Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Nakatani Gong Orchestra.


The Inbetween Series at The Gallery at Avalon Island (39 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando, Florida 32801) features experimental music Inbetween he times that shows are hung in the gallery. An art exhibit titled Atelier was hung and ready for the November 20th opening, the show featured the works of Edson Campos and Kathleen Brodeur. The nude paintings added a pinch of creative class to the evening.

Earlier in the day, Tatsuya Nakatani had offered a gong workshop for fourteen Central Florida celestial, sonic jockeys. Using bows mallets the performers became a gong orchestra. Artist Lesley Silvia was one of the workshop attendees. She had never performed with a gong in her life, yet she seemed to blend seamlessly into the Gong blend.

Tatsuya began the evening with a solo performance. In his pre-show chat with the audience, he confided that being a gong virtuoso isn't exactly a lucrative was\y to make a living. He used multiple gongs and a small drum set in his orchestrated piece.  I sketched him in several of his signature poses as he performed. At one point gongs crashed to the ground and it was all part of the creative din.


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, January 16, 2018

Sketching Blackrock with Elite Students.


On the final class of my Urban Sketch course with my Elite Animation Academy students, I tend to bring them to Blackrock Bar and Grill, a restaurant that recently opened in Windermere (8965 Conroy Windermere Rd, Orlando, FL 32819.) I order an appetizer to share with the students. At Blackrock, your choice of meat or seafood arrives seared and sizzling, sitting atop a square, inch-thick piece of volcanic granite, heated to 755 degrees. Your server demonstrates the process of slicing, cooking, and time needed – as quickly as a minute – before reaching your preferred doneness.

On Sunday afternoon when we went to sketch, the bar was active with sports fans. It was too early for the dinner crowd, so we didn't get to experience the sizzling rocks being delivered to tables. The point of this exercise was to focus on one point perspective. I showed every student this sketch in the early stages with the one point out by the far window which is the brightest light in the sketch.  I ordered a pretzel and cheese fondue appetizer for $9.99. Cheese and caffeine are fine fuel to do a quick sketch. I had a real talent in this class. The young girl seated in front to f me was doing stellar pencil line work. Her sketches were brilliant and it would have been nice to push her even further, exploring color and mass.I just hope she keeps doing a sketch each and every day which was my main mantra throughout the 10 classes.

This month I will be teaching Urban Sketch principals to adults for the first time at Crealde School of Art (600 St Andrews Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32792) on Sundays. I am excited to get the opportunity to share my experience with artists who are already well into their artistic journey. I did one workshop at Crealde and had a blast teaching. The Crealde classes start on Sunday January 28th. Contact Crealde if you want to join us. Classes will start in the classroom with a clothed model and then expand outside the studio so that we explore the community with our sketchbooks. The Urban Sketching: Tips and Techniques class starts at 9:30 PM until 12:30 PM each Sunday. Time to crack open those sketchbooks.


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, January 15, 2018

Sam Rivers Tribute Band at the White House.


The Sam Rivers Tribute Band gathered once again after years of being apart at the Timucua Arts Foundation White House (2000 S Summerlin Ave, Orlando, Florida 32806.) this concert was thrown together at the last minute.  The band had not performed together for years. 

Sam Rivers is one of the greatest jazz legends of our time, performing for over 70 years. In the 1970’s he was the first artist to open a jazz cultural arts center in Greenwich New York, which was used as a venue to help artist exhibit their talents and gain recognition.

The one of a kind, intensely original compositions of Sam Rivers came to life once again in a rare performance of his 16 piece Rejuvenation Orchestra. (formally known as the Rivbea Orchestra. I sketched Sam Rivers as he performed at the Enzian Florida Film Festival wrap party in 2009.   He was a joy to watch and fun to sketch.   Sam Rivers died on December 26, 2010 at the age of 88 from Pneumonia.

I was excited to see if his magic still infused the Orchestra he had formed when he moved to Central Florida in the early 1990 with his wife Beatrice.  Several platforms were set up on stage for all the horns and saxophones.  Sam performed on bass clarinet, flute, harmonica and piano, but I loved watching him perform on the soprano and tenor saxophones.

I sketched as the orchestra took to the stage.  I recognized the string players but some of the sax players looked like they were still in college.  The performance was aggressively loud, as if each performer was trying to play louder that everyone else.  At times various performers stood for solos.  Rivers derived his music from bebop, but he was an adventurous player, adept at free jazz. He was also an adept composer and it was his sheet music that sat before every performer.  I hope this orchestra performs together more often.  In time they could bring back the polish that helps support the inspiration.  Sam's parting words at many of his concerts was, "Tell them what they missed."


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, January 14, 2018

Coldharts at the Timucua White House.


The Timicua White House (2000 South Summerlin, Orlando, FL 32806) is usually host to musicians.  The evening before the home hosted a Composer's salon.  However on this rare, dark and sinister night this became a place to stage some intimate theater, in a two person show titled, "The Coldharts: Edger Allen" created and performed by The Coldharts, Katie Hartman and Nick Ryan, two theatre artists based in Brooklyn, New York. They create American Gothic-inspired, devised, music-theatre.

The actors are US and Canada Fringe Festival audience favorites bringing this modern classic piece of theater to the Timucua stage immediately after a four-day run of “The Legend of White Woman Creek” at the Orlando Fringe Winter MiniFest. This was a two­-person, darkly comic musical inspired by the childhood and short stories of Edgar Allan Poe.  This is an astounding piece of intimate theater that can generate laughter in one second and a gasp of shock in another.

Katie began the evening performing on ukulele.  She played the part of a young Edger Allan who bragged of his dominance at an all boys school.  His supremacy was challenged when another boy entered the school and started answering questions intended for him.  The new boy spoke is a loud whisper.  The two discover in the school courtyard that they share the exact same name.  The young Edgar Allen gives every conversation a dark and brooding hidden meaning.  Rather than stay mortal enemies, the new Edgar Allen proposed they become friends.  After much deliberation Edgar Allen agrees.  However the best of intentions takes a twisted turn for the worst.

The scenes play out with exaggerated gestures worthy of a vaudeville act.  The inner working of a young boys mind are clearly sinister.  Children can be cruel but this takes misguided intentions to a new level.  The simple brick walls of the White House were a perfect backdrop to the drama that unfolded and bricks played an important part in the final act.

This piece was a stark reminder that amazing things were happening over at the Shakes at the Winter Fringe MiniFest.  I am a bit sad that I missed what were likely some amazing sketch opportunities.  Katie and Nick will return to Orlando in May for the Orlando International Fringe Festival with another Poe inspired piece, and I want to see what they come up with next. 


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, January 13, 2018

Lakeridge Winery Winter Music Series.


It is a bit of a drive up to the Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards (19239 US 27 North, Clement, Florida 34715), but the Winter Music Series made for a relaxing afternoon of music and wine.  It was chilly the day Pam Schwartz and myself went so we made our way inside the winery first thing when we arrived.  There was a wine tour in about half an hour and there was music upstairs in the Wine and cheese bar.  Joe Hand was performing cover songs on an acoustic and then electric guitar. Between sets he walked between tables talking amicably with member of the audience.  

Each Saturday afternoon during the month of January, Lakeridge Winery holds its famous Music Series, featuring live music on the outdoor stage, and inside at our Wine and Cheese Bar upstairs. The musicians selected are all fantastic performers, hand-picked from the wealth of talent located throughout Central Florida. Lakeridge wine, beer, soft drinks and a variety of food is available for purchase, along with complimentary Winery tours and tasting. This is a free event for all ages.

We did the wine tasting next, trying 10 different varieties of wine.  My favorite was the Pink Crescendo which is a sparkling wine with a fruity aroma and long lasting aftertaste.  Most of the wines were on the sweeter side rather than dry which I like.  The wines are made from Muscadine grape varieties which are Noble (red) along with Welder and Carlos (bronze) that flourish in Florida because of their disease resistance and adaptability to our warm, humid climate. The rows of vines  grow right behind the winery on the rolling hills leading down to a lake.  The vines were largely bare because it is winter and they will be full of grapes and ready to harvest next August.  A huge harvester rolls over the rows of grapes scooping them up for harvest.  The grapes are then crushed strained and the juice is fermented.  A short 10 minute film outlined the science behind the fermenting process.  The "Tour" however just involved our standing on a walkway staring st stainless steel storage containers and then standing on an empty patio.

The winery uses corks which have the advantage of expanding as they soak up the wine. Each cork costs ten cents. Much of the wine industry is moving towards synthetic corks for cost reasons not because they are better for preserving the wine.  The wines from Lakeridge are meant to be consumed within a few years.  I have always wanted to consume a wine from the year of my birth, but that might just taste like a sour mess that needs to be poured down the drain.  In August there is an annual gape stomp competition which sounds like an event I have to sketch. 

BAND SCHEDULE: OUTDOOR STAGE
Jan 13, 2018 NOON - 4pm The Nightly Grove Band 
Jan 20, 2018 NOON - 4pm Shawline 
Jan 27, 2018 NOON - 4pm Mike Quick Band 

WINE and CHEESE BAR 
Jan 13, 2018 NOON - 4pm Bobby Koelble
Jan 20, 2018 NOON - 4pm Bobby Blackmon
Jan 27, 2018 NOON - 4pm Jeff Whitfield


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, January 12, 2018

Weekend Top 6 Picks for December 13th and 14th.

Saturday December 13, 2018
6 AM to 1 PM.  Free.  Parramore Farmers Market.  The east side of the Orlando City Stadium, across from City View.  Beginning on January 6, the Parramore Farmers Market will be open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., on the east side of the Orlando City Stadium, across from City View.Purchase quality, fresh and healthy food grown in your own neighborhood by local farmers, including Fleet Farming, Growing Orlando, and other community growers.

10 AM to 5 PM.  Daily through January 16th.   Admission to Otronicon is free for OSC members, $20.95 for adults, $18.95 for seniors and students, and $14.95 for youth (ages 3-11). Otronicon: Interactive Tech ExpoOrlando Science Center (777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803).  Otronicon will celebrate its 13th year as Orlando's premier technology event you can’t afford to miss!
At Otronicon, guests walk on the cutting edge through state-of-the-art gaming and simulation technologies, including military and medical simulators not typically available to the public.
NEW THIS YEAR:
• See and feel what it's like to pilot a plane in OSC's new and permanent Flight Lab experience on its opening weekend!
• Learn all about drones by meeting drone experts and seeing live demos
• Go on a virtual test drive with Motion Sphere, where you'll experience 7 G forces with six “Degrees of Freedom” – back/forward, right/left, up/down and roll/yaw/pitch
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND:
• Interact with industry leaders and educators and learn about STEM careers
• Experience the future of games and design
• See the latest in medical and military technologies, plus video gaming, art and more
• Check out workshops and presentations led by industry pros
• And so much more!
Regardless of your background, whether you work in the tech industry or just have a passion for learning, Otronicon will engage your mind and spark your curiosity.
Visit Otronicon.org to see what's new and check out our list of exhibitors!

Noon to 4 PM.  Free.  Winter Music Series.  Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards 19239 US 27 North, Clermont, Florida 34715.  Each Saturday afternoon during the month of January, Lakeridge Winery holds its famous Music Series, featuring live music on the outdoor stage, and inside at our Wine & Cheese Bar upstairs in the winery. The musicians selected are all fantastic performers, hand-picked from the wealth of talent located throughout Central Florida. Lakeridge wine, beer, soft drinks and a variety of food is available for purchase, along with complimentary Winery tours and tasting.
BAND SCHEDULE:
OUTDOOR STAGE
Jan 13, 2018 NOON - 4pm The Nightly Grove Band
Jan 20, 2018 NOON - 4pm Shawline
Jan 27, 2018 NOON - 4pm Mike Quick Band
WINE & CHEESE BAR
Jan 13, 2018 NOON - 4pm Bobby Koelble
Jan 20, 2018 NOON - 4pm Bobby Blackmon
Jan 27, 2018 NOON - 4pm Jeff Whitfield

Sunday December 14, 2018
 Noon to 1 PM.  Donation based.  Yoga.  Lake Eola at the field near the red gazebo. 

1 PM to 5:30 PM Free.  Family Day on the Second SundayThe Mennello Museum of American Art (900 East Princeton Street, Orlando, FL 32803).  The make-and-take craft table is open from noon-2:30 p.m., and docents are available to give mini-tours of the museum. Then it's open house in the galleries until 4:30 p.m.

2 PM to 5 PM $5. Film Slam.   Enzian Theater (1300 S Orlando Ave, Maitland, FL 32751).  Originally a project of University of Central Florida's Downtown Media Arts Center, Enzian became the home of FilmSlam when DMAC closed in 2006. Now in its fifth year at Enzian, FilmSlam continues to be a popular outlet for indie and student filmmakers throughout the State of Florida.
FilmSlam will usually be held on the second Sunday of each month at 1PM at Enzian.
COME CELEBRATE INDEPENDENTS DAY!!!
It's so hot outside our brains just melted! So, this month we've booked the craziest FilmSlam line up of the year.
Experimental Films, Puppet Films, Art Films, Bartenders throwing bottles, Gangsters, a Music Video....this has to be the most amazingly eclectic line we've had for all of 2012.
Program starts at 1pm sharp. Q&A with the filmmakers to follow screening.


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, January 11, 2018

Buddy Dyer and Scott Maxwell ride into the Danger Zone.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer previewed the new immersive Flight Lab, while Challenging Orlando Sentinel’s Scott Maxwell in a Virtual Contest to be Top Gun at the Orlando Science Center (777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803). The Mayor and Sentinel Columnist continued their decades-long video game rivalry. Since 2006, they have competed for dominance at the annual Otronicon. From Halo shootouts to Dance Dance Revolution, these two combatants have given their all in a bid for techno supremacy. The competition came days before the 13th annual Otronicon Tech Expo.

The high tech Flight Lab is located on the top floor of the Science Center in the Dino Digs area. I arrived a bit early to sketch the room, waiting for the contestants to arrive. One of the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality technology experts in the room noticed my John Henry crew jacket and he asked if I had worked at Disney. He had worked for 10 years at Universal so we shared a few war stories. He lamented that CAD technology has produced a generation of tech architects and artists who are content use homogeneous stock imagery. The life in hand crafted sketching is quickly becoming a lost art. Now that I am looking for work, it seems like Tech is all that exists in this Digital World.

The contestants were given a chance to try out the technology before their flight. They both put on Virtual Reality headsets which allowed them to look around their cockpits. "Maverick" (Dyer) glanced out his cockpit window to see "Ice Man" (Maxwell). They both took off the flight deck of the carrier and took to the sky. Each jet required a pilot and co-pilot so the tech experts helped in the co-pilot seats. With the test flights out of the way the pilots prepared for their head to head flights. Maverick got off the flight deck first with Ice Man flying in formation behind. This was not a dog fight but a simple test of speed and agility. Buddy Dyer took the title of "Top Gun."

Flight Lab will be premiering at this year's Otronicon. This new permanent exhibit uses real-world mission scenarios to teach standards-based concepts and to develop critical communication, decision-making, team building, and collaborative skills. Flight Lab is an immersive experience with 13 flight simulator stations to accommodate both a pilot and co-pilot. Oculus Rift head-mounted display units take participants right into the danger zone as they learn how to fly, navigate, communicate, and work as a team. Funding for the exhibit is provided by the Office of Naval Research.

Otronicon connects visitors with the creative professionals and technology that are turning Central Florida into a hub for innovation. It is a celebration of our community’s technology leaders, including the latest from Lockheed Martin, Walt Disney World Resort, Florida Hospital for Children, University of Central Florida as well as a cross section of our region’s top indie game developers and so much more. The 13th Annual Otronicon is January 12-15, 2018. The hours are 10 AM to 5 PM each day. Tickets are available online.
Adult ($20.95)
Senior ($18.95)
Student ($18.95)
Youth ($14.95)
Two and Under ($0.00)


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, January 10, 2018

Black Bear Memorial at Lake Eola.


In 2015 a black bear hunt was authorized in Florida.  This was the  first bear hunt in Florida in 21 years.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) set a quota of 320 bears despite the fact that a complete bear population study won’t be available until 2016.  It only took two days for the hunt to reach the Commissions limit.  The Florida black bear was removed from the threatened species list just three years prior to the hunt.  In response, bear advocates organized a memorial inspired in part by a you tube video by 5 year old Khendall.

The states Humane Society director Kate MacFall said, "This is a sad day for Florida’s black bears. This weekend, trophy hunters will take to the woods to kill our bears for rugs and taxidermied trophies. This hunt is completely unnecessary and it’s not supported by science or by public sentiment. Research overwhelmingly shows that hunting bears in the woods doesn’t reduce problems with bears in neighborhoods. The state would be better off helping citizens manage trash and outdoor food sources. Unfortunately for bears, most of Florida’s wildlife commissioners failed to listen to the overwhelming majority of Floridians who publicly opposed the hunt."

At the Lake Eola band shell about 300 people gathered dressed in black to memorialize the bears that had been killed.  Advocates say that the hunt will affect the remaining bear population.  About one third of the bears killed were lactating mothers.  I was told that one hunter decided to bury a bear cub alive after he had killed the mother bear.  Those who attended the memorial want to fight to make sure Florida never does this again.

In 2016, the seven-member Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) voted to postpone bear hunting in Florida in 2016. Although the framework for bear hunting in Florida remains in place, there will be a zero hunt objective set for 2016, 2017, and 2018. The FWC "needed more time” to better explain itself and turn public opinion around. Driving out of New Smirna, I saw a bear crossing sign.  I find that odd since I have never seen a bear from any Florida Road. Having worked on the character of Koda in The Disney feature animated film "Brother Bear", I have a soft spot for bear cubs.


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, January 9, 2018

Nerd Nite is expanding in 2018.


 Nerd Nite Orlando is an evening of entertaining yet thought-provoking presentations, all while the audience drinks along in a casual atmosphere. Speakers present for 15-20 minutes each on a fascinating subject, often in an uncanny and unconventional way. Following each presentation is a brief Q&A with the audience. The premise is simple, drink and think. 

Nerd Nite operates in over a hundred cities around the world, including Tokyo, Seattle, London, Los Angeles, Des Moines, Austin, and many more. Nerd Nite launched in Orlando on Thursday, March 14, 2013 with founding organizers Valerie Cepero, Josh Manning, and Ricardo Williams.
Since its inception, Nerd Nite Orlando has taken place on every second Thursday of the month and is now organized and hosted by Ida Eskamani and Ricardo Williams.

The announcement of Ida's addition to the Nerd team was made on Thursday, September 14th at “Nerd Nite Orlando LV: Neural Networks, Autonomous Vehicles, and The Procrastination Paradox” where Eskamani took the stage at the end of the evening to emphasize big plans for 2018 including a Nerd Nite Prom and how they’re going to “triple everything in size and Nerd Nite this whole damn town!”

Ricardo Williams said, “I am incredibly excited for our plans for 2018, including the continuation of our monthly events, the second season of our show, our new documentary film, the 5-year anniversary, the cosplay prom, and so much more!”

Presentations at Nerd Nite XXXI included, "The Amazing Fabric of Gordon Space Time" by Scott Gordon, "Vulnerability: You ARE crazy and its GREAT" by Rodrigo Groppa, and “The Science of Jurassic World” by Trevor Valle

On January 11th from 7 PM - 9:30 PM, Nerd Nite will be held at The Geek Easy (114 S Semoran Blvd, Ste 6, Winter Park, Florida 32792.) The evenings them will be "Space." The suggested Donation is $5.00.  Doors open at 6pm. Program starts at 7pm.  Like the universe after the big bang, Nerd Nite is expanding in 2018. 

Dates for Nerd Nite in 2018:
January 11, 2018
February 8, 2018
March 8, 2018
April 12, 2018
May 10, 2018
June 14, 2018
July 12, 2018
August 9, 2018
September 13, 2018
October 11, 2018
November 8, 2018
December 13, 2018


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, January 8, 2018

Test Track at the gun range.


In Tavares Florida there is a large parking lot at the private Eustice Gun Club that is converted into a test track for The Porche Club.  Cones are set up to create a course that tests drivers skills.  Many drivers have magnetic numbers that they add to the hood or car door.  Topics are varied, from how to drive out of a skid to how to hold the steering wheel to avoid having hour wrists broken by air bags should there be a crash.

All of the Porches line up on a service road leading to the track, and then one by one, they drive the track competing against a stop watch.  All drivers had helmets and if they didn't, they were required to rent a helmet.  All during the test runs gunfire popped off at the gun range.  In my sketch the covered canopy is where shooters line up to fire at targets.  There was also an indoor range which was always active. 

I sat in the grass watching the endless test track runs.  I sat close to a tree thinking I could make a run for it if a car skidded off the pavement out of control. Only one car did push the limits spinning off the track and stopping just short of a chain link fence.  Across the street, I could see model air planes buzzing above a landfill.  


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.