Sunday, September 8, 2013

Barnes & Noble

I went to Barnes and Noble in Plaza Venezia (7900 W. Sand Lake Road Orlando, FL) on a Sunday afternoon to do a sketch for a London Publisher for a book fair. My job was to be sure I caught plenty of people looking through the books. The coffee shop was crowded, but they didn't want it to seem like people were reading a whole book while sipping coffee without paying. I wandered the isles and confronted with the terrifying fact that the place was largely deserted. Only one guy sat on the floor in the business section devouring a book. I circled him but decided that the business section was too barren a landscape.

I finally settled into the bargain section of the bookstore figuring people might consider these marked down books as a present.  The counter where they were selling Nooks was one isle to my right. That digital devise is slowly making bookstores obsolete. I'm guilty of getting Terry a Nook as a present and she just packed it in her luggage, happy it weighed less than any book. At the end of isles were end cap displays which publishers have to pay extra money to showcase their books. The books available in the end caps that I could see were classics like Frankenstein and Pride and Prejudice. Many of the books to my left were self help books. One young woman flipped through a book called "Bad Girls, Great Sex" for the longest time. To my right were the Bargain Basement Books.

A woman looked over my shoulder for a bit and then told me, "I was just just been talking to my girl friend about wanting to do pen and ink drawings with watercolor washes, and then here you are!" She shouted to her friend, "Hey Sally, get over here! Forget that, come here, you have to see this." Her friend confirmed their conversation. I explained that my sketch was about half done. They asked what the sketch was for and I explained that it was to promote a London Book Fair. "You mean London England, not London Illinois where I'm from right?" It felt good knowing she would likely go home and pick up her sketchbook and start filling it with lines and washes.

My butt was aching from sitting on my artists stool by the time the sketch was done. I probably spent more time on this sketch because I had to capture so many books. There was a low rumble of Thunder and lightning flashed outside.  I decided the sketch was done, and I ran out to my car before the skies opened up.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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