Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Signing CDs

Terry got tickets to hear world class violinist, Joshua Bell, play with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra at the Bob Carr Theater. We were seated far back away from the stage so I didn't attempt a sketch. Terry pointed out that my name was in the program twice, probably because I had donated a sketch for a fundraiser. The house lights dimmed and I snuggled back into my seat. The music was soothing so I closed my eyes and drifted away. Periodically my head would bob forward and I would shake myself awake before drifting off again. The violinist performed after the intermission. He played admirably with bravado and flair. He stood the whole time shifting his weight often, swaying with the flow of the music.

For an encore he performed "Yankee Doodle" which he spiced up with so much intricate showmanship that it was always a surprise when the simple tune became recognizable. Christopher Wilkins the conductor let everyone know that the violinist would be signing CDs in the lobby after the performance. He joked that if you had your own sharpie, you might be allowed to sign the violin. Apparently the Stradivarius violin has a long colorful history.

I have been searching for lines to draw and there was a huge line of people waiting to get their CDs signed. As soon as I started sketching the line started to move. A handler hurried people along making sure they didn't speak to the musician for long. "Please keep it moving" he kept saying. As I sketched one of the ushers approached me and said I would have to leave the floor. There were hundreds of people in the lobby and I didn't understand why I was being asked to move, but I complied. I continued to work on the sketch from a vantage point on the stairwell to the lobby. When I saw the usher was gone, I returned to my original spot and continued to work. By this time I was in a foul mood. I wondered if the violinist's handler had considered me some sort of threat. Was my sketching causing a disruption? Honestly few people noticed what I was doing. This incident made me feel like sketching events at the Bob Carr is more of a hassle than it is worth.

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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