Monday, June 30, 2014

The Orlando School of Cultural Dance



The Orlando School of Cultural Dance (OSCD) (412 N Pine Hills Rd Orlando, FL) was established in 1989. The philosophy of OSCD is that a positive self-image is essential for the total development of our children, the leaders of tomorrow.  Since their inception, OSCD has been teaching African dance to students ages three to adults. Since then, they have added other disciplines, such as ballet, tap, modern, music theory, percussion (variety), fitness and "Rites of Passage". They believe that the arts provides a channel through which our students can grow by learning about their cultural heritage. Dance in particular, frees the spirit and brings joy to oneself as well as others. 

The school has accomplished many positive programs through their collaborative partnership efforts with other organizations. These partnerships include: Cultural Arts Research Ensemble, The City of Orlando, Orlando Fights Back, Center for Drug-Free Living, Metropolitan Orlando Urban League, Orange County Public Schools, Ivey Lane Caring and Nurturing Center, Ivey Lane/Royal Gardens Neighborhood Association and Parramore Village Neighborhood Association, just to name a few. Through our partnerships and collaborations, they have been able to touch hundreds of lives in our community, both young and old, in a positive way.

This dance recital was high energy and impressive kids from 10 years old and older danced with abandon.  The colorful costumes added color and authentic energy to the performance.


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

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Decorating Ideas in Miami Beach


Elaine Pasekoff and Derek Hewitt purchased several condos in a high rise in Miami Beach. They are a short walk to the beach and the balconys of the condos offer an amazing view looking south towards Miami. The first condo they decorated was in an African theme. Derek's mom did a large painting of an elephant for the spot above the couch in the living room. Crown moldings, a fresh paint job and a carefully planned window seat gave the place an old world feel. Patterns for draperies and pillow covers make the place feel like an African retreat. Over dinner at Smith and Wollensky, the interior designer offered more options and insights.

Another condo was given a French flavor. Elaine hits antiques fairs to find French knick knacks. Whereas the African suite was filled with warm earth tones, the provincial French suite has a cool blue tone throughout. Elaine found a series of French paintings that incorporated three layers of glass. The foreground elements are on the top glass layer, then middle ground items are on the middle sheet of glass and the background elements are on the lowest level.  This gives the paintings a simple parallax that hints at depth. This is easy to accomplish and I'm considering trying it out with some of my sketches. Elaine and Derek are generous and open the second condo as a guest room when Terry and I swarm down to Miami for Art Basel.


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

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Break Dancing at the Roxy

The Roxy Night Club (740 Bennett Rd, Orlando, FL) had a break dancing competition. There was a great spot on a second floor balcony that overlooked the dancing. I believe the dancers were warming up because multiple dancers performed at once. Groups of people would surround each dancer to cheer him or her on. The second floor was full of merchandise while the ground floor had bars and of course the dancing. Catching the dancers in action was a challenge, but I stuck with it.


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

Friday, June 27, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday June 28, 2014
9am to Noon Free.  Upstart Expo - Orlando's Tech Job Fair! East End Market 3201 Corrine Dr Orlando, FL. Finding a cool tech job in Orlando shouldn't be impossible. With the growing number of technology companies in the Orlando area, sometimes it is simply a matter of having direct access to employers.
Upstart Expo puts you in direct contact with the hiring managers and startup entrepreneurs looking to hire top tech talent like you!
 Open positions range from development, design and engineering to management, marketing and sales. We unite quality companies with top talent in a casual, creative atmosphere.It's time to suit up (or don't:), show up, and get hired!

7:30pm to 9:30pm Free. The Geek Easy with Amy Watkins and Open Mic. The Geek Easy 114 S. Semoran Blvd Suite #6, Winter Park, Fl. Featuring
Amy Watkins and Superhero Poetry Open Mic
Guest Hosted By Russ Golata
Open to all: Musicians-Lyricists-Artists-and Poets of all kinds
Bring out the cape and have some fun
http://poetry.meetup.com/362/

8pm to 10pm A Family Affair: Marc With a C and the Expansion Pack, Milk Carton Superstars, Claire and The Potatoes! Copper Rocket Pub, Lake Avenue, Maitland, Fl. Marc With a C (and his backing band, The Expansion Pack, Winner of Orlando Weekly's "Best Singer/Songwriter" award in 2013!)
Milk Carton Superstars (The best rock band you haven't heard yet. Hot off the heels of their new album "Sesame Streetcar Named Disaster"!)
Claire and The Potatoes (Winner of Orlando Weekly's "Best Pop Act" award in 2013, a veritable Orlando supergroup!) 21 and up are welcomed. The show is totally free!

Sunday June 29, 2014
10am to Noon Free. Super Joy Riders. Meet at the corner of East Central Blvd and North Eola Drive at 10 am. Look for the capes!
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.
You + Superhero Costume + Bike = Best Sunday Ever
We are inviting Orlando to come with us on a fun filled bike ride of awesomeness on the last Sunday of the month. Dress like a superhero, hop on a bike, and follow our scavenger hunt list of Good Deeds as we all try to save the world with small acts of kindness. http://www.superjoyriders.com/

2pm to 6pm $5. $5 Hops For Hope. Orlando Brewing 1301 Atlanta Ave., Orlando, Fl. Join me for a Team In Training fundraiser at Orlando Brewing on Sunday June 29th from 2 pm to 6 pm! A $5 donation will get you a special wrist band that entitles you to happy hour prices on all drafts. There will be a Cornhole tournament, Wheel Of Prizes, and more!! Exact details to follow (may include a food truck, live music, dart tournament, sweet raffle prizes, maybe even a 50/50!! - we shall see). Great cause, great beer, and a great time to be had by all. Save the date and see you there!! Beat the line and donate your $5 NOW!: http://pages.teamintraining.org/vtnt/rnrvanco14/bbbear88

6pm to 8pm Free. Shut Your Face! Poetry Slam by Curtis Meyer! La Casa De La Paellas 10414 E Colonial Dr Orlando FL. The only current ongoing slam in Orlando officially certified by Poetry Slam Incorporated, IE. Send a team to Nats as well as poets to The Individual World Poetry Slam & Women of The World Poetry Slam! $50 to the winner! If you’ve never seen or been in a slam before, it’s definitely worth checking out!



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

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Florida Film Festival Industry Party at the Copper Rocket


On April 11th I went to the Florida Film Festival Industry Party at The Copper Rocket, 106 Lake Avenue Maitland, FL. It was a chance to hang out with Festival friends and chat about all the amazing films. Each Film Festival guest got one complimentary beer and live music all night long. There was a table set up at the entrance and I got an arm band. At 8pm the place was pretty empty. Drew Yardis performed on the stage in the corner and I started sketching him. He performed covers of popular songs while adding his own inflections and personality to each piece.


Journalist Michael McLeod joined me at my table. He explained that Susan Sarandon was giving a talk at the Enzian Theater across the street. That program which also featured a screening of one of her films, wouldn't let out until after 10pm. That is when The Copper Rocket was going to get mobbed. I wondered if I should hang out just in case Susan decided to get a drink in this local dive. Denise Sudler also stopped by our table and we chatted while I continued to sketch. We discussed the notion of my doing an evocative sketch for her. It would be an edgy commission that might spur others on to consider the idea.


The filmmakers of Druid Peak sat at the table next to us. The film was written and directed by Marni Zelnick. Executive producer Maureen Mayer explained the film to us. It is set against the backdrop of the wolf reintroduction program in Yellowstone National Park. It is a coming of age story about a troubled teenage boy (Andrew Wilson) who finds a home for himself tracking wolves in the wild. The production was partly funded by a one hundred thousand dollar grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. It is a story about the why of conservation, not just the how.


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

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Teaching Through the Arts Book Signing


Susan Bright hosted a book signing at her home in Winter Park on April 7th. The book, Teaching Through the ARTS: WRITING Volume 1, was written by Susan Rosoff and Mary Palmer. I was one of the first guests to arrive and I sketched the dining nook where the authors were going to sign books. Gradually the place grew crowded, but I kept my attention focused on the authors. I've met Mary Palmer often at other arts and charity events around town. She is a huge supporter of incorporating art in education.

I was introduced to several intriguing artists at this signing. One artist, Susan Sorenson, did the colorful wire sculptures that were in front of the Orlando Museum of Art. Her work is exhibited across the country and apparently the pieces are quite heavy. Another artist, Que Throm, has a second home out in San Miguel Mexico with an art studio that she shares with her husband, Cicero Greathouse, who is also a renowned abstract painter. I was pleased that she knew about and respected the work that I do. It seems that my sketehes were used as inspiration for a drawing workshop that Que attended. Such a small world.

I quickly thumbed through the book, Teaching Through the Arts, and was pleased to see that Vincent Van Gogh's paintings were used to illustrate principles talked about. A letter written by Vincent to his brother Theo discussed what Vincent was trying to express in his work. Theo helped support his brother's addiction to art by sending small sums of money that often went towards paint rather than food.

The dining nook windows offered a scenic view of a lake and sunlight filled the room that buzzed with excited conversations. I had two Cokes that kept me buzzing as I sketched.




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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Spring Fiesta in the Park


The Spring Fiesta in the Park on April 5th, featured 600 or so Artists and Crafters from all over the United States displaying and selling original works in outdoor tents around Lake Eola Park. There was plenty of outdoor fun and family activities at the largest arts and crafts festival in Orlando. There was also live entertainment and a kids’ area. After walking through much of the festival with Terry, she suggested I get a sketch done.

While shopping, Terry and I bumped into Andy Matchett, his friend Amanda Warren and their children. There is plenty to keep the kids occupied and active at this festival. Amanda let me know what Fringe show she was working on. I'm always looking for inside information about what creative work is happening in the arts scene in Orlando. Andy is now doing the musical direction for Legally Blonde at the Bay Street Theater, 109 N Bay St, Eustis, Fl. The show starts June 27th at 8pm.

This Richard Petty race car was located on the edge of the kids area. Occasionally people were encouraged to climb into the car for a photo opportunity. Getting into the car involved climbing through the oped driver's door window. The Richard Petty driving experience is located at Disney World giving the average tourist a taste of what it is like to drive on a race track. That is something I'd like to sketch and experience someday. The experience is expensive however.
The Rookie Experience: $449 - $549
(8 laps of driving)
King's Experience: $849 - $1,299
(18 laps of driving)
Experience of a Lifetime: $1,299 - $2,199
(30 laps of driving)
This was a very quick sketch and when it was done, Terry and I went out for tacos before heading home.


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

Monday, June 23, 2014

Shocking Magic Loss to the Pacers, or A Tale of Two Cupcakes.


My wife loves to watch the NBA Finals.  If I sit down to watch, I like to joke, saying, "I hope the Magic wins this time." Of course I know the Magic aren't in the finals, but one team always seems to be wearing blue jerseys. Well, maybe next year.

I met Sunshine Woodyard Baker at the opening to my show at Snap. I knew of Sunshine from Facebook, because after a solid week of clouds and rain, I wrote "Hello Sunshine!" to express my joy at finally seeing the sun. She responded back by simply saying "Hello." Somehow she and her husband scored tickets to a Magic game and she had an extra ticket so I could go and sketch. As she explained, "Lee St. John, the owner of Gigi's Cupcakes and I would like to invite you to Gigi's Cupcake's One Year Anniversary Partner Appreciation night. Lee has the Presidential Suite at the Orlando Magic vs. Pacers game on April 16 at 8:00 pm. We will enjoy food, drinks, and the game with a small group of people who have been most helpful in making Gigi's first year magical. We sure hope you can come! Please let me know if that day will work for you. It would be so cool to have you there. We will get to the game around 6pm. My friend, Food Network Chef Emily Ellyn will be there at the game. I think you'll love sketching her, and she's great at cross-promoting to get your name out even more."

Getting into the Amway Center involved the usual metal detectors and bag searches. I decided to streamline my art supplies so I could easily slip through security. I made a tiny palette using an old CD case. The circular CD holder is a perfect spot to arrange my daubs of paint into a color wheel. This Jerry rigged palette worked so well I've taken to using it all the time. I was one of the first people to arrive at the Presidential suite. Lee St. John was there to greet me. He explained that this wasn't a very important game since the Pacers were already high enough in the standings where they could loose if they wanted and still move forward.

Lee had a small box of his award winning cupcakes. He had asked if he could bring the cupcakes up to the Presidential Suite, but there is a firm rule that no outside food or beverages can be bought into the Amway Center. This guarantees that Amway vendors corner the market. Lee tried to explain that the cupcakes weren't for sale and wouldn't be eaten. They were for a photo opportunity. No one listened to reason, so the cupcakes had to be smuggled in with stealth and subterfuge. To repay Lee for inviting me to the game, I decided to sketch one of the cupcakes ant put it on the jumbo tron in the center of the arena. When the sketch was done, I couldn't help myself, I ate the mysterious black market cupcake. It was soooo good. No vendor in the Amway Center has anything half as good.

The suite filled up and I sketched through the whole game. There was a lackluster energy among the players. One Magic fan shouted out "We could win this if we wanted it bad enough." The Magic didn't want it enough. The game was a blowout with the Pacers winning 101 to 86. In the suite, people started posing with the cupcakes. Lee hadn't lied about them being for a photo shoot. I had sinfully consumed a models sweet tasty prop. Luckily there were a few more cupcakes to go around.


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

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Florida Film Festival Filmmaker's Revel Awards Party


On April 12th, The Florida Film Festival held its awards ceremony at Rick’s Speakeasy (1114 Solana Avenue, Winter Park FL). Starting at 8:30 there was a complimentary buffet dinner and cash bar. This place was hidden away on an isolated back road full of warehouses.  This was an unexpected new discovery. This place smelled of gas and vintage cars were hoisted up for display. The bar and lounge area seemed pretty permanent but this "Speakeasy" must also function as a working garage.

The place was packed full of producers, directors and revelers. Carl Knickerbocker had one of his stop motion, puppetry animated films in the festival. The film is called "The Last Orange Grove in Middle Florida." I kind of like the Tolkenesque title and from now on I will tell people that I sketch Middle Florida.

And the winners were...
SHORTS
Special Jury Award for Outstanding Storytelling was presented to THE BRAVEST, THE BOLDEST directed by Moon Molson
Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Short was presented to AFTERMATH directed by Jeremy Robbins
Grand Jury Award for Best Animated Short was presented to YEARBOOK directed by Bernardo Britto
Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Short was presented to NOT ANYMORE: A STORY OF REVOLUTION directed by Matthew Vandyke
Audience Award for Best Short Film was presented to FOOL’S DAY directed by Cody Blue Snider

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES
Special Jury Award for Demonstrating the Connection Between Art, Humanity, and Cinema was presented to LEVITATED MASS directed by Doug Pray
Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature was presented to SLINGSHOT directed by Paul Lazarus
Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature was presented to SLINGSHOT directed by Paul Lazarus

NARRATIVE FEATURES
Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble Cast was presented to CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY directed by Jerzy Rose
Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature was presented to DRUID PEAK directed by Marni Zelnick
Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature was presented to COPENHAGEN directed by Mark Raso

INTERNATIONAL
Audience Award for Best International Feature was presented to LE CHEF (France/Spain), directed by Daniel Cohen
Audience Award for Best International Short was presented to B-CLASS CULTURAL HERITAGE (Japan), directed by Yuji Hariu

After the sketch was done, Terry and I went to the neighboring Celluloid Circus. This is his private animatronic amusement park and club which was set up as a haunted house. Terry clutched my hand till it hurt. I was unfazed by most of the animatronic horrors, but one room cause me to completely short circuit. A narrow gang plank extended out inside a spinning tube. The spiraling motion made me think I was going to fall. I leaned hard to my left, let go of Terry's hand and grabbed the handrail. Terry screamed when I let go. This must be what it would feel like to ride inside a spinning dryer. Somehow, we made it across the void. Later, one of the cast members told me I should have closed my eyes to stop the vertigo.

On the whole drive home on I4, the road seamed to be banking hard left and right. The spinning roadway kept swinging like a rickety rope bridge. I dug my fingers into the steering wheel leather and tried to stay in control. When we got home, I couldn't find my car keys. The valet might not have handed them to me. My car is one of those push button starters so the keys don't need to be in the ignition. In a panic I emptied every item out of my art bag. Terry remained calm and she found the keys in the cup holder in my center console.


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

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson Hits the Orlando Fringe Hard


By The Way Productions presented Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at the Orlando Fringe Festival. Based on a book by Alex Timbers and with music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman the show was a pop rock musical that showed the bloody history often overlooked by whitewashed history book in high school. The show was produced by Ashley Willsey and directed by Adam Graham. I went to the show because I bumped into Christie Miga on the lawn of fabulousness and discovered that she created the large flag that hangs on the set. This show got an award for the most aggressive and visual marketing campaign which was designed by Ashley. Live music was provided by Hey Angeline.

This was a huge show staged in the tiny Rep black box theater. I sat in the front row and several times had to pull back my crossed legged drawing stance to keep from tripping dancers. This was an edgy high energy production that portrayed Jackson (Ross Neil) as a rock star hungry for the adoration of the American public. The female cast worshiped Jackson's populism like crazed Beatles fans. In contrast, the narrator was a nerdy woman in a wheelchair (Anitra Pritchard) with cat eyed glasses and a stuffed pug in her lap. She reminded me of the Dr. Scott from Rocky Horror Picture Show.

While Jackson ordered the slaughter of the Indians, his popularity grew. It is possible that this Indian purge resulted in more deaths than the Nazi concentration camps. Jackson's wife (Jacqueline Torgas) didn't want him to go into politics and yet he couldn't resist the adoration of the American public. The campaign ripped his wife's reputation to shreds and she died of a heart attack before he took office. She was married to another man when she met Jackson and that fact was used by his opponents in the presidential campaign. Ambition left him loveless yet popular. Two thumbs up for such an ambitious Fringe production.


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

Friday, June 20, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday June 21, 2014
9am to 3pm Free.  Sanford Farmers Market. At First and Magnolia in Sanford. A small farmer's market in the heart of historic downtown Sanford.

2pm to 4pm Free Snap!Attacks! Artist Talk. Snap! Space 1013 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, Fl. In conjunction with the Snap! Attacks! opening, Snap! Space hosts an artist's panel with headlining guests Mark Gmehling, Stacey Ransom of Ransom & Mitchell and Rebecca Rose, discussing "Art Business." Moderated by Art Attacks online curator, The-ArtGeek Donia.
RSVP to the 'Artist Talk' (Saturday, June 21st from 2-4pm) ► http://www.eventbrite.com/e/snap-attacks-artist-talk-tickets-11980408725
Opening Reception for Snap! Attacks! (Friday, June 20th from 6-10pm) ► https://www.facebook.com/events/539576549484890/

7pm to 9pm Free. Suggested d. onation $15 at door. Modern Widow's Club "Get to Know Us". Credo Coffee House College Park 900 North Maitland Avenue, Maitland, Fl. Celebrate Empowering Widows for 2014 International Widows Day. Wine, dine, break bread and a few plates!! We ask if you cannot attend, please GIVE a donation on JUNE 21st. Together we'll console, support and provide mentoring to empower widows. http://modernwidowsclub.com/donate

Sunday June 22, 2014
 1pm to 3pm Free but get a coffee. Irish Music. Olivia's Coffee House, 108 North Bay Street, Eustis, FL. http://www.oliviascoffeehouse.com/

2pm to 1am Free. SUMMER JAM milk edition - House - Bass - Experimental. The Milk District East Robinson Street, Orlando, Fl. three areas of amazing unique sounds. Good company, drinks, and... no cover. Sandwich Bar will have disco/house/funk/tek/minimal/progressive. Space Bar will have experimental/trip-hop/glitch/experimental bass. Outside there will be Drum and bass/breaks. Oldschool to Youngblood just for the Music Heads! Come and soak in the sounds. Don't complain you cant find culture, create it!

2pm to 6pm Free. Open House! KHphotographics 115 Maitland Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Fl. Come see our new products, get special deals on photo shoots and product orders and learn a thing or two! We will have a free "how to take better pictures" workshop and some fun surprises! Sugar Harlot will be selling her delicious petite scones too!


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

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Snap! Attacks! to Open at Snap Space!

On June 16th I went to Snap! Space,  to sketch German Muralist Mark Gmehling as he worked on a huge five story high mural. I had also visited on Friday the 13th, but he had just painted the whole area grey using a roller on that day. The mural depicts Mickey Mouse gloved hands clutching oozing gooey brain matter.

As I did this sketch, an angry line of fire ants marched in line into a crack in a blue grey wall. Patrick Kahn, Snaps founder offered me an umbrella to block the sun. I felt a little guilty being pampered because Mark was five stories up in the lift wearing a black TShirt in the 90s plus humid Florida heat. He didn't need any shade. Since I have had skin cancer before, I accepted the offer and helped him tape the umbrella to the telephone pole I was leaning against.

Several people stopped to look and take pictures. Two time lapse cameras were set up to record every stage of the mural's creation. When Mark came down for a break, we spoke for a while. He is a teacher and he does most of the painting using spray paint. He likes the greys that are in the Montana Gold spray paint being used for this mural. The forms combine hard edges and soft edges as he builds up the form. He works quick. The mural will be complete in less than a weeks time and he worked entirely alone. Local artist Chris Tobar did help paint some of the grey base coat paint lower to the ground floor. A tattoo shop is opening up right behind Snap! Space. I imagine one of the first requests will be to tattoo Marks melting brain image onto someones arm.

Mark Your Calendar! The mural will be completed before the "Snap! Attacks!" opening on Friday June 20th from 6pm to 10pm at Snap! Space, in the historic Cameo Theater, 1013 E. Colonial Dr., Orlando, Fl. The show will be a cutting edge contemporary and figurative art show from the combined curatorial forces of Snap! Orlando and Art Attacks featuring photography, painting, illustration, mixed media, sculpture and video installation with internationally renowned artists in attendance. Guest curators Art Attacks is an online art resource for contemporary arts, providing a curated digital gallery, in depth interviews, and art event coverage. After four years of showcasing the best in contemporary art and creative inspiration, Art Attacks Online is pleased to announce its very first gallery show!

On Saturday June 21st from 2pm to 4pm there will be a free artist panel discussion at Snap! Space so you can meet the artists and learn more about their work.


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

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Oyster Boy Blamed for Problems in Bed


Haste Theatre from London invited the Orlando Fringe audiences to their darkly comic world where everything may not be as sweet as it seems. The show, Oyster Boy, is based on a story idea from Tim Burton while taking liberties. It followed the tale of Jim and Alice as their lives are turned upside down by the arrival of their first son, born with an oyster for a head. The production mixed puppetry, clowning, and a very naughty barbershop quartet.

Jim was Italian and Alice was an American Tourist.  They fell in love at first sight and Jim's Italian and broken English instants wins Alice's heart. The seaside romance was accompanied by the romance of breaking waves recreated simply with a blue sheet. Their son's huge oyster shell head offended everyone but the adoring parents. The one thing oyster boy was good at was swimming. Two little girls befriended him and went for a swim, but when the girl's parents found out, they were forbidden to ever see the boy again.

 This was a light hearted production that harkened back to silent film acting. It used a very simple puppet to bring oyster boy to life. The entire cast were women, even the pot bellied Italian husband. This was used to comic effect as they played male characters using pasted on handlebar mustaches that often fell off. The tale doesn't end happily for Oyster Boy, but love prevails.


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

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Waiting in the Fringe Line

The John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center has an odd tower that is two stories high and the room is about eight foot square. A compass is incorporated into the floor tiles and a large banner is usually suspended from the ceiling.

Between shows during the Fringe festival there was an art installation consisting of hula hoops and cardboard tubes covered in strips of fabric. Everything was suspended on strings to create a mobile. I made my way inside so that I could sketch a Fringe line as it formed. The line was for, Bless Me Father For I Have Danced and it snaked from the theater entrance out the door with half the people having to wait outside. It is fun to see friends as they meet and hug. Half the fun of the Fringe is meeting people in line and comparing notes about what amazing shows HAVE to be seen. I decided what shows I should sketch based on tips from strangers I met in line. All the reviews in town couldn't beat good word of mouth.

This is a rare case of a sketch I didn't have time to finish. My wife Terry texted from another line suggesting I join her to see the show she was waiting for. Often we saw shows together but sometimes we went our own ways. I could only go to the Fringe every other day because of work commitments and on those days Terry was on her own and she would let me know what she had seen that I had to sketch. It was like having a field corespondent scouting out the talent. I don't know who created this kinetic art, and once the Fringe was over, it was replaced by a table and chairs.


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

Monday, June 16, 2014

Taking Out the White Trash


The Fringe show, Taking Out the White Trash  presented by Peemypants Productions featured Sherri D. Sutton, as she spilled the south's dark secrets in the intimate brown venue. This was a hilarious show that had me laughing the whole time. When asked to describe a Waffle House, Sherri said, "Imagine a truck stop restroom, but with waffles." Now, anytime I drive by a Waffle House, I laugh. She said being accepted as a lesbian comic has been hard since there is a stereotype that lesbians are always angry. She then performed a joke as an angry lesbian with expletives to hilarious effect. She said, "The thing about stereotypes is that they are often true."

Much of the show then was built around the southern stereotype. From Wallmart, the KKK, to convalescent care, no topic was sacred. Having been raised in the south, much of her material came from first hand experience. Growing up lesbian in a conservative southern town can't be easy. She joked about southern names and that certain names guaranteed an infants trials or success in life. This show was a pleasant surprise and it was good to see lesbian couples cuddling in the audience. It made me hopeful that love can be cherished in all it's forms someday.


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

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Seasons The Musical


Seasons the Musical was without a doubt the most dramatic and moving show at this years Fringe Festival. I sat right beside Elaine Pechacek the shows co-writer, Music Director,  and accompanist. She co wrote the show with Katie Hammond. It was staged in the Venue (511 Virginia Dr, Orlando, FL). I went to the show with no preconceptions other than knowing that a friend, Deena Beena, was the Marketing and Production Manager. The show was moving and heartfelt on every level. 

It followed two separate stories, one of Mrs, Jones (Beki Herrback) who has just been told that she has cancer and she has to share the news with Hope, her daughter (Katheryn Fabbroni). The other story follows Helen (Tiana Akers) who was dating Peter (Erin Robere) and they find out that she has accidentally become pregnant. Peter is madly in love with Helen and he asked her to marry him. She consents given the situation but she isn't sure she is actually in love. As she folded her clothes, she sang a song questioning love and it's pains and struggles. Peter enters just as she wonders aloud weather he is the one for her. Peter gave all he had to try and win her heart but still she remained reticent.

As the couple ironed out their troubles the mom sang a beautiful song to her daughter expressing her love and hope that her daughter would never take life for granted. This lullaby was the final song in the show and I could hear people in the audience openly weeping. They just weren't wiping away a stray tear, they were overwhelmed. I did wipe aside some tears but had to finish the sketch so I kept myself in check. All the actors sang beautifully with emotion. I hope this show gets funding and is expanded to become a runaway hit. It explored love openly and it deserves all the  love it gets in return. A show this beautiful will find its way to getting produced just as a seed always struggles to find light before it reaches full bloom.


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

Saturday, June 14, 2014

AIDA


Years ago I saw the opera "AIDA" at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center. It was an excruciating experience with a Nubian princess singing endlessly about her impending death. She would pause for a long moment and I would think, "Finally." But then she would start singing again and I would be thinking "Die already!" I dug my fingernails into my palms to stay awake. This new Clandestine ARTS production with music by Elton John and Tim Rice, is a refreshing new take on the story.

 On the banks of the Nile, unfolds the triumphant tale of love that transcends warring nations and brings a country together. A contemporary musical take on the classic tale of timeless love. An enslaved Nubian princess, Aida (LaDawn Taylor), finds her heart entangled with Radames (Tony Flaherty), an Egyptian soldier who is betrothed to the Pharaoh's daughter, Amneris (Emily Grainger). As their forbidden love blossoms, Aida is forced to weigh her heart against the responsibility she faces as leader of her people. Aida and Radames's love for one another proves transcendent of cultural differences and ushers in a time of unprecedented peace between the warring nations.

Before the run through of the show, Emily had to rehearse several frantic costume changes. She was the first actor to arrive at The Venue and she was singing and dancing as she entered. Two seamstresses were at there sewing machines completing costumes during the rehearsal. In the scene, Emily sang a song about her strongest suit which happened to be her looks and fashion sense. In the final moments of the scene, she ripped off her red dress with the help of two slaves and then she was showered with golden pedals. The dress was held on with Velcro and it was a challenge to fling the garment behind her fast enough. The scene had to be rehearsed again and again which gave me extra time to sketch. The song is hip and seems to perfectly apply to today's selfie generation

The music kept reminding me of the Disney Animated Features I worked on in the 1990s. The princess singing about he lack of freedom reminded me of Jasmin from Aladdin. LaDawn's strong African American chiseled features made her a perfect fit as AIDA and she sang beautifully. Tony as Radames had some strong chemistry in his love scenes with AIDA. As in the Opera, the two lovers were destined to die yet their love softened the heart of Pharaoh's daughter. Produced and directed by Derek Critzer, this is a huge extravagant production with projections offering exotic settings. Derek keeps the production hip and playful, like a scene in which a male dancer comes out in a costume covered in plastic bubbles. A runway was built up the center isle allowing the cast to walk out into the audience. At times, the chorus sang from the back of the theater giving a full surround sound experience. This is a huge, fresh, yet intimate production with strong singing and dancing, who could ask for more!

Mark your calendar! Show times...
June 14,16,19,20,21,22,26,28 @ 8:00 PM
June 27 @ 7:00 PM
June 29 @ 3:00 PM

Performances are held at "The Venue" located at 511 Virginia Drive, Orlando FL.
Tickets are $20.00 and may be purchased at www.clandestineorlando.com
Industry Night Special Offer Monday June 16th @ 8:00 PM
Tickets will be $15.00 Each!


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

Friday, June 13, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday June 14, 2014
Noon to 2pm. Free. Artist Talks for Reality for Beginners Show. The Gallery at Avalon Island 39 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, Fl. Sarah Bender, Victor Bokas, Ed Wilcox, Donna Dowless and Monte Olinger will be discussing their art and process. This is also the last day to see the show.

8pm to 10pm $20 at the door, $15 for Students-Seniors. Art Evolution. Emotions Dance Company is proud to announce the premiere of Art Evolution, a collaborative arts experience. This contemporary dance, visual art, and spoken word collaboration will be performed at The Lowndes Shakespeare Center’s Mandell Theatre (812 E. Rollins St. Orlando).
Art Evolution is inspired by the famous works of well-known artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and more. Audiences will experience live contemporary dance by Emotions Dance Company, including a piece created by special guest choreographer, Genevieve Bernard of Voci, visual art by Orlando’s celebrated sketch artist, Thomas Thorspecken, and spoken word poetry by J. Bradley.

9pm to midnight Free. Monochromic Body Paint Jam. House Of Beer!! 13526 Village Park Drive #208-210, Orlando, Fl. An evening of body art.

Sunday June 15, 2014
 11am to 1pm Free Yoga. Lake Eola Park, North Rosalind Avenue, Orlando, FL. Every week.

5pm to 9pm. Free to attend but get some grub. Orlando Food Truck Bazaar. Orlando Fashion Square, 3201 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL. http://www.thedailycity.com/2011/05/thedailycitycom-food-truck-bazaar.html

5:30pm to ? $7. Southern Fried Sunday with Paleface, Mercer and Johnson, Beartoe, Wheeler Newman and The Cosmic Roots Collective. Will's Pub 1042 N. Mill's Ave., Orlando, Fl. Southern Fried Sunday will be laid back and folk'd out with 4 uniquely different folk derived acts: Ramseur Records recording artist, North Carolina based high-energy folk rock duo PALEFACE, The self proclaimed "DIY Hillbilly Pop" of New Mexico's Mercer and Johnson, The spaced out folk rock of Orlando's Wheeler Newman and The Cosmic Roots Collective and the blues driven experimental folk, roots rock of DeLand's Beartoe.
Doors open at 5:30pm with the show at 6:30pm. Free BBQ Dinner will be served to everyone in attendance. Will's Pub will have specials on Cigar City Brewing's Florida Cracker White Ale and Miller High Life.



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

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Art Evolution

Emotions Dance Company will perform the World Premiere of Art Evolution, a collaborative arts experience on Friday, June 13 and Saturday, June 14, 2014, at 8 p.m. at The John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center’s Mandell Theatre (812 E. Rollins St. Orlando).

Art Evolution is inspired by the famous works of well-known artists. Audiences will experience live contemporary dance by Emotions Dance Company, including a piece created by special guest choreographer, Genevieve Bernard of Voci, visual art by Orlando’s celebrated sketch artist, Thomas Thorspecken, and spoken word poetry by Jesse Bradley.


 For this show I did a painting for each dance piece which placed the dancers inside classic paintings. The first dance was inspired by Andy Warhol's "Marilyn". Jesse's poem pointed out how Marilyn was consumed by the American public just like Andy's other subjects like Campbell soup cans. The three dancers wore neon bright outfits with tutu skirts. Tiffany Searle poured on the extra sass that really sold the high energy flirtatious flavor of the dance. There was a minor wardrobe malfunction, but it actually added to the flavor of the dance.

The next dance called "The Understudies" was inspired by Edgar Degas' "L'Etoile". Larissa Humiston the choreographer, and Emotions Dance founder explained, "It is about the girls in the wings that never get to perform." Sketching dance rehearsals has always been one of my favorite subjects. I've noticed that as a senior company dancer performs, there is often another dancer in the wings mimicking the dance moves with minimal gestures. I now realize that she must be the understudy.

The next dance is inspired by Edvard Munch's "The Scream".
Larissa explained that, " I am coming at it as though it is an impending war. The mother can see the tanks moving in, and is trying to protect her daughter." It was inspiring for me as a visual artist to get the inner thoughts about the choreography even as the dance was being created. Taylor Shepherd performed as the mother and Isabelle Lepp, the youngest member of the company performed as the daughter. This is the most dramatic piece in the show and it paired together two dancers whose every gesture and expression can be clearly read.

"New Soul"choreographed by Megen Gerth,  was inspired by Sandro Botticelli's "Birth of Venus." This was a graceful, lyrical dance that celebrates beauty and grace. 

"Tag" was choreographed by Genevieve Bernard of Voci Dance. Genevieve explained her thoughts, "So, I went with Keith Haring, who for me, was a big inspiration when I was young. I was a fan kid and met him in NYC at a Swatch signing when I was in 9th grade. Anyway, I was going between using a specific piece as inspiration or him, and I kind of did both. At times the dancers in the piece represent him, all of the running and cross overs across the stage are my homages to the subway drawings he would do on black paper. When advertisements where expired in the subway, they covered them with black paper. He would draw with white chalk on them. The dancers running and drawing and running again represents him, having to draw and get his message out and often having to do it quickly so as to not get caught. I also have the dancers "drawing" on the walls, the floor, anywhere...as he also seemed to have the need to just draw and do it ...wherever, whenever...so I interspersed moments of "stop and draw" with the dancing and running. Some of the actual movements the dancers do trace the shape of a heart.." When I was going to the School of Visual Arts in NYC, I used to see Keith Haring's chalk drawings in the subway stations. I therefor drew the 23rd Street subway station that I passed through every day I went to art school. In the dance, Taylor Shepherd began drawing of the wall, floor and then in the air itself. It was a magnificent and graceful gesture that showed no limits when the artist is fully involved, lost in the moment and riding the creative flow.

"Behind the Smile" was choreographed by Larissa Humiston and performed by Taylor Shepherd.  This piece was inspired by Leonardo DaVinci's "Mona Lisa". Larissa explained, "There is something in that smile, yearning, sadness, jealousy, sass, sexuality? I am coming at it with that angle for that solo." The dancer, Taylor Shepherd commands attention. When she gracefully leaves the stoic Mona Lisa pose, her every gesture felt confident and appealing. She radiated that smile that hinted at playfulness and inner emotions that can only be expressed through dance. For this series of sketches, I studied rehearsal videos to catch the subtle graceful poses in mid action. Taylor always offered clear lines of action that were a pleasure to draw. Studying the video reference, I began to animate several of her moves just for the fun of studying and understanding her movement.

"Sibling Rivalry" was inspired by Grant Wood's "American Gothic". Larissa Humiston choreographed the dance which was performed by Megan Girth and Isabella Lepp. Isabella, an apprentice at Emotions Dance, has just been accepted by the Alvin Alley Summer Dance program in NYC. This playful dance number was a favorite of the ten year old girl who was at the dress rehearsal. The two dancers playfully nudged and pushed each other as they broke free of the stoic Gothic pose. They kept trying to upstage each other to win the audiences attention.


"Persistence of Memory" by Salvador Dali was the inspiration for Larissa's "Time Lapse". She explained, "This one is about life, the slow and mundane existence, moving as though suspended in time, the everyday rigamarole, and then of course, the sped up and frantic life. Each one affects the others for a minute, but then they ultimately return to their regular timing." Taylor moved in graceful slow motion for most of the performance. I wondered how she could remain so focused, so balanced for the entire duration. The strength needed must be staggering. Any yoga master would approve. Hannah Rusk moved as the accelerated counter point and thus I drew her movement more often. Karen James took the middle road perhaps representing a look at bland normalcy. 

Michelangelo's "David" was the inspiration for "Strength and Beauty" performed by Megan Girth. Larissa explained, "This solo is about strength and beauty, power, yet not in a bad way. Regal in a way I guess. David is really about beauty, strength, and pride. Just looking at the human body and marveling in its winders. The slow and controlled movement shows these concepts.the David solo just just about strength and beauty, power yet not in a bad way. regal in a way I guess." Megan moved with slow deliberation often reminding me of a proud Greek athlete. She moved like she was at the very first Olympics, proud and sure of her victory. I've actually sculpted David using digital tools and visited him in Florence, so it was a pleasure to revisit the pose.

The final piece is one of my favorites, and it is the first painting I executed after Larissa explained the project to me. The dance is inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night." This is a full company dance in which half the dancers wore black sequins representing the night sky and the other dancers wore white sequins representing the stars. Each needs the other to complete the whole. They flow together in torrents and streams embracing one another. The lyrics from a contemporary pop tune keep reminding me of this dance, "The stars make love to the universe..." A majestic lift near the end of the dance reminded me of the crescent moon and Taylor reaching up towards the night sky reminded me of the flowing curves of Van Gogh's cypress trees.

Mark your calendar! Don't miss this show. The first performance is tomorrow, Friday, June 13 and Saturday, June 14, 2014, at 8 p.m. at The Lowndes Shakespeare Center’s Mandell Theatre (812 E. Rollins St. Orlando). Tickets are $20 at the door. All of my original paintings will be on display and there are $2  gift cards that feature the dancers in action. Stop in and say hello.






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

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Flight: A Crane's Story


Ibex Puppetry, founded by Heather Henson, presented Flight: A Crane's Story at this year's Fringe in the orange venue which is the largest in the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center. The show Explored nature's deepest mysteries and the spiritual essence of life on Earth through the story a crane names Awaken. After human interference affected their environment, Awaken's family left on migration without her. The young crane friend had to learn to fly and navigate to find her family and her destiny.

I had quite a challenge sketching the show since the house lights went dark for most of the show so I couldn't see the page. Also there was nonstop action with kites constantly on the move. I focused my attention on the young crane most of the time ignoring the immense kites. Awaken was first shown as an egg just beginning to hatch. The indigenous North America music was performed live at house left. The woman sang beautifully while the other performer beat the drum. Awaken grew up through a series of puppets. By the end of the show there was a huge crane that would be worthy of being featured in the Macy's Day parade. I kind of wish I had waited to catch that huge apparition, but I was already committed to the sketch I was working on.

The kites were amazing, swooping down to within inches of the audience before sweeping back up into flight. Costuming was also amazing with some performers wearing costumes that made their arms like huge wings. Movies were projected on the circular screen at the back of the stage offering views of sunsets and the intricate courting dance of the cranes. I would love to see the show again, so that I could focus on some of the truly stellar moments that slipped past me as I rushed to complete the sketch. I envied the others in the audience who could simply relax and enjoy the moment without the obsessive need to capture the moment on a page. This was an amazing show and Orlando is fortunate to have Heather Henson as a unique local artist and entertainer.

The International Crane Foundation is committed to a future where all crane species are secure; a future where people cooperate to protect and restore wild populations and their ecosystems. 


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

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

20 Nothing


Last Minute Panic Productions from Winter Springs, Florida presented 20 Nothing, a Fringe play that satirized and celebrated the general population of today's 20-somethings, The show highlighted this generation's downfalls, celebrations, struggles, and adventures with comedy and honesty. It aimed to point out the outrageous and inspire, not only in 20-somethings, but also the generations that have come before and came after. That said, the shows themes went right over my head. Perhaps I'm getting too old. I talked to a 30 something on the green lawn of fabulousness however and she felt the same way about the production, that it missed the mark.

There were moments of hilarity like the couple who texted each other constantly yet were impatient and out of touch with each other, not typing what they really thought. Or the Woody Allenish scene in which yoga practitioner's inner thoughts were broadcast to hilarious effect. More serious scenes seemed out of place like a late night discussion about death followed by a round of beers. On a whole the production left me cold and often confused without any characters that I could identify with. The scenes were disjointed, forwarding no particular plot or developing the characters. Perhaps the company's name, Last Minute Panic Productions hints at why this was. Or perhaps the disjointed alienating quality of the production was the point. But I think any good production should offer the life raft of some reaffirmation that the struggles we all go through are in some way heroic and add depth to our experiences as we make our way through life. The show left me thinking 20 somethings are soft with no meaningful direction in life, or perhaps I'm just an old codger.


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

Monday, June 9, 2014

Donating Sperm to My Sister's Wife


Donating Sperm to My Sister's Wife was a one man Fringe show from comedian Stewart Huff. His show is about his lesbian sister, her wife and helping them get pregnant.Actually, that is just one story in an an amazing laughter filled hour. Much of the material had to do with being raised a redneck in the south. Neither he or his sister fit the mold. His show became intensely personal when he spoke about wise another sister was who was born with complications that resulted in her brain not getting enough oxygen.

Donating sperm was awkward because he had to donate in a very unappealing bathroom while trying to aim into a tiny Dixie cup. He wasn't so sure he could aim that precisely. Ultimately however his sisters wife did conceive and they are loving moms.

He spoke for quite some time about his admiration for men who first tried to fly. It must have taken some true faith and nerve to stand on a roof of a barn with two winks taped to arms. Honestly you have to be a bit insane to get into some of the early contraptions that people thought might fly. When he acted out what it must have felt like to try and fly a clothes washer with wings, I was laughing so hard I almost hurt myself. Once the Wright Brothers succeeded, the adventure and mayhem ended. If you ever see someone walking down the street wearing aviator goggles, be sure to follow them because the might be up to doing something weird and wonderful.


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

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Santiago's Bodega


I had an hour to kill before getting to The Venue to sketch a rehearsal, so I decided to stop at Santiago's Bodega (802 Virginia Drive Orlando FL) to try their tapas. Right after the collapse of Disney Feature Animation, Kathy Schoeppner a feature animation artist decided to rent this space as a gallery. For a while this space exhibited the art from some of the most talented artists from the studio. Kathy would suggest a different theme each month and artists would create work inspired by that theme. I was proud to exhibit my work being surrounded by so much talent. Unfortunately an art gallery on Virginia drive wasn't a profitable business venture at the time, and Kathy had to let the gallery go. She moved to Los Angeles following the talent and money that flooded out of Orlando at the time.

Anyway, back to the Bodega. The art on the walls was less than inspired. A sad theatrical mask painting behind the maîtra d' station greeted people as the entered. I ordered a beer and some tapas all of which tasted great. I'm not much of a foodie, so I didn't take note of the delicate tastes. I just wanted a quick munch before heading out to sketch. I can say that I'd gladly go back and this place is within walking distance from the Fringe so I will be doing just that quite soon. The entry area had a few chairs where people could sit while waiting for their significant other, or a table.

The waiter at my table took quite an interest in the sketch and he kept inviting more staff over to take a look. A commotion broke out at the table next to me. A bee had flown through the open entry door and it was buzzing and accosting the women. The braver of the two was swatting the bee with her menu while the other woman screamed and laughed. The bee just wouldn't die. She finally trapped it in her napkin and handed it to the waiter who had run over to help. She warned him that the bee was still squirming inside the napkin. He walked away with the trapped bee and I choose to believe he set it free.




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

Saturday, June 7, 2014

RobotMan


The outdoor entertainment tent at this year's Fringe Festival rocked. Jessica Pawli organized all the bands and she brought in some amazing talent. There were times when I was between shows and I just had to stop, listen, sketch and enjoy. RobotMan had a fun jazzy sound with plenty of energy. Frankie Messina was sitting in the front row and I asked him how long the group had been playing. He said, "Probably not much longer, but I'm glad I am here to catch them".

I always agonize that I might not have enough time to do a sketch, but I jumped right in anyway. The fast paced music slipper notes helped carry me along. Sometimes faster is better and accuracy can be replaced with spontaneity. The music reflected that thought as did the sketch. What a fun surprise to catch RobotMan in action on the lawn of fabulousness.


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

Friday, June 6, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday June 7, 2014
2pm to 5pm Free.  Artist Day at Snap! Space 1013 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando, Fl. Join artists Fahan Sky McDonagh, Elise Bloom and Sydney Cash (Sydney via Skype NY) as they walk us through their work, their process, experiences and answer any questions. It is the last day of our 'Edge of a Dream' exhibit. www.snaporlando.com

4pm to 6pm Free. Red Bull BC One Orlando Cypher 2014. Full Sail Live, 141 University Park Drive, Winter Park, Fl. Red Bull BC One was founded in 2004 in Biel, Switzerland. Over the years, the championship has moved from Germany to Brazil, South Africa, France, the USA, Japan, Russia and South Korea. Today it remains a key event in Hip Hop culture, pushing the art forward to new levels while holding true to the original one-on-one battle format.
Last year marked the biggest year yet for Red Bull BC One, with its eight past champions competing against eight new challengers. Millions tuned in from around the globe to watch the battle go down in South Korea, where Seoul’s own Hong 10 took home his second World Champion belt.
RedBullBCone.com represents the largest online network of B-Boys and fans; and the event is home to the biggest Facebook community in the scene, with more than 1.2 million fans. The Finals and World Final will be live-streamed at redbullbcone.com.

6:30pm to 9:30pm Free. Singer Levi Jardim's “The Road” EP Release and Benefit Concert. The Venue, 511 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL. Experience the Young Talent’s Powerful Vocals with Proceeds to Support RIPPLE Africa and The Road Foundation. After two years of hard work in the studio and five years of dreaming, Central Florida singer/songwriter Levi Jardim is ready to release his extended play (EP) and kick off his exciting philanthropic endeavor “The Road Project” combining music and giving.  Backed by an all-star band of top local musicians, Jardim will take the stage and perform his powerful original songs with his signature alternative rock sound including the album’s moving title track “Stay Strong.”  Show proceeds support the organizations RIPPLE Africa, which serves to better a Malawi community through education, housing and other environmental efforts, and announcing The Road Foundation led by Jardim, which aims to encourage kids to use their creative talents to make a difference and will give back to local and national causes.

Sunday June 8, 2014
10am to 6pm Free. Fashion Square Art Fair. Orlando Fashion Square 3201 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando, Fl. On the 2nd Sunday of every month Gallery Fresh Art Markets and Orlando Fashion Square Mall proudly present our "Fashion Square Art Fair." This is an indoor event showcasing 30 to 60 artists and fine crafts persons located throughout Fashion Square Mall.

4:30pm to 6:30pm Free but buy a beer or two. Open-Mic Comedy. Red Lion Pub 3784 Howell Branch Rd, Winter Park, Fl. an evening of hilarity hosted by Ivon Dee . Pros, first timers, drunken fools, everyone is welcome to grab the mic and give it a shot. I can't promise you won't be heckled by Erick Feiling though. Ha! No cover, cheap beer and a fun, laid back atmosphere.

9pm to 11pm Free. Solo Acoustic Spoken Word. Natura Coffee and Tea, 12078 Collegiate Way, Orlando, FL. 407 482-5000


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

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Under the Rainbow


Under the Rainbow written and composed by Alen Gerber was the one operatic performance at this year's Fringe. The show began with a young mother holding her infant son in a rainbow colored blanket. Crystal Lizardo, who played the mother was surprisingly petite yet her voice filled the huge Rep Theater. She sang a beautiful song in which she imagined her son's bright future.

Years later, her son is a grown man and he leads a human rights march for marriage equality. A church group lead by the minister of the mother's church is out to appose the march.  When tempers flair, a member of the human rights group is shoved to the ground. Sarah Purser played Grace, the injured activist and when the minister, Ricardo Dominguez, offers to help her, they sing together about what message, or lack thereof, the bible offers on gay life.

The mother conducts a chorus in church and then laments her son's sexuality. Being religious, she wants to protect her son from sure hell-fire, but she also wants to see her son to find happiness here on earth. Whereas most parents never accept a child's homosexuality, she finds solace in a hymns verse, "Where there is charity and love, God is there." In the end, she accepts her son as he is, and they embrace.

I went into the show with no preconceptions and was pleasantly surprised. The woodwind player unfortunately didn't check his reeds and thus he kept missing notes. The music as a whole was beautiful but not particularly memorable.  The main musical theme of the show was the exact chromatic inversion of the melody of Harold Arlen's "Over the Rainbow". The shows message of open minded acceptance transcended any technical issues. There was a well deserved standing ovation.


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

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bless Me Father For I Have Danced


Bless Me Father For I Have Danced was presented by Yow Dance at this years Fringe festival. This was a blockbuster show that had a cast of over 30. The show presented amazing song and dance numbers form some of Broadway's best musicals. The show was tied together by a storyline about a young boy who desperately wanted to audition for a show, but his religious parents refused to let him follow his dream. When the boy goes to church and talks to the priest he still is as enthusiastic as ever and the song and dance numbers are used as evidence to present his case.

A sassy and sexy Bob Fosse dance number honestly swings the balance and the priest sees the boy's point to comic effect. The boy's parents aren't as easy to swayed until a secret is uncovered. The boy's mom was once a dancer and she gave up show business when she became a mom. As strict as the father was, he also ends up doing a song and dance. A couple of singers voices didn't hold up in the cavernous Orange venue, but as a whole the show had legs. There were dancing angels, patriotic sailors and bespangled female dancers and show stopping numbers from so many shows so that you definitely get your monies worth.

Word of mouth spread fast and there were incredible lines to get into this show often winding out the Shakespeare Theater door leaving people lined up outside in the heat. No single green room  could hold this huge cast and one day I saw them all behind the Shakespeare theater doing makeup and costuming in the tent set up for a piano near the beer vendor. Of course I couldn't catch the whole cast dancing, so I focused on the boy and surrounded him by dancers in a cross shaped pattern with a Sexy dancer at the base of the cross. This was without a doubt the biggest production at this years' Fringe and everyone wanted to see it. This was an ambitions show for Yow dance and the entire crew that payed off. If you didn't go, you missed a hell of a show.


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

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tappin' and Yappin'

International superstar Cindy Starr took the Fringe audience on a whirlwind journey through her career in stage, film, TV, and more. The show featured stories, songs, and more from America's beloved Tap Dance Queen. From her humble beginnings in Chicago to the triumph on the Silver Screen, Cindy and her accompanist, Johnnie Ivories, had the audience laughing and singing along with her best known hits.

John B. deHaas who plays Johnnie Ivories came up with the idea for the show. He was fascinated by tap legend Ann Miller and her larger than life persona. He knew Joy Anderson since 1999 and decided she would be perfect to play Cindy Starr. Johnnie Ivories seemed based on Liberace with his golden suit studded with sequins.

Cindy kept the jokes coming. An ongoing theme seemed to be that she was always pursuing men who had no interest in women. Several times she had audience members get on stage with her so she could teach them some steps. The results were hilarious. Andrea Canny directed the show, and at one point, she gave gummy bears to everyone in the audience. The pre-show announcements by Michael Marinaccio and George Fringe Wallace always ended with, "if you have any candy, Unwrap it Now!" It therefor became quite comical as Andrea struggled to open the large bags of candy in the back of the theater.

The show was fun and entertaining. As promised, there was plenty of tappin' and yappin' along with a couple of Swedish guests who mixed it up on stage.


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

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Secret


Martin Dockery from Brooklyn, New York is a consummate story teller. When asked what he does, he doesn't like to say " storyteller" because it brings up the assumption that he tells stories to children. His stories are very adult themed. His delivery is energetic to the point of being maniacal. He sort of reminds me of the character Dennis Hopper played in Apocalypse Now,  with a touch of Kramer from the Jerry Seinfeld show. As the audience filed in, Martin sat on stage left talking to people in the front row. He explained to everyone that when the show starts, the lights would go dark and he would be standing just off stage, he would walk on stage in the dark and sit down. Only then would he bathed in light. The fourth wall was broken, artifice stripped away. It was just him telling us his story.

Martin's Fringe show told an incredible story that showed how strange and disconnected his family could be.  About this same time Martin and his girlfriend were going through a rough patch. Martin wants a child but she wasn't ready. In his mind, she might just not be ready to have his child. They weren't married, he doesn't believe in the institution so there wasn't really any commitment. If either of them met someone else, that would be cool, at least in theory.

So anyway, Martin's father had moved to Vietnam, a country where he had once gone to fight a war. Martin decided that a vacation with his girlfriend might smooth over their differences. His father had a secret and he let Martin know that he would tell all when they got to Vietnam. Now Martin's brother knew the secret so they had a long drawn out conversation full of trivial small talk before Martin got to the truth. His father had married a Vietnamese girl and together they had conceived twins. Martin had a younger brother and sister he had never met. Meeting his siblings was magic. He played imaginary games with them and a bond was set in place that could never be broken. His father was impatient and argumentative and watching him deal with two small children brought back all the memories of his own childhood. He had to forgive his dad for his unchangeable faults.

Martin and his girlfriend were exploring Vietnam as tourists and they decided to heighten the experience by dropping acid. Martin became a super tourist seeing the way the sky ignited with vibrant color. He became obsessed with shooting photos of a palm tree. He explored it by shooting pictures of it from every angle. He imagined that National Geographic would marvel at the series and create a coffee table book that would be a best seller. Martin had lost track of his girlfriend. She had wandered off. He searched for her but found a native boy that he photographed obsessively.

When Martin did find his girlfriend, she was in tears. She felt that he didn't love her the way she used to. She had found someone else, a successful theater producer.  Looking back at his photos, he realized she was in many of the shots of the palm tree. In each successive shot, she grew smaller until she became pixelated and disappeared. While one door in his heart opened, another closed.


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

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Craig's Lust


Craig's Lust performed at this year's Fringe Festival. I had two opportunities to sketch these improv comedians at work prior to the Fringe.  On April 30th, the Comedy Death Match, held in the black box theater at the Orlando Shakes, featured 3 local groups competing against each other for pride and prize! Each group was given 20 minutes to put on their best show. Anything goes! Short form, long form, weird form, it was all acceptable. The winner of the show automatically had the option to move to be in the next show in May.

This month featured the returning champs The Third Thought from Tampa, The Pool Boys doing their wonderfully energetic and personable style, and the up-and-coming Craig's Lust which performed a lively program about dating and sex. It was up to the audience to decide who group would be victorious. Directly after the Comedy Death Match there was a long form presentation from a new local long form group. Then an all-play elimination style Improv Royal Rumble for anyone else who wants to get on the stage for a chance to strut their stuff.

Since I was following Craig's Lust, I was rooting for them to win. Their comedy involved uncomfortable dating situations and people who don't understand other peoples personal boundries. Voting involved audience members putting their ticket stub in one of the yellow buckets on stage. Craig's Lust came in second place, and Pool Boys came in first place. Everyone in the audience won because it was an evening of non stop laughter.


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