Tuesday, September 30, 2014

La Maschera Goes Motown at the Abbey

On Friday, September 26, The Downtown Arts District held it's 10th annual fundraiser, La Maschera Goes Motown, presented by Bud Light Platinum at The Abbey (100 S Eola Dr #100, Orlando, FL). La Maschera was a festive celebration of the arts featuring live entertainment by Motown In Motion and the I-4 Band, tasty cuisine, refreshing cocktails, and fun. Last year’s theme was Mardi Gras and the year prior was the Roaring 20’s. Guests were encouraged to dress in themed attire and the best dressed won a prize. Tickets for La Maschera Goes Motown, presented by “Bud Light Platinum” were $50 per person, with proceeds benefiting the Downtown Arts District.

When I arrived, The Abbey wasn't  yet crowded, so it was easy for me to find a seat close to the stage and sketch. The I-4 Band was on stage exuding energy. Although the two singers were dancing up a storm, no one was on the dance floor. Their set was over before my sketch was done. Luckily the same band members returned to the stage to back up Motown in Motion. The MC shouted into the mic, asking all the men in the room if they wanted to see some very sexy ladies. There was a muffled response and the MC joked that there must be too many husbands in the crowd. I sketched the band as Pointer Sisters started to sing "Stop in the Name of Love." At first, I didn't know if I should take them seriously. It's sort of the feeling I get when I see a Marylin Monroe or Elvis Impersonator. I figure it is all look and no substance but they proved me wrong because everyone took to the dance floor to move to the beat. Ray Charles came in to perform a solo and the dance floor got crowded. An all male singing group then took to the stage and the ladies in the house started hooting and hollering.

The dance floor got so crowded that I started to get bumped. Each time the singers returned to the stage, they were in new outfits. That would certainly be challenging to sketch. A dear friend, Michael Mcleod was celebrating his birthday that night, so with the sketch done, I drove to the party only a few miles away. At that party I learned all about Artegon from the executive vice president Steven A. Sless. 60 million dollars has been invested to renovate the largely deserted Festival Bay Mall on International Drive across from the Outlet Malls. Artegon is modeled after Pikes Market in Seattle which has local artists and craftsmen renting booths for $6 a day that are part studio space and retail. It is a fascinating idea and I plan to get to an open house soon to learn more.

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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Melbourne Civic Theatre Presented Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance"

The set for Edward Albee's  "A Delicate Balance" was a well appointed suburban house. The Melbourne Civic Theatre is small and intimate so as an audience member, you feel like you are almost a part of the scene. The stage is set up in a corner of the room, so there really isn't any front and center seating. Agnes (Nellie Brannan) and Tobias (Terrance Girard) were in their living room talking and having drinks. Staging wise, there was always a cold distance between these two. The reason for the detached tension slowly became clear because Tobias had an affair and yet the couple stayed together. They also had to weather the loss of a son.

Right now however the couple has to face Agnes' sister Claire (Susan Suomi) who has moved in. Susan presents herself as a new age hippy but her incessant drinking she chalks up to a willful resolve. Julia (Tracy Thompson) is the couples daughter, and she has just returned home after her fourth divorce. She is needy and spoiled often causing a scene when she doesn't get her way.

The most surreal mixture to this perfect storm of characters are the neighbors, Edna (Tori Smith) and Harry (Michael Thompson) who were overwhelmed with an unexplainable sense of fear in their own home. They moved into Julia's old room as they recover. Every scene involved multiple trips to the corner liquor cabinet to mix drinks. Tempers flair in the now crowded home. Tobias has to decide just how much he can give before going insane.

This was my first time at the Melbourne Civic Theatre and it was a wonderful surprise. Managing Artistic Director Peg Girard has created a safe haven for cutting edge theater. After the show, the actors lined up in the lobby to greet people as they left. I got a chance to quickly meet actress Nellie Brannan who had invited me out to see the show. Nellie is also an artist and she might take part in future sketch crawls. If you ever take a weekend get away to the beach, you should look up the Melbourne Civic Theatre and check out a show.

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

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Baniff Marathon Fills the Quiet Mountain Town

Terry and I used Banff, Alberta Canada as our home base for quite a few days. The town park near the river was the starting line and finish line for a marathon. We were hiking into town from our hotel and came across the marathon just outside of town. I decided to sketch runners as they ran the final few yards to the finish line. The building in the sketch is the Banff Park Museum. We never did go inside. Terry shopped in the many stores along the mains street while I did this sketch.

Banff is in the Banff National Park in the Alberta Canadian Rockies. Banff is a resort town and one of Canada's most popular tourist destinations, known for its mountainous surroundings and hot springs. It is a destination for outdoor sports and features extensive hiking, biking, and skiing areas within the area.

By the time I started to sketch, the lead runners had already finished. The spectators cheered just as loud for the people who were struggling just to finish the race. Finishing a marathon is an achievement in itself. Some runners had slowed down to a walk, but thanks to she cheers and knowing the finish line was in sight, they often started to run again.

When I was in high school, I trained extensively for the cross country team. I wasn't very fast but I always finished any race I ran. I started training for a marathon to be held in Atlantic City. I ran further than the marathon distance on some days. I was obsessed. However on race day, I missed the bus to the starting line. So I have never officially run a marathon, so that is something that is still on by bucket list.

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

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Shopping with the Locals at the Banff Farmers Market

Banff's park near the Bow River was the site of a Farmer's Market on the weekend. Terry and I stayed in the town long enough to start discovering the spots where locals tend to hang out. A farmer's Market is the perfect spot to meet locals as they shop for locally grown produce.  Locally hunted meat was packaged as sausages and they was an amazing variety of fruits and vegetables.A photographer had a tent set up and he took some interest in what I was doing. He is a wildlife photographer and there is no shortage of subjects in the Canadian Rockies.

One day Terry and I stopped at a lakeside resort to stretch our legs. It had been raining all day but it had finally cleared up a bit. We found a spot on a small wooden bridge that offered a clear view across the lake. We noticed a couple hiking along the far shore. Then above them in a clearing maybe 5o yards up the hillside, we saw a grizzly bear. The bear was foraging for food. Just as the couple entered the clearing, the bear disappeared form view back into the woods. Someone standing next to us said, "They better have bear mace." The couple kept walking around the lake towards us. When they were close, we walked up to them to let them know how close they cad come to a grizzly bear. They hadn't noticed the bear and didn't have any protection. Most hikers were small bells that make noise constantly warning any bears that they are approaching.

At a highway rest stop, a bear walked right through the parking lot. Terry drove up to the crowd of tourists taking pictures and got out to get a shot herself. Tourists stood within 10 yards of the bear taking selfies. The bear then walked towards the crowd and they scattered. He walked right past my passenger door so by staying in the car, I got extremely close to the bear. All this took place in a very short time span. I didn't even think to sketch. I just watched in amazement. Some roads right outside of Banff were closed down because several grizzly bears were competing for territory. Driving down the parkway there were many "Bear Jams" which are crowds of cars pulled of the road so tourists could take photos of bears seen from the road. We stopped at every bear jam. I however didn't sketch because bear jams can be momentary and break up the second a bear wanders away.

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

Friday, September 26, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks for September 27 and 28

Saturday September 27, 2014
8:30am to 1:30pm $5, $10 for parking. American Mud Race Orlando 2014. 19400 East Colonial Drive Orlando FL. Mud, mud, and MORE MUD! American Mud Race is the muddiest adventure race you’ll ever encounter, and it’s coming soon! Our designers put together a 3-4 mile course packed with crazy obstacles that will test your mettle, challenge your strength, and leave you covered from head to toe. If you’re tough enough to cross the finish line, a serious after party awaits. Fun is the name of the game, but we’ve also got a greater purpose. American Mud Race will benefit wounded veterans through the Home at Last Project by Habitat for Humanity. americanmudrace.com

11am to 5pm $5 Kids  Free. Artlando. Lockhaven Park E Princeton St, Orlando, FL. Family Friendly Eveny Performing Arts Showcase, Outdoor Art Walk, Live Painting, Food Truck Bazaar, free admission to the Orlando Museum of Art, Beer wine cocktails. ALL DAY. ALL ART. I'll have an Analog Artist Digital World tent set up, so stop by and say hello. www.artlando.com
Live performances by Orlando Ballet, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Central Florida Community Arts, Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, Phantasmagoria, Emotions Dance Company, Orlando Science Center and more!
Outdoor art walk, live painting, installations and more!
Beer & cocktails by The Hammered Lamb

7pm to 9pm $50 Lady Raven's Second Annual Cotillion. Audubon Park Garden District 3201 Corrine Dr, Orlando, Florida. Lady Evangeline Raven cordially invites you to her Second Annual Cotillion, a pop up cabaret with entertainment by Phantasmagoria, gourmet food, fine drinks, and dessert. It will be a lovely evening of fire breathers, dancers, fortune telling, mysteries and delights. Not to be missed.

Sunday September 28, 2014
Noon to 3pm Free. Music at the Casa. Violinist Lisa Ferrigno has been Concertmaster of the Brevard Symphony in Melbourne, Florida since 19 99.  A native of New England, she received her musical training at the New  England Conservatory in Boston, the Eastman School of Music in  New York, and Florida State University. Ms. Ferrigno has appeared as soloist with Trujillo's Orquesta Sinfónica and Orquesta Camara del Festival Internacional Bach as well as the Florida Symphony and Orlando Philharmonic Orchestras.

1pm to 3pm Free Yoga. East lawn of Lake Eola Park, 195 N Rosalind Ave, Orlando, FL. Weekly.

5:30 to ? $7 Cover Including BBQ Dinner. $5 Cover with Orlando Indie Comedy Weekend Pass. Southern Fried Sunday as Part of The Orlando Indie Comedy Fest with The Dealers, Sabals and Johnny Knuckles. Southern Fried Sunday returns to Will's Pub and is teaming up with The Orlando Indie Comedy Festival to bring you an evening of music, comedy and home cooked, southern style dinner. Check out performances by The Dealers Band, Sabals and Johnny Knuckles Music plus live comedy sets! 5:30pm Doors.  6:30pm Show & Dinner. 18+

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

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Les Miserables is a stellar production.

The Orlando Shakespeare Theater hit a home run by bringing Les Miserables to Orlando. Based on a book by Alain Boublil with Music by Claude-Michael Schönberg and Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. It is adapted from the novel by Victor Hugo. It was masterfully directed by DJ Salisbury with musical direction by Ken Clifton. It was raining like a typhoon on the evening I went to see the show. I must have seen a dozen ambulances on the dive to the theater and traffic was backed up on every major artery. That however didn't keep people from coming to the show. It was a sold out house. The woman seated next to me in t in the Loge told me that this was her second time seeing the show. She wanted to share it with her husband who was with her for this performance.

Set in the early 19th-century, a French peasant named Jean Valjean (Michael Hunsaker) is on a quest for redemption after serving nineteen years in jail for for stealing a loaf of bread. When a compassionate bishop inspires him with a tremendous act of mercy, Valjean decides to start his life anew, but is relentlessly tracked down by Police Inspector Javert (Davis Gaines). Along the way, Valjean and a slew of characters are swept into France’s revolution, where a group of young visionaries make their last stand at a street barricade.

Several times during the performance I was lifted and move close to tears by the power of the show music and performances. Despite being set in the crucible of a revolution, it is the stories of love that set the show ablaze. As Fantine's (Lianne Marie Dobbs) life spirals out of control, she sang of the love she knew for one glorious summer. It is one of the most beautiful and sad songs to ever hit the stage. Davis gains brought the role of inspector Javert to life with his incredible voice. Éponine (Caitlyn Caughell) sang a beautiful song of unrequited love for Marius'. She does everything he asks, even arranging for him to meet Cosette whom he loved at first sight. She ends up getting shot as she struggles to bring the couple together and she finally discovers what it is like to be held in his arms as she dies having been shot in the revolution while trying to get to him.

This show packs an incredible emotional punch. Michael Hunsaker's performance had me fully emotionally invested in every scene. The show succeeded on every imaginable level. The thunderous applause should never stop. As the new Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center nears completion, this production proved that Broadway quality productions are already being produced in town. Show continue through October 11th. Many shows are already sold out and for good reason. Don't miss Les Mis!

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

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Phantasmagoria Photoshoot Fires off the Halloween Horror

On Sunday September 7th, I went to a photographers studio in Winter Park to sketch a Phantasmagoria photo shoot. The studio space was impressive with an upper balcony that allowed Kristen Wheeler to take photos of the cast from above. John DiDonna explained to the cast that they needed to express resolve and resolution as they faced certain death. Josh Geohagen shouted back, "Like in Toy Story 3?!" Everyone laughed, but even toys can express a solemn resolve before they face their fate.

Phantasmagoria features a unique and spectacular blend of storytelling, dance, large scale puppetry and aerial work. It has been wowing critics and audiences alike since its premier in 2010. Created and envisioned by playwright, director John DiDonna, each production offers new stories taken from the diverse centuries old literature of horror and the macabre!

The first official Phantasmagoria photo shoot of the 2014 Season had Kristen Wheeler the official photographer taking our picks, with help from Ryan McKenzie the company's artist,  and a videographer and photographer there filming the process for articles. This was a perfect storm of creativity. Images will be released soon from this two hour shoot including all poster shots, publicity shots, and shots done specifically for a Phantasmagoria themed Art Gallery show running in October. 

The photo studio was incredibly crowded with the whole cast on hand. Kristen shot the cast in small groups for use in show posters and promotional materials. The rest of the cast would wait on the sidelines when they weren't in the shot.  Kristen seemed to love coaching the actors. as she said, "It is easy to teach an actor how to model, but it is impossible to teach a model how to act. Dion Leonhard was close to tears for every photo. She would shut her eyes and rest between shots. This cast is always in character.

Mark Your Calendar! As we roll into October, Phantasmagoria seems to be everywhere. On September 27th, the steam punk group will make two appearances at Artlando from 11am to 5pm,  happening in Lock Haven park. the $5 Artlando event features, live performances by Orlando Ballet, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Central Florida Community Arts, Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, Phantasmagoria, Emotions Dance Company, Orlando Science Center and more! The Orlando Museum of Art is FREE to all attendees. There will be an outdoor art walk, live painting, installations and more! Beer and cocktails will be provided by The Hammered Lamb. Food from The Food Truck Bazaar. They will also appear at Lady Raven's Second Annual Cotillion in the Audubon Park Garden District (3201 Corrine Dr, Orlando, Florida) the same day starting at 7pm. The and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare CenterNow entering its fourth year, Orlando's original Victorian Steam punk Circus troupe offers Macabre and Delicious Halloween tricks and treats. On October 3-11 artwork featuring The Art and Horror of Phantasmagoria will be featured at Valencia's East Campus in the Anita S. Wooton Gallery. My sketches from past shows will be on display, so come to the opening and say hi.

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

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Walking on a Glacier

On a third trip to the Columbia Glacier, Terry and I decided to go to the lodge at the base of the Glacier to sign up for a Glacier Adventure. Brewster, the company that runs these glacier adventures has been taking tourists onto the ice since before the area was made into a National Park. Inside the lodge was chaos as busloads of tourists purchased tickets for several adventure packages. Several miles up the road, a large glass overhang was built on the edge of an overlook which gave tourists a panoramic view while seeming to be standing on air above a steep drop. Terry and I didn't see the point of that view when there are amazing views and vistas anywhere you look.

The $55 Glacier Adventure involved a bus ride from the lodge across the highway to another parking lot at the base of the Ice. Here, everyone switched over to the huge Ice Rover which had immense tires worthy of a monster truck. Actually the tire were much larger than any monster trucks tires. This rover moved very slowly going uphill or downhill. The drive to get onto the ice field was perhaps half an hour. We drove to a spot on the ice that had been mechanically leveled. There we were allowed to get out and take photos for about 5 minutes. You heard me right, we were given just 5 minutes to take a few photos and then pile back on the bus.

The leveled ice filed clearing was perhaps 50 yards square. The edges of the field had the piles of blue shaved ice in 5 foot high piles. Walking on the ice field unsupervised is advisable since there are deep hidden caves and chasms that can kill an inexperienced hiker. Terry said she spotted several hikers wandering across the ice field as we were being driven back to the lodge. Guided hikes could be arranged with guides. Terry had hiked to the base of the glacier twice, so I'm sure she would have liked to climb up and wander across the expansive ice field. We both agreed that the Brewster adventure tour wasn't worth the money but it did get us up on the ice field for a quick glance around.

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

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Orlando Philharmonic Series Program 1 Featured Music Director Finalist Alondra de la Parra

I went to a rehearsal at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. Music Director Alondra de la Parra was conducting. I sat a few rows back from the stage and started sketching. As the orchestra warmed up with the usual cacophony of unrelated instrumentation, I blocked in the stage and seating arrangement. Since Conductor Christopher Wilkins left, the orchestra has been looking for a new conductor. Apparently it is a buyers market since so many orchestras have had to fold or cut back after the financial crisis in 2008. Ten people make up the selection panel. Half of the panel are musicians from the Orchestra and half are civilians. There were many applicants for the conductor's position. If any one person on the selection committee voted no, then that conductor was removed from the list. Five conductors remain after that process.

Alondra is in her 30's and brought an undeniable energy to the rehearsal. The first piece rehearsed was Symphony Number 1 by Gustav Mahler. The music moved along lyrically and then built in energy and drive. There were moments of absolute magic that could lift you up to defy gravity.  Because it was a rehearsal, there were moments where the music stopped and Allondra asked a single section of the orchestra to perform their part and she helped them become more unified or crisp in their parts. "It's all about placement and color." she said. She could have been talking about a sketch.

The next piece was Danzon Number 2 by Arturo Manquez from her native Mexico. At times the music was brash with a high spirited exuberance. My foot was tapping to the off beat and I couldn't stop my body from moving to the beat. This had to be the first time I felt like I should get up and dance in the isles as the orchestra performed. "Keep it fresh and spirited." Alondra said. Then suddenly much of the orchestra grew quiet as a core group of players performed with a slow authority. She explained that these were the old timers who knew how to keep a performance simple and real. When the piece was over, Alondra complimented the soloist saying, "Great solo, you may not know it, but you are part Cuban." She brought an amazing new energy to the orchestra and Orlando would be lucky to have her if she is selected as the new Music Director. She has a few commitments with an orchestra in Mexico and Japan, but hopefully that wouldn't interfere if she were to be selected as the orchestra's new Music Director. Each of the four other finalists will be featured conductors in the coming months. I hope to watch to see what each brings to the table.

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

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Melbourne Civic Theatre

One June 20th I got an invitation to sketch at the Melbourne Civic Theatre (817 E Strawbridge Ave, Melbourne, FL). The Theatre is Bevard County's longest running arts organization. I was invited by actress Nellie Brannan who is also an artist and she found out about my work from the Urban Sketcher's site. It was an adventurous drive to the East coast to catch the show which was Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance."

The sky opened up and it poured for the entire trip East.  Thankfully as I arrived in Melbourne, the rain stopped. The Theatre has recently been renovated and expanded. The front lobby was recently purchased from another establishment. La Galerie is a walkway lined with stores. The Theatre entrance used to be in the back but now there is a large lobby where patrons can mingle before finding their seats.

I arrived early, got my ticket at the box office and then sat across the street in front of City Hall to sketch the Theatre. The building to the right was all boarded up. As I noticed people entering the Theatre, I started sketching faster, because I knew it was show time...

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

Saturday, September 20, 2014

World Cup at Hollerbach's

On June 17th, I went up to Sanford to visit Hollerbach's Willow Tree Deli to watch the World Cup. Hollerbach's is a traditional German restaurant with the goal of providing you with a memorable meal and to experience German Gemuetlichkeit, which is a sense of well-being and happiness that comes from enjoying the company of friends and family while savoring good food and drink. Claudia Mundlos who runs a blog called Sanford 365 gave me a tip that the restaurant is a popular meeting place to watch World Cup Soccer. Apparently the place goes crazy when the German team is playing. Unfortunately I couldn't get to Hollerbach's on the day Germany was playing. 

Brazil was playing Mexico and the game resulted in not a single goal being scored. I'm used to watching basketball where hundreds of points are scores. In comparison, soccer seems slow but I've played and know it is damn fun when you are on the field. Hollerbach's was only mildly full. Most patrons didn't even notice the game. They focused on good food instead. I ordered some schnitzel and it was an amazing meal washed down with a cold beer.

John Rife and his wife Kamrin were in the crowd. He stopped over to say hello. They were on a date night and they stopped at Hollerbach's as a rest stop. Such a small world. My work was on display at John's, East End Market for many months. I just took down the show yesterday. The proprietor of the restaurant recognized my style because an illustration I did for Orlando Life, has been hanging on the wall near the restrooms for several years. The waitress in traditional garb also stopped by several times to check on my progress. I found out that there is one of those drink and paint events at Hollerbach's once a week. For the price of admission people get a canvas and paint and they are walked through every step of creating a painting. I might return to sketch that someday. Even better are the German musicians who rock the place with German music. Check the restaurant's calendar and get out to experience Glemuchlichkeit  for yourself.

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

Friday, September 19, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks for September 20 and 21

Saturday September 20, 2013
9am to 7pm FLBlogCon 2014. Last chance tickets $85. Full Sail University, 3300 University Blvd, Winter Park, FL. Educating and Empowering Bloggers Across the State of Florida. http://www.flblogcon.com/ 

 7:30pm to 11pm Free. Potluck Kerouac House. 1418 Clouser Ave, Orlando, FL. Meet Kerouak Project resident writer, Ann Marie Ni Chureain.

8:30pm to 10:30pm $9.43 Global Peace Film Festival screening, Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.  Bush Auditorium Rollins College. A collection of surprisingly joyful drawings created by school children living among the ruins of Hiroshima in 1947 becomes the heart and soul of this true, inspiring story about an exchange of gifts between Americans and Japanese after a devastating war. This powerful documentary about reconciliation and the power of gift, introduces the children artists (now in their late 70s) who reflect on their early lives amidst the rubble of their decimated city and the hope they shared through their art. In 2010, the newly restored drawings, buried for decades deep inside a church in Washington DC, are taken back to Japan where they are reunited with the artists and exhibited in the very building where they were created.

Sunday September 21, 2014
10am to Noon Free. Ciciovia. E Robinson St, Orlando, FL. Robinson street is shut down to feature all things cycle related.  rethinkyourcommute.com

 Noon to 5pm Free but get a drink or two. Sunday's with Smiling Dan. The Falcon Bar & Gallery, 819 East Washington Street, Orlando, FL. DJ Smiling Dan will liven up your Sunday.

6pm to Midnight Free. Full screening of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Cloak and Dagger 875 Woodbury Road  Orlando FL. Costumes encouraged.  Cloak and Dagger.com Get out and meet some Hobbits and Dwarfs.

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

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Orlando Shakespeare Theater Presents Les Miserables

 I went to the Orlando Shakespeare Theater to sketch work being done on the set for Les Miserables. The key element of this stage is a large rotating lazy Susan that will allow different stage sets to rotate into view. A second level is where some of the fighting will be staged. Stage hands joked that the raw backdrop looked a bit like a Koala. To me it looks like a loudmouthed carved pumpkin. I'm sure that when the set is complete that it will look like the squalid streets of Paris at the turn of the century. For some reason the rotating stage required quite a few stage hands to turn. They worked to remove the friction. New gels had to be added to all the lights in the theater, so a ladder and moving scaffolding were used to get up high enough to reach the lights.

WHAT: Les Misérables Book by Alain Boublil | Music by Claude-Michel Schӧnberg | Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer Directed by DJ Salisbury | Musical Direction by Ken Clifton 
SUMMARY: Set in the early 19th-century, a French peasant named Jean Valjean (played by Michael Hunsaker) is on a quest for redemption after serving nineteen years in jail for stealing a loaf of bread. When a compassionate bishop inspires him with a tremendous act of mercy, Valjean decides to start his life anew, but is relentlessly tracked down by Police Inspector Javert (played by Davis Gaines). Along the way, Valjean and a slew of characters are swept into France’s revolution, where a group of young visionaries make their last stand at a street barricade.
WHEN: September 10 - October 12, 2014 Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: Orlando Shakespeare Theater in the Margeson Theater John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 East Rollins Street, Orlando, FL 32803
TICKET INFORMATION: Previews and Senior Matinees $27, $22, $15
All other Performances $55, $45, $30
Many performances are already sold out, so act fast.

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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Columbia Icefields Overwhelm in the Jasper National Park

Terry and I stopped at the expansive Columbia Ice fields twice to take in the view. The first time it was rather cold and overcast. Terry decided she wanted to hike to the base of the glacier. I was content to stay near the parking lot and paint the view. As I sketched, the mountains became shrouded in clouds. When the sun disappeared, the temperature plummeted. When it started to rain, I ran to a lean to that was a shelter for some maps of the area. The rain made it hard to complete the watercolor, so I put my supplies away and put on my rain gear. Then I waited in the shelter trying to avoid the cold winds.

Terry seemed to be gone forever. I started to worry that she might have wandered off the trail and gotten lost. There was no cell phone reception, so I couldn't call or text. It turns out that it is a much longer hike to the foot of the glacier than Terry expected. When she did get there, she asked a family with a car if they could drive her back to our car. She played the Disney animator card to get the family excited to meet the artist. It worked and the tourists asked me all about the films I had worked on and then they asked for an autograph.  I was just thankful that Terry was alright. The weather changes quickly at these high altitudes and Terry wasn't really ready for the sudden ice cold rains.

On our second visit we parked at the lot much closer to the receding edge of the glacier. Once again, Terry went off to hike while I did a second sketch of the ice field. Markers on the drive out show how the glacier has receded since the turn of the century.

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

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Hike Up to Johnston Canyon

Terry and I flew to Alberta Canada for a week away in the Rocky mountains. On the flight across America I looked out the plane window and watched the grid of the country slip by. It was clear that we were flying North West because the grid was always at an angle. We landed in Calgary and rented a car for our trip up into the Rockies. The airport hotel we stayed in the first night was located right next to a junkyard. It would have made a scenic sketch, but I never had the time to catch the clutter.

When we drove north west out of Calgary the landscape was surprisingly flat with suburban monotony. When we got to Baniff the mountains finally jutted upward. Our first stop was Johnston Canyon.

In 1910, Johnston Canyon was named after a prospector who discovered gold in the creek. The work that went into building the trails up to the waterfalls is quite impressive. Walkways were built right into the canyon walls. The bridge in the sketch crosses over the canyon and then enters a cave that opens up right at the base of the waterfall letting people experience the full force of the water and it's spray.

Terry decided to walk further up the trail to the top falls and I took the time to get this quick sketch done. Terry tends to get vertigo when on bridges, so it was surprising that she ventured further up on these walkways. It is a testament to the engineers who made the trail vertigo proof. When she got to the top, she took a photo to prove she had made it to the top.

Walter Phillips, a renowned artist and namesake of the Walter Phillips Gallery in Banff, Alberta, said, "Water is the most expressive element in nature. It responds to every mood, from tranquility to turbulence."He was born in England, and  travelled the world before settling down in Canada, specifically Banff, where he fell in love with Johnston Canyon. He spent much of his career sketching and painting the canyon's beauty. I can understand how it could captivate an artist.

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

Monday, September 15, 2014

Heading to the Canadian Rockies

In high school and college, Terry traveled the world extensively. That wanderlust is back and sometimes I go along for the ride. Our latest trip was to the Canadian Rockies. The Orlando International Airport involved the usual bustle of checking baggage and getting boarding passes. Then there was the long line through security. Shoes came off along with belts and my hat. There was the struggle to juggle bins for electronics and pocket items. Then the full body scan so they could check my junk.

Flight 1407 was a direct flight between Orlando and Calgary Canada. As I sketched my fellow passengers, I had to wonder why they were headed to the North West.  The young girl seated in front of me double fisted her cell phone and laptop. Most people glanced at some digital device at some point to kill the time. One woman however was reading a newspaper. Yes she held real paper in her hands glancing at the headlines.

Terry went to the women's room to take care of business so she would be calm for take off. We all crushed onto the plane and then we were off to the Rockies. I spent the entire flight watching the grid of America slipping by below.

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

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Muse in Langford Park

I did a second sketch as scenes were shot for "The Muse" in Langford Park by Ragtag Troupe Productions. The director Mathew Carroll was always behind the cameraman to see how the scene was being shot. Actress Kelly Wilson who plays Rose was asking Theodore the Magnificent if she could help. She kept asking until Theodore blew up and started shouting at her. In the distance several other actors stumbled into the scene.

Just outside this staging area, Kelly's mom noticed a pile of dog droppings. To help the cast and crew, she decided to mark the spot by pressing a stick nearby as a marker. When she put her weight into pressing the stick down, it snapped and she almost fell face first into the landmine.

While the establishing shot was being filmed for this scene, a mother and her children wandered into the shot. The cast and crew waited but she stayed in the shot. Finally the stage manager walked over to the family to ask them to move. They did, but the mom must have decided she had every right to be in the shot and she was back five minutes later. Any time a car drove by, the shot had to be redone as well. That is one small advantage of a sketch, if I don't want something in the sketch, I can just ignore it.

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

Saturday, September 13, 2014

"The Muse" Brings the Magic of Fimmaking to Langford Park

On June 16th, I went to Langford Park, (1808 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL) to sketch a film shoot. The Director, Matthew Carroll invited me to sketch a day of filming. The production company, Ragtag Troupe Productions is managed by its founders, Mathew  and Amy Jo Bursley. When I got to the park I walked to a small wooden amphitheater following props and the sound of conversation. Actors chatted with each other but I didn't see any film equipment. I explained that I was there to sketch the production and they pointed me towards the children's playground. I joked that this must be the green room and and actor exclaimed that "It doesn't get much greener that this" as he gestured towards the sun filled trees with a flourish.

Near the playground I found actor Will Warriner and young actress Kelly Wilson seated under a tree with a film crew surrounding them. Will played Hank, a ragtag performer who was sharing his life experiences with Rose, a young girl who finds herself in a surreal world. The main action in this scene involved Rose limping into frame using a crutch, she leans the crutch against the tree and crouches down to talk to Hank. During his monologue he hands her a balloon. Because of the camera's view, he had to retake several shots and choke in his hold on the string to keep the balloon in field. The scene was performed multiple times with the camera moved between takes to allow for multiple shots when it comes time to edit the scene together.

The film, called, "The Muse" is an artistic short film inspired by the works of Terry Gilliam. The story is a coming of age tale about a little girl, Rose, who escapes to her fantasy world after hearing an argument between her parents about money. Once there she meets a traveling troupe of street performers, each representing a different art form, who pledge to help Rose on her quest to find this money in order to keep her family together, but all isn't what it seems.

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

Friday, September 12, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks for Sept 13 and 14

Saturday September 13, 2014
10am to 5pm Saturday, and Sunday. Advance single day Adult $15 and Child $13. Maker Faire Orlando. Orlando Science Center 777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL.  The faire will be a mix of Arts and Science along with so much more. 

3pm to 8pm Free. Frankie's BIG FUN Market. 659 Bryn Mawr, (College park), Orlando , Florida. SPOTLIGHTING ALL of ORLANDO's local scene! "BIG FUN" occurs on every second Saturday (only). 3pm-8pm There are many ways to participate. We will be growing into an all out sidewalk party, and we will be stretched and inclusive of any and all businesses that are located up and down beautiful Edgewater drive... participating businesses are encouraged to co partner with creatives, host the entertainment in their location, or present creative entertainment in any way that "fits" with their business. This is the main goal. to "match creatives with the businesses that are already there.. but it is not the only aspect of this MARKET.

7:30pm to 10pm Free. Marc With a C and Purple Kloud.  Purplekloud will be up first playing his eclectic and heretofore unheard of blend of rock, hip-hop, soul, and beat poetry. And it's his birthday, so you'll have to clap extra loud because he deserves appreciation for existing.

Marc With a C will go up second with a themed set culled exclusively from the period surrounding his "Bubblegum Romance" album (and related things from the era). To the extent of even using some of the original equipment from the first release party, Possibly with a special guest or two. "Bubblegum Romance" is ten years old this month, and it's just been issued on limited-edition vinyl for the first time. Pink vinyl, too! Get your copy at https://marcwithac.bandcamp.com/album/bubblegum-romance or pick one up at the show!

Sunday September 14, 2014

10am to 6pm Free. Fashion Square Art Fair. Orlando Fashion Square, 3201 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida. 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.

1pm to 3pm Free. Script Reading Workshop. Sleuths Mystery Dinner Show, 8267 International Drive, Orlando, FL. Read and workshop plays.

7pm to 9pm Free. Alexandrah Love, Beautiful Chorus feat. DiViNCi, and Terri Binion. The Timucua Arts White House 2000 S Summerlin Ave, Orlando, Florida. A night of heartfelt, soulful, and melodic performances by Alexandrah Love & Beautiful Chorus featuring DiViNCi and the gracefully masterful Terri Binion. This night will conclude the Beautiful Chorus Tour of Love.
We are so blessed to have the spectacularly talented Terri Binion playing a set of her authentic, most soul-inspired, powerful tunes as well.

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

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Skill Focus Show to Feature Horror and Humor

On Friday September 12, Skill Focus Burlesque will feature "Horror" at The Venue (511 Virginia Drive Orlando FL). Halloween will kick off early this year with your favorite nerdy burlesque troupe! This Burlesque show will be a sexy celebration of all things horror! They plan to  summon classic characters from all over the horror genre. Your worst nightmares have never been so scintillating!

I went to a rehearsal on the East side of town. When I drove into the housing development, I realized I had been here for quite a few parties at a home just a block away from the rehearsal space. This town keeps shrinking. Inside, I heard loud laughter, so I knew the rehearsal had started. I walked past the seamstress who was working on refining costumes in the living room. On stage, the performer was covered in blood with a nasty open mouth where her stomach was. At the moment of the big unveiling,  comical googly eyes dangled from springs where her nipples would have been. It was a hilarious routine and I wish I had gotten there early enough to sketch it. Rosita Sparkles didn't recognize me to I had to introduce myself.

From her, I discovered that the rehearsal was half over. Oh, Damn! I had to sketch a double speed just to get something on the page before the rehearsal was over. I quickly sketched Rosita's witch routine when she first started dancing fully cloaked. The music was from Beetle Juice and she had on long black and white stockings that were removed with ample flourish to the beat of the music. I was in panic mode the whole time. The rehearsal flowed by a a breakneck pace.

The sound technician who was supposed to get the music mix ready had dropped the ball. Ruby Darling quickly ran through the music that would accompany the group dance numbers. These group dance numbers were quickly blocked out on the fly. One of the last numbers involved the whole cast downing jello shots and then the Horror vibe switched to a sultry 60s dance party. I was surprised that the sketch was done before the rehearsal wrapped up. Ruby Darling started addressing the Troupe about issues that came up at the last performances at Nerd Fest. This was all inside drama that doesn't need to be aired in public. I politely excused myself and slipped away. Lightning flashed on the horizon as I drove home.

When: Friday, September 12th Doors open at 10 pm Show starts at 11 pm.
Where: The Venue Orlando 511 Virginia Drive Orlando, FL 32803
Tickets:$10 General Admission $15 VIP Seating Tickets available at the door or in advance.
18+ only

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

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Music Man Sweeps into Longwood

On September second, I went to the tech rehearsal for Meredith Willson's "The Music Man" presented by Central Florida Community Arts. This was their 4th annual Summer Broadway Season production. Performances were September 4, and 5, 2014. The production took place at Northland, a 3,100-seat, state-of-the-art venue, located at 530 Dog Track Road, Longwood, FL, 32750.  Proceeds from this production benefit local youth arts programs and summer camps.

With book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson, this concert-style production of "The Music Man" is directed by Rob Lott, with musical direction by Jacob Haines, assistant direction by Ashley Willsey, choreography by Katherine Rivera, stage managed by Sean Middlebrook, and is produced by Joshua Vickery.
Michael Swickard had some large shoes to fill as Harold Hill and he excelled in his shifty eternal optimism. Kelley McGillicuddy starred as Marian the librarian and she had a playful coyness that suited the part. Since this was a tech rehearsal, there was plenty of stopping and starting as lights and sound cues were worked out. During one particularly long pause, Michael and Kelly played Patty Cake as they waited to restart their romantic scene. I like seeing these playful moments caught between the mad rush of the story.

Mic checks were the first order of business and each character recited a few lines to check their mics. The 100 voice choir was still seated in the auditorium seats.  The School Board/Barbershop Quartet consisted of John Barnick, Chris Burns, Kevin Souppa, and Sean Stork. They performed "Lida Rose" for their mic check and everyone applauded. With a full orchestra and the huge chorus, this should prove to be an amazing production. Although his motives might have been selfish to start, The Music Man is selling culture and Community pride. I think this is something we all long for.

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

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Andrew Spear Paints a New Mural on Colonial Drive and Thornton Avenue

In June I noticed a bright splash of color on Colonial Drive as I was driving to work. Andrew Spear was painting a mural on the side of Little Saigon. I had to stop to get a sketch. I have always wondered why no artist in Rome ever sketched Michelangelo as he painted the Sistine Chapel. They didn't have to be the best artist in the world, but that would be good sketch documenting an important moment.

For many years this wall on Colonial was covered with a beautiful aquatic painting, done by Jeanette Sheurr. That mural had recently been renovated but the the owners of Ace Rubber Stamp Company sold the building to Little Saigon. Andrew Sear was commissioned to repaint the wall and Red Bull was bought in as a sponsor. There was a competition in which people submitted photos for consideration and the winners were incorporated into the mural. The Red Bull logo got prominent placement on the mural and Nike swooshes can be seen on everyone's sneakers. At what point does art cross over to become advertising?

I love Andrew's work and it was inspiring to see him at work. The final design of the mural was still in flux on the day I stopped by for a visit. Andrew had wanted to paint a huge dragon to go with the oriental theme but the photo reference and sponsors needs took priority. While Andrew worked on the detailed crosshatching of the figurative elements, the larger swirls and patterns were painted by Gary Johnston using a big house brush and a roller. Andrew stood back in the street to consider where to cut off the ground plane. I was surprised that he asked me for advise and he decided to cut off the red and black ground plane before the doorway.

Andrew talked about an early job he took in Boston as  caricature artist. He was taught how to create in the very stylized style that is typical of street caricatures. His first costumer was a rather overweight man. Now how could be make this guy look thin? He decided to go the other way and he made him supper chunky with a giant chicken leg in his hand. The client was appalled. "Really dude, this is how you see me? The guy went to Andrew's boss and he was fired that day. I like that Andrew didn't sacrifice his vision that day. He told me that there is a website set up by a vandal that is called "Make Andrew Spear Cry". This guy who works in a fast food joint decided that he would vandalize Andrews work and then post photos of the destruction online. The police found this guy, but he is still at large. It takes a herculean amount of patience for Andrew to not beat the guy to a pulp.

It started to rain. I move under a canopy and Andrew moved his paints and supplies under cover as well. I looked up the weather radar on my phone and saw that the cloud was fairly small, so he storm might pass quickly. The sketch Andrew was using as reference was sealed in acetate. He had learned from past experience that it rains rather often in Central Florida. Andrews work is popping up all over the Mills/50 District and this bright mural will be hard to miss if you are driving East down Colonial. The art we create often is erased by changing tides.

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

Monday, September 8, 2014

There Will Be Words is Orlando's Premiere Literary Reading Series

On June 10th I went to The Gallery at Avalon Island (39 S Magnolia Avenue Orlando FL) to sketch There Will Be Words. The monthly event gives local authors a place to share their writing. The event is organized by Jessie Bradley and usually features up to five local authors. There are many poetry reading opportunities in town but this is the only regular event to feature fiction writing. On the walls were paintings that were a collaboration between Monte Olinger and Donna Dowless.

On this evening I focused on Stephanie R. Johnson. Her story was about the ghost of Truman Capote. He haunted a young woman's apartment causing not fear, but a mild annoyance with his pretentious airs. Stephanie would shift into Truman's personality on a dime. Truman's flamboyant affectations eventually became unbearably and the living and dead needed to have a talk. Truman was quite used to always having his way  and spending money as he pleased but the two needed to reach an agreement. The story had me laughing the whole time. Stephanie's performance added to the delight. This is why the arts will always thrive. There is magic in the moment when people gather to share stories. Watching an author read her own words is far more intimate than sitting passively in front of a tube. Discovering Orlando's hidden arts scene can be fabulous darling!

There Will Be Words was named Orlando's Best Literary Reading Series by the readers of the Orlando Weekly in 2013, it showcases the best writers Florida has to offer, on the second Tuesday of every month at Gallery at Avalon Island, 39 S. Magnolia in Downtown Orlando. Mark Your Calendar! This months event will be tomorrow night, September 9th. The show starts promptly at 7pm and runs until 8pm and is event is free.

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

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Anyone Can Learn to Airbrush at Blast Studios

On June 6th, I went to a Danny Rock, Stencils workshop at Blast Studios, ( 922 state rd 436, Casselberry, Florida). Blast Studios boasts, "Color and Creativity Collide with Canvas and Wine". Danny has used stencils to decorate several Utility Boxes around Orlando. He have a brief history of the use of stencils in graffiti and art. When the British graffiti artist Banksy spray painted his work around NYC, industrious inner city youths covered the art and would only let people see if they payed a viewing price. People always find a way to profit from someone else s creation.

Scott Pantke and his wife Nicole owns Blast Studios and they kept me company at the wine bar as Danny taught the class. Scott was commissioned to do a mural in a hair salon, and rather than do all the painting himself, he taught others how to use the airbrush. He enjoyed teaching others and seeing how excited they became. That is how Blast Studios began. One entire wall of the studio is covered with a partly abstract and partly figurative mural. People are invited to make their own contributions, and then Scott goes over certain areas picking out the shapes of characters inside the chaos. It is much like seeing sheep in the clouds.

Three students showed up for the Stencil Workshop. Danny demonstrated the filters to use in Photoshop or any cheap image editing program to create the bold black and white image needed to create the stencil. A very sharp exacto blade was then used to cut away the negative shapes that would eventually be spray painted. Each student created their own stencil and got to transfer it to canvas. In honor of Andy Warhol they all worked on Marilyn Monroe. Each person painted a bold pattern on their canvas before applying the stencil. This is where each artist's individuality shown through. Spraying the stencil itself was a rather quick and painless process. The trick is to keep the stencil pressed tight up against the canvas if you want a hard edge. If the stencil is loose, the edges would be soft, which also could be a good effect.

Danny Rock is teaching classes at Blast about every other week. Check the Blast calendar to see if there is a class for you or a friend. This place is also great for a date night.

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

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Beth Marshall Opens Her Next Theatrical Season

This sketch of Beth Marshall was done in 2010 while she presented a "Yapinar" which basically educated Directors and Producers on how to promote their shows for the Orlando Fringe Festival. At that time Beth and her husband were recovering from a car accident. Thankfully they both made a full recovery. This year Beth has begun a healthy lifestyle and she is sharing her progress on Facebook. I'm fascinated by her progress and updates.

On August 20th, she got all her measurements from her costume designer and trainer. The Total inches on my body lost equaled 48" in 20 weeks. Biggest body area loss is a tie for 7" each on her waist and chest. She was pleased with these results so far. She has have more energy, and feels physically stronger. She is now working out 3-6 times a week. She didn't even think she would work out at all until I was under 300 lbs. This summer, she had relatively moderate to light work load which allowed her time to put extra focus on her health and hang around juice bars, farmers markets, whole foods and gyms. This week the new theater season starts and this means that a full work load and chaos will be in full force. Still her health goals remain her top priority. She has the entire month of Sept. scheduled with  personal trainings and boot camp. She hopes to maintain her hardcore training as the work load triples. Sharing her health goals and achievements is inspiring me to try and improve my own health.

Mark Your Calendars! The 7th Beth Marshall Presents season is about to kick off with Play in a Day which will be staged September 6th at Lake Howell High School (4200 Dike Road, Winter Park Florida).  6:30pm will be a silent Auction and the shows followed by a talk back. Play in a Day has 100 artists write and produce 9 plays with the same theme within a 24 hour time frame. This year a musical is in the works and I hope to sketch the production from inception to birth.

On November 7th Beth will be presenting Beatnik Squared. This is a unique, audience interactive speak-easy 60’s theme One-Night ONLY event. Whether attending for the first time or returning for seconds, all audience members will get into the groove of enjoying a flashback of the 60’s. Many of our usual beats, poets, freaks, geeks and artisans of every kind will be returning along with some new acts and surprises. This event is once again in partnership with Blue Star and VarieTEASE taking place at The Venue (511 Virginia Dr., Orlando, Fl).

I am intrigued by THE TRAYVON MARTIN PROJECT because I did a number of sketches of demonstrators at the time.  Part 1, A Tribute will be staged (Oct. 3rd-5th 2014).
This year long socio-political theatrical collaboration and exploration in partnership with Penguin Point Productions, and Valencia College East begins with the World Premiere of 6 short plays and a poem inspired by the tragic loss of Trayvon Martin. The works carefully explore race relations and equality issues within our culture and specifically within the Central Florida community. Playwrights include: Dennis Neal, Rob Winn Anderson, Janine Klein, James Brendlinger, Paris Crayton lll, Steve Schneider, and poet Rob Gee. Directed by Beth Marshall, Paul Castaneda, and John DiDonna. Each performance will hold a post-show talk back with the audience. Performances will take place at Valencia College Black Box Theatre (701 North Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, Fl). Partial proceeds from this event benefit The Travyon Martin Foundation. This production will be presented at Valencia College East Campus as part of their build up to the world premiere of their own original devised play centering around the inciting incidents of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, the 17 year old killed in a Jacksonville gas station parking lot.  Researched and created by a class led by John DiDonna, this event will premier in Valencia College Theater’s February 2015 slot. Part 2 will be staged in February and Part 3 is yet to be determined.

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

Friday, September 5, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks for September 6th and 7th

Saturday September 6, 2014
7:30pm to 9:30pm $15 at the door. Whisper/Roar. The Orange Studio 1121 N Mills Ave, Orlando, Florida. Two collaborative evenings of modern dance, music,film, costume couture and installation art.
Collaborators: Voci Dance, DJ Nigel John, Tamara Marke, and Mario Schambon.
When: Friday, Sept. 5th and Saturday, Sept 6th; Doors open at 7:30, Performances at 8:00
Where: The Orange Studio, 1121 N. Mills Avenue, Orlando, FL 32803
Wine available as well as lite bites from Happy Chow.
More info: vocidance.wordpress.com

8pm to 11pm Free. Official Observatory Open House. Embry-Riddle Observatories 600 S Clyde Morris Blvd, Daytona Beach, Florida. Please join us for the Astronomy Observatory Open House nights at ERAU's Daytona Beach campus! These free events allow the campus community and members of the general public of all ages to view the night sky through the Observatory's telescopes, ask questions, and learn about our universe.
This year we are introducing a new Public Lecture to the Astronomy Open House that will begin at 7pm. Observations will follow from 8pm - 11pm.
View the sky through many of the Observatory's telescopes and binoculars. We have step stools so kids can reach the eyepiece!
In addition to viewing the night sky through our telescopes, explore our astronomy posters and take a walking tour of the solar system. There is no fixed program for observations and no reservations are necessary. Just drop by to see the stars!

9:30pm to 11:30pm Free but at least get a drink. Son Flamenco. Ceviche Tapas Orlando, 125 West Church Street, Orlando, FL. Hot blooded Flamenco dancers every week.

Sunday September 7, 2014
1pm to 3pm Free. Yoga.  East side of  Lake Eola Park, Orlando, FL.

2pm to 4pm Free. Join poet Peggy Miller as She Reads. Winter Park Library 460 E. New England Ave. Winter Park, FL. Comstock Review Editor Peggy Miller reads at the at Winter Park Library. As a previous research assistant working in biochemistry for the USDA, Peggy Miller’s poems are often inspired by the sciences. Join poet Peggy Miller as she reads and discusses her latest works at 2 p.m. on September 7th at the Winter Park Library.

9pm to 11pm Free but grab a Yak! Comedy Open Mic. Austin's Coffee, 929 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL. Free comedy show! Come out and laugh, or give it a try yourself.

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

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hip Hop Night at Austin's Rocks the House

Mondays are usually pretty slow event wise in Orlando. On June 2nd I discovered Hip Hop Night at Austin's Coffee (929 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL). The event runs every Monday and starts at 10pm. I got there early and ordered diner and a Yak iced coffee. The staging area was still set up for hipsters consuming food and information off the Internet. Eventually the stage was cleared so the DJ could set up his beats and a lone microphone was set up for performers.

This is an open mic night meaning anyone could perform. I met a comedian from SAK Comedy Lab who brings aspiring comics to the open mic to test their improv chops. A young woman stepped up to the mic and her first line of rap confessed that this was her first time. As the lines and rhymes fell into place the crowd cheered. With no script, this really was a tight rope walk with no net. Some performers were incredibly polished but the sound system and the rapid fire stream of lyrics made it difficult to keep up with the performances.

Mark Your Calendars! Hip Hop Night is every Monday night from 10pm to 2am at Austin's Coffee. Be a voyeur like me or step up to the mic and see what happens. Regardless it is a fast paced inspired night.

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

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

One Chic Fete Livened up Firestone Live with Art, Fashion and Burlesque

Ashlie Rolfe invited me to sketch "One Chic Fete" on May 30, 2014 from 8:30pm -1:30am at Firestone Live, (578 N. Orange Ave Orlando, FL). The event was an incredible fusion of all things creative, including fashion, music, burlesque, visual art, photography and more! It was a night of creativity, cocktails, and a collaboration of over 40+ designers, artists, musicians, etc.

When I arrived, I quickly decided to sketch from the second floor overlooking all the festivities. A retro motorcycle and the band on stage became my centers of interest. Chain link fences were set up around the whole venue as a place to hang art. The last time I exhibited work on a chain link fence was at Grant Elementary school in Dumont New Jersey. At the time I was quite obsessed with the space program and I hung a sketch I did of the Mercury space capsule. I was sure that one day I would be an astronaut. The trouble is that I couldn't stop sketching.

Upstairs at Firestone I bumped into Ruby Darling who founded Skill Focus Burlesque. They performed that evening in costumes based on video game characters. As Ruby explained, "We dress up as all the things, or characters you are hoping to see! And then we strip down to pasties." There was also a costume contest and my favorite was The Alien and it walked down the runway with a puppy on a leash. It was the perfect blend of Harrow and cuteness. I started to sketch the Alien, but it went offstage long before I could catch its proportions, so I had to erase it. As always, I was surprised with how many people were looking at their cell phones the whole time. When I was done sketching, I did a walk about to see which artists were showcasing their work.

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

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tiny Houses are Big Draw in Orlando

Emily Lindahl and Dorian hosted a Tiny Houses open house at College Park Village RV/Tiny House Community in Orlando. Dorian lives in a custom-built single-level tiny house with an open floorplan (The Dorian, built by Maximus Extreme), while Emily lives in a tinier house, built by Elaine Walker of the Tiny House-Community,  based on the Tumbleweed Lusby plans (now the Elm 18 Equator). Built in 2009  the house has traveled nearly 7,000 miles from New Hampshire to California to Washington DC to where it resides now in Florida. Emily met Elaine at a meetup in November and she told Elaine that she planned to sell her large house to start living small. About a month later, Elaine moved out of her tiny house to care for a family member in Florida and offered to let Emily move in. Emily accepted, but someday she hopes to save up enough to build a tiny house of her own.

When I arrived at the Tiny House Open House, Emily gave me a quick tour of her place. A huge vine has grown up the back wall of the home and is climbing onto tree limbs. Emily reached up on tip toe to show me a large gourd that will be a loofa sponge when she harvests it and dries it out. The first landscaping feature Emily added was a winding garden path. She definitely has a green thumb because the garden around her tiny house is flourishing. Her tiny house looks out across a gorgeous lake. Though she is living small, she has a million dollar view. Two hundred or so people showed up to the open house. It was a bit surreal to see a long line of giants waiting to tour the tiny house.

Emily Lindahl has been interested in tiny houses since she was in college. She first saw a Jay Shafer YouTube video on tiny houses in 2006. She grew up in a huge house but was always a bit of a minimalist. She attended a tumbleweed Tiny House building workshop in January 2013 and she and a classmate started a Tiny Houses Facebook group shortly after. The group page started with just 20 people but has grown to over 1600 members. The Tiny Houses Community is getting more organized by pooling resources and getting a website and forum. Emily is the Director of Communications for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra so she knows how to bring people together using social media. She hopes to one day see Tiny House communities throughout Florida. A tiny housed video series will be released on YouTube soon. Emily wrote the theme song for it. She uses the hashtag #emilystinyadventure online to share her experiences. You can also follow the adventure on Instagram at @emilystinyadventure plus she is sharing her tiny adventure on her blog.

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

Monday, September 1, 2014

East End Market Offers All Things Local

My exhibition of several dozen original Orlando Urban Sketches has been hanging at East End Market (3201 Corrine Dr. Orlando, FL) for the past several months. The show is slated to come down sometime in the beginning of September. Emily Rankin of Local Roots Distribution Company asked me to keep some cards in her farm store in the front of the market. I left her with a dozen or so cards that were left over from the Emotions Dance performance, Art Evolution. I did a sketch based on each choreographed performance and worked the dancers into iconic works of art. Over time I will be adding cards that have urban sketches of venues around Orlando.

After setting up the exhibit in the community room on the second floor of East End, I decided to stay and sketch the market, which is always bustling with activity. People stay at the juice bar for hours working on their computers making them perfect models. The thin pink haired girl was the reason for starting this sketch. When she wasn't on  her computer, she was talking to the staff behind the bar. Mason jars are used as light bulbs above the bar. Behind me, the custom coffee bar was always serving up orders.

I'm so happy my work has been exhibited at East End. People keep approaching me to let me know that they liked getting a chance to see my sketches up close and in person. I always say that my sketches are about documenting people and places that make Orlando a stronger community. East End Market is a new venue where those people come together to share similar ideals. It has been the perfect place to share what I do with people that make a difference in this town.

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