Friday, August 19, 2011

Drinks at Taps

A friend of Amanda Chadwick's named Matt Rankin was in town visiting from Washington D.C. Amanda arranged for a group of friends to get together to meet Matt. First we were to meet at Mitchell's Fish Market (460 North Orlando Avenue Winter Park). Terry was there when I arrived. It was raining. Amanda and Matt arrived soon after my Martini. I had met Matt a few times around Orlando before he went to D.C. to apartment sit. He and Terry started telling jokes. Outside there was a musician playing guitar and singing cover songs. He was pretty good. Terry and I ended up ordering the same dinner. It was a delicious cod with a crab stuffing over asparagus shoots all baked in a light butter sauce. Everyone else was running late and they planned to meet us later at a bar called Taps. When we finished dinner we went to search for Taps. Google maps on Terry's iPhone indicated it was within walking distance. We walked out the door and it was directly across the street.

We sat at a table outside and soon Wendy Wallenburg, Nikki Mier and Sarah Austin arrived. When I wasn't sketching, I spent most of my time talking to Nikki. She had some wonderful suggestions about places and people I should sketch. Wendy kept asking for the darkest beer in the bar. She claimed there was a beer so dark and thick that it was impossible to see light through the glass. Several servers tried to find this dark beer for her. Samples littered the table. Terry, Nikki and I all ordered hard ciders. Mine was sharp and a little bitter like green apples. Nikki's cider had a buttery after taste that was nice.

Nikki showed me an adorable picture of her as a child and some really sweet pictures of her dog. One photo of the dog eying a treat on a table was hilarious. Only his eyes and ears were visible and the treat was located where his nose would have been. Another photo showed the pup asleep with his nose tucked into a corner. The black oval spots on his coat receded as if in perspective. She called it her Escher shot. We were all finished with our drinks before I could finish my sketch. I ended up adding watercolor washes at home.

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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