Sunday, May 4, 2014

16th hole at the Bay Hill Invitational

On March 22nd Jesse Newton invited me to a Green Party at the 16th hole of the Bay Hill Invitational. My North Bay neighborhood is right near the Bay Hill Country Club, so we were issued neighborhood access passes for the car to guarantee we would not be turned away since parking for the golf event is a logistical nightmare. My sister Pat Boehme was in town to go to my gallery opening. Mark Baratelli of The Daily City was up for an adventure as well, so the four of us drove towards South Bay and thanks to the neighborhood car passes we were able to drive through check points and avoid traffic tie ups.

The South Bay home was absolutely gorgeous. It was a casual but very fashionable affair. A bar was set up behind the home next to the pool. Many of the people at the party were restaurant and bar owners and it was a crowd of beautiful people. Right behind the pool deck, a small grassy hill sloped down toward a small pond. Just beyond the pond was the 16th hole. I ordered a soda and turned my back to the golf because I needed to sketch the beautiful people. One woman had a white paddle with "Quiet" written on it. Whenever an important putt was about to happen she would raise the paddle and hush the revelers. Once the ball was in the hole the party conversations would fire back up with plenty of laughter and joking. The "Quiet" sign holder posed provocatively for me several times but I knew she wouldn't be able to hold the poses long. I sketched her when she least expected it. Several times during the party the "Quiet" paddle was used like a fraternity butt spanker.

A short path to the left lead to a spot right next to a TV camera tower where the putting action could be viewed from up close. It was possible to get closer to the action than any of the spectators on the greens behind their ropes. I glanced over my shoulder periodically when I heard the crowd on the green murmur or applaud. But honestly, the gorgeous people on the hill captured most of my attention. Mark and I joked about how this must be what it feels like to be part of the "in" socialite crowd.

A women introduced herself and watched me work for a while. She analyzed my composition and decided that the woman in the black tights and shapely hips was the primary focus of the sketch, the rest was just supporting detail. I laughed. "Guilty as charged" I had to admit.With the sketch done, Terry, Pat and I retired to a shady spot in the pool area. I had to sit in the direct sunlight to get the sketch, so my neck got sunburned. I have no idea who won the golf tournament. The last balls plopped into the holes and the golf greens slowly cleared as the sun set. With so much to see and sketch the tournament scores were the least of my concerns.

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

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