Wednesday, July 31, 2013

DRIP Fairy Body Paint Jam

Mark your calendar, on August 1st there will be a Fairy Body Painting Jam after the Drip show. Drip is located at (8747 International Dr. Suite 102, Orlando, Florida, Behind Denny's). Come see the show and stay for the body painting or just come for the after party body painting jam. Small Body or Face Painting will be available for guests. Admission for after party is $5. Tickets for the show available at

Celebrate Mandi's Birthday in style with a paint slinging dance show, some colored beer and body paint!! 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. Painters start time is 7pm, All other guests should arrive at around 10 pm.

Painters include:
Mandi Ilene 
Lori Babson Jessup 
Tanisha Morgan 
Tracy Purple 
Cody Saults

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

Plein Air Paint demonstration Frank Ferrante

On Saturday June 15th there was a free Plein Air Paint demonstration by Frank Ferrante at the Cottage, located on beautiful Lake Lily Park in Maitland. I walked all the way around the lake, figuring a plein air painting demonstration would be outside. "En Plein Air" after all is a French phrase meaning "in the open air". I finally discovered a small sign that pointed to the cottage. Perhaps ten to fifteen artists had gathered to watch Frank work.

Frank is originally from New Jersey and three other artists were from the Garden State as well, myself included. He now lives in Port Orange, Florida. Frank studied painting with John Osborne at the Ridgewood Art Institute. He painted every Sunday with John Osborne outside for many years. The methods he learned were handed down through several generations of artists having begun with American Impressionist Frank Vincent Dumond who taught at the Art Student's League in NYC. Dumond died in 1961, the year I was born.In 1966 Frank Ferrante was stationed at Paris Island and he joined the Beaufort Painting Association.

The demonstration focused on the formal elements of painting composition, color values, structure and form. Emphasis was placed on composition, capturing light and dark shapes, atmosphere and mood while using strong color harmony. Frank utilizes what he calls the prismatic palette which mimics the prismatic effects seen outside. The ROYGBIV colors of the rainbow were arranged across the top of the palette. Anything upright in a landscape would catch the sunlight to become orange. The sky is like a big blue lamp and water reflects the blue of the sky. Frank began with a very rough valve study in which he scumbled blue grey paints onto the canvas to find the darks of the scene. He was painting a path that lead back into a palm tree filled grove.

He then put up a canvas of the same scene that was much more developed. He talked about folding darks into lights and lights into darks. His brush strokes were X's and he worked moist oils into moist. His brush gets plenty of abuse and it's flat shape becomes warn into a point by the time he is done with it. Studies that he does on location are usually smaller and only one in thirty ever becomes a studio painting. He stressed that the darks in a painting are very important.  I discovered that I didn't have my brushes in my bag to finish my sketch! I started putting in some darks using graphite. Then I took everything out of my bag and discovered one abandoned brush in the bottom of the bag. My sketch was saved. The demonstration was much shorter than I expected. After the demonstration, I joked with Frank that his demonstration was like one of those cooking shows in which the finished cake was already baked and under the counter. We both laughed.

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, July 30, 2013

Marriage Equality Rally

On June 27th, members of the LGBT community and supporters came together for the Marriage Equality Rally in Orlando Florida. The "Paint It Red Orlando" event pulled in thousands of supporters, for speeches from community and political figures. There was for food, drinks, music which made for a fun filled night at the band shell at Lake Eola, in Downtown Orlando.

Volunteers helped create the red paper bag luminaries and distribute them around the lake. Each bag had an electric candle and a tag that listed a gay couple that had been married. The wind kept knocking over bags so small sticks were added inside the bags to add weight. It was an impressive sight to see the bags surrounding the whole lake. They symbolically "Painted the Town Red". It was a visually stunning moment to celebrate Marriage Equality, the work that has taken place to get to the Supreme Court, and to reflect on all of the struggles thus far, as well as the work yet to be done.

 Speakers included representatives from Federal, State, and Local Government, local clergy, activists, entertainers, a celebrity or two, and community members! Blue Starr was the Master of Ceremonies. This was a pep rally and celebration of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that gave federal benefits to legally married gays.While praising the decision, celebrants also expressed hope that same-sex marriage will one day be legal in Florida.

There were food trucks, a beer garden and a full bar. Signs on barricades listed "Rules of Conduct." I didn't quite understand the need for barricades but I suppose officials felt the need to limit beer consumption to the designated area around the band shell, much like the Fringe green lawn of fabulousness. Several buildings downtown and around the lake had red spotlights. The town was literally illuminated red. I had on my bright red shirt just by luck. I'm seldom one for preplanning when it comes to fashion. The huge crowd was fun and festive, partying late into the night. I walked around the lake reading all the names on the bags that celebrated love and life.

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, July 29, 2013

Paul Joachim chocolate sculpt

On April 15th I went to Bar Harbor (2000 Premier Row, Orlando FL), to sketch Paul Joachim as he worked on a life sized chocolate sculpture. Bar Harbor turned out to be a seafood restaurant and I found the sculptor hard at work after I made my way through a maze of hallways and plastic covered entries. Paul's assistant was Jennifer Mendez. She was spray painting food ties onto the sculpt. A paper sign taped to an electrical cord said, "No Pictures Please! Secret Project." It didn't say "No Sketching" so I was good to go.

This top secret project was being done for two giants in the confections industry, Zane Beg, was carrying Norman R. Davis on his back. Zane was just named one of the top 10 cake decorators in the country. It was Norms birthday and it was the Mother of Cake’s 1st Anniversary. Zane and Norm have been working together for over 16 years. Norm is small, around 5'2 and Zane is well over 6 feet. The owner of Mother of Cake's and Paul, the sculptor, thought it would be a lot of fun to have a life-size cake of Norm on Zane’s back piggy backing, all just for fun and to celebrate their friendship and cake business partnership.

On top of all that, the sculpture was filmed for A&E's Shipping Wars TV show. Paul confided as I was leaving that he was concerned about transporting the sculpt in an unrefrigerated truck. I know from one photo, of the cake decorators viewing the sculpt, that it did arrive in one piece.The episode is called "Punch Drunk Love" and it just recently aired allowing me to finally share this sketch. I was going to see an premiere screening of the show at a Universal Studios Hotel but changed my mind when I discovered I would have to pay $8 to self park. I had already done my sketch for the day, so I left. If anyone has seen the Shipping Wars episode, let me know what happened!

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, July 28, 2013

ReThinking the City: Main Streets and Town Halls

ReThinking the City is a monthly symposium on new ideas and updates in urban ism held at Urban ReThink ( 625 E. Central Ave, Orlando, Florida). The June 25th meeting featured a remote presentation by Hesse McGraw, curator of the innovative Carver Bank Town Hall Project in Omaha Nebraska, which seeks to create a space for public participation and creativity. Also presenting was Pauline Eaton, curator of Orlando's Main Street USA program, on how the program is developing and helping local communities. Eliza Harris tried to get the Skype hook up working but there were several tech issues that kept us from connecting to Omaha.

Pauline Eaton stepped in and told us about the Main street USA program while folks struggled with the computer. Founded in 1980, there are now 2000 Main Street programs nation wide.  There are about 5 different neighborhoods that are a part of the Main Street USA Program, like, Ivanhoe Village, Mills 50 District etc. The Milk District is spearheading its own neighborhood initiatives, learning from the developments in other neighborhoods. The point of the program is to improve the urban feel of the neighborhoods. It can be as simple as adding a bike rack to painting utility boxes pretty colors. The "BAT Team" is the mayor's better assistance team. The dream of pie in the sky ideal initiatives and then settle for what can be done with the present politics. Pauline joked that the "R&D" department, (Rip off and Duplicate) will take ideas that work in other cities and hope to duplicate them in Orlando. Orlando is a urban area designed for keeping automobiles moving quickly. The primary concerns are usually automotive sight lines. There was some lamenting that sometimes the only way to make improvements is to wait for incumbent politicians to die or leave office. Scottie Campbell who works for Ivanhoe Village was surprised to find that there are Main Street groupies who admire the work that is done. He felt like a rock star for the night.

The computer link to Omaha started working and Hesse McGraw showed us a slide show of the renovation to the first African American Bank in Omaha. Volunteer labor was leveraged to bring the building back as an active creative community hub. Old high school gym flooring was used to cover all the floorboards.. Slate from chalk boards was also used throughout the 100,000 square foot space. The building now offers residencies for artists. There are 15,000 applicants a year for 35 spots. The residency challenges artists to think of how their work effects and engages the community. Lamont Hamilton took 75 photo portraits of living artists he considers iconic. There is a sandwich shop inside and a mix of gallery and office space. I couldn't help but think of how similar the place sounds to the Urban ReThink ideal. Eliza spoke to me about her hope that someday local artist's work would welcome people arriving to Orlando in the airport. It would be awesome to get work in front of so many new fresh eyes. Now the work starts researching how to make that vision a reality.

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, July 27, 2013

Blue Moon Artfully Crafted Box Party

The Blue Moon Artfully Crafted Box Party was held at The Hammered Lamb (1235 N. Orange Avenue Orlando, Florida in Ivanhoe Village) on June 26th. Orlando Weekly and Blue Moon Brewing selected 3 local artists to turn once nondescript street boxes into awesome works of art! I put on a Blue Moon T-shirt and went to sketch.

Austin James Art, Wolfrich and Kittens Of Industry were competing and painting LIVE at the Grand Finale Party. I cased the event trying to decide which artist to sketch working. Austin James' box was outside on the patio and it was essentially done already. I never actually saw him at work. Kittens of Industry was also outside. She didn't know where the finished boxes would end up.

Wolfrich was the only artist working inside with the crisp cool air conditioning running. The AC swung my vote. I was sketching inside. Wolfrich had all the large areas of color blocked in and the night of the event he used Krink markers to add black outlines to eyes and brows. He had a tiny blue garbage can which I thought was for tips, but now I think it was votes. Austin James Art won the voting when all the ballots were counted at the end of the evening along with votes from a panel . In case there is a recount due to hanging chads or unclear votes, I hope judges will count my sketch as a vote for Wolfrich. He worked his ass off that night. There was free Blue Moon beer, free Hors d'oeuvre and crazy Happy Hour specials. Anytime a train passed by, everyone would get a free shot. The Hammered Lam gets my vote for a great place for Happy Hour.

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, July 26, 2013

AADW Weekend Top 6 Picks

AADW Weekend Top 6 Picks
 Saturday July 27, 2013
10am to 3pm Free National Dance Day Orlando. Main Hall of Orlando Ballet Dance Exhibition Parking: Lake Highland Prep's student parking lot on Alden Rd. by the softball field. Free dance classes will be held in the Main Hall of Orlando Ballet on July 27. Instructors and performers of professional Orlando-based dance companies will share different styles of dance with the attending dance community throughout the morning and afternoon.
Free Community Dance Classes
10am-11am: Barre and Stretch with Charlotte Stewart
11am-Noon: Contact Improvisation with Rokaya Mikhailenko
Noon- 1pm: Contemporary with Mary Love Ward
1pm-2pm: African Jazz with Samuel Andrade
2pm-3pm: Hip Hop with Clarissa Crox Turner

7pm to 10pm National Dance Day Orlando Exhibition (pay-what-you-wish / $10 suggested donation). Dance Exhibition Parking: Lake Highland Prep's student parking lot on Alden Rd. by the softball field.
Performing Companies:
Canvas Creative Movement Coalition
Coby Project
Emotions Dance Company
Mary Love Dance Projects
ME Dance
Orlando Ballet
Orlando Chapter of USA Dance
Studio K
Valencia Dance Theatre
Voci Dance

3pm to 5pm $10 Sing Along with The Muppet Movie. Heather Henson's IBEX Puppetry presents Sing Along with The Muppet Movie! Children and adults alike are urged to yell out famous lines, blow bubbles, play with along with a goodie bag full of props, dance in the aisles, and of course sing along with this classic movie from Heather's father, Jim Henson. Two shows available on Saturday, June 27th only!
3:00pm Hosted by David Schweizer & Sunny Raskin.
7:00pm Hosted by Heather Henson.

Sunday July 28th, 2013
10am to Noonish Super Joy Riders. Eastern entrance of the Lake Eola Farmers’ Market. Participants dress as superheroes and ride en masse around the city as they check off their scavenger hunt-like list of Do Gooder Duties; collecting litter, helping senior citizens cross the road, returning shopping carts, basically performing small acts of kindness for an hour and a half of hilarity and love.
The Super Joy Riders: Do Gooder Bike Ride is an exercise in community organizing and active engagement. We hope to use the ride as an opportunity to show how helping people can be simple, fun, and easy, especially while wearing a cape.
You + Superhero Costume + Bike = Best Sunday Ever.
We are inviting Orlando to come with us on a fun filled bike ride of awesomeness on the last Sunday of the month. Dress like a superhero, hop on a bike, and follow our scavenger hunt list of Good Deeds as we all try to save the world with small acts of kindness.

Noon to 3pm Donation. Music at the Casa. Casa Feliz, (656 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789). Classical Guitarist Christopher Belt.

9pm to 10pm Solo Acoustic Spoken Word. Natura Coffee (12078 Collegiate Way Orlando FL). 407 482-5000

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

Sanford Art Walk

On every fourth Friday between 6pm and 9pm, there is an Art Walk in Downtown Sanford that features fine and funky art. I went to the June Sanford Art Walk with storm clouds looming. As I walked down 1st Street it began to pour, so I slipped inside the Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Galley (211 East 1st Street, Sanford FL). As I was looking around, the woman behind the counter asked if I was Thor. It was Mary K. Shaw. I had sketched her once as part of the Sketchbook Project Library which was set up for a few days at Urban ReThink. I had never met her in person, yet she was a Facebook friend. Since she knew of my sketch a day project, I felt comfortable asking her if I could sketch the gallery to promote the Sanford Art Walk. It was hard to find a spot where I wouldn't be blocking any art. I snuggled up next to a water pipe and got to work.

There are artist's studios all around the outer edge of the gallery. I particularly liked the work of Cherie Dacko. Her " Bent Realism" distorted faces as if using the liquefy filter in Photoshop. Features melted and swirled. She also incorporated fabric that gave the work an added dimension. I got to meet the artist and she used to work in the front studio that had a window to the street. Passers by would actually stop in to complain saying they found her work disturbing. That is a major accomplishment to get such a visceral reaction.  She now has a studio upstairs where she can work in peace. I purchased a bottle of "Cheer Wine" which is actually a local soda that I have never been able to find in a supermarket. I met Joe Waller, who makes "Cheer Wine" in his home state of North Carolina But I never had the chance to taste it. Now I knew what all the fuss was about.

For the Art Walk, two Folk Artists were exhibiting their colorful work in the far corner of my sketch. That evening there was also going to be shuffleboard matches at the Sanford Senior Center with vintage attire encouraged. The shuffleboard is rain or shine, thanks to covered pavilions, so anyone can come out and rattle the sticks and pucks tonight. Free and fun til 9pm. A small French Bulldog named Frankie was the welcome ambassador to the Folk Art. He slobbered on my bag and checked on my progress fairly often. A Day of the Dead mask of Lady Catrina was made by an artist who wears it in October and walks 1st Avenue to promote the gallery. This is the place to be come Halloween. There were $20 magnets by Artist Carl Knickerbocker. I had one of these on my car once but it was stolen. Tin can fish swam through the cavernous gallery and black face iron sculptures stood behind an ancient travel chest.

The theme for the month at the Sanford Welcome Center was,“Art Show About Nothing”, abstractions abounded, they didn’t care what it was, as long as it was NOT SOMETHING. It's a different theme each month. A small card on the counter had a map that showed all nine stops on the Art Walk. Having experienced just one venue, I have every reason to go back. Tonight's Art Walk (Friday July 26, 2013), theme is “Breakable”- a tribute to all things breakable, broken or pieced back together. This is Central Florida’s only monthly juried art show with both a “Best in Show” award chosen by a panel of judges and a “People’s Choice” award chosen by the attendees of the show. Head to downtown Sanford, pick up a map at any gallery, and mingle with the artists as you enjoy live music, food and lots of ART. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

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, July 25, 2013


Beth Marshall Presents held auditions for the 2013-2014 season at the Garden Theater in Winter Garden on Saturday June 22nd. Productions she was holding audition for included...
The 2013 Play-in-a-Day 2013 Season kickoff in partnership with Lake Howell High School and Penguin Point Productions September 7th.
Alice Lost in Wonderland (a world premiere) written by Rob Winn Anderson and Beth Marshall, October 18-November 3 at the Garden Theater.
Beatnik, a multi-media art evening of poetry music and dance in collaboration with VarieTEASE. December 3rd at the Venue.
33 Variations by Moises Kaufman, directed by Aradhana Tiwari, March 13-30 at the Garden Theater.
Touring shows include,
Commencement written by Clay McCleod Chapman, directed by Brenna Nicely, Starring Beth Marshall at Fringe, or  The Venue.
The Books, written by Michael Edison Haydon, directed by Beth Marshall for Fringe or The Venue.

Actors gathered in the lobby of the theater and they entered the theater in groups of four or five. Actors read monologues and occasionally sang. I sketched actress Becky Lane since I knew her from some incredible performances in the past. Some actors read beat poetry but it just didn't have the swaggering flow of 50's beat angst.

That changed when writer, Tod Caviness and his new bride, dancer, Christin Caviness took to the stage. He recited a poem completely off book with the furious confidence of a generation reaching for a new understanding of what it is to live. Christin danced with sweaty abandon rising and receding with the tide of the poem. Garments were tossed aside as needless encumbrances to the need to move. I was swept along enthralled. I stood and applauded. This could be the corner stone for an amazing evening of Beat madness. What an incredible collaboration, a true marriage of two art forms.

A thunderstorm sent loud rain hammering down on the theater's metal roof. Beth considered it good since it would force actors to project. As one actor was on stage giving a monologue, the lights of the theater went black. The huge empty theater went silent. In the darkness he muttered, "Well I guess that's a sign that I didn't get the part."

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, July 24, 2013

Deja vu

ME Dance Inc. presented their Season Finale, Deja vu at the Winter Garden Theater. This was the second to last stop on the Orlando SketchCrawl. Two other artists joined me to document the performance, Dana Boyd and Gabe Caroll-Dolci. I saw Marshall Ellis the dance company's founder, and shook his hand before the show. He has built up this dance company from scratch over the last several years.

The first half of the show had dance routines with titles like, Love, The Passion, The Knowledge, Stand by Me and Lust.  The Passion performed by dancer Shannon MacLaren stood out in my mind. The dance began with Shannon seated on a stool, she arched her back and pointed her toes then spun into motion. Her dance began to remind me of Jessica Rabbit a cartoon that couldn't help but be sultry. By the intermission, my sketch was done and I put the sketchbook away for the second half of the show.

Dance numbers combined video, and spoken word. The announcer sounded a bit too much like the announcer for the Disney Monorail and some people chuckled. One number had dancer, Alexandra Schudde, addressing the audience as if they were World War II soldiers. The spoken sentiment missed the mark, but the dance rang true. All of the dances were undeniably well choreographed  and executed. Journey had the dancers performing to Faithfully, and Don't Stop Belevin'. Wearing loose 70's era clothes the dancers rejoiced in the retro flavored routine. They threw everything they had into the dance, pushing the envelope of exhaustion.

The audience, that seemed full of young dancers, stood for a standing ovation. I stood and clapped loudly. As the audience exited the theater, someone tripped and fell back into an ME Dance promotional screen sending it toppling. Marshall rushed in to make sure the supports didn't hit anyone. There is never a dull moment with live theater and dance.

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, July 23, 2013

Garden Theater

The second to last stop on the Orlando World Wide SketchCrawl was the Winter Garden Theater where ME Dance Inc. was performing Deja Vu. I got a ticket for Terry and I did this quick sketch of the theater while I waited for her. I wish I had known about the Citizen Kane screening. I would have liked to see that on the large screen.Dana Boyd was at the first stop on the crawl and he stopped by the theater for the final legs.

Built in 1935 the movie theater was the first in Central Florida to show "talkies". It was a gathering place for locals to see newsreels and films of the day. The theater underwent several renovations until it closed in 1963. lt then became a farm supply and tractor warehouse for Pounds Motor Company. The City of Winter Garden and the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation restored the theater and reopened it in 2008. Now the theater showcases dance, theater productions and concerts along with classic films.

Terry was running late, so I worked on this sketch right up until show time. A family with two young and curious boys stopped to watch me work. When I started packing up, one of the boys asked to look through the sketchbook, I said, "Sure" and handed it over. He flipped through the pages with his parents looking over his shoulder. He came to a sketch of a burlesque dancer wearing close to nothing. Doh! I had forgotten about that sketch. Luckily his parents weren't phased.  The dad has worked for Disney Theme Park Entertainment Division perhaps the kids were used to women in tights. The theater was packed but Dana and I found seats in the second row house right. At 8pm the house lights began to fade...

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, July 22, 2013

Wednesday Night Pitcher Show: ANACONDA

On Wednesday June 19th I went to the free weekly Wednesday Night Pitcher Show on the lawn Enzian Theater (1300 South Orlando Avenue, Maitland, Florida). The inflatable screen was on the grass lawn next to the Eden Bar. One of the cooks had his car parked in the wrong place and he had to move it before the movie started, or he wouldn't be able to get out. The DVD was inserted into a laptop and a small projector transferred the computer image to the screen. Once the play button was pushed, the two projectionists sat in lawn chairs.

Before the screening of Anaconda, there was Jell-o shot movie trivia. A correct answer would get you and you a shot. The Eden Bar had a special evening happy hour from 7PM -11PM.  I was leaning against a tree next to the U-Haul truck that must be used to transport the screen. Behind me was the haunted swamp. Mosquitoes buzzing in my ears added a new dimension to the film. 0ne of the projectionists had bug spray and I almost begged him for some.

Jennifer Lopez played the part of a documentary National Geographic filmmaker seeking a lost tribe in the Amazon. Ice Cube played her cameraman and Jon Voight, who they save from a sunken ship leads them to the hiding place of the fearsome Anaconda, a gigantic snake that swallows a man whole, vomits him up, and eats him again. The snake is worth a fortune if captured, but will they survive? I didn't stay to find out. The mosquitoes were making me crazy.

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, July 21, 2013

Fighting Hunger, Feeding Hope

The mission at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, is to fight hunger in the Central Florida community and change lives. One of the innovative ways of doing this is through the Darden Foundation Community Kitchen,  a 2,000-square-foot commercial kitchen space designed as an integral part of Second Harvest’s holistic approach to fighting hunger and poverty. In this dynamic space, the food bank offers:
  • A 12-week culinary program focused on food service-based technical, life and employ ability skills training for adults,
  • In-house full-service catering with affordable event space available for your next event, meeting or seminar,
  • Disaster relief food partnerships with the state and community organizations.
But, that’s not all. To engage the community throughout the year, Second Harvest offer Chef’s Table Dinners, nutrition classes, and cooking lessons. Also, working closely with local growers and farmers, the Community Kitchen staff regularly gathers and transforms surplus produce. The donated product is cooked, flash frozen, and ready to nourish those in need.

Dawn Viola, Executive Chef and Kitchen Director, was kind enough to let me sketch the kitchen. I arrived in the afternoon and the staff was busy cleaning up. I had a hard time deciding where to sketch without getting in the way. Chef Carmen Ramiz began working with two interns, Judy Alexis and Jerusha Philippe. They began preparing the ingredients for what I believe would become biscuits. There was some eggs, an orange and plenty of butter and flour. Every ingredient had to be accurately measured. Chef Carmen checked and double checked the progress. She was patient and precise, a good teacher. My sketch was done before the mix went in the state of the art ovens.

The Second Harvest Culinary Training Program provides qualified, at-risk and economically disadvantaged adults with the culinary and life skills training needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry. The culinary students offer a well-rounded set of skills to any food industry establishment. After completing the 12-week culinary program, students are prepared for an entry-level culinary position, with the necessary life skills to survive in this fast-paced industry.

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, July 20, 2013


Empty Spaces Theater Company's director John DiDonna has collaborated with fight choreographer Bill Warriner to bring an experimental show to the stage where "fighting is the story." Any writer knows that a good story must have a conflict. In this show, the dozen or so actors and dancers are waged in an eternal battle. Some of the fights are staged as a lone violin player is projected on the screen at the back of the stage, thus the title, "Violin(ce)".

The first scenes revolved around silent film era comic violence.  Then actors recounted school yard brawls. The violence grew personal as a loving couple had their first arguments that progressed to slammed doors and ultimately domestic violence. The line between the erotic and violent was blurred. Actors came at each other with knives, sabers maces and sticks. Blades missed by inches in the type of fights you might have seen in a swashbuckler starring Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone.

McClaine Timmerman performed an incredibly limber and tortured routine, stretching her limbs beyond what should be humanly possible. Dion Smith moved  with a ballerina's grace around the stage like a hungry lioness as she spared with DiDonna. Of course Cory Violence was in the show. His amazing performance in "The Key of E" and his last name alone guaranteed him a role. In one incredible fight, the entire cast was on stage fighting with weapons. Blades flashes inches from fresh. It is amazing no one was injured. Truth be told, many actors were bruised and battered. Though safely was the rule, adrenalin kicked in. The bruises, abrasions and emotional scars are real.

Each scene in this show is a self contained vignette with each scene building on the last as a sort of history of violence. The action is constant and progressively more intense. The show runs through July 22nd at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 East Rollins Street Orlando FL).
The Saturday, Sunday and Monday shows are at 7:30pm.
Additional Sat/Sun twilight shows are at 4:30pm. T
ickets are $20. For reservations please call 407.328.9005 – cash only at door. For credit card pre-orders please use

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, July 19, 2013

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Weekend Top Six Picks.
Saturday July20, 2013
10am to 12pm Free to watch: Splash and Dash, Baldwin Park, New Broad Street and Jake Street. Runners face splash zones, water gun snipers, balloon attacks, slip and slides and more.

11am to 5pm Free: Fairy Festival. Avalon 1211 Hillcrest Street Orlando FL. Craft vendors best dressed Fairy prizes. 

4:30pm and 7:30pm Shows Saturday and Sunday. $20 "Violin(ce)". Mandell Theater, The John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center. Located in Loch Haven Park across from the Museum of Art. A Violent Fusion of Combat/Dance/Movement/Spoken Word/Aerial.

Sunday July 21, 2013
11am to 1pm Show for a burger: Broadway Brunch at Hamburger Mary's.  110 West Church Street Orlando, FL 32801 Ph (321) 319-0600.

5pm to 7pm Free: Orlando Bike Polo. Langford Park 1808 East Central Blvd.

9pm to 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

"The Gun'shine State"

Over 1200 peaceful protesters marched from Lake Eola to the Orange County Courthouse on Wednesday July 17th to honor Trayvon Martin the 17 year old who went to the store to get some skittles and was shot to death by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford. George Zimmerman had been found not guilty around 10pm this past Saturday by an all female jury in the shooting. Shock and outrage swept the nation.  Protests turned violent in Los Angeles and Oakland, California and across the nation this week. There were no reported problems at the Orlando march. Helicopters  grew louder as the protest approached the courthouse. It had been raining hard as I walked towards the courthouse but the storm clouds passed allowing me to sketch when I arrived.

As protesters filled the plaza in front of the courthouse, they chanted, "What do we want?" and everyone replied "Justice". "When do we want it?!" "NOW!!" Protesters carried signs saying, "No Justice, No Peace" and "We are Trayvon." Some protesters wore hoodies which is what Trayvon wore when he was profiled by Zimmerman as someone up to no good.

Natalie Jackson, an attorney for Trayvon's parents urged protesters to "vote and raise your voices against Florida's 'stand your ground' law". This law makes it possible for a vigilante to be innocent if they at anytime feel threatened. Travon tried to run, but Zimmerman followed. At some point the teen had to defend himself, but he had no weapon, Zimmerman did. The law needs to change.  Florida is once more a joke because of its warped and backwards justice system. Olumide Ajileye shouted out, from the courthouse steps, "Everyone needs to get involved, this does not end today!"

Someone told me that Zimmerman might even make money on this travesty by suing an NBC show that edited down the 911 call he made on the night of the shooting. The edited audio made it seem obvious that Zimmerman was profiling the black teenager. Zimmerman could become a multi millionaire in a civil case against the media. Reader, Abbe Wise Arenson , suggested a new state motto, which she picked up from a pundit, "gun'shine state" - we need reform!

Police officers kept walking over to see what I was up to. The first officer liked the sketch and each officer in turn came over to look as word spread.  I was just glad they didn't tell me to get out of the bushes where I was sitting. When the hour long rally ended, protesters quietly drifted away. When I was two blocks away, I realized I forgot my umbrella  back where I had been sketching, When I returned it was still there. I had to get to a final dress rehearsal for "Violin(ce)" at the Shakespeare Theater.

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, July 18, 2013

Patterns in Life

Mark your calendar, the Mennello Museum of American Art (900 East Princeton Street, Orlando, Fl) is  bringing back a series of one-time classes for adults (and mature high school students). The classes are taught by UCF art students and include coffee in the morning sessions and a glass of wine in the evenings.
Wednesday, July 24 (6-7:30 p.m.)
Thursday, July 25 (9-10:30 a.m.)

Class Description:

Patterns in Life

Explore intriguing designs created by the Florida Seminoles. Their native patterns are often inspired by plant motifs and other aspects of the natural world. Try your hand at designing symbols of your world.

Cost: $20 per session, $15 for MMAA members
Reservations: 407-246-4278

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

3D Blitz

At the Full Sail 3D Foundations course, Computer Animation and Game Art students get a crash course in the entire animation pipeline. Over four weeks, they learn how to do pre-production, model, rig, animate, light, and render a 3D scene. It's a lot to do in a month, especially for students new to the Maya software. Some former students came up with the idea of doing a scene in just 24 hours to see just how far they had come.

That was the challenge of last month's first-ever 3D Blitz event. Computer Animation and Game Art students spent 24 hours creating a 3D character and bringing it to life in a six second animated 3D scene. Organized by Rigging Basics Lab Specialist Jennifer Conley, the event was created to get 3D Arts students working together and sharpening their skills. "We all know as we move through the program that our skills get better, but very rarely do we take the time to really see how far we've come," says Jennifer. "3D Blitz essentially takes the 3D Foundations class and turns it into a 24-hour sprint." Steve Gold was assisting Jennifer and he gave me a run down on the event.

Minutes before the Blitz began, students were given an overall theme of prehistoric. They each then were randomly given a genre that they had to incorporate into their scene, anything from romance to action to mystery. I went in to sketch and see how many students were up to the challenge. The Auditorium was buzzing with activity. Storyboards were complete and many students were modeling characters and one student was already rigging a character to move. Alec Small, who had just taken my 2D Animation, the course, showed me his story boards. He had a caveman lifting a huge Terra dactyl egg. A baby Terra dactyl looks at him quizzically and he puts the egg down, feeling guilty. The egg then hatches. Matthew was modeling a human character basing it on Andrew Loomis, ideal proportions. He said he would add Cro-Magnon features after the ideal character was modeled.

The next 24 hours were a marathon of sketching, modeling, and animating. About half the students made it to the finish line. When the Blitz ended on Sunday afternoon, students had a pizza party and watched the 12 video projects that were submitted on the projection screen in the Entertainment Business Auditorium.

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, July 17, 2013

Sculpting a Classical Portrait

On Saturday July 13th, Exhibiting sculptor Peter Forster presented a six-hour art demo at the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens (633 Osceola Ave. Winter Park FL). The five dollar special demonstration was titled: "Sculpting a Classical Portrait". I arrived right at 10am and Peter was packing white clay onto the armature. He is one of the exhibiting artists in the "Start to Finish" Florida Sculptor's Guild exhibit at the museum through July 21st..

I had made this the first stop on the Orlando World Wide SketchCrawl. There was a second floor balcony looking down on the sculptor and I decided that this "God's eye view" would work best for a sketch. Perhaps ten to fifteen people sat around the room watching Peter work. Pete's daughter pointed out that there were pencils and paper should anyone want to take notes or sketch.

When Peter opened the floor for questions, I shouted out, "Is it possible to finish a bust in six hours?" Peter replied that if the muses were willing it would be possible. If he started thinking about needing to impress someone then the process would get bogged down. He has a friend who is a conductor, and anytime the orchestra goes off tempo, the conductor would raise his hand to his heart. This would bring everything back on tempo.

To start Peter was concerned with the large masses, not details. He stuck a wire through the mass of clay to find the placement of the ears. On a pad nearby he showed us how measurements from that central ear placement helped define the profile of the sculpture. The model was a sculptor himself named Byron Walker. Peter likes when the model's turn their head. This creates interesting shapes in the neck do to the twisting of muscle and fat. He focused on a "keystone ridge" above and between the eyes. With that defined a likeness was already imminent. One person asked why he didn't have the hair in place yet. He responded that the hair was only the icing on the cake. The journey is what matters not the final destination. He likened a sculpture to a sketch and said he had to wait for that, "Ah ha!" moment when the model's true natural gesture shined through. I've felt this moment sketching people on location so I knew what he was relating.

Since there were other stops on the SketchCrawl, I had to leave before the sculpture was done.  When I got downtown however, I realized that I had left my artist stool in the sculptor's studio. I had to go back. I was shocked at the progress when I returned.

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, July 16, 2013

Stuck in Love

A marketing firm asked me to give away tickets to a movie screening. I could give away as many tickets as I wanted, but seating at the theater would be on a first come first served basis. I decided to go to the screening of "Stuck in Love" to see how full the theater was. Terry was going to meet me after work, so I quickly sketched the theater, Regal Winter Park Cinemas 20,(510 N Orlando Ave Winter Park, FL) before she arrived. I saw a line form outside the theater but they filed in before the schedules screening time. Small groups of people were let into the theater at a time. The guy at the front of the line told me it was to avoid chaos and a mad rush to seating.

The writer and director of the film, Josh Boone was there along with actor Logan Lerman to quickly introduce the film and take questions afterwards. The film is about the Borgens family. William Borgens is an acclaimed author who hasn't written a word since his ex-wife Erica left him 3 years ago for another man. In between spying on Erica and casual romps with his married neighbour Tricia, Bill is dealing with the complexities of raising his teenage children Samantha and Rusty. Samantha is publishing her first novel and is determined to avoid love at all costs - after all she's seen what it has done to her parents. In between hook ups, she meets "nice guy" Lou who will stop at nothing to win her over. Rusty, is an aspiring fantasy writer and Stephen King aficionado, who is on a quest to gain 'life experiences'. He falls for the beautiful, but troubled Kate and gets his first taste of love and a broken heart. A tale of family, love (lost and found), and how endings can make new beginnings. There are no rewrites in life, only second chances.

Josh Boone related after the screening that some of the material in the movie was autobiographical. Rusty's first love is based on his own experiences in high school, of love found and lost. Being fiction he was able to rewrite his family history, having his father wait three years for his wife to return.  Terry felt that no man would wait that long in hopes that love would return. Logan loved working on the film because the entire cast stayed in a hotel during the shooting and they truly became a tight knit family. This is a rare film with plenty of sincere emotion. Josh had written the screenplay many years ago and the true challenge was to find the money to make it. Once he had the backing, things fell into place quickly. He has a bright future ahead of him and he is already onto the next projects, "Pretenders", and "The Fault in Our Stars". "Stuck in Love" is in select theaters now. Don't miss 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

Monday, July 15, 2013

Zimmerman Not Guilty

Saturday July 13th was the 40th World Wide SketchCrawl. I deviated from the planned itinerary and went up to Sanford Florida to see if there were people waiting outside the courthouse for the verdict in the case against George Zimmerman.  The courthouse was surprisingly quiet.  Dark storm clouds loomed heavy and grey. Just hours later, jurors would announce the verdict that George Zimmerman was not guilty. I didn't follow the trial on TV but I was there when the first protests happened.  On the morning of the final deliberations, prisoners shouted "Justice for Trayvon" from their cells.

Zimmerman shot and killed the unarmed Trayvon Martin in a Sanford neighborhood. Zimnerman was a citizen neighborhood patrolman. He called a police dispatcher, saying that he saw a suspicious youth with a hoodie walking through his neighborhood. The dispatcher told Zimmerman to stay in his car, that police were on the way. Zimmerman got out of his car anyway, stalked Trayvon and shot him to death. The youth had skittles in his pocket.

The jury was entirely made up of women.  Though found not guilty, Zimmerman certainly isn't innocent. It is unlikely that he will ever again walk the streets of Sanford on patrol. He is easily identifiable with his round face and small eyes. He is a pariah, and will likely disappear from public sight very much like Casey Anthony, the mom accused of killing her two year old daughter. Though found not guilty, she is still embroiled in law suits. She owes $800,000 and hasn't worked since her case was settled. She filed for bankruptcy, but in March, a lawyer filed a motion asking for a Florida judge's permission to sell "the exclusive worldwide rights in perpetuity to the commercialization of Anthony's life story." Casey didn't want any part of it. She had to pay $25,000 to settle the case and keep her story to herself.

George Zimmerman's wife, Shellie, will likely be charged with perjury. She lied saying that the family had no money for lawyers fees when there was $135,000 in the bank. Money was being transferred out of George Zimmerman's account in an effort to hide the money. This isn't the last day in court for the Zimmermans. TV reporters kept asking people to express their anger, shock and resentment as if this is the only thing that is news worthy.

Spike Lee used Twitter to send out George Zimmerman's home address during the trial. He got the address wrong and ruined the lives of an elderly couple,  David and Elaine McClain, who had to suffer the abuse of false public scrutiny. They have nothing to do with the Zimmerman case.  There were threats on social media and notes left on their doorstep.  They had to leave their home fearing for their safety. The woman suffered a heart attack after the stress and strain.  This false address is still being re tweeted endlessly. The Internet, rather than bringing people together is helping tear us apart.

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, July 14, 2013

Tree of Light

On June 14th, the Virginia Drive Live Street Party was held all along Virginia Drive in Ivanhoe Village. Scottie Campbell, the Ivanhoe Village-Manager war running from street side tent to tent. I saw him when I first got out of my car and then several more times as I walked down Virginia Drive. Vendors and artists were busy setting up.

    Virginia Drive, between Alden Road. and Haven Drive, in Ivanhoe Village came alive with late night shopping, food trucks, street vendors and artists, entertainment, and more! A wine stroll guided people you from merchant to merchant. I stopped at the beer garden, Sponsored by, in the lot next to The Venue. Mark Baratelli of stopped to say hello. There had been some drama among the food truck vendors he invited to the event and he had to straighten it all out.

As the sun set, the Tree of Light illuminated the area where DJ Chris Mendez was spinning tunes. Parents relaxed, sipping beers while their children played in the grass. The Tree of light has a welded aluminum structure inside with wood boards from shipping palettes screwed to the outside. I saw the structure as it was first being built in Cole Nesmith's yard. An exotic computer program used to make the lights flicker in a sequence when they were turned on with pull chords. Small diode light strips in the mason's jars looked like fire flies. The heavy Florida rains had some of the jars collecting water. The draw strings were no longer an option. All the lights were always on. The tree was going to be set up in downtown Orlando but after working all night to gel it set up, someone leaned a ladder against a branch and the branch crashed to the ground. No one was hurt, but now the sculpture was seen as a dangerous liability. Cole and his team of artists and engineers went back to the drawing board reinforcing all the inner supports.

Children couldn't resist trying to climb the tree. A group of three or four toddlers gathered at the base and used the roots as a boost to try and get up the trunk. Thankfully, parents moved in and pulled the children off. Had the kids gotten up to the branches, the results could have been devastating. Worst would be if an adult who has had too many beers decided to climb the tree on a dare. As a teenager, I once drank so much that I decided I had to climb to the top of a telephone pole. I was alone, so I wasn't trying to impress anyone. I did it cause I was drunk and therefor indestructible. Sometimes I'm an idiot.

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, July 13, 2013

Marty Morell and Michiko

On Sunday June 2nd, Marty Morell and Michiko performed a free Jazz concert at the White House (2000 South Summerlin Avenue, Orlando FL), with many special guests and a little Latin music.
The guest visual artist was Lorraine Turner. Lorraine didn't paint live on stage because there were so many musicians. There just wasn't enough room. Steve Rodney was shooting a documentary, so Benoit Glazer in his introduction advised us all to look enthralled. Richard Drexler was at the piano, Carlo Garcia was on the drums, Jeff Rupert on saxophone, Benoit Glazer stepped in on trumpet, and Ben Cramer was on Bass.

Marty met Michiko at a jazz festival in Japan and they have been performing together ever since. Michiko sang several of the songs. It was an up beat concert with plenty of energy. I tapped my toes and bobbed my head as I sketched. I was perched on the third floor balcony. I like getting this bird's eye view, but it means standing for the duration as I sketch so I can see over the railings. By the end of the concert my legs were aching. I'm always afraid that I might drop my palette on someones head, so I step back a bit as I'm painting. Having to sketch in so many people and instruments means I'm working right up to the last note in the concert.

It seems like the number of concerts held at the White House keeps accelerating. It is one of my favorite places to listen to music and let the lines dance on the page.

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, July 12, 2013

The Vault

On Tuesday June 11th, my wife Terry and a co-worker Psi from Merrill Lynch offered an informational seminar for prospective clients at The Wine Room (270 S Park Ave Winter Park, FL). The building had once been a bank, and the meeting, in the basement, was literally in a bank vault. The thick steel door with its multiple pistons and gears was an impressive sight. The vault now has private lockers where clients can lock away their expensive and dusty bottles of vintage wines.

I can't discuss the power point demonstration. After it was over, the plush leather chairs were turned to face the TV so  sports fans could watch the NBA finals.  I began to sketch after the presentation was over. Staff came in to clean up the table full of cheeses and crackers. By the final quarter of the game, Terry and I were the only ones left in the vault. We had to move upstairs so the vault could be cleaned up.

AADW Weekend Top 6 Picks
Saturday July 13th 2013.
40th World Wide SketchCrawl  incorporates 4 events in an Orlando Sketch Marathon all day Saturday...
1. 10am to 1pm $5 A Special Demonstration: Sculpting a Classical Portrait. Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens (633 Osceola Ave. Winter Park FL). Exhibiting sculptor Peter Forester presents a six-hour art demo. Demo goes to 4pm if you want to stay. Sketch the sculptor at work or take notes.
2. 2pm to 7pm $5 ReThink Games. Urban ReThink (625 E. Central Blvd. Orlando FL). Play 15 hosts a variety of games, from video games to board games. Sketch folks playing games or play yourself.

3. 8pm to 10pm $10 ME Dance, Deja vu. Garden Theater Winter Garden (160 Plant Street Winter Garden FL). Sketch this dance company’s final performance of the season.
4. 11pm to 1am Free Black and White at Redlight. Redlight Red Light (2810 Corrine Drive, Orlando, FL). An Art Show. A full scale, monochromatic, celebration of value, void of color, except red of course.Artwork will display a use of black and/or white, maybe some greys, and possibly red, literally or figuratively.

Sunday July 14th 2013.
5. 4:30pm to 7:30pm Free Orlando Brew jam. Orlando Brewing (1301 Atlanta Ave., Orlando, Florida 32806). Traditional instrument jam playing old time, bluegrass, celtic, swing, or anything else that comes to mind.
6. 7:30pm to 9:30pm Free Concert! Leo Linares and Urbe Prima. The White House (2000 South Summerlin Orlando FL). This young musician plays music that is close to people. Folk tinged with classical and punk, expect a surprise.
Artist: Reina Castellanos

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, July 11, 2013

40th World Wide Sketch Crawl Orlando

SketchCrawl 40 results.

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

Nerd Nite Orlando #3

 Nerd Nite is an informal gathering at which nerds get together for fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines, while the audience drinks along. Nerds and non-nerds alike gather to meet, drink and learn something new. Three speakers will present for 20-25 minutes each on a fascinating subject of their choice, often in an uncanny and unconventional way. It's like the Discovery Channel…with beer!

Josh, with his thick dark beard and stiff collared dress shirt, referred to himself as the "Orlando Nerd Boss." He and Nathan Selikoff were busy setting up computer and projector equipment as people arrived at Stardust Video and Coffee. I had arrived early and ordered a "Rob Reiner" which was a meatloaf sandwich. Growing up, my mom used to make meat loaf once a week so it is comfort food. As I started to sketch, the place became packed.

The first talk was by Clayton Louis Ferrara and he spoke about the Secret Life of Nitrogen.  He outlined it's history and how it was used in chemical warfare in WWI. After the war a chemist found that Nitrogen could be used in fertilizer and it became a multi billion dollar business. In America there is a suburban culture that takes pride in lush green lawns. An incredible amount of money is spent to fertilize, water and then cut lawns. Clayton is by a biologist. He gave us the sad news that over 200 otherwise healthy Manatees had died last year. He had photos. These giants hadn't been hit by motor boat propellers, they died by choking on Algae. Run off from lawns has gone into the rivers causing intense red tide algae blooms. Once clear water became a green sludge killing the manatee's native food sources. Clayton encouraged us all to plant native plants in our yards. These native plants would need no watering or fertilizer. These zeros-capes can also be incredibly beautiful with tall native grass and lush ground covers.

The second talk by Ricardo Williams was about "Absurd Movie Genres." His talk basically outlined films that he liked and how they crossed established genres. A good story doesn't always need to be pigeon holed.

The last talk, "Technological Telekinesis", was by artist Nathan Selikoff.  It began with the Star Wars theme music and a look at planet Earth on the screen. Using a Leap Motion Controller on his laptop, Nathan held his hands over the computer and manipulated the Earth, zooming in as if we were approaching the death star. The Google Earth program allowed him to fly right over Orlando and fly down its streets until he reached Lake Eola. This entire flight was navigated by a new interface that before was just in Science Fiction movies. This new interface can allow artists to sculpt and draw in three dimensions. Most of the software is open sourced and the hardware has become affordable. An infrared light tracks the motion of your hands keeping track of its orientation in 3D space. Nathan wrote his own program called "Beautiful Chaos" that uses math equations to create forms in space.

Nerd Nite is every 2nd Thursday of the month.  These type of events are cropping up all over Orlando. There is Pechakuche, Cafe Scientifique, Tedx Orlando,  and the Mini Maker Faire. Get your Nerd On and help change the world. The July Nerd Nite #5 will  be  tonight at 7pm at Stardust Video & Coffee (1842 E Winter Park Rd  Orlando, FL)

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, July 10, 2013

Ripley's Bizarre Buying Bazaar

For several days in June a tent was set up in the parking lot at Ripley's Believe it or Not (8201 International Drive, Orlando FL.) Bright banners announced that it was the Ripley's Bizarre Buying Bazaar. Seated at the table were Edward Meyer, the VP of Exhibits and archives for Ripley Entertainment Inc and Angela Johnson the assistant of archives. Well, you can't see Angela in the sketch, a co-worker obscured her from my view as he was checking his cell phone. We all laughed about how she missed he 15 minutes of sketchbook fame afterwards. A call had been put out for people to bring their odd and bizarre items where they would be appraised, and if strange enough, purchased for the collection right on the spot. I sat in a parking spot and started to sketch.

A large metal sculpture of the Bumble Bee Transformer stood at the corner of the tent. This item was created by, "Art from Steel" from Bangkok, Thailand. It stood three feet four inches tall and was made entirely from car parts. Edward explained that this was actually one of the smaller sculptures. It was too heavy for any one person to lift, but it could be disassembled into smaller parts for transport.  I wonder how much fun it would have been to get that luggage through airport security.

Items on display that had been bought already included: Bats mounted on a board with presidents faces painted on their bellies. A painting of John Lennon or Harry Potter was made entirely with CD disks.  A painting of Marilyn Monroe was done entirely with nail polish and Obama towered above Mount Rushmore in another. Another portrait of Bob Marley was created with all the tape from a single cassette tape. The Terminator's arm was made of used batteries and mounted in a futuristic cylinder. On the table there was an actual shrunken head and a plate of Doughnuts that turned out to be a sculpture.

A news anchor and cameraman showed up to interview Edward. This is the first time Ripley's held a Bazaar inviting anyone and everyone to bring in their oddities. Edward held up a rusty knife to show the cameraman. It had been lodged in a man's skull for years. Oddly the man didn't know the blade was there, but he suffered from splitting headaches. Several doctors prescribed drugs and shots but one finally took x-rays which clearly showed the knife in man's skull. When the rusty blade was surgically removed, the man's headaches diminished.

A man pulled up in his family van and pulled out a four foot high image of a heart made entirely with postage stamps. Edward wasn't impressed, but after some negotiating, it joined the items in the parking lot collection.

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, July 9, 2013


June's Third Thursday at the Orlando Museum of Art was organized by Anna McCambridge-Thomas. The theme for all the art that evening was "Collaboration." When I arrived, I quickly took a look at all the art on display but Genevieve Bernard of Voci Dance had informed me of her unique collaboration. The dance piece her dance company, Voci Dance, was going to perform involved a collaboration with Asatta Wilson of Vixen Fitness. Asatta is a rather talented and fit pole dancer. During previous rehearsals, Genevieve explained to Asatta what dance moves she wanted. Though the dance terminology was different the art forms and moves were similar. As Asatta explained, she does the same moves just with some sensual flair to please the costumers.

I sat in and sketched the rehearsal for the dance titled, "Autobiography", before patrons got to the museum. A Platinum Stages pole stood at stage right. Dancers approached the pole and interacted with it as a symbolic obstacle. Sarah Lockhard delivered a monologue in which she kept falling into a hole repeatedly. It wasn't her fault even as she kept to the path and fell again. After repeated tries she finally realized she should walk another route.

Towards the end of the dance performance Asatta took to the pole doing a gymnastic and graceful routine that defied gravity. I got a second chance to work on the sketch as the theater filled with patrons. Having seen the rehearsal, I knew what dancers I wanted to complete the composition. From slow motion walks to graceful twirls, one gesture flowed through the dance company. The pole was no longer an obstacle but something to be conquered.

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, July 8, 2013

Full Sail Student Lounge

On rare occasions, I get to Full Sail early because I'm coming from an event I sketched and it makes no sense to go home only to immediately turn around to drive to the university. This student lounge is right outside the 2D Animation studio where I work. Though I have a laptop computer, I'm not tempted to crack it open. I would rather crack open a sketchbook to observe all the students staring at  computer screens. There is some interaction as several students show each other a modeling project or a computer animation they are working on, but some students are just zoning out by watching U-Tube videos or checking their Facebook status. Perhaps this is the future, everyone interconnected but staring at screens.

The wall in the background is covered in framed DVD cases. These are apparently films that graduates had worked on.  I was talking to a doctor the other day, whose son had attended Full Sail. He asked if the school motto was still that every student who graduates in the two year accelerated program is guaranteed a job in the industry. I had never heard this before, but it seems impossible with huge visual effects houses like Rhythm and Hues going bankrupt and every movie studio wanting more for less.

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, July 7, 2013

The Capen House

On June 6th, there was a Winter Park City Commission Meeting in which the fate of the Capen House was litigated. The 128 year old Winter Park home was built by James Caspen who came from Illinois. He worked towards making Winter Park a solid community. He was the secretary for the Winter Park Land Company which was and still is the largest land owning company in town. He also served as commissioner on the town council.

The home was granted a historic designation in 2011 but Sun Trust Bank, the mortgage holder on the property had that historic designation revoked.  Clardy Malugen, the owner at the time had registered the historic home during the foreclosure process. The new owners, John and Betsy Pokorny want to demolish the lake front home to erect a bigger mansion. At the June 6th meeting the Pokorny's attorney granted a postponement of the demolition for 30 days so that options could be considered for preserving the house.

The Friends of Casa Feliz are working on finding a way to preserve the historic home. Casa Feliz had itself once been threatened with demolition. The entire brick building had been moved to it's new site on Park Avenue next to the golf course. The Friends encourage public dialogue that is thoughtful, considerate, and inclusive. It is the Friends' goal to find a solution to the precarious situation surrounding the Capen House, not to assign blame.Groups of concerned citizens have congregated on Facebook and other web platforms to advocate for 'saving' the Capen House.

Large hedges obstruct most views of the house at 501 Interlacken Drive in Winter Park. Several "Private Property" signs along with a chain blocking the driveway discouraged me from sketching a full view of the home. I sat on the driveway to sketch the best view available. There was a demolition notice on the garage door. A huge live oak spread it's ancient roots deep. Storm clouds rolled in as I sketched. I worked as fast as I could till rain drops started hitting the page. I packed the sketchbook away in my art supply bag and sprinted the mile or so back to my car. I had forgotten to bring an umbrella. As I write this, on July 6th the 30 day postponement is over. I'll have to go back and see if I sketch the home or bulldozers.

P.S. As of July 12th, 2013, the historic home might be moved across the lake to the Albin Polasek museum as it's new 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

Saturday, July 6, 2013

2nd Annual Broomstick Pony Derby

On Saturday May 4th, (Kentucky Derby Day), The Broomstick Pony Derby was held on the street in front of Urban ReThink (625 E Central Blvd, Orlando, Fl). The Broomstick Pony Derby is a season-long celebration of Orlando’s play-spirited, civic-minded, try-curious, tri-athlete, road racing and audacious-arts-appreciating community. The Derby route was over the bricked blocks of E. Central Blvd in Downtown Orlando, roughly between Summerlin and Osceola Ave. These roads were closed off beginning at 2:00pm on Derby Day.

During the Broomstick Pony Derby, folks of all ages create and race handmade broomstick ponies, zebras, ostriches, you name it. Where do the ponies come from? They were made during our spring Broomstick Pony Workshops led by local artists, including Ibex Puppetry and Clay Curiosities. The festivities celebrate community and creativity and will raise funds, friends, and awareness for enhancing Urban ReThink’s operations and programming.

People and ponies danced in the streets to music provided by DJ Si Rajadhyax  Food and drink specials were offered by Thornton Park businesses, there was a Raffle, Pony parade, featuring pony marchers and an all-kazoo band.

When I got there, the DJ was getting set up. There was a threat of showers and when I felt a few drops, I took cover under the ReThink awning. Necole Pynn assured me that there was no way it could rain on Pony Derby day. People's broomstick ponies were all lined up along the fence. The rain never came and by the time I finished sketching the DJ the street was crowded. The pony parade involved all the racers gathering in a large circle and passing the pony's around so everyone got to see the handiwork. A couple was dressed as salt and pepper shakers. One horse rode a broomstick human. There were Unicorns and a sea horse. Some kids were in costume with cowboy hats, frilly dressed and a Bo Peep outfit. In the relay, the Hot Llama Mamas and the amazing kids from Misty Forest were hard to beat.  Contestants were told not to run, but in the heat of the race the fine line between a fast skip and a run was blurred. The youngest contestants, trailing the pack often got the most boisterous cheers as they approached the finish line.

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, July 5, 2013

Mysterious Muses

On Tuesday June 4th, at 7pm Frank Holt, the  Director of the Mennello Museum of American Art, (900 E Princeton St Orlando FL) conducted an intimate tour of Mysterious Muses: A Selection of Southern Folk Art, and the companion exhibit, Southern Folk Art Masters. This was a chance to hear Holt speak about the pieces in both exhibits that he's drawn from the permanent collection.

Perhaps 20 to 30 art loving patrons gathered to hear Frank's insights. They moved throughout the galleries and I decided to catch Frank in the main entry to the museum as he spoke about this large totem covered in words and crows. Apparently there was a myth among southern blacks that crows would spy on the white community and report back. I was reminded of the not very politically correct crows in Dumbo. I liked the crows angular forms blocked out in wood. Their long yellow beaks made them resemble Toucans. This column is actually covered with words but I ran out of time and only wrote the one line. The upside down copy at the top said something like, "I wrote this upside down because it was easier." A thunderbird is a legendary creature in certain North American indigenous peoples' history and culture. It is considered a supernatural bird of power and strength. It's name comes from the common belief that the beating of its enormous wings causes thunder and stirs the wind. A large crow at the top of this totem stands in as the thunderbird. Artists in the show include, Alyne Harris, Brian Dowdall, Sybil Gibson, Kurt Zimmerman, Ronald Lockett, Jesse Aaron, Benjamin Perkins and Gary Yost. The exhibit will remain up through August 9th.

In the back room of the museum was an exhibit called "Crackers in the Glade" with sketches by Rob Storter.  These simple pen and ink with watercolor drawing really resonated with me. Here was an artist doing exactly what I love to do, documenting his life and times with line and tone. These sketches were done to preserve the artists' memory of a side of Florida that is now long gone. Storter was a humble fisherman, but he has an eye for detail and his sketches help bring the past to life. Things he is intimately familiar with like fish and boats jump off the page with bold and confident line work. This exhibit is well worth a visit and I know I'll be going back. I left an umbrella in the museum as a subconscious reminder that I must return.

Weekend Top 6 Picks
Saturday July 6th 2013 
10am to 5pm FREE: Bank of America Museums on US! Orange County Regional History Center (65 E. Central Blvd. Orlando FL 32801.) BA’s Gift to you this weekend, free admission for Bank of America or Merrill Lynch cardholders. Present your Bank of America or Merrill Lynch Credit or Debit Card and a valid photo ID and the cardholder receives free admission!
INFO (407)836-7010

1pm to 4pm $2 Donation: Summertime Music Series, The Ladyz and the Boyz. Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards, (19239 US Hwy 27 Clermont FL 34715.) Ladyz and the Boyz is a tribute to American music starring two dynamic sisters from Rochester, NY on vocals and keyboards. The Howard Sister's, Kaimi, Quin, and Casey's soulful voices give the band spirit that has audiences giving standing ovations at every performance. Lead male vocals and guitar of Louie Velez, drummer George Mitchell, and Band leader, bassist Paul Lovizio.

8pm to Midnight FREE: Dark Arts Art Show. The Falcon (819 E Washington Street Orlando FL 32801.) Art featuring witches, warlocks, vampires, werewolf's & anything that goes bump in the night!

Sunday July 7th 2013
Noon to 2pm Order lunch: Broadway Brunch at Hamburger Mary's! (110 West Church Street Orlando, FL 32801.) Show tunes and a juicy burger.

6pm to 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 and 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!

7:30pm to 9:30pm  FREE: Concert! 3 world premieres by Richard Drexler, Keith Lay & Ralph Hays!!! The White House (2000 South Summerlin Orlando FL 32806.) This fine clarinet quartet is going to Assisi next week to perform at the International Clarinet Association's conference. New music by three living composers, two of whom will be in attendance (one from NYC). The Ralph Hays piece is entitled Divertimento, and can be described as a neoclassical multi movement work that is quite charming. With sometimes surprising harmonic twists. The Keith Lay pieces are entitled, Even and Sawtooth, and will challenge the audience to rethink what they know about tempo and rhythm. The Richard Drexler piece is entitled Five South American Dances and will transport the listener to very different parts of the world without the jet lag. Donations welcome (to help pay for their trip). Kevin Strang, Keith Koons, Jessica Hall, Jennifer Royals
Don’t forget to bring food & wine to share!

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, July 4, 2013

The Sketchbook Project Mobile Library

The Sketchbook Project Mobile Library rolled into Orlando on July 2nd and 3rd at The Gallery at Avalon Island (39 S. Magnolia Ave. Orlando, FL). The library was open from 5pm to 9pm. It is an interactive art exhibition on wheels, featuring a rotating selection of work from The Sketchbook Project installed in a custom-crafted library trailer filled with 4,500 sketchbooks.

The event was free to attend. Steven and Sara Peterman, co-founder of the Sketchbook Project and the director of Brooklyn Art Library were inside helping people check out sketchbooks. The sketchbooks were cataloged by theme, material, mood,  artists names, tags, city, country and more! "It's like a taco truck but with sketchbooks." Orlando is one of 30 cities that the Mobile Library will visit in 2013. There were three steps to participate. 1 you get a library card, 2 you check out books using a computer to pick a theme, city or artist, 3 you're given a sketchbook to flip through.

I submitted a sketchbook to the Brooklyn Art Library in 2009. All of the sketches from that sketchbook were posted on this site. Because I visited the Sketchbook Project when it came to Full Sail and Urban ReThink in past years, I already had my library card. I just had to laser scan it and pick out some sketchbooks.

First I searched by city, looking for sketchbooks from NYC. I was given, "Into the Forest" by Lily Feng. She had precise photo real pencil renderings of women in forest settings. She had to have spent an eternity getting the wide range of values right. I was given a second, arbitrary sketchbook of sketches done in Saint Marten. This sketchbook was part collage and part sketchbook documenting an island vacation. As it grew dark more people showed up to check out sketchbooks. Part of the fun is to see what quirky sketchbook a friend is flipping through.

Patrick Greene, the new curator at Avalon Gallery interviewed TrezMark Harris as I sketched. By the time I finished my sketch, dark grey storm clouds had rolled in. The warm light inside the truck illuminated the threatening gloom. An E-Z Up pop up tent was leaned up against the truck in case it rained. I checked for a sketchbook from Orlando and was given one by Lilah Shepherd. It was full of abstract pen line drawings with light watercolor washes. A second arbitrary pick was from Kelly Zarb from Melbourne Australia. She sketched some of her favorite things like terrariums and owls. Spreads highlighted inspirational sayings like, "Don't hide your beauty, let the world see you." And, "See the beauty in the everyday." I can relate to that. As I returned the sketchbooks, it began to rain. I popped up my umbrella and headed 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