Sunday, June 30, 2013

2D Animation

There is a certain nostalgia seeing a new group of students each month in the 2DA Full Sail classroom. By the end of the first day it is possible to sense which students have the drive to excel. Most of my time is spend helping students navigate how to use the computer software to shoot the drawings they produce at their animation desks. For some students there is a legitimate glee that comes from seeing their drawings move for the first time.

Larry Lauria does a good job of sharing his enthusiasm for the medium. Each lunch break he shows academy award winning animated shorts, to give the students an idea of what can be achieved with a pencil, plenty of paper and imagination. On the first day, students realize the amount of work needed to create just one second of animation. They create a one second animated morph, having one object transform into another.

The students are issued plastic portfolio cases that come packed with the basic supplies needed to create hand drawn animation. They get red, blue and black Prismacolor pencils, an eraser, sharpener, a peg strip and a flip book.  The 150 page flip book is the most creative assignment the students get. They can create any type of animated scene that they like. Some students plan a whole story while others simply play with shapes and forms.

There are several animation projects in each of the ten classes each month. Some students finish with ease while others struggle to keep up. I'm always trying to encourage students to make passable animation better or more entertaining. This is the hardest thing to pass on, the fire in the belly, an undeniable need to create. Some sleep walk through life trying to just get by. Some discover this drive early while others will find it later in life. Jobs might come and go, but a life fueled with creative ambition will always be full filling.

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, June 29, 2013

La Mia Danza

After sketching a rehearsal at The Venue, I decided to stay and sketch La Mia Danza. This improvisational dance performance featured Michelina Wingerter along with live music by Tacatantán Record's Abdias Ernesto Garcia. Various lamps were set up on stage. Michelina wished she had a lounge chair so the set would feel like the comfy intimate room she improve dances in at home. Helen, the tech said there was a lounge chair up in the tech booth. The trouble was the only way up there was via a wooden ladder. Several techs and dancers gathered around the ladder. The chair was huge. As several people lowered it from above, the people below reached up. I got up and went over just in case it toppled and more hands were needed.

With the chair onstage, Michelina immediately did a headstand on it. She walked on it's arms and found creative ways to slither out of it. She loved the chair because it was so stable. She could do anything on it and it wouldn't topple over. There was a full house for the performance. Abdias began playing his mix of music. Michelina's performance began as she sat still in the chair. Her movement gained momentum as she danced on stage. She turned lights on or off as needed.

At times she jumped off the stage moving into the audience. She even sat in the front row for a moment to catch her breath. She moved with wild abandon. Movements became more angular and angry. She began to shout as she danced. She looked at me and shouted, "You want to draw me? Why?!"  She eventually removed her top with a flourish and black pasties covered her nipples. It was hard not to watch those twin black holes as they moved on the universe of the stage. She later put on a loose flannel shirt that flowed around her petite frame as she danced. She danced on the razor's edge shouting in anger and rage. The loud brash performance expressed existential doubts while hinting that the Phoenix could still rise from the ashes.

At the end, Michelina sat center stage completely spent and in tears. The whole audience stood and the applause was thunderous. Michelina bowed with tears still falling. Abdias joined her on stage and they both raised their hands to the tech's upstairs. Blue Star addressed the audience, inviting them to get their party on after that one of a kind performance.

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, June 28, 2013


My licence was more than 15 years old. The plastic laminate had curled up at the corners giving it a frayed look. In the photo I still had a full head of hair. Each year the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), sent me a sticker to put on the back of the card. That thick layer of stickers had slid like a tectonic plate in the Florida humidity. At airports the Homeland Security guards would have to call over a subordinate, they had never seen anything like it. A parking guard at Universal literally refused to let me park. Even a bouncer at a bar would raise an eyebrow. Well, I needed a new card which meant I would have to make the dreaded trip to no man's land, the DMV.

The letter said I'd need a birth certificate or passport. I rummaged for my passport and bought it with me. I went to the downtown office. The first thing you do is pick a number from a dispenser. I was number F91. What does the F stand for? I'm f*cked. Several hours later, I was finishing up my sketch and they had called 90. I packed away my sketchbook and got our my passport and old license.

Finally, my number was called. The woman behind the counter let out a gasp when I handed over my old license. She had never seen anything like it. She asked for proof that I had been born and I gave her the passport. Then she said she needed a proof of residence, a 1099, WD40, no wait that is a household oil... Well whatever it was, I didn't have it. I would have to come back. Noooooo!!!!

Later that week I found the needed forms. I considered bringing the whole filing cabinet just in case. Two good old boys in the back of the waiting area were talking about pick up trucks and fathers who were in jail. God there are a lot of custom license plates. After my second eternity of waiting I finally did get a new license. Since then not a single person has asked to see the darn thing. I'm considering pushing the pedal to the floor through some speed traps so I can hand it over to an officer. Hell must be a DMV waiting area.

Weekend Top Six Picks
Saturday June 28th 2013
Noon - 3pm FREE  The Imprint show at The Gallery at Avalon Island Artist talks. The Gallery at Avalon Island (39 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32801). This is the second series of talks by the artists for the Imprint show. Starting at noon we have five of the nine artists discussing their art, Emilie Finney, Martha Lent, Trish Bambace (aka Patricia Lois Nuss), Britty Metty (aka Brittany Metz) and Lesley Silvia will be talking about their process.

9:45pm - 11:45pm FREE Gene Snowden and The JC Jumpers with Special Guests!! The Peacock Room (1321 North Mills Avenue, Orlando, Florida). Its time to put on your jookin shoes! Come out and dance like its 1949.. A time when 4 out of 5 doctors preferred Marlboros and Booze was a food group. When the folks rocked and huckle bucked to Blues that was shakin, jumpin, wailin, shuckin, jivin, swingin,gruntin and all the other "ins" we can muster. Your presence is wanted for another throw back throw down , in this, the second edition of the Jumpers Boom diddy Boom at The Peacock room! your dollars and time are precious so with a few guests in the mix maybe we can get it right this time baby. So make sure you put on your best drinking outfit and drop by for one and a we'll provide the rug... Feel free to cut it the hell up! woooo!

7pm - Midnight If you choose art and dance: $40 in advance $50 Day of Event  "Hammers & Lambs" From The Minds Of Patrick Fatica and Blue Star. With ticket in hand, the night will begin at Lake Ivanhoe’s newest establishment The Hammered Lamb. Buffet style dinner and drinks will be served while previewing Fatica’s newest creations. Fatica took the bar’s name and used it as the influence for this newest series. He said, “The name ‘Hammers and Lambs’ created an instant mythology. This is the closest thing I’ve come to a concept album.”
After dinner, be whisked away by O-Cart to Lake Ivanhoe’s newest performing arts space – The Venue. Blue has used Fatica’s work and created her newest Award Winning VarieTEASE show around it. The After Party and art show follows with both Blue and Fatica in attendance.

After party 10pm -midnight FREE at Hammered Lamb (1235 N. Orange Ave. Orlando FL).

Sunday June 29th 2013 
3pm - 7pm $5 Red Bull BC One Returns to Find Best Individual B-Boy on the Planet. Full Sail Live (141 University Park DR, Winter Park, FL).  WHAT:Top Florida b-boys will compete in the Red Bull BC One Cypher Orlando hosted by MC Supernatural at Full Sail Live, the university’s state-of-the-art performance venue located on the campus of Full Sail University.
Since its inception in 2004, Red Bull BC One has become the leading competition in the world of b-boying, consistently attracting the best individual breakers in the world. Originally designed as an invitation-only event, the series has now opened to give any b-boy the chance to compete through a multi layered global qualification phase.
The Red Bull BC One Cypher Orlando is one of 50 local qualification events that are being hosted in the U.S. and around the globe in countries such as Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia and Taiwan.  The winner of the Orlando cypher will move on to compete against the best b-boys in the U.S. during the Red Bull BC One National Qualifier held Aug. 17 in Houston, Texas. The dancer who earns the national championship title in Houston will step onto the world stage to compete against the best of the best at the Red Bull BC One World Finals, hosted in South Korea.
Follow their journey and learn more at
WHO:   Sixteen b-boys from Florida

6pm - 8pm FREE SHUT YOUR FACE! Poetry Slam by Curtis Meyer! La Casa De La Paellas (10414 E Colonial Dr Orl FL 32817). 
The only current ongoing slam in Orlando officially certified by Poetry Slam Incorporated, IE. Send a team to Nats as well as poets to The Individual World Poetry Slam & Women of The World Poetry Slam! $50 to the winner! If you’ve never seen or been in a slam before, it’s definitely worth checking out!

9pm - 11pm FREE: “Comedy Open Mic” Austin's Coffee (929 W Fairbanks Ave Winter Park, FL 32789). Free comedy show! Come out & laugh, or give it a try yourself.

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, June 27, 2013

Wine Women & Shoes

Wine Women and Shoes held at Sea World's Ports of Call on May 18th, raised money to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida which is a private, nonprofit organization that collects and distributes donated food to more than 500 nonprofit partner agencies in six Central Florida counties: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia.

When Terry and I arrived at Ports of Call, we first had our photo taken. The photographer remembered that I had sketched Wine Women and Shoes last year and she later took several shots of me at work. Maria Diestro lead Terry and I inside a bit early so I could get a jump on my sketch. I immediately focused my attention on these couches bathed in magenta light. No one was seated yet but I figured women wearing high heels would definitely want to sit and rest.

Terry sampled the food and wine while I sketched. She sat on the couch and I caught her fingerirg her iPhone. The only other men in the room were waiters holding silver platters with high heel shoes on them. There were vendors everywhere and a percentage of any sales went to Second Harvest. For $50 you could buy a key to a closet door. Inside that closed was merchandise valued at over $6,000.

Wendy Wallenberg and Coralie Claeysen-Gleyson, the director at Jai Gallery, joked around with Terry for a while.  This was my first time meeting Coralie and I was so pleased that she knew about my sketch-a-Day project. Wendy was wearing an industrial pair of high heels that seemed to catch every woman's eye. There was a competition for the woman wearing the most fabulous shoes and I heard Wendy won. Terry lamented that she didn't wear her Eiffel tower themed high heels. With my sketch done, I had time to nibble one pastry before the food was carted away.

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, June 26, 2013

Chris Belt

Christopher Belt, the creator of the Accidental Music Festival, performed on classical guitar, with Nathan Selikoff showing his artwork on April 21st at the Timucua White House (2000 South Summerlin Avenue, Orlando FL). It was a very crowded concert, but I managed to find a front row seat. Prior to Christopher taking the stage, Benoit Glazer's daughter performed on violin along with a first chair violinist whose name I didn't catch. They performed one piece, so I knew that my time was limited to sketch them.

A large flat screen TV was set up behind the stage. As Chris performed, Nathan Selikoff sat with his hands suspended over a laptop. Nathan interacted with and manipulated an abstract pulsating form on the screen with the movement of his hands using a new motion capture device that was reminiscent of user interfaces as used in Science Fiction films like the Minority Report or Iron Man.

On piece Chris performed was by composer J.S. Adams who was in the audience. The piece was written for guitar and tape. Much of the music had a new age flair. Much of the music was so quiet and intimate that I could hear people breathing beside me. It was a pleasant way to sketch away a Sunday afternoon.

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, June 25, 2013

Plein Air Paint Day with Josette Urso

The Maitland Art and History Center's new Artist-In-Residence Josette Urso, from Brooklyn New York, began her residency on April 28. Her residency continued through June 2. The program honors the legacy of founder J. André Smith, and the 75th anniversary of the Research Studio’s (now the Art and History Museums of Maitland) first Bok Fellow. This is the first formal, nationally competitive Residency program at the Art and History Center since Smith's fellowship program, which was funded by Mary Curtis Bok from 1938 through 1957. During her tenure, Urso will work in her studio and paint plein air, affording visitors an opportunity to see her create throughout campus.

On Saturday, May 11th, from 10 AM to 1 PM, Josette Urso held an official Plein Air Paint Day at the Maitland Art Center (231 W Packwood Ave, Maitland, FL). Painters from around Central Florida were encouraged to come and create alongside Urso. She showed us the tools and techniques she uses to create her widely-collected paintings. This program was FREE and the public was encouraged to attend.

Josette showed us a color wheel and explained how a limited palette could unify a painting. She had some empty slide casings which she said could help a beginner to see a composition. She said in a workshop she taught in Taiwan, several students taped the slide casings to the brim of their baseball caps.  She explained the importance of thumbnail drawings and she demonstrated a thumbnail sketch using as few lines as possible. We then went off to do our own thumbnails. I excitedly sketched the fifteen or so students around me as they sketched architectural details or foliage. I knew artist Chere Force and Lynn Whipple. I checked out other artists progress and then returned to my own work.

The next step took me outside my comfort zone. We had to pick a thumbnail sketch, and work it  up as a larger painting without using line. My primary issue seemed to be that my brush was to small to put down satisfying bold blocks of color. I found that my two color studies were done before the class was over so I couldn't resist putting in a few sensual lines afterwards. It was a fun workshop and I'm thinking I might work faster with my daily sketches by focusing on large washes first. The issue I've had is that the pens I use die the second they touch water. If I can find a good fountain pen, that might solve that problem. An even bolder decision would be to give up the pen all together. Time and daily experimentation will tell.

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, June 24, 2013


Snap!  2013 “Motion to Light” is a 4-day photography celebration showcasing the work of renowned international and national photographers, as well as emerging talent. It explores movement, lighting, hope and features works of photographers from France, Thailand, Czech Republic, Japan, Poland, Canada, Germany plus New York, Los Angeles, Portland, etc...

Snap! Orlando is a large scale international photography event with exhibits, projections and installations, salon talks, guest speakers lectures, workshops, competitions and community engagement. Hosted in an empty warehouse in the Ivanhoe District of Orlando (1427-A Alden Rd, Orlando Fl 32803), Snap! included large scale exhibits and projections; receptions and special events; guest speakers lectures; student and community competitions, youth programs, and much more.

On May 3rd, Terry and I went to the opening night in the 13,000 square foot warehouse. This was Snaps 4th annual exhibition in Orlando. I quickly decided to sketch from a second floor walkway while Terry explored the exhibit. Before I finished the sketch, she decided she had seen enough and she went home.

As I sketched, I noticed actress and photographer, Mikki Scanlon Kriekard, shooting video. She joined me on the walkway and started shooting video of me as I sketched. The funny thing is, as soon as she aimed the camera at me, another photographer moved in and started taking shots just to be sure he wasn't missing anything. Others took in the scene with their cell phones. Mikki followed me around like a paparazzi as I walked around to check out the show when my sketch was done. I got to meet her husband Bryan Kriekard and I asked him if she always had her camera on. We laughed when he insisted there were times when he insisted it be turned off. I'm used to being the one scrutinizing people. It was interesting having the tables turned. I liked the attention but didn't know how to act "natural". Regardless, Mikki caught an interesting slice of life with her video.

My favorite photos were by Nicolas Senegas. The large scale photo showed a nude woman partly submerged in water. It reminded me of Victorian images of the redheaded Ophelia floating in a river. Another cool series of photos showed sand being thrown onto muscular nude bodies. The photographer was Oliver Valsecchi. All I could think was that he should meet Jessica Mariko of Drip!

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, June 23, 2013

Mystery Sketch Theater

Mystery Sketch Theater happens on the first Wednesday of every month. They now have a new home at a warehouse in Winter Park (784 Cherry St, Winter Park, FL).  I had a devil of a time finding the warehouse the first time and happened to use it's parking lot s a place to turn around to head the other way down Cherry street. I finally saw the number above the front entry. The back loading bay door was open and that was where artists were gathered. There was no air conditioning but it had just rained and the open warehouse bay door gave us a decent cross breeze.

Moriah Beagel, the model was dressed in a pink fairy outfit. I sketched her before she took he first 30 second pose and then I sketched the artists. In all there were 10 to 15 artists. Artists in the back row probable didn't get a clear view of Moriah's feet. I sat on my artists stool in the loading dock doorway. The warehouse had a strange display of a rain barrel with mannequin legs inside and a torso above.

 Moriah was born And educated in Kansas, she hails from Colorado where she perfected the art of coffee. She have been posing for artists for ten years. She is currently writing short stories, posing and working as a barrista. She enjoys costume concepts that show dichotomy. Opposites drawn together. In this costume set went  for the elements of life and death. Fairies with opposite intentions. Towards the end of the modeling session Moriah changed into a much darker costume and held the skull capped walking stick. Pink and green changed to purple and black.

There was the usual themed drawing competition but I seldom compete since I am always still working on my sketch. They usually have some cool art book up for grabs. I use the breaks to keep pushing color on the page. I like the new warehouse setting, it is much grittier and industrial than working at A Comic Shop. The cost for the model was $5 and Kristen Pauline and Adrienne Frankenfield always have some treat to eat and drink. The next Mystery Sketch Theater should be July 3, 2013 from 8pm to 10:30pm, mark you calendar.

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, June 22, 2013

Hammers and Lambs

On June 12, I went to The Venue, (511 Virginia Drive Orlando, FL) to watch the set up for an improvisational dance performance by called "La Mia Danza". This was going to be a one time collaboration of improvised Dance and Music starring the captivating dancer Michelina Wingerter along with live music by Tacatantán Record's Abdias Ernesto Garcia.

When I arrived, Abdias greeted me. A rehearsal was still in progress for another show opening the following week. Dancer Michelina was in this production as well, along with Megan Bueto, Tymisha Harris and Blue Star. Called "Hammers and Lambs" this show is produced by Blue Star and is inspired by the paintings of Patrick Fatica. The dance number I saw rehearsed involved plenty of hammers, or croquet mallets.

Hammers and Lambs will begin each evening at The Hammered Lamb (1235 N. Orange Ave.) with a preview of Patric's newest paintings. There will be complimentary wine and food. Then patrons will be whisked to The Venue by O-cart for the dance performance inspired by Patrick's work. I love the idea of one art form inspiring another art form.

There are four more performances. The evening begins at 7pm sharp.
June 22, 24, 28, 29
Tickets are $40 in advance or $50 on the day of the show. Tickets are available at the Hammered Lamb or The Venue, or call (407) 412-6895

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, June 21, 2013

NBA Finals

Terry and I like to go out to watch the NBA Finals games. We decided to go to Bar Louie's (7335 West Sand Lake Road). When we walked in, we were literally the only patrons in the place. Terry picked a high top table with a view of the bank of flat screen TV's above the bar. I ordered a macaroni and cheese dish that was really good. There were five cheeses and a light dusting of crunchies on top. Once I finished eating, I sipped my Blue Moon and sketched the bar hoping someone would enter to populate the scene. 

The pre-game show had closed captions scrawling across the top of the screen. Terry asked the bartender to turn them off. He fumbled with multiple remote controls with no luck. He gave up. Terry spotted one TV on the opposite side of the bar without the captions so she moved. When I finished my sketch I joined her. The Miami Heat won this game 103 to 84. It was a blow out. Yet the next game the San Antonio Spurs blew the Heat out of the water. The Spurs had Danny Green who kept sinking 3 point baskets from downtown. It seemed like he couldn't miss.

On my sketch I wrote, NBA Playoffs, even though it was the finals. That shows you how much I know about basketball. 

Weekend Top 6 Pick Picks 
Saturday June 22, 2013
1pm to 8pm. FREE Art on Tap. Taps from Scratch (1809 E winter park rd, Orlando, Florida 32803) is proud to present our First Annual “Art on Tap”. They are dedicated to their core Mission of presenting the Finest crafted Beer, Cider and Alcoholic Soda to the community on a platform that encompasses the Arts. Artist are starting to take notice of this free hub and gathering place where you can bring in a piece to sell at will, hang it, sell it and receive 100% of sale proceeds, or bring an easel and paint and as member enjoy as much beer as they want, anytime they want, for just $5.00. Musicians come in and out for nightly open mic, new partnerships and bands beginning to emerge. Art on Tap will be followed by the traditional Saturday Open Mic.

7:30pm to 11pm. FREE Contra Dancing.  Secret Lake Park, (200 N Triplet Lake Drive, Casselberry, FL). All Ages Welcome - Instruction Provided at 7:30 pm. No partners necessary.
Contra dance is ...
    Easier than walking
    More exercise than jogging
    More fun than you can imagine

8pm to midnight. FREE Orlando Hardcore Reunion Punk Show. The Peacock Room (1321 North Mills Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32803).  Hardcore Punk Rock Like You Remember It!!!!!
Rat Cafeteria, Declared Ungovernable and Dissent Featuring Wade Anthony

Sunday June 23, 2013
11am to 2pm. FREE: Parrot Adventures Club Meeting. Albert Park (2400 Edgewater Dr. College Park) Orlando FL 32804). Parrot Adventures is the fastest growing bird club in Central FL. Come explore the parrot community with us & give your bird a taste of the great outdoors!

Noon to 6pm. FREE: The Town of Oakland's 7th Annual TRIPLE “A” FESTIVAL. Speer Park (331 N Tubb St Oakland, FL 34760). HapCO Music Foundation presents this festival in the town of Oakland. Tripple A encourages artistic expression among youth and celebrates the work of local artists. The festival historically honors Juneteenth, now celebrated throughout the United States with picnics and festivals. We present artistry as exhibited in those who contribute to African-American culture. The festival is organized in collaboration with Orange and Seminole Counties to increase exposure and encourage community participation in the arts.

7:30pm to 9:30pm. FREE: Concert! Clarinet/Cello Duo! The White House, (2000 South Summerlin Ave. Orlando FL 32806). Christine Barron Plays with cellist Justice Milsom. All genres, including Kletzmer. Artist: Elizabeth St-Hilaire-Nelson.

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, June 20, 2013

Thornton 2nd Thursday Wine & Art Walk

On the 2nd Thursday of every month, Washington Street just two blocks East of Lake Eola burst alive with color for the Thornton 2nd Thursday Wine Walk. $10 cash gets you a wine glass and a map of all the locations where you will be greeted with a complimentary pour of wine. Glass pick up is at Mother Falcon (819 E. Washington Street). The walk proceeds go to the Thornton Park District Non-Profit. Many Thornton Park restaurants and bars, artist vendors are set-up throughout Thornton Park.

When I arrived in June, artists were just getting settled in their sidewalk spots. Electricity was available for when it got dark. I liked this wall of abstract art that artist Nick Seyler had set up next to Dexter's Restaurant.  His tiki totems added a bit of tropical flair. The second tier of paintings was set up on tripods on a table. Several bursts of wind from looming storm clouds toppled paintings over, but there were pedestrians who caught the work and helped him lean it back again.

Dresden Kincaid of Earth Culture had her intricate handmade jewelry set up on a table. Her pieces are "natural expressions of art and positivity." She uses natural minerals and gem stones woven together by thin wire to create intricate jewelry. I liked that she spent much of her time focused on creating a piece. There were always women stopped at her table trying things on. Dresden showed Nick some of the crystals she had with her. They were stored in tiny one inch clear plastic boxes. I used to collect minerals and I have a bunch of those boxes full of crystals above my desk. Intrigued, I walked over. Nick was holding a cluster of clear quartz crystals with cubes of pyrite or "fools gold." It wasn't for sale. She handed me one of her rings and it really was amazing how she used thin wire to weave together various natural stones.

Clouds and a bit of thunder had artist nervous that it might rain. I sketched faster. Nick said to Dresden,that "You will have to duck under your table if it starts raining." She replied, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if a rainbow appeared." Fifteen minutes later a huge rainbow arched to the East over Washington Street. I've never before met someone who could predict a rainbow. As I was adding color to Nick's paintings on my sketch, the sun burst through the tree leaves above his work mimicking the bright colors in his work. The whole sky to the west turned yellow then orange.

Jason L. Lee and Brad Biggs, the Arts Hub founders both stopped by to say hello. Brad had exciting news about some future Arts Hub shows and Jason showed me a ring that Dresden had created for him. As dusk settled in, my sketch was done. I walked West and spoke to several artists. This Wine Walk used to be held on Third Thursday but it conflicted with all the people viewing gallery openings downtown. Melissa Felcman of Mother Falcon moved it to the 2nd Thursday of each month and now The Arts Hub Florida organizes all the artists. When the street lights came on and the artists turned on spot lights to illuminate their work, the scene became a magical nocturne with art glowing warm as the evening cooled. I think I need to return to try and catch that light.

If you want a relaxing event on Thursday July 11th, then mark your calendar and head to Thornton Park to sip and stroll. The Thornton Park Parking Garage has entrances on North Eola Drive and East Washington Street. Street parking is available if you patiently look for 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, June 19, 2013

Rebuilding Together Orlando

Rebuilding Together Orlando assists low-income senior citizens, veterans, families with children and disabled homeowners living in Central Florida with repairs to help make their home comfortable safe and dry. Ed Green, the executive director said, "Many today are faced with putting off critical home repairs in order to eat." The organization's goal is "A safe and healthy home for every person." I had met Ed once before at Urban ReThink.

When I arrived at this home in a neighborhood off Kirkman Avenue, there were perhaps 15 people painting the building. Ed told me that the hone had been painted bright pumpkin orange but he convinced the owner to repaint the home a light beige so it would blend in better with the homes around it. A canopy was set up to offer volunteers shade when they took a break. I sketched someone who was painting the front door which had been unhinged and leaned up against a Nissan pick up truck.

Inside the house, a bathroom had been gutted and a new wheel chair accessible shower was being installed. A teenage boy in the home had Cerebral Palsy and the mother had to lift him to get him into the shower in the past. He wasn't a small child anymore so lifting him had become a challenge. The shower unit arrived while I was sketching, so work began in earnest in the bathroom. Most of the volunteers, in their red shirts, who had helped paint the home finished up and began to leave after socializing.

A door to door insurance salesman stopped by and spoke to the home owners about his brand of insurance. The homeowner argued about how the offer didn't look so good. The salesmen then started asking about the work being done on the home. When he realized it was a volunteer project, he took interest saying he had done volunteer work in the past and he'd love to get involved. He signed up to do some volunteer work the next weekend.

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, June 18, 2013

Fake Landlord Scam

On Friday January 14th as I drove home after sketching on Virginia Drive, I was surprised to see a police car parked a block from my home, with its red and blue lights cutting into the night. A Channel 9 News van was parked behind the police cruiser. Several young men stood in the street with large black plastic bags piled near by, their heads bowed.

This McMansion was build in 2008 just before the Housing market crash which sent the country into a recession and resulted in countless foreclosures. After this 7 bedroom, 6.5 bathroom, 4242 square foot home was built, it remained vacant. It is estimated to be worth over $710,400 yet it was never sold. For the last five years the place has been abandoned. The grass turned into tall weeds and the pool became a green sludge. The neighborhood homeowners association seemed to ignore the buildings abandoned state. Then again, abandoned, unmaintained, homes are now a common sight throughout the neighborhood.

Kelly Wyatt moved in last week with her five sons signing a rental agreement to pay $1,800 a month. She paid $1,800 cash up front. The usual rent for a place this big would be close to $4,000 a month. She was told she was getting a deal if she would maintain the place. My wife saw one of the sons mowing the lawn for the first time in years. Dead tree branches were moved curbside for pick up. Kelly majored in the Visual and Performing Arts at Owens Community College in Toledo Ohio before moving to Florida. She is the CEO of Diversity Theater Company and works at Glasshouse Ministries as a chief executive officer.

Kelly called Channel 9 News when the sheriff's office informed her that she had just three hours to leave the home she thought she was renting legally. Her family stayed in the 5501 Bay Side Drive Mansion just four or five nights before she was told she would have to leave. She was the victim of a scam. The real owners, Jody and Monica Mendelsen who live in a humble waterfront home in Plantation Florida, had no idea that anyone was living in their Bay Side home until the Orlando Sheriff's department called.

The scam artist may have created fake identification papers in the Mendelsen's name. The big mystery is how this fake landlord got the keys to the abandoned home. According to Kelly's description he was about 5'10" tall, a bit heavy built, perhaps Indian with slightly grey hair and he drove a silver SUV. It is not clear if all the locks had been changed in the home or if the original home keys had been used. No one has been able to contact the fake landlord. Apparently this type of scam happens often.

Kelly, her five sons, a yellow Labrador and a cat were suddenly homeless. "I feel like I have been robbed." Wyatt said. The family had little in the way of possessions. There were a few suitcases, a couple of computers, a house plant, a box fan and clothes in plastic bags. There wasn't any furniture to be moved. Most of her belonging were still in storage in Ohio. Apparently viewers of the Channel 9 News broadcast started calling the station offering assistance. I don't know if this family has a roof over its head today.

As I sketched the home, I heard loud squeaks coming from inside like the sound of a basketball player's sneakers on the polished floor boards.  The NBA finals were flickering onto TV screens across America. I finally realized the sound was of a fire detector with a dying battery. Once again the building was abandoned with no one to replace the battery, a symbol of false hope and greed.

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, June 17, 2013


Hyper-Bolic, written and performed by Jessica Earley, was staged at the Venue on Virginia Avenue before Fringe.  This show was raw and intensely personal, being all about Jessica's break up with a boyfriend. Lindsay Smith and Stephanie Lister helped Jessica throughout the production. This performance was for one night only and the Venue was packed. The performance combined puppetry, dance and some forms of performance that defy definition. The show was build around the five stages of grief. I knew Jessica from her paintings which often expose women's issues. When she spoke of her work in the past, she was always soft spoken yet sincere.

Things began quietly enough with a short shadow puppet show that presented love in it's ideal form, lasting forever and surmounting mountains and streams. I sketched Jessica as she held a deer puppet as she said, "Oh Dear!" The stage was covered in white blankets and Jessica was covered in a white robe appearing like an ancient shaman. She sang to a small horse puppet that questioned her singing abilities. On this lonely landscape she masturbated with a huge sewing needle and held a conversation with a button which someone later told me was a symbol for the vagina.

Jessica stood on a table and imitated the poses of ideal couples who hugged and expressed love in idealized advertising images. The images flickered by at an increasing pace and she struggles to keep up. She used a cardboard laptop to try and reach out via social media which offered empty meaningless comfort from well meaning friends, leaving her lonelier than before.

A large dream catcher was assembled and Jessica became entwined in it and struggled to break free as if caught in a spider's web. Things truly became raw when Jessica called on a few friends to come on stage and join her in a ritual of healing. They each placed their hands on her as she raised her arms and shouted to the sky, "Heal me!" I noticed one of her friends had tears in her eyes as she participated in the ritual. Jack Fields who was seated at my table was called up and he told me later that he didn't realize he would become part of the act, but having participated he felt even more involved in the act of recovery.

Jessica was able to catch lightning in a bottle. Everyone has experienced the heartbreak of relationships which don't stand the test of time, and Jessica had found a way to express the torment and agony. I knew that Jessica had started modeling at Full Sail and it made sense that this exposure offered a form of personal acceptance. At the end of the show she stood before the audience naked as her hands laced through words of redemption and recovery.  I truly hope that she expands on the show and hopefully brings it to next years Fringe. She has hit a raw and fragile nerve. I had witnessed a performance that was truly trans-formative. How amazing to see an artist hit fill stride, finding new and creative ways to express herself. I felt honored to have been present.

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, June 16, 2013

Brad Catron Quartet

On April 17th I went to Tastings (164 Lake Ave Maitland Fl), to listen to jazz and sketch.  The Jazz Tastings Quartet performs every Friday starting at 7PM. I ordered a white wine and a lobster bisque that was delicious. The band got on stage just as I was finishing my bisque. Cary Frank was on the keyboards and you can't see him in my sketch. He is behind the bass player, John Toney.  I recognized John, I had sketched him perform once before at the Obama Campaign Headquarters. Brad Catron was up front with his self deprecating humor and fast fingers on guitar. The fish bowl tip jar was half full of dollar bills from the start.

The music was lively helping motivate every line and splash of color. After my second cup of white wine the sketch started to look not so bad. As often happens, the band took a break before the sketch was done. I kept painting, forgetting about local color, and going with colors that worked for the sketch.

It was a good sketch session, although the bisque and wines were more expensive than I expected. Most people don't recognize the cost of making art.  Maybe I should put a tip jar out every time I sketch. With my luck, I'd be arrested for busking or begging.

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, June 15, 2013

UCF Book Festival

On April 13th, Terry and I went to the UCF Book Festival in the UCF Arena. We actually had to take separate cars since I had to teach at Full Sail right afterwards. The central court area of the arenas was jammed full of booths full of authors selling their signed books. Terry actually knew one of the first authors, Elizabeth Allen, who wrote a book called, "Who Got Liz Gardner". The book is about the sexual exploits of the young author. I haven't read it, but Terry loved it. Liz sat at the table with her husband who was also an author. The table had a divider down the middle. Liz met her husband at an acting workshop where actors had to break up into teams. Liz wasn't paired with anyone, and the instructor asked the class, "Who got Liz Garner? The title implies the question, "Who married Liz Gardner?"

We bumped into a lawyer who is also an author, He advised me to start putting large watermarks on my sketched to avoid people using my work online for free. I am experimenting with watermarks now but really want to avoid a rude symbol that dominates every drawing. The lawyer was saddened by some of the authors who self published books and had no distribution plans other than at small book festivals like this. Large areas of stadium seating were blocked off with black cloth drops. I took up the challenge to sketch the overall view of the cavernous space while Terry explored more authors talks. Several authors in my sketch were giving a talk to three or four people seated in the stands. The audience might have just been family.

Storm Troopers invaded the children's reading area and then patrolled the show floor along with some Jedi and Sith Lords. I take Star Wars as a movie franchise not a classic novel, but I suppose the kids didn't care. A UCF football uniform was set up as a photo opportunity where you could wedge your face above the shoulder pads to look like you were in uniform. I later discovered that authors, Bob Kealing and Jeff Kunerth were at the Book Fair and somehow I missed them.

On the Center stage a poetry slam began with a half full audience in 5 rows of folding seats. After the sketch was done, Terry and I got some free Slurpees. Terry had seen enough so we headed out. We grabbed some lunch a Logan's Steakhouse and then I went off to work.

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, June 14, 2013

pARTicipate: Side Show of the Senses

pARTicipate was an exotic fundraising gala held on April 6th, under the stars and throughout the Art and History Museum’s beautiful Maitland Art Center campus, the stage was perfectly set for this Sideshow of the Senses, an interactive event that showcased local visual artists, fabulous food, and intriguing performances. The campus came to life, with every nook filled with art and activity. Guests could explore the grounds as they enjoyed a progressive dining experience, featuring cuisine by celebrated local chef Jamie McFadden of Cuisiniers. There were fine wines and beers at tasting centers throughout the campus.

Art installation dining tables, created by the participating artists, offered guests a unique dining experience. Select artists created art during the event, as they shared their stories and insights. The silent auction of artworks, donated by popular Central Florida artists, generated some lively bidding. Talented Phantasmagoria entertainers from Empty Spaces Theatre Co(llaboration), under the direction of John DiDonna, performed throughout the evening. Phantasmagoria is a local macabre performing troupe of fire-breathers, musicians, and acrobats.

When Terry and I arrived, I immediately scouted around looking for my sketch opportunity. When I entered a secluded inner sanctum of the Maitland Campus I found this table with a nun standing beside a skeleton. I was certain she was a live model posing as a statue. I approached tentatively until I finally saw that her plastic gaze was eternal. I wandered some more to look at other decorated tables. Dawn Schreiner had set up a tree with play money as leaves. Each bill had one of her paintings on it.

I then bumped into Camilo Velasquez. I told him about my scare with the nun, and he told me that he had decorated that table. A photographer wanted to interview Camilo and that settled the matter. I followed them back to the nun. Camilo had grown up with dominant priests and nuns in New York and he always felt like an outsider. The table design had been inspired by the art of Paul delVaux, a Belgian artist who lived through the atrocities of World War II. As I worked on this sketch, Melissa Mila Marakoff, one of the Phantasmagoria performers, slipped up behind me. She whispered in my ear, "I don't mean to startle you." I just about jumped out of my skin. She startled me half to death and I shouted out with a start. Everyone had a good laugh. It was as if death had whispered to call me away before my work was done.

With the sketch complete I grabbed a few morsels to eat. I sat at Dawn Schreiner's table and after a few texts, Terry found me there. Dawn started disassembling her table display. Two small doves were in a cage hanging from a tree. I hadn't noticed them until Dawn pointed them out. They were puffed up and snuggled together. Dawn's play money paintings had a draw back in that some patrons thought they could take a painting if they replaced it with a real dollar bill. Obviously these patrons didn't know the true value of her work. The pARTicipate Event raised over $30,000 gross, $18,000 net, with proceeds benefiting art and history programming at the Museums. Bats fluttered in the darkness as Terry and I made our way back to the car.

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday June 16th, 2013
9:30am - 5:30pm  Orlando Anime Day $3 International Palms Resort & Conference Center 6515 International Dr Orl FL 32819. One day anime marketplace that brings all your anime/manga needs to you & Features over 2,000 sq ft of dealers, Video/Event room, prize giveaways, raffle drawing, cosplay, & FREE Parking.

1pm - 3pm FREE Plein Air Paint demonstration by Frank Ferrante. Cottage, located on beautiful Lake Lily park in Maitland. The demonstration is FREE and all are welcome to attend. This Plein Air influenced oil painting demonstration is for painters who want to develop a sound understanding of the fundamentals of outdoor painting. The demonstration will focus on the formal elements of painting composition, color values, structure and form. Emphasis will be placed on composition, capturing light and dark shapes, atmosphere and mood while using strong color harmony. We hope to see you at the Cottage this Saturday!

7:30pm - 9:30pm Coupled: The Game Show & Game Night. The Abbey 100 South Eola Drive, Orlando, Florida 32801. Tickets, which are $12.50 per person, can be purchased online in advance as well as at The Abbey. Created by Curtis Earth Entertainment and Great Dates Orlando, Coupled begins with a hilarious interpretation of the classic he said/she said Newlywed Game, the event will invite 6 couples to compete on stage for prizes as they demonstrate how well they REALLY know each other. Of course, Curtis will be mixing in trivia throughout so audience members can win some fabulous prizes too! Immediately following the ninety-minute show, classic board games (Sorry, Connect Four, etc.) will be set up at tables throughout this posh venue so you and your sweetie can continue the fun well into the night. In addition, we’ll be playing Twister, Musical Chairs, and Dance Freeze on the dance floor. Expect lots of prizes, drink specials and more fun than you could ever imagine having on date night.

Sunday June 17th 2013.
11am - 2pm Broadway Brunch at Hamburger Mary's! Hamburger Mary's 110 West Church Street
Orlando, FL 32801  (321) 319-0600 Show tunes, drink specials, and an amazing show with Broadway performances by The Minx, Ginger Minj, and special guests. Seating at 11:00am with show starting at 12pm 

6pm - 8pm FREE SHUT YOUR FACE! Poetry Slam by Curtis Meyer! La Casa De La Paellas 10414 E Colonial Dr Orlando FL 32817. The only current ongoing slam in Orlando officially certified by Poetry Slam Incorporated, IE. Send a team to Nationals as well as poets to The Individual World Poetry Slam & Women of The World Poetry Slam! $50 to the winner! If you’ve never seen or been in a slam before, it’s definitely worth checking out! INFO:

9pm - 11pm FREE: “Comedy Open Mic” Austin's Coffee: 929 W Fairbanks Ave Winter Park, FL 32789. Free comedy show! Come out & laugh, or give it a try yourself.

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, June 13, 2013

Earth Fest

Before work on Saturday I went to Earth Fest in Lake Concord Park (95 Triplet Lake Drive Casselberry FL). When I arrived I walked towards the sound of music. The Hindu Cowboys were performing and I immediately started a sketch. Next to me a bicyclist stopped and watched me intently. His name was Hector and he came from New York City so we had something in common. He lamented the fact that he seldom sees artists like myself sketching around town. In NYC there are herds of artists in Times Square. He also lamented that you never see musicians performing on the streets of Orlando.

The Hindu Cowboys finished up their first set playing Johnnie Cash's Folsom Prison Blues.  While they were gone I added watercolor washes to the sketch. When I was done, I wandered through the sea of tents. I was hungry and looking for a food tent. Someone offered me a health bar that tasted like a Fig Newton. One tent had an active bee hive on display. By the time I was ready to head to work, the Hindu Cowboys were on stage again playing Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. The music faded away as I made my way across the ever busy 17-92 back to my car. Maybe there is something wrong in this need to sketch everyday. A movie trailer for the next Thor movie, hafd the tag line, "What would you sacrifice for what you believe in.".

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, June 12, 2013

Second Harvest Volunteers

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is a private, nonprofit organization that collects and distributes donated food to more than 500 nonprofit partner agencies in six Central Florida counties: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia. Mindy Ortiz organizes volunteers for Second Harvest Food Bank. I arranged to go in April 18th to sketch volunteers at work. Volunteers work around two shifts one from 8:30AM-11:30AM  and then 1PM-4PM. I got up with the early birds to get my sketch. We all waited in a large break room  whose walls had a brightly painted mural  of Jack and the Bean Stalk Vegetables painted by Disney artists.

Five adolescent boys sat at one table with a young woman who I assumed must be their teacher. There were two other volunteers seated at different tables. I asked the young woman what she was going to be doing and she explained that she would be sorting food in the refrigerated room. CEO Dave Krepcho took me into that huge refrigerated room on a walking tour of the state of the art facility. Some of the food in there had started to spoil but much of it was quite edible so the spoiled food had to be separated out. I didn't have a sweatshirt or sweater that day and I got quite cold fast. When we exited, my glasses immediately fogged up. Dave had put his glasses in his pocket to keep them warm.

When it was time to get to work, the young men were shown huge pallets of cabbages that had to be put into red mesh bags 3/4 full. Those mesh bags were then put into a cardboard box on another palette. Everyone wore medical gloves. It took well over an hour to get all that produce bagged. When they finished up, I finished the sketch. Feeding the hungry takes many hands. The organization's name, Second Harvest, made perfect sense watching these boys at work. Should you decide you want to help out, be sure to contact Mindy.

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, June 11, 2013

Eating Pasta Off the Floor

Maria Grazia Affinito shared her story of her contentious relationship she had with her mom in the red venue at this year's Fringe. Her mother actually tries to sell Maria off in the supermarket. Maria's imitation of her mom's mannerisms and speech were hilarious. Once while watching a documentary about the atrocities of WWII, her mom grew silent. Maria realizes that her mom must have been raped in the war. She then recounts how the smell of cold cement could bring her right back to a horrible incident involving four boys.

The way Maria recounted and acted out every incident with her mom was heart warming and humerus.  This was a mother daughter relationship that had endured many knocks. There were times when Maria literally wanted to kill her mom and it took the soothing reassurances of a relative to keep the peace. This relationship stood up to the test of time and trials. There was plenty of laughter and some sadness and when it was all told, the audience 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

Monday, June 10, 2013

Orange Street Riders

I didn't spend as much time at the Fringe outdoor stage as I usually do, but I heard Jessica Pawli did an amazing job booking local bands. There was one opportunity that happened between shows and I was waiting for Terry to arrive. The Orange Street Riders were performing and it was a great set. They performed with an energetic harmonica player, a guitar and drums. Large cans of libations were on the stage. Listening to these guys made me realize that I should make more of an effort to sketch the local music scene. Rick Lane was in the audience bobbing his head in appreciation.

Antony Bolante the writer of this years "Onomatopoeia", met me as I was working to pick up a sketch. He thought ahead and actually had an 11 by 14 inch portfolio to slip the sketch into. I know that piece is going to an appreciative owner. Anyway two thumbs up for The Orange Street Riders. I'll be looking to catch a longer set from them sometime in the future. Time to hit the open 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

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Burnt at the Steak

Carolann Valentino Productions of NYC, presented a one-woman musical featuring 18 hilarious characters portrayed through song, dance, comedy and audience improvisation at the Orlando Fringe. She reenacted her time managing a multi million dollar steakhouse in NYC. The one thing I learned is that you can earn $200,000 a year managing the service staff at such a restaurant. Unfortunately such a job is all consuming allowing little time to go to auditions as an actress.

One guy got up from his seat in the audience mid way through the show and exited through the fire exit. I was seated on my artist stool next to the exit so I closed the door behind him to keep the harsh sunlight from cutting across the stage. I wondered if he couldn't stand the show or if he had to pee after drinking too many beers in the beer tent. The fire exit wouldn't close completely but at least it didn't set off an alarm.

As an autobiographical piece, the act seemed a bit self serving. The salary mentions came across as bragging and the imitations of the staff she managed seemed comic at the staff's expense. Carolann called several men up to sit in the restaurant chairs and she had some flirty interactive fun with them. The musical number with audience participation, highlighted all the different cuts of beef using a Sound of Music song as the foundation. Orlando is a service industry town and this show made me realize that I never want to work in a restaurant. Of course in Orlando you are lucky to make minimum wage with no benefits. The premise of the show was sound, but it seemed to run too long.

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, June 8, 2013

God is a Scottish Drag Queen

If you have ever questioned how God can do some of the things he does, then the notion that "God is a Scottish Drag Queen" makes some sense. Mike Delamont from Victoria BC Canada was God. Two Colbertesque posters of god in a floral dress pointed at the audience. The second God stepped on the stage with his rain barrel sized Gastronemius muscles bulging, the laughter never stopped. He skewered everything from Justin Bieber to the Pope. I grew a bit uncomfortable as he made fun of the Irish with a photo of an obvious slovenly drunk. I'm half Irish on my mother's side, but who cares, I laughed anyway.

God called up an audience member to teach her how to dance. She followed along with a practiced line dancers confidence. By the end of the hour, I had been laughing so hard my sides hurt. The buzz on the Fringe lawn that this was a hilarious show was right on the mark.  God was matronly yet always ready with a sharp quip. Thank God that God has such a sharp sense of humor. If he had a prime time news hour show, I most certainly would tune in.

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, June 7, 2013

The Dark Fantastic

I had seen Martin Dockery give an amazing performance at last year's Fringe Festival. He delivers his monologues with explosive expressiveness. A single spot light illuminated him seated at a small table wearing a cowboy hat at the beginning of this performance. I was itching to draw, but I couldn't see the sketch page. In time I realized the house lights would never come up , "duh, it is called the DARK Fantastic", so I blindly put lines on the page as Martin spoke about an incredibly evil character. The stark empty stage forced the audience to imagine the depths of the story.

At first, I was mesmerized by every cadence of Martin's delivery. Faint music underscored his delivery and there was a verse like cadence as he spoke. He would speak fast and then hang on a word, teasing the audience with what might come next. In time however my mind wandered. I couldn't follow the murderous meanderings of a deviant mind for long. As the story turned to terminal fear, I struggled with finding order in the darkness.

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday June 8th 2013
10am - 6pm FREE Bizarre Buying Bazaar, Ripley's Believe it or Not 8201 International Drive

7pm - 8pm $10 Boogie Shoes starring Marcy Schwalm at Breakthrough Theater 419A West Fairbanks Avenue Winter Park FL

7pm - 11pm Apartment E "Essentials Saturday" 20 Year Anniversary. Lake Ivanhoe Orlando, Florida. A day of giving back. A celebration of Orlando creativity and community.

Sunday June 9th 2013 
noon - 2pm Broadway Brunch at Hamburger Mary's 110 West Church Street, downtown. I heard this is an all Disney show. Show tunes, drink specials, and an amazing show with Broadway performances by The Minx, Ginger Minj, and special guests. Seating at 11:00am with show starting at 12pm

1pm - 3pm $5 Film Slam. Enzian Theater. Originally a project of University of Central Florida's Downtown Media Arts Center, the Enzian became the home of FilmSlam when DMAC closed in 2006. Now in its fifth year, Film Slam continues to be a popular outlet for indie and student filmmakers throughout the State of Florida.

3pm - 4pm $10 Boogie Shoes starring Marcy Schwalm. Breakthrough Theater 419A West Fairbanks Avenue Winter Park FL

If you have suggestions for the weekend top 6 Picks, contact us at or leave comments 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, June 6, 2013

The House of Yes

At Fringe, I was handed a "House of Yes" button on the green lawn at Lock Haven Park. It was red white and blue so I assumed the show might be a political comedy. The Penguin Point Productions play and its polished production values took me by surprise. It was about a brother, Marty (Justin M.G. Hughes), who returned home with his naive fiance, Lesly (Monica Joyce), from the city. I quickly became obvious that his twin sister, Jacqueline (Adele Papoosha), had suffered a nervous breakdown. She was ecstatic about his return. She fancied herself to be like Jackie Onassis. It became clear that Marty and his Mom (Marcie Schwalm), didn't get along. Mrs. Pascal's sarcasm,wit and cold high brow detachment added much needed humor to every scene. The whole family put on airs. I knew nothing about the play or the later film staring Parker Posey. I grew more uncomfortable as the play progressed.

When Jackie-O finds out her brother is engaged her mood sours and it is clear to all that she is off her medications. Late that night she convinces her brother to play a childhood game. They reenact the Kennedy Assassination and she nurses him and her gentle kisses turn to passionate love. Lesly discovers them and slips away disgusted by the incest. Meanwhile the younger brother, Anthony (Max Herskovitz), became obsessed with Lesly and he seduces her with a story of a brain tumor and his virginity. The mom discovers these two and in a comic moment just shakes her head and walks off stage as if nothing would surprise her.

The next morning Mom tries to convince Leslie to leave, blackmailing her with what she had seen the night before. Leslie has much more backbone than anyone in the family gave her credit for and she refuses to leave without Marty. She wants to save him from this strange incestuous family. To keep him home, Jackie-O flushes Marty's car keys. She convinces Marty to play the KFK Assassination game one last time saying he could leave afterwords. Crying she pulls the trigger. This time the gun was real. Jacky-O held the president's blood stained head in her lap. I left feeling unnerved and shocked.

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, June 5, 2013


Wonderheads from Portand, Oregon brought "Loon" to this years Fringe.  This life sized puppet acted out every scene in mime. A sad faced aging man stood at the beach with his mothers remains in a jar. He went to scatter the ashes and just got his hands and clothes covered in ash. He is faced with dating and when asked about his favorite person he wrote mom. There was a collective awww... from the audience.

Things look up for him when he falls in love with the moon. He pursues the moon with a child like ambition.  There is one magical moment where he has the moon cupped in his hands and his hands spread apart leaving the glowing orb floating in space between his hands. I still don't know how it was done. I haven't experienced that type of wonder and amazement since I saw a planetarium show about beings of light as a child.

Loon was the well deserved patron's pick for the green venue. It was funny, touching and heart breaking. When the actors came out for a bow after the show, I was surprised to discover that the old man was played by a young woman.

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, June 4, 2013

Magical Mystery Detour

The Fringe Show, "Magical Mystery Detour" featured Gemma Wilcox as more than 20 characters. The story followed her on a road trip that the actress took as she questioned life and love. The actress would switch characters on a dime even becoming inanimate objects like the car or a coin. As she drove down the road, the dog would be panting happily in the back seat and the car would talk about road conditions. There was a certain child like joy as Gemme became an annoying buzzing fly who spouted rude comments. Catching Gemma as she switched characters every few seconds was a challenge, but luckily she drove fairly often.

A particularly memorable scene involved her decision to get a massage. Her dog stayed behind at the car and she was lifted by a brawny masseuse.  As she floated in bliss, wondering if the masseuse was single and how many children they should have, she switched back to the dog who had just met another dog and they were sniffing butts. Switch back to Gemma as she planned a life filled with pleasure and sensitive touch. Back to her dog who was humping wildly. Gemma panted and thrush her hips with abandon. As she intellectualized and reasoned, her dog was just being a dog. It was hilarious.

There is a dancer's grace as she shifted from a soaring seagull into the woman climbing lighthouse steps. It is from this high vantage point that she surveyed her life. The troubled reason for her pilgrimage became clear and she was ready to move on. Her relationship was on the rocks and her mother had just died. The ending was poignant as she blew her troubles into a coin and threw it into the ocean. As a one woman show, this was a real tour de force, theater at it's best. I left the theater glowing.

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, June 3, 2013

Chocolate Thunder White Lightning

Some Fringe shows offer incredible drama, uncovering personal insights, while others are just plain silly. Chocolate Thunder and White Lightning fell under the second classification. It was a blaxploitation written by a white guy, Al Pergande. The play was performed in the Orange venue in the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center.

Valensky Sylvain starred as the flashy Chocolate Thunder. He wore a loud yellow feathery hat and a long pink boa. Jackie Pitts played his new partner in crime, White Lightning. She played her part with a British accent and innocent wit. The premise was that Chocolate Thunder was an old school cop whereas White Lightning was tech savvy. Eric Branch played an over the top villain always petting a stuffed penguin. I felt bad that his silly antics got no response from the audience.

The Expositionettes filled in the gaps between scenes with song. There were gaps everywhere. This production reminded me of plays I had seen at "Play in a Day" in which everything had to be thrown together in 24 hours. There were awkward moments where actors forgot their lines and everyone stood still, wondering what they should do next.

Granted the show was a hot mess, but I was still rooting for the local talent to push through and make the show work. If the show was just a touch worse, it could have classified as a campy cult classic, but, no it struggled short of that mark. There were a few loud laughs from the audience, but the long interludes of silence hinted that all too often the humor missed the mark.

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, June 2, 2013

Once Upon a Wonderland

Terry and I bumped into Tod Caviness outside the Silver Venue in the Rep Theater at Fringe. He was going to see his wife, Christin Caviness, dance in Once Upon a Wonderland by Yow Dance. She performed as Little Red Riding Hood. Yow dance had a similar Fairytale themed show last year. From talking to Christin at an open mic Speakeasy event at Will's Pub, I learned that some magic had been thrown into the mix.

A large canvas map was propped up on stage right. It resembled a large curtain map that had been used in the traveling Broadway hit "Wicked" at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center. A golden egg in a nest was fixed in the center of the kingdom. The Queen of Hearts walked down the theater isles towards the stage in drag. She sat down and messed with a few audience members before taking to the stage.

It was hard to decipher any story line that might pull the production together. The dancing was graceful and  it was interesting to see someone sawed in half, but there didn't seem to be any underlying motivation behind anything that happened. Micro phoned singers sang Wickedesque show tunes with thin watery lyrics. I had hoped this production would build on last year's "Classically Demented" show but none of the elements seemed to fit together. There was plenty of flash but little heart.

Later speaking with Christin, I made a blunder by thinking  she had performed as Snow White, when she had performed as Little Red Riding Hood. It was sad proof that my attention had wandered.

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, June 1, 2013

Girls at Gay Days Kick-Off Party "One Hot Mess"

Drip, ( 8747 International Dr. Suite 102, Behind Denny's and Senor Frogs, Orlando, Florida), has been hosting parties and performances for Gay Days all this week.  I was slated to do a painting live of two Drip dancers in an erotic embrace, so I went to the women's kickoff party, "One Hot Mess." I arrived at around 10pm and the 8:30pm performance had just wrapped up. After a performance there is a monstrous amount of clean up work that needs to be done. Wet sand has to be shoveled aside and all the water has to be removed.

I settled in a chair near the Drip T-shirt paint station where red, blue and yellow paint is available. As I started this sketch of a body painter at work, I got pelted with blue and then red paint. Women were slinging the paint at each others shirts, and I was in the line of fire. The blue and red splotches can still be clearly seen on my sketch. One woman apologized and I said it was fine. You know going in to a party called "One Hot Mess" that things could get messy.

The woman whose body was being painted didn't have a top on, yet the Drip logo across her chest hid any signs of nipples. She checked her cell phone often as swirls and wings were being painted on her back. Jessica Mariko's voice announced that the dance floor was now open.  Two drip dancers worked their magic in the center of the room while the DJ cranked up the eardrum splitting beats. Jessie Sander did a solo rain dance performance standing in a kiddie pool under a Drip paint can chandelier. The crowd of 50 to 75 women were loving it.

Later three Drip dancers performed a new number I had never seen before. They each had a sack filled with white powder that covered their bodies and filled the air in rich thick clouds. After that, Jessica wanted me to do my live painting In the main dance area. Lights pulsed green blue and yellow. Painting under those conditions would be a challenge. Regardless I set up my portable easel and the dancers, Meagan Nagy and Paige Metelka, posed in front of a back lit screen. The canvas was more textured than expected and the paintbrush would run dry too fast. Regardless, I just tried to cover the canvas as fast as I could. Surprisingly this was the one time when I felt that acrylic paint was taking to long to dry. Whenever possible I shouted to the intertwined dancers to take a break. I was sweating up a storm and they had to work hard to keep the pose. When I stepped back, the canvas was a hot mess but I learned a lot doing it. A woman asked if it was for sale and I sold it on the spot. In my rush to clean up, I forgot to sign the painting. Painting on a crowded dance floor pushed me out of my comfort zone but sometimes, that is a good thing.

Two shows for the Ladies remain...

8:30PM-10:30PM $35 DRIP Shows- for the ladies (all female cast). Drip 8747 International Dr. Suite 102 (Behind Denny's and Senor Frogs), Orlando, Florida

11:30PM-1:30AM $35 DRIP Shows- for the ladies (all female cast). Drip 8747 International Dr. Suite 102 (Behind Denny's and Senor Frogs), Orlando, Florida

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