Saturday, November 30, 2013

An Evening with Executive Director Frank Holt

On October 15th I went to The Mennello Museum of American Art (900 East Princeton Street, Orlando, Fl.) to join the museum's executive director Frank Holt for a walk and talk through the Everglades series of exhibits.As people arrived, I got to work on my sketch. The room I was in was filled with paintings by Eugine Savage. In 1935, he made the first of many trips into the Florida Everglades to study the Seminoles and their traditions. Eugene was a mural artist and all his paintings have a very bold consistent look. The Indians tolerated the artist at first but when he started depicting women partly unclothed, they stopped appreciating his vision. Any Seminole woman who had a romance with a white man would be cast out of the tribe, floating down river in a dug out canoe. The intricate patterns of traditional dress was treated with loving detail while extraneous detail was stripped away from the Everglades environments. The studies done in watercolor on tan paper were often mounted beside the final paintings giving amazing insight into the artist's process. The artist also hand made the frames giving this collection of paintings an amazing uniformity.

Art and Artifacts of the Seminole were on display along with the paintings. With the development of Florida as a Tourist state, the traditions of the Seminoles slowly died. Villages were reduced to roadside attractions where you could have your picture taken with a local Indian.  There is something sad in seeing these once proud people reduced to selling trinkets and photo opportunities. The artifacts are on loan from the collection of I.S.K. Reeves V and Sara W. Reeves. In the main gallery, Earl Cunningham paintings of the Everglades are on display. These painting seem to literally glow as the jump off the walls. In the back gallery, sketches of Rob Storter document Southwest Florida Everglades life in line and wash. I love these direct observational sketches that help preserve a simpler life that is long gone.

Frank Holt curated the Mennello Museum’s current Everglades series of exhibitions like a conductor bringing together the notes that create a symphony. The longtime executive director is at home orchestrating displays of art in this museum, where he has practiced his craft since it opened in November 1998. When done well, the evidence of the curator’s hand is not obvious, but it is distinct. His signature is bold wall colors, brilliant lighting and thoughtful interplay between the showcased art and the natural architecture of the museum. Mark your Calendar, these exhibits are up till January 5th of 2014, and they shouldn't be missed. Opening on January 17th, 2014 will be Southwestern Allure: The Art of the Santa Fe Art Colony. This exhibition features 40 artworks from public and private collections that reflect the development of Santa Fe as an art colony through the artists who visited there and helped establish the city as an artistic center.

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, November 29, 2013

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday November 30, 2013
10am to 1pm $10 Dessin de Figures Maitland Art Center Studio 6 (231 W Packwood Ave, Maitland,, FL.) This is the return of this workshop from last year. It will be an on going figure drawing session that has been offered by Steve Pi, one of the Sculpture Instructors at the Maitland Art Center and one of our members.

11am to 5pm Free to browse. Finds on Shine. Maxine's on Shine (337 N. Shine Ave. Orlando FL.) Shop for holiday gifts, including antiques, jewelry, artwork, handmade pottery and more.

8pm $17-$70 Home for the Holidays. Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre (401 W. Livingston St. Orlando FL.)  Orlando Philharmonic concert featuring the Holiday Singers and guest conductor Alber-George Schram.

Sunday December 1, 2013
11am to 4pm Free Crealdé School of Art's Annual Holiday Sale. Crealde School of Art (600 St. Andrews Blvd. Winter Park FL.) Shop for jewelry, ceramics, glass and sculpture works at this outdoor event in the Contemporary Sculpture Garden

1pm to 3pm $10 A Season of Love. The Abbey (100 S. Eola Drive Orlando FL.) Holiday concert performed by the Central Florida Sounds of Freedom, Orlando's LGBT band and color guard

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

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

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Myth & Magic

Terry invited me to a fundraising event called "Stand up to Bullying" at Ted Maines and Jeff Miller's gorgeous condo in downtown Orlando. It was raining hard and the traffic to get downtown was horrible. I took a new course every time the traffic came to a dead stop but was still very late ti the event. The event was packed full of beautiful people. I swear half the crown had to be models. The condo has some amazing art, like a diamond studded portrait of Marilyn Monroe, a gold platted AK 47 machine gun lamp, a Robert Rauchenburg and some Andy Warhol prints. The living room table was covered with jewelry and people crowded around to try things on. Terry decided to buy a gorgeous ring with interlaces strands of metal and plenty of stones. Stand up to Bullying aims to educate students that bullying isn't cool. There  will always be bully's and victims, but the 98% of students who aren't bullys or victims need to know how they can help stop the trend rather than watching as a bystander. Since there wasn't enough time, I didn't sketch the event. Instead, I decided to walk over to Third Thursday to sketch there.

I quickly walked through Gallery at Avalon Island and City Arts Factory, but they would only be open till 9pm so again I didn't have enough time.Galleries in this sleepy little town sure hut down early, but the bars remain open till 2am for the drunks. So I ended up in NV Lounge which is great hideaway from the madness of the other nightclubs in Downtown Orlando since 2005. Tr3 Harris had curated a show titled “ Myth and Magic”.  "Benjamin Ezra Cremer and Toni L Taylor encompass Myth and Magic in all their artwork. Toni Taylor’s beautiful artwork brings out the myths and mysteries of Ancient Egypt as well as the spirit and magic of Native America. Goddess imagery is represented powerfully in her collection. Ben Cremer has the Aztec flare incorporating the myths and magic of that society into his artwork.The powers of mysterious and supernatural forces have come together to create an amazing showing, that create a legendary story. Toni Taylor and Ben Cremer’s artwork taps into the collective consciousness of the human race and serves to help create new mythology for our modern times." said Tr3.

 I have been a long time fan of Toni's work. Born in Mount Vernon NY, she wants to touch parts of the viewer's soul, by taking a mental, emotional and spiritual aspect and placing it into her creations. She wants people to tap into the ability to dream their dreams and stimulate their own imaginations. Her highly polished oil paintings are incredibly sensual and lyrical. One of my favorites, called "Tantrika" shows a nude woman's backside as she lifts her large curly dreads. A  jeweled pendant is delicately chained around her hips to hang in the small of her back. Krishna's multiple arms radiate around her. Mark your calendar. This show is open through December 15th. I suggest you go to get a drink and soak up the magic.

 As I left NV, the bartender wanted to see my sketch. I noticed a man stood nearby staring into a Lawyers empty offices. What on earth was he looking at? When I walked past him, he turned began to follow me. I had dressed up for the Stand Up to Bullying event. My dress shoes clomped loudly on the wet pavement. I had no doubt that he stood near the bar with the intent to shake down any lone stray mark. If I took my usual route back to the car, I would be exposed on a deserted empty block with no businesses. My umbrella would make a poor excuse for a weapon. I cut across the street towards a crowded and loud sports bar. I stopped in front of the bar for  a moment and watched my stalker slow to a stop across the street. He studied me.  At the street corner we stood opposite each other till the light changed. I decided the best thing to do was to walk straight towards him in the intersection rather than turn my back to him. If there was to be a confrontation, we would have it in the middle of the street in front of a crowded bar. I studied his face as we crossed each other in the intersection so I could sketch him if needed for police. I kept a quick pace on the long walk back too the car, but he had stopped following.

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, November 27, 2013

Flocktail Party

Lisa Coney invited me to the New Bistro on Park Avenue In The Hidden Garden Courtyard (348 North Park Avenue, Winter Park, Fl).  On November 13th I went to find out more about fabulous flocktails and fun. Clyde Moore of I Luv Winter Park was there and he gave me a warm welcome. His pink collared shirt fit in perfectly with the decor. A dozen or so pink flamingos stood on tables, shelves and the bar. Each had been decorated by a local artist. Each was a unique work of art.

Robin Maynard, the founder of Libby's Legacy, a breast cancer foundation, introduced herself. She knew of me because she saw me sketching at Scooters for Hooters, another charitable organization she started in 2007 shortly after her mothers death.  $1 from every Pink Flocktail went to Libby's Legacy. The Flocktails were bright pink drinks served in martini glassed.

The Mission of Libby’s Legacy is to provide comprehensive breast health care to the under served Central Florida community through education, mammograms, follow up diagnostics and Hope Coaches on the journey from diagnosis to treatment. Libby’s Legacy also helps stage IV breast cancer patients battling this disease by granting wishes in order to create cherished memories with loved ones through the LIVE BIG program. Not just Surviving…but LIVING!

All the art sales benefit Libby’s Legacy and the local artists. The Flocktail Party was a way to thank the Artists and 1350 West Art Gallery where the flock was being auctioned off. The room grew crowded with artists and patrons and conversations roared. Inspired by the life of Libby Maynard, Libby Legacy foundation strives to be secure enough to be vulnerable, strong enough to be gentle, wise enough to be humble, and powerful enough to serve others!

As of May 2013 Nearly 4000 Breast Health services have been provided, 55 breast cancers have been diagnosed through these life saving diagnostics and 6 LIVE BIG cruises have been granted! That's what you've done Central Florida!  My own mother, Elvira, died from breast cancer when I was 10 years old. I feel a strong desire to help the cause. If anyone buys a print or the original of this sketch, I will donate 50% of the sale to Libby's Legacy. Leave a comment if you would like to help.

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, November 26, 2013

Ethos Vegan Kitchen

On October 22nd, I planned to go to Rollins College to sketch a concert. I got to Winter Park several hours early and decided to get dinner at Ethos Vegan Kitchen (601 S New York Ave, Winter Park, FL). I hadn't eaten at Ethos since it moved from it's previous location in Ivanhoe Village. The new restaurant location is cavernous with a long bar set up against one wall. The interior easily had to be more than twice as large.

I sat at a table for one and asked advice on ordering a drink with caffeine.  The waitress suggested a sweet, organic iced tea which was quite good. I ordered a lasagna which was just as good as any meat filled lasagna I've ever had. If vegan food is this good, then I can seriously consider changing my diet.

I really didn't have time to sketch if I was going to get to the concert on time, but I couldn't resist drawing the bar which vaguely reminded me of Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks" painting. The people at the bar were Ethos employees who were eating dinner before starting their shift for the night. My waitress checked up on me periodically. I don't think she was used to having someone linger as long as I did. Pumpkin pie was written on the chalk board and I couldn't resist kicking off the fall season with a slice. I deserve a small treat.

Sure enough, as I finished up the sketch, I realized that I was late to the concert. I decided to bag the concert and I walked back to my car instead. Sometimes my sketch plans change on a whim. I need to pay attention to that inner voice, especially when it whispers "pumpkin pie..."

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, November 25, 2013

The Sea Urchin

11-19-13SeaUrchinOn November 18th, Mayor Buddy Dyer dedicated Orlando's permanent contemporary sculpture collection. See Art Orlando was responsibly for bringing eight sculptures to downtown. Most of the sculptures are around lake Eola. See Art Orlando’s mission is to enhance the aesthetic experience and cultural image of Downtown Orlando through a major Public Sculpture Community Project. The installation of iconic works of art throughout the City will bring National and International attention to Orlando and will add to the economic viability of the community. The operating funds come from partnerships with corporations, family trusts, charitable grants and individual donations.
This sculpture by Wendy Ross is in the Seaside Plaza (201 S. Orange Avenue Orlando FL) just 2 blocks from City Hall. It's erect similarity to the Asparagus in front of City Hall is astounding. One patron approaching the site said, "It looks like a Sea Urchin." The mayor and his entourage walked past me just as I was starting this sketch. Rick Singh, the Orange County Property Appraiser stopped to tell me that there was a collection of art work in his offices. Yulissa Arch, his outreach coordinator gave me her card. I had met Rick's wife at a Mennello Museum event and she impressed me as someone who truly appreciates art. Obviously so does Rick.

I had walked past many of the other sculptures on my way to Seaside Plaza. Each sculpture site had live musicians and libations. It was nice that the city lifted the ordinance that usually shuts down live performances on the streets of downtown for one night. As you approached each sculpture, you would hear musicians at work. Barricades surrounded sculptures where beer was being served. One woman walked away from a sculpture of a woman partially buried in the Lake Eola landscape. A policeman stopped the woman with the beer and told her she had to drink it inside the barricades. She took the order with good humor and returned to chug her drink.

The biggest party seemed to be at the Jacob Harmeling sculpture at Central and Osceola Avenue next to where the Farmers Market sets up and where "Food Not Bombs" used to share food before the police arrests and endless law suits shut this site down. This food sharing program now happens at City Hall. Jacob is the one local artist who is part or the sculpture project. Most of the sculptures light up using color changing diodes like those used in the Asparagus. I have to admit that the polished chrome illuminated sculptures do light up downtown, but I doubt many tourists will leave International Drive or the theme parks.

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, November 24, 2013

Neanderthal Ball

11-15-13BallThe Neanderthal Ball was held on November second at the Orlando Science Center (777 East Princeton Street). Patrons stepped into the Past as they supported the future at the Orlando Science Center.  Set amongst the prehistoric setting of “DinoDigs” and the Ice Age theme of “Our Planet, Our Universe” exhibit. There was delectable food and wine choices under under the star lit sky on the beautiful SunTrust Terrace. Of course there was a prehistoric the silent auction. Dress code was cocktail fun with an accent on “cavemen couture”, with an animal print necktie or leopard pattern cocktail dress!

Terry joined me, dressing like an exotic cave woman. She had a golden skirt and clashing cave woman patterns. The only thing I could find in my closet was a brown patterned Hawaiian shirt and cargo paints. I don't have any animal print in my closet! I suppose I was going for more of a paleontologist look. The event was held in the dinosaur room of the science center. I focused my attention on the Maxine's on Shine bar. This was one station that was sure to be busy all night, plus the bar maids were sporting plenty of cave woman cleavage.  The dinosaur skeletons were lit by red spot lights. As it turns out I was siting in a red spotlight as well so my ability to see what colors I put on the page was altered.

When it came time to crowned a new Harriett Lake Caveman Couture Champion! Terry was shocked that she didn't win. She bought me a couple of food samples which I scarfed down as I sketched. The next room had a huge planet earth globe that showed how the continents might drift as the planet changes millions of years into the future. Florida quickly sank into the ocean.

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, November 23, 2013

Wine Art at Downtown Lake Mary

Mark Your Calendar, Wine Art Wednesdays happens on the first Wednesday of every month in Downtown Lake Mary, (101 N 4Th St Lake Mary, FL).  The park is already decked out in Christmas lights which wrap around tree trunks.The sidewalks are lined with merchants and displays from local artists. Relax and unwind to some live music while sipping a glass of wine from the new beer and wine garden in Central Park or dig into some eats from some of the best food trucks and newest restaurants in Downtown Lake Mary. 

After exploring the dozen or so artists tents, I decided to sketch this odd police tricycle. A little ten year old boy was just as intrigued as I was and the policeman crouched down to talk to him. After I had it blocked in, a policeman hopped on and rode around the event. The food truck always had a short line.  I'm sure more food and drink was being sold than art. Perhaps edible art would sell.

Thomas, one of the artists who had a tent, came over to see what I was up to. He does pencil drawings and he bragged that he used the cheapest dollar store pencils he can find. Most tents had crafts items which might be good to buy for the Christmas season. Brazilian steel drum players were performing on the make shift stage in the park. An area near the stage was fenced off as the beer garden. It had picnic tables so you could relax and listen to music while you drank.

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, November 22, 2013

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday November 23, 2013
9am to 4pm Annual District 3 Thespian Festival. Free. Lyman High School in Longwood, FL. District 3 Thespians, the high school theater organization for students in Flagler, Lake, Seminole & Volusia Counties will feature local theaters, colleges, and theater-related businesses in the vendor room at our annual District 3 Thespian Festival.

10am to Midnight Dr. Who Holiday Art Event. $10. Acme Comics and Cards 905 E State Road 434 #100 Longwood FL.

Noon to 4pm  Community Indigo Vat Dying Party. Misty Forest 611 N. Hyer Ave., Orlando, Florida FL. This party is free to workshop attendees and $5 for friends and community. I would like to invite our friends and community to help us use the remainder of the dye by hosting an Indigo Vat Dyeing Party. You are welcome to share in this exciting process by bringing a few 100% natural plant-based fabrics (cotton, hemp, & linen only) to dye in the indigo. You may bring clothing, accessories, yarn, pillow cases, tote bags, napkins, etc. Please do not bring sheets or excessive yards of fabric. Our vat is small and I ask that you limited yourself to 3-5 items. Please wear old clothes and closed toe shoes. You will need to bring your own dust mask and latex gloves (these are required to participate). I will have string and rubber bands available to use for tie-dye and Shibori techniques. Preregistration is required. To register, please email me at

Sunday November 24, 2013
10am to Noon. Super Joy Riders. Eastern entrance of the Lake Eola Farmers’ Market. 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

Noon to 2pm.  Florida Gospel Jam. Free, just order something off the menu. Fish on Fire 7937 Daetwyler Drive Belle Isle FL. Every 2nd and 4th Sunday every month.

1pm to 3pm. Irish Music. Free, but order something off the menu. Olivia's in Eustice 108 N. Bay Street.

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, November 21, 2013

Happy Ho

Scottie Campbell, the Executive Director of Ivanhoe Village, tipped me off about the restoration of a neon sign which has been out of commission for twenty years. On November 7th, I went to the Historic Ivanhoe Building (1111 North Orange Ave. Orlando FL) to see the installation of a neon sign for the Holidays. These neon letters were restored this year by AC Signs. Tom Connery of the City of Orlando arranged for the restoration.

The Ivanhoe Building is where the ballet's offices are housed but it was recently vacated because of mold problems. I noticed one dancer walking down the sidewalk, so maybe the mold issue has been resolved.

As I sketched, more letters arrived by truck. The black crane was used to lift the letters up to the roof. A spotter stood in the grass holding two ropes to keep the letter from spinning in the breeze. The last few feet were the most difficult. If the neon hit the roof's edge too hard, it could break thus destroying all the restoration work.

A woman got off at the bus stop behind me. She shouted into her cell phone, "I hate you, I absolutely hate you!" I guess someone was going to pick her up, but they didn't. She was having a bad day. The workmen came off the roof for a break and they looked over my shoulder as I worked. The neon in each of the signs letters was tested one at a time. Everything seemed to work.

Mark Your Calendar!   November 22nd at 6PM, at the Historic Ivanhoe Building (1111 North Orange Ave. Orlando FL),  Mayor Buddy Dyer will throw the switch re-lighting the Happy Holidays/Happy New Year neon sign on top of the the historic Ivanhoe building. It will be the first time the sign has been lit in two decades!A reception will follow at The Hammered Lamb (1235 N Orange Ave, 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, November 20, 2013

Winter Garden Heritage Museum

On October 28th, I went to Winter Garden to drop off several prints with Beth Marshall. Her production of "Alice Lost in Wonderland" was coming to the end of its run at the Winter Garden Theatre (160 West Plant Street, Winter Garden, Fl). The final performance was November 3rd. Since I got to Winter Garden early, I started a sketch of the Winter Garden Heritage Museum while I waited to hear from Beth. Beth sent a text letting me know that I should meet her at the back stage door. The sketch wasn't finished but I walked down Plant Street to the theater. I waited outside for a few minutes then realized she might have meant to meet me inside the stage door so I went in. A stage manager guided me through the black curtains on stage and then into the theater. Beth was seated in the front row talking to the cast on stage.

The cast was offered the opportunity to purchase any props from the show at below cost. Costumes needed to be clean and hung, ready for collection by costuming. There was some concern that the green room refrigerator had started to smell, but author and Director, Rob Winn Anderson, pointed out that it wasn't a cast issue. This evening was Industry Night which means reduced ticket prices for people in the industry which means it could be a full house.

The cast began a run through of the fight sequence as Beth walked me back stage. It was rather fun walking through the middle of the brawl as it happened. It is always rewarding to present my work to Beth since she understands the value in what I do. I returned to the Heritage Museum to finish my sketch. Some models were posing for a photographer in front of the caboose as I approached. A husband, wife and their son walked towards downtown holding hands. The ten year old used his parents arms as a swing as they walked. There is a real charm to this downtown street which has history minus the strip mall over development seen in the rest of Central Florida.

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

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Paint the Trail

A reader suggested I contact artist Jim Sonksen who has begun an ambitious public art project. On October 23rd, I drove to his Longwood home. I parked in front of his house, I saw him at work in his garage which doubles as an artists studio. Jim's parents have a house that is right on the Seminole County Trail which is a long trail for bikers and joggers. Jim began painting his parent's wooden fence that faces the trail. Fence panels are covered with celebrity faces and sayings. One intriguing section had an image of the Florida panther in relief. As you walk past the panels the image changes twice depending on which angle you are viewing the piece from.

Jim knew I was coming to visit his studio and he did his research to find out my story online. I was surprised to find out he planned to do a painting of me as I sketched him. The outlines were all in place and all that was needed was color to fill. He likes to dip the brush deep into the paint well beyond the bristles so that more paint can flow down and cover a larger area. Jim uses old house paint which he sometimes picks up for free from the dump. He worked quickly as I sketched. He explained that painting has become a compulsion. Not a day goes by where he isn't working on this project.  His mom drove his daughter home from school that day which gave him a bit more time to paint.

He drove me to his parents home to show me the trail. His parents fence is completely covered with paintings and he has expanded the project, now painting neighbor's fences. His dream is to cover a five mile section of the trail with art. On weekends, cyclists, joggers and walkers congregate at the painted panels. This art sparks conversation and brings people together. This is a labor of love for the artist all the expenses are out of his pocket. He has started recruiting people to paint the panels for him so the fence can expand faster. This is a paint by numbers project that then becomes public art. The trouble is that not everyone completes the panels he gives out.

The Doctor Who phone booth is build out in one section of the fence and a shark lunges up dimensionally in front of the fence. Perhaps a hundred yards of fence panels are now covered with art. Unfortunately not every neighbor is keen on having their fences covered with art so there are gaps. Perhaps in time they will change their mind. Jim painted a car for a friend, making it like the trail but on wheels. The guy drove it through a car wash and those huge brushes started tearing into the thick paint. It's art dude, hand wash if from now on.

Some panels are done for charities like, Save the Florida Panther, Save the Sea Turtles, or Autism. Jim said that these panels were some of the most rewarding to do. As the project progresses, it has picked up steam, essentially taking on a life of it's own. His website takes donations to help keep the project going. Jim humbly doesn't consider himself an artist. He projects the images and uses color coded outlines to define color breaks. He is a carpenter by trade but work is scarce. Like myself, he is sort of between vocations because of hard times and he had to reinvent himself. This project keeps him busy to say the least. He claims anyone could do what he does, . But he most certainly has an artist's drive and sensibilities..

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, November 18, 2013

The Day After Party

On October 21st, I went to The Day After Party, at Sleuths Mystery Dinner Theatre (8267 International Drive, Orlando, Fl.) The organizer, Chozo Ninpo, was kind enough to let me in for a sketch. The room was set up to look like a medieval castle. The first act on stage was My Parents Favorite Music, followed by Emergency Pizza Party Area. The version I saw was simply Pizza. The singers shouted their hip hop into the mics. One singer had on a Chinese hat that hid his face in shadow. A few people stood on the dance floor swaying to the beats. While others snapped cell phone photos.

The organizer, Chozo, had items to auction off. One item was a helmet from the video game Halo. One singer from MPFM was dressed like a nerd princess but had a deep toned voice. I was most curious to see the local group, Solillaquists of Sound but they were not in the line up for the night. They performed at Nerdapalooza on Sunday night and had plans to come out to the after party but there was a scheduling conflict.

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, November 17, 2013

College Park Jazz Fest

On October 26th, Terry volunteered to help collect admissions fees and put wrist bands on patrons going to the College Park Jazz Fest. About five blocks of Edgewater Drive were blocked off and there were three stages for musicians. The street was crowded with people in their lawn chairs with picnics. For $200 entire tables were rented in the street. One area had couches and lounge chairs like someone had moved their entire living room into the street. One family had the ingenious idea of loading all their lawn chairs in a large kids wagon and then using the wagon as another seat when they were unpacked. They sat as a group on the entry to a bank.

The volunteers at this entry were all members of the Jack Kerouac Project.  The Kerouac House offers residencies to writers who are offered room and board so they can focus on their writing. Author, Caroline Walker, is the present resident author at the Kerouac House. She joined the volunteers at the entry. At one point we all wondered at a bright star in the southwest sky. It didn't flicker much, so we debated about it being a planet. Caroline had an application on her phone that clearly showed planets and constellations when she held it up to the sky. With all the bright lights from the festival, most stars were hard to see, but with the cell phone the sky blazed bright and vivid. The mysterious point of light was Venus. Mark Your Calendar, Caroline Walker will be reading at Functionally Literate, on November 22nd at The Gallery at Avalon Island (39 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, Fl) starting at 6pm.

Some of the volunteers left to find some food from vendors on the street. They returned with exotic Brazilian Tacos that looked delicious. Terry and I then went to find these tacos but all I ended up finding was a huge corn dog and a Coke. Some guy in a lime green souped up car parked near our entry station and cranked up his music to drown out the live jazz, The huge tires had those hubcaps that keep spinning after the car has stopped. The doors had huge sub woofer speakers in them and they caused the street to vibrate. After a quick flurry of photos he was gone.

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, November 16, 2013

Story Hunting

Mad About Words founder Mary Ann De Stefano invited me to sketch a workshop on October 26th by resident author Caroline Walker at the Kerouac House (1418 Clouser Avenue, Orlando FL). Caroline Walker is a writer, producer and amateur explorer originally from Rock Island, Illinois. She holds a BA from the University of Southern California and an MA from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She has hiked many miles of tunnels, mines, architectural time capsules, trails, not-yet-trails, roads, shorelines, cityscapes, caves, graveyards and abandoned buildings.

The invitation explained, "Writers explore uncharted territory every time we tell a story. We are the cartographers, archaeologists, anthropologists and private eyes of our own imaginations. The real world can be a powerful ally—if we know where to look for clues. This workshop encourages storytellers to excavate narratives through a connection to place. Using photographs and objects as prompts, participants will discover how to:

    Empower locations to serve as dynamic characters
    Employ everyday observation as an evocative research method
    Exploit objects and artifacts as unique narrative tools
    Experience a deeper connection to our surroundings"

This workshop was right up my alley. I'm out exploring everyday using a sketchbook to record the hunt.  Though Caroline was dressed in a fashionable black dress with a tight blue belt, she wore practical hiking boots instead of high heels. She asked the writers to focus on two things, Objects and Places. Places are secret keepers, clues to the story. She described in eloquent detail the unique place in Wisconsin where she grew up. It was spared from the glacial drifts millions of years ago which left it un-scarred. It is the one place where Paleozoic snails survive and it brings back vibrant childhood memories. She talked about the huge Live Oak in front of the Kerouac House which is surrounded by Resurrection ferns and all that implies. Some places instinctively make her light up with inspiration. For some people that place might be a beach, but she feels uncomfortable at the immense expanse of open ocean.   More than anything, she invited writers to discover what place lights them up, to access a childlike sense of newness.

Each writer said a little about themselves including a bit about a place that they call home. Caroline handed out photos she had taken of abandoned places and the authors had thirty seconds to write something based on what they saw. The results were surprising and sometimes profound. Caroline is a true listener, and endlessly curious, I suspect the writing session fueled her creative reserves as well. Her enthusiasm to explore and discover something new everyday was infectious and inspiring.

Mark Your Calendar, Caroline Walker will be reading at the Kerouac House (1418 Clouser Ave, Orlando, FL) on November 16th at 7pm. She will also be reading at Functionally Literate, on November 22nd at The Gallery at Avalon Island (39 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, Fl) starting at 6pm.

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, November 15, 2013

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday November 16, 2013
10am to 8pm Rotary's 3rd Annual Art, Craft and Wine Festival. Free to attend. Cranes Roost Park (274 Cranes Roost Blvd., Altamonte Springs, FL). Join us on November 16th and 17th for the 3rd Annual Rotary Art, Craft and Wine Festival! It's the perfect time of year to enjoy the cooler weather and a great opportunity to start your holiday shopping! This festival features 120+ talented artists and crafters offering original and unique items. Setting this event apart from other art and craft shows is the special Wine Stroll taking place both days. Map of Event.

10am to 4pm  Commander's Call. Free. Museum of Military History (5210 West Irlo Bronson Hwy Kissimmee FL). This ongoing program is held on the 3rd Saturday of each month is designed to appeal to families, military memorabilia collectors, history buffs, re-enactors & others interested in military history. In addition, persons interested in displaying, trading or selling their military items such as honor coins, swords, photographs, military buttons, scale model boats & planes, military art, uniforms or other equipment register in advance by calling the museum to reserve a spot. Re-enactors and veterans are welcome to come in uniform to add to the history & authenticity of the military experience. Non-military booths such as health care providers, home improvement, local attractions or other businesses are invited to be vendors for minimal donation.

9pm to Midnight  Out Go the Lights, Thee Wilt Chamberlain, The Haroux. $5 The Space (above Anthony's Pizza) on the corner of Mills/50. Thee Wilt Chamberlain, Casual Creatures (Miami), The Haroux, Rebel (Miami). Plus an art show featuring: Alana Questell, Guillermo Casanova, Brandon McLean, Adam Lavigne, Dnl Hrs. There will be and merchandise, Relief in Abstract table, and UCF Print Collective table in the art room

Sunday November 17, 2013
3pm to 6pm Yelp's Bohemian Bash. Free, but the event is full. $10 suggested donation to the Harbor HouseWaiting list RSVPThe Acre (4421 Edgewater Drive Orlando, FL). You won't want to miss this exhibition of excitement including crafty cocktails, nifty nibbles and eclectic entertainment!

5pm to 9pm Orlando Food Truck Bazaar.  Free to attend. Fashion Square Mall (3201 East Colonial Drive Orlando FL). Imagine a parking lot full of food trucks filled with delicious gourmet, ethnic, BBQ and desserts.  No beer, no music, no bounce houses. No fluff, just good food. (And bring your chairs!) Now imagine the entire parking lot picking up and moving to a different city night after night: that is The Food Truck Bazaar! This event travels just like a food truck does!

9pm to 11pm  Solo Acoustic Spoken Word. Natura Coffee and Tea (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

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Asparagus

11-13-13TheAsparigus2 Mayor Buddy Dyer and former Mayor Bill Frederick hosted the illumination ceremony for the “Tower of Light” on Nov 12.  The sculpture by artist Ed Carpenter, was commissioned and installed in 1992 under the leadership of then Mayor Bill Frederick. The original halogen lighting failed in 1994. Many attempts at funding a relighting project were discussed in the interim but the sculpture remained dark and neglected for 20 years. In fact, due to lack of funding, especially during the economic downturn, there was little to no maintenance at all performed to the sculpture or base. The light less Tower of Light's 102 glass panels weathered under the Florida sun growing dull over time. Its steel framework corroded.

Knowing that the City’s See Art Orlando project was slated for debut in late 2013, the Orlando chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) pledged to raise a minimum of $50,000 to clean and light the sculpture and rework the basin. Sitting on the Plaza in front of City Hall, the sculpture celebrates the intersection of private and public interests in the City of Orlando and is a symbol of the asparagus in our community. Including donated labor, the renovation cost an estimated $152,000, none of it from taxpayers.

 The 63-foot glass-and-steel spire received a makeover including 650 watts of programmable LEDS with full color spectrum, data cabling and a wireless controller. The controller can be programmed with numerous pre-sets (length and color of display) and can be accessed via the Internet on computer, phone or tablet. Sir Terrance Hummel added mosaics to the seating at the base of the sculpture.

As the sky grew dark, a crowd of 50 or so people gathered first on the balcony of City Hall and then in the City Hall square beneath the sculpture. A news helicopter hovered above City Hall for quite some time waiting for the sculpture to light up. Terry came down from her office and went across the street to see what was happening. She came back with a small squeeze bottle of disinfectant which I guess was swag at the event. She asked around to find out if any of the sculptures that are being placed all around town as part of "See Art Orlando" were by local artists and she was told that none of them were. My research showed that one sculptor, Jacob Harmeling, is from Orlando. His sculpture can be found in Lake Eola at Central Boulevard and Osceola Avenue near Publix. I haven't seen it yet.

Buddy, bathed in bright light gave his speech with the usual decrees.  Actually I couldn't hear anything he said from my perch across the street as I sketched. A passenger in a car parked at the red light next to me asked what was the building with the cylinder shaped tower. I pointed out city Hall and said the other building was just full of lawyers. At the proper moment the crowd grew still and the sculpture was illuminated for the first time in two decades. It glowed green and then the color shifted to blue and purple. Great, I thought, what color should I paint? I went with the first color that blazed bright. There was applause and people slowly dispersed. Josh Garrick approached me wanting to see what color I chose to use when illuminating the sculpture in my sketch. "Ah, you chose green, which makes it look all the more like an asparagus." said Josh. On Facebook that night everyone seemed to refer to the statue as "The Asparagus". Now I can't think of a better name.

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, November 13, 2013

Book Party and Launch: I Will Meet You at the River

On October 12th, Suzannah Gilman had a book launch party for her first book of poetry titled, "I will Meet You at the River" at Quantum Leap Winery (1312 Wilfred Dr, Orlando, FL.) Suzannah  was born in California and grew up in Florida. She attended Rollins College while raising four children, graduating with honors. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and is a licensed attorney. She has published poetry, essays, fiction, and nonfiction, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for poetry. " I Will Meet You at the River" is her first book. She and Billy Collins, who served as U.S. poet laureate from 2001 to 2003, have been together for years.

I arrived a bit early and began sketching the winery. A huge room out back had large barrels of wine stacked to the ceiling. Suzannah and Billy arrived with cheese platters that they set up on the bar. I had met the couple once at a folk music parking lot pickin' session behind the Twisty Treat in Ochoe Florida. Suzannah seemed a bit nervous and warm but soon the room was full of friends and supporters. I didn't attempt to sketch the whole crowd. I got to meet her sons, one of whom is an artist himself.

I particularly liked one poem titled, "How Dinner Got Cold", that  was about a couple preparing dinner together. There was the intimacy of the enclosed space as they brushed shoulders and he instinctively closed a cabinet for her. It reminded me of a scene in Annie Hall where Woody Allen and Diane Keaton prepared a live lobster. By the time the meal was ready the couple had already satiated something much more than hunger.

Another poem, "On Living With a Famous Poet," made Billy a bit nervous. "Jocelyn Bartkevicius was there, and she's the editor of The Florida Review, where it was published, so I HAD to read it!" explained Suzannah. The poem described a young woman who idolized the famous poet and desperately wanted the shared intimacy of having her words read. Later that month I saw Billy on "The Colbert Report" where he joked with the host and they read a poem together. You don't always get that much culture on prime time TV. Suzannah said,  "I did enjoy that party, oh yes I did.  It was the people, as I said, who just blew me away by showing up and supporting me.  As good a feeling as finding out I was going to have a chapbook published."

 "Passionate, wise, and funny, this lovely debut collection reminds us that the familiar world at any moment can ambush us with ecstasy."
- George Bilgere, author of THE WHITE MUSEUM

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, November 12, 2013

My Way

Terry and I went to a music street festival in Winter Garden. Three different stages were set up along plant street and there were vendor's tents set up everywhere. We listened to several groups outside, with one of them looking and  sounding like the Soggy Bottom Boys. For lunch we had some soft tacos from a food truck. The tacos were good, but could have used more sour cream and guacamole. As we walked past Pilar's Martini Bar, (146 W. Plant) straight next to the Winter Garden Theatre, we heard piano music inside. The air conditioning felt great after walking in the blazing sun all morning.

Kelly DeWayne Richards was at the piano. We know Kelly well, he even came to our home to play during our 20th anniversary vow renewal ceremony. Terry got up to sing several songs and Kelly asked me to sing, but my hands were busy. The owner of Pilar's knew of my work since I have sketched so often in the Winter Garden Theater. I thought the guy in the green shirt, looking at his smart phone was a costumer, but he was actually a bartender on a break. He left soon after I started sketching him to pour drinks and clean glasses. What I also didn't realize was that he is an amazing singer. He got up to perform the final solo before Kelly packed up to go. He sang a rousing rendition of "My Way" by Frank Sinatra, which had everyone in the bar up on their feet for a standing ovation when he was done.

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, November 11, 2013

The Next Round

On October 9, 2013 I went to the Orlando City Hall Rotunda, (400 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL) to attend a fundraiser that aimed to help build awareness and raise the funds necessary to preserve Orlando's architectural history. There was a raffle, silent auction, refreshments and live entertainment.

Commissioner Patty Sheehan has been instrumental in the mission of the title sponsor of Next Round, Nils M. Schweizer Fellows - Central Florida Modern, to promote awareness and seek the preservation of Florida's mid-century modern architecture. They are a non-profit corporation composed of design enthusiasts who have united to advance this cause.

With the Construction of the New Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center across the street from city hall, the unique round American Federal Building faces demolition. Although the building can't be saved, they hope to preserve a unique honey comb shaped cement structure known as the Brise Soleil. They are helping to raise private funds to save the Brise Soleil and use it in other locations, thus saving a part of Downtown Orlando History.

A total of $300,000 needs to be raised to remove and preserve all the panels. The city of Orlando has agreed to match any funds donated up to $70,000. How and where they use the Brise Soleil has yet to be determined. There have been dozens of submissions from architects throughout the world offering creative ideas on how to use the panels. The Brise Soleil may be used in sections in different ways in different locations throughout the City or in one defined locale. For instance, some or all of it could be use as a sculpture or set into the ground as a decorative path or even as a sun screen (its originally intended purpose).While the details are brought into focus, the fund-raising efforts must persist in order to save this piece of history, so it is not lost forever once The Round Building is demolished. Evan Miga prepared a short film that outlines the plans for the Brise Soleil.

Sarah Segal was at the fundraiser. It turns out that her father Bob Murphy had designed the Round Building which was built in 1963. Sarah that morning had been looking through letters and documents of her fathers. The round building had been a milestone for him, a turning point in his carrier and a labor of love. As she explained, "My mother was born in Narcoossee and met my father during WWII when many servicemen came thru Orlando. After marrying they stayed in Orlando, because Dad saw Orlando as a city of the future with room for modern architecture. This project was a joy for my father, from concept to completion and beyond. He regularly visited and enjoyed knowing the people who worked in the round building." 

The River Bottom Nightmare Band performed at the base of the stairwell in the rotunda. They performed Cajun music, even using a spoon and washboard at one point. There were seats set up but I was the only person sitting and facing the band. Everyone preferred to stand and mingle.

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, November 10, 2013

Tasty Tuesdays

Mark your Calendar! Every Tuesday between 6pm and 10pm Food Trucks gather in a parking lot in the Milk District for Tasty Tuesdays. The Trucks used to park on the street but local restaurants complained and a city ordinance shut down that practice. The parking lot is behind Spacebar (2421 East Robinson Street, Orlando FL). So food trucks can sell food in parking lots and driveways but they can't do business on the streets. It's a shame food vendors have to hide in back alleys yet prostitutes can work the streets.

It looks like Andrew Spear started a mural on the wall behind Space Bar. Terry told me about another local artist who agreed to do three murals for $1000 and he posed in front of an Andrew Spear mural for the announcement. If you consider the number of hours it will take to cover 3 walls with paint, that artist will be making well below minimum wage. A house painter would probably charge more to cover those walls with one coat of semigloss paint. Posing in front of someone else s work and claiming it as your own is just insane.

While doing this sketch I was given a business card by a fellow who just started an awning company. He suggested I could paint large logos on awnings that need them. I don't know if there is money in that type of endeavor but I'll consider anything.  With the sketch done, I decided to order an Empanada from La Empanada Food Truck. It was pre-prepaired so I didn't have to wait. I ordered the sweet potato & goat cheese for $3.50. It had roasted sweet potatoes with shallots, thyme, creamy goat cheese and a dash of curry. The outer crust was crunchy and potatoes, cheese and herbs inside were delicious. They gave me a second empanada sample which was filled with chocolate and that was pure heaven.

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, November 9, 2013

Into Darkness

On September 9th I went to the ArtsHub Art opening and a movie screening at the Chapman Leonard Studios LIVE (9460 Delegates Drive #100, Orlando, Fl). This is the latest showing of Local Artists’ Work At Chapman/Leonard Studios Coupled with A Night at the Movies: Screening of “Star Trek Into Darkness.” Plus there was a special performance from the dancers of Dakota P. Productions new television show “The Upbeat Dancer Show”  Chapman Leonard is an award winning manufacturer of camera support equipment for motion picture and television productions worldwide. The equipment manufacturer is based out of their state of the art sound stages and production facilities.

For the first time ever, thirteen local artists will display work at the Chapman Leonard Studios. The local artists’ work may be viewed during normal business hours by appointment with an Arts Hub Representative. “Chapman Leonard is proud to bring local artists into their studio facilities” commented Brad Biggs of The Arts Hub FL, curator for this art show. Marketing director of Chapman Leonard, Christine Huenergardt, added, “ we are a worldwide partner to movie makers, and their philosophy includes a commitment to the local arts scene. We are pleased to present this first group of artists ever displayed in our East Coast Studios.”

Artists included Ken Austin, Patricia Byron, Janae Corrado, Mark “TR3” Harris, Catherine Hempel, Saulius Jankauskas, Jason Lee, Kimberly Mathis, Richard Reep, and Parker Sketch. In addition, as a special treat, Chapman Leonard has also installed outdoor sculptures by local artists, Linda Brant and Marsha DeBroske.The show ran though October 8th. Exhibiting artists were paid a small stipend to allow their work to be exhibited.

I arrived a bit late, just as the dancers were finishing their routine. I decided to lean against the tire of a huge mobile lift. This caused an employee to question why I was there. I told him I was the media and he let it go. I stayed for the whole movie, sketching the entire time. It is fun to watch how many more times captain Kirk could get beat up in fist fights. The movie is almost identical to the first film right down to having individuals hurling through space. The story recreated the story line of "The Wrath of Khan" right down to a sacrifice at the ships core system. This time Kirk sacrificed himself instead of Spock. 9/11 was recreated as the Enterprise crashed into San Francisco. A disappointing film but plenty of special effects.

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, November 8, 2013

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday November 9, 2013
8am to 3pm Fifth Third Bank Second Art Market, (Fifth Third Bank Coloinal Branch, 3244 E Colonial Drive Orlando, FL). Free. On the 2nd Sunday of every month Gallery Fresh Art Markets and 5/3 Fifth Third Bank (Colonial Branch) proudly present our "Second Saturday Art Market" This outdoor event will showcase 20 to 30 artists and fine crafts persons located at 5/3 Bank Colonial Branch, Directly Across From Orlando Fashion Square, from 9am to 3pm in an outdoor setting with AMAZING ART, music, food trucks, and fun! Join Us!

10am to 5pm   The Festival of the Masters. Downtown Disney 1780 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL. Free.  The 38th annual Festival of the Masters is Nov. 8-10 in the Downtown Disney Area. Dazzling works of art from more than 150 Master artists. One of the largest displays of official Disney Art in the Disney Artist Village.

7pm to 11pm The Master Class Event. Just bring canned goods for the food drive. Through philanthropic events and the sale of items from our Conscious Boutique, Conscious People LLC strives to support a community of mindful, healthy, and socially responsible people. The theme of this Master Class event is: Be Conscious to Local Hunger Issues, an Art Show and Food Drive benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank. Genevieve DeMarco will be the featured artist of the night. All new work will be presented throughout the venue. Music performances from MoZaic and Purple Kloud.

Sunday November 10, 2013
10am to 6pm  Fashion Square Art Fair. Free. Orlando Fashion Square (3201 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando, Fl). This is an indoor event showcasing 30 to 60 artists and fine crafts persons located throughout Fashion Square Mall.

12:30pm to 4pm Florida Gospel Jam. Grab a drink or some food. Fish on Fire 7937 Daetwyler Drive Belle Island FL.Non Denominational Gospel open mic Every 2nd and 4th Sunday.

9pm to 11pm Non Denominational Gospel open mic. Every 2nd and 4th Sunday. Free. Natura Coffee and Tea 12078 Collegiate Way 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

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Clandestine-ARTS "Sweeney Todd" Auditions

On September 30th, I went to Lake Howell High School Oviedo, FL to sketch Clandestine-ARTS auditions for the upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"auditions. Derek Critzer the director, had given me the green light to come out. Music Direction in the show will be by Colton Brooks.  Auditions were by appointment only.As I walked towards the High School Theater, I passed a Drum Corp rehearsing.

Sweeney Todd is a 1979 musical thriller with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and libretto by Hugh Wheeler. The musical is based on the 1973 play Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Christopher Bond. Set in 19th century England, the musical tells the story of Benjamin Barker, aka Sweeney Todd, who returns to London after 15 years' transportation on trumped-up charges. When he finds out that his wife poisoned herself after being raped by the judge who imprisoned him, he vows revenge on the judge and, later, the whole world. He teams up with a pie maker, Mrs. Lovett, and opens a barbershop in which he slits the throats of customers and has them baked into pies.

Chris Leavy was at the piano. Most of the actors auditioning were young women who would be auditioning for the part of  Joanna Barker, (a Soprano, 18-early 20's) who is Sweeney Todd's daughter, a ward of Judge Turpin. Beautiful and pure-hearted. The actress I sketched that was wearing the red dress had a very sweet voice. Monica Titus ultimately got the part. Wyatt Glover will play Sweeney Todd and Jessica Hoehn will play Mrs. Lovett. The other actress I sketched in the yellow dress was wearing high heel shoes and the director asked her to take them off when she performed her second song. Another actress was so nervous that Derek felt bad for her. He tried to get her to relax. It is hard to be on your top game when there are butterflies in your stomach. Auditions must be nerve wracking for any performer. Any slip up could result in their not getting the part. Everything is on the line.

Performances will be being held at The Venue, (511 Virginia Dr  Orlando, FL). January 9,10,11,12,16,17,18, and 19th. Sweeney Todd will be presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

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, November 6, 2013

Urban Sketching Book on Amazon!

The book I have been working on for many months is now available on Amazon for Pre-order. The book will be available March 1st 2014 for just $12.64. Considering all the work that went into the book, that price is a steal. So exciting to see it listed!

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, November 5, 2013

Spooky Empire Vendor Set Up

Set up for Vendor at Spooky Empire began at 6pm on October 24th at the Double Tree Hotel right across Kirkman Drive from Universal Studios. Vendors cars and vans were parked in front of the hotel as they unloaded. Shane and Heather Herbert Malesky of Chronic Damage Art were there setting up. Heather had kindly invited me to stop by and document the show as it took form in the convention hall. Tattoos and brightly colored hair circulated the hall.

The vendor to the left in my sketch was the first to be completely set up. A table cost $300 for an artist to rent for the weekend. Shane got 2 tables and he set up his own electricity using a marine battery since hotel electric would cost an extra $100 for the weekend. His exhibit utilized a metal grid which he and Heather attached a Chronic Damage banner. It would have towered high above all the other signage but unfortunately it broke apart as they tried to scoot the structure up against the wall. When all his paintings were in place and the lights went on, Shane's paintings created an impressive display. During the show, Heather looked quite demonic as one of Shane's paintings.

Tommy Castillo was hanging demonic looking super hero's and Mark Hadley was hanging paintings on coffin shaped canvases. A machine gun was moved to the top of a bookcase. It looked heavy, I do believe it was the real thing but don't know if it was for sale or just for display. Every possible horror themed painting was on display. There was a demonic rabbit whose bubbling guts flowed out of it's open wounds. There was Freddie, Elvira and multiple skeletal creatures. Local artist Morgan Wilson actually found someone who had one of her paintings tattooed on her leg.

Exhibiting would be a costly risk for any artist, but as the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money. I didn't spend as much time as I would have likes at the convention, it was without a doubt a sketching landmine since zombies and cosplay characters were everywhere.

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, November 4, 2013

Celebration Pirate Ship

On the day after Halloween, I found out about this pirate ship display at 160 Celebration Avenue in Celebration FL. Photos I had seen showed the ship lit up with spot lights. When I arrived it was still light out. I sat under a street light and started to sketch. As it grew darker it became harder and harder to see the details of the display. I probably missed up to a dozen skeletons hidden in the darkness. I wasn't the only one hoping the display would light up one more time. People parked in the street and got out to take flash photos of the dark facade.

The display was actually a bit ominous in the pitch black. I wonder if this was someone from Disney Imagineering who needed a creative outlet. The use of the roof line to hang ripped sails was the least well planned aspect of the display. Black plastic garbage bags were taped up behind the sails to guarantee black negative shapes.  The crows nest was tilted uncomfortably to the side. Maybe next year they will devise some sort of masts.

Although November 1st is the Day of the Dead, the pirate ship stayed dark. Twice cars stopped to ask me directions to the Celebration High School. I couldn't help. If you sit on a street corner, you become a community expert. Walking back to my car I passed a much smaller Halloween display that featured Mickey and Minnie Mouse. My stomach turned.

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, November 3, 2013


Terry's friend Elaine Pasekoff from Miami Beach Florida helped organize Pause.itive, the change with attitude. The one day empowering seminars were held on Saturday September 28th at Art Seen Gallery (2215 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami FL). The buildings in the Wynwood Arts District were covered with graffiti. Mercedes Soler. a news anchor from CNN en Espanol was the host. The seminars touched on topics that matter most to women over 35, Like Hypnosis, hormones, fitness and fashion. Presented by physicians and experts the seminars offered empowering honest dialogues about changes that every woman goes through.

Actress Vanessa Elisse stormed into the room and sat in the lone chair facing the audience, "It is hot in here or is it me?" she said. She began a comical discussion about her life changes. It reminded me of Samantha Jones of Sex and the City who gave a talk to a group of women and then said *%$k it", as she took off her wig and complained about her hot flashes. It took a few minutes to realize that this was an actress rather that a woman who had barged in late to the seminar. It was a quite effective intro.

Of course things heated up when Nilza Kallos turned the discussion Sex and Intimate Relationships. There were props, like a rather sizable vibrator and laughter helped in making the points. She was hilarious and it was encouraging because she knew she was beautiful regardless of how old she was. It also helped that she had an accent like Doctor Ruth. It was the highlight for me and when I realized I was to only guy in the room except the guy behind the TV camera. The dry medical discussions about hormone therapy were a bit too clinical for my taste. It felt like the doctor thought he was speaking to clinicians at some medical conference. Miami seems to always be the birthplace of trendy health initiatives, like the South Beach Diet that later sweep the nation. These hormone balance therapies seem to be the new hot and costly trend. The psychotherapist offered women the encouragement to accept their bodies and life changes, which contrasted the Fashion experts who were razor thin which is hard to maintain after menopause sets in. Terry seemed upset that medical experts were pushing women to pay big money to always strive for the unattainable ideal. In general though the seminar focused on promoting positive views of the inevitable changes in a woman's 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

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Improv Theater Workshop

On September 23rd, I went to an Improv Theater Workshop hosted by Richard Regan Paul at Christ Church Unity Orlando (771 W Holden Avenue, Orlando, Fl). This workshop  now meets on the second and fourth Mondays of every month. I sketched at this church once before at an outdoor barbecue held for homeless families. Actors gathered in a small room to the right of the entry lobby of the church. Thankfully, Richard knew of my work and was glad I was there.

Everyone gathered in a circle and began a game of throwing an imaginary knife. The person throwing would glance at another actor, throw the knife and make the "Pffft" noise of the knife slicing through the air. The other actor had to catch the knife by slapping together their bare hands. This would be a bloody proposition if they had used a real prop. They then started throwing a screeching cat and a baby. With all three being juggled by the group, hilarity ensued.

The second part of the workshop focused on default game playback. The actors were split in two groups, the performers and an audience. One actor was interviewed and their experience became the seed for a group improvisation. For instance an actress has been offered a promotion yet she was uncertain about the extra time that the new responsibilities would entail. The group recreated her uncertainty in an improvised scene.

A long form improv followed. As the scene unfolded, actors would jump in one at a time. Once they committed to a character, they had to remain as that character for the duration of the scene. Richard explained that actors had to focus on forwarding the idea. Once that shinny idea was established if needed to be followed. It was important not only to commit to the character but to ramp up the characters energy and drive. It was important to throw yourself in. One actress jumped in as a sassy prostitute which was quite hilarious given the stained glass window setting. Each actor had to give themselves a gift which they could develop and heighten. Actors were encouraged to ignore the big picture of how the story developed. Instead they focused on the person they were interacting with.

A week later, as my wife and I were leaving the movie theater, having just seen "Gravity", I heard a couple behind us having a similar animated discussion about a fatal flaw in the movies plot and reasoning. Two astronauts are at the end of a tether one astronaut holding on to the others line. It is a typical movie cliffhanger moment. He unclips himself and he quickly floats away. But there is no gravity! The slightest tug on the line would have caused him to float back towards safety. He sacrificed himself for no reason, while defying physics and logic. It was an annoying oversight, a suicide wish from someone who was otherwise persistently optimistic. It turned out that Richard was discussing the same point with his girlfriend Kate O'Neil behind us. By the time I recognized his voice, they were half way back to his car. Kate had a neck brace on. Her car had recently been totaled by someone running a red light. She had to be cut out of the wreckage. I should have shouted out, but I let them float away.

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

Friday, November 1, 2013

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday November 2, 2013
6pm to 8pm Run Nona at Night. Laureate Park, Crescent Park, (Lake Nona Tavistock Lakes Boulevard Orlando, FL 32827.) Cross the line into an epic block party fueled by 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Samuel Adams, energetic music and incredible lights. Enjoy 4 Rivers Smokehouse specialties all included in your 5k entry fee! Pulled chicken sandwich, chips and lemonade, sweet tea or beer! For non-meat lovers: veggie skewers or chopped salad. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Tavistock Foundation. The Tavistock Foundation serves programs and organizations in the communities where it has significant business interests.

7pm to 11pm Neanderthal Ball. $150 General Public, $100 Science Center Members. Orlando Science Center (777 Princeton Street, Orlando FL.) Step into the Past as we support the future at the Orlando Science Center’s Neanderthal Ball! Set amongst the prehistoric setting of “DinoDigs” and the Ice Age theme of “Our Planet, Our Universe” exhibit. Enjoy delectable food and wine choices under under the star lit sky on the beautiful SunTrust Terrace. Chisel out your mark at the silent auction. Dress code is cocktail fun with an accent on “cavemen couture”, with an animal print necktie or leopard pattern cocktail dress!

8pm Jessica Earley Art Opening. Free. Buy a beer or some art. The Falcon 819 E. Washington Street, Suite 2, Orlando, Florida

Sunday November 3, 2013
11am to 6pm $3 Greek Festival Saturday and Sunday. Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (1217 Trinity Woods Lane Maitland FL). All things Greek!

9pm to 11pm Comedy Open Mic. Free. Austin's Coffee (929 W Fairbanks Ave Winter Park, FL 32789.) 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, Florida 32803.) You come up out of the crowd and sing your favorite Rancid songs with a live band...YOU'RE the singer!

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