Thursday, July 15, 2010

B-Side Artists

On the third Thursday of the month, I went down to the City Arts Factory (29 South Orange Avenue) to do a sketch of the B-Side Artists show opening. This group of artists had seven original members lead by Swamburger and more artists have joined the ranks over the years. The B-Side name came from the flip side of Albums in the 1980's, it was common knowledge then that the B-Side of the album would have the more experimental and cutting edge performances. Some of the work in this show had the feeling of emerging from the streets, having an urban feeling whose roots go back to graffiti. B-Side Artists is the urban youth underdog that continues to surprise pop-culture with it's style, bold content, and willingness to create in artistically a-typical conditions.

Sketching a gallery opening is an insanely difficult challenge. I leaned back against a wall on my portable stool and got to work. The difficulty comes from people standing in front of you as you work. I have trained myself to not get frustrated but instead to wait or look elsewhere and draw some other detail not blocked by the person in front of me. Swamburger greeted me with a warm handshake and smile. Outside he related to me the dream he has of someday finding a project where all the arts groups in town can come together and collaborate on a project which shows the world what the Orlando arts scene has to offer.

Guerrier Peterson was the artist who's work was on the wall opposite from where I was sitting. One painting had elephants across the base of the painting and then rising up behind them was the torso of a woman with no head and a knot of organic looking roots twisting upward out of the neck. Another painting depicted a demonic looking freak show clown with a long tongue. The longer I drew and studied the work, the more I liked it.

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


Lynne Chapman said...

You did an amazing job, especially in such trying circumstances.

Tell me - do you take watercolours out with you too, or add the colour when you get home?

Thor said...

Hey Lynne,
Yes I use a small Windsor Newton watercolor Palette on location.

You are right this sketch in particular was a challenge since the hallway was tightly packed with people.