Thursday, December 29, 2011

Grandma Party

This was the ninth Grandma Party held in the parking lot of Stardust Video & Coffee. As I drove past in search of side street parking I could see at a glance that the lot was filled will more tents than ever. As I approached on foot I saw that there were even tents set up in a retention ditch next to the lot. Down in the ditch I saw Patrick Greene wearing a T-shirt with a marijuana leaf boldly crossed out and circled in red. He was selling marijuana free brownies. He joked with me later that some folks were honestly upset by his marijuana free campaign. He responded to them "Chill out dude." "You'd think they would be more laid back." he told me.

I did a full tour of all the tents knowing I wanted to pick up a Christmas gift. Dewey Chaffee and Douglas McGeoch were selling handmade bird houses. Dewey and Douglas had left town to bring their unique edgy comedy to larger cities on the East coast so I was surprised and pleased to see them. I found a spot under a tree on a parking lot island and started to sketch. The billboards announced, "Committed" and "My Comfort & Joy" which seemed appropriate for this event which truly celebrated local artisans and talent. It is an event that honestly brings together a tight Knit community of people. Yet there was variety and diversity to the crowds who shopped.

Anna McCambridge-Thomas was shopping for necklaces made from bent spoons. Many were shaped into bells and she tested them to find the perfect ring. Maya Norris was equally enchanted by the sounds and she gazed up and batted a few to listen. Emily Rankin was watching Maya and she braced the display to be sure Maya didn't play to hard. There was delight in Maya's young eyes. Across from me was Leah Fairchild's booth filled with glass Terrariums filled with moss and small woodland sprites. Next to her was Misty Forest which had some jewelry for sale. Doug Rhodehamel stopped in his tracks in front of me. He always jokes about where I should place him in my sketch. We both agreed that this was a perfect warm day for a Grandma party.

I learned about an art party that happens in Winter Park every month so that is on my sketch wish list for next year. While I sketched I got to meet so many people as they shopped. When the sketch was done, I walked up to Leah's booth knowing I had to have a terrarium. I picked one that was in a flask shaped coffee pot. A bright blue creature was inside but I couldn't make it out because of the condensation. With the lid on the terrarium is a closed environment. Leah explained that it rains just like the Earth environment. Life and a complete ecosystem on a small scale, the perfect gift. Of course Ourlando Calendars are a good gift too for the new year.

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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