Saturday, August 31, 2013

Drip Fairy Body Paint Jam


0n August 1st, I went to Drip (8747 International Dr. Suite 102, Orlando, Fl, right behind Senor Frogs and Denny's) to sketch the Body Painting Party after the Drip show.  Painters and models began around 7pm. They gathered in the back stage dressing room and storage area. With eight body painters and just as many models, it was going to get tight. The body painters were, Mandi Ilene, Lori Babson Jessup, Tanisha Morgan, Tracy Purple, and Cody Saults. All the body painters hat gathered to celebrate Mandi's birthday.

Jessica Mariko, the founder of Drip welcomed me when I arrived and she went into the dressing room to be sure that models and the artists were all OK with my sketching them.  The painters had a three hour window to get a jump on their body paint creations before guests would get to see their work immediately after the Drip dance show. I focused my attention on the model directly in front of me who was already painted white from head to toe and covered in glitter. She became a stark silhouette in front of the light on the wall. An intricate pattern spiraled around her gluts.

Other models got undressed and periodically, everyone would shout "Nipples!", followed by laughter. Pasties and thongs would be seamlessly painted to hide any anatomy that was required by social code. An urban graffiti painting shouted "Unity!" I was seated in the only chair in the, closet-room. Often my view was obstructed by models bare backs. It seems ironic that I spent much of my time trying to look past the nudity to see the figures I had started to draw.

The sketch was pretty much done when I saw Terry enter the dressing area. I stood to go meet her. She should have lead me out by the ear, but she seemed delighted to be backstage among the chaos. We got a drink at the bar and soon the Drip dancers were pouring free beer into the open mouths of guests. The live rock band began to play and the hip urban dance began. The dancers spilled drinks on each other and their relationships became clear as they moved among the crowd and teased one another.

The show follows a story line of love and betrayal. The main characters are blue and yellow as hinted at by their Drip rags covering their hair, and the paint they get covered in. When the couple embraced, their colors mixed to become green. I was wearing my Drip T-shirt which was already stained from past shows. In previous shows, paint filled water balloons had been handed to guests. Now the cast took charge, exploding the balloons by hand all over the audience. There might have been incidents in past shows where balloons had hit people in the face. The new approach guarantees everyone gets wet and messy without the dodge ball angst. Even so, a burst of paint in my face managed to loosen a lens in my glasses and it popped out as I sipped a drink later. 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.

Mark Your Calendar! Shows are every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 9pm. What are you waiting for? This is the most fun you can have with a date, loved one, or friends in Orlando. Tickets for the show available at www.ilovedrip.com.



All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Weekend Top 6 Picks
Saturday August 31, 2013
10am to 2pm Avalon Skateboard Fest. Free. Avalon Park Town Center 13001 Founders Square Drive Orlando FL. facebook.com/avalonskateboardfest

1pm to 5pm Norad Boran Assisted Asana Practice. $20. Shine On Yoga 619 N Thorton Ave, Orlando, Fl. Move even deeper into your Yoga flow/practice, actively enjoying the alignment benefits of assisted Asana Practice, derived from the Ancient practice of Norad Boran translated as reverent touch, known to us as Thai yoga massage!

8pm to Midnight The Holy and Obscene: Artwork by Morgan Wilson. Free. The Falcon 819 E. Washington Street, Suite 2, Orlando, Fl. The work is meant to create a meeting place for the elevated and degraded, the holy and obscene.Morgan's most recognizable theme, through all mediums, is a pervasive sexuality.

Sunday September 1, 2013
Noon to 3pm Music at the Casa. Free, donations accepted. Guitarist and Vocalist George Grosman will be performing.

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

10pm to Midnight  Sick Of It Presents: Rancid Karaoke Cover Set. Free. Will's Pub 1042 N. Mills Avenue, Orlando, Fl. You come up out of the crowd and sing your favorite Rancid songs with a live band...You 're the singer!




All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Di-Verse Word


0n June 30th I stopped by Dandelion Communitea Cafe (618 North Thornton Avenue Orlando FL) for the Di-Verse Word Poetry competition hosted by Shawn Welcome.  The eclectic spoken word poetry event exposes everyone to all types of styles in writing and performing to this city. It offers inspiration for not only poets but for those who just enjoy the art. Poets quickly filled the outdoor patio area as the sun set. The event became more crowded than I expected with people bringing lawn chairs so they could sit in the driveway.

Terry wanted to go to a concert at a cowboy bar so I didn't have much time to sketch. Several girls with extremely high heels sat on a bench just before the poetry competition began. I later saw them in the cowboy bar. Poet Sasha Nichols Rivera said hello. Her mom and brother were there as well. A young poet was extremely anxious about getting up to perform his poem. There was a cash prize on the line and this was a cut throat competition. Sasha took him for a walk around the block to calm his nerves. I was asked to judge, but I had to refuse since I knew I would have to leave early. Besides, now I knew a poet competing and thus would be biased.

Melissa Kasper and her friends sat beside me. Melissa is a writer, artist and poet but she doesn't want the stress of performing as a poet in competition. She said she has enough stress in her life with her two jobs. Her ex-boyfriend kept encouraging her to compete, but she would rather enjoy the poetry which remains personal. By the time the first poet got up, I had to leave to meet Terry at the concert where I got to watch several people collapse on the dance floor because they were so drunk.

Mark your Calendar, Di-Verse word is held every Tuesday starting at 8pm outside Dandelion Communitea Cafe.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Happy Hookers


Moira Clinch an art director from London told me about the Happy Hookers here in Orlando. These Hookers aren't turning tricks on OBT. They are busy creating crochet wonders with their nimble fingers. Moira wanted me to get a sketch of the crochet group to help promote a book on crochet at a book fair. I researched online and found the Happy Hookers Meet-up page and joined. This meeting was at Panera's on Colonial Drive. I went there right after work. The Hookers meet from 6pm until the place closes down around 9pm.

I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and a Mountain Dew and I sat at a table next to where the hookers had started to gather. There was a box full of supplies that had been donated to the group and as people arrived they were encouraged to rifle through it. Some hookers were working hard when I arrived while others chatted to catch up. Tablets and iPhones were used to share photos of recent crochet creations.

They had been alerted that I would be sketching, and when I heard them talking about me, I introduced myself. I was promoted to "Honorary Pimp" for the night. There was one other man, Steve Hoel, who enjoyed crochet and he was hard at work. Catherine Nicklow-McGrath of Orlando, started the group in 2006. While sketching, I realized that everyone held the crochet hook differently. Some members worked with slow deliberation while others fingers moved so quickly that their hands were a blur. There was plenty of conversation and the laughter was infectious.

At the end of the evening, I was given a quick five minute lesson on how to use the crochet hook.  It looks like a relaxing process very much like sketching. There are 318 Happy Hookers members in Orlando, but ten to fifteen might show up on any given Thursday night. So, if you have dexterous fingers and you like to kibitz, Mark Your Calendar, the Happy Hookers meet every Thursday evening at Panera's in the Fashion Square Mall (3463 East Colonial Drive, Orlando FL) from 6pm to 9pm.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Flash Gordon

On July 31st, I went to the Enzian Theater (1300 S Orlando Ave  Maitland, FL) to see the free outdoor screening of Flash Gordon. The inflatable screen was unloaded from a U-Haul truck and blowers quickly inflated it. As people arrived on the lawn, I placed them in the sketch. I slathered on bug spray as it grew dark. A couple next to me were joking that enough people were wearing bug spray to discourage mosquitoes from feeding on the crowd so they were safe without it. The guys next to me were discussing how bad the Sci-Fi TV movie, "Sharknado" had been. It was so campy and bad that it had to be seen to be believed.

 In a trivia session before the movie I learned that director George Lucas wanted the rights to the story. Since another movie studio bought the rights he decided to make a little film called "Star Wars" instead. In this update of the 1930s comic strip, Flash Gordon is a football hero who is skyjacked aboard Dr. Hans Zarkov’s rocket ship along with beautiful Dale Arden. The threesome are drawn into the influence of the planet Mongo, controlled by Ming the Merciless. Ming has been testing the Earth with unnatural disasters, and deeming it a threat to his rule, he plans to destroy it. He also intends to take Dale as his concubine. From the opening song by Queen the film felt dated but it was sure to be fun. I had never seen the film.

In the opening scene of the movie, Flash is piloting an airplane through a turbulent lightning storm. The trees around the Enzian lawn flashed brightly and thunder rumbled in surround sound. I was impressed. Perhaps strobe lights had been placed in the trees. Then the movie screen went dark. An announcer said that a huge thunderstorm was approaching and they would have to stop the screening for our safety and the safety of the equipment.  As I walked back to my car, it started to rain. On the drive home the rain was torrential

Mark Your Calendar! Tonight's screening around 8pm is "Dirty Harry" starring Clint Eastwood.
Wednesday night Pitcher Show outdoor screenings are dependent upon Florida’s famously unpredictable weather conditions. In an effort to avoid cancelling an event, the theater may wait until 30 minutes prior to the set screening time to officially post a cancellation notice; which will be posted on their Facebook page. You may also call Enzian’s Box Office at 407-629-1088 x230 for more information. Thank you for your understanding, and if your screening is rained out - keep an eye out for a rain date.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

StarCraft II


Red Bull sponsored an event called "Training Grounds II" at Full Sail Live (3300 University Blvd
Winter Park, FL) on June 26th. The huge venue was full of an audience of several hundred people. On the large screen, the video game, StarCraft II was being projected. The two opponents were in a clear sound proof booth facing one another and furiously tapping computer buttons and scrolling with their mice. Two announcers sat behind microphones giving a blow by blow description of what was happening on the big screen. The problem was that nothing they said made any sense. I had stepped into an alien world.

At the side of the venue there was a round table station set up with six computers. This was the place where contestants who were not playing could warm up and train for their battle on the big screen. Ear pieces plugged the players into the game's audio soundtrack isolating them from the audiences shouts and clapping. As I sketched, the announcers broadcast what was happening...
"What is this going to turn into?"
"The Cyber Core is a tell for TLO."
"He's putting up a gateway."
"He has two queens now and a third on the way!"
"TLO spots the probe!"
"A lot of Circs rely on the queens."
"The Nexus are going to clean this up now."
"Succeed is going to try and drone up again."
"TLO is droning very hard!"
"Unless it is a micro hatch, it isn't needed."
"He needs to warp in some centuries."
"Nexus is going to be hyper fire! Good game!"
The audience clapped wildly. The lengthy match was over. My general impression was that some sort of outpost civilization was constructed by glowing crab like things. There was always an aerial gods eye view of the field of battle. Perhaps there were lasers? I was too far removed from the action to be able to make sense of anything. The audience however gasped and reacted to every skirmish. It was sort of like watching two armies of ants building two mounds then fighting to slow down the opponents progress. I was confused. Perhaps this is the future of entertainment, with virtual battles played out for an audience.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Differing Views


On June 22nd, I went to the opening reception for "Differing Views" at the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida (946 N Mills Ave, Orlando, Florida 32803). This was a  group art show featuring: Parker Sketch, Jon Glassman Gardner, Patty Sheehan  and Karen Cate.

When I arrived, a little early, John Glassman Gardner was still hanging pieces. He had these wonderful one inch square  pieces of glass with vibrant patterns that looked like aerial views of river valley topography. He told me that the pattern had been discovered by accident when 2 pieces of glass had been pushed together with a small drop of paint between them. Like a microscope slide, the paint spread. When pealed apart, this organic pattern would appear. John then glues magnets on the back. He was placing dozens of them on a metal support column. He gave me one of these pieces and it is proudly displayed in my home. It isn't signed unfortunately so someday I hope to catch him to sign it.

Commissioner Patty Sheehan had a show the previous week at the Peacock Room. She had sold 75% of all the pieces there. She therefor had to do more than a dozen paintings in a weeks time to have something for this show. All her paintings were of black cats with wide eyes and a Cheshire grin. She called them "Bad Kittys" and they sell like hot cakes. She gave me a button with one of these kitty's on it and a pink equal sign. Of course this was "Equality Kitty".

Parker's Sketch's work is ubiquitous to the Orlando art scene. His pieces use pop commercial imagery portrayed with bold brush work and a liberal display of spattering. The boldest piece was of a faded American flag. He was voted the Best Arts Advocate in this years Orlando Weekly. Karen Cate only had a few pieces in the show.  I had never seen her work before.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Maitland Food Truck Cafe


On June 10th, The Mother Band performed at Lake Lily as part of the Maitland Food Truck Cafe event. The band was just starting to set up when I arrived. My focus shifted to the long line of food trucks, so I sat down and started to sketch. A TV news crew was there interviewing food truck chefs. That made me suspect that I was on the cusp of a breaking story.  Perhaps a food truck was a front for a huge drug trafficking ring. A gun fight could break out, forcing me to sketch from behind the cover of a tree. Perhaps it is mob week on TV and I'm imagining things.

 I've seen the retro styled Yum Yum truck before at other Food Truck events. The Tree House Truck was new to me. A mom and her daughter ordered a meal and sat at a picnic table to eat. A Korean girl looked over my shoulder inspecting at every line as I put it on the page. The sky was getting grey with storm clouds and thunder rumbled across the lake. It began to rain with a trickle of large wet drops to start. I was under the cover of a tree and the leaves offered shelter for my sketch at first. Then the deluge started and I quickly packed away the sketch and ran for my car. By default, the sketch was done. As I drove home, I realized I was hungry. Why on earth didn't I order some food. I'd make a terrible "Foodie" since my focus on sketching distracts me from tasting. I also forgot to listen in to how the band sounded in the distance. Strike two for my in depth reporting.

Mark your Calendars! The Maitland Food Truck Cafe is tonight, Wednesday August 21st and August 28th starting at 6pm on the shore of Lake Lily. The event is closed for the month of September and will reopen on the first Wednesday of every month starting in October.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Coupled: The Game Show & Game Night


On June 15th, Terry and I went to The Abbey, (100 South Eola Drive, Orlando, Florida 32801) to see Coupled: The Game Show & Game Night. This event was founded by Kristen Walmsley-Manieri who runs the "Great Dates" blog with the help of Curtis Earth Entertainment.

Coupled began with a hilarious interpretation of the classic he said, she said Newlywed Game, the event invited six couples to compete on stage for prizes as they demonstrate how well they REALLY know each other. Curtis will be mixed in trivia throughout so audience members had a chance to win some fabulous prizes too. Terry seemed to know the answer to every trivia question, but she was never picked.

Contestants were chosen at random just before the game started. One question for the guys was, "What celebrity would your partner give you a pass to spent one evening with?" One contestant's answer was, "I'm not stupid enough to answer that question." The couples did seem to know each other rather well. From dream jobs to imagined luxuries they got answers spot on. In one round, couples stood back to back holding red and green paddles. A true or false question was asked and a red paddle raised meant false and green was true.

Immediately following the ninety-minute show, classic board games (Sorry, Connect Four, etc.) were set up at tables throughout this posh venue so you and your sweetie can continue the fun well into the night. In addition, there were open games of Twister, Musical Chairs, and Dance Freeze on the dance floor. Terry and I went across the street for Mexican food at Mucho's Mexican Bar (101 East Eola Drive Orlando FL). Several contestants were at the next table.

Mark Your Calendar! Coupled: The Game Show & Game Night is returning to The Abbey on Saturday September 14th at 7:00pm. Tickets are $10. Expect lots of prizes, drink specials and more fun than you could ever imagine having on date night.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Weekend Top 6 Picks
Saturday August 24, 2013
8am-10pm Secret Lake RunYak Free to watch $30 to Compete.  200 N. Triplet Lake Drive Casselberry 2.3K run and a 3K paddle. $50 gift card to male and female winners. runyak.com

8pm-10pm 9th Annual Red Chair Affair. $22. VIP $225 individual. Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre 401 West Livingston Street, Orlando, Florida. A kick off of Central Florida’s arts and cultural season. Don’t miss an exceptional evening with dynamic performing groups and local visual artists. Performances by: Brass Band of Central Florida, Central Florida Community Arts, Enzian Theater, Florida Opera Theatre, Garden Theatre, ME Dance, Inc., NuLook School of Performing Arts, Orlando Aerial Arts, Orlando Ballet, Orlando Gay Chorus, Orlando Philharmonic, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF.

9pm -11pm I Believe In You: Performance, Art, and Dance Party. $2. A one night only performance driven event with a committed group of experimental artists who love what they do and love you too. Featuring performances by: Jessica Earley, Jack Fields, Ashley Inguanta, Melanie Lister, Stephanie Lister, Hannah Miller, Jorgen Nicholas Trygved. Visual art by Winter Calkins.

Sunday August 25, 2013
7am - 9pm Mudd Volleyball Challenge. Fundraiser for March of Dimes. Free to watch, $550 per team to compete. Lee Vista Center 7600 TG Lee Blvd. Orlando FL. marchofdimes.com/florida

10am - 11am. Super Joy Riders. Free. 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.

9pm - 11pm Dead Parrot Comedy Show. Free. Peacock Room 1321 N Mills Avenue Orlando Fl. thepeacockroom.com



All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Kerouac House Reading, Brooks Teevan

On Saturday June 27th, Terry and I went to a reading by Brooks Teevan at the Kerouac House (1418 Clouser Ave, Orlando, FL 32804). The Kerouac House was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places and a small brass plaque next to the front door proudly displays this humble building's new status. Brooks Teevan came to the Kerouac House for the Summer of 2013. Her work has appeared in The Little Patuxent Review. It has also won Northwestern University's TriQuarterly Fiction Prize and the University of Chicago's Writer's Studio Student Prize. Brooks hails from San Francisco and more recently Chicago.

Brooks story was fun and quirky with some unexpected turns. One character wore a nautically themed dress which is ironically what Brooks wore for her reading. One of the guests at a dinner party turned out to be an alien, literally. Hmmm, that might be a spoiler alert. Back up a sentence and strike that from the record. Geoff Benge sat like "The Thinker" in the audience, leaning forward to soak in every word.

After the reading, there was wine and conversation. Steve McCall told me about an open forum called "Sundowning" he started for people who care for Alzheimer patients. Apparently a person with Alzheimers can function normally during the day, but at night, they get aggressive and are prone to wander. The term refers to a psychological state of confusion and restlessness that begins at dusk and during evening hours while the sun is setting. I thought "Sundowners" would be a good title of a horror film in which aging baby boomers would wander the city streets in the evenings causing havoc and mayhem. Granted it is tasteless but it could make for an amazing apocalyptic film. Wait, wouldn't you know, I'm too late. A film titled, "Sundowning" has been made already. Just my luck.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Key of E Load In


 On August 20th, I went to The Venue to see the Key of E load in for their one week run. I got there about the same time as Helen, the tech for the show. As I sketched the empty stage, Andy Matchett pulled up to the theater with a truck full of set pieces, wood, monster parts and fabric. The garage door was opened on house right and several guys in the truck helped unload. One of them was wearing a boy scout uniform and I wondered if he would earn an apocalyptic merit badge. Soon the stage was cluttered.

Since there needed to be room for the band, a platform was constructed house right that essentially extended the stage. The first order of business was to hang huge black curtains on both sides of the stage to create very small wings where actors could not be seen when off stage. The tiny wall at the back of the stage was at a quirky angle because it sloped along with a wheel chair ramp that had to be installed to comply with city codes.

A large back lit screen had to be put on top off the wall, so a plank and two by fours were needed to level off the TV platform. Chaz Krivan and Evan Miga tackled the task. Chaz actually had an iPhone app that acted as a level. All the actors gradually trickled in and Brittany Wine, the stage manager, got them busy running lines and going over dance moves. Her task was to keep everyone on task so they could do a run through of the show at 8:30pm. Corey Volence was worried that some scenes would need to be re-blocked since there was no actual backstage where actors could go when not on the stage. There are close to a dozen actors if you count the band and special effects crew. Andy decided to run one exit scene where all the actors needed to get off stage. There was a major bottle neck as actors tried to get down the wheel chair ramp. They realized that at times some actors would literally need to exit the theater. It will all work out in the end. Christie Miga asked Andy how he would rate his anxiety level. He said it had leveled off at a solid 7.

Brittany Wine was pleased that she finally appeared in one of my sketches. She asked why I put her in a garbage can. The garbage can must be a stage prop and it was just chance that she stood behind it. As I finished my sketch, the cast was ready to do a run through of the show. As I left, I heard Andy begin to sing "I Just Can't Wait for the Game to End!" The Key of E Kickstarter fundraising drive was a success so the full cast soundtrack is available!

Get your tickets for the return of the show at The Venue (511 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL). Mark Your Calendar! You don't want to miss the end of the world. Show times are...
Friday: 8/23 8 PM
Saturday: 8/24 8 PM
Monday: 8/26 8 PM
Thursday: 8/29 8 PM
Friday: 8/30 8 PM
Tickets are $10 pre-sale, and $15 at the door.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fill the Grill Challenge Round 2


Cheftestants Nicole Aidelbaum of WHERE Orlando and Christine Pittman of Cook the Story faced off for the second round of the Fill the Grill Challenge at Whole Foods on August 15th. The judges table was arranged much closer to the contestants, probably to avoid shoppers from walking through the competition on their way to the sandwich deli. The judges were, Chef Lenny, Brandon Moss and Chef Bruno, the winner of last year's challenge. Dishes were judged based on flavor, originality and plating.

Nicole grew up in the kitchen helping her mom who was from Puerto Rico. She learned her mom's recipes then went to work at a restaurant for ten years. She met a "foodie" (now her husband) who encouraged her to be more adventurous about food. Christine grew up in Canada where her parents owned a restaurant. She now is a freelance food writer, photographer and home cook. She did a run through the night before the competition to see how long it took her to prepare her dish.

Several audience members had made a sign that said, "Our Editor Sizzles! Go Nicole!" The cheftestants were given $20, and they had had 20 minutes to shop for their ingredients. Nicole was actually under budget and she went to get one more item. They were given a few minutes to prepare their work stations and then they had just 20 minutes to grill a delicious meal.

Nicole had this to say, "The dish I prepared was scallops marinated in Chardonnay, garlic and olive oil then grilled. It was served with a salad of grilled corn (on the cob then cut off), grilled red pepper, grilled onion, avocado, cilantro, lime and a dash of Cumin. The last addition was a grilled piece of baguette (multi grain baguette, sliced) drizzled with olive oil. I would've added a bit more salt to the salad to bring out the flavor of the avocado. I went sparingly and it cost me but you never know with salt."

Christine, "Made a skewer if grilled olives and lemons to start. The main course was a burger made of beef and chorizo sausage topped with roasted red peppers and onions. On the side was a salad of lightly grilled zucchini with a tomato and grilled lemon dressing and manchego cheese."

The last few minutes were a hectic flurry of activity arranging the food on plates, and then everyone watched as the judges tasted the dishes. They took notes and cleansed their palettes with water between dishes.  There was a long tense wait as all the results were tallied. The winner was... Christine Pittman.

Mark Your Calendar! Christine Pittman will face off against last weeks winner, Kendra Lott for the Fill the Grill Championship on Thursday August 22nd at 6:30pm at Whole Foods (8003 Turkey Lake Road, Orlando FL).



All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hope

In June, Brendan O'Connor, sent me a Facebook message, "Thomas I'll be headed out to the Hope Community Center in Apopka (1016 N Park Ave Apopka, FL) on Thursday around 11:30 to work on the mosaic-mural for the afternoon. You're more than welcome to join!"

Brendan is a project manager for Art Reach Orlando whose mission is to support art projects that foster creativity and hope, develop self-esteem, and offer children a platform to reflect, re-vision, and rejoice. By fostering creativity they are encouraging and empowering children to imagine the positive changes they wish to see in their own lives, their communities, and the world.

The Hope Community Center is a service and learning community dedicated to the empowerment of the Central Florida’s immigrant and working poor communities through Education, Advocacy and Spiritual Growth. Janis Neunez is the artist who designed the mosaic mural that will surround the back entryway to the center. The story of the area's migrant workers will be told through through the placement of tiles and objects donated by migrant worker families and through interactive computer chips placed in the mosaic. By activating the chips with your smart phone, you can see images and hear the stories of the men, women, and children who made the Tree of Life mosaic at the center and make up the real life mosaic of our Central Florida community.

Brendan had to work from the top of the ladder using acid to clean an area. I was nervous that someone might open the door fast and send him tumbling. A dear friend Melissa Kasper recently fell off a ladder breaking her nose, so the possibility was fresh on my mind.  I'm glad to report that no artists were hurt during the creation of this sketch.




All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Key of E Rehearsal


The cast of Key of E was still hard at work recording the sound track in the secret lab. With just two mics, they often had to share a mic and then step aside so another actor could step close. Amanda Warren offered to take off her high heels so she and Marisa Ashley could be about the same height. Corey Volence and Joel Warren shared the other mic with Andy Matchett and Chaz Krivan stepping in as needed. Toward the end of the recording session, the band, comprised of Minks members Abraham Couch, Brandon Kalber and Randy Coole, began to load in all their equipment. A symbol clashed to the floor. Andy turned and said, "Real nice guys".

Once recording was done for the night, the cast got ready for a full run through of the show. Amanda and Chaz went through some dance moves together. She improvised a new move and they agreed that it worked great. Corey's character, Ethan dreams of the end of the world so he can start his life over as a macho Mad Max road warrior or gun slinging survivalist. His girlfriend played by Marisa has to drag his sorry ass home from the bar. On the drive home, the world meets it's watery demise.

The show is funny, heart felt and full of surprises. It was awesome to see it being rehearsed again. The harmonies are richer than ever polishing the gem. The rock music is solid and original. Andy who wrote all the music starts the show off, singing, "I just can't wait for the world to end!" The mic is then handed off to Corey who takes over the lead roll. Andy only steps in once and a while after that as the all knowing narrator and a scientist.

After the run through, the cast got ready to make a a video promotional for the Key of E Soundtrack Kickstarter campaign. Corey acted as the narrator and the cast quickly threw together fun scenes that jokingly stressed the dire seriousness of the fundraising effort. As of this writing, $946 was raised of the $3000 goal. You could be the person to push campaign past the $1000 mark. Order the Key of E Soundtrack today! The album is done, waiting to be cut onto vinyl and magically digitized onto CD.

As I was sketching, I suddenly found myself smack dab in the middle of the promotional shoot with a camera pointed at me. I went for a subtle under played performance, channeling Al Pacino in that Italian restaurant scene in "The Godfather." NOT! No, I went for flummoxed because I was flummoxed. I will certainly not be getting an Oscar for that cameo. It was fun to play along with such an amazing cast for a moment.

After you order the soundtrack off Kickstarter, then get your tickets for the return of the show at The Venue (511 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL). So, Mark Your Calendar! You don't want to miss the end of the world. Show times are...
Friday: 8/23 8 PM
Saturday: 8/24 8 PM
Monday: 8/26 8 PM
Thursday: 8/29 8 PM
Friday: 8/30 8 PM

Tickets are $10 pre-sale, and $15 at the door.




All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Key of E Recording Session


On August 6th he cast of the Key of E was gathered together at their secret lab to record a vocals session for the new soundtrack that will be available on CD and Vinyl. There is a Kickstarter campaign going to raise the $3,000 needed to cover costs. Andy had to pay $3 for a sound clip of someone pissing outside a bar, so you can imagine the escalating costs. As of this writing, they have raised $931 towards the goal. Be the person to push them over the $1000 mark and get a copy of the soundtrack.

Justin Beckler set up the sound equipment and directed each recording segment. Audio was mixed on the spot using his laptop. Corey Volence  and Marisa Ashley are the romantic leads in this post apocalyptic rock musical with music written by Andy Matchett. The recording session was for the dramatic interactions between the characters. Although it involved plenty of hard work, it also was hysterically fun to watch. As actors searched for the right inflections and drama, they at times would break into uncontrollable laughter. Marisa had to do one scene in which she reacts when she sees a huge Tsunami wave. She must have done the line 20 times or more with endless variations of shock, awe, horror and amazement. Her performance as the sincere loving girlfriend is heart wrenching.

Corey who wrote the show read his lines off of his iPhone.  It seemed quite appropriate that he had a "Day of the Dead" T-shirt on. Andy, as a world renowned scientist, recorded an address to colleagues in which he predicted the end of the world.  He said it was pointless to warn the citizens since it would only cause mass hysteria. On the fly, Corey suggested that Andy say that, "We are safe in our colossal invisible helicarrier". It was a tongue twister that caught Andy by surprise but when delivered right, it was hilarious. Joel Warren was blunt, gruff and funny as a cocky jock who appoints himself boss and bully in the post apocalyptic island camp. He would shout, "Sco!" meaning "lets go", when he wanted his female minion to follow. I laughed every time he delivered that line. Amanda Warren, who is new to the cast, did an amazing job as the female branch of Corey's conscience. Her singing was pitch perfect, so much so that I had to stop sketching and watch. Like a fine wine, this show improves with age.

This show was the runaway hit from this years Fringe Festival. It won 11 Audience Choice Awards. It is returning for a brief run at The Venue (511 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL). So, Mark Your Calendar! You don't want to miss the end of the world. Show times are...
Friday: 8/23 8 PM
Saturday: 8/24 8 PM
Monday: 8/26 8 PM
Thursday: 8/29 8 PM
Friday: 8/30 8 PM

Tickets are $10 pre-sale, and $15 at the door.




All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Taste of the Nation


On Saturday August 10th, Terry and I went to the Orlando World Center Marriott to attend Taste of the Nation. 58 or so of Orlando's best restaurants were there in the Cypress Ballroom to offer samples of their best dishes and wines. Proceeds from the event went to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank and Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. Maria Diestro of Second Harvest asked me to document the event with a sketch. She walked us in a little early so I could get a jump on the sketch.

The Orlando Marriott World Center desert station is what caught my eye. A weeping willow tree covered in red lights illuminated the center of the exhibit. One of those spinning racks from a dry cleaner was suspended and constantly rotating with plates of pastries and deserts. Yellow and red circles were also hung creating an ever changing Calderesque effect that was eye catching. Chef Ramon Ramos, who came over to see the drawing, came up with the idea for the rotating display, and Wizard Connection, a special events design company engineered the display. Wizard Connection had a hand in a few other displays notably backdrops that looked like working charcoal ovens.

On the left of my sketch, several volunteers were talking to the auctioneer for quite some time. They later looked over my shoulder to say, "Hey, that's me!" At the beginning of the event, only VIPs were sampling the pastries, but as the sketch progressed the display became mobbed. I decided to keep the crowd down in my sketch to show off the deserts spinning. For two hours as I sketched, I didn't taste any food. Terry wandered the event found some friends and sampled everything.

Jen Vargas stopped to say hello. She had on the new Google Glass that lets you stay digitally connected constantly. She is beta testing the devise. The display is just above the eye line so you can just glance up to look at a GPS map or check your social media. She let me try it on. She told me to say, "Take picture" and when I did, the device captured my view. I decided to say, "Sketch picture with loose ink and watercolor." The glasses responded, "Sorry Dave, I can't do that." The biggest drawback is that the power only lasts for an hour and a half. I suggested to Jen that they should have a pocket battery backup. "They thought of that and I have one." She said. When you use the battery, you truly look like a Borg since a wire sticks out of the side of your head.

When the sketch was done, I texted Terry and she took me to sample the dishes she liked most. Restaurant vendors were beginning to pack up. I got a small cup of sea food from Cala Bella Italian Bistro which was decent with calamari and I believe lobster. We tried a small bowl of soup from Cress up in Deland which was light and a bit spicy. Then we found a table and had a couple of Cokes. She suggested I walk around to see what else I could find. The only open vendor was Olive Garden Restaurant, so I had a small sample of pasta. All these amazing restaurants and I was stuck with a Darden Chain. I also returned to the desert turntable station and got Terry a grapefruit desert cup. I tried it and thought it was apricot. Alright, so taste isn't my strongest sense. I'm thinking I should start a "Sketch What You Eat Diet". By the time you sketch your food, the meal would be cold and therefor you would eat less. This could be bigger than the "South Beach Diet" and much easier. That is if you like to sketch of course.

Share Our Strength's "No Kid Hungry" campaign was also a beneficiary of Taste of the Nation. One in five children struggle with hunger. Since 1988, Taste of the Nation has raised more than $80 million dollars to fight hunger.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Weekend Top 6 Picks


Weekend Top 6 Picks
Saturday August 17, 2013
10am to 5pm 19th Annual Grape Stomp. $2. Lake Winery and Vineyards 19239 US Highway 27 North Clermont FL. Live music wine tastings and gape stomping!

3pm to 7pm Free, Cruisin' Downtown DeLand Car Show! Free. East Indiana Ave Downtown DeLand, Deland FL. Classic cars & rods.  Live DJ, giveaways, shopping & dining. Fun for the family! Every 3rd Saturday night! INFO: & for showing your car 386-738-0649. http://mainstreetdeland.org

6pm to 8pm An evening with Sean Sexton and Florida short films. Free. The Gallery at Avalon Island 39 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32801. Heather Godwin will show her documentary about cowboy, poet Sean Sexton. Sean is a fifth generation Florida cowboy. Woodruff Laputka will be showing a piece from his micro-documentary series, Picture Book. Robert Bartlett will be showing his documentary photos of Florida cattlemen making sugar cane syrup.

Sunday August 18, 2013
2pm to 4pm  Music at the Library. Free. Downtown Orlando Public Library. Surabhi Adesh on sitar, and her sons Sanhalp Goberdhan on Tabla, Pratyush Goberdhan on the Violin.

5pm to 9pm Orlando Food Truck Bazaar. The cost of what you order. Fashion Square Mall 3201 East Colonial Drive, Orlando FL. http://www.thedailycity.com/2011/05/thedailycitycom-food-truck-bazaar.html

7:30pm to 9:30pm  Ramy Adley Concert.  Free, but good form to bring a bottle of wine or a side dish to share. Timucua White House 2000 South Summerlin Ave Orlando FL.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Broadway Brunch

On Sunday July 21st I finally had the chance to experience "Broadway Brunch" at Hamburger Mary's (110 West Church Street Orlando, FL). Mark your calendar, every Sunday there were 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 Noon. If you want to jump start your Sunday, this is the place to do it.

Joshua Eads-Brown, who performed as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, first told me about "Broadway Brunch".  When I arrived, the place was already packed. I asked for a table with a decent view of the stage. My table in Siberia wasn't ideal, but it didn't matter since performers circulated around the room. At first an artist named Timothy Thomas, Aka Snaps, was doing a painting of the Brooklyn Bridge live on stage. He was fast. He finished one bridge painting and started another while I waited for my burger.

The show began with Ginger Minj and the Minx warming up the crowd. They asked, "How many gay men are in the house?!" Should I be gay for the day? No, I kept my hands busy on the sketchpad. There was some serious clapping in the audience. They asked, "How many lesbians are in the house?!" One woman clapped.  "Lets try that again! How many lesbians are in the house!?" The same woman clapped, but this time a two year old girl started clapping as well. There was plenty of laughter. "I guess it's true that we know or 'orientation' since birth!" "Alright, how many straight people are in the house?!" I was surprised that more than half the audience clapped. 

April Fresh danced and lip synced to "Everyone is Beautiful at the Ballet". The over the top performance was hilarious and endearing. There was a cast of about a dozen performers all singing for the love of music and tips. If you have ever secretly wanted to slip some bills down a mans cleavage, this is your chance. Ginger Minj referred to one actress as "the Face" since she is so expressive. It is true that when she was on stage you had to watch every emotion as it flickered across her face. The whole cast came out in nuns habits and sang "Raise Your Voice!" There were people celebrating birthdays and they were asked to go on stage to share shots of NyQuil and turpentine. Ginger raised her glass and said, "We tried this at a McDonald's once, but we got arrested in the ball pit". In closing the show, Ginger said, "Do something special for someone and, if men can look this good, there is no excuse for ugly women!"


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

RAW Elevations


0n July 11th, I went to RAW "Elevations" at The Abbey (100 S Eola Dr #100  Orlando, FL). Once a month, RAW showcases local Art, Fashion, Film, Performing Art, Photography, and Accessories. There is a dress code, so I put on my best cocktail attire. The Abbey was already packed when I arrived. I pushed my way through the crowd to look at all the art and decide what I should sketch.

I liked Tyler Ackom's art which was right near the entrance. I found a leather seat right next to the fake fireplace and I got to work. The crowd was so thick that I seldom got a complete glimpse of the work, but I pieced it together by always shifting my gaze. Tyler's work is a representation of Art and Music combined into one. He uses everything he can find from computer parts to wood, bamboo, plastics metals, ceramics and anything that would make the piece look cool. I imagine he must have quite the cluttered studio.

A young woman asked if she could sit in my artists stool which I had sitting next to my leather chair. She had high heels on and and her feet were killing her. There really wasn't anywhere else to sit in the place. The bar was full and everywhere else was dominated by art.  Tyler's aunt took an interest in my sketch and she photographed it in progress several times. Leggy models walked through the crowd presumably from a fashion show on the stage. For some reason Batman was there as well posing for pictures. By the time the sketch was done, I was exhausted from trying to look through the crowd. Leaving, I bumped into Parker Sketch, Shannon Holt and William IwasReallynothing seated outside which was really the only place where you could carry on a conversation. I showed them my sketch and expressed my frustrations in trying to get it done. They seemed to like the colors, and looking back, it isn't half bad.

Mark your Calendar, the next RAW Event at The Abbey is called "Translations" and it will be Thursday September 5th at 8PM. Tickets are $10.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fill the Grill Challenge


Cheftestants Ricky Ly, of the Tasty Chops blog and Kendra Lott, of Edible Orlando Magazine, faced off in the third annual "Fill the Grill Challenge". The competition took place at Whole Foods at Phillips Crossing (8003 Turkey Lake Road Orlando FL). Ricky Ly has just published a book called "Food Lovers Guide to Orlando". Ricky and I had been on a Daily City panel discussion about blogging in Orlando so he recognized me and gave me a warm handshake. His next door neighbors were also there to root for him. They ate pizza straight out of the box they had just ordered as they watched. It smelled so good!

The Cheftestants were given $20 and had 20 minutes to speed shop the store for their ingredients.  Two shopping carts awaited the contestants but one was swiped by an intrepid shopper. When a second cart was once again found, the competition began. An announcer on the stores loud speakers tracked the contestants progress down the isles. At the check out, Ricky Lee was over budget and he had to return some items and Kendra experienced the same problem. She did save 10 cents by reusing her own shopping bag. This is a Whole Foods policy and she cashed in.

When they returned, they were given a few minuted to prepare their work areas. They then had 20 minutes to prepare a dish to impress the judges, Brandon Moss, Chef Lenning and Chef Bruno who won last year's challenge. Dishes were judged based on presentation and of course taste.

Ricky was preparing a surf and turf. He said, "My dish was a spice rubbed flank steak with lemon butter seared sea scallop, purple potato, and  a whole ear of corn. My Biggest challenge was time from prepping and grilling and getting everything together in 20 minutes." He spent a sizable amount of time back at the spice table marinating the meat. "The rub I had used had garlic powder, dill weed, a touch of cumin, chili powder, coriander, and salt. The last minute countdown was nerve wrecking " he said. When the 20 minutes were up, he had to serve the grilled steak rather rare.

Kendra told me about her 20 minute creation,  "I did Key West shrimp with lemon and black pepper, and a paella-style rice with grilled heirloom tomato and Vidalia onion. I had planned to stuff the rice into a hollowed out avocado along with some chunks of avocado, but I ran out of time and had to just use a few avocado slices as garnish."

The judges spent a good deal of time tasting the dishes. The savory smell made my stomach rumble. The MC finally was given the tallied results. She announced, "And the winner is....." She paused. I shouted out, "Commercial break!" Sure enough, she began discussing discounts available in the store. The contestants groaned and waited. "The Winner is Kendra Lott!"

Mark your calendar! The next Fill the Grill Challenge is tomorrow August 15th starting at 6:30pm again at Whole Foods (8003 Turkey Lake Road Orlando FL). Nicole Aidelbaum of WHERE Orlando will face off against Christine Pittman of Cook the Story. The winner of that round will then face off against Kendra Lott for this year's championship title.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Adult Workshop, Patterns in Life


On Wednesday July 24 from 6-7:30 p.m. I went to the Mennello Museum of American Art (900 East Princeton Street, Orlando, Florida)  for an adult workshop called Patterns in Life. After last summer’s success, the museum brought 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.

Patterns in Life explored intriguing designs created by the Florida Seminoles. Their native patterns are often inspired by plant motifs and other aspects of the natural world. Attendees tried their hands at designing symbols of their world. The four UCF Student Instructors were Mary Joy Torrecampo, Charles Morrison, Kristine "Kiki" Esdaille and Lujan Perez. I was impressed that Charles was doing the same thing I was doing, by documenting the workshop with a sketch. Lujan, seated at the head of the table was working on an orange painting that evolved into a portrait. It was encouraging to see students doing impressive figurative work. I told them about the World Wide SketchCrawl and Charles seemed intrigued.

The Cunningham paintings on the walls seemed to glow on the dark purple walls creating a vibrant pattern. Spanish moss draped off the branches of the huge Live Oak behind the museum. I never got a closeup look at any of the five attendees paintings. But everyone certainly had a fun time.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Any Road Will Take You There


Terry and I went to the Kerouac House (1418 Clouser Street Orlando FL) on Saturday, July 20th at 8PM to hear David Berner read from his book "Any Road Will Take You There: A Journey of Fathers and Sons". David, a past resident author at the Kerouac House, now resides in Chicago. He felt his life was at an impasse and decided to take a road trip with his sons to loosely follow Jack Kerouac's journey's cross country. Rather than travel in a vintage automobile, he decided to travel in an RV. One of his sons said, "Its not cool dad, it is a tin can." Regardless his son was up for the adventure.

David found a family photo which hinted at strained relations due to infidelity. He realized he had never been told about the hurt feelings and anger as he grew up. He wanted to know his own sons better. The mid-life "On the Road" trip would be a way to connect. While writing in the Kerouac House, David felt Jack's presence in the back room and he decided that is where he would have to write.  David knew quite a bit about self publishing saying most authors never sell more than one thousand books.

After the reading David signed books at the dining room table. Brooks Teevan, the present resident artist, told us all about a news cast about a plane crash of Asiana Flight 214. The names of the pilots had been researched and a call to an intern at the MTSB confirmed the names. The captain was Sum Ting Wong, and the other pilots were Wi To Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, and Bang Ding Ow. The newscaster never skipped a beat as she read the names off the teleprompter. Someone must have been playing a prank which somehow slipped through the rigorous checks needed before the story aired. As horrible as the news of the crash was, it was impossible not to laugh. Long after the conversation had moved on to a more literary topic, Terry kept laughing uncontrollably. Just when she could catch her breath, she would start again and everyone would join in.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Florida Overtures Undertones, Subplots


On July 18th, I went to the opening of "Florida Overtures, Undertones and Sub Plots" at Gallery at Avalon Island ( 39 South Magnolia Avenue, Orlando FL). The opening featured live music from Chris Aycrigg’s group , all nestled inside an Orlando architectural gem, the Rogers Building.

The show was a multimedia collection that examined the state’s intricacies and idiosyncrasies through the eyes of 13 artists.The artists included, Gary Monroe, Carmon Colangelo, Therman Statom, Matt Roberts, Brian Phillips, Tamara Cedre, Phillip Estlund, and Jay Flynn. I was intrigued by the black and white photos of Gary Monroe of hasidic Jews in Miami beach. In the front window Jay Flynn had large sheets of plastic or glass had prints on them and the sheets were bent or melting giving a warped surreal effect.

As I sketched the musicians, one of their wives entered with her daughter.  Her daughter was intrigued. She stood beside me watching as I splashed color onto the sketch of her dad. Once the sketch was done, I treated myself to some nuts which were on the table. As I left, Carl Knickerbocker was just arriving. He told me that one of the artists inside, Gary Monroe, wrote "Extraordinary Interpretations: Florida's Self Taught Artists", published in 2003. Of course this book showcased, Carl's Suburban Primitive work.

I also went over to City Arts Factory which was insanely crowed. The Re Define Gallery had toy Marquette's which were decorated by different artists. I'm pretty sure I recognized a toy by WoolfrichToni Taylor had several of her magnificent futuristic oil paintings on display. I told her that I wished I could take the time to create more refined pieces like hers. She said I should just keep doing what I'm doing. I didn't explore any other galleries. I decided I needed to get home.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

James Taylor Concert


On May 18th The Friends of the Orlando Philharmonic met at the Springs Community, in Longwood for a James Taylor Tribute Concert. The event was catered by Bubbalou's Bodacious BBQ. While it was still light, everyone got their fill of BBQ chicken and an open bar. As the sun set we all moved down to seating set up on the edge of the spring looking across from the stage. Others set up blankets on the grass hill that sloped down towards the spring with their own private picnics. The the annual outdoor concert at The Springs featured an amazing tribute to the quintessential American singer, songwriter James Taylor.

Shower The People” was a faithfully rendered presentation of more than two dozen James Taylor classics from his iconic pop masterpiece “Fire And Rain” to the Carole King treasure “You’ve  Got A Friend.” These songs have become entrenched as part of the musical landscape of our lives. The presentation explored a retrospective journey of James Taylor’s music and revealed anecdotal information about the history and creative process behind many of these musical gems. "Fire and Rain" chronicled James' experience in a mental institution the McLean Hospital in Massachusetts as a senior in high school. The fire in the song refers to his shock therapy. Rain is the cold showers that follow shock therapy. "Suzanne the plans they made put an end to you," refers to Suzanne Schnerr, a childhood friend of his who committed suicide while he was away recording his first album.

Shower The People” featured the voice and guitar work of Neil Donell. Respected as Canada’s premier session vocalist and referred to in the media as the “man of a thousand voices,” He was accompanied by a group of the most accomplished musicians and singers in the country, including Kathryn Rose, Leah Salomaa, Paul DeLong, Bob McAlpine, Jay Speziale and Lou Pomanti. The entire Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra offered gentle backup. Heat lightning flashed on the horizon while star light flickered on the water. The concert ended with "How Sweet It Is" and as we walked under the huge Live Oaks up the grass hill back to the car, it began to rain. Some lady pushed and shoved past me, running over my toes with her beer cooler. I pushed and shoved right back. The magic of the music was gone and I fumed in bumper to bumper traffic.




All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Weekend Top 6 Picks


Weekend Top 6 Picks
Saturday August 10, 2013
9am to 2pm Junk in the Trunk Rummage Sale! Alden Road in Ivanhoe Village near The Venue. Ivanhoe Village Main Street will team up with Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival to present the Junk in the Trunk Rummage Sale! In addition to finding some bargains, you'll be able to sip free mimosas and enjoy the cuisine of Local Yolk'l food truck. Proceeds will benefit IVMS and Orlando Fringe.

10am to 5PM $7-10 Eco Friendly Pepper Expo. Saturday and Sunday.  International Palms Resort and Conference Center 6515 International Drive. Learn how to survive the apocalypse. omproinc.com

6:30pm to 10pm $150 Taste of the Nation. Orlando World Center Marriott 8701 World Center Dr. Orlando, Florida. Taste food and wine from all the best local restaurants all in one evening.

Sunday August 11, 2013
1pm to 3pm $5 Film Slam. The Enzian Theater, 1300 S Orlando Ave  Maitland, FL. See films from local film makers.

4:30pm to 6:30pm $13 Roller Derby Season Closer  Semoran Skateway 2670 Cassel Creek Boulevard, Casselberry, Florida. Come watch the Arkham Assailants and the Sunnyland Slammers battle it out one last time this season. The winner will take on the Serial Thrillers. Doors open at 4:30 and first jam is at 5:00.

7pm to 9pm Free White House Concert t2000 South Summerlin Orlando FL. P.J. Rohr who will play jazzical music (Claude Bolling and more) with her favorite pianist, Lee Lallance. Visual art will be by Maryse Jupillat. Doors open at 7PM and the music starts at 7:30PM.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Taco Tuesdays


Mark Tour Calendar, every Tuesday is $2 Taco Tuesday at Wall Street Cantina in Wall Street Plaza (19 N. Orange Ave., Orlando , FL). The event includes $2 tacos, tequila shots, Cantinaritas and Corona and Corona Light beers. Tacos start flying from 2pm to 2am. I decided to do a sketch early in the day to surprise Terry who works downtown and loves Tacos. I figured I'd do a sketch and then call her at work to surprise her. Well the best laid plans go astray, when the sketch was finished I called only to find out she was out getting a massage in Maitland. I decided to order a second taco and keep working on the sketch.

As 5pm rolled around the place really started filling up. A group of white collar business men muscled up to the bar and grew louder. The waitress in a green T-shirt kept checking on my progress and she stoked my soda caffeine fix.  The $2 Tacos are only available in beef, but they were good. I headed home at rush hour to get some work done on the Urban Sketcher's guide which is almost finished.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

SHUT YOUR FACE!


Every Sunday at 6pm the SHUT YOUR FACE! Poetry Slam by Curtis Meyer is held at La Casa De La Paellas (10414 E Colonial Dr Orlando FL). This is the only current ongoing slam in Orlando officially certified by Poetry Slam Incorporated. A winning team can go to Nationals or to the Individual World Poetry Slam and Women of the World Poetry Slam. On the line for the evening was $50 to the winner.

I ordered some food when I arrived and started sketching the stage before the poets started. Tr3 Harris was in the room. He said that going to poetry readings first introduced him to Orlando's art scene. Now he is curating shows and is an integral player in Orlando's visual arts scene. Chaz Yorick was there with his daughter. Chaz read a hilarious poem titled, "I wanna make love like zombies" about sloppy, messy, zombie love that I'm positive would make a great animated short if read by Vincent Price.

I was wrangled into being one of the judges by the MC, Natalia "MyVerse" Pitti. She started the evening off with one of her own poems as a "sacrifice", the first bloodletting, to get the judges started. The point system was between one and ten. One being a poem that should have never been written and ten being a poem who's originality hit hard and transcended all other poems. My judging seemed fair since I was right in line with the other judges. As a matter of fact my scores were often identical to Michelle Long's scores, the Full Sail instructor seated across from me, right down to the tenth of a point. It was actually pretty spooky. I was a bit concerned that contestants might view my sketching as a sign that I wasn't fully engaged. Of course the opposite is true.

When I sketch a poetry event, I like to try and sketch the poet that I'm convinced will win. I decided to sketch Sasha Nichols Rivera. Sasha swayed like a reed in the breeze as she recited her poems. Her hands gestured to the flowing beat, caressing the air around her. Her delivery was ambisnapping dexterous in that the crowd snapped their fingers in approval and everyone anticipated her next word with every breath and pause. The inspired poems, verging or music, lifted people up. Speaking with her after the competition, she was direct and incredibly curious. She also goes out of her way to encourage other poets. Her mom Yaa Rivera is a painter who has shown her work at artist critique events I often attend. This town continues to shrink as I sketch. Sasha won the $50 prize.

If you’ve never been to a slam before, it’s definitely worth checking out. Contact Curtis for more info, curtisxmeyer@hotmail.com. Also, Mark Your Calendars, there is Free Flamenco Fridays at La Casa which I'm sure will tempt me back to sketch again.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

"Vicious Victor" Claims Title of Southeast Champ at Red Bull BC One Cypher Orlando


On June 30th, at Full Sail Live, “Vicious Victor” Montalvo took the crown in front of over 450 cheering fans, representing his hometown of Orlando as he rose to the top of the bracket.“Victor really took over the moment,” proclaimed judge RoxRite. “He played his rounds right. It was tough competition, but he always had more.” Victor, of the Fleet Boys crew, had his share of strong competition.  Victor beat out Morgan “Stripes” Andrews of Jacksonville, in the final, both having battled on the Red Bull BC One stage in previous years. The Red Bull BC One Cypher Orlando was a part of the prestigious Freestyle Sessions national event, hosted by The Bboy Spot.

Terry who was with me said that she always picked "Vicious Victor" because he always had incredible moves.  This really should be an Olympic Sport since it is much more interesting to watch than Pole vaulting. Members of these crews could balance and support all their weight on one arm. It made me want to go home and try to do a push up. It is fun to watch the crews mock each other as they swagger. Contestants pace impatiently until they can strut their stuff. Before one of the rounds, a five year old boy ran out and started doing his moves. MC Supernatural played it up saying he expected to see this boy as a champ a few years from now.

"Vicious Victor" Montalvo, representing Florida, will move on to compete against the best b-boys in the U.S. during the Red Bull BC One North American Final held August 17th 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.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Mary Halvorsen Septet

On Monday July 1st at 7:30pm there was a free Concert by the Mary Halvorson Septet at the White House (2000 South Summerlin Orlando FL).  Mary Halvorson is a multiple award winning musician leading the charge towards a new musical landscape. She learned much with Anthony Braxton over the years and plays with a septet of the best musicians around. Presented by the Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Civic Minded 5.

Mary Halvorsen has been an artist in Residence at the Atlantic Center of the Arts and she teamed up with the jazz musicians who used to perform with the great Sam Rivers who unfortunately passed away.

The visual artist for the night was Woody Igou. He had a kinetic sculpture set up in front of the stage which mostly consisted of thick PVC tubes. He poured two compounds into the tubes and a chemical reaction caused a yellow foam to ooze out much like a science fair volcano project. The musicians eyed the sculpture with suspicion before they played but once they knew they were safe, they began playing Mary's original compositions. The music was new aged and cutting edged.

Seated in the top balcony, I lost all light when the sun set. I had to guess at which colors I was putting on the page. In some ways working in the dark was like the music which didn't adhere to classic forms. Sometimes you have to let go of expectations and search blindly in the dark. The White House concerts have become increasingly popular since I first started sketching there.   

Mark your Calendar!  The next free White House Concert on Sunday, Aug 11, 2013 features P.J. Rohr who will play jazzical music (Claude Bolling and more) with her favorite pianist, Lee Lallance. Visual art will be by Maryse Jupillat. Doors open at 7PM and the music starts at 7:30PM. The White House is at 2000 South Summerlin Orlando FL.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Uno's Pizza


After picking up some artwork at Drip, I went to have some pizza at Uno's Chicago Grill (8250 International Drive Orlando, FL). I've been inside Uno's before, but only when it was full of zombies. I searched for the cheapest single serving pizza I could find on the menu and it still was about $9. I quickly sketched the interior while I waited for the pizza to arrive. I asked the waiter about all the construction going on across the street on International Drive. A large one block area had been leveled just north of Ripley's Believe it or Not. Apparently a very large aquarium is being build which would certainly bring in the tourist crowd. 

Over the next two years, more than a 500 million dollars worth of new projects are planned and visitors will be able to view it all from the 425 foot-high Orlando Eye which is scheduled to open in summer 2014. The $250 redevelopment of the former Mercado site also plans to include Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, Sea Life Aquarium, 232,850 square feet of retail, restaurants and entertainment.

 At the heart of the new project is the Orlando Eye, a long-in-the-works observation wheel inspired by the iconic London Eye found along the Thames Embankment. A 425-foot tall observation wheel (actually three feet taller than its London counterpart) will serve as the centerpiece of the entertainment district, allowing guests to experience a near-30 minute journey into the Orlando air to see the city’s unique skyline. Of course people could see the Orlando skyline a whole lot better if the went downtown, but that is just crazy talk. Who would want to leave International Drive if it has a Ferris Wheel and an aquarium?

Early signers in the food and beverage department have begun to reveal themselves. Red Robin, Outback Steakhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings and Carrabba’s Italian Grill are existing Central Florida franchises that will have new locations within I-Drive Live. Concepts new to the area include Cooper’s Hawk Winery, Chuy’s Tex-Mex Restaurant, and Seafood Republic, Orlando restaurateur Bobby Moore’s latest project for the area.It looks like Uno's is going to have stiff competition in 2014.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Key of E - The Full Cast Recording of the End of the World!


The Key of E took the 2013 International Fringe Festival by an apocalyptic storm. Help this award-winning apocalyptic rock musical record soundtrack come to life! You know you want it. The completely new and original apocalyptic rock musical by Andy Matchett won 11 Audience Choice Awards, the most of any show in the history of the awards, including Best Musical and Best of Fringe. A Kickstarter has been created to help produce the soundtrack to the show on CD and Vinyl! The goal of the kickstarter is to raise $3,000 before August 21st at 5PM. To date, $280 have been pledged. Donate to the Kickstarter to guarantee you get your copy of the music. For and donation of $250 or more you can get a signed archival print of the Key of E Monster as seen on this site.

Mark your Calendar, The Key of E will be returning to the stage starting August 23rd to August 31st at The Venue (511 Virginia Drive Orlando FL). Tickets to the show are just $10. Show times are at 8PM. Seriously, this show will rock your face off!


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Imprint Show


June's Imprint Show at The Gallery at Avalon Island ( 39 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, Florida) featured all women artists. On June 29th the artists talked about their process. The first artist to speak was  Emilie Finney. Her work featured large sheets of drywall with words cut into it. I was sitting in the bay window and when she started talking I realized I was sort of sitting in the midst of her piece. l considered moving but I was well into the sketch at that point.

Emily likes to get to the heart of the matter. She loves reading and writing and she grew up in a bilingual household. She is concerned that literacy is on the decline. A linguist said that it is possible to learn any language if you just memorize the 250 most used words. She began to wonder what the 250 most used words are in English. Around the same time she was reading George Orwell's "1984" where the elimination of language resulted in the elimination of creativity and expression. She carved sayings from "1984" into drywall. She began to wonder, "What defines America?" Is it the Declaration of Independence? The "I have a Dream"speech? The Star Spangled Banner song? What would these look like if they were only written with 250 words? Emily discovered drywall because her uncle was using it. With a single swipe of his blade he could cleanly crack the drywall in two, she was hooked.

I sketched Lesley Silvia as she spoke about her Sherenschitten, or black paper cutouts. She considers herself a recovering photographer. She did some very experimental and creative photography but there are so many photographers which made it hard to be seen. She started with cutting paper because it is part of her European heritage. She discovered that she loved the process. Many of her pieces were based on European Folktales but they are also deeply personal. She brought along a loose leaf binder where she keeps all of her developmental thumbnail sketches and research. I looked through it after her talk and was astounded at the level of organization and how many ideas were taking form and being developed. Every step in the process was preserved. It reminded me of the notebooks that Edward Hopper kept to document his paintings. It was exciting to see her process so clearly preserved. I have so much yet to learn.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Birkbeck, Duff and Ball

On June 20th (Third Thursday), The Gallery at Avalon Island featured musicians Rick Birkbeck, Duff and Ball at the opening reception for The Imprint Show. A large fabric instillation grappled its way through the entry where the main exhibit was and where the musicians performed. Naomi Butterfield was there listening and Terry and I joined her. One of the musicians was related to Naomi, but I don't recall the links on the family tree. The musicians had to perform over the ever louder conversations that erupted around the art.

The Imprint show featured all women artists including Dina Mack and Leslie Silvia. Dina and Leslie's work are exact opposites visually. Dina had quiet abstracts that featured white on white while Leslie's work had black paper cutouts that boldly featured folklore bordering on nightmares. Britty Metty aka Brittany Metz, had a complex installation that resembled an alter with an illuminated Virgin Mary that had her skull shattered. Stuffed animals and an intricate assortment of found objects were piled up at the Virgin's feet.

This was the evening of the last game in the NBA Finals, so Terry wanted to go to Frank & Stein's (150 South Magnolia Avenue Orlando, FL) for some hot dogs and watch the game. It was an exciting game, with the Miami Heat winning. Towards the end of the game, Frankie Messina, Naomi and several others stopped in to watch the climax of the game. Frankie gave several of us "Emblems of Power" necklaces made by Mo4us Da Heru. Mine was an all black bead necklace with a golden cross encased in a black cube.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.