Monday, November 22, 2010

Phenomenal Conundrum

Back in Orlando, I found I had time to kill between scheduled sketch assignments. I was coming from Baldwin Park where the opening of a French furnishings store turned out to be an uninspiring subject. I drove to College Park where Mona Washington was going to have a reading of one of her plays at the Kerouac House. I was early so I stopped at infusion tea and ordered an Italian Gelato. Sitting on a comfortable couch in the back of the room, I was reminded of a scene in "Eat Pray Love" where the main character sits quietly in a bustling Italian square savoring a Gelato and enjoying being alone taking in the scene around her. As I savored my Gelato, using the delicate little spoon, I noticed Rachel Kapitan sitting at a table near the door, looking a bit corporate yet very edgy, working on a laptop probably writing up a storm.

In the far corner, a guitarist got behind the mic and started strumming. His friend worked the knobs on a speaker and walked into the middle of the room to check the sound levels. When he was satisfied, he sat down and started playing the drum. They had a warm, mellow soothing sound and I moved closer. A group of women had just abandoned the front table, so I sat down and started sketching. I really had to rush the sketch since I only had an hour before the Kerouac house reading. One of the women returned and she jokingly raised an eye brow and pointed at me as she picked up her full cup of tea. I laughed as she quickly made her way to the door to catch up with her friends.

The musicians were Alexander Gunn and Raymond Hussmann and they called themselves "Phenomenal Conundrum." They hail from Washington D.C. and they had been performing the Pirate Bars along Florida's coast before sharing their music at Infusion Tea. They had some paintings from a friend leaning against the wall beside them. On the guitar a message was scrawled that said, "This machine kills Fascists." As I got close to finishing the sketch, I saw Rachel walk past the plate glass windows. I knew she was looking forward to Mona's play reading, so I knew I was out of time. The Kerouac house is only a few blocks from Infusion. The sketch was finished with a mad flurry of watercolor washes. I left in the middle of a song, fanning the sketchbook to try and dry the washes.

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello!! I am Raymond from the Phenomenal Conundrum... This awesome! Thank You very much!!!! thephenomenalconundrum@live .com