of Dr. Cindy LaRoe, who sustained a traumatic brain injury during a competitive biking accident. The injury paused LaRoe’s career in medicine, but also led her down a path of discovering her artistic talents. During her recovery, LaRoe found painting therapeutic, and now, six years after her injury, she continues to paint. She paints in vibrant bold colors. Cindy is standing in front of her painting of clown fish in my sketch. 

In a video presentation Cindy remembered the day of her accident at a bike race.  There were incentives with each lap which incited racers to sprint. She was in a group of racers heading up a hill.  Some of the girls started to sprint to pass and Cindy let them. They crossed the lines which is against the rules.  There was a big crash in front of Cindy.  She recalled a flash of bodies going down in front of her.  After the accident, she couldn't see for a while, there was twitching in her right eye and blurred vision.   She couldn't handle the over-stimulation of live music and crowds.  She always felt she was seeing movement to her right side.  Memories were gone.  She woke up and was a different person.  She doesn't want anyone to ever have to experience that.  She likes to think that things happen for a reason.  Color was more intense and vibrant. Creating art gave her life a new meaning.  In some ways she feels she might be a better person that she was.   It doesn't all suck.

Her recovery and her talent were the inspiration for she and her husband, Ken LaRoe, the founder of First Green Bank, to create the Art of Medicine Foundation. Ken took to the microphone.   He explained that after the accident, his wife developed a seizure disorder.  There were days where she had over 100 seizures.  She was put on a cocktail of pharmaceuticals but they had no effect.  One day one of Ken's biggest clients said randomly that he smokes dope.  He smokes so that he can get to sleep at night and has done so since he was 15 years old.  He has a net worth of over 60 million, so clearly he isn't just a stoner.  He invited Ken over to his Isleworth mansion to pick up a joint.   Ken reluctantly agreed and hid the joint in a baggie under his car seat.  A week later he told Cindy that she needed to try it.  She said, "No."   He said, "Look, you are a doctor, this is a medical experiment." He took a couple of tokes to cut the ice.  After she took her 4th toke off the joint, her seizures stopped.  They stopped all night and into the next day.  It worked day after day.  Her neurologist couldn't explain it.  Over 6 months she got off the pharmaceuticals. In the interim, medical marijuana became legal.  Cindy finds a silver lining in every situation.  The gala is an example of that.  

Due to my impending divorce, I am no longer ALLOWED to sell my artwork. I therefore have no means of income. I apologize to any interested buyers. I will post when I am again allowed to earn a living.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Cutting the Turkey.

Thanksgiving in Iowa was a crash course in Midwestern hospitality. The family farm occupies 16 acres but is land-locked on three sides by neighbors' farms. The red house is at the top of a hill which allows epic views of sunsets and sunrises. It is the end of bow hunting season, but that didn’t stop a lone doe from standing at the edge of the woods about 100 yards away from the back sliding glass doors. Up in another clearing about a quarter mile away wild turkeys foraged at the edge of the field.

Ron Schwartz was responsible for carving the turkey and I couldn’t resist sketching the Norman Rockwell moment. First, all the stuffing was removed and then carving commenced. Ron is skilled with knives, so the carving went quickly. The kitchen behind him was alive with activity as the other Thanksgiving sides were prepared. Green beans had crunchies, potatoes had gravy and four different pies waited for desert. No one at a Schwartz dinner table leaves hungry.

Once the Turkey rib cage was cut free of all the white meat, Ron put the bird and platter on the back porch where four outdoor cats picked it clean. The cats must have even swallowed some of the bones. Later, after we ate and were playing board games, the black cat hauled a huge dead squirrel up on to the porch and dropped it down by the sliding glass doors like some sort of reciprocal peace offering. The cats had celebrated Thanksgiving in grand style, and even enjoyed a squirrel for dessert.

Due to my impending divorce, I am no longer ALLOWED to sell my artwork. I therefore have no means of income. I apologize to any interested buyers. I will post when I am again allowed to earn a living.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Board Games in Iowa.

After the Thanksgiving Turkey Dinnr, the Schwartz family plays board games for the rest of the day into the night This game called "Quelf" was rather strange. The board has characters that move around a rainbow brick road using a die to set the number of moves. Different spots would have players pick up cards much like in a game of Monopoly. Some cards in the deck insist that a player perform an action throughout the length of the game, "Roolz Cards." For instance, Pam Schwartz had to say "Wacka Wacka" any time another player laughed. Of course when she said "Wacka Wacka" we would all laugh again. Another card had Pam shout out commands like a drill Sargent, which she did with some gusto.

I pulled a card that said I must pinch the flesh around my belly button to manipulate it like a mouth to say something like, "Well this is awkward." I thought long and hard before performing that task, but ended up doing so to avoid paying a penalty. Another card insisted that I must stand in slow motion and point at the player to my left and say, "You have sabotaged my plans for the last time, en guard!" The simple goal of the game was to get to the end of the rainbow paved rainbow first. I didn't win.

Another board game called "Baker Street," based on the Sherlock Holmes books, had four players trying to solve a murder on the streets of London. Once again, a die set the pace of game play. I thought I was being clever by bypassing many possible clues to get to the scene of the crime first. The clue at the scene was no better than any other spot on the board so I had to backtrack to learn what the other players already knew. I knew that the crime had to do with the value of a bible. So I had my suspicions about the murderer and his motive, but I wasn't able to find the weapon used in time. Each player was on their own private quest and didn't have any reason to interact. After the  boisterous insanity of Quelf, this seemed far too tame a prospect.

Due to my impending divorce, I am no longer ALLOWED to sell my artwork. I therefore have no means of income. I apologize to any interested buyers. I will post when I am again allowed to earn a living.