Thursday, January 31, 2013

Monday Night Jazz at Taste

I have been working a late shift at Full Sail from 5PM to 9PM. That means I've had to search for events that go late into the evening. Jazz at Taste (717West Smith Street in College Park) fits the bill. Danny Grudal, Chris Muda and Michael Wells started a set when I arrived. I ordered some crispy tater tots, a beer and got to work. Different musicians joined in for different jams. A saxophone player I had met at Terrace 390's Jazz event said hello.

This is a great way to relax after a hectic day. Soloists would take the music and improvise their own riff on top of it. When a performer got lost in the moment, the audience at the bar and tables would root him on with laughter, clapping and shouts. It is quite addictive. I nodded my head to the beat and tapped my foot as I sketched. I tried to let the lines flow unhindered.

These Jazz sets happen every Monday Night from about 9PM to 11PM. There is no cover.

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tenth Annual Grandma Party Bazaar

On December 16th, I went to Stardust Video and Coffee (1842 E. Winter Park Road, Orlando) to sketch the tenth annual Grandma Party Bazaar. The Grandma Party is a fusion of arts, crafts, rummage sale and performance. Tents were set up everywhere in the Stardust parking lot. The Death by Pop-Up Shop was open, so I stopped in to look at the art. Several artist were at work inside the store. Christie Miga was talking to Skip who was pealing up a mask from his painting.

Doug Rhodehamel had built a bright green and blue "Free Hug" booth out of a large corrugated box.  I got my hug and then we talked art for a while before I scouted out a spot to sketch. Dough has had an amazing number of gallery showings in the last few years. He wants to try something bigger with his art. He is one of the contributing artists in the upcoming "Cardboard Festival" happening January 25-27 at Say It Loud (1121 North Mills Avenue). Work by Jessica Earley, Brendan O'Connor, Christie Miga, Adriaan Mol, and Nathan Selikoff will also be featured.

I never caught the name of the band I was sketching. As I worked, I heard the strange surreal sound of a Sci-Fi zither. A couple was lying in the grass and they were both covered with a wedding veil. The were both holding dolls and a woman waved a wand above them. A cardboard sign announced that this was a non-surgical vasectomy station. I wondered if I was seated too close. I might catch some stray radiation from the home brew procedure. Everyone was smiling, laughing and taking pictures, so the vasectomy seemed painless enough. If the procedure didn't work, it might be hard to find these snake charmers nine months down the road.

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

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

DRIP Sold Out Performances

There was a performance of Drip on founder Jessica Mariko's birthday. Appropriately this was the first sold out performance. There was a waiting list of people who hoped to get in. The Drip venue is located in a dark warehouse and you enter via the loading dock (8747 International Dr. Suite 102, Orlando, Fl 32819, behind Denny's and Senor Frogs). The place used to be an indoor miniature golf course but now it is one of the hippest spots in Orlando. January 5, 12, 18, and 19th's shows were all sold out. A second show is being added on January 26th to accommodate the crowds.

This performance was so crowded, that I had to stand on my artist stool to see well enough to keep on sketching. This isn't a passive show to sit and watch. The audience stands on either side of the huge warehouse interior and at times is involved by lobbing water balloons at dancers and at each other. The hip energetic dance has a story line that anyone can relate to. A hot romance ignites with a male dancer, Marcus Alexander Cartier, throwing blue sand and the female dancer, Jessie Sander, throwing yellow sand. Together their colors unite becoming green. The romance sours when the male dancer cheats on his partner. Jessie wakes up in her loft bed alone. She finds evidence that Marcus is cheating when blue jeans shower down red sand. With strobe lights freezing her frenzied anger, she rips apart her closet sending clothes down into the audience. At the same time Marcus and another sexy dancer perform a flaming, evocative and passionate dance. In a daze Jessie wanders through the crowd with a video camera and spot light following her. She stopped below me and suddenly a milky water balloon exploded next to my head soaking the sketch.

DRIP is an in-your-face explosion of color and movement backed by a live rock band, all in an industrial dive bar. You may get wet … you may get messy … you WILL have an awesome time. Grab a colored beer (orange, yellow, red or blue!) or glass of wine from our bar and let us assault your senses. There are special Valentines performances February 13-16. If you are looking for a way to impress your date on Valentine's day, get to Drip for an interactive evening that includes a four-course dinner-by-color, where each course is served in a special hue (orange, blue, yellow and red), make-your-own Valentine station, full DRIP performance with live band and dancers who perform in paint, water, and colored sand, a white DRIP T-shirt for you to wear and take home as a splattered souvenir and a dessert party with live acoustic music by Lance Herring and other musicians. Tickets are $65-$90 per person and are limited to 100 people per night.

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

Monday, January 28, 2013


Faith Arts Village Orlando (FAVO) is an outreach ministry of Park Lake Presbyterian Church. Will Benton is in charge of helping renovate the motel which hosts artists who exhibit their work once a month. The mission of FAVO is to encourage art as an expression of faith. On January 4th, I visited to see which artists were exhibiting their work. The motel is located across the street from Park Lake Presbyterian church and is right off Colonial Drive. I discovered a parking lot quite by mistake.

Unfortunately it was raining continuously that evening. The January 4th Event focused on a New Year featuring local Orlando Art, The FAVO Market and the soft opening of the new FAVO Gallery. This Gallery will present all original works from local artists. All sales from this Gallery will benefit the renovations of the property to meet City Requirements. Adequate sprinkler systems need to be installed and ramps built so the complex is accessible to anyone in a wheel chair. 19 Studios were open with Local Juried Artists showing their work.

There were several Food Trucks parked behind the motel with their generators buzzing loudly. The event was lightly attended, but the motel rooms glowed bright as the sky grew dark. Photographer Gail Peck introduced me to the work of a British Urban Sketcher whose work she felt I should see. He wrote a book called, London You're Beautiful. Renee Wilson was showing pieces that were rendered with words. There was an image of a raven that was composed using the words from an Edgar Allen Poe poem. She does commissions where she interviews a person and then does a drawing using words from that person's story to create the image. Bonnie Sprung was set up in the motel room closest to the food trucks.

A minister stood in an artists studio looking at the work. The artist asked him if he could bless her work since she believed in that sort of thing. I didn't stay for the blessing. I searched for a spot out of the rain and I did a quick sketch. Mist from the rain kept moistening the page. Seth Kubersky and Donna Dowless said hello as I struggled with the sketch. The FAVO Gallery will be having it's Grand Opening on February 1st at 5PM.

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

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cardboard Art Festival

Mark Baratelli of came up with the idea of having a Cardboard Art Festival. The opening night was Friday January 25th at the Orange Studio (1121 N Mills Ave, Orlando). I had to work till 9PM that evening, so I wasn't even planning to go. Terry sent me a text photo of the new Dog Powered Robot techno beach buggy. She let me know that the event was open past midnight so there would be time to get there and do a sketch.  There was a line of people out the door to get in. I could see strips of Doug Rhodehamel corrugated cardboard bacon hanging from the ceiling. All of the Dog Powered Robots stood, deactivated in a corner.

The opening reception featured music and dancing with DJ Nigel and tons of cardboard sculptures filling up the space created by artists: Jessica Earley, Brendan O'Connor, Evan and Christie Miga, Adriaan Mol, Doug Rhodehamel, Nathan Selikoff. Cardboard dinosaur helmets lined the back wall created by Banjo Bob. They were just the right height where you could stand up and have your photo taken with the helmet on yet still mounted on the wall. Blue Moon beer was being served under the bacon strips and the carpeted dance floor was always full of dancers. After making the rounds with Terry, I settled in to sketch. Blue submarines and ferocious deep sea fish hovered over the dance floor. A rocket garden thrust vertically upward above a collection of mini robots. A tubular instrument resembling a pipe organ could be played by swatting the tube openings with cardboard fly swatters. A ten foot tall tube marionette stood with a tetrahedron head. People could pull chords to make him dance. I got plenty of abuse and by the end of the evening he was lying on the floor, a spent mess.

The opening night was an undeniable blow out success. The place was surreal, the music loud and the dancing furious and care free. It's not too late to experience the madness in person.

Sunday January 27

  • 10am-11:30am for kids 7 and under
  • 12pm-1:00pm for kids 8 and above
  • Kids Matinee Sponsored and hosted by Kids Fringe and Mennello Museum of American Art $1 admission. Kids only! Attendees will get to (1) use cardboard to build and decorate their very own mask, hat, or wings, (2) meet the famed Dog Powered Robot and (3) get a chance to tour the entire exhibit.
  • 7:30pm - 12am
  • Dog Powered Robot + Andy Matchett and the Minks, $5 admission (pay at the door, cash only), wine and beer by donation. Dog Powered Robot is a fantastic group of cardboard robots defending the world against evil via a robot powered by a Pomeranian. Andy Matchett and the Minks is a very popular and fun musical group.

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

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chang and Tchaikovsky

I went to a rehearsal of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre. All the doors of the Art Centre were locked except the stage door which was the last one I tried. Guest conductor, Alasdair Neale, already had the orchestra hard at work. All the instrument cases were lying out on folding tables in the wings. I sat at the end of a table next to a huge cello case. Fearing I might knock the case over while sketching, I moved my chair away a bit. Sarah Chang, the solo violinist, never performed while I worked on the sketch. The security guard stopped and looked over my shoulder when I was first blocking in the sketch. I stiffened thinking he would insist I move out into the public seating. He lost interest and moved away.

The brooding emotional drama of the Fifth Symphony is classic Tchaikovsky. Rossini’s genius for melody and comedy permeates his popular Semiramide Overture. For pure American lyricism, no work outshines Barber’s Violin Concerto, performed by the incomparable Sarah Chang. I was impressed by several really gorgeous horn section solos. Periodically the conductor stopped the orchestra to go over subtle diction and tone he wanted emphasized.

The orchestra took a break just as I started adding color to the sketch. I was amazed at how many times I was asked to add more hair to player's manes. By the time everyone was back in place, I had all the large washes defining the stage in place. I added washes to the players as they started to perform again.

There is a performance tonight, Saturday January 26 at 8 pm and another performance Sunday January 27th at 3 pm at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre.

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

Friday, January 25, 2013


Individuals from various backgrounds collide to confront a community challenge in this signature bi-monthly event at Urban Rethink (625 E Central BlvdOrlando, FL). Anna McCambridge Thomas started these creative, think outside the box community awareness sessions. I attended the December 10th session. The ten or so individuals sat in a circle to share ideas. In the past, small teams were set up to consider creative solutions to our community's problems. Unfortunately, there were some clashes of will among participants in one team, so adjustments to the format had to be made moving forward. This session was an open discussion for all that showed up.

 Each challenge will address an issue that is mainly social in nature, and will focus on our community, but can be adjusted to a broader (even global) scope in its presentation. The challenge will be announced at the beginning of each corresponding event. These events are not meant to solve issues within one week’s time, but to open an interesting, informed, creative and honest dialogue. It is also meant to promote a more healthy, vibrant and livable community, and to bring together people who might not have otherwise met or collaborated. (This includes both the selected participants and the individuals who join in as audience members.) Perhaps a spark will ignite in the mind of a visitor who will help to continue the project, or create something new based on an idea within it.

One group was assigned the task of considering the homeless problem. They noted that many homeless in Orlando still have cell phones. They came up with the notion of assigning a homeless person a QR code. The homeless person could ask a passer by to scan the QR code and an information page would inform the person on how to donate to a food pantry. Terry Olson talked about an Urban Artist who did a mural under a highway overpass. I didn't see the art, but it apparently livened up an otherwise dreary area. The city deemed the art to be graffiti and they did a sloppy white wash over it. Now the overpass is more dismal than ever. Terry is looking into ways to make it easier for artists to get permits for public art. Utility boxes are being painted by artists. The artists are only given $100 for supplies and that is their sole commission for the job. It is no wonder that many of those decorated boxes look like they were painted by amateurs. One box on Mills Avenue near the Orange Studio does make me laugh, it reads... "The end was here!"

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

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wedding of Jonathan David and Anna Marie West

Jonathan David West invited me to sketch his wedding to Anna Marie. I met the couple for the first time at the Day of the Dead festivities at City Arts factory. The wedding took place at The Springs Gated Community (400 Woodbridge Road Longwood, FL).  I arrived early as groomsmen were getting dressed in their tuxedos. Jonathan, still in a T shirt, saw me and explained that the wedding would take place at the gazebo down by the spring.

I walked down to the water's edge. The gazebo was dark. I picked my sketching spot because I liked the way a weather vane stork silhouetted against the sky. A Renaissance trio of musicians set up in the gazebo and Christmas lights flickered on.

The wedding was short, sweet and to the point. When the couple was pronounced man and wife, someone pulled out the plug by mistake and the gazebo wend dark. They must have scrambled fast because soon the lights came back on. The couple then ignited a flame that filled a paper bag hot air balloon. The glowing orb floated up, just missed some tree branches and then floated up to the clouds. Everyone was given sparklers. I decided my sketch was done, so I joined everyone forming a double sided line. All the guests raised their sparklers and the newly wed couple ran under the sparkling canopy.

The reception was held at the top of the hill in a club house. There were perhaps fifty guests but I didn't do a head count. Every puppeteer in Orlando seemed to be there. Jonathan and Anna are both puppeteers. After guests had their meals, Jonathan and Anna put on a puppet show. They had made puppets in their own likeness and they told the story of how they met. They were childhood friends, that used to talk for hours on the phone and play together. For Anna's 16th birthday, Jonathan took her out. She hoped he would kiss her that night, but the moment slipped by.  Once Jonathan walked an incredible distance, crossing townships, to see Anna. When she asked him why he had come, he unfortunately replied that he just wanted to go for a walk.

College sent the kids to different states.  They each got married starting separate lives and families. Anna had seven children. Those marriages eventually both lead to divorces. Many years later, Jonathan and Anna both moved to Orlando for different reasons. After so many years apart, there was still a spark that remained from their adolescent romance that burned bright. Once again Jonathan and Anna were inseparable. Their respective puppets took a bow and everyone in the room stood and applauded.

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

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

League of Women Voters Hot Topics Luncheon

 The date was 12/12/12 and at 12:12PM the Sorisis Club, 501 E. Livingston, a few blocks east of Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando, was filling up. The room seats about 130 guests. Sara Segal had invited me to sketch the League of Women Voters Hot Topics luncheon. The quaint one story building resembles a church meeting hall. When I arrived, Sarah introduced me to Andrea Kobrin, the Hot Topics Chair. I decided to sit behind Terry, the sound man.

The topic of the day was the state of the Arts in Central Florida. As people ate lunch there were random acts of culture. A singer performed with a piano accompanist. Two women read lines from a play. A large canvas was hung as a backdrop on the stage. It was painted by Nancy Jay in 1996 was titled "Tree, Leaf,  Cell" and it showed a macro and micro view of life. Rene Schneider had artwork on display by middle school and High School students. The students were from abusive families and the program helps build self esteem.

Flora Maria Garcia, Terry Olson and Kathy Ramsberger spoke about challenges, innovation and opportunities for the arts and their organizations. Matt Palm from the Orlando Sentinel moderated. Each speaker had opening remarks. Then there was a panel discussion, followed by questions and answers.  Kathy Ramsberger was asked repeated questions about how the Dr. Phillips Center of the Performing Arts will benefit local performing arts groups. She responded that the Center would charge fair rental fees for it's use. There is now an uproar because the Center has decided not to use Florida Theatrical Association to book the Broadway shows. That organization has been bringing Broadway shows to the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center for 24 years. The Dr. Phillips Center wants to book the shows themselves saying they will save an estimated $700,000 annually. $75 million dollars still needs to be raised to complete the third phase of construction. The Florida Theatrical Association vowed that they would continue to bring Broadway shows to Orlando. Do people go to shows to experience new architecture or do they go to experience great art?

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Red Rum at the Falcon

The Falcon Bar (819 E. Washington Street, Orlando, Florida), has a back room that is themed after The Shining. The entire room is painted red and thus is the Red Rum. A plastic big wheel tricycle is perched atop a wall harkening back to the movie. The wall paper pattern on the wall is the same pattern used on the carpets in the movie. RR is engraved on a large mirror and a stuffed dear head overlooks everything. The room's blood red walls made the room feel  bit disturbing.

Every month, Melissa and John Felcman, hosts a Lady's Fashion Hour, which is a monthly Happy Hour featuring local Orlando fashion.  When I went to sketch December 5th, Dear Prudence was featuring their local fashion wares. Dear Prudence is vintage inspired style, clothing, accessories and a full service bead store located in Audubon Park Garden District. I arrived just as they started setting up. I relaxed on the red couch sketching as each item was carefully displayed. Merchandise was moved constantly. This Feng Shui dance made it hard for me to decide when to nail down an item in my sketch.

Soon enough the room was full of women inspecting jewelry and trying on items from the rack. I had a quick chat with the proprietress from Bee's Knees. I've seen her at many events and just knew her as "the cupcake lady". She is married to one of the owners of Redlight Redlight and that is one place where you might find her delicious cupcakes on most Thursday and Friday evenings. Weekly, you can find the Bees, Erica and Emily, at the Audubon Community Market on Monday nights and the College Park Farmer's Market on Thursday nights.

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

Monday, January 21, 2013

There Will Be Words

On December 11th, I went to the final installment of "There Will be Words" for 2012 at Urban ReThink, (625 East Central Boulevard, Orlando).  Officially it was the end of the second year of these monthly readings by local authors. Jesse Bradley was the host.  The authors who read this month were, Hunter Choate, Rachel Kolman, Jonathan Kosik, and Leslie Salas Flirt. 

I sketched from my perch on the second floor balcony.  I liked Jonathan Kosik's story titled "Pensacola." The story told was of pristine sand beaches turned into hazardous sites by thick merciless oil from a spill in the Gulf. Men in hazmet suits worked tractors that pushed the black sand up and down the beachfront.  Lifeguard stations stood empty. As the well spilled into the Gulf, the narrator tried to reach his wife by phone. There were irreconcilable differences. Lawyers sent papers that needed signing. 223 calls had been made. "A long drawn out period of litigation, mixed with harassment charges, would only delay the cleanup of what had turned into an ugly situation." Experts believe the Gulf might restore itself in 50 years. For those who lived through the damage, the loss would last a lifetime.

On display at ReThink was a black dress on a manikin made entirely of plastic garbage bags.  The plastic was folded into ornate roses that decorated the bust and lower skirt of the dress. Dina Mack pointed out that the dress had a zipper in back and, if you were thin enough, you could wear it. I imagine it would get rather hot especially in the Florida sun. The International Academy of Design and Technology assigned groups of students to design the dresses. They were on display at various Thornton Park businesses. The schools slogan is "You imagine, we get you there."

The next "There Will be Words" will be on February 12th at Urban ReThink. Authors mingle around 6PM and the readings begin around 7PM. You never know what stories might surface or sink beneath the black waves.

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

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Otronicon is a four-day event held at the Orlando Science Center (777 East Princeton Street, Orlando). It is a celebration of interactive technology using video games to demonstrate the future of how we live, learn, work and play. Whether you’re a video game fan or just wondered what it is your kids are doing in front of that computer, there’s something for everyone at Otronicon, Orlando’s biggest interactive technology expo!

I went to Otronicon on the evening of January 18th. Two little girls ran around excitedly as their father waited in line in front of me. The father shouted at them to stand still. It turned out I was standing in the wrong line. I saw a media and volunteer table and I walked over. I walked through the first two floors rather quickly as I hunted for my sketch. EA sports had a room full of their sports games that could be played with feedback on large flat screen TVs. I saw hints of Star Wars costumes and technology including a Millennium Falcon experience. I presume this was one of those rides where the entire room rocks and lurches. I get sick to my stomach on those so I didn't go in. I was there in the evening and it wasn't very crowded.

When I entered the dinosaur paddock I immediately felt the urge to sketch. US Marines in camouflage fatigues were teaching kids how to use the Deployment Virtual Training environment. They all seemed so small beneath the huge beast. One swipe of that tail would have cleared away all that technology. Next to me students from the 4H Exploring Bacon Robotics Club were demonstrating a robot that could shoot a basketball. They built the robot to compete in the International FIRST Robotics Competition. They are now working on a robot that can throw a Frisbee and climb a pyramid. On March 7-9th the Orlando Regional Robotics Competition will be held at UCF. It sounds like fun.

After the sketch was done, I decided to sit down and experience the Marines Virtual Environment. I asked the marine next to me how to get started. Moving the mouse left and right changed my field of vision as if turning my head. The W key moved me forward. If I pressed it twice I could run. The marines hands were so big, I never saw the other keyboard commands. I walked into the environment not knowing how to fire my gun. It looked like I was in Iraq. I saw an explosion in the distance and I saw several other marines on their belly's ready to fire. Thirty seconds into the experience, I heard a gunshot and my screen went black. I was dead. I got up from the console and went home.

Admission to Otronicon is $27 for adults and $20 for youth (ages 3-11). Tickets also include one screening of “TRON: Legacy 3D” as well as access to Star Wars®: Where Science Meets Imagination. Science Center members can experience Otronicon for free and see Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination for $12 for adults and $9 for youth (ages 3-11). The Expo is open through January 21st.

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

Saturday, January 19, 2013

DRIP Splashes onto International Drive!

Drip is now officially making a splash on International Drive (8747 International Dr. Suite 102, Orlando, Fl 32819, behind Denny's and Senor Frogs).  The venue is a cavernous dark warehouse that guests enter via a loading dock. My wife and I have been to several performances and the show keeps getting more dynamic. The last show we went to was sold out and I have never seen the venue so crowded. Near the entrance there was a sign saying the limit was 264 people. There was a waiting list for people who couldn't get into the show.

At the entrance you have to sign a release stating that you know there is a chance you will get wet and covered with paint. White tee shirts are for sale that inevitably got covered in paint. Some women had hand prints on their chests, indicating some creative use of paint. As I see it you are guaranteed to be in the "splash zone." Once you sign the release then your hand is stamped with the Drip logo. Inside the bar and waiting area, Melissa Kasper was at a table with jars of paint. She asked what color I wanted and I got a bold slash of blue paint on my left cheek. I knew that I might get wet, so, to protect my sketch, I wore a waterproof wind breaker. I might have looked like a geek, but I was prepared. The bar offered various colored beers. I ordered an orange beer and Terry ordered a blue beer. By the end of the night her tongue was as blue as a panda's. Jessica Mariko, Drip's founder and choreographer was at the door to greet us. This show was a long time in the making and it was exciting to finally see it all come crashing together.

The show opens with a loud, raw and vibrant rock band performing live on the stage under a wagon wheel suspended from the red metal ceiling rafters. The modern dance focused on a love story of a young couple, who meet and breakup. The female dancer, Jessie Sander, strode onto the center of the dance floor with a bold beam of light behind her. She approached the male dancer, Marcus Alexander Cartier, with slow deliberate steps like in a wedding march. She was showered with yellow sand and water while the male dancer's color was blue. Together their colors mixed and combined to create green. Sand was thrown in a wild dance contained within four clear plastic walls that were later removed and stored next to the stage.

With this sketch, I focused my attention on the band as they were back lit by strong stage lighting. Below the stage, lights raked their beams across the sand covered dance floor. The show had a bold energy that had the entire audience involved. There is no passive seating, instead the audience stood around the edge of the warehouse to watch. Water balloons burst against the walls sending their milky white spray everywhere. Several times my sketch got drenched and I had to wipe off the sand and paint. This show has an energy that is addictive. Tourists and locals will be blown away. This is the most hip show to hit Orlando and International Drive in a long time. After the show you can linger and meet the sexy cast while sipping colored beer. Marcus has really grown into his roll and the Jessie is expressive and energetic adding her spark to the show. If you want an amazing date night, this is the ticket for you. Performances are every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8PM.

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

Friday, January 18, 2013

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, we all sat in my sister Pat Boehme's living room in Punta Gorda sipping wine and watching TV. Terry multi-tasked on her iPhone, while Pat and Mike Napolitano watched Wheel of Fortune. There was a recent controversy with this show when a  holiday-themed puzzle that featured a line from the Christmas Carol “The 12 Days of Christmas,” was solved correctly by contestant Renee as “Seven Swans A-Swimming.” She gave something of a lazy answer, however, and failed to clearly enunciate the “G” at the end of the phrase, saying “Seven Swans A-Swimmin’”. (Her clues were the letters “SE_EN S_ _NS A-S_ _MM _NG” — note the “G” was revealed on the board, so she knew it was there.) But The Powers That Be behind the wheel buzzed Renee’s answer and deemed it incorrect. The puzzling ruling has created an uproar on the Internet with many viewers claiming that it was unfair.

The news was about some ex-convict who set fire to his mothers home and then he ambushed first responder firemen, killing two of them before he shot himself.  This is why I don't watch the news if I can help it. When the sketch was done, I watched the Frank Capra classic, "It's a Wonderful Life". That film always gets me. Christmas Day Pat prepared an amazing Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings. Pat and I drove over to visit her son, David Boehme who lives in a trailer park a few miles away. He has just graduated college and has started the daunting task of trying to find a job. Pat gave me a cute little "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree" but unfortunately the single red ornament broke on the drive 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

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Buddy Holly Story

Andy Matchett, of Andy Matchett and the Minx stars in this production at the Ice House Theater, (1100 N. Unser St. in Mount Dora). I can't imagine another performer who could so easily step into Buddy's shoes. The role seems custom made for Andy. The Buddy Holly Story tells the story of the three years in which he became the world’s top recording artist. The show features over 20 of Buddy Holly’s greatest hits including “Peggy Sue”, “That’ll Be The Day”, “Oh Boy”, “Not Fade Away”, “Everyday”, “Rave On”, “Maybe Baby”, “Raining In My Heart”, Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba”, and the Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace”.  ‘Buddy’ Holly's music and story have been shared live with many more people than the real Buddy Holly ever had the chance to perform to. The incredible legacy of the young man with glasses, whose musical career spanned an all-too-brief period during the golden days of rock ‘n’ roll, continues to live on.

I went to sketch a full dress rehearsal run through of the show. As actors got dressed, Whitney Abell sat stage right fingering her iPad. Soon all three of the actresses, the back up chorus, were ready for mic checks. The band went through their mic checks and perhaps an hour went by before the director called out, "Places!" An actor shouted back, "Thank you places!" The red velvet curtains closed and then re-opened. The primary conflict in the show was that country music radio stations didn't understand Buddy's music. They wanted to mold him into a country music star. When Buddy and the Crickets performed live at a radio station they switched up the performance and started playing their brash rock and roll. The stations phones lit up. During the rehearsal, the play came to a halt when power to the mics was lost on stage. One of the musicians joked, "We should rename the show, Buddy Holly Unplugged!"

The final number performed was "Rave On!" Midway into the song, the music just stopped and the theater went black and silent. A single spotlight illuminated the now deserted microphone where Buddy had been singing.  On February 3rd, 1959, the man who changed the face of popular music tragically died in a plane crash at the tender age of 22. Also on the plane were, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens'. That was the day the music died. In the darkness the entire cast bowed their heads. The show bounded back with an encore performance by Buddy with the lights blazing. At the end of the song, Buddy raised his fist in the air shouting, "Tell all your friends Buddy Holly is back in town!" This awe inspiring show will run from January 18th to February 17th with evening shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights with matinees on Sundays and select Saturdays. Some shows are already sold out, get your tickets now!

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

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Summer's Fortieth Celebration

Summer Rodman's husband, Steve McCall threw a huge surprise birthday party at their gorgeous modular Winter Park home. Summer turned 40. This wasn't your average party, this was the kind of party you only see in the movies. There was valet parking out front and the entire home was illuminated with bright magenta stage lights. There were two food trucks handing out samples near Summer's garden. The house itself is constructed of corrugated steel and the block shaped structures fit together like a puzzle. It is an amazing design that is apparently popular in New Zealand. There was dancing behind the house with a DJ on the second floor balcony spinning the mix. There was even a "Summer's Fortieth Celebration" logo that was above the stage, on glassware and even printed on pink and white M&Ms.

About midway through the party, I found this perfect perch in Steve's Den to sketch from. Employees from Summer's family business, Amazon Hose and Rubber got up to the Mic to talk about and roast her. Then the dancing heated up on the dance floor. There was a large flat screen TV that could take photos of guests and allowed them to interactively sigh birthday greetings on the screen. Everyone got a swag bag that contained a CD with a Summer's 40th mix of music, as well as a jar of Summer M&Ms.

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

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

CREAM at the Falcon

The Falcon Presents: CREAM. The Cream of the Crop, ‘La crème de la crème,’ the cream of the cream, the best of the best. The Best of Orlando of Artists. The show opened December 12th and runs through January 18th. I have one sketch of a poetry reading in the show. Check out the most talented artists in Orlando! When you buy local art for yourself or as a gift, you support both the artists in our community and the local economy and you get the joy of giving something that is one of a kind. Melissa Felcman was still placing labels under the artwork when Terry and I arrived. We ordered several hard ciders and I watched the bar maid do her multitasking ballet of serving drinks.

At the opening, I did a sketch at the bar. As I worked, the place filled with artists. Kelledy Francis who did some amazing fine art fashion when she was here in Orlando, had moved to Texas and then NYC where she now works at an advertising agency. She used to work as an art teacher at Valencia College and I once visited her class to share my sketchbooks with students. Scott Donald introduced himself. I had sketched Scott once before as he worked on a painting behind Neon Forest Gallery. He had long hair back then, and I didn't recognize him in a trim suit all polished up. The Neon Forest Gallery unfortunately had to close down several months after I sketched the opening. They used to bring in hot artist talent from NYC and LA but people in Orlando weren't buying. It is a sad tale I have heard again and again. Ron Marrs stopped by the bar long enough to let me know he was moving to New Orleans.

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

Monday, January 14, 2013

13 in 13

Orlando Playwright, Joseph Reed Hayes, will offer audiences 13 artistic projects in 2013. Determined to focus on his artistic passions in the new year, Joseph will spend the next 12 months bringing 13 separate creative projects to life. His “13 in 13” project takes everything he’s learned as a playwright, music producer, freelance writer, radio guy, spoken word performer, photographer, voracious techno-geek, and shameless self-promoter to energize one art-filled year of events and engage and excite Orlando and a worldwide Internet audience. The first event on February. 5th will be a screening of  "Big Easy Express", an area-exclusive screening of the critically-acclaimed, Grammy-nominated movie at the Cobb Plaza 12 in downtown Orlando. I sketched the theater as the sun set on another business day. The movie tickets to this screening must be reserved by January 30th. As of this writing, 16 more tickets needed to be sold to guarantee that the theater is reserved. Get your tickets now.

The 13 productions in 2013 will be financed in part by a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign, which ends January 27th, and will include five Hayes-produced jazz shows, two of his original plays and a brand-new live Holiday radio drama, two workshops, a photo exhibit, a movie screening and a spoken-word performance. In designing this ambitious year-long project, Hayes will bring his work and the talents of many local musicians and actors to new audiences in person and online during live streaming events. Hayes has designed the Kickstarter campaign to help engage theater and jazz lovers in Orlando.  “I’m asking my audience to help me create this year of art, and spread the word. I’m excited about what I’m going to attempt in 2013, and I think together we just might make it happen,” he said.

Every artist involved — 19 musicians, 11 actors, 8 directors and theater technicians, 4 writers, 1 chef, a sound-effects person — will get paid, because Hayes believes talent and art have great value, and that value should be rewarded. Videos, audio recordings, photo books and posters will be created for each project, and most of the events will be open to the public, some at no charge. Many of them will be streamed online, as was his breakthrough United Arts of Central Florida-funded House Theater Project in 2012, which staged his play "A Little Crazy" in his living room and reached viewers as far afield as England, Italy and Romania.

13 in 13 Events:

1. Feb. 5: "Big Easy Express", an area-exclusive screening of the critically-acclaimed, Grammy-nominated movie at the Cobb Plaza 12 in downtown Orlando.
2. Feb. 9: "Creating an Audience and Shameless Self-Promotion", a Downtown Credo Conduit workshop by freelance writers and guerrilla marketers Jennifer Greenhill-Taylor and Joseph Hayes.
3. April 4: Trumpeter Brian Groder and pianist Tonino Miano — musicians, composers and educators from New York — conduct a master class in composition and jazz improvisation at the UCF Jazz Studies Department.
4. April 5: "Jazz in the Real World". Groder and Miano take their students from the UCF Jazz program out of the classroom and into a real world gig.
5. April 7: "FluiDENSITY" premiere. Groder and Miano premiere their new CD of
modern classical/jazz improvisations at the Timucua White House.
6. June 25: "Jazz On Edge Supper Club". Vocalist Heather Friedman and her trio perform at Hannibal's on the Square for a special dinner and jazz supper club.
7. TBA: "SOLOS." House Theater Project production of Hayes’ Orlando Fringe Festival hit jazz play.
8. TBA: “SOLOS AFTER HOURS” — a House Theater Project/Jazz On Edge joint presentation of "SOLOS" with a live band, followed by a cabaret performance of the Solos Quartet with guest vocalist Lulu Picart.
9. TBA: “Water Cities", an exhibit of photographs of great world cities by Joseph Reed Hayes at Downtown Credo.
10. TBA: "13in13 Reading Series.” Spoken word performances by novelists Julie Compton and Jennifer Greenhill-Taylor, playwright Joseph Reed Hayes and poet Summer Rodman.
11. TBA: Jazz On Edge House Concert featuring the 5th anniversary Jazz On Edge presentation, which will be streamed live online.
12. TBA: House Theater Project will feature the world premiere of "A SLOW RIDE" by Joseph Reed Hayes. Streamed live online.
13. Dec. 2013: "THE LITTLE DICKENS," An original “radio drama” production of Hayes’ cracking new Holiday show, presented in front of a live audience and streamed online in audio and video versions for enjoying by the fireside.

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

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Punta Gorda Christmas

Terry and I drove to my sister's home in Punta Gorda on Christmas Eve. The roads through the center of the state were quiet. We drove through large orange groves and past large juicing factories. 16 wheel trucks were loaded to overflowing with oranges. Some of the fruit actually rolled down the pyramid peaks and down to the street gutters when the trucks hit rough pavement. My sister Pat Boehme and her boyfriend Mike Napalitano had a beautifully decorated artificial tree in their living room. On Christmas Day, Pat gave me a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. It was basically an artificial twig mounted on two planks and one red Christmas bulb.

On the day after Christmas, Pat and Terry wanted to go shopping in downtown Punta Gorda. Our first stop was Pat's Chiropractor's office. This large Community Christmas Tree was right across the street. I sat on a public bench and started sketching. Some of those ornaments were the size of basketballs. After Pat's adjustment, she and Terry drove to a railroad station antiques store. I had sketched the railroad station before so I stayed behind studying the Christmas Tree and sketching as fast as I could. I figured when they were done shopping, my sketch would be done. Some guy exiting the chiropractors office looked over my shoulder and said, "You certainly found a wonderful way to relax this holiday." I was anything but relaxed.

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

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Circus Protests

The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida is staging protests at the Amway Center. They are working to educate the public about the abuse used to train circus animals. Ringling Brothers is presenting their 43rd annual production. A barker outside the arena kept announcing "The Greatest show on Earth!" He kept announcing that anyone going to the show would "get a pair of crazy clown glasses!" The protesters want people to open their eyes." Holding banners and poster boards showing elephants that were chained and being hit with a bull hook, similar to a fireplace poker, demonstrators shouted, "Don't go to the show, this is what your money is going to!" "Take your kids to the Science Center instead!" One of their posters read, "The Cruelest Show on Earth. Some protesters held electric candles standing in vigil.

Some people strolling to the show were upset. "This is all Shit!" an angry man shouted at the protesters. A very angry woman shouted, "I'll spend my money how I want! I personally know the trainers!" A flier handed to me stated that in November 2011, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus had to pay a $270,000 fine to the USDA to settle allegations that it violated animal welfare laws in its handling of elephants, tigers and other animals. The fine was the largest ever against a circus. At Ringling Brothers at least 29 Ringling elephants, including babies, have died since 1992.

Animals at the circus don't perform because they want to, but because they are scared not to.  Training includes whips, ropes, electric shocks and bull hooks. Animals in the circus live in chains, cages and railroad cars never experiencing their natural habitat.

Protests continue this week before every Ringling Brother's Circus performance outside the Amway Center. Stop out and show your support.
Saturday January 12th- 10:00am, 2:00pm, 6:00pm ( Vigil, please dress in black)
Sunday January 13th -11:30am, 3:30pm
Monday January 14th - 10am, 2pm, 6pm
Tuesday January 15th- 11:30, 3:30pm
Wednesday January 16th- 3:30pm ( Help is needed at this show!)
Thursday January 17th - 6:00pm
Friday January 18th - 6:00pm

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

Friday, January 11, 2013

History of Animation

Conrad Winterlich came into the 2D Animation class at Full Sail last month to introduce students to the history of animation. He usually gives this lecture when students get to his class much later in the curriculum. This was a test to see if an earlier introduction to the history of animation might offer students more creative options as they planned their work for later classes.

It was a fun lecture going all the way back to French cave paintings and covering animation trends throughout history. After the lecture I further researched Windsor McCay who single handedly animated "The Sinking of the Lusitania." This propaganda film helped get America involved in WWI.  Of course the first film to use synchronized sound, Steamboat Willie, was shown. Some hooded students started to nod off, but there were so many amazing animated clips that kept most students engaged. I certainly learned a few new things.

Our animation lab just got new Apple computers for shooting and testing hand drawn animation. We also got new software, called Flip book Pro for testing the timing of animation. We tested the software for several hours learning it's quirks. We will still be getting up to speed ourselves as we introduce January's students to the new software. I'm actually excited about the new possibilities, applying digital software to make traditional animation faster and easier.

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

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Florida Creatives Happy Hour

On November 19th, the Florida Creatives Happy Hour was held at The Courtesy, (114 North Orange Avenue Orlando, FL). The Florida Creatives happy hour happens on the third Monday of every month. Things get started at 6PM and go until 9PM or later most months. The Courtesy is a new establishment in an old building riding the "mixology" wave - they make some interesting cocktails and serve up craft beer and wine too. They are in that building that was boarded up for the past few years at the corner of Washington and Orange Avenue downtown. Don't let that scare you off, it's a really great new place.  If you're not into cocktails or beer, the Courtesy makes their own sodas and carries some excellent Ginger Ales and non-alcoholic delights.

Ryan Price, who organizes the event greeted me as I considered what to order at the bar. He advised me to try a beer and I took his advice. It was a decent ale. Dana Mott joined us at a corner table which had a large birds nest as a light fixture. Ryan was anxious because the Fringe was holding it's lottery that night to see which shows would go into the 2013 Festival. Ryan submitted a show idea which involved improvisation around a classic Hitchcock Murder Mystery called "39 Steps", originally a book by John Buchan. It was fortuitous that Dana was there because she had years of improve experience having studied with Jeff Wirth who has since moved to NYC. I sketched as they chatted about the creative possibilities. Ryan had to leave early to get to the lottery. It turned out that he will be in the 2013 Fringe Festival and I can't wait to see what becomes of the idea. Terry came out to say hello and then she and Dana left and I finished my sketch up on my own. The proprietor saw what I was working on and offered me a free beer. I already had two under my belt and I had to get home so I had to refuse the offer.

On February 4th at Chase Plaza on the 10th floor, come and join some of the passionate creative minds of Orlando in one of the longest-running happy hour meetups in the state of Florida (almost 6 years!). Be sure to check the Florida Creatives website since the venue can change month to month. The goal is to provide a safe environment to share your schemes, unearth passions and meet mentors or co-founders. There is always get a pretty diverse representation - lately there have been graphic designers, lawyers, illustrators, city planners, start up founders, tech folks and a plethora of others. This is by far one of the best ways to "get involved" in the community. The people at this Happy Hour are plugged in to what is going on and who is doing it.

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

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Eladio Sharron and Carrie Wiesinger

On November 11th, as part of the Accidental Music Festival, Eladio Sharron and Carrie Wiesinger performed Latin American works for flute and guitar, including Cronicas Del Descrumbiento by Robert Sierra, Fantasia by Inocente Carreno and Histoire du Tango by Astor Piazolla at the Timucua White House (200 Summerlin Ave). There was no visual artist on stage that day.

I tend to like to sketch from the second or third floor balcony, so I climbed the spiral staircase and found a spot to sit. Wendy Wallenberg was busy setting  up the snack and wine table in the next room. She signaled me from the entry gesturing to let me know I didn't greet her properly.  Paintings by Christie Miga were on display and a large painting with 3D objects sticking out of it was right next to me. I stood and leaned against the wall overlooking the railing as I sketched. I was afraid that I might nudge Christies painting as I struggled with my sketch, sending the painting toppling down hitting audience members below. I don't know why I always imagine the worst. Nothing horrible happened. Instead I experienced beautiful music in an intimate setting.

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

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Corridor Project at Plaza Live

Patrick Greene helped facilitate a parking lot performance before the Deerhoof concert at Plaza Live. It was the second Corridor Project production.  When I got there it was just starting to get dark. Patrick had a megaphone and there was some negotiating with the Plaza Live staff to clear an area in the parking lot for a staging place. Having no idea what was to come, I decided to step back and sketch a long shot of the parking lot scene to see what developed. Hannah Miller parked a pickup truck and pulled out a huge tree trunk set piece. A car was asked to park at the end of the row to avoid any other cars from driving into the staging area. I saw brown sheets being unfurled on the pavement and on the tailgates of parked cars. The parking lane was being converted into a forest glen.

An Ibex puppetry kite hinted that the performance was about to start, so I finished the sketch and moved closer. Voci Dance performed with the help of Tiny Waves and The Shine Shed Collective. Performers were all dressed in exotic woodland creature costumes. The dancers moved nimbly between the tree trunks, performing to live music. I sketched a strange bird-like creature with drums before he marched off into the woods. I wasn't sure if Sarah Lockhard was a fox, beaver or a hound but all the dancers moved with grace. Hip bones became headdress eyes and antlers. It was all very primal. When the performance ended, sheets and set pieces quickly were gathered up and the magic disappeared.

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

Monday, January 7, 2013


In the week between Christmas and New Year's day, all the large tents on Colonial Drive are converted from selling Christmas Trees to selling fireworks. Dry Christmas Trees and fireworks are both explosive with a simple spark. The proprietor of this fireworks tent actually has a little pup tent set up inside where he sleeps at night. You can buy anything from firecrackers to large mortars. Boxed sets are arranged on most of the shelves offering a wide variety of bangs for the buck. A bus stopped, dropping off passengers. They narrowly avoided getting hit by oncoming traffic as they crossed Colonial. A busted strip mall sign was naked allowing the wind to blow through the rusty frame.

On New Year's Eve, Zorro my pet cockatoo raised his crest in surprise and concern every time a rocket blast echoed down our suburban street. New Year's Eve isn't his favorite holiday.  I sat watching a Twilight Zone marathon until minutes before midnight and then I switched the channel to watch the ball drop in Times Square. Years ago I was in that crowd with friends, and we ripped up our Playbill programs from the play we had just seen, creating confetti. In downtown Orlando, a beach ball sized ball was suspended from a flag pole above Latitudes bar. Illuminated with orange Christmas lights, it didn't pack quite the same punch as the Times Square ball.

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

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Moulin Rouge Gala- A Show Extravaganza

I went to the Winter Park Community Center, (721 West New England Ave. Winter Park), on December 2nd to the Moulin Rouge Gala. I felt it was important that an artist be at the Gala. Toulouse Lautrec wouldn't have passed on the opportunity. Every two years Le Salon Zizou works with a local charity and other participates to put together a combination of hair, fashion and entertainment to raise money for charity. This year they worked with the Disability Wellness Center in Sanford to help raise money for the EKSO suit for paraplegics. There are ONLY 20 world wide and this will be HUGE for Central Florida to have the first EKSO suit used for physical therapy when the other 20 are used for studies.

When I arrived, the dancers from Emotions Dance got on stage to loosen up and get used to the size of the stage. Larissa Humiston stood in front of the stage to let them know what worked and what didn't. After them, a woman performed solo with Hula hoops and large geometric forms that she spun above her head. The ceiling was rather low which resulted in her crashing the huge cube shape into the ceiling beam. A singer discussed her song with the DJ. People in wheel chairs took to the stage. Blinking lights were on the chairs making for quite a display. Then negotiated the stage in a pre-planned choreography.

The twenty or so models arrived with outlandish hair stylings. I noticed model Jenny Coyle, from Sketchy Broads, with her hair bundled up in three huge Princess Lea buns. Le Salon Zizou, in association with the West Orlando Rotary Club, presented their 3rd annual Charity Hair Spectacular.  The real highlight of the evening came when Sarah Anderson got on stage with her wheel chair. With an assistant to spot her, she strapped herself into the EKSO Suit. As she did so, she talked about the day in 2003 when she lost her ability to walk. She was skiing that day and for whatever reason, she had an ominous feeling that she shouldn't be on the mountain that day. Regardless, a horrible fall on the slope resulted in her becoming a paraplegic. Doctors told her that she would never walk again. She leaned forward and raised herself from the wheel chair.  She walked across the stage as the servos, gyros and computerized pistons responded to her weight shifts allowing each step in succession. Sarah stood onstage during the auction and the bidding got heated. "Never say never!"

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

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Trash Cinema 101

Trash Cinema 101 is a live, interactive experience, with bad films, good friends and ZERO class! Each month, Logan Donahoo guides you through his own cinematic wasteland, and brings you out the other side with drinking games and trivia - all wrapped in a campy, lewd, irreverent shell! For the month of December Logan promised to screen a 1964 holiday cult classic called "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians." The screening was at The Venue, (511 Virginia Drive, Orlando).  The Venue is a new performance space that Blue Star established in the Ivanhoe Village district. She had to make some major renovations to satisfy the Orlando code enforcement including a huge wheel chair ramp onto the stage. The stage is rather small, so the ramp effectively takes up one third of the foot room.

I knew Logan had to paint on his signature magenta face mask prior to the screening, so I arrived early so I could sketch him doing him makeup.  I had never been to The Venue before. The front building, a steep A frame structure was used as the lobby where people can grab a drink and mingle.  There was a photo of Great Aunt Grace hanging on the wall. A couple arrived wearing tin foil beanies with a uni-horn. The Beatles were performing on a big flat screen TV.  Keyvan Acosta arrived and paid using a credit card. The ticket person had an iPhone with one of those square swipe devices. He signed his name with his finger on the iPhone screen. There was a 30 cent service charge but it must be worth if for the high tech cool factor.  Keyvan lamented the fact that every girl he dated ends up leaving town. Just as he starts to get to know a girl he has to meet someone else and start over. It is like trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle where the image on the pieces keeps changing. Orlando is a rather transient city.

Logan was running late, and so the makeup was done quickly with the audience seated in the theater. He used two strips of masking tape to create a clean hard edge to his mask. A patchwork quilt covered the upstairs dressing room entrance. There was a candle on the table I sketched from in the theater. The film was every bit as strange and quirky as Logan promised. Children martians had thick face paint that looked like black face on film. Logan's ongoing commentary on the low budget film made the screening laugh out loud funny. I'm a  newly converted Trash Cinema fan.

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

Friday, January 4, 2013

Citrus Bowl Parade

On December 29th, I got up at 8AM to get downtown to sketch the Citrus Bowl Parade as it formed. The sky was grey, and as I drove downtown it started to rain. Walking from my suburban parking spot, I passed a church charging $5 to park in their lot. As I got near the Courthouse, it began to pour. My wind breaker stopped most of the rain but my jeans got soaked. Hundreds of girl scouts were huddled in the courthouse overhangs. I considered sketching some military vehicles, but by the time I got my sketchbook out of my bag, the rain stopped and the drivers jumped in the jeeps and drove off.

Far in the distance I saw the Citrus Floats parked down by the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center. I walked down to the corner of Hughey and sketched the floats. They were the exact same floats I sketched last year. I believe they rubber band the fruit to the floats in the parking lot of what used to be the Amway Arena. A Shriner in a tiny Model A buzzed past me on the way to the parade route. When the floats are not in use, they are stored by the Citrus Bowl. You can see their naked skeletons from the East West Expressway. Then added a bright splash of color being covered in yellow grapefruits and oranges. As I sketched, it started to rain again and I retreated under the I-4 overpass.

Someone asked me where the parade route was and I pointed him to Orange Avenue. I realized he must have considered me an authority since I was wearing a NYC police cap. Terry called to let me know she had come to the parade and she was parked at her office. I finished the sketch and walked to the parade route. It began to pour again. I huddled near the Bank of America building and then darted to an overhang near a pizzeria. A little boy splashed in a curbside puddle. Someone walking by under an umbrella said, "He's got the right idea." The boys mom shouted out, "Stop standing in the puddle, you'll get sick!" Defiant, the boy shouted back, "I won't get sick." The parade started. Marching bands took formation and marched by. The color guard girls flags were soaked and heavy. The high winds made it close to impossible for them to spin the flags. They laughed as they tried. The girl scouts walked past with their clear ponchos billowing violently in the wind. A large gust caused all the girl scouts to scream.

The Roadrunner Shriners in their tiny but very loud go-carts spun in circles on the rain soaked pavement. I was afraid they might spin out of control into the crowds on the sidewalk. They were having a blast in the rain. The marching band from the University of Nebraska marched past, with the brass and drums extra loud. The cheerleaders with their red and white pom-poms shouted out, "Go Huskers!" I ordered two slices of pizza and sat at an outdoor table to continue watching the parade. Terry met me at the Pizzeria. There was a large pile of Mardi Gras beads on the table I was sitting at. The pile of beads were all knotted together and Terry got to work trying to undo the knot. When the parade had passed, she continued working on the complex task. I watched the people migrating back to their cars. When the rain slowed to a drizzle, I made my way back to my car and she walked back to her office.

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

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Full Sail's Got Talent

After class on November 29th, I went to the Full Sail Live venue to sketch the talent show. When I got there the place was pretty empty but it quickly filled up as I blocked in the stage on my sketch. The Student Community Association presented “Full Sail’s Got Talent,” a showcase featuring some of the school’s most talented performers. Students competed on stage to be crowned the winner of this annual event. Full Sail’s Got Talent was free and open to all students and staff. Four faculty members sat in front of the stage to act as judges. One female judge was brutally honest in her judgements and the audience full of students at times booed her.

I spent my time watching the camera operator as  he danced around with the tripod on wheels. He never stopped moving and the student responsible for feeding the electrical cord had to keep up with him. Lighting also changed constantly which made for a challenge as I painted. Evan Frazer and Brandon Mirador (Replay & Frazer) won the Annual Full Sail's Talent Show. They performed as a dance team to many of the most popular dance songs. It was sort of a history of dance. 0ne dancer wore a blank faced mask which added to the edgy mystique of the act. Abruptly the music stopped and the two performers stood on the stage, not sure what to do. I'm not sure if that was part of the act or a mistake.

Allison Gammill was the Runner up. She had a sweet voice and sang from the soul. Most of the other acts were fast paced rap singers, whose words were garbled and often lost. When Allison performed, standing center stage in her elegant dress, her talent shone and her stillness stood in stark contrast to all the gesturing on stage. One of the judges said he had a crush on her. That is what happens when you sing from the heart.  I don't understand this pop-cultural obsession about standing on a stage to be judged however. The caged bird sings of freedom.

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

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Enzian's Makeover For 2013

For 28 years, the Enzian has shown thousands of great movies to millions of people in an environment that encourages friendship and community. The annual Florida Film Festival brings famous and infamous film directors, producers and actors to Central Florida. Between screenings, if you turn to your neighbor at the Eden Bar, there is a good chance they are in the business of making films. At the lavish parties at the Enzian, people have met, fallen in love and formed lasting friendships.

The theater is however showing its age. The curtains are torn, the chairs are worn and the carpets have certainly worn from thousands of feet and spilled drinks. The theater is getting a makeover. Everything that is worn out or broken will be replaced. New carpets and curtains have already been installed. New furniture will allow the service staff more room to take orders and serve food while also improving sight lines for the audience. Technological advances, already in place, have improved the movies picture and audio.

In 2013 the Enzian Theater will continue to renew, revive and refresh. The makeover will enhance the movie viewing experience without detracting from the unique character of place. The theater will still have a cozy feeling, where you can enjoy films with friends. Large semi circular seats will be replaced by lighter more streamlined seating. Circular tables will be replaced by more compact and ergonomic square tables saving space. Benches will be added to the back of section C again saving space.

I was hired to do a sketch of the theater as it will look after renovations. I sat up in the projection booth and sketched as the theater filled with patrons for a screening. The projectionist introduced herself and she reached over me to press a button. As the theater went black, I turned on my book light and continued to paint. I used a computer rendering from Raleigh Design to place new tables and chairs into my location sketch.

The Enzian is inviting patrons to be part of the enduring legacy by investing in the makeover. For as little as $25 you can "own a piece of the Enzian" and express your appreciation for this unique cultural icon.
$5,000 makes one booth a reality.
$3,000  makes a banquet seat and a table a reality.
$1,000 makes a chair or 4-top table a reality.
  $500 makes a 2-top table a reality.
  $250 makes a coffee table a reality.
    $25 makes one square foot of carpet a reality.

All donors of $250 or more will be recognized by name on a beautifully crafted commemorative plaque that will be permanently displayed at the Enzian.

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

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Best Sketches of 2012

Vote results are in for the best sketches of 2012.
1. July 18, (the Parentheticals),  nominated by, Mathew OGrady with 54% of the votes.

2. Oct 10, Blog Con, nominated by Bess Auer with 12% of the votes.

2. (Tie) Oct 24, Sunday in the Park with George, nominated by Zac Alfson with 12% of the votes.

3. Feb 21, Night of Fire. Analytics nominated post. With 4% of the votes.

3. (Tie) May 18, The Eighties Strike Back. Analytics nominated post. With 4% of the votes. 

3. (Tie) December 13th,

Last Tango in Paris
. Nominated by Hengua, with 4% of the votes.
3. (Tie) June 6, NAMTA. Nominated by Analytics, with 4% of the votes.
3. (Tie) September 4, RAW: RADIATE. Nominated by Analytics, with 4% of the votes. 
 3. (Tie) January 5, We Buy Gold, Nominated by Analytics, with 4% of the votes.
To maintain the one a day posting schedule, here is a sketch of a Mall window display from the AADW Archives. The writing was on the window of a Saks Fifth Avenue store. The display was designed by Shepard Fairey of Studio Number One. Shepard was best known for doing the red white and blue Obama campaign poster.

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