First Thursdays, Third Thursdays, it seems like Thursdays are the only day that art happens in Orlando. Now on every Wednesday
artists gather in SODO to create art outside OLV Cafe (25 W. Crystal Lake St. Suite 175) which is located in that new Super Target street mall in SODO. The address is misleading. I walked down Crystal Lake watching the numbers get smaller. I found out that the restaurant is located half way around the block inside the shopping area.
When I arrived, Parker Sketch was setting up his work area. He was setting up right outside the entrance and I immediately knew that I had to sketch him at work. It was getting near sunset with the sun just an inch above the Super Target. I wouldn't be adding any color until it got dark. The square canvas Parker was working on once depicted a blue meanie. The canvas changed quickly as he applied paint straight out of the tube or jar. A pink mass began to take the form of a splash. When that paint dried, blue was quickly layered on top. Zinc white was layered over the background and later a light ocher was slapped over that. It was a delight to see colors and forms change so quickly. He is working on a series of paintings that depict splashes which ties into the splashy spattered look of his playful work. He pointed out that he couldn't sling paint quite the way he could in his studio because no matter how big a drop cloth he used, the paint would always find a way to get on the pavement or brick work.
Parker organizes a monthly Artist critique session and he is pivotal in getting people together to make and talk about art. He said that he promotes other artists because it helps elevate the Orlando art scene. If there is a vibrant art scene then that helps him. His reasoning is identical to the reasons I often give for why I report on the arts scene daily. It was Parkers Facebook announcements that had me out sketching at OLV and considering what a great time I had, I'm bound to want to go back. What artist wouldn't?
Parker let me know that artists can get a cup of wine for free when they worked outside the restaurant. Now that is a true motivational perk! I ordered a tall glass of Pino Noir. It was sweet and tasty and helped keep the lines flowing. In all about eight artists set up and worked the evening I stopped by. A mom was out walking her toy dog with a girl friend and her two children. After they admired my sketch "It's righteous", they started talking about how they would have to come back. They liked the bohemian vibe of being around artists. The mom was being flirted with most of the evening. Her ten year old daughter took an interest in what I was doing and she wanted to play, so I gave her a sheet of paper and let her borrow a brush. She eventually filled the sheet with vibrant colors which is essentially what I was doing. Another artist hard at work.
Kelly Stevens,who organized Nude Nite each year, was there having dinner. She stopped over and thanked me for putting Nude Nite in my 2012 Event Calendar. We discussed the months of work that goes into the show and perhaps I will get to document the behind the scenes process more this year. inside at the bar, Todd Morgan and his wife, Laura were having a drink. Todd founded "Harmonious Universe" which does murals with the help of anyone willing to pick up a brush and help. I sketched the progress of a mural done in the beer garden behind the Milk Bar down in the milk district. I found out the restaurant was closed and that entire wall was white washed.
D.J. Mo'Negro was mixing music outside right next to the entrance. I was tapping my foot to the beat. Parker pointed out that one beat reminded him of "Time keeps Slipping Away." Once I heard it, I couldn't help but sing the lyrics out lout. Parker and I were both singing as we painted. Late in the evening the DJ started mixing frenetically. Parker shouted out, "Stop punching buttons!" The toy dog started barking at the D.J. He shouted back, "What?" He stopped the music and the barking stopped. Once he flipped the music back on, the dog started barking again. I shouted out, "Everyone's a critic!" Shortly thereafter the D.J. started packing up.