Monday, March 25, 2019


City Arts Factory is about to move into the former Avalon Art Gallery space (39 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando, Florida 32801.) Chris Belt took over The In between Series from Patrick Greene, the former gallery promoter at Avalon Island. Chris wanted to add his own touch to the series and decided to ask artists from different disciplines to work together. Pulled together Elizabeth A. Baker a modern electronic sound composer, and Voci Dance.

ADSR-Squared was a multi-movement interdisciplinary structured improvisation work for dance and sound. Evolved from the traditional spatial and sonic relationship of a fixed media track behind dancers, the piece blurred the line between music makers and movers, creating an immersive experience for both performers and audience.

I decided to sketch from the side lines but was afraid the wall I backed my artist stool against might be in the way of some part of the dance routine. I went back stage quickly to check with choreographer Genevieve Bernard to be sure I wasn't blocking anyone.

The Voci dancers brought a playful aspect to the evening. They interacted with speakers, holding them to their ears and moving to the beat. When they began using small musical instruments, one dancer became possessive and would not share the instrument she came to love. The dancing wasn't limited to the stage area. Dancers moved in and around the audience as well.

One dancer sat next to me for the longest time. I began to wonder if she was an understudy, but she was only waiting for her moment to shine when she began her solo. Ausin Texas has the saying, "Keep Austin Weird." The In Between Series is doing its part to "Keep Orlando Weird."

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Shasta Trailer

Traveling to Austin Texas, Pam and I decided to stay in a Shasta Trailer parked in someone's garage. It was an affordable option that felt like a camping adventure. There was a shower in the backyard where a few chickens wandered. In this sketch, Pam is making breakfast. Behind her is the bathroom which was the one flaw of the trailer. I couldn't get in and out of the bathroom without bonking my head. It was also too tight for me to stand to lift my underwear back up, so I would have to crawl out of the bathroom and then shimmy my skivvies back into place.

This trailer also promised several bicycles but they weren't working. We ended up taking Ubers wherever we wanted to go instead. On a whole however, this tiny trailer was the perfect place to explore Austin from. The host offered plenty of suggestions for restaurants and venues to explore. Austin's restaurants are strangely loud and always crowded. It is as if the louder a restaurant is the more crowed it becomes. We tried several Texas BBQ joints to see how Texas compares to Central Florida BBQ. My humble taste buds could not differentiate. I would need a blind taste test side by side.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival

This was the 60th Annual Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. I arrived on the first day to do a quick sketch. I entered by the rose garden and realized that it was the perfect spot to slow down and observe before entering the tight crowded walkways.College girls took selfies in front of the iconic peacock statue. One girl must have shot over 50 photos of herself in her constellation pattern skirt.

The first local artist I saw was Robert Ross but I never did find his tent. There are so many paths set up with wood chips through the park that I suspect I must have missed a few aisles. Someone walking the event was on his cell phone was saying to a friend, " It's 9 to 5 or some mess like that." I always like seeing the quirky work of Ed Myers who integrates hidden digital phones and tablets into his creations to add blinking eyes to some paintings.

There was a hand made book binder that intrigued me. It reminds me that I should create my own sketchbooks if I want to work on paper that I love in the size that suits me. I have never found just the right sketchbook for my work. I make due with what I can find mass produced.

Local artist Mathew Cornell had a booth on Park Avenue. He creates small and incredibly realistic oil paintings. I like that he doesn't crowd his booth with tons of work. He just had a few paintings appropriately spaces like in a gallery. The painting on display were called roadside attractions being from his travels across the country. He is trying to relate what America means to him as an artist.

There was also fashion accessories, photography, mixed media, ceramics, metal, leather, jewelry, digital art, fiber, glass, clay and sculptures. It was a chance to see a wide variety of art as inspiration. Of course it is illegal to sketch on Park Avenue in Winter Park. I hoped that the city ordinance had been rescinded for the duration of the festival. I also knew that Central Park is considered a safe zone, where freedom of expression is permitted.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

Friday, March 22, 2019

Weekend Top 6 Picks for March 23 and 24

Saturday March 23, 2019
8 AM to 1 PM Free. Parramore Farmers Market. 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 PM to Midnight $18  Corsets and Cuties: Lady Jaimz Bday Show. Theater West End, 115 W 1st St, Sanford, FL 32771. A little song, a little dance, maybe a Cutie in your lap. Unexpected fun and surprises await!
Lovely ladies and some not-so-gentle men sing, dance, and take their clothes off all for your entertainment pleasure! Whether you're celebrating with the one you love or out on the prowl, the Cuties are ready for ya! Guest stars, and special treats from sponsor Premier Couples Superstore - you can be sure of a fantastic night out!
NOTE: The show is intended for adult audiences, as it contains adult content and nudity. 

10:30 PM to 12:30 AM Buy some food and drink. Son Flamenco. Ceviche Tapas Orlando, 125 W Church St, Orlando, FL. 

Sunday March 24, 2019
10 AM to Noon. Free. Heartfulness Relaxation and Meditation Class. University, 5200 Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32811. The Method of Heartfulness A simple and practical way to experience the heart’s unlimited resources. 

1 PM to 4 PM Free, $5 onsite parking. Florida Cowboy Heritage Day Family Open House. Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens, 633 Osceola Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789. Cattle Culture Arts Crafts demonstration historical presentations cowboy poetry live indoor painting hands on art activities.

2 PM to 4 PM Free but get a coffee. Irish Music. Olivia's Coffee House, 108 N Bay St, Eustis, FL.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Cathedral of Junk

The Cathedral of Junk is located in quiet suburban neighborhood in Austin Texas (4422-4424 Lareina Dr, Austin, Texas 78745) in the back yard of the artist who created it. It is a living sculpture, meaning it is always in flux as its creator, owner and curator, Vince Hannemann, adds new features and edits others out. Construction began in his backyard in 1988 and new items are added constantly. He estimated that it now contains 60 tons of junk. His puppy acted as our unofficial docent and Vince left us to explore. You should call  should you ever decide to visit the Cathedral. Vince welcomed my request to sketch.

The unassuming cathedral can not be seen from the street. The main tower has an inner structure of re bar onto which is attached every for of junk you can imagine. Hubcaps, gears, surf boards, rocking horses, guitars, road signs, a glittering array of Cd's and a shrine to Elvis and Madonna. Crutches pointed to the heavens at the top of the tower. Though the materials are unorthodox, there is a reverence to the place, like a true cathedral. The place is also multi leveled with steps winding up to a high perch overlooking the neighborhood. It is a true playground for adults and children alike. No single sketch or photo can do the place justice. There is something new to see every few inches.

Yuppies in the townhouse behind the cathedral had complained to the city asking it to be torn down. Several engineers have studied the structure looking for weak spots but it is built to withstand any Texas storm. The only thing that did have to come down was a pyramid of 200 TVs. Although the engineering of a pyramid might be sound, the TVs are lighter than stone and might become projectiles in a hurricane.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Austin State Capitol

The Austin State Capitol was designed in 1881 by architect Elijah E. Myers. It was constructed from 1882 to 1888 under the direction of civil engineer Reuben Lindsay Walker. A $75 million underground extension was completed in 1993. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

The Texas State Capitol is 302.64 feet tall, making it the sixth tallest state capitol and one of several taller than the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. In 1931, the City of Austin enacted a local ordinance limiting the height of new buildings to a maximum of 200 feet, aiming to preserve the visual preeminence of the capitol. From that time until the early 1960s, only the University of Texas Main Building Tower was built higher than the limit, but in 1962 developers announced a new 261-foot (80 m) high-rise residential building to be built adjacent to the capitol, called the Westgate Tower. Governor Price Daniel voiced his opposition to the proposed tower, and State Representative Henry Grover of Houston introducing a bill to condemn the property, which was defeated in the Texas House of Representatives by only two votes. The Westgate was eventually completed in 1966.

Pam and I sat back to back on the lawn so I could do a sketch of the capitol. There are 7 Confederate themed statues on the lawn of the capitol. After a rally by white nationalists turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia, Confederate monuments and markers across the country have drawn increased scrutiny. The process of changing the landscape of the Capitol grounds isn’t an easy one. While the Preservation Board is in charge of the Capitol grounds, it often takes new state laws, along with years of waiting, to spur them into action. The board currently has no instructions or processes in its administrative code that address the removal of any items from Capitol grounds. That’s prompted some to push for state lawmakers to address the issue. Things move very slowly in the South. It could take many years for lawmakers to pass legislation to get the preservation board to make changes to the capitol landscape. Who wants change? Charlotesville, Virginia

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Nerd Nite 6 Year Anniversary

The Nerd Nite 6 Year Anniversary was held at Celine Orlando, (22 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando, FL 32801.) Nerd Nite anniversaries are usually held at The Abbey but that venue was booked for the night. The evening was slated to begin at 6 PM but the first speaker didn't take to the stage for another hour and a half. I suppose that was time set aside for mingling and networking. I used the time to block in my sketch. I had never been to Celine before so the space itself was exciting. Ricardo Williams started off with excerpts from some of his favorite Nerd Nite presentations over the years. His white suit caught the blue light to great effect.

Dr. Krista Noble was the first speaker for the night. Her talk was titled "Why the Heck Are We Conscious? The Hard Problem of Consciousness". As she said, "Everyone agrees that our mental processes (meaning our thoughts, emotions, and perceptions) correspond with physical processes in our brains. The question is, how and why? Why do we have subjective experiences at all? Why aren’t we genetically programmed to pursue survival, yet lacking consciousness? These fundamental questions still plague scholars in spite of our most advanced scientific discoveries." As she spoke about comparing two objects and noting that they were both bright red, I put some red notes on my sketch. If I sketch am I conscious? Perhaps I am more like a zombie using my few synapses to document what is around me with my hands and eyes.

“To Boldly Go: A Brief History of the Space Toilet” by Brendan Byrne followed with hilarious results. Brendan works for WMFE and he covers the space beat. As he said, "Human spaceflight has been plagued by waste. From urine-soaked spacesuits to floating turds, the history of human spaceflight is flush with dirty (and hilarious) anecdotes of dealing with waste in space. Engineers seem to have a handle on #1 and #2 as we explore low Earth orbit, but the future of deep space exploration hinges on our ability to overcome a heaping pile of physiological, biological and engineering problems. So how will we do it? Brendan has been exploring the history of the space toilet for a new book and presents a brief history of the galactic commode – and ideas for new hardware that will boldly take our poop to places like the moon and Mars." 

On the first space flight, the astronaut was supposed to be in flight for just 15 minutes so no thought was put into a toilet. He was nervous and drank many cups of coffee that morning. Then there was a delay in launch which resulted in his needing to ask permission from mission control if he could wet his spacesuit. Engineers followed with a hard dock solution in which a condom was attached to a bag. A crap was more difficult requiring a cup strapped to the butt and a two fingered method of snipping off the log. Gravity usually helps the solids fall away but there was no gravity. Brendan read a recently declassified transcript in which astronauts debated about whose crap was floating around the capsule. Upon opening a recently recovered capsule a navy man vomited upon smelling what was inside. There was some hilarious audio of astronaut John Young (namesake of John Young Parkway)  as he was on the moon. He farted loudly and curses saying he would never eat citrus again.

Technology did catch up with the problem with a small fan providing suction to draw the excrement from the source. He played a video of astronauts pee being vented into space and it instantly crystallizing. Today however all liquids are recycled to be reused as drinking water. For long distance space flight a researcher is creating a device that burns down all waste and turns it into water and hydrogen. Brendan ended the presentation with a photo if him sitting on a space station toilet replica. is  mom must be so proud. I geek  out just as hard trying to get to as many space launches as I can to  sketch.

It was an evening of scatological and cerebral pursuits, who could ask for more?

The next Nerd Nite is April 11, 2019

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

Monday, March 18, 2019

Ivanhoe Park Brewery Mural Unveiling

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 7 PM – 10 PM will be the the official unveiling and signing of my City Beautiful Mural at Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company (1300 Alden Road, Orlando, Florida 32803.)   Gentry’s BBQ will be on site for food options. No cost to attend but drinks and food will cost.

I have been working on this mural for the past 39 days, usually from sunrise until noon when the sun floods the wall taking away my cooling shade. The last week was accelerated with me working all day long because Charles Marklin from Metro Finishes let me borrow some scaffolding. When I stood on the scaffolding it would shake violently side to side. I braced my hand against the wall and steadied my breathing to continue painting the sky. I only painted one 5 foot section of sky and then Pam Schwartz took over. When she stood on the scaffolding she was steady as a rock. She ended up painting all the rest of the sky.

I was introduced to Glen Clossen of Ivanhoe Park Brewing by Brendan Bunting O'Connor of The Bungalower. Brendan knew I had pitched this mural design for the Fringe offices back in 2014, but that building was torn down before painting started. I adjusted the same sketch for use on the Brewery. Years before this same design was used to paint a large canvas at a Downtown Arts District fundraiser at the Sonesta Hotel Downtown. That painting was executed by the drunk party goers and the results were as might be expected. It looked like it had been painted by non artists. That canvas hung over the admissions desk for a while and then quietly disappeared. I am not sure of it's fate, if it went in the trash, or is in someone's private collection.

My process on this mural is well documented on Instagram showing a photo at the end of each work day. Line work was a challenge. I considered using Krink markers but was told they do not last long in the Florida sun. Instead I used black acrylic paint and the same water brush I use every day to do my on location sketches. I tried to maintain the same quirky line quality of the original sketch on the much large wall surface.

Come on out, grab a beer and say hello.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Out of Bounds Comedy Festival

Pam Schwartz and I went to The Hideout Theatre (617 Congress Ave, Austin, Texas 78701) for the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, which traditionally takes that final blistering week before Labor Day and fills it with funny. There was improv, sketch, and stand-up by mirth makers from both the Austin and around the planet. Out of Bounds showcased more than 130 acts over the course of seven days. More than 500 performers brought on the laughter. Out of Bounds is Austin’s longest running comedy festival and the largest multi-disciplinary comedy festival in the south.

The theatre was small and intimate and the acts came fast and furious. It was a fun night of improv comedy and proof that Austin is indeed keeping it weird. After the performance the two performers I had sketched found me and asked to have a photo taken with the sketch. I don't think I ever saw that photo but it was great to meet the performers face to face.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Remington Beard Boss World Beard and Moustache Championships

When Pam Schwartz and I traveled to Austin Texas, I wanted to sketch events that are a quirky and unique as the ones I find in Orlando. The Remington Beard Boss and the Austin Facial Hair Club World Beard and Moustache Championships fit the bill. Beardos and Whiskerinas came from all over the world to Austin, Texas for Championships at the Long Center for the Performing Arts.

The three-day competition attracted more than 1000 competitors and fans. Every two years, the WBMC showcases the very best in men’s whiskers and united beards in a cultural event like no other. For the first time at WBMC, Whiskerina (ladies) categories were showcased. Projected to be the largest competition to date, the three-day event included live entertainment, local food vendors, family-friendly activities and dozens of facial hair competitions—all on site at Austin’s premier downtown performing arts center.

I was clean shaven at the time but after witnessing this event, I began to sport a beard. There were beards of every shape and size and some that honestly are hard to believe. One man grew his beard so long he created a mask out of it that made him look like a werewolf.  Beards were sculpted into intricate and delicate curtly cues. Beards were long, short soft and pointy. There was a beard for every taste. A woman has a mustache that looked like two nuclear explosions.

We arrived late in the day on the final day of the competition to see the best in show and the closing ceremonies. I wrote on the sketch that #526 was the winner. That was not the werewolf but a more refined beard and mustache of epic spiraling forms. I keep my beard trimmed to less than 1/4 inches but it is tempting to contemplate what it would take to be a world champion.  I only feat a larger beard would get in the way when I sketch.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at