Monday, July 19, 2010

Best of Orlando

The Orlando Weekly held a readers choice voting for the Best of Orlando. Analog Artist Digital World won third place as the Best Local Blog! The Weekly held a celebration party at Club Firestone for the winners. I wasn't invited. I suppose only the first place winners were invited. Luckily Brian Feldman won first place as the Best Experimental Act; being in South Dakota he gave his two tickets to Katie Windish who then invited me, so I could get a sketch of the event. When we got to the club we had to text Lindy Shepherd, an Orlando Weekly writer, so she could come out and give us the tickets. As we were going in Swamburger was coming out complaining that none of the food inside was vegan. He was heading up to the Cameo to party. Once we got past the velvet red rope and entered the club we were hit with the pounding bass of the music. Certain beers were free and there was a long line for food so we muscled past Wonder Woman and Batman, up to the bar. Once we had our beers the food line was smaller so we grabbed some food and then searched for a spot to sit. I saw a spot at a counter but before we got there two guys moved in. We finally found large cushioned benches in a room where back massages were being offered.
After we finished eating, I started searching for a spot to draw from. I had seem a walkway that had an overview of the dance floor and we started going up stairways until we found it. It was hot up there and no one else was around which meant I could sketch in peace. Katie went downstairs to talk to people and I got to work. I placed my beer on the counter and got out my book light so I could see what I was doing. When I was about half way through my sketch, my bottle of beer crashed to the floor shattering everywhere. I couldn't figure out why it fell. I hadn't touched it since I started sketching. I picked up the shattered base and placed it back on the counter. I then realized that the bass of the music was so loud that the counter was vibrating and the bottle was once again making its way to the edge to jump. I had the same problem with my sketchbook which I had leaning up against the counter. I put two pencil erasers in my ears finally to cut back some of the volume.
Much of the focus of the sketch is on the card tables which were set up for gambling. In the upper left corner an area was set up where artists were working on a painting. The painting had Blue Moon Beer logos integrated into it so I considered it too commercial to get its own sketch. On the dance floor a giant taco was busting some moves. A photographer tapped me on the shoulder and asked if it was alright for him to shoot some photos. I guess he thought I was staff. He shot some flash photos of a beautiful model.
On three movie screens the names of the winners were being projected. I got to see my name when the Best Bog category came up, but I was at the bottom of the list with my bronze. Once my sketch was done I found Katie and she introduced me to several Orlando Weekly staff members who said I should approach the new editor about getting my work in the paper. With a new editor comes new ideas so anything is possible.

Tomorrow I will be sketching the Speakwasy at Will's Pub on Mills Avenue between 9 and 11:30PM.

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

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