On Friday March 19th, the 51st Annual Winter Park Art Sidewalk Festival started. I decided to go right after work at Full Sail when Kathy Blackmore told me that there was going to be a jazz band featuring songwriter Peter White kicking off the night's festivities on the main stage. I knew I had other commitments over the weekend, so this would likely be my only chance to sketch the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. I would be exhibiting my art at the Outsider Art Fair at Frames Forever (941 Orange Avenue Winter Park). There, I plan to sketch Doug Rhodehamel, who makes his unmistakable mushrooms out of brown paper bags, and Brian Feldman, who will be performing "sleepwalk 2, i walk over you". Both of these are priceless sketch opportunities.
When I arrived at the festival, I wandered and soaked in the energy and excitement of all people gathered for the event. The outdoor cafes were packed. Conversations were buzzing. My pace quickened. As I looked through several artists booths, I ran into Terry and Rick Loewen. Terry and Rick are old friends from ORCA which stands for Orlando Reef Caretakers Association. Terry and Rick informed me that ORCA would be hosting the Marine Aquarium Conference of North America this September, so this is certainly an event I hope to sketch. They told me I could get a hotel room discount at the Marriott Resort, which didn't make sense at first. But then they told me they would have a Margarita making machine in their room and I agreed, a hotel room was a great idea! If you happen to work at the Marriott, I made that last piece of business up.
I was anxious to find my way to the Winter Park Arts Festival jazz, so I told Rick and Terry I would see them by the main stage. The lawn in front of the stage was already crowded. I walked down the sidewalk and found a spot between artist's tents where I could sit. I of course started sketching immediately since the sun was setting. A couple asked if they could sit in the spot next to me and, of course, I agreed. When I was about halfway through the sketch, the man seated next to me who was sipping a red wine, put his hand on my shoulder and said, "I love your work, can I see the sketch?" The watercolor was still wet in spots, but I handed it over. He shared it with his wife and they agreed, that they wanted to buy it. I gave him my card so he could check out the blog and told him to leave a comment if he still wanted it. I hope I have found another reader!
The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival continues at Central Park in Winter Park through March 21st at 5 PM.