Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cocktails & Cosmos

Terry had purchased tickets to Cocktails and Cosmos at the Orlando Science Center. After we got our arm bands we wandered into the main room on the second floor. Terry made a bee-line to a table that offered clothing for sale and I was immediately intrigued by a mural that was in progress. A guitarist played all night near the mural as guests took red plastic cups of paint and brushed their chosen color onto the canvas. The canvas had two guitars painted in vibrant warm colors and an all seeing eye dead center. The company that organized this community painting was Harmonious Universe. The company's motto is "Be it Share it." They say the motto is alive in the moment. So whatever "it" is to you, then that is what you are to "be." To fully "be it" you must "share it." I identify with the motto since each sketch is incomplete until I share it's story.

There was a fashion show which featured men and women's fashions from the 60's to the present. Peter Murphy introduced the show by telling everyone in the audience to put their hands in the air. He then said hug your neighbor to your left. I was at the end of the row so I had no one to hug but Nikki Mier gave me a warm hug. It was a fun and lively show with each model walking in character from demure 60's flower child to surly rock and rollers. I spoke to Nikki between fashion decades and it turns out she is a store manager for Fairvilla Megastore. I informed her that I once planned to sketch in this adult mega store when a porn star was in town offering autographs. I chickened out or didn't consider it blog worthy at the time. Nikki and Wendy Wallenberg were texting important information throughout the fashion show. I asked if her store contributed items for the fashion show. Unfortunately they didn't, but some of the fashion items in her store are similar. She suggested I sketch Fairvilla before Halloween because the store gets crowded with people trying on costumes. I enjoyed telling her about how I earned money to get myself through college by working as the art director for Oui magazine. I was perhaps the only virgin to ever art direct a Men's magazine. I never discussed this darker side of my career when I worked for Disney.

Carl Knickerbocker was at the event and he wanted to see the iMax movie "The Ultimate Wave Tahiti." I joined him downstairs as the women chatted upstairs. Jelly fish sculptures made from found objects were suspended from the ceiling. They were the work of local artist Doug Rhodehamel. I bet they glow in black light but unfortunately only florescent lights were on. The movie in the three story high theater was mind blowing. I got dizzy a few times as helicopter shots flew over the ocean. I was constantly twisting my neck trying to see everything in my peripheral vision.

Terry, Wendy and a group of women kept laughing as staff rushed around folding chairs and putting away tables. We were the last to leave. I felt like I was watching an episode of Sex in the City. I snapped a photo of them in front of the mural that everyone at the party had helped paint. I take that back, Carl and I never lifted a brush.

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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