Friday, January 31, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday February 1, 2014
 10am to 1pm $10. Dessin de Figures. Maitland Art Center. 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. This is part of the Orlando Artist inspiration activities that this group was founded on. This workshop will be open to any ORLANDO ARTIST MEMBER that wants to attend and pays the model fee . This is part of Steve's Sculpture class with a figure model who is posing for that series of classes. Steve is the Host & moderator and will determine (First come) who can sit-in.

7pm to 11pm Free. Swingout Saturday. 644 Florida Central Parkway, Longwood, Fl. The music is hot and the dance floor will rock! Beginner dance lesson at 7pm. Dancing from 8 to 11pm.    More info:

8pm to 11pm Free, but grab a beer. Tattoo Art by Tattoo Artists. The Falcon 819 E. Washington Street, Suite 2, Orlando, Fl. The Falcon presents Tattoo art by Tattoo Artists show. The show will include art from some of the best and most talented artists in the business, including; Albert Diezhandino, Ant Iannucci, Brett J Barr, Chazz Hysell, Derek Jennings, Earl Funk, Edward Argibay, Gina Marie, Jeremy Scott, Randall Muntz, Scott White, Steven Alfieri, Steve Roberts, Timmy Dub ...and more! Curated by "...And The Three Bears"

Sunday February 2, 2014 Groundhog Day!
10am to 12:30pm $10 Crealde Sketch Class. Crealdé School of Art, Saint Andrews Boulevard, Winter Park, FL. Life drawing from nude model.

1pm to 3pm Free Yoga. Eastern side of Lake Eola Park, Orlando, FL. Occurs weekly.

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, January 30, 2014

Peeing Man

The first stop at Art Basel in Miami Beach was to see the public art in Collins Park, a few blocks away from the convention center. The Bass Museum of Art is at the western foot of the park. Terry went inside the museum because she had to pee. She had several cups of coffee with breakfast. I found a shady spot and started to sketch. There were 29 sculptures scattered throughout the park. A few guards sat in shady spots. I had a premonition that I might get kicked out of the park for sketching so I didn't sit too close to a guard.

"The Peeing Man" by Tom Friedman is stainless steel, cast from a maquette made of crushed aluminum.  Tom Friedman, born in 1965, lives and works in Easthampton Massachusetts. This sculpture is based on a self portrait of the artist. I was impressed with the length and girth of the streaming hose. The stream of pee glistened in the light. The urine stream measured 142 x 25 x 1 centimeters. I noticed a guard approaching me from my left. He slipped in behind me and looked over my shoulder. Terry said that he was there for the longest time. Soon I relaxed and forgot about him. Periodically people would stop next to the figure to have their picture taken with him. I took a photo of Terry kneeling with her head arched back and her mouth open so it looked like he was peeing in her mouth. It was good clean classless fun.

The most fun sculpture in the park was called "Appearing Rooms" by Jeppe Hein. This was a fountain that would shoot up streams of water that created walls. Terry walked inside and a sheet of water rose up enclosing her inside. It is possible to remain perfectly dry if you time your moves just right. Inside the overall square, more walls would rise up creating four rooms.  One dad walked inside with his fire year old son. They didn't know about the inner wall streams and the young boy was straddling a wall that caught him off guard, soaking him. The dad yanked his son up quickly to his hip. I never went inside since I didn't want any watercolors getting soaked. Terry however, had a blast.

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, January 29, 2014

Miami Beach

Every year Terry and I go to Art Basel in Miami Beach. We drove south on December 4th and returned on December 8th. Art Basel showcases the world's top galleries. I read that over a billion dollars worth of art is sold here in one week. We stay with Terry's friend Elaine Pasekoff and Derek Hewitt. Elaine is the host of a syndicated radio program called "The Book Report." The couple have several condos in a high rise overlooking Miami Beach. The first thing I did when we arrived was to grab my sketchbook and take in the dusk view from their balcony.

This week was also Elaine's birthday so plans were in place for a big Disco blow out of a party. Friends and relatives were all driving into town along with the Art Basel throngs. We all decided to go out to diner at a Cuban Restaurant only a few blocks from the condo. Although I have gotten press passes in the past, I didn't manage to convince Art Basel management that I was a journalist. For that reason, most of my focus would be on the smaller art fairs that were scattered in large tents all around Miami.

Looking through the Art Basel pamphlet, I ran across a page that I had used to clean off my brush because I had forgotten a rag. It was one of the more abstract and expressive pages in the publication. Dinner with friends and watching the moon rise over the ocean made for a nice end cap to the day.

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, January 28, 2014

TrIP Home

The TrIP home from the "There will be TrIP" reading at The Gallery at Avalon Island was quite the adventure. As I exited the venue, Lisa Bates rode by on the quirky, Pewee Hermanesque cougar spotted bicycle she calls "The Beast". I envied such simple and efficient mobility. Her bike was once stolen but then police quickly found it thanks to it's undeniable uniqueness. Google maps on my iPhone directed me back towards Division and Central. I started to get nervous as I crossed under I-4 into the heart of Parrimore. The bus stop was a simple pole stuck into the pavement on a street corner across from a mission. A red neon cross announced, "God is Love, Christ is Savior". There was no seat at the stop but luckily, I always carry an art stool. I sat down and leaned against the bus stop sign pole and it gave way. It wasn't cemented it place but was just stuck loosely in the hole. Once it stopped moving I leaned back again.

I heard a couple arguing a block away and their loud voices got closer. "I got Aids from You! You gave it to me from F*cking a F@ggot!" Another woman staggered up to me holding a Styrofoam plate of food. "How are You!" she shouted. "I'm fine" I replied sheepishly. "WHAT!" She shouted. I shouted back "FINE!" "Oh". She stumbled to the corner and the plate of food fell from her hand splatting onto the street. She ignored it and weaved the other way across the intersection. Two guys walked towards me deep in an animated conversation. "You need to be careful when you have a box of cocaine. The cops know it the second they get there and pull behind you." The conversation trailed off as they walked away. "I am going to die." I thought. I leaned back and tried to blend into the surroundings. When on earth is this bus going to come? Maybe I should hike to the Lynx main bus terminal. It might be safer there. Yet, at least 5 police cruisers drove by while I waited.  I wondered if the police thought I might be a dealer.

The bus did finally arrive. I sat midway back. In front of me, a guy sat exhausted leaning forward against the seat backs in front of him. A woman in a red down jacked sat fingering her phone intently the entire drive back home with the bright screen inches from her face. Two teenagers with loaded back backs piled in. The bus driver would give each passenger that stepped on board a trivia question. "What band sang "Hotel California?" The passenger was stumped. I had just been to an Eagles concert a few weeks prior so I knew the answer. I kept the answer to myself. The driver talked to the two back packers about hunting gator in the Florida swamps. I assume he was pulling their tails. The back packers that is, not the gators. This driver most certainly deserves a raise. He kept passengers on their toes. When I got off, I called Terry who was at home. The hike home from the bus stop is about 4 miles and it was a freezing cold evening. Screw the authenticity of a full round TrIP by bus. Terry offered a ride and I was taking it.

I started walking west towards home and Terry said she would find me along the way. I was wearing my full foul weather gear which was dark blue and black. The second I pulled my hoodie over my head, I warmed up. I saw headlights driving towards me but I used my baseball cap to cut the glare. Terry's car drove past me a bit and stopped. As I walked up from behind to the passenger door, she suddenly drove away. Was she toying with me?  I knew she would have to turn around, so I crossed the street and continued hiking home. On the second pass, she once again stopped and as I walked up, she accelerated away. Several texts confirmed that she couldn't see well at night. I suspect I might have looked a bit scary as I approached her car. On the third pass I flashed my cell phone light at her to communicate that I was a "friendly". We drove the second half of the TrIP home with ease. Terry made it quite clear that she felt this TrIP was a bit insane. But I stepped outside my comfort zone and it was indeed an adventure.

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, January 27, 2014

There Will Be TrIP

On January 14th, there was a reading by five different artists who had taken part in the Transit Interpretation Project (TrIP). TrIP asks artists to travel to destinations using the Lynx bus system. The poems, narratives, and images make there way to "The Corridor Project" TrIP site. Julian Chambliss, Patrick Greene, Dina Mack and Moriah Lorraine Russo read their stories. They posed for a photo with Lynx CEO John Lewis.

I sketched Patrick as he read about his bus TrIP. He romanticized the travels of the beat generation like Kerouac knowing full well he would be home that evening to a home cooked dinner from his mom. The most fascinating write up came from Julian who gave a brief history of public transportation in the south. It seems northern cities developed their public transport systems before the advent of the automobile so the systems they designed had to be robust and efficient. Southern cities urban sprawl came about after the advent of the automobile so public transit came just as an afterthought. He also spoke about the history of Eatonville Florida the first entirely African American community. Although it might have seemed like voluntary segregation, it also demonstrated that this community could not only survive but thrive.

Jesse Bradley was the host for the evening. Amazingly he has been taking the Lynx buses every day for 17 years. He tried to drive a car and he even tried a moped with apparently tragic consequences. The angry mobs on the Florida roads are intimidating. I always drive with the notion that no one else on the road is thinking and that they could do anything with no reason or thought of consequence. Even so, it is seems many drivers want to drive through the traffic in front of them. With people texting and talking on cell phones the incidences of full speed rear end crashes are escalating. This weekend I saw a car waiting at a red light get hit at full speed from behind. It is crazy out there people. A bus is a huge battering ram but there must be a high incidence of accidents from impatient, insane car drivers drying to swerve around the bus as it pulls up to each stop.

Chapbooks of the stories read are being made available for $8. There are 39 copies available as of this writing. As I left the reading I grew anxious knowing I would have to take the bus back home. I walked under I-4 into Parramore to the closest 21 bus stop.

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, January 26, 2014

The TrIP

Patrick Greene who is the curator at The Gallery at Avalon Island, 39 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando, FL, asked me to be a part of the TrIP Project. The TrIP Project has artists and writers ride the Lynx bus system to report on the mass transit system in Orlando. The first plan was for me to sketch Benoit Glaser and several other musicians who were going to play their instruments on the bus. Unfortunately Patrick gave me the wrong date and I knocked on Benoit's door a day early. A second option was to sketch Genevieve Bernard's Voci Dance who did an interpretive dance performance on a bus. However, a close friend and artistic spirit, Mary Hill, took her own life and I needed to go to her memorial service that day. The bus tickets sat in my pocket unused for the longest time.

Finally, I saw that there was going to be a reading at The Gallery at Avalon Island called, "There Will Be TrIP" on January 14th. I decided I would take the bus downtown for this reading. When I graduated high school, I decided to go to the School of Visual Arts in NYC. I stayed with my parents the first two years and took a bus to the city everyday. The bus ride and consequent subway rides took well over three hours out of the day. Since I also had to get back, that was six hours in transit. Sketchbooks at the time became filled with sketches of fellow passengers. I didn't own or drive a car for the entire decade I commuted to and stayed in NYC. When I came to Orlando to work for Disney Feature Animation, I got off the plane, took one driving education course and then got my drivers license at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Within the first week I had purchased my very first car, a sweet Honda del Sole convertible. Not once did I ever take a bus in Orlando.

On the morning of January 14th, I got ready for my TrIP adventure. It was raining, so I put my sketchbooks in a zip top plastic bag and put on a full set of rain gear that included plastic pants. I looked like I was ready for an Arctic Expedition. Google Maps on my iPhone said the closest bus stop would be near Universal Studios. It was a four mile hike. The reading downtown was going to be at 7pm. I left at 2pm since I had no clue what I was doing. I hiked through isolated suburban side streets and marveled at all the McMansions surrounding a lake I walked around. The rain was persistent but light. I felt a little uncomfortable walking with my hoodie up since Trevor Martin had been gunned down for walking in a neighborhood much like this I imagined. Someone was just recently shot for texting during the previews at a movie theater. People with guns are crazy in Florida.

Besides raining it was also hot and humid which meant I was getting wet from the inside out rather than from the outside in. When the rain became the faintest mist, I took off the rain jacket to vent some body heat. One of the side streets leading to the bus stop turned out to be the entrance to a gated community. I would have to walk around the gated community adding more miles to my hike. I realized when I was maybe one mile from the bus stop that, had I driven, I would already be downtown and parking,

I walked past a bustling middle school with long lines of cars waiting to pick up children. I realized this was a prime sketch opportunity although I imagined some parent might question my motives. When I arrived at the bus stop it was 3:30pm. I had been hiking for an hour and a half. Five construction workers in bright green vests were at the stop. Conversation was about car envy. A female worker lamented a friend who had a job and makes money on the side. Her friend could afford a Honda Civic. The construction workers make about $150 a day helping build a huge new motel right next to Universal. A large SUV driven by a fellow construction worker pulled up and they all piled in. The 21 bus that I was waiting for didn't arrive for another hour at least.

On board, the large female driver had to help me figure out how to insert the ticket into the column shaped payment device. Digital lights and numbers gave me too much information to look at. The ticket got sucked in and then spit back out. On the back of the ticked, I found out I could board any bus until 3am in the evening, after that the ticket was void. On the bus, people sat in tight constrained poses clutching bags with arms crossed.  A mom boarded with her excited little girl. They likely had just been at Universal. The child's eyes were filled with delight.  This bus trip was a fresh adventure for her. They sat next to me and I saw the girl motioning to her mom to look at what I was up to. She sat on her moms lap and watched every line and wash as it splashed on the page. At the Valencia College bus stop a gorgeous woman got on and stood right beside the driver checking her phone periodically. I sketched her quickly, so happy she had brightened the scene. Sketching on the bus got me motion sick. The bus lurched and pitched every time it stopped and it stopped 65 times on the route downtown. The driver also had a lead foot. Perhaps she had learned to drive at the Daytona racetrack.

At 5pm I arrived at Central and Garland Avenue downtown near Church Street Station. The walk to Avalon was less than a mile, so I figure the TrIP probably took three and a half hours whereas a drive downtown usually takes me half an hour but I park in the suburbs to avoid meters and being towed, so the walk can be an extra half an hour or so. So my assessment is, Bus = 3 1/2 hours and Car = 1 hour. The good news is that if I ever got drunk downtown, I know what bus would get me to within 4 miles of my home. But why would I get drunk downtown? Since I was early, I decided to go to Jimmy John's to get a sandwich. I checked into Avalon where artwork and poetry was being hung on the walls. A poem by Naomi Butterfield was hung by a painting by Parker Sketch. The show is titled "I Believe."

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, January 25, 2014

Peace River Seafood

Terry, Pat and myself went to Peace River Seafood, 5337 Duncan Road, Punta Gorda, FL, on the day after Thanksgiving. This small roadside crab shack is a real gem. Outside live crabs were being sold almost off the boat. Inside signed dollar bills littered the walls woven into fishing nets. It was a cold day and we had a tough time finding a table without a draft. I had to move away from the door since a cold wind was blowing off the river. I ordered a fish sandwich and Pat ordered something light.

Terry however couldn't resist getting a big plate of crabs. The waitress demonstrated a technique of breaking the shells using a carefully placed knife and hammer blow.  The incision had surgical accuracy. Terry however enjoyed simply bashing the shell with the hammer. Every morsel had to be wrestled from it's shell. Terry is a slow eater anyway but this process slowed her down enough so that I had time to finish my sandwich and do a sketch. If we return, I will definitely get the crabs because Terry absolutely loved hers. In the end she couldn't even finish what was on her plate. The carnage was everywhere, but she was satiated.

We also visited several antiques stores this day. The strangest thing we saw was a half sized animatronic Santa that sang and wiggled his hips. The Santa creeped Terry out. None of us found anything worth buying. I was on the lookout for vintage fountain pens but didn't see one.

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, January 24, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday January 25, 2014
9am to 5pm Free.  Saturday and Sunday. Free. Steam Punk Industrial Show. Renninger's Market in Mount Dora FL. Live Musical Performance by The Cog Is Dead. Visit the Time Machine from Rod Raylor's Movie, "The Time Machine" and the "Daimler Airship". Food, Fun, and Music!

10am to 11:30pm $10 cover after 8pm. Acme's Indie Creator Con and New Talent Showcase. Acme Superstore 905 E. SR 434, Longwood, Fl. From 10am-8pm comic creators, independent publishers, indie filmmakers, and artists will be set up in Acme's Danger Room with booths to sell their work or showcase their projects. The gallery walls will be hung with artists' original creations featuring their own characters or unique works. We'll also have indie film-screenings, workshops and family friendly activities throughout the day. All ages welcome and FREE to attend! Then, from 8pm-12am, 18+ can join us for our Acme After Hours: New Talent Showcase. Singing, dancing, live bands, comedians, freak show acts... If you've got a talent, BRING IT ON!!! Prizes awarded to audience favorites! Free beer & sangria for 21+ w/ID. Free sodas and water also included with cover. (Registered talent get in free.)

 6:30pm to 11pm General Admission: $95 per person. VIP admission: $300 per couple (includes unlimited beer/wine, and name recognition).  PARTY AT THE PLAZA! a benefit for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra & The Plaza Live. Dress code is informal/casual; no tie required. Join other Orlando music lovers for 5 stages of live music, silent auction, food and drink, dancing and more at this benefit for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra & The Plaza Live!

7pm to 11pm Admission is $10. Andy Matchett and the Minks Last Show, with Random Encounter Public. Cardboard Art Festival.The Orange Studio 1121 N Mills Ave, Orlando, Fl. One last Andy Matchett & The Minks show. This will get you access to the Cardboard Art Fest Gallery ( large modern warehouse space in the Mills/50 District will be filled with cardboard art hanging from the ceiling, stuck to the walls and sprouting up from the ground) and performances by Random Encounter and AM/TM. We'll be playing The Apple Tree Circle, by Andy Matchett and The Minks in its entirety and pulling out all the stops. If you've seen one of our shows before, you know what that means...

Sunday January 26, 2014
 10am to Noon. Free. Super Joy Riders. Eastern entrance of the Lake Eola Farmers’ Market. You + Superhero Costume + Bike = Best Sunday Ever! Participants dress as superheroes and ride en masse around the city as they check off their scavenger hunt-like list of Do Gooder Duties; collecting litter, helping senior citizens cross the road, returning shopping carts, basically performing small acts of kindness for an hour and a half of hilarity and love. The Super Joy Riders: Do Gooder Bike Ride is an exercise in community organizing and active engagement. We hope to use the ride as an opportunity to show how helping people can be simple, fun, and easy, especially while wearing a cape.

6pm to 9pm $40.  Confectionfest. The Orange Studio, 1121 N. Mills Ave., Orlando, FL 32803. Enter in the rear. Come sample the best of Orlando’s dessert culture at Cardboard Art Festival! The entrance fee will give attendees an all-you-can eat pass to Sweetstown: population you. Then kick back and watch a movie with us on our Green Lawn of Awesomeness.

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, January 23, 2014

Carrie and Doug Gesiorski Reception

The reception was in a large clear tent behind Casa Feliz, 656 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL. Heat trickled out of the Casa into the tent but it couldn't keep up with the cold. The wedding planner suggested I stand at a table behind the wedding couple, but that made no sense to me to sketch them from behind, instead I sat on a low brick wall that looked across the space towards the wedding couple. The loose flaps of the tent billowed open in the cold breeze. The brick wall was cold, so I asked a server if they could just get me one of the chair seat cushions. That did help keep my butt warm.  

Carrie and Doug Gesiorski sat in large ornate wooden chairs. Carrie had a warm cream colored shawl to warm up her shoulders. The Cook Trio performed during the reception. They were in a large archway behind the wedding couple. There was no tent to block the cold wind from hitting the band. They were troopers and did an amazing set.

Couples who had never met before sat across from each other. Many couples were from Washington D.C. so I overheard some tips on great restaurants in D.C. The place was opulent.  The animated conversations slowly grew louder. There were full place settings with ivory and gold chargers, champagne linens on the tables with nugget crushed organza runners. Ivory draping and a chandelier illuminated the setting. Rose bouquets stood on tall wrought iron stands on each table.

At one point, guests at a table started a football stadium styled wave. The guests stood and raised their arms in the air while whooping. Not every table was on board, by by the third try, the wave had swept around the whole tent. I'm guessing it was a good way to warm up.After dinner everyone quickly went back inside to warm up. I heard the cake cutting going on inside as I finished this sketch. When I was done, I got a plate of ravioli. As I ate, Carrie and Doug came over to say hello and see my sketches. Carrie was digging out some wedding cake from between her cleavage. They had planned to serve each other wedding cake with quiet dignified reserve, but as Doug raised the fork to Carrie's mouth, the cake slipped off the fork and down the v-neck her dress. The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray, but it doesn't matter as long as you are still having fun. I left feeling truly honored to have documented this pivotal moment in the young couples 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

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Carrie Eshman / Doug Gesiorski Wedding

Carrie Eshman, a journalist from Washington D.C. asked me to document her wedding on Saturday, January 18th at Casa Feliz, 656 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL. This is the second time I have been hired to sketch a wedding. It makes perfect sense since I document events every day and a wedding is fairly stationary. I discovered that the actual ceremony would only be half an hour which is too quick for a sketch. I went to Casa Feliz an hour early to sketch in the building and empty chairs. It was late in the afternoon and the golden light of the sun was just clipping the tops of the trees as it set. As guests arrived, I placed then in the sketch. No one ever sat in the front row, so I erased it.

Luis Alfredo Garcia was playing guitar as guests arrived. I have sketched Luis performing once before at the Casselberry House. His soothing music helped me relax into the sketch. Carrie greeted me in her wedding dress before people arrived. She was so much younger than I expected. Doug Gesiorski was just as young, excited to get the wedding started. Tony White was the officiant filling out his long dark robe. He smiled broadly to Doug setting the tone of the ceremony. It was a picture perfect story book wedding with the Spanish style tower looming behind the wedding party.

What was unexpected was how cold it was. For a while I used my Dickens styled glove with three finger tips cut off. The glove made my hand too bulky however, so I took it off and just blew hot air into my fist periodically.  Carrie and her brides maids must have been freezing. At least the groom and groomsmen had suits. Before I knew it, the wedding vows were over. People moved inside the Casa quickly to soak in the heat and get cocktails. I was only half finished with the sketch so I stayed until it was done. The sun set, and the temperature plummeted. I pulled out my book light, but it wouldn't turn on. I finished the sketch in the darkness only seeing bold values. My cold fingers spilled the water in the grass. Fearing I would shiver and ruin the sketch I had, I finally went inside. I sat at a table in a courtyard away from the crowd and looked at what I had. A space heater near the table kept me warm as I added a few more color washes to finish 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

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ringling Protests

On Thursday January 9th, I went to the Amway Center to sketch protestors demonstrating against animal abuse at Ringling Brother's and Barnam Bailey Circus. It rained the whole trip downtown, but my phone radar application showed that the storm system would be passing over leaving a clearing for the duration of a sketch. Protestors gathered under the I-4 overpass at Church Street and South Hughey Avenue. Barricades were set up, but I was told that they were for scalpers who had to remain behind them.

About 30 protesters lined up in front of the barricades and on either side of the street.  A protestor on a bull horn told people taking their children to the circus that they needed to pay attention to see if the animals in the show did the tricks willingly or to see if they were being poked and prodded by the handlers. On a humorous note, he said that the elephants don't show up on the evening of the performance in a taxi excited to perform. They have to perform or they will be beaten and jabbed.

One sign showed a bull hook which is used to injure elephants in the show. Video on a Ringling Cruelty site show elephants being beaten right before going in front of an audience. Handlers try to keep the bull hooks from the audiences view, but as the guy on the bull horn said, "They might feel they are pulling one over on you, but we feel you are smarter than that." Hurricane Maria was handing out information fliers. She did the task with a Disney smile and a warm greeting. Some parents however get upset and argue that they will spend their money how they please. As the guy on the bull horn announced, "The elephants are poked and prodded to perform!" A women who over heard him said, "That sounds like how my husband treats me!"

Kelly Medford, a plein air painter from Rome stopped out to sketch the protest as well. She couldn't find parking and showed up just as I was finishing up my sketch. She was set with an easel and canvas but the protest was almost over. The Ringling show started at 7:30pm and then the protestors packed up. A faint mist settled in as I was putting the final washed on my sketch. I didn't even notice until my hand smudged the paint. I quickly put the sketchbook away but the damage was done. The sketch glistened and when I closed the book paint smeared everywhere creating a Rorshach pattern. I groaned. I'd have to fix it back at the studio where it was dry. Kelly and I took cover under an awning and chatted for a while. She stayed behind to finish her sketch and I walked back to my car where I touched up the sketch a bit.

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, January 20, 2014

The Grove

The lot on the corner of Conroy Windermere Road and Apopka Vineland Road is referred to as "The Grove". Of course it once was a grove of trees and natural landscaping, until all the trees were cut down and everything living was removed. Weeds have reclaimed much of the barren sandy dirt. A Pannera's has popped up so that residents can get a sandwich at this spot or at the Panerra's a quarter mile down the road. Dentists offices and a fitness center are the newest additions.

The strip mall continues to expand with this newest aluminum shell of construction. The parking lot also continues to expand. A single stop sign marks the entrance to the barren lot. Mall construction in Orlando always seems like it is intended for a theme park. I'm sure this shell will be polished off to look like a Mediterranean plaza. Of course real Mediterranean villages use ancient stone and granite and have stood for hundreds of years. Here, a little speckled spray paint will have to do to create the false appearance of stone.

Of course Terry and I get our groceries at the Publix Supermarket that has been in this strip mall for decades. It's red tile roof is faintly visible in the distance in my sketch. Yet I've never gone to any of the other shops that crop up around it. That is probably because I'm always going downtown to report on events there. Though we live in the ever expanding suburbs, my heart is in the city.

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, January 19, 2014

Otronicon VIP Party

On Thursday January 16th I went to sketch the Otronicon VIP Party at the Orlando Science Center, 777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL. The VIP Party gave Mayor Buddy Dyer and other politicians a platform to proclaim Orlando the center of the high tech digital universe.

Most intriguing was Sarah Anderson who in 2003 lost the use of her legs in a car accident. She was sporting an EKSO Bionics suit that used a computer and digitally balanced braces that helped her stand and walk. I had sketched Sarah Anderson one other time at a fundraiser. Oddly, her story that evening was that she lost the use of her legs in a skiing accident.  Perhaps the executives or PR department felt that an auto accident is something more people could identify with and therefor would sell more bionic suits.

The military was out in force demonstrating flight and battle simulators. The mayor delighted in telling a story about how he blew a six inch hole into a friends chest. Students demonstrated a robot they had built for a robotics competition. One student had a Frisbee, so I suspect that in competition the robot would have to throw the Frisbee. This big orange boxy robot however wasn't yet up to the challenge. Jen Vargas and Josh Murdock, both sporting Google glass headsets stopped to say hi. They are both going to be on a panel discussion about technology. Jen will be screening a film that won the Orlando 48 hour film festival. Teams of filmmakers were given only 48 hours to write, direct, shoot and edit their films. Seth Kubersky was at the event reporting for the Orlando Weekly.

Otronicon, running every day through January 20th, is a celebration of interactive technology’s role in how we live, learn, work and play. The event features larger-than-life video game experiences, state-of-the-art medical and military simulators, workshops taught by industry pros, and so much more! The event has the opportunity to inspire a child’s interest in science and tech careers through the appeal of video games, interactive technology and virtual reality.
Admission to Otronicon is $19 for adults and $13 for youth (ages 3-11). Tickets also include access to the new traveling exhibit “Zoom Into Nano,” giant screen and 3-D educational films, one Hollywood feature-length film, and live programming. Science Center members can experience Otronicon for free. It is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, January 19 and Monday, January 20.
For more information, please call 407-514-2000 or visit

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, January 18, 2014

A Cracker Barrel Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving, Terry and I drove to Port Charlotte to visit my sister Pat Boehme. Pat has been on a diet and ultimately lost an incredible amount of weight. I had to take a health assessment for my insurance company and the results came back with big red X's for each result right before the holidays. My body mass index showed that I am overweight. I need to reduce my waist circumference by two inches. My blood pressure showed that I am prehypertensive which puts me at risk for a heart attack or a stroke. Oddly my total cholesterol is too low, indicating I am malnourished or anemic. Put simply I am a  train wreck waiting to happen.

I asked my sister for advice on how I should change my diet and she gave me tons of pointers. She had a medical condition that actually kept her from exercising, so all the weight she lost was from carefully watching her calorie intake. The rules are pretty simple, less sugar and no breads with tons of vegetables.  Right now however the house is full of leftover food from a New Year's Day party. That means we have tons of beers, sodas, potato chips, pastries and other assorted junk food. Dieting will have to wait until the fridge is purged.

Rather than cook a large Thanksgiving dinner, we all decided to go out to Cracker Barrel on Thanksgiving day. It is amazing how many people had the same ides. The parking lot was jammed and there was a long wait to get a table. The long front porch of the restaurant is lined with rocking chairs and most were full. Towards the end of the porch, we sat across from these teens sitting in baby sized rocking chairs playing a game of checkers. When we ultimately got to our table, Terry and I took turns playing with a game that was like checkers using golf tees inserted into holes drilled into a triangle shaped piece of wood. With only one tee missing the goal was to try and eliminate all but one tee by jumping over other tees thus eliminating them. I'm convinced the game is impossible to win. Terry and I always had three or more tees left over.

The Thanksgiving dinner had all the fixings and was quite delicious. I had to admire the efficiency with which all the comfort food was served. Pat ordered a light fish dish, keeping to her diet.  I wish I had the ability to turn away from the trimmings. No more stuffing!

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, January 17, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday January 18, 2014
8am to 3pm  Free. Antique Telephone Show and Sale. Maitland Civic Center Inc,
641 Maitland Avenue South, Maitland, FL.

1pm to 3pm Free. Central Florida Community Arts School of Performing Arts Open House! 250 SW Ivanhoe Blvd Orlando, FL 32804 (on the campus of Central Christian Church) Ample parking is available in the rear parking lot. Whether you are interested in private lessons, group classes, or just would like to tour the School and enjoy some live music, you are invited to join them for this
exciting event! The faculty and staff of the School of Performing Arts will be providing live music throughout the afternoon in the school's beautiful courtyard! You are invited to get a cup of coffee, sit back and relax as you enjoy beautiful vocal and instrumental performances.

7pm to 10pm Free. Snap! Space Opening Exhibit 'Vintage Noveau'. Snap! Orlando Cameo Theater 1013 E. Colonial Drive Orlando FL. Snap! Space's opening exhibit and installation will celebrate the revival of the historic Cameo Theater with the work of 12 international photographers, along with sculpture, design, jewelry and fashion artists. The exhibit will showcase large scale works from iconic master photographers who documented Hollywood history, and music, as well as introduce rising stars in fashion photography. Snap! Space is the new permanent 5,000 sq. ft. indoor/outdoor gallery home of Snap! Orlando. Guest artists and gallerists, sponsored drinks, catering, gift shop and DJs (Atnarko Bear and Nigel John.)

Sunday January 19, 2014
2pm to 8pm 21+ $10 door (cash only) Snap! Space and Infiltr8:Celbr8 Present 'FOOL'S PARADISE: a daytime affair.' Cameo Theater 1013 E. Colonial Drive,  Orlando FL. DJ's • THREE • Atnarko • Queens Of Noise • Rob Slac • Mathew Scot. ART • Terry O'Neill, England • Gered Mankowitz, England • Billy & Hells, Germany • Tina Luther, Germany • Axel Crieger, Germany • Szymon Brodziak, Poland • Zhang Jingna, China • Patricia Steur, Utrecht, Netherlands • and local artists: Rebecca Rose, Wearable art jewelry • Chris Scala, Visual art and sculptures • Blair Sligar, soulful furniture (Hog Eat Hog), Orlando • Wesley Geometry, geometric paper art • Daniel Wilson, Organic dye sublimation transfer art • Midtown Architecture Studio (MAS), light installation. FOOD/DRINK VENDORS • Juice Bar • Femme Du Fromage • Uncommon Accoutrement's • Fantastic Hummus.

5pm to 9pm Free to attend but buy some food! Orlando Food Truck Bazaar. Fashion Square Mall 3201 East Colonial Drive Orlando FL.

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, January 16, 2014

Sweeney Todd at The Venue

The second you enter The Venue, 511 Virginia Drive, Orlando, Fl, you are right on top of the action in Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Insane asylum patients moan, twitch and shout out all around you. In this intimate setting the action explodes out towards the audience. Derek Critzer who directed and produced the show also did an amazing job at designing the multi-level set which made maximum use of the cramped stage area. Simple asylum fabrics hid the structure while a staircase gave access to the upper levels at house right. As I approached the theater, the large garage style side door was open and I saw a tall stack of mattresses which is where the slit throated victims from the barber's chair could collapse. The lighting for the show by Tabor Wiwstead, was simple direct and elegant. Red symbolized the sinister and horrific moments, while cool blue lighting surrounded the lovely Johanna Barker , played by Monica Titus, and the fleeting glimpses of Todd's once happy past.

Stephan Jones played Sweeney Todd with a dark ruddy maliciousness. The depth of his anger and hatred could be felt in every scene. He performed the role so expertly that he made Johnny Depp seem like an inexperienced fop in the film adaptation. Ginger Minj, Joshua Eads-Brown, as Nellie Lovett added the needed brevity and humor to the show. When she had to peal off her misbehaving eyelashes, a moment likely not rehearsed, it was a golden moment the audience loved. As she swung her rolling pin violently, I could see the sweat on her brow, then trickling down her chest settling in her cleavage. These actors were working hard yet having fun belting out these tunes. Granted there was no room for an orchestra, so recordings had to work instead. Sweeney Todd is a sweeping epic story and yet the small venue actually intensified the confrontational quality of the show. At times, over 20 actors navigated their way on the tight stage. I could see Derek the director watching intently as he leaned over from the upstairs tech booth.

The entire first act was spent waiting for Todd to slit Judge Turpin's throat. The judge played by Brett Carson could barely fit in the barber's chair. Though his actions were malicious and self serving, he had a kind demeanor and left the dirty work to others. This is such an ambitious production by Clandestine ARTS yet the cast did an amazing job keeping up with Stephen Sondheim's fast and furious lyrics. I was bowled over by what was accomplished in the small Venue. The shows are selling out. I sketched by standing in the back of the theater. The show had all the savory flavor and taste of a perfectly prepared meat pie.

The remaining performances are...
Tonight, Thursday 1/16-7:00 PM
Friday 1/17-8:00 PM
Saturday 1/18- 8:00 PM
Sunday 1/19- 3:00 PM

Tickets are $20.00 and are General Admission. Tickets may be purchased at Limited seating is available so be sure to get them early. Tickets may be available at the door based on availability.

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, January 15, 2014

Sweeney Todd Dressing Room

Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, is being presented by Clandestine-ARTs at The Venue, 511 Virginia Drive, Orlando, Fl, through January 19th. This compact production is directed and produced by Derek Critzer. I have read reviews that Ginger Minj who plays Mrs. Nellie Lovett is spectacular in the role. With that in mind, I hoped to get a sketch in the dressing room on industry night to watch his transformation at the dressing room mirror.

The dressing room at the Venue is at most ten by ten foot square and the entire cast of over 20 actors had to use the space. I did my best to try and stay out of every one's way.  Only one actress was in the dressing room when I arrived. She had on a bright pink skirt. She was happy to be early and she had plenty of time to get ready. It was only later, when I saw the show that I realized this was Monica Titus who plays Johanna Barker. She was perfectly cast for the roll. I was quite swept away. Monica's rich soprano voice has a warmth and range missing from the film adaptation. Her natural auburn hair was later covered in a wig of golden curls.

Derek came in and started steaming some pants. Stephan Jones, who plays Sweeney Todd, shouted out that it was a furnace in the tight dressing room. Even off set, there was a menace to his voice. Derek got some flack for shooting steam into the already sweaty space. Ginger Minj arrived and quickly transformed. He powdered his face first and let me know he would have to let the powder set for five minutes so he went off for a smoke.

It seemed like the rest of the cast arrived on mass and suddenly the room was buzzing with activity. Lips were painted a sickly blue on insane asylum patients whose eyes were also dark and hollow. Actors quickly stripped and put on costumes. Actors joked that I shouldn't sketch any nudity and I honored that. Even so, it would have been hard to catch the quick flashes of flesh. The pure energy and excitement in the tight space was quite palpable. Ginger was the last actor in the room, adjusting the large hair buns on her head. I followed her down to the theater. The evening's performance was sold out. The reviews I had read were spot on. Ginger Minj brought a quick wit to the part and stole every scene she was in. She eyed Mr. Todd with a lurid look as if she might devour him. I was surprised at how often she made me laugh out loud despite the dark sinister humor.

The remaining performances are...
Thursday 1/16-7:00 PM
Friday 1/17-8:00 PM
Saturday 1/18- 8:00 PM
Sunday 1/19- 3:00 PM

Tickets are $20.00 and are General Admission. Tickets may be purchased at Limited seating is available so be sure to get them early. Tickets may be available at the door based on availability.

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, January 14, 2014

Rusty Spoon

Paul Alexander hired me to do a sketch at The Rusty Spoon, (55 W Church St, Orlando, FL) on Saturday December 4th. A party of about 30 people were going to gather for dinner for the first time. Paul knew of my work because of a sketch I did at a City Beautiful Church concert at the Lake Eola Band shell and the kind recommendations of talents like Aradhana Tiwari, Cole Nesmith and Holly Harris.

The group gathering was known as Cru. They are an international ministry with members coming from Africa, the Netherlands, Asia, Australia and Europe.  The person that Paul most wanted me to catch was Ken who had 25 years experience leading a Cru group in Asia. Paul is in charge of Digital Strategies which utilizes social media to promote the groups message to the world.

I was the first to arrive at the rusty spoon. The woman who greeted me at the door knew what I was up to cause she said, "Oh, you must be the caricature artist." I cringed a bit since I'm not a caricature artist, but I let it pass. She went to get the waiter, who knew more about the large group I was going to sketch. He lead me to the back of the Spoon where four tables were reserved for the party. The waiter, who also thought I was a caricature artist, let me sit in an empty booth that thankfully didn't have a table. I had plenty of room to work. I started blocking in the perspective of the place. Raw old fashioned Edison bulbs illuminated the scene.

Paul and Anne Alexander arrived as did my wife Terry. She spoke to the couple for a while and then went to watch the football game at the bar. Paul and Anne love this restaurant, although Anne lamented that the art work never changes. I have to admit that it is a bit odd having pigs, goats and cows staring at you from the walls, especially if you eat meat. People arrived and mingled. Then as each person took a seat, I quickly placed them in the sketch.

Amazingly, the sketch was done when everyone finished dinner. Some people wandered over to see what I was up to. One jovial fellow from Africa asked where he was. He must have been way back at the fourth table because I hadn't sketched him. He said, "Your sketch is fine, bot it is incomplete without me." Even Paul is hidden from view since his wife is seated in front of him. I managed to keep Ken clearly in focus although a late arrival sat in the corner seat blocking my line of sight toward Ken most of the dinner. I had to move and reduce the size of this person to keep Ken visible in the sketch. It is fascinating how much can be altered and recreated while still keeping a believable document of an important event. I didn't have time to eat or drink, but Paul told me the food at the Rusty Spoon is delicious. With the sketch done, I rushed off to the Kerouac House for a pot luck dinner.

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, January 13, 2014


I went to Stardust Video and Coffee (1842 Winter Park Rd, Orlando, FL) with the plan to sketch Nerd Nite. I arrived right after work and ordered a Crispin' Glover sandwich and a Coke. I was order number 15. Long tables in this room are made from old doors with an incredibly thick varnish over the surface. The varnish fills in all the doors panel insets. I assumed that the Nerd Night presenters would set up a movie screen in the small staging area framed by red curtains.

The great thing about Stardust is that people come here with laptops and notebooks to work. When you are in a room full of people busy working there is an energy that always motivates me to sketch. Although I might be alone, the activity and energy of the room makes me feel part of a vibrant community. In a digital world, we are all hungry to connect in our own unique way. I sit quietly watching and sketching while extroverts carry on fast animated conversations. The chatty moments as people mingle before an event begins are my most productive time.

I realized half way into the sketch that I was at Stardust on the wrong night. The army of nerds I hoped to sketch never showed. With so many events on my calendar, I sometimes get the date or time wrong. But I don't care. There is plenty of beauty and drama to be found even in the everyday pace and flow of Stardust, it is what you make it.

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

Sunday, January 12, 2014

DRIP Sketchbook Finally on Sale.



 Although I had the DRIP Sketchbook listed online, I just realized I hadn't made it available for sale. I believe all the settings are correct now making it publicly available. If you tried to order it and ran into digital roadblocks, let me know.

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

Fa La La La La Park Avenue Window Walk

On December 10, I Luv Winter Park organized a stroll down Park Avenue in Winter Park. People gathered in the Hidden Garden Courtyard from 5 to 6, taking advantage of Happy Hour libations at The Bistro. Then, around 6-ish, everyone walked  down the east side of Park Avenue, then back up. It was a chance for friends  to get into a  holiday mood and have some fun while checking out the  windows up and down Park Avenue!

I couldn't get to the bistro at 5, so instead I simply found a spot on Park Avenue to sketch. I chose to sketch Be On Park jewelry store (152 S Park Ave, Winter Park, FL) simply because I didn't have a parked car blocking the view. Large orbs of light were hung in the trees all along Park Avenue. It was quite a display. Eventually the strollers did run across me.  Clyde took pictures of my sketch in progress.

A mom and her daughter, dressed in an elegant Cinderella gown stopped to meet every one. The little girl proudly showed off her glass slippers rotating her foot on point. After everyone left and I was getting close to finishing the sketch, a rather disheveled man stood in front of me and angrily asked, "Are you an artist?" It is the one question I can't stand. I looked around wondering if my wife put him up to it. I made some polite reply. He wanted money for new shoes, but his shoes looked fine to me. When your sitting still you are an easy mark. It started to rain as I made my way back to my car. Why can't they afford snow?

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, January 11, 2014

Imperial Wine Bar and Beer Garden

The Imperial Wine Bar and Beer Garden, located in Ivanhoe Village, (1800 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL) specializes in boutique wines and craft beers. Located in the back of an antiques store, the bar offers an exotic, comfortable yet elegant pub atmosphere. Terry and I went here one night to meet Wendy Wallenberg and her entourage. When we arrived, we spotted Genevieve Bernard and some of her girlfriends. Genevieve works at the Mennello Museum, is the founder of Voci Dance and runs Kid's Fringe. Needless to say, she is very involved in the arts and always busy. Her husband Seth reports on the arts for the Orlando Weekly, so I bump into him quite often in my explorations. One of Genevieve's friends knew of my blog. She introduced herself saying, "You might not know me, but I certainly know you since I read your posts." Another friend said she read Analog Artist Digital World when she moved out of town to check back and see what is happening in Orlando. It made me happy to think I am providing some kind of service with my obsessive sketching and ramblings.

That reminded me, I hadn't done a sketch yet today. Wendy and her friends arrived and we exchanged places with Genevieve's friends as they left. The place was packed. The Imperial has over 40 beers and 45 wines to choose from, with something to offer every beer and wine drinker, from the novice to the adventurous. I muscled up to the crowded bar to get a drink for Terry and myself. I got a German beer, Weissen-something, and Terry wanted a hard cider. Though I risked seeming anti-social, I sketched. A huge blue Buddha sat crated behind our table. Outside, a food truck generator purred. Wendy's friend Denise ordered some sort of sushi or volcano roll from the truck. As the conversation darted from journalism to fashion to sports cars, my eyes darted about trying to lock people into a composition. Wendy has to be the most animated person I know. She is a constant blur of motion.  When we left, Wendy gave Terry pointers on how she needs to customize her new Porche. The car was called "Baby" for a while but now she is called "Enterprise".

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, January 10, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday January 11, 2014
1pm to 3pm $5 Science Play Festival. Mad Cow Theatre (54 West Church Street, Orlando, Florida 32801).  "A Short History of Nearly Everything". Adapted by Lauren Gunderson from a book by Bill Bryson. For the first time ever, Mad Cow Theatre creates a unique play festival exploring the world of science plays through a weekend of staged readings and discussion forums. Join us as we explore the worlds of science, technology and history through imaginative stories.

7:30pm to 9:30pm $5  Science Play Festival. Mad Cow Theatre (54 West Church Street, Orlando, Florida 32801). "Photograph 51" by Anna Ziegler. For the first time ever, Mad Cow Theatre creates a unique play festival exploring the world of science plays through a weekend of staged readings and discussion forums. Join us as we explore the worlds of science, technology and history through imaginative stories.

9pm to Midnight Free Falcon Soundraiser. The Falcon 819 E. Washington Street, Suite 2, Orlando, Florida. Soundraisers are a series of live shows presented by The Falcon, over the next couple of months. We will be actively accepting donations at each event and throughout the coming months at The Falcon, in hopes of generating enough funding to purchase a simple Sound/PA system for The Falcon. This will enable LIVE music on a more frequent basis at an already KICK ASS hang, and give local talent yet another venue to share their art! The first in the series will feature: audiotourism (members of SC Accidental and LostGhosts) Instrumental/non-vox/two piece "90's-esque inde-guitar swing ala wall of sound!" Come on out and support local business and local talent!

Sunday January 12, 2014
7:30am to 9pm Free Gallery Fresh Art Markets. Orlando Fashion Square 3201 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida 32803. On the 2nd Sunday of every month Gallery Fresh Art Markets and Orlando Fashion Square proudly present "Show Your Art." This free to the public, indoor, non-juried art event showcases 60 to 90 local artists and fine crafts persons and is located throughout Orlando Fashion Square.

1pm to 3pm  $5 Film Slam 14'. 1300 S Orlando Ave, Maitland, FL 32751. FilmSlam will usually be held on the second Sunday of each month at 1PM at Enzian. Come celebrate independents day! Experimental Films, Puppet Films, Art Films, Bartenders throwing bottles, Gangsters, a Music Video....this has to be the most amazingly eclectic line we've had for all of 2012. Q&A with the filmmakers to follow screening.

7:30pm to 9:30pm $5 Science Play Festival. Mad Cow Theatre 54 West Church Street, Orlando, Florida 32801. "Isaac's Eye" by Lucas Hnath. For the first time ever, Mad Cow Theatre creates a unique play festival exploring the world of science plays through a weekend of staged readings and discussion forums. Join us as we explore the worlds of science, technology and history through imaginative stories.

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, January 9, 2014

Fringe Lottery

On December 2nd the Fringe Lottery was held in the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 E. Rollins St, Orlando, Fl).  This was an opportunity to see which shows would be selected for Fringe 23. Michael Mariaccio and George "Fringe" Wallace hosted the lottery. Lottery tickets were picked from green buckets. The Fringe is a completely non-juried week of theater and any show could be selected. The theater was packed full of producers and directors who hoped their shows would be picked.
  1. Participants were selected on a non-juried basis, through a first-come, first served process, a lottery, or other method approved by the Association.
  2. The audience must have the option to pay a ticket price, 100% of which goes directly to the artists (government taxes notwithstanding.)
  3. Fringe Festival producers have no control over the artistic content of each performance. The artistic freedom of the participants is unrestrained.
  4. Festivals must provide an easily accessible opportunity for all audiences and all artists to participate in Fringe Festivals.
 Orlando city commissioner Robert Stuart did the actual picking from the bucket.When he selected "Boylesque" from the bucket he had to hesitate before pronouncing the title. Michael Wanzie shouted out from the audience, "Your going to have to learn how to pronounce "Boylesque" if you want the gay vote!" He got quite a good laugh. Later the politician assured his votes by shaking Michael's hand and kissing him on the cheek. The audience erupted. So, take a glance and anticipate this year's line up.

The All New Nashville Hurricane [Chase Padgett - Burbank, CA]
Ennui [Circus Arts - Polk City, FL]
Boylesque [Sensuality N Motion / Visual EFX Productions - Orlando, FL]
Bless Me Father, For I have Danced [Yow Dance - Orlando, FL]
BARE: A Pop Opera [Penguin Point Productions - Winter Park, FL]
FLIGHT: A Crane’s Story [IBEX Puppetry - Orlando, FL]
Something’s Weird in Weeki Wachee [John Ryanand Diva Productions - Orlando, FL]

Money Shot! [RUSH Theatrical Productions - New York, NY]
Grim and Fischer [Wonderheads - Portland, OR]
Oyster Boy [Haste Theatre Company - London, UK]
Under the Rainbow [Alan Gerber - Orlando, FL]
There’s No Place Like Home [Wanzie Presents / D-Squared Productions - Orlando, FL]
Smooch [PB and J Theatre Factory – Winter Park, FL]
TBD [The Downtowners – Orlando, FL]
Fifty Shades of Gay [Homicidal Orphan Productions – Orlando, FL]

Marathon [TJ Dawe - Vancouver, BC]
God Is a Scottish Drag Queen II: An All New Testament [Mike Delamont - Victoria, BC]
The Surprise [Martin Dockery - Brooklyn, NY]
Killer Quack [James Judd Entertainment - New York, NY]
Conversations with My Divorce Attorney [John Montgomery Theatre Co. - New York, NY]
Tappin and Yappin [J&J Pickle Productions: Ocoee, FL]
Pasion Flamenca [Flamenco del Sol Dance Company - Sanford, FL]
Frankenchrist! The Musical [Acting Passionate Productions - Lakeland, FL]
Professor Soap’s Musical Machine [Cadence Creative - Loughman, FL]

- PINK -
Ruby Rocket, Private Eye [Stacey Hallal - Portland, OR]
Chaotica [Christel Bartelse - Toronto, Ontario ]
House [Ribbitre Public Theatre: Edmonton, Alberta]
Black Stockings [Dangerous Theatre: Denver, CO]
Immortals [Wind Whistle Theatre - Nevada City, CA]
Donating Sperm to My Sisters Wife [Stewart Huff - Winterville, GA]
And Baby Makes Four [Utmost Productions - Orlando, FL]
The British Invasion [My Dream Tree Productions - Casselberry, FL]

Jem Rolls [Big Word Performance Poetry - Surrey, UK]
TBD [Keith Brown - London, Ontario]
Train Your Man [Kirchmann Productions - Alberton, South Africa]
Taking Out the White Trash [Peemypants Productions - Savannah, GA]
Baba Yaga [It Ain't Shakespeare - Dallas, TX]
Radio Free Fringe [RFF - Orlando, FL]
Hungry! The Musical [Madmymn Payne Prod - Kissimmee, FL]
All Shook Up: A Rockabilly Revival [Bare Ass Productions - Winter Park, FL]

Roller Derby Saved My Soul [Broken Turtle Productions - Ottawa, Ontario]
The Death of Brian [A Zombie Odyssey: Theater Simple - Seattle, WA]
40 Something Still Single [Cougar Comedy Productions - Orlando, FL]
Alice Rocks Wonderland [Atlantic Coast Theatre for Youth - Champions Gate, FL]
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson [BTW Productions / Ashley Willsey - Lake Mary, FL]
Escape from Baldwin Park [Carpenter Aunt Productions - Orlando, FL]
Liquid Courage [Tobo Productions - Orlando, FL]
20 Nothing [Last Minute Panic Productions - Winter Springs, FL]

- BLUE -
Papa Squats Store of Sorts [Ain't True and Uncle False's Hood - Indianapolis, IN]
My Brooklyn Hamlet: A Meshugenah True Story [Brenda Adelman - Spring Valley, CA]
Punk Grandpa [Cosmic Jello / Laura Force Scruggs - Chicago, IL]
Sperm Wars [Random Samples Collective - Toronto, ON]
Fire in the Meth Lab [2 Hoots Productions - Melbourne, Australia]
Shakespeare’s Histories: Ten Epic Plays at a Breakneck Pace [Timothy Mooney Repertory - Prospect Heights, IL]
Tuesday Mourning [Clandestine ARTS - Altamonte Springs, FL]
The Queer Diaries [Royal Entertainment - Orlando, FL]
TBD [Playwrights Round Table - Orlando, FL]
TBD [Kia Ora Productions - Kissimmee, FL]

VGL 5’4″ Top [Lucas Brooks - Brooklyn, NY]
Desperately Seeking the Exit [Peter Michael Marino - New York, NY]
Superhero’s Can’t Fly [botwot productions - Aspen, CO]
Us vs. The World [Improv Off the Grid - Orlando, FL]
The Float Boat [Comedy First CLC - Longwood, FL]
The Four Great Books of China (Condensed) [Emerson Productions - Casselberry, FL]
Battle of the Sexes: Male Surrender [John Chapman - Orlando, FL]
Tim and Spencer’s Yet Unnamed Magic Project [Corrupting the Kids - Orlando, FL]
Paisley the Clown [Paisley Productions - Orlando, FL]
TBD [JAR Productions - Orlando, FL]

- RED -
Mark Twain’s is Shakespeare Dead [Doctor Keir Co. - Montreal, Quebec ]
The Chronic Single’s Handbook [Randy Ross - Somerville, MA]
Tap Me on the Shoulder [Pack of Others - Northampton, MA]
Going On: A Inspiring True Story about Loss and Finding the Love Inside Yourself [White Rabbit - Portland, OR]
An Iliad [John Remke - West New York, NY]
Rendezvous La Petite Morte [Chloe J. Roberts - Tampa, FL]
The All-New Review [Portals Theatre - Orlando, FL]
Reincarnation Soup [Viet Nguyen - Orlando, FL]
Paranormal Stupidity [Brian Flaherty - Maitland, FL]
Helix by Tangent [Spur of the Moment - Winter Park, FL]

A Brief History of Beer [Wish Experience - London, UK]
Ocean Fox [Castlereigh Theatre Project - Victoria, BC]
babyBlueStar Presents: VarieTEASE [babyBlueStar - Orlando, FL]
Exploring Her Kinkdom [Penguin Productions - Orlando, FL]
Tod Kimbro Does Everything [Tod Kimbro - Orlando, FL]
Seasons [Squeaky Wheel Theatre Project - Orlando, FL]
Home Free by Lanford Wilson [Gagne Productions - Orlando, FL]
TBD [Logan Donahoo - Orlando, FL]
Truth of Dare with Pepe [Pepe Productions - Orlando, FL]
 Afterwards, some performers lamented not being picked. They are on a waiting list and sometimes shows drop out offering an opportunity for that slot to be filled. I recall laughing out loud when "Sharknado the Musical" was picked. Unfortunately I don't see it in the listings so it must have been dropped. Thankfully "Sperm Wars" made the cut. Mark Your Calendar, there are many Fringe happenings leading up to the big event. Check the Fringe website for more details. Hey, if any local producers or directors are reading this, keep me in mind to sketch read throughs, or rehearsals.
  • February 07 – Loon
  • February 08 (2 shows) – Loon
  • February 09 – Loon
  • March 03 – Fringe at the Hard Rock
  • April 14 -Local Preview
  • May 14 – National / International Preview
  • Second half of May - FRINGE!

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, January 8, 2014

Pachyderm Protest

On January 6th I read in the Orlando Weekly that animal performers from Ringling Brothers and Barnum Baily Circus would unload at railroad tracks near 1035 W. Amelia Street, at 8:30pm then travel east on Amelia, south on North Hughey, west on West South Street, and enter the Garage behind the Amway Center. The railroad tracks were in an industrial complex in Parramore, so I decided to sketch the destination at the Amway Center. It was an unexpectedly cold night with temperatures dropping down to the 30's. I sat next to an on ramp to I-4 and blocked in the Amway Center. I left the lower third of the sketch vacant, assuming I would put in the animals when they walked by.

A truck load of workers got out of a truck in the lot next to me. They each carried long coils of ropes over their shoulders. Maybe their job was to set up the trapeze inside the arena.  Cold winds forced we to huddle back behind an overpass pillar. A large fire ant mound behind me kept me from backing up any more. I blew into my gloves periodically to warm my hands. My denim jacket was no match for the cold. I could faintly smell hay. In the distance I heard a sound like race cars at the Indie 500. I soon realized the sound wasn't cars, but lions roaring. It was only 7:30pm, so it couldn't be the animals at the railroad stop yet. The railroad stop was probably a mile away. White tents were set up inside the Amway garage and I realized that the lions were inside. Periodically, Swift 18 wheelers would pull up to the garage. The sketch reached a point where I couldn't go any further, so I decided I needed to warm up and pee. A hand blower in the public bathroom blew gloriously hot air onto my frozen hands.

I followed the parade route back to the railroad stop. Behind the huge vacant lot referred to as the "Creative Village" a bunch of RV's were parked along with some Swift trucks. I assume this must have been the traveling circus camp. As I got closer to the railroad tracks I saw flashing police lights and a loud hissing sound. At the tracks the road was lined with protesters with signs that asked people to Boycott the Circus and to Google Ringling Cruelty. I sketched the protesters and police into my already started sketch.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus is known for its long history of abusing animals. In 1929, John Ringling ordered the execution of a majestic bull elephant named Black Diamond after the elephant killed a woman who had been in the crowd as he was paraded through a Texas city. Twenty men took aim and pumped some 170 bullets into Black Diamond's body, then chopped off his head and mounted it for display in Houston Museum of Natural Science. Ringling's cruel treatment of animals continues today.

Elephants in Ringling's possession are chained inside filthy, poorly ventilated boxcars for an average of more than 26 straight hours—and often 60 to 70 hours at a time—when the circus travels. Even former Ringling employees have reported that elephants are routinely abused and violently beaten with bullhooks (an elephant-training tool that resembles a fireplace poker), in order to force them to perform tricks. Since 2000, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Ringling numerous times for serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), such as the following:
  • Improper handling of dangerous animals
  • Failure to provide adequate veterinary care to animals, including an elephant with a large swelling on her leg, a camel with bloody wounds, and a camel injured on train tracks
  • Causing trauma, behavioral stress, physical harm, and unnecessary discomfort to two elephants who sustained injuries when they ran amok during a performance
  • Endangering tigers who were nearly baked alive in a boxcar because of poor maintenance of their enclosures
  • Failure to test elephants for tuberculosis
  • Unsanitary feeding practices 
I stood with the 30 or so protesters till 10:30pm waiting to see if the elephants would be walked to the Arena in the freezing cold. The Ringling animal railroad cars were converted passenger cars. I wondered if they were heated. Finally three elephants walked down the ramps exiting the cars. Rather than walk down Amelia, the handlers had the elephants walk away down the rail line towards the front of the train. The route was being changed, so I walked briskly to see what road the elephants were being lead down. Protesters ran past me. Julie Gross shouted out, "Run Thor!" Police blocked cars from entering the next block. A large Swift 18 wheeler truck already had the three elephants inside.  I wondered if the Swift cargo hold was heated. Swift maintains one of the largest temperature controlled fleets in the industry. Any cargo can be kept at a stable temperature from the moment it leaves your door to the moment it is off loaded at the final destination. Perhaps the elephants were warmer than me. I had seen the elephants for at most two minutes.

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, January 7, 2014

Eagles Concert

On November 23rd, Terry and I went to the Eagles concert at The Amway Center (400 W Church St #200, Orlando, FL). Tickets for seating on the floor were over $100. We sat in the bleachers just a few rows up from the floor. When we got to the Amway, I realized I didn't bring a water vile to refill my brushes. I had streamlined my art supplies so that I could get through security. I tried to get a cup for water from a vendor but they wouldn't give me one without selling me a beer. I decided to use my brush until it ran dry. Then I went and scavenged a half full water bottle from the trash about halfway through the concert. Most of the time the Arena was pitch black with the only light coming from the stage making the sketch a challenge. A beach ball was batted around by the crowd until the performers got on stage.

Of course from this distance it was impossible to see the singers faces except or the jumbo trons. One singer chastised members of the audience who were standing the whole time saying that everyone had paid to see the performance. He would let them know when it was appropriate to stand. By the end of the concert everyone was standing and dancing. I had been to one other Eagles concert and was blown away by their energy. This was the last concert on a long tour by the Eagles and though they played tight, I felt like they might be tired and thinking about relaxing after the tour. To me, their hearts weren't in the game.

Regardless, they performed many crowd favorites like "Desperado", "Hotel California", "Life in the Fast Lane", and "Take It Easy." The large screens behind the stage could move and they were used to project movies that tied in with each song. Even if it wasn't their most energetic concert, I'm glad we were there.

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, January 6, 2014

Gibson Guitars

Orlando seems to periodically promote the arts by asking artists to decorate fiberglass lizards, busts and or guitars. In 2009  seven foot tall Gibson guitars were put on display at . One of these guitars is still on display inside City Arts factory near the restrooms.

This year busts of the Bride of Frankenstein are being supplied for decoration. The "Its Alive" Project is a non profit charity event benefiting St Jude Children's Research fund. The last "It's Alive" project had featured Frankenstein Busts at City Arts Factory in 2001. 

The call for artist submissions is now open for this year's Bride of Frankenstein. Due to increased interest and returning artists, not all applicants can be accepted. All applications are to be submitted via email to: Please put your name in the title of the email.  (Example: Its Alive Project - Artist: (Your Name) A concept of your piece must be submitted for approval. This concept may be used in the exhibition. You are highly encouraged to submit designs that feature structural enhancements. For our protection, once a concept is approved a signed contract must be returned before any castings are shipped out. If you have any further questions, send a direct message through Facebook (not on the timeline) or via email to:

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, January 5, 2014

Community Indigo Vat Dyeing Party

On Saturday November 23rd, I went to Misty Forest (611 N. Hyer Ave., Orlando, Florida FL) to sketch a Community Indigo Vat Dyeing Party. Clay Curiosities (Jenn Benner) hosted the event. Jenn is an art instructor for children at Misty Forest. As she explained in her invitation, "Yesterday, I got witchy with an amazing group of women to explore the magic of Indigo vat dyeing. Indigo cultivation and vat dyeing are 5,500 year old traditions that have created trade routes, developed new civilizations, and spurned nations into war. Indigo has a rich communal history throughout the world. Our Indigo vat will last another week or two until it expires. 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, and 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. This party is free to workshop attendees and $5 for friends and community. Please wear old clothes and closed toe shoes."

I anticipated seeing a large witches cauldron full of die but instead discovered a small orange paint bucket. The die had impurities floating on top making it appear like blue lava. When fabrics are first dyed they aren't bright blue. The gradually turn blue as the dye oxidized in the air. Inside people were busy with string and rubber bands for intricate tie dye patterns and Shibori techniques. Shibori is a Japanese term for several methods of dyeing cloth with a pattern by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, compressing it, or capping. Some of these methods are known in the West as tie-dye. There is a definite thrill that comes when the dyed item is unbound and the intricate pattern is discovered. There were plenty of Ohs and Ahs as the items were shown. Leslie Silvia made pillow cases with one large circular tie die pattern right where the head would rest. The large pattern would make the person sleeping look like they had a halo. She said the pattern was inspired by dream catchers.

There were about 20 to 30 participants but only one person could use the dye vat at a time. Between dyeing sessions, the vat was capped to keep the dye from oxidizing prematurely.  Items that were dyed were soaked in water to remove excess dye, then they were unbound and hung on a clothes line. It was fun to witness people coming together to share a creative project. Some people Jenn had instructed, later shared their knowledge with friends who arrived later. I dipped a finger into the vat and rubbed some of the dye into a shadow area on my sketch just to see what it looked like. The raw dye was gritty and almost black on the sketch  I should have put some inside one of my water brushes. Oh well, maybe next time. Jenn said she plans to do similar workshops in the future since this one was such a success.

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, January 4, 2014

Stained Glass

I love visiting and sketching artists studios. It was a rare treat to sketch an old school stained glass artist at work. Each piece of glass is carefully cut to it's exact shape and size and then everything is held in place with leading. This studio was a warm inviting barn like structure next to the house. Someday I hope to create such a studio for myself, but for now, my studio is my artists stool set up anywhere I sketch. I learn a little from every artist I meet and sketch, but I haven't found the time or place to make a studio where I feel at home. Perhaps it just makes sense to remain a tumbleweed going which ever way the wind blows. Yet still I envy artists who seem grounded and secure in their studio.

I often think of my own sketches like stained glass with the black line work being like the leading in a stained glass window. The thin watercolor washes let light bounce through to the white page to create vibrant color. Playing with translucent layers of color is very much like stained glass, in my case I just stain the page.

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

Friday, January 3, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday January 4, 2013
9am to Noon Free Shine On 'Healing Garden' Installation. Shine On Yoga (619 N Thorton Ave, Orlando, Florida 32803.) If you are interested in getting up early on a Saturday morning to help dig 24 holes (for all of the posts), help carry/move wooden structures, help level/reassemble structures (all ratcheting/bolts, no nails or screws), dig-up/move plants and share in the joy of space creating, please come on out.

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. This is part of the Orlando Artist inspiration activities that this group was founded on.

7pm to 9pm Free Sion Dayson Pot Luck. Kerouac House (1418 Clouser Ave., Orlando, FL.)  Please join us in welcoming Sion Dayson to Orlando and the Kerouac Project! Bring a dish, a drink and a smile. Sion Dayson is an American writer living in Paris, France. Her work has appeared in Hunger Mountain, Utne Reader, The Wall Street Journal, Numero Cinq and several anthologies including Strangers in Paris and Seek It: Writers and Artists Do Sleep, among other venues. She has been a past winner of a Barbara Deming Memorial Fund grant for her fiction and her novel manuscript placed on the short list for finalists in the William Faulkner Wisdom Competition. She earned her MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. You can find out more about her work at her website,

Sunday January 5, 2013
5:30pm to 9pm $10 Southern Fried Sunday. Will's Pub (1042 N. Mills Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32803.) Thomas Wynn & Friends, Hymn for Her, Bad Santa & The Angry Elves and The Bloody Jug Band will be entertaining you with some great music!  BBQ from The Smiling Bison!

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

10pm to Midnight Free Sick Of It Presents: Rancid Karaoke Cover Set. 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