Monday, April 16, 2012

McRae Open House

I always like visiting other artist's studios. Several times a year a McRrae artist Studios in Winter Park opens their doors to the public. This warehouse space is split up into sections to accommodate a variety of artists. Above the entry was a Christmas Reindeer decoration with two strategically placed red Christmas ornaments. Larry Moore's studio is right up front and he had some wonderful large oil paintings on display of other artists at work in their studios. They were absolutely inspiring.

I feel a little uncomfortable sketching when there is an open house. I decided to sit outside in a lawn chair that had been set out to keep people from blocking the entry. Julie Koran who I once mistook to be the curator at the Tiffany museum was waiting on some friends. A police woman asked if I was in charge. I had to explain that I was only sketching. She marched inside the studios to see if she could find someone who was in charge. The studio opening had drawn quite a crowd and people were parked up and down the side streets near the event. Julie trailed the officer, the trouble was that some of these cars were in no parking zones and others were parked with the wrong wheels towards the curb. Getting no answers inside, the police woman started writing tickets. It would be a banner day generating plenty of income for the city thanks to the arts. Thankfully I was fine where I parked, although I was ready to sprint ahead of the officer leaving my sketch if there was a need.

Don Sondag has been doing some wonderful nocturnes and he gave me information about a once a week plein air evening painting outing. I think I'd like to try that. Since Florida is so hot, painting at night makes plenty of sense. I explored all the studios and there was plenty of inspiring work. Outside, Bistro Babes food truck offered up dinner options. I ordered a "Mother Clucker" simply because it was fun to shout out. The lady taking my order feigned shock. The chicken sandwich tasted great. Food trucks rule.

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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