Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Serafina's belly dance at Fringe.

Although Phantasmagoria didn't have a stage show, they were listed in the Fringe program as Bring Your Own Venue. On the first day of my Sketch Tour they seemed to be everywhere at once. While we were waiting in line for Grim and Fisher at the Rep Theater, Phantasmagoria swept into the lobby to entertain everyone waiting in line. For those who don't know, (where have you been) Phantasmagoria is a Gothic Steampunk storytelling group that blends dance, aerial work, fire performance and combat into the mix as they weave their horrific tales.

Serafina Schiano began an exotic belly dance. I agonized about how much time I might need to catch the dance. The line started to inch forward and I kept adding watercolor washes to the sketch as we moved towards the entrance. When Serafina was done, I followed her with my eyes to try and catch details of her costume. This is why some sketches can seem rushed and unfinished, because life and performance rushes by. It is a challenge to catch the flash of a moment. That is what makes sketching on location fun, exciting and challenging. Even if unfinished in my mind, I have to accept what I can accomplish in the time that I have and move on. That is a fair analogy to life in general.

The lobby of the Rep is always full of art by school children during Fringe. Most of the work is tight and struggling towards realism. None of the art seems rushed or hurried. This is the problem I have when painting digitally. Since it is all new to me I'm far to cautious and what results has too much polish. I've started carrying my tablet out on location with me but it is seldom used. In a dark theater, its glow would distract others and outside in the Florida sun the screen isn't bright enough.  I wish the screen were larger but the market trend it towards smaller tablets. It is like carrying a hot brick.

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

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