Thursday, July 8, 2010


Blend was a live painting event held at Taste (717 West Smith Street in College Park). Frankie Messina and Tracy Burke helped organize this unique collaborative event. Blend bought together artists from a wide variety of disciplines and had them all work on a series of canvases together. When I arrived with Terry, we made our way back to the red room where the lights were blazing and we could hear the conversations of all the artists at work. Jeremy Seghers and Amanda Chadwick were in the restaurant and I suggested Terry join them as I finished up a sketch. Plastic was draped over the walls and floor to avoid paint getting everywhere. Even with these precautions, someone stepped on a palette and stomped red paint everywhere. The mess was quickly cleaned up. The art styles were varied and in some ways disjointed when placed side by side on a single canvas. It took some time and effort to see some of the canvases find a unified vision. A man wearing a Viking helmet had horns which had diodes inside that would light up and move up and down to the beat of the music. After the event, I learned that the artist in the foreground of the sketch is Maisy May Marrs. She did a fun quirky painting of a serious redheaded girl in the cornet of the canvas she was working on. She stares up at a stick figure girl on top of her head. the image is strangely unsettling.
Since I hadn't been invited to join the effort, I just concentrated on my sketch. I later found out that both Terry and Amanda had contributed to a piece so I suppose I should have made a contribution. Louise Bova whose work is expressionistic and representational, decided to just add swirling brush strokes which added to the pattern of a painting. Once I finished my sketch I joined Jeremy Amanda and Terry out in the restaurant. I ordered some tater tots and a drink. The dinner conversation was lively and well greased with some drinks. Jeremy and Amanda had to get to an 11 o'clock SAK comedy club show so they took off. Terry and I stayed behind and waited for the band to start playing in the red room as many of the artists packed up and left.

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


Ralph Verano said...

Thanks for your post on "Blend". Tracy & I weren't quite sure what to expect from the event considering we were combining a wide range of styles, skills and ages. If nothing else, I think it was a good opportunity for artists that would never meet otherwise, to come together and possibly have a unique experience. We would like to hear what other people thought about the event, even if it's negative. We hope to bring more interesting ideas to Taste and we want as much feedback as possible. Thanks again Thor for the great sketch.
Ralph Verano

frankie messina said...

thank you also for taking the time out of your "incredible" life of this amazing journal and project here. You are something special.
Our door at TASTE is welcome to you always,and we are grateful you spotlighted us here..