Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra Performance at Lake Eola.

On Saturday, December 5, the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra kicked off the holiday season with the sixth annual WKMG News 6 Holiday Concert benefiting the Salvation Army. It was a spirited performance of holiday-inspired classics at Lake Eola Park. In celebration of the holiday season, the event was broadcast live by WKMG Local 6, and featured all four orchestras of the FSYO.

 "It's a highlight of our year to partner with WKMG and have our student musicians provide live music in the annual holiday concert at Lake Eola," said FSYO President Stephen Schenck. "This concert gives us the opportunity to celebrate the holiday season with the community and at the same time help the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program, which provides children in our community gifts to open Christmas morning. Gifts they would not normally receive."

Hosted by WKMG the News 6 Morning Show talent, Bridgett Ellison and David Hall, the concert featured holiday sing-alongs and a very special appearance by Santa Claus. I also spotted a cow wearing a Santa cap, but I didn't manage to get it in the sketch. Admission was free to all, but a monetary donation or unwrapped toy donation for the Salvation Army was encouraged.

The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra aims to educate and inspire Central Florida's top young musicians through programs committed to strengthening musical talents and developing appreciation of the arts through classical music. The FSYO, in its 59th Concert Season, comprised of three full orchestras, one string training orchestra and various chamber groups, made up of more than 250 students from eight Central Florida counties, including Orange, Osceola, Lee, Seminole, Brevard, Lake, Highlands and Volusia. Programs are sponsored in part by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs; the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; and United Arts of Central Florida.

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

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

SNAP! SPACE Presented : 'Structure & Perspective'.

I went to the opening of Structure and Perspective at Snap! Space (1013 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL). The show examined the intersection of organic and man made forms such as those found in the distinction of body forms and building forms. Curated by Patrick and Holly Kahn, the exhibit featured the works of nine national and international renowned fine art photographers, painters and sculptors.

Artists in attendance:
• Juan Travieso (Miami)
Iran Issa-Khan (Miami)
Dan Hess (Orlando)
Christoph Morlinghaus (Germany)
Marco Gallotta (NY)
Patricia Van de Camp (Amsterdam)
Jeff Frost (Los Angeles)
Ryan Buyssens (Orlando)
Jim Kazanjian (Portland)
Rebecca Szeto (San Francisco)

Opening night featured cocktails by The Courtesy Bar, music by resident DJ Nigel John, Snap! Space Art Store, and Bibliotheque.  This exhibit was the part two of a program which will be culminating in May 2015 with 'YOU ARE HERE,' a citywide event supported in part by Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs. The first installment, ‘IDENTITY,' explored how roots may define who we are.

 Snap! Space is the 5,000 sq. ft. indoor/outdoor gallery home of Snap! Orlando, a 501(c) 3 charitable foundation with the mission to celebrate master photographers, and artists, discover and cultivate emerging talent and promote the appreciation of photography and art worldwide.

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

Monday, December 28, 2015

Terry's day at the test track.

My wife, Terry Thorspecken is a member of a Porche Club. The club has test track outings, driver training and a fun road rally where racers search for clues on road side signs. This test track was set up in a parking lot near a police gun range up north of Mount Dora. From the second we arrived, gunfire punctuated every moment. An SUV pulled up with a trailer that opened up to become the announcer's station. The American flag fluttered in the breeze. Across the road was z grass covered landfill where model airplane enthusiasts flew their high pitched prop model airplanes.

Terry rented a driver's helmet which every drive had to wear. She put a strip of tape on her car door to let the other drivers know this she was number 1. Actually being number 1 isn't necessarily a good thing. It indicated that she was a beginner, and this was her first time on the track. At first a driving coach took the passenger seat to give her pointers on how to attack the track which consisted of a series of cones.  Each run was digitally timed. The announcer joked during her first run, saying that she was relaxing and taking her time on a leisurely Sunday drive. With all the track noise she couldn't hear the announcer. Her first run was 87.882 seconds. On car did spin out of control at one point, hinting that this is actually a dangerous sport. The car windows had to be open, just, case a driver had to be dragged out of a wreck.

After a run, each car then had to line up on a long line to wait for the next run. It is easy to say that the drivers waited far more than they drove. There was always only one car on the track at a time. Terry's second run dropped down to 73.646 seconds and by the end of the day she had her drive time down to 63.18 seconds. Though she didn't get close to the best time for the day, she might has qualified as the most improved driver for the day.

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

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Functionally Literate

Functionally Literate is Burrow Press' quarterly-ish reading series that aims to connect, entertain, and possibly intoxicate, Orlando's community of writers, bookworms, lit nerds, and the intellectually curious. Each Function pairs the best writers in Central Florida with visiting writers from all over the world. This event was held at The Gallery at Avalon Island.

This sketch is of John King who earned his MFA from New York University in 2010. His work has appeared in Palooka, Gargoyle, The Newer York, the 15 Views of Orlando project, and others. He is currently a composition Sherpa at the University of Central Florida, and he is the host of the amazing writing podcast, The Drunken Odyssey.

I always love sketching these readings because as I sketch, my mind wanders allowing me to imagine the scene the author is painting. This is what a creative community is all about. An intimate audience gathering to share stories. The next Functionally Literate event will be held on January 16th at 7pm at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater (812 East Rollins Street Orlando FL). Authors will include Matthew  Salesses and Kristen Arnett.

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

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Weekend Top 6 Picks for December 26th and 27th.

Saturday December 26, 2015
Things will be very quiet the day after Christmas. Your best bet, to check out some Extreme Christmas Light Displays in the evening and relax with family. Oh and of course see Star Wars

9am to 3pm Free. Sanford Farmer's Market. First & Magnolia in Downtown Sanford.

6pm to 8pm Free. Brewery Tour. Orlando Brewing, 1301 Atlanta Ave, Orlando, FL.

9:30pm to 11:30pm  Free, but get a meal or drink. Son Flamenco. Ceviche Tapas Orlando, 125 W Church St, Orlando, FL.

Sunday December 27, 2015
Noon to 2pm Free but grab a bite.  Florida Gospel Jam. Fish on Fire 7937 Daetwyler Drive Belle Isle FL. Every 2nd and 4th Sunday.

1pm to 3pm. Free. Yoga. Lake Eola Park, 195 N Rosalind Ave, Orlando, FL. Every week.

9pm to 11pm Free. Comedy Open Mic. Free comedy show! Come out & laugh, or give it a try yourself.

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

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

This is a sketch of the Sunday service at Trinity Lutheran Church Downtown (123 E Livingston St, Orlando, FL) near the courthouse. The church reminds me of the Methodist Church my family used to attend in Dumont New Jersey. The lighting and exposed beam ceiling are almost identical. There is something calming about sketching the vertical space that insists you look upward. 

This was toward the end of this pastors stay at the church. Every couple of years the pastors have to move to a new parish. The sketch was given to him by the parishioners as a parting gift. I found this print in my files an realized that I had never posted the sketch. Christmas seemed the right time to finally share this warm inviting interior. Trinity has a 10am worship service on Christmas Day. 

 I was raise Methodist by my mother Elvira, but my father us a non-practicing Catholic. He later beam a practicing Methodist when he married my stepmom Ruth. In researching my family history, it seems that my family's religion changed every other  generation. When I researched back to the Thorspeckens in Germany, the documents come from Lutheran churches.

Part of me has wanted to do a series of sketches of church services in Orlando. There is certainly no shortage of churches. I would simply seek out a different church ever Sunday. However, Sunday is also a day of rest and I made a commitment to not sketch on Sundays and instead devote that day to family.

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

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Creating Art is a Cime in Saint Augustine.

Back in 2009 Saint Augustine city officials wrote an an ordinance that banned the creation of art in public spaces. Painting or sketching city parks became a crime punishable with 60 days in jail and a fine of $500. In the ordinance, artists are grouped together with street performers, and vendors. Performers in the law includes, "acting, singing, playing musical instruments, pantomime, mime, magic, juggling, artistry or the creation of visual art, and wares, which means drawings or paintings applied to paper, cardboard, canvas, cloth or other similar medium when such art is applied to the medium through the use of brush, pastel, crayon, pencil, spray or other similar object, and the creation, display and/or sale of crafts made by hand or otherwise."

This clearly contradicts our first amendment rights which allows for freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The law bans art on 8 public streets and 4 public parks and green spaces. My first reaction was indignation and then I found out about a protest that was going to be held in front of the Lightner Museum and City Chambers (75 King Street Saint Augustine). The city is celebrating its 450th birthday and this law seems like it was written back before there was a US Constitution.  Sections of King Street are included in the ban on creativity but I couldn't find out online if it was illegal to sketch on the block where the protest was being staged. My original plan was to do a digital sketch, which would seem to fall outside the laws limited definition of visual art. The protest was at noon however, so I returned to work in an old fashioned sketchbook. Imagine toddlers scribbling with crayons in their sketchbook getting arrested. Illegal or not, it was time for a road trip and a sketch.

I believe this insane law was put in place because the historic parks were being turned into a free for all flea market. Vendors sell all forms of tourist trinkets, including  snacks, sunglasses and clothing. Brick and mortar merchants must have wanted the ban so that they wouldn't loose a dime in tourist sales. Some performers would attract large crowds of tourists who would sometimes block traffic. If the city would ban the tourists, then there would be no problem.

Saint Augustine City commissioners do not seem to mind having artists creating in public, but artists are still bundled into the law prohibiting performers and vendors. It should be noted that artists are not performers and they seldom attract a crowd. While the flea market continues, police turn a blind eye. The police do however take photos of artists at work in an effort to build a case against them. Artists are being considered a threat to public safety and a visual blight. There are 12 spots in the plaza that are legally available for $75 a month to rent, and these are given out on a lottery based system. Even if an artist were lucky enough to rent a spot in the park, it certainly wouldn't offer the historic views that beg to be sketched all over the city.

My primary concern as I drove into Saint Augustine was the parking. 450 years ago the city streets were set up with only pedestrian traffic in mind.  The streets are narrow and often one way. Parking meters charge $1.50 an hour with a time limit of 3 hours. Clearly I would have to execute the sketch with that 3 hour window and then get the hell out of Dodge. The museum parking lot was full and I didn't have enough quarters for a meter, so I got lost on the suburban side streets until miraculously a parking spot appeared. I'm thankful that I didn't pay the city to document the protest.

I was quite nervous as I began the sketch. Every line was an act of civil disobedience. A musician pulled up behind me on his medical scooter. He had a friendly old Labrador retriever who wore sun glasses, a white beard and a Santa cap. As a musician, he clearly is affected by the law. He was looking forward to giving a speech later in the day. As I sketched the gorgeous architecture several dozen protesters gathered on King Street holding signs that said Art is not Crime, Freedom of Expression, and Spend 60 Days in Jail. Sketching was the perfect way to document this protest. One protester told me that the Mayor would at some point notice the protest when she glanced out her window. She would then likely have the police chase the protesters off. A silly little red tourist trolley stopped in from of the protesters. The driver was annoyed that shouts of "Art is not a crime!" interrupted his endless monotone scripted spiel. One police cruiser passed the protest without incident. Apparently you need to stay in motion when you are protesting. Protesters paced back and forth. As an artist, I was the only one who remained completely still and therefor I might be suspect.

Angel Jones welcomed me and handed me her card in case police gave me trouble for sketching in public. I was told that handing out business cards in Saint Augustine is also illegal. Angel was definitely the protests greatest cheerleader. When cars honked their approval, she would shout and cheer. Her enthusiasm was contagious. From across the street she shouted to me, "Don't worry, if the police show up we will surround you. I'll chain myself to your chair if I have to!" She was hilarious.

A Japanese family stopped to watch as I sketched. The little girl almost pressed her nose to the page as she crowded in to watch intently. The last thing I wanted was to draw a crowd because that is what got this insane law started. The trouble is that people love to to watch artists sketch. People kept asking me about the protest, so I got a chance to inform people over and over again as I worked. Limiting artistic expression is an issue that is near to my heart. Winter Park, which is a place I sketch often, is considering a similar ban on artists. Their reasoning is that artists hinder foot traffic on public side walks. This insanity is getting closer to home.

As I was finishing up sketch, some one told me that the area where I was sketching was safe from the ban on artists. Had I sketched one block east, it would have bee a different story. The city needs anti-art signs to let people know where creativity is prohibited. Maybe there should be an anti-art curb color to ward off possible painters or sketchers. It would have be nice to know it was safe to sketch earlier, the sketch might have been less frantic. I posted a picture of my sketch in progress on Instagram and close to 300 people have joined the conversation on the issue. Protests in Saint Augustine will be happening biweekly. When my sketch was done, I got out of that backward city as fast as I could.

The ongoing case to overturn this ordinance is in federal court, and a ruling is pending. Change comes slowly, and this battle has been going on for too long, but you can help by telling others about this crazy law and of course you can e-mail city commissioners to let them know how you feel about St. Augustine's current anti-artist laws. As Queen Victoria said, "Beware of artists because they mix with all classes of society and are therefore most dangerous." The next step could be burning books.

Nancy Shaver, Mayor

Roxanne Horvath, Vice Mayor/Commissioner

Leanna Freeman, Commissioner

Todd Neville, Commissioner

Nancy Sikes-Kline, Commissioner

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

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wonderland - The Gift of Creativity.

Anytime you walk into True Serenity (1100 Montana St, Orlando, Florida), you feel the love. Tod Caviness was playing with his son in the front parlor. I had arrived a bit early, so people were still setting up. Tara Chiavetta who owns True Serenity gave me a warm welcome. This quaint bungalow offers gentle yoga, Chakra healing workshops, energy readings, and Reiki Circles. Today however it us a Magical Wonderland. Members of Orlando's creative local community offered unique arts, crafts and holistic gifts for the holidays. 

I went outside where vendors were lined up in the driveway. Tisse Mallon and Banks Helfrich had a Listening Booth set up. The concept is simple and elegant you sit down and Tisse or Banks will listen intently to what you have to say. Tisse explained that some people get quite emotional since having someone truly listen is becoming a rare commodity today. It reminded me of Marina Abramovie's "The Artist is Present" that was staged at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. At that performance you would sit opposite Marina and look into her eyes for as long as you wanted to. Some people would be moved to tears because people seldom take the time to honestly look at one another. I was surprised to find out that Tisse and Bank first met at a party at my house on New Year's Day. Perhaps that was the birthplace of their Living room Theater concept.

It had gotten cold outside and  I didn't bring a sweatshirt or sweater, so after joking with Tisse  and Banks, I went inside hoping to find a cozy and warm spot to sketch. I decided to sketch Maricardia Avila who was offering Astrology readings. Her business is called Odyssey of Light. The paintings in the room all seemed to have planetary themes. The calming shape of a circle could be seen everywhere. Lights danced on the ceiling further heightening the celestial display. Business was slow for the first hour, so I focused on the setting. Cheryl, the owner of the Crystal Healing Spa had her beautiful healing crystals for sale right behind me.

In the living room, Fresh Coffee from Vita Luna Craft Coffee Bar was being ground and brewed. In the back courtyard there was  Live Music with a great track selection played throughout the night by DJ Anthony Bonilla. There are wonderful oriental flavored murals in the hallways of the bungalow. Illuminated by black lights the blossoms glow a vibrant purple and orange. I've always wanted to capture that mysterious light and there is just a hint in the doorway. 

Maricardia's daughter went to the Poetry Vending Machine to have a custom poem created. Her mom read it out loud and it was of course magical. Finally, a couple settled in for their Astrology Reading. The reading was surprisingly high tech. The laptop displayed a circle cutup into slices like a pie and in the center, red lines darted from slice to slice divining the future. I know nothing about the science of Astrology, but the advice Maricardia offered was sound and sincere. The couple have world travel in their future but certain pragmatic financial concerns need to be resolved. One of the patrons is writing a children's book, and that might be the reason for the travel. One year from now all of the things discussed would find a resolution. The couple is in a period of deep discussion and everything will be put out in the open and shared. When the reading was over, so was my sketch. 

The nurturing conversation sparked by the reading continued as she walked with the couple to the front entry. I saved my sketch and closed the computer. I felt bad that I didn't have a chance to share the sketch since I had to dart off to a show were I would be meeting Terry. I was also  curious to have my own reading done, but I was out of time.  I showed the sketch to Maricardia's daughter instead, thinking she could explain the sketch to her mom verbally.

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

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Take A Look, And You Will See Into Your Imagination!

 On Third Thursday, I wandered downtown to see what art exhibits were opening up. On the drive, Terry called me to let me know there was an outdoor concert in front of the Doctor Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. I decided that DPAC therefor was my sketch opportunity for the night. I stopped quickly into City Arts Factory to see how the Square exhibit looked hung. I submitted one square print and it was nestled in neatly among many of he talented local artists. My print hung just inches from the incredibly talented Rebecca Rose, also nearby was Boy Kong, Andrew Spear, Jennifer Payne, and Scott White. I made an impulse buy and purchased a print by Plinio Pinto. It is now hanging in my living room. The curator didn't want me to take it off the wall right a way. He suggested I return at the end of the evening. 

I started hoofing it down to DPAC to sketch the concert. On the way I ran into Joe Rosier who had grown out his white beard and had on a red Santa cap and a red shirt. His plan was to get some fish and chips at the Irish Pub before he started gallery hopping. We walked past two women smoking outside the pub. One shouted out, "Hey Santa, you should come inside, you would be the life of the party." Joe turned to her and said, "First let check my list, I have to see if you've been naughty or nice." Since I wanted to get to the concert to sketch, I left Santa as he finalized the negotiation. When I got to DPAC, the concert was over and chairs were being folded up and stacked away. Alright, change of plans there had been a trio performing at Avalon Island. That was my new sketch opportunity. 

As soon as I entered The Gallery at Avalon Island (39 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando, FL) I bumped into Kathy Blackmore. I had worked with her at Disney Feature Animation and at Full Sail University. [ miss the camaraderie, laughter and insanity of those times. The Gallery was presenting Take A Look, And You Will See Into Your Imagination! an exhibition that features children’s book artists and illustrators. Kathy's children's book illustrations were part of the exhibit. After a quick walkabout, I started sketching. At two tables there was brown packing tape acting as a table cloth and canvas. Colorful markers in a cup acted as the center piece. I was delighted when Tori Kelly and her two children started sketching on the brown paper. Kids sketch with such confidence, They still enjoy the simple pleasure of putting lines on a page. Children's book illustrator, Ethan Long joined the kids and he showed them how to draw on of his characters. The kids were mesmerized soaking in his every pencil stroke with their hungry eyes.

A gentleman and two women sat across from me. He started drawing an intricately branched tree with a purple bird perched way up high. Earlier in the day, a repairman had told me the he let his Moluccan Cockatoo climb the branches in a large tree in his yard. His bird would climb to the highest branches and then come back down when called. Zorro, our Umbrella Cockatoo had never experienced that freedom. Hawks and falcons can sometimes be seen circling overhead. As protective owners we would never risk allowing Zorro to climb beyond our reach. He might climb to the top and never look down, requiring a call tot fire department to get the hook and ladder.

 It turned out that the sketcher across from me was the husband of  Zebo Ludvicek, one of the artists whose work was on exhibit. She asked to see my sketchbook when I had finished sketching the trio. She took her time flipping through the pages, she seemed to truly like what I do.  Her husband reaffirmed her sincerity saving, " She means it, she doesn't usually like anything." We chatted for quite. a while about art, both digital and traditional before I decide to get a beer with a day of the dead skill on it which was laced with Taquilla. It gave me an immediate headache.

Kathy was in a conversation with artists Anne Jewett, and Janeen Mason. Janeen said she would give me the name of a friend of hers who lives in Saint Augustine. That city has a law that make creating art in public spaces a crime punishable with a fine of $500 and or 60 days in jail. There is a demonstration in Saint Augustine on December 21st against this insanity and I plan to drive over that way to sketch the demonstration. Janeen's friend is on the Saint Augustine historic preservation committee and she might help get me out of jail if I am caught sketching. Anne told me about a unique crowd funding source for artists called something like Patrion. People pay a small sum, like a dollar to see sketches for a project as it progresses. It is an ingenious idea and I plan to research it more. It could bring what seemed lit an impossible dream to life. I also have I say that Anne's illustrations were magical with a old world classical glow. If you happen to be walking by Avalon check out her work in the front windows. It will amaze you.

The only other artists that I didn't meet were, Fred Koehler,  and Loreen Leedy.The Avalon exhibit was clearly my favorite discovery for the evening. The show will be on display at the gallery until January 16th. The children's books are available at Bookmark It (3201 Corrine Dr #109, Orlando, FL).

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

Monday, December 21, 2015

Discovering the Milk Stout Float.

On Saturday December 12, there was a house warming potluck at the Kerouac House to welcome the new resident author Sarah Viren.I had spent all day creating invites for workshops and a party to ring in the new year.  I knew Terry wanted to go to the potluck, but she was out getting a pedicure. I hadn't done a sketch for the day, so I decided to drive over to the Kerouac House to do a nocturnal sketch of the house before people arrived for the potluck. I got in my ca and texted Terry to let her know I was heading over early. She responded, "I thought we would drive over early."

Time for a change of plans. I decided instead to just walk around our neighborhood and sketch g home with a decent Christmas light display. The sun had just set as I walked the neighborhood. This home which was clearly hosting a holiday party caught my eye. As night settled in, the sketch got darker. I was seated in a yard across the street in the shadow of a hedge. Mosquitoes kept burning in my ears, so l raised the black hoodie to muffle the buzzing. The mosquitoes must have liked the glow of my tablet screen as well, so I kept slapping my chest to try and crush the mosquitoes that became visible silhouetted against the computer's glow.

Two children were doing somersaults in the yard next door while it was still light. Their mom then took a large black poodle for a walk. They disappeared and then returned about a half an hour later on my side of the street. The large poodle was sniffing around the lawn I as seated on. When it was maybe fire fee away, it froze. It had noticed me. The dog owner however hadn't noticed me. She tugged at the leash an the leash and then shrieked when she saw me. I guess that I must have looked a bit like a terrorist, or may be the Uni-bomber in my black hoodie being lit from below by the computer's glow.

At the Kerouac Potluck, Danielle Kessinger introduced me to an amazing drink known as a Milk Stout Ice cream float. Milk Stout is dark beer much like Guinness. When I order a Guinness at an Irish bar, I like I get it with a slice of chocolate cake. Something about a dark beer and sweet is perfect together. The Milk Stout float has the same magical taste combination.  I now confider it a holiday tradition. Whenever you attend a party crowded with authors drinking wine, the conversations become insightful, deep and also hilarious. Though usually a voyeur, I found myself jumping into conversations left and right and laughing until I had to catch my breath. There is nothing quite like the fellowship of artists. I floated off the porch when it was time to go. Thankfully, Terry drove.

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

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Night of Fire lights up Crealdé School of Art.

The fourth annual Night of Fire at Crealdé School of Art, (600 Saint Andrews Boulevard, Winter Park, FL) offered a chance to see artists at work in each of the studios. I settled in to Painting and Drawing Studio 1A where Crealde faculty Robert Ross and Barbara Tiffany were painting a still life with some eggs in a bowl and a letter. Marie Orban was also drawing from a model, although the model as on a break in the time I was sketching.

The whole campus comes alive after dark for  A Night of Fire. There was live music, refreshments and storytelling around the fire. Other workshops and demonstrations including a bronze pour, a gas kiln firing and raku firing. After finishing my sketch I warmed up with a cup of hot spiced wine and walked toward the lake to wait for a light-painting photography display. A dark silhouette of a boat on the lake could faintly be seen. I speculated with another patron to try and figure out what the light painting was all about. Small fireworks and sprinklers began dancing over the water. A camera with it's shutter open recorded all the action compiling all the light motion into one image. I lost interest and wandered off to a warm fire pit.

The evening also served as the opening reception for the "Director's Choice V" exhibition of works by Crealde's youth faculty. The Alice and William Jenkins Gallery had paintings by Bill Jenkins, the school's founder in honor of the school's 40th Anniversary. The Front Office was open to register for classes. All the activities were free.

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

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Weekend Top 6 Picks for December19th and 20th.

Saturday December 19, 2015
3pm to 7pm Free. Cruisin' Downtown DeLand Car Show! East Indiana Ave Downtown DeLand, FL. Classic cars and rods.  Live DJ, giveaways, shopping & dining. Fun for the family! Every 3rd Saturday night! INFO: & for showing your car 386-738-0649

7pm to 2am Free. Awakening ~ A Star Wars Experience like no other. Red Lion Pub, 3784 Howell Branch Road, Winter Park, FL. A Star Wars inspired: Art show, Cosplay Event, Fire spinning and Light saber extravagance laced with vendors and a few surprises.
The schedule of events is already blowing up minds and inspiring creators all over to bring you a wonderful experience to remember.
Too much to be called just an Art Show.
The List of scheduled events goes as follows.
Some may be moved around and changed but due to so many questions landing in my inbox and so many performers wanting to know all the fun juicy details here you go.
8pm Master of Ceremonies
Jedi Councilwoman and Slave Leia will open up the night with a short introduction and will get your spirits lifted with a taste of Mos Eisley Star Wars Cantina Band performers
830 sign up for Cos-play categories
(absolutely free I want everyone dressed up!!!)
sign up for Light saber showdown ($5 entry fee)
A> Slave Leia Cos-play contest
B> Bounty hunter and Villains of Star Wars Splay contest
9pm first Cos-play contest will take place.
Let the Slave Leia's begin!
top slaves from separate groups of Leias will be picked for final end of the night showdown.
9:45pm First and Second Fire Spinning performance will take place
Spinners will be in light Costume and perform to either Star Wars original music or to Star Wars mash up, remix of some kind.
10:15pm Inside for Trivia 20-30 minutes of good time friends and family kind of vibe trying to figure out who among you is the biggest and most knowledge Star Wars junkie.
Winner will receive a loaded up prize pack including
Jedi Absinthe sure to get you to the Death star or anywhere in the Galaxy.
11pm Band performance
11:30pm Third and fourth fire spinning performance
12am Light saber showdown
Audience picked winner for making the best Light saber.
One that Yoda and Darth would fight for.
12:30am Bounty Hunter Villains Cos-play contest
Final judging for Slave Leia contest.
Very few selected vendors! so the best!
And Art from Artists from all over Central Florida, Florida and out of state will be available for sale and showing.
1:30 am Final winners picked for Bounty Hunter Villain cos-play and for Fire Spinners.
2am a grand finale Awards and prizes as well as a happy ending just like in the movies.
(minds out of the gutter, the Star Wars movies!)
Through out the night your senses will be entertained with alien creatures walking by and surprising you with alien talents and questions and trivia challenges.
Dancers will be around enjoying the Cantina vibes.
Fantasy characters will inspire you to travel to places in your mind that you have not navigated before.
Cos-player winners will be chosen in both categories
a first and second because lets face it no one remembers 3rd.
Prize packed goodies and small bottles of Jedi Absinthe will be given to those 21 and up. Prize packs minus Absinthe for those 18 and up.
Prizes for second will be small art work and goodies to still leave you smiling.Prizes for Fire Spinners will include discounts/gift cards for gear. Gift cards for shit you use! And large bottle of Jedi Absinthe to take you places.
Trivia question winners will receive bottles of
Wookie Lager
Death star and Imperial Stout
Yoda Ale
Prize packs for favorite Artist will be given Male and Female.
Photography opportunities
Dancers and so much more but for now that be your lineup. A Star Wars inspired: Art show, Cosplay Event, Fire spinning and Lightsaber extravagance laced with vendors and a few surprises.

8pm to Midnight. $10 at door. THE SCENE III Alternative Hip Hop Music & Art Festival. Venue 578 578 N Orange Ave, Orlando, Florida. THE LAST AND FINAL EVENT FOR 2015 (HOLIDAY EDITION TOY DRIVE).
Last event brought out more than 900 guests. Together we are building a movement. This is the new wave of Orlando Alternative Hip Hop Culture.
"The Scene" is an Awesome Interactive Art and Music event in Downtown Orlando that celebrates ALL elements of alternative Hip Hop. Featuring local bands - MC's - Spoken Word Artists - B-Boys/Girls and more, all under one roof with many entertaining surprises in between! Witness LIVE graffiti and art demo's on the patio from some of Central Florida's best artists! There will be over two dozen vendors and designers throughout the venue! Our goal for 'The Scene 2015' is to create consumer awareness in Orlando's Alternative Hip Hop scene. By connecting local bands and artists with local businesses, we help merge and familiarize each other's fan bases. Together we are a Cultural Marketplace.
Free Admission With Comp Ticket or $10 at the door
Get your tickets online:
MC's - BANDS - Spoken Word Artists
Graffiti Art - B-Boys/Girls
Tshirt and Merch Expo

Sunday December 20, 2015 
Noon to 2pm Donation. Community Color Therapy yoga class : 7 chakra series (Heart Chakra) Studio One 5250 International Dr, Ste D6, Orlando, Florida. This 3rd Sunday of December YogART will be hosting a donation based Color Therapy Yoga class for the community at Studio One inside of Artegon Marketplace.
This class is a continuation of our "7 Chakra Series" that focuses each class on an individual chakra: breaking down its color, meaning, location and function. This particular class will revolve around our fourth major energy point known as "The Heart Chakra" (Heart, Thymus Gland, Lungs, Circulatory System, Arms, Hands).
This is an ALL LEVELS class which incorporates stretching, breathing exercises and light yoga poses geared to balance and improve the aspects of your life correlating to the Heart Chakra.
Color Therapy glasses will also be provided for those who wish to experience the healing and restorative effects of color has on the mind and body. Green will be the primary focus for our Heart Chakra class, but you may wear any color you want to work with.
We also have a color wheel on our site that explains the benefit of each color (glasses) Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.
*Please bring a yoga mat*
Check out our lovely YogART instructor's website for more info on her, amazing recipes, and a variety of health based articles including yoga:
Any children who attend must be able to participate in the session quietly to respect the space of other guests. If your child is unable to partake without disruption we ask that you please refrain from bringing them.
Thank you! Namaste.
For more info contact us at:

Noon to 5pm. Ten10 Art Market. Ten 10 Brewing Company 1010 Virginia Dr, Orlando, Florida. a regularly scheduled business hosted Art Market. My thoughts were as follows: It would be...Visual Art-Centric like blank space was..(although I am down for whatever)..maybe one Sunday a month...start it in the the new to the trail...big parking lot for market & live local music (old vinyl spinning during day..set or two from local musicians mixed genres)..everybody promotes & pulls heads..permission from Alden Electric Supply (neighbor) enables tons of visitor parking..maybe get some interactive art stuff going..hopefully create a regular place to be outside & get together, surrounded by great: local art, music, food, & if that sounds like good times then..please join us! other interesting things...
Every 3rd Sunday

1pm to 3pm Free Yoga. Lake Eola Park, 195 N Rosalind Ave, Orlando, FL. Weekly. Near red Japanese pagoda.

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

Friday, December 18, 2015

Corsets and Cuties ring in the Holidays at The Venue.

Tonight at 9pm, Corsets and Cuties will be performed their Holiday Show at The Venue (511 Virginia Dr, Orlando, Florida). I went to the dress rehearsal, or should I say, undress rehearsal to get a sketch. This talented burlesque troop always delivers a unique combination of class and sass. Many of the routines are laugh out loud funny while other performers have golden voices that can belt out Broadway quality tunes.

A unique addition to the show this year was Serafina on the silks. She tested out the violet silks before the run through of the show. The distance from floor to ceiling is a bit shorter than she is used to, so she modified her routine to compensate. She does this death defying drop that caused one of the dancers to scream from the back of the theater. The silks caught her just inches before her skull crashed to the stage.

Every man knows what his woman really wants for Christmas, which is of course his junk in a box. This holiday favorite always delivers laughs. This routine might be followed by a song by a sexy Mrs. Claus, or another routine in which Mrs. Claus strips after having too much to drink. From the opening number to the grand finale this show packs in the surprises while delivering plenty of sexy holiday cheer.

Tickets are $18 at the door and as of the writing, the show isn't yet sold out so this might be your lucky day. The Venue's doors open at 9pm and the show starts at 10pm. If you arrive a bit early there are drinks available for purchase in the lobby.

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

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Rehearsal of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.

On January 9th, I went to a rehearsal of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra with Eric Jacobson Conducting. This was back when conductors were being consider to lead the Philharmonic into the future. of the five finalists selected in the international conductor search, this concert turned the most heads because Eric was selected as the Philharmonics new conductor.

The concert which occurred on Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 8 pm was entitled SCHEHERAZADE: A FANTASY PROGRAM. Wu Man performed on the pipa which is a a four-stringed Chinese musical folk instrument, Sometimes called the Chinese lute, the instrument has a pear-shaped wooden body with a varying number of frets ranging from 12 to 26.

The program consisted of DEBUSSY  Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun, JIPING  Concerto for Pipa and Orchestra, and RIMSKY-KORSAKOV  Sheherazade. Much of the rehearsal focused on the Concerto for Pipa and Orchestra. Wu Man performed on the pipa with a graceful flair. The sound is distinct and the music felt like an exchange of cultures between East and West, a bit like dueling banjos but with much more culture, style and lyricism.

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

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

SquareLando InstaShow Dropoff.

There's a NEW gallery in City Arts Factory, and some of Orlando's Best and Brightest are coming together to welcome its debut. The new "Pop Up Gallery" will host the "SquareLando InstaShow", where all pieces must have a square aspect ratio. There will be little square artworks, and BIG square artworks, but all will be available to purchase and take home THAT NIGHT! (December 17) Prices start as low as $5.00!

Jon GlassMan Gardner is curating this show and he asked me to submit a square sketch. This gallery is usually blocked off with a black curtain and the only other times I saw it used was as a greenroom for the dead at Dia de los Muertos and as an open area for some installation art. This past week some of the conduits were removed from a wall to open it up to hang art and track lighting was installed allowing for the spotlights of work soon to be hung on the walls.

Once I dropped off my sketch and filled out the paperwork, I decided to linger and watch the square art arrive. A demonic Mickey Mouse by Boy Kong looked particular appealing since it depicted the corporate Mouse I had on worked for. I noticed a Parker Sketch  painting, and three square print by Plinio Pinto. The prints were mounted on those deep hardboard stretchers and if was hard to pick out that they were prints. There was a strong showing of work by Full Sail instructors.

As I sketched, Jon related the story of how he got the nickname GlassMan. At one point his life was turned upside down when his wife left him. He was blindsided, but realized he hadn't been living the life he wanted the to live. He made a commitment to discover a new Orlando museum or arts venue every week. He soon realized that Orlando actually has a vibrant arts scene and he began creating once again. I bet Jon's work is some of the first local art I purchased. He makes wonderful glass magnets that have an intricate paint pattern that reminds me of aerial photography. Jon has recently started his own auto glass business. That keeps a steady paycheck coming in while allowing him plenty of time to create when the shop is slow. 

Rebecca Rose dropped off a piece. I assumed it would be one of her intricate sculpted silver rings, but it turned out to be an early etching that she had done.  In all I would say about six artists dropped off work in the time it took me to get the sketch done. It is kind of fun sitting still an getting a chance to see some of Orlando's best talent come to you. Rebecca will be exhibiting at the grand opening of the new Snap! Gallery in Downtown Orlando. I'm hoping to get a chance to sketch her at work in he silversmith studio before that opening.

Squarelando InstaShow opens Thursday December 17th from 5pm to 10pm at City Arts Factory (29 S Orange Ave, Orlando, Florida) as part of the Third Thursday gallery hop. Jon plans to put all the artwork on Instagram so if you miss the opening, you can browse the whole show on your phone. My Instagram handle is analogartist, so if to look me up, I'll share the hashtag , link or whatever.

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

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

ODD6 at Falcon Bar and Gallery.

Orlando Drink and Draw (ODD) ventures to a new bar each month to sample beers and sketch. There is no model fee and no instruction. This is just a chance to get out, meet fellow artists and draw. I'm hoping to sketch in Central Florida's best dive bars, so suggestions are always welcome. Mondays are usually slow event wise in Orlando so ODD usually happens on the First Monday of each Month. In December I changed the date to a Tuesday since Kirt and Maxine Earhard had a wedding ceremony on Monday. In their honor, January's ODD will be at Maxine's on Shine.

Melissa Marie was gracious about letting artists descend on The Falcon Bar and Gallery (819 E Tosh-0, Washington St, Orlando, FL) on December 8th. I never know how many artists will show up, I might sketch alone, or there could be up to a dozen artists who stop out. On route to the Falcon bar, I learned that Melissa Marie's sister, Anthea, had just died at the tender age of 32 from a pulmonary embolism.The message appeared in my Facebook news feed and then flickered off to show a more recent post. My heart goes out to Melissa and her family.

The bar was empty when I arrived around 6pm except for the bar tender. I ordered a cider and started sketching. An open mic night was scheduled to begin at 8pm so I hoped some of the stools would fill up by then. Brian OHalloran who has attended past ODD events stopped in. I told him the news about Melissa Marie's sister and then he did a black somber sketch of the Falcon Bar o his iPad. The only color in his sketch was the red candles which to him represented sacred funeral candles. My sketch, has a similar dark feeling. All the art on the walls was by local artists. The theme seemed to be pop culture, super heroes and manga. Perhaps there was no theme.

The bar tender was watching a show called Tosh-O on TV. There was an insanely long clip of a woman tweaking, so I sketched the gyrating butt on the screen. Another sine, sh shouted "gross! and I glanced at the tube to see a weight lifter vomiting as he lifted the dumb bells over his shoulders. I wished I hadn't looked up It seems a sad commentary on what Americans need to see to be entertained.

Brian and I chatted for a while after our sketches were done. I had missed a sketch opportunity he had given me a tip about. It was a candle light service at an angel statue for women who had lost children in childbirth or at a young age. He and his wife Maggie attended and he said it was one of the most emotional experiences he has ever had.

I had brought in a stack of paper for an ODD sketching concept I wanted to try out. I call it a $ketch Off. Artists face each other on bar stools and are given 5 minutes to sketch each other. Neither artist is posing, so it is a bit hectic and the results can be unexpected especially after a few drinks. Since there were just two artists, it was a chance to try it out. I switched to pence and paper since me tablet battery was low. Brian was game, and he worked on his iPad, although he said he was a bit intimidated at first. He is an architect, so people aren't his specialty. While doing the sketch, he laughed off his concerns, and the result is far more interesting than a realistic depiction. Asking people to pose for five minute is actually outside my comfort zone as well. I tend to usually keep my distance and watch a seen unfold from afar. At some galas and costumed events I should start asking people to pose so I can capture some quick close up sketches.

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

Monday, December 14, 2015

The In-Between Series where you can expect the unexpected.

The In-Between Series takes place every month on the Monday before each Third Thursday at The Gallery at Avalon Island (39 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando, Florida). Thad Anderson's Sextet performed in January 2015 to kick off the monthly series of New Music. When I hear sextet, I imagined classical musicians with violins, cellos and flutes. This sextet however was all about pure primal new age drumming. A large Critique computer screen was set up in front of the phalanx of drums to display the sheet music.

Ashley Equality Inguanta created an installation stage set that had a small porcelain Virgin Mary with a small vile of perfume or holy water, and rose pedals on the alter and floor. A small rug was set up in front of the alter so that anyone could kneel down if they wanted to. Unfortunately no one stopped at the alter long enough to be included in the sketch.

La Empanada Food Truck was parked in the alley next door, so there was plenty of good food available along with drinks from the Avalon Bar. Sketching to the drums beat loosened up my lines and made me throw washes down with much more vigor.

The next concert at The Gallery at Avalon Island will feature Chris Corsano and Bill Orcutt on Monday December 28th. The doors will open at 7pm and the concert will begin at 8pm. All ages are welcome. Click here to check out the event Facebook page for more information.

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

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Perfect Gift exposes raw human emotions for Christmas.

The Perfect Gift is written and directed by Winnie Wenglewick who also plays Stacia in the show. Winnie cut her teeth in theater at the Orlando Fringe for the first 10 years when it was still downtown. She moved to Denver Colorado, where this play is staged, and established Dangerous Theater in 2007. Although Winnie has just moved back to Orlando, she is keeping Dangerous Theater open in Denver. The Perfect Gift was first performed four years ago in Denver. In fact they have their own production of The Perfect Gift runring as well this season. If all goes according to plan, Winnie will be opening Dangerous Theater here in Orlando around Fairbanks and Edgewater in about March of 2016.

ME Theater (1300 La Quinta Drive Orlando FL) isn't easy to find among the stretch of warehouses. Look for the tall ME Dance flag. I slipped into the theater, a bit early to get a jump on the sketch. I considered sitting in the front row, but decided against it, since the front row would most certainly fill up. Christmas songs from all the quirky 60s animated films livened up the room. I found myself humming along as I sketched. When the house opened, only two patrons sat in the front row.

The play opened with Stacia and Winter (Thomas C. Taffinder) sitting on a park bench. Winter was a homeless man with a quirky sense of humor. Staciawho had shared sandwiches with winter  on more than a few occasions, recalled warm childhood memories of Christmas, but the holiday didn't hold the same magic now that she is an adult. The memories we incredibly funny and although there were as many people in the audience as on stage, we were laughing out loud throughout the show. Winter, though he had little, decided to invite Stacia to a holiday dinner with a friend under a bridge.

His friend was named Karma (Kim Stone). Also homeless, she was an avid Broncos fan, wearing a football jersey and a colorful tutu. Both Karma and Winter had imaginary friends, so the table had to be set for five. Karma had a childish charm about her as she related a story of a Christmas donkey who had very large ears. Conversation over the humble dinner turned to memories of loss and sadness. The "Guardian Angels" managed to bring some peace into the lives of Winter and Karma who had little to loose yet could still find pockets of happiness. We all could all use a guardian angel in a world that seldom plays out like A Wonderful Life.

The fellowship and friendship found under the bridge managed to shine a bright light on the true meaning of the holiday season far removed from the commercialism in the malls. Life, love, and loss are universal. This was a rare show that had humor laced with sadness. As we grow older material gifts aren't as important as having a close friend to share memories with. Being part of the small audience actually made the show more magical since our laughter was contagious and filled the room. I hope more people discover this holiday gem from a director who has just returned to make her mark in Orlando.

December 3rd - 20th
Thursday Friday and Saturday @ 8:00
Sunday @ 4:00
NO performances on 12/5 & 12/17

Tickets $20.00
$5.00 discount for students, seniors, military
and anyone wearing a Fringe Button from any year.

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

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The N Tunes performed at Maitland Art Center's Culture & Cocktails Summer Concert Series.

Art and History Museums (231 W Packwood Ave, Maitland, FL) has a Summer Concert Series as part of their monthly Culture and Cocktails event. This sketch of the N Tunes was done at the July 2014 event. When I arrived the band was still setting up the sound equipment. It was the golden hour, a time when the warm light gets more intense and orange as the sun sets. Large live oaks and palm trees kept the stage shaded, but a bright magenta stage light illuminated the stage. By the time the band started performing, the stage and background were blocked in with pencil.

As with most Culture and Cocktail events, there was also poetry being read across the street in the Mayan Courtyard. New art exhibits had also opened to the public. Although I would love to be everywhere at once, I have to limit myself to focusing one one thing a a time. Sketching takes time.

N Tunes website describes the band as "performing songs from Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Adele, Kanye West, Black Eyed Peas, Kid Rock and everything in between that’s currently topping the charts, this 5 piece powerhouse of a group lays it down with style. Having the N-Tunes perform at your venue or event is like having all of the current top 4Art the consummate party band. With a wealth of popular material to pull from, they can tailor their performance to meet your needs."

Finding information about the performers wass close to impossible. All I could find out online is that the lead singer is Natalie Wright.

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

Friday, December 11, 2015

Weekend Top 6 Picks for December 12th and 13th.

Saturday December 12, 2015.
 6:30pm to 9:30pm Free but get a bite eat. The Fine Art Nude by Doug Heslep: Shades 2.0. Maxine's on Shine 337 N Shine Ave, Orlando, Florida. SHADES 2.0 is an ENCORE presentation of '50 Shades of Black and White', my Central Florida debut exhibit this last April at Aloft Orlando! Come see what the HYPE was all about and spend the evening at your favorite neighborhood hang, Maxine's on Shine, while viewing a diverse selection from The Doug Heslep Fine Art Nude Collection! There will be live music from the awesome Justin Kangraga... with a complimentary wine tasting all evening from Coastal Wine and Spirits, featuring Kim Crawford Pinot Gris, jammy Brazin Zinfandel, plus a mystery selection... and simple hors d'oeuvres until 8pm.
If you also want to satisfy your palate from their unique dinner menu, reservations are recommended. Click the link... or call 407-647-6841.

8pm to 11pm  $25 Science Night Live! Craft Beer Edition. Featuring some exBEERiments like the science of craft beer and food pairing with Brown Distributing!
Join us for an evening reserved only for adults and enjoy everything you love about Orlando Science Center with grown-up-inspired programming. It's social, it's science, it's Science Night Live!
Orlando Science Center will be transformed into a bier garten oasis where guests will discover the perfect food and beer pairings from food partners and 10 craft brewers from around the country pouring samples of their finest brews. Discover different combinations that can enhance both the dining and drinking experience and change perceptions of beer's place at the table.
• Enjoy a presentation from our special guest speaker
• Delight in 20-30 minute "mini" craft beer seminars
• Sample craft beer from local and national distributors (nominal fee required)
• View stars and planets through the giant refractor telescope in the Crosby Observatory
• Conduct lab experiments in Dr. Dare's Laboratory
• Participate in Science Trivia
• Delight in food and adult beverages available for purchase
• General admission to Science Night Live is $15
• Adult Ticket + Craft Beer Sampling is $25*
• Members can enjoy Science Night Live for FREE
• Member Ticket + Craft Beer Sampling is $10*
Craft beer sampling includes 12 two-ounce pours and can be shared.
Limited tickets are available so purchase today at
No one under 21 admitted.

9:30pm to 11:30pm Free. “Violectric Holiday Show”. Walt Disney Amphitheatre at Lake Eola Park, 99 N Rosalind Avenue, Orlando, Florida. Central Florida’s Top Strings Rock Group Return to the Walt Disney Amphitheatre and Offer a Fun and Free Concert Featuring All Your Favorite Holiday Tunes with a Twist.

Sunday December 13, 2015. 
10am to 6:30pm Free. Grandma Party 2015! Stardust Video & Coffee, 1842 Winter Park Rd, Orlando, FL. It's time for another rad Grandma Party Bazaar! If you are looking for unique gifts from local artisans, live music or just a fun time, come see Grandma! Local, handmade, vintage, good music. 100% awesome. This year WPRK will be broadcasting live from the bazaar. DJ Nigel John will be spinning to start the day off right and there will be performances by Lavola, Summer Spiders, The Secret People, Timothy Eerie, Wet Nurse and Polylust! Grandma Party is you and me and all of us making it happen.

5pm to 8pm $10. Jingle BellaSutra Concert and Fundraiser. The South Lounge! Corner of Hampton Ave and 1U, Orlando, Florida.  Join us for a super fun night of BellaSutra music!
This is a concert and fundraiser to help us produce our first CD. Be part of the journey with us!
$10 at the door includes one delicious beverage.
Cash bar. Silent Auction. All your favorite peeps will be there.
Please park in the parking lot at First Unitarian Church, 1901 S. Robinson St. 32803.

7:30pm to 9:30pm Free. Beth McKee. The Timucua Arts white house 2000 S Summerlin Ave, Orlando, Florida. Beth will range her performance from solo to full band and will include special guests at this world class "House Concert" Venue. Artist Bethany Myers will be creating a live contour painting, onstage during the performance.

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

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Art of Medicine Gala at the Orlando Museum of Art.

Local physician Cindy LaRoe, wife to First GREEN Bank’s CEO, Ken LaRoe, was an avid cyclist until she crashed hard at a race. She recalled the day in some detail in a video presented at the Art of Medicine Gala at the Orlando Museum of Art, (2416 North Mills Avenue, Orlando, FL) on October 15th.  It was getting near the end of the ride when she let a group of young cyclists pass her. They swerved and crossed each others paths in ways that aren't allowed in a professional race. They got tangled together and went down hard right in front of Cindy. That is the last thing she remembered. Sadly, she suffered a traumatic brain injury that left her unable to work as a physician, which prompted her to focus on her passion for art. 

Ken recalled trying to find a good physician who could treat Cindy. The first physicians they faced were more interested in biking than in diagnosing Cindy's symptoms. The misdiagnosis and delay lead to Cindy's condition not getting treatment in time for a full recovery.  The accident encouraged Cindy to bring awareness to the brain injury community in Central Florida. The Art of Medicine Gala on October 15th benefited the Brain Injury Association of Florida which supports thousands of people who have found relief through the organization. 

Cindy's artwork was bright, bold and realistic with detail stripped a way. A large painting of Lance Armstrong tied in well with the theme of the evening. All of the artwork on display in the front gallery of the museum was by practicing physicians practicing physicians. It makes sense that physicians would have a taken for art.

I sketched the Jazz Fusion band performing in the museum's lobby. I recognized the saxophone player. The tall table I worked at turned out to also be right in front of the stage where Cindy and Ken spoke. Actually Cindy had no desire to speak in front of a crowd, but her quiet presence and her art inspired many to give to the cause. When the auction kicked off, I took that time to look at the art in the then empty gallery. Her work does stand out. He large canvases inspired me to want to work larger. Funds raised at the Gala will help the Brain Injury Association of Florida raise the $250,000 goal needed by June of 2016.

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

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Loves First Kiss.

Rusty Pliers returned to Stardust Video and Coffee (1842 E Winter Park Rd, Orlando, Fl) to read a short story entitled "Love's First Kiss" at an open mic night.  I worked with Rusty Pliers back when Disney Feature Animation created films the old school way with millions of drawings done by hand. A small army of artists were required to make the films. I'm fascinated at how the many talented artists re-invented themselves after animated films turned to computers rather than drawings. Rusty Pliers took up the pen an started writing. At the first reading he explained the his alias Rusty Pliers came from a sideline career as a porn star. There were some rusty pliers on the set and they were used in ways that are probably better left unsaid.

This second reading on Memorial Day was much softer and innocent, recalling his first love in high school. She loved horses and although he considered horses to be monstrous beasts, he told her that he adored horses to get close to her in the barn. Their first kiss was tender and sweet and it stirred feelings below the belt that he didn't expect. It was abruptly cut short by the girl's father however. The young pair drifted apart and never rekindled that moment.

Another author told a story that resonated for Memorial Day. She had a career in the military and was good at he job. She got married and was starting he new life. Her husband was in the military as well, and they were not always stationed together. Life was good, but then she got news that changed everything. She had Multiple Sclerosis and this would take away her mobility. She eventually got medical disability. She moved and open boxes lay everywhere. She didn't know what to do with the rest of her life.

What made he story so compelling is that she would occasionally stop reading and just relate her story from memory. The point of her story was that although her life was upended she needed to find a way to restore order. She started with a task that many overlook. She began organizing her spice rack in her apartment filled with unopened boxes. She cried as she worked, but with that one task done she could move on to the next. She was a brave veteran who had found a way to reinvent her life after all the structure and discipline of the military and she wouldn't let MS define her life. Clearly as a writer she had rediscovered a way to let her spirit sour.

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

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Dickens by Candlelight rehearsal.

This Dickens by Candlelight rehearsal took place at a gorgeous home in Belle Isle Florida. I almost wanted to sketch outside because large illuminated candy canes lined the walkway to the front door and every eave was lined with icicle lights. Only white lights illuminated the house which made the place feel like a refined crystal palace bed and breakfast.

Having been performed since 1997 at locations such as the the Dr. Phillips Center on Lake Ivanhoe, the Dr. Phillips Victorian Mansion, the Whispering Heaven Tea Room, and in private homes, it is once again returning to the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E Rollins St, Orlando, Florida. The interactive show providing theater-goers with a delightfully unique opportunity to experience A Christmas Carol the way it was intended to be told: as a Ghost Story.

The tale cleverly envelops the audience as the characters move through and around the guests who are seated at treat-laden tables. John DiDonna, Morgan Russell, and Monica Long Tamborello, three talented Orlando actors, portray all of the roles and artfully transform themselves from character to character and stave to stave. Seeing the tale told in a private home was perfect. John as the giddy transformed Scrooge hugged my bald head in delight. Since the show is small and intimate, you will find yourself very much a part of the story.

The best way to witness visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future is while enjoying homemade cookies and a pot of freshly-brewed hot tea. The cast and crew is often available before the show for a steaming cup of wassail and caroling. Opening Night this year includes a full dinner before the show. For tickets or more information, call 407-222-7669; or click to send an email request. To order by credit card, check out Orlando at Play.

Shows are December 11 - December 22.

Fri, December 11
Crachit Christmas Feast begins at 6:45 pm
Performance begins at 8:00 pm
Tickets $75
Sat, December 12, 8:00 pm 
Sun, December 13, 2:30pm  
Fri, December 18, 8:00 pm
Sat, December 19, 4:00 & 8:00 pm
Sun, December 20, 2:30 pm
Mon, December 21, 8:00 pm
Tue, December 22, 8:00 pm
All tickets for Traditional Performances $35
Group rates available
No refunds or exchanges
All performances at the
Lowndes Shakespeare Center
in the Patron’s Room
at Loch Haven Park
812 East Rollins Street
Orlando, Florida

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