Friday, July 31, 2015

Weekend Top 6 Picks for August 1st and 2nd.

Saturday August 1, 2015
11am to 4pm Free. Family Day. Maitland Art Center 231 E Packwood Ave, Maitland, FL. Guests can enjoy free admission to the Maitland Art Center that day along with hands-on activities. Celebrate the opening of two new exhibitions at the Art and History’s Maitland Art Center with free admission on Saturday, August 1, and creative hand-on activities for the entire family. Paper Cuts: André Smith Collages and Color Theory both feature works from the permanent collection and will be displayed August 1 to September 20, 2015. The museum is currently featuring Cabinet of Curiosities, which looks deeper in to the A&H’s permanent collection of historical archives.
Regular admission to both museums is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and children, free for children less than three years old and free for Art and History members. August also kicks off the final two weeks of the A&H’s Summer Culture Camps.

11am to 2pm Free. Third Annual Open House. Orlando Shakespeare Theater, 812 East Rollins Street, Orlando, FL. The popular free event promises an afternoon of fun for the entire family. Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF kicks off its 27th Season with an Open House on Saturday, August 1, 2015. The family-friendly event is free to the public with ongoing activities inside the Theater. No RSVP required. Walk-ins welcome.
The third annual celebration includes crafts and coloring for the little ones, story time with costumed characters, creative demonstrations from the Theater’s production staff, and an Artistic Q&A Panel with Orlando Shakes artists.

8pm to 10pm Free. Shuffleboard at Orlando's Beardall Courts. Orlando's Beardall Courts 800 Delaney Ave Orlando FL. On the 1st Saturday of each month. Free fun! 

Sunday August 2, 2015
10am to 12:30pm  $10 Crealde Sketch Class. Crealdé School of Art, 600 St Andrews Blvd, Winter Park, FL. Life drawing from nude model. No instruction.

Noon to 3pm Free. Music at the Casa. Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, 656 North Park Avenue, Winter Park, FL. Violinist Amy Xaychaleune (Amy X.) received her Masters of Music Performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and her Bachelors at Florida State University. After returning from the UK, she has performed with the Evita Broadway Tour, Sting, and Adam Levine. She is currently performing in local orchestras (including Brevard Symphony and Orlando Philharmonic), Disney World (Mo'rockin, Harambe Nights, and Candlelight Processional), Universal Studios as a soloist (Diagon Alley/King's Cross Station), and with touring acts.

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

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, July 30, 2015

The Inaugeral Kerouac Project Open Mic Channeled the Beat Generation.

On February 27th there was a Kerouac Project Open Mic at the Gallery at Avalon Island (39 South Magnolia Ave, Orlando, Florida). This was the inaugural Kerouac Project Open Mic, with featured poets Frank Messina and Caitlin Doyle, and guest jazz pianist Per Danielsson.

Naomi Butterfield was the host for the evening.  She had on a bright yellow scarf as she read from Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums.  "Happy. Just in my swim shorts, barefooted, wild-haired, in the red fire dark, singing, swigging wine, spitting, jumping, running—that's the way to live.”

Writers were invited to take that line and run with it! Then bring your best was shared share with the Kerouacians. Others, like me just came to listen to some fine auditory vibes. The open mic sign-up sheet was out by 7:30, and each author had five minutes at the mic.

The pianist improvised as a poet read which gave the reading an added cinematic feel.  If only we had a soundtrack for the everyday moments of our lives. Listening to pop music while driving doesn't count as an inspired sound track. The Kerouac Project crowd are creative people who aren't afraid to live out loud.

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, July 29, 2015

The Writer's Block Bookstore features local talent in Winter Park.

The Writer's Block Bookstore, 124 Welbourne Avenue, Winter Park FL, was founded by Lauren Zimmerman. Lauren came to the opening of my exhibit at Winter Parks City Chambers, 401 South Park Avenue Winter Park, which  is still open to the public. At the opening she asked me to hang a piece in her bookstore. I had one framed print still in the studio, so I dropped that off at the bookstore. Lauren likes to sketch herself so she likes my quick sketches from life. I haven't been back to the bookstore since I dropped off the print. If anyone goes to the bookstore, let me know where the print is hung and how it looks in the space.

I was recently at a book signing and reading by Stacy Barton for her new novella, Lilly Harp at the Writer's Block Bookstore. Mark Your Calendar, on August 20th,  there will be Wine and Conversation with some of Central Florida's best authors from Borrow Press from 6pm to 8pm. Vanessa Blakeslee released Train Shots, released in 2014 by Borrow Press. The book won the IPPY Gold Metal in short fiction. In 2013 Vanessa won the Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature from the Florida Department of Cultural affairs.  Her debut novel Juventud is being released by Curbside Splendor Publishing in October of 2015. Other authors to meet that evening include Nathan Holic, author of the novel American Fraternity Man, and Pat Ruskin author of the feature length screenplay, The Zero Theorem which was directed by Terry Gilliam.

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, July 28, 2015

A power meeting at Panera's.

Kelly Medford, a plein air painter from Rome invited me to collaborate on an Orlando Sketch Tour. We decided to meet at Panera's which is on the North East corner of Lake Eola Park. We decided to hold the first Orlando Sketch Tour in Lake Eola. I got to Panera's early and decided to do a sketch of the business men meeting at the next table. The younger gentlemen were seeking funding for their start up company. They were discussing millions of dollars while Kelly and I discussed the most cost effective art supplies to purchase for anyone who came to our Orlando Sketch Tour workshops.

After meeting with Kelly, we both walked around Lake Eola to decide what sketch opportunities would work best for the weekend of the Sketch Tour. We considered places to go in case of rain as well.   About 10 people signed up for the Orlando Sketch Tour. Each person got their own supply kit with a sketchbook, pen and pencil, a watercolor kit and brush. These are all the supplies needed to create urban sketches. All the supplies came in a plastic zippered carrying bag that was water resistant.

On the day of the sketch tour, Kelly and I offered some fundamental drawing tips to get everyone warmed up. The participants then did a sketch of the Red Pagoda or Lake Eola. After that first sketch, it began to rain, so we moved into a sports bar on Lake Eola's South shore and then Panera's to continue working indoors. It was inside where we introduced everyone to their watercolor kit. Everyone made a color wheel and a chart showing a light wash and darker pigmented wash for each color. Then everyone created a complete sketch of the interior.

On the second day of the Orlando Sketch Tour, I invited my Elite Animation Academy students to join us. Once again, rain chased us inside and students recorded the atmosphere inside the restaurant. For those who attended, it was a great chance to sketch the drama that always unfolds in everyday events. The key is to look, listen and pay attention. In this digital age there are so many distractions that divert our attention from the amazing things happening all around us.

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, July 27, 2015

My Urban Sketching class gets students sketching everyday events.

I have been teaching an Urban Sketching course at Elite Animation Academy, 8933 Conroy Windermere Rd, Orlando, FL.  My goal is to get kids out of the classroom and sketching in the community. I start by teaching a few drawing fundamentals to see where my students stand. When l feel they are ready, we head out to find subjects in the neighborhood. In this case, we went to Jeremiah's Ice, 4750 The Grove Drive Windermere FL. The challenge with this scene was that the line is constantly moving. The advantage was that there was always a line. In class we had worked on a series of quick five minute poses which hopefully helped get them ready for sketching from life on location.

The student I put in the foreground of my sketch seemed very tentative in class, but once he started sketching on location he worked with a bold confident line. I missed the mark a bit in my sketch because the person at the front of the line looks like he is facing the wall rather than facing the woman taking his order. I am happy to have caught the mom's gesture as she guided her son up to the window.

Yesterday, Terry and I went to see Inside Out at the West Orange Theater, 1575 Maguire Rd #109, Ocoee, FL. There are always campy local ads running right until show time. An ad for Elite Animation appeared on the big screen. I was pleasantly surprised to see myself in a quick 2 second shot within the promo. I've seen my drawings appear many times on the big screen but this was the only time I had ever appeared on a big screen. Terry was getting popcorn so she didn't see my on screen debut. I can't let it go to my head. Just in case, I'll start writing an Oscar acceptance speech. Oh, and be sure to see Inside Out in theaters now. Pixar has hit another home run. I gave it 10 out of 10 Joys.

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, July 26, 2015

The Cardboard Art Festival is bigger than ever.

The Daily City 3rd Annual Cardboard Art Festival moves from the Mills/50 Orange Studio to a retail storefront South of Downtown Orlando (SODO). It is in the Sodo Shopping Center, at 45 W. Crystal Lake Street, store #117, Orlando, FL on the same side as TJ Maxx, across from Gator's Dockside which just opened this past Wednesday. I went to sketch the media preview event and immediately decided to sit below Doug Rhodehamel's huge cardboard submarine. A blue wave animated bulb illuminated the $4,000 sub which was accompanied by a small school of $40 to $60 deep sea fish. One of the fish sold immediately and Doug asked me to help him get an orange (sold) sticker on the fish label. We both stretched diligently on tip toe to get the job done. Doug is about to start a series of cardboard sculptures of Star Wars space craft. He explained that the walker would be about 5 to 6 feet high so that it would be eye level. When I asked how big the cardboard Death Star would be, he said he would consider a collaboration with Planet Hollywood to re-make their globe.

Cardboard twin towers brought back memories of the horrific events of 9/11.  On the back wall, a huge cardboard mural by German Lemus showed a human heart surrounded by howling wolves, clenched fists, a ram and police in riot gear. I was sitting in front of paintings on cardboard of western landscapes by Timothy Thomas. He was born in Connecticut and raised in Maine where he studied film at Rockport College. He now lives in Orlando, FL with his wife Tina. Since I was painting, I kept being asked if I was the artist. First they would point at Timothy's work and when I said, "nope" they would assume I was Doug since I was sitting near his submarine. All of the cardboard props from this year's Fringe hit show, Robyn Da Hood: a Rap Musical were on display. You can pose in the golden carriage or on horse back. Artist Brendan O'Connor  who runs The Bungalower, struggled to lift the hammer of Thor.

I spoke with Banjo Bob who is best known for his hardboard T-Rex skulls.  He had some skulls on display, but even more impressive was a fully automated cardboard telescope he had created. He wrote a program for a cell phone that would allow a user to move the telescopes position. An image from the telescope was then visible on the phone. The program even allowed the telescope to automatically track a star. Since the earth is rotating the telescope would keep adjusting motors to keep the star in sight. He fabricated the cardboard parts at FACTURE  (520 Virginia Drive Orlando FL) a non-profit maker space here in Orlando. The collaborative space is part workshop, wood shop, metal working, crafts, and fabrication laboratory. I have to get over there to sketch. It sounds amazing.

Today, Sunday July 26 the daytime Cardboard Festival Gallery hours, with a suggested $5 donation, are from Noon-5pm. From 1-3pm Kids Fringe will host a Cardboard Matinee ($1 per kid). Kids aren't the only ones who get to play. There is an interactive cardboard creation corner where anyone can create a cardboard masterpiece.

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, July 25, 2015

Phantasmagoria gets even better with age.

Phantasmagoria Orlando and DiDonna Productions, present the first ever “Tour Version” of the Critically Acclaimed Victorian Horror Troupe, featuring the “BEST of” the Last Five Years of Phantasmagoria.

Phantasmagoria “Wicked Little Tales” will have a limited engagement weekend of only 3 performances at the Mandell Theater of the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center, July 24th, 25th, and 26th before leaving for its first ever Atlanta Performances. Performances are Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 8:00pm.

I went to a dress rehearsal in the Mandell Theater. John told me that the theater had sat quiet for several months with only the ghost light illuminating center stage. A popular theater superstition, every theater has a ghost, and a ghost light is meant to appease the ghosts. The theater had been struck by lightning and the theater was black when Phantasmagoria arrived. At that first rehearsal, the speakers died for no apparent reason. As the actors warmed up on stage, one said, "That ghost is a jerk." Another replied, "Yes, especially with the speakers."

At this dress rehearsal the ghosts gave the performers free reign. During the pre-show the entire cast stood on stage frozen while video of past performances was projected behind them. Each character was introduced in turn in mysterious oozing credits. Two macabre clowns performed among the frozen cast until one was stabbed by accident which animated the troupe as they moved towards the blood.. The ring master standing on a box shouted out with glorious aplomb that the show had begun.  In the opening tale, the cast moved towards the audience menacingly, even climbing over chairs to get face to face. The fourth wall was broken and I was unnerved as the beautiful Aurora (Kim Hough) almost touched my neck as if she were ready to take my life.

Edger Allen Poe's "The Raven" started off the tales of horror. A beautiful animation of black wings in flight made a perfect back drop for an actress whose out stretched arms and bird like mannerisms complimented the motion. Another tale from a far continent had haunting hints of voodoo and impending death. "Captain Murderer" was told with a fiendish sense of humor. John DiDonna, playing the Captain played the part over the top which offered much needed laughter. This delightful humor saturated the entire show. The actors are so seasoned that they understand that there is a tongue in cheek humor in even the darkest tale. Other tales included “Varney the Vampire" and "The Feast of Blood".

The young Pandora (Gina Markarova) naively asked to hear the tale of Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky”. One a tale is begun it must be finished. Alice (Sara Costello) had to be protected from the beast and then she defended herself with a shield and sword. As in Jumangi, the fierce Jabberwocky burst to life threatening the lives of everyone in the cast. Puppetry brought the creature to life and everyone defended themselves with knives and swords. At this rehearsal the fight was run at a quarter speed and still the sharp blades seemed to fly far too close to flesh. This touring edition of Phantasmagoria combines humor and horror in a steampunk, goth production that shines.

Ticket prices are $15.00 for students and $20.00 for general admission with a $5.00 per ticket add on for VIP guests. Phantasmagoria "Wicked Little Tales" remaining shows are July 25-26 at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 E Rollins St, Orlando, Florida) it then goes to Atlanta Georgia on July 31 to August 2.

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, July 24, 2015

Weekend Top 6 Picks for July 25th and 26th.

Saturday July 25, 2015
8:30am to 4pm Free. National Dance Day. Cultural Park (lawn in front of the Loch Haven Neighborhood Center). This year’s event will encourage families and friends to begin the morning of July 25 at the NDDO Community Celebration, located at Cultural Park, to participate in exercises, dance routines, and performances by Central Florida dance professionals.  Within walking distance of the park is the Orlando Ballet Central Campus where 30 free specialized dance classes will be offered throughout the day to ages 3-100, including special needs movement classes.  Central Florida dance company directors, choreographers, and fitness instructors will share different styles of dance through body conditioning, dance technique, and choreography at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.  NDDO desires to bring educational, community-driven dance opportunities to non-dancers and dancers alike! All red items are dance sessions we can sketch.
8:30am - Holly Harris - NDDO Opening Address / Introduce Elisa
8:35am -  Elisa DeFoe - Stretch/Cardio Workout
NDD Routine #1
9:00am -  Holly Harris - Share NDDO Details, Pump Up Crowd for Filming / Introduce Myles
9:05am -  Myles Thoroughgood - Teach Beginner NDD Routine to the Community
9:25am -  Announcements from Center for Contemporary Dance
Stage Performances 
9:30am -  Red Bull BC One - breakdancing
9:35am -  Moore Dance Project - contemporary
9:40am -  Dr. Phillips Center - jazz
9:45am -  Emotions Dance - contemporary
9:50am -  Adam Boreland - contemporary ballet
NDD Routine #2
9:55am -  Holly Harris - Share details about Red Bull BC One, Pump Up Crowd for Filming / Introduce Ellie
10:00am -  Ellie Potts Barrett - Teach 2nd NDDO Routine to the Community
10:25am -  Announcements from Orlando Ballet
Stage Performances 
10:30am -  Clarissa Crox Turner and the Squad - hip-hop
10:35am -  Dawn Branch Works - modern
10:40am -  DG’s Afro-Latin Dance Project - latin
10:45am -  Orlando Ballet - ballet (piece #1)
10:45am -  Orlando Ballet - ballet (piece #2)
10:50am -  Holly Harris - Closing Remarks
NDDO Free Dance Classes at Orlando Ballet School Central Campus
July 25 - 8AM-4PM
2201 McRae Ave. 
Orlando, FL 32803
Beginning Ballet
Intermediate/Advanced Ballet
Beginning Modern (upstairs)

Beginning Hip Hop
Intermediate/Advanced Hip Hop
Intermediate/Advanced Modern (upstairs)

Beginning Contemporary
Intermediate/Advanced Contemporary
Beginning Breakdance/Street Dance (upstairs)

Modern Latin
Beginning Broadway Jazz
Intermediate/Advanced Broadway Jazz (upstairs)

Dance Fitness
Stretch and Recovery

8:30am to 4pm Free. World Wide SketchCrawl 48. Cultural Park (Lawn in front of the Neighborhood Center) 610 N. Lake Formosa Drive Orlando FL 32803. The Orlando SketchCrawl falls on National Dance Day. Artists should meet in Cultural Park in the morning. Text me (Thor) when you arrive so I can be sure you find the group. (407) 760-2813. See NDD above for the day's schedule of sketch opportunities.
6pm to 8pm Free. Brewery Tour. Orlando Brewing, 1301 Atlanta Ave, Orlando, FL.

8pm $20 Phantasmagoria "Wicked Little Tales". The John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center
Mandell Theater (Loch Haven Park – Orlando, Florida on the corner of 1792 and Princeton).
The critically acclaimed Victorian Horror Troupe PHANTASMAGORIA, in collaboration with DiDonna Productions, will premiere its new touring show, with a limited engagement July 24, 25 and 26.
General Admission $20.00 / Student $15.00 / $5.00 per ticket VIP add on
For will call/cash only at door please call 407.328.9005

Sunday July 26, 2015
Noon- 5:00pm Suggested $5 donation. Cardboard Art Festival. Inside the Sodo Shopping Center
at 45 W. Crystal Lake Street, store #117, Orlando, FL 32806 (same side as TJ Maxx, across from Gator's)

Cardboard is something we pack up, ship off or store away. But did you know it's one of the most-loved mediums to work in for artists all over the world? will celebrate cardboard art for the third year in a row with four days of parties, kids events, and open gallery hours inside an empty storefront in Orlando, Florida. Kids Fringe Cardboard Matinee  1:00pm- 3:00pm $1 per kid to participate.

10am to Noon Free. Super Joy Riders. Eastern entrance of the Lake Eola Farmers’ Market. Participants dress as superheroes and ride en masse around the city as they check off their scavenger hunt-like list of Do Gooder Duties; collecting litter, helping senior citizens cross the road, returning shopping carts, basically performing small acts of kindness for an hour and a half of hilarity and love. The Super Joy Riders: Do Gooder Bike Ride is an exercise in community organizing and active engagement. We hope to use the ride as an opportunity to show how helping people can be simple, fun, and easy, especially while wearing a cape.
You + Superhero Costume + Bike = Best Sunday Ever
1pm to 3pm Free. Yoga. Lake Eola Park, 195 N Rosalind Ave, Orlando, FL. Weekly at the East end of the park near the Red Pagoda.

8pm $20 Phantasmagoria "Wicked Little Tales". The John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center
Mandell Theater (Loch Haven Park – Orlando, Florida on the corner of 1792 and Princeton).
The critically acclaimed Victorian Horror Troupe PHANTASMAGORIA, in collaboration with DiDonna Productions, will premiere its new touring show, with a limited engagement. Sunday night July 26th is the last show in Orlando.
General Admission $20.00 / Student $15.00 / $5.00 per ticket VIP add on
For will call/cash only at door please call 407.328.9005

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, July 23, 2015

Renningers is always packed with visual surprises.

I spent one day on the weekend exploring Renningers with the antiquing crew. In February vendors come from all around the country to set up booths on the grassy hillsides around Mount Dora. As everyone was exploring the indoor booths, I set off on my own to sketch a giant swordfish I had seen earlier in the day. The fish was the focal point for Florida Victorian Architectural Salvage and Antiques from Deland Florida. As I was sketching I noticed a woman with long flowing hair having her picture taken with the giant alligator. I tried to get her in the sketch but she moved on to quickly. Later as she was taking cell phone pictures of the World of Oddities Side show banners, I managed to catch her.

As she and her friend exited the booth they approached me curious about why I would sit in the middle of a huge Flea Market. Donna Lee Gauntlet introduced herself. It turned out that she is an artist herself and she was in Mount Dora on a "Girls Art Weekend". Donna told me about how sketching every day in her art journal helped her get through a difficult time. In essence art saved her life. Both her parents were artists and she felt like she didn't live up to their standards as a child first learning art. Later in her life however the habit of sketching every day took hold. Her art studio is called The Dizzy Dandelion Studio. She offers a program called "Just Drawing It Out" which teaches people to connect to their creativity using art journals. She offers prompts that ask the students to draw specific objects together in a scene. Donna is working on a book right now that uses her sketches and copy to share her joy at having discovered an artists lifestyle. Her sketches are vibrant, playful and often full of joy. Donna runs art therapy workshops with retirement home residents. She uses art and laughter as healing tools. That lead me to tell her about my sketching collaboration where I sketched elderly residents as an an author interviewed them.

Later that evening as the sun set, Elaine took us all to Heron Cay bed and breakfast. We weren't staying here, but Elaine wanted to show us all the highwaymen paintings that were hanging in the old Victorian home. There were indeed paintings everywhere in the gorgeously ornate interior. Paintings lined the stairway, so I followed our crew upstairs. A bedroom door was open at the top of the stairs and I heard Terry inside saying "My husband is an artist too." I had to poke my head in, and there was Donna lounging on a four poster bed with several of her girl friends sketching in their art journals. They asked to see my sketch from earlier in the day, and for once I wasn't carrying my art bag. I ran down to the car to get it and then found the front door locked when I tried to get back in. Another guest on the porch eventually let me in. Back upstairs as they flipped through my sketchbook I thought about what a great sketch I could do in this ornate room. The wallpaper had blood red floral patterns and all the furniture was dark ornately carved wood. I wanted to linger (sketch) but downstairs Elaine told Terry that they would leave without me if I didn't hurry up. Upstairs, we took a couple of photos and then I rushed off to get dinner in Downtown Mount Dora. The moon was so bright that night as it shimmered above Lake Dora.

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, July 22, 2015

The annual Renningers antiquing outing.

Every year, Terry's friends Elaine Pasekoff and Bob Newlen come to Central Florida for a Renningers Antiques shopping extravaganza. Elaine drove up from Miami and Bob flew in from Washington DC. Bob has a very responsible job at the Library of Congress, but when he gets to Florida he is all fun. When I got home from work, I found Bob asleep on the couch. He must have had an exhausting flight.

Terry was busy preparing dinner for our guests and Elaine kept her company as they caught up. There is always plenty of laughter when this crew gets together. After dinner, Bob went down to Sand Lake Road to stay in a brand new hotel that opened just last year. We dropped him off and peeked at his suite. He was living like a sultan rather than slumming it on our couch or guest bedroom.

Terry, Elaine and Bob drove up to Renningers in Mount Dora the next day. The intended to shop until they dropped all weekend. I had a class to teach, so I had a pass the first day. I drove up that night and we all sat on the porch of the Mount Dora Inn for a show and tell session. Everyone had a pile of loot and I got to play judge deciding what was the most unique, quirky and beautiful in the lot.I would make up a new category if an item called for it. I particularly liked a travel booklet for Cuba from the 1950s. That Elaine had picked up. There was an ad inside for Cuba's only Jewish Deli.

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, July 21, 2015

College Park's Arts Scene.

Frankie Messina organized an arts collaboration where artists could exhibit their work at a business in College Park each month. I placed the event on my sketch opportunity calendar and then set it to repeat each month. Many months went by and I wasn’t able to get out to sketch. Finally I made it out to do a sketch but I didn’t find any artists. I decided to just sketch the flamingo mural that was on the side of a bike store. I like the architecture of the stores on this corner. It turned out that the art event I was hoping to sketch had long since run its course and died away due to lack of interest. This seems true of most arts events in town, a spark becomes a flame and then dies out in isolated venues around Central Florida and then fades away. The trick for me is to sketch these events while they burn bright.I missed the sketch opportunity this time around, but got to enjoy sketching as the sun set behind the Edgewater Drive retail stores to the west.

There is an art gallery on Edgewater Drive that carries paintings by "Paint the Trail". I've never gone inside the gallery, but I always notice the portrait of Salvador Dali with the quote "Mad About Art" as I drive by. Once a month or so, Terry and I bring Zorro to a parrot gathering at Albert Park in College Park hosted by Parrot Adventures. These outings are when I enjoy street dining with plenty of parrots.

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, July 20, 2015

The First Orlando Drink and Draw was a success.

Usually Mondays are rather slow in terms of events in Orlando. Because of this, I've decided to host my own event on the first Monday of each month. Orlando Drink and Draw (ODD) will venture 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. Feel free to invite any artists who love to drink, draw, or both!

The first Orlando Drink and Draw was held at Taverna Opa, 9101 International Drive Suite Number: 2240
2nd Level of Pointe Orlando Orlando, Florida. I focused my attention on the bar which has a daily happy hour from 3pm to 6pm. I ordered a Greek Beer called Alfa. It is sharp to the taste at first but is quite drinkable. Part of my hope is that I will refine my taste in beers at these ODD events, but I am a neophyte when it comes to beer tasting. I should have downed the first beer quickly since it was happy hour and I could have gotten a second beer for free. I sipped my drink as I drew as usual and ended up having to pay for a second drink. Live and learn. I also ordered a Humus which was rich with garlic and served in a wooden pedestal with a mortar to crush the chick peas. The humus wasn't a thin paste, but thick and crunchy. I liked it that way.

Urban sketcher Gay Geiger stopped in as I was finishing the first sketch.  She also ordered an Alfa and drew a view of the dining area. Gay had been to a Taverna Opa in Tampa, so she knew of the dancing celebration to come. Starting at 7pm, a beautiful belly dancer started dancing on the tables. Children loved climbing on the tables with her and napkins were thrown in the air as confetti. The setting sun lit up the storm clouds a bright orange on the western horizon which could be glimpsed through the restaurant windows. Gay did a sketch of the Alfa beer which loosened up our line work.

Bar staff kept stopping by to check our progress. It became clear that, "Where are you from?" was part of their everyday tourist interaction script. I found out that one waitress, Amber Rose Brantley, is a musician that performs on Sundays at Fiddler's Green on Fairbanks, so that is a future sketch opportunity. That is what makes these ODD outings so exciting. There is so much hidden talent in Orlando and as an artist I seek that talent out. I now define success as, drinking, drawing and meeting fellow artists. "You don't have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great."

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, July 19, 2015

Local author Stacy Barton reads from her new novella.

On July 2nd, I went to Writer's Block Bookstore, 124 Welbuorne Avenue Winter Park FL, to go to a book signing and reading by local author Stacy Barton of her new novella Lilly Harp. The bookstore owner, Lauren Zimmerman had been at the opening of my exhibit in the Winter Park Chambers and she had asked me to bring a framed print to her store to hang in the hallway. Lauren wasn't at the book signing but I left the print tucked safely away in a back reading room. The bookstore feels much like an intimate home with multiple book lined bedrooms where you can stop linger and read in comfy chairs.

Stacy's book Lilly Harp is set on a small Florida island only accessible by boat. Her protagonist is a young female art student returning to the island. Rich enveloping deep rooted mangroves welcome the artist who has found out she is pregnant. I first heard Stacy read from a draft of the book several years ago at Infusion tea. This story has gestated for quite some time. Stacy explained that she had shopped it around to many of the large publishers but they don't get the notion of a novella. She ultimately went with Word Farm Press the publisher of her book of short stories, Surviving Nashville.

At the book signing, I got to meet Stacy's daughter Meredith Lynelle Barton who is a dancer and a visual artist from Miami. That is a rare combination of talents. She asked about my art supplies, so perhaps she will branch out and start sketching her own life events. I can vouch for the fact that sketching dance rehearsals offers limitless subject matter. 

It turned out that I sketched multiple generations of Stacy's family at the reading including Gail, Stacy's daughter in law, just by chance. In my sketch, not everyone is facing Stacy, but that is just because I sketched them in the moments before and after the reading. Trust me, you could hear a pin drop while Stacy was reading. The only person I didn't sketch was Stacy's husband Todd, who was deep in conversation right beside me most of the time. He had read aloud to Stacy the first seven chapters of her book while they relaxed at home. I can't think of a more romantic sign of love and support than that. Lilly Harp is available locally at Writer's Block Bookstore and Bookmark It, in East End Market 3201 Corrine Drive, Suite 109 Orlando, FL. This is clearly a book with heart felt character development and a lush Florida setting. I highly suggest you pick up a copy for 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

Saturday, July 18, 2015

#txtsmall challenged the audience to think and create as one.

Fringe tech rehearsals were in full swing when performance artist Brian Feldman returned to Orlando from Washington, D.C. to do a performance of "#txtsmall" a new variation of his "txt" show. The performance took place in the home of Carl F. Gauze. Carl has written and produced many Fringe productions, so he understands the need for a good set and production values. He set an antique desk on top of a wooden stage he made for the performance. Tiki gods and lava lamps set the scene while a disco ball was the cherry on the ice cream sundae.

"txt" was first performed in 2009 at the Kerouac House. The premise is simple: Everyone in the audience logs in to an anonymous account on Twitter. invited to an account on twitter. The audience tweets and Brian reads them all aloud. This has become Brian's signature performance and shows continue in DC. At one show in DC, every Sunday night. At one show the audience began to work together -unprompted-constructing a storyline. It was a magical, unexpected collaborative effort and Brian hoped that the Orlando show might duplicate that magic.

"#txtsmall" had an audience of six gathered in Carl's living room. There were isolated instances when a storyline began to form involving monkeys, but like most "txt" performances, chaos and mad improvised thoughts took over. Genevieve Bernard tweeted stage directions asking Brian to dance like a lava lamp. He got up, stood at the front of the stage and moved with a liquid oozing flow.

After the show, Brian told us about a new performance he will premiere at Capital Fringe in Washington, D.C. called Dishwasher. At a mutually agreed upon time, he will go to the ticket buyer's home, wash the dirty dishes in their sink and, once completed, cold read any monologue he is assigned. As the show description states, "Is he a better actor or dishwasher? You decide." Brian's first job was as a child actor in a production with Orlando Shakespeare Theater, his second job was as a dishwasher. This production should decide once and for all which career path he is destined to follow. If you happen to be in D.C. right now, I would have suggested you get a ticket. However the 18 show run is completely sold out.

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, July 17, 2015

Weekend Top 6 Picks for July 18th and 19th.

Saturday July 18, 2015
3pm to 7pm Free.  Cruisin' Downtown DeLand Car Show! East Indiana Ave Downtown DeLand, FL.  Classic cars & rods.  Live DJ, giveaways, shopping & dining. Fun for the family! Every 3rd Saturday night!
INFO: & for showing your car 386-738-0649

5pm to 11pm Free. Apartment E Frankie Presents: LEFTOVERS. The Current Galleries 116 E.1st Street Historic Downtown Sanford FL. Assembled junk art finished forgotten projects poems songs & other stuff Fine Artist Applications upon requests @ or private message on FB. Seeking sponsors (low rates) for program books,and all promo materials,great exposure for all. Excellent networking event for you, your friends, and your business.Good people in a great space creating magic, moving forward. Diverse crowd,edgy installations,intimate performances,and quality times.Real as real can get. All styles and disciplines are welcome. Direct all questions to Apartment E. Hope to see all there. Spread the word, and we can not wait to see your "Leftovers" completed and presented with pride!

6pm to 9pm Free. Art Reception - Imaginarium: The Circus of Whimsy. Chapman Leonard Studios LIVE 9460 Delegates Dr Suite 100, Orlando, Florida. The event is free, open to the public, and there will be light refreshments. The artists on display are Jaime Torraco (Kittens of Industry), Eric Frost, Megan Steward, Kelly Berry, Unladylike, Shelley Overton, Erika Suzannah Avery, Margie Forestier, Adrienne Nicole, and Franklin Reyes.
For this installment of Imaginarium we celebrate the imagination of the creative mind in its most purest form with nine very talented local artists displaying their vibrant and creative artwork at the Chapman Leonard Studios located in Orlando Central Park. This group of artists is a mixture of established and emerging individuals that are a vital part of the Central Florida arts community. Their debut at Chapman/Leonard Studios brings them to a fresh set of eyes.
“Put your top hats on and take a ride with us through this whimsical romp of playful, psychedelic, and thought provoking creations by some of your favorite local artists. Awe and wonder will abound as you observe this collection of eclectic specimens of uninhibited imagination. Keep your hands and legs flailing wildly at all times, feed the animals rainbow gummy bears, and enjoy the trip.” – The Ringmaster
Chapman/ Leonard Studios are an award winning manufacturer of camera support equipment for motion picture and television productions worldwide. The equipment manufacturer is based out of their state of the art sound stages and production facilities. The local artists’ work may be viewed during normal business hours by appointment with an Arts Hub Org Representative.
For more information, please contact Jason L Lee of the Arts Hub Organization, LLC. The Arts Hub Organization strives to enrich communities by providing curatorial services for commercial & residential spaces; event organization & production; and promotion of artists, events, & venues. You may contact Jason L Lee at 321-695-8266 or via email at

Sunday July 19, 2015
1pm to 3pm Free. Yoga. Bring your own mat. Lake Eola Park, 195 N Rosalind Ave, Orlando, FL. 0n the east end of the park near the Red Pagoda. Every Week.

5pm to 9pm Free but get some food. Orlando Food Truck Bazaar. Orlando Fashion Square, 3201 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL.

9pm to 11pm Free but get a coffee. Solo Acoustic Spoken Word. Natura Coffee & Tea, 12078 Collegiate Way, Orlando, FL. 407 482-5000.

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, July 16, 2015

Aida splashes onto the Dr. Phillips Center stage.

Encore! Cast Performing Arts presents Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts  (155 East Anderson Street Orlando FL). Alice Ramadan from the Dr. Phillips center had invited me to sketch the dress rehearsal on July 14th. More than 160 cast, chorus and orchestra appear on stage. Juan Torres the shows production manager welcomed me when I got to the Disney Theater. Tech was still in full swing with stage hands checking lights and sound. At the security check some core cast were taking a break since they had been rehearsing all day. I realized that the actresses who signed out were slave girls in the show.

The chorus entered the theater and entered the theater filling up the front rows. They looked around in amazement at the new theater and took selfies to prove they were there. This was the first time everyone had a chance to experience the space and perform on the set. Alice got on stage and welcomed everyone. which caused enthusiastic whoop from the huge chorus! She thanked everyone for believing in the arts center and she got choked up as she told us it was our theater now. Her love for the place could soften any heart.

There were a few sound problems that stopped the rehearsal at several points. All the core cast had microphone headsets and they didn't always work but that is why there are rehearsals, to work out the kinks. When Aida's mic needed to be adjusted, she had to lean forward while a stage hand adjusted the electronics at her hips. Some of the chorus laughed since her pose was rather provocative. She heard this and coyly rotated her hips and arched her back which heightened the irony and soon everyone was laughing.

At the Nile’s edge, the enslaved Nubian princess, Aida (Jerusha Cavazos) becomes romantically entangled with the Egyptian captain, Radames (Natale Pirrotta), who is betrothed to the Pharaoh’s daughter, Amneris (Hannah Berry Matthews). As their forbidden love grows deeper, Aida is forced to find balance between her heart’s yearning for Radames, and her responsibility to lead her people.  Aida and Radames's love for one another becomes a shining example of true devotion that ultimately transcends the vast cultural differences between their warring nations, heralding a time of unprecedented peace and prosperity. Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida is a timeless love story, featuring an award-winning pop/rock score from the seasoned pop duo who brought musical life to Disney’s The Lion King. Rousing rock numbers and heart-wrenching ballads bring the ill-fated lovers into a new era.

I've seen one other production of Aida, so I knew the music and story. I love many of the musical numbers in this show so I was swaying to the beats while I sketched. Having this many voices singing gives the show a power I hadn't experienced before. Amneris's song "My Strongest Suit" is a hilarious take on living a life of fashion and splendor. It is clearly an ironic look at spoiled Hollywood brats of today and the digital age's superficial fixation on youth and fashion. It is the shows "Sex in the City" fashion runway moment. Despite having it all there is a yearning for connection that fashion doesn't provide. The show is entertaining and often inspired.

Mark Your Calendar!
The final performance of Aida is tonight, Thursday, July 16, 2015.
Show time is 7:30 PM.
Tickets start at $33.75

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, July 15, 2015

Good Soldier explores the disturbing memories of a war veteran.

I contacted director Carol Jacqueline Palumbo to sketch a rehearsal of Good Soldier, written by Tony Pelham. Jonathan Raffoul plays the part of the good soldier as he relates the memories and horrors of war. Carol confided, that at the audition, she knew Jonathan was perfect for the part after his first reading. He has a palpable intensity that stays true to the part. Suffering from the horrors of war, he tries to make sense of it all.

Carol's plan was to workshop a couple areas and then  let him run through the show a few times without any interruptions. The rehearsal was in Carol's apartment which is packed up since she plans to move soon. The clutter of her belongings seemed appropriate for the clutter in the soldier's mind. Clearly this soldier suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. When he related the memories of his fellow soldiers raping and killing a young beautiful female civilian, I empathized with his anger and guilt. Perhaps had he stayed in the room he could have stopped what was about to happen. He would have to live with the guilt his whole life. The rapist, killed in battle was considered a war hero.

Much of this incredible twenty minute monologue is addressed to an imagined therapist in the audience. The soldier responds to the therapist's imagined questions with distaste and anger. It becomes clear that no therapist can explain away the horrors that play out again and again in his mind. When he mistakes the therapist for the rapist, he becomes menacing in his anger. Although a fuse has shorted, I empathized with the notion that he wanted justice even in war. Perhaps there is no such thing. The victors write history. Perhaps he wasn't even fighting for a just cause. After the second read through Carol said to Jonathan, "That's the performance to beat!" It really was a superb performance. You don't want to miss this show.

Mark your calendar! The play is one of seven original short plays that is part of Playwrights Roundtable's Summer Series that will debut at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, 812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL. Performances will be held at 8pm in the Santos Dantin Studio Theatre, July 17th through August 2nd on the weekends with Sunday 3pm matinee only shows.

The other shows in the Summer Shorts line up are:
  • "Train Stop" by Mark Cornell
    Serio-comic, A Man and a Woman meet at a stop and consider the possibilities of their maybe-future relationship.
  • "Dating, Sex, and the Space-Time Continuum" by David Strauss
    Do you ever wish your future and present selves could talk to each other and maybe warn you away from that one relationship you may or may not end up regretting?
  • "Speaking of Mars" by Jonathan Cook
    A man and a woman are paired up for the historic first mission to Mars. But one of them has a secret...
  • "Soles" by Katie Thayer
    It's the end of the world as we know it, but is it too much to ask to go out with a pair of comfortable shoes?
  • "Binged There, Done That" by Ken Preuss
    Sitcom is life. Especially when taken all in one sitting.
  • "In Me" by William Newkirk
    Comedy, 1m, 1w - 20s - A couple discover some important truths about themselves while searching for a rather important part of their lovemaking.
 If you have any questions, please call (407) 761-2683 or email Playwrights Roundtable at

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, July 14, 2015

Pecha Kucha presenters talk about movies.

PechaKucha v15 celebrated Motion Pictures on February 6th 2015. The talks were by several members of Florida's thriving film and video community as well as lovers of the medium. I had sketched a rehearsal which allowed me to promote the event. On the evening of the performances, I decided to focus my attention on the speakers as they were waiting for their turn behind the microphone. Having given a PechaKucha talk myself, I know how nerve wracking that wait can be. I'm just glad to have survived.

PechaKucha, means chit chat in Japanese, and it has become a global phenomenon.  Presenters can show 2O Power Point slides but they can only speak for 20 seconds for each slide. There is no stopping, no going back, the slides run automatically and you need to keep up. The result is concise fast paced and entertaining presentations that are never boring.

While doing this sketch, I bumped into Mackensey Moor and her mom Carolyn. Carolyn had been a presenter the evening I gave my talk at PechaKucha. She presented a heart felt moving story of love found and then tragically lost. She found strength in helping others. It was a hard talk to follow since every time I heard the story I would get choked up. It is so easy to get distracted when you first stand in front of a sea of faces. I spotted Mack and froze that evening, because I recognized her from Carolyn's slides. It took me a moment to slip back into presentation mode. Anyway Mack is an artist herself so I'm always happy to talk about art with her. They had seats front and center and as I was finishing my sketch, Mackenzey told me she had to leave and she offered me her seat.

I squeezed down the isle, sat down and had a blast since Carolyn whooped and hollered with a childish joy during a very funny PechaKuche presentation. An arbitrary series of Power Point slides had been assembled and people were pulled from the audience to improvise a presentation based on the 20 Movie scenes. I've never laughed so hard. I don't know if it was the presentation, or Carolyn's magnificently outrageous reactions that made me laugh. Regardless it was fun to finally experience PechaKucha from the audience rather from the sidelines.

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, July 13, 2015

Sketching an Olympia Baseball practice.

Elite Animation (8933 Conroy Windermere Rd, Orlando, FL), now has an Urban Sketching Course that I teach. I am always searching for interesting events and businesses to sketch in this little corner of Orlando. If I hear a crowd, I walk toward it. That happened on this sunny afternoon as I heard whoops and hollers coming from the baseball field. I walked my five or so intrepid Urban Sketchers over to watch the baseball practice from the grand stands.

This wasn't a game, but a practice for the Olympia Baseball team. Although we were sketching from behind a chain link fence, I encouraged all the students to leave the fence out. In the outfield, players were doing sprints. There were a few batters, but mostly the pitcher and catcher worked solo.There were tarps over home plate, but they were later rolled up and removed. This wasn't quite an event in my mind, but it was a great sketch opportunity for my students.

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, July 12, 2015

Sam Flax keeps my art addiction supplied.

I must stop into Sam Flax, 1800 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL, at least once a week for pens, pencils, watercolors or sketchbooks. Doing a sketch every day means I burn through art supplies. I also now use the print department when people order limited edition prints of my work. Murals by local artists decorate the wall next to the entrance. Some of the staff recognize me since I'm in so often. It would be reassuring if they shouted "Norm!" when I walked in. However, since that isn't my name, I guess that makes no sense.

On Thursdays there are artist workshops which I keep hoping to sketch. On July 16th there is a Metal Tree Art Demonstration by Jessica King.  On July 23rd there is a watercolor pencils demonstration by Tahnee Jane. On July 30th there is painting to music by Leslie Adams. The free classes are from 5-6pm so Mark Your Calendar!

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, July 11, 2015

Terry's Time Trials.

Terry bought a very sporty Porsche. There is little reason to have such a fast car unless you want to drive super fast. Since getting the car she has been taking it to time trials to test her limits. The track was way out on the west side of town up near Mount Dora. The "track" was actually a large open parking lot next to a shooting range. As we approached we could hear the constant sound of fire arms being discharged. It added to the sense of reckless danger.

Cones were set up in the lot to outline the many turns on the test track. Everyone walked the track to get a feel for the layout. Since Terry didn't have a number for her car, she put a single strip of Blue Duck Tape on the door for the number 1. A sophisticated timing system was set up to keep track of each drivers drive time. Only one driver was on the track at a time. Since this was Terry's first taste of a time trial, an experienced driver went with her to coach her on how to attack the track. Beginning drivers were first on the track.

When Terry got on the track, the announcer joked that she was certainly having a leisurely Sunday drive. Each time she got on the track however, she improved her time. Her best time 54.031 seconds was less than half the time of her first attempt. She made slow and steady progress. One guy lost control and spun off the track. She smartly pushed herself without going past the breaking point. Driving helmets were required. Her car is in my sketch. It is the silver Porsche with the black soft top convertible roof. Apparently if the car were to roll over, there are support braces that would instantly rise up behind the bucket seats to protect the roof from crushing the drivers head.

After the time trials all the drivers gathered for a Subway's catered lunch on the picnic tables by the gun range. There were some very serious drivers who clocked some amazing times that day. Between rounds the drivers would have to wait an eternity for their next turn at the track. For that reason Terry isn't a great fan of the time trial process. She is still looking to improve her time and push her car to it's limit. For me it was a relaxing weekend sketch opportunity.

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, July 10, 2015

Weekend Top 6 Picks for July 11th and 12th.

Saturday July 11, 2015
8am to 2pm Free. Second Seconds. Monthly antique flea market.

2pm to 4pm $5 with a dish. $10 without. 16th annual Independence for the Animals Picnic/AND Help rescued greyhounds. Mead Gardens 1300 S Denning Dr, Winter Park, FL.join ARFF at our old fashion summertime picnic at beautiful Mead Gardens in Winter Park!
Summertime means FUN! And what better way to spend a summer afternoon than with fellow vegetarians and activists! Join ARFF for an afternoon of fun and games, entertainment and delicious vegan food!
So bring your friends and family, your favorite vegan dish
(with ingredients card) and join us for this summertime tradition.
*A portion of the proceeds will benefit greyhound adoption*

6pm to 9pm Free. Bastille Day Bike Decorating Contest.  1603 Winter Park Rd, Orlando, FL.  Ride your decorated bike to #APGD's 7th Annual Bastille Day Festival and be automatically entered in our Bastille Bash Bike contest! Show us your finest French decorating ideas and you might win some of our fun, cheap prizes! The Bastille Bash Bike contest will take place at our Bastille Day Street Celebration (6 to 9 pm), outside Emmanuel Episcopal Church Orlando, FL. Ride up anytime you want - judging and prizes will be handed out at around 8 pm-ish!

Sunday July 12, 2015
1pm to 3pm $5 Film Slam. Enzian Theater, South Orlando Avenue, Maitland, FL. Originally a project of University of Central Florida's Downtown Media Arts Center, Enzian became the home of FilmSlam when DMAC closed in 2006. Now in its fifth year at Enzian, FilmSlam continues to be a popular outlet for indie and student filmmakers throughout the State of Florida.
FilmSlam will usually be held on the second Sunday of each month at 1PM at Enzian.
It's so hot outside our brains just melted! So, this month we've booked the craziest FilmSlam line up of the year.
Experimental Films, Puppet Films, Art Films, Bartenders throwing bottles, Gangsters, a Music Video....this has to be the most amazingly eclectic line we've had for all of 2012.
Program starts at 1pm sharp. Q&A with the filmmakers to follow screening.

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

9pm to 11pm Free but grab a coffee. Comedy Open Mic. Austin's Coffee, 929 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL. 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

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Nerd Nite moved from Stardust to the Geek Easy.

Stardust Video and Coffee, (1842 E Winter Park Rd, Orlando, Florida) hosted the 23rd consecutive and first Nerd Nite Orlando event! The evening consisted of entertaining yet thought-provoking talks across many disciplines, all while the audience drinks along in a casual bar atmosphere. Speakers present for 15-20 minutes each on a fascinating subject of their choice, often in an uncanny and unconventional way. Following each presentation is a brief Question and Answer with the audience. Quench your curiosity! Come meet up, drink, and learn something new!

The first presentation was “DNA Nanotechnology: A Breakthrough For Us All” by Felix Sosa. The talk is about the history, development, and possible future of the great breakthrough known as DNA nanotechnology. Felix is an undergraduate researcher at UCF working towards a Bachelor's degree in both chemistry and computer science. He currently is a part of a large-scale research effort between the Chemistry Department, NanoScience Technology Center and Physics Department at UCF designing, simulating and synthesizing DNA architectures that have vast applications from medicines to computational machines. His talk opened our eyes to the incredible possibilities right around the corner.

My favorite talk of the evening was "Trash to Treasure: Hoarding Demystified" by Heather Grove.  If you are a hoarder, have friends or family who hoard, or just know about it from the Discovery channel, you know it is a serious, life-threatening disease. With 1 in 30 Americans afflicted by the not so uncommon disorder, Heather hopes to shed some light on the science behind collecting shit. Since she was one, Heather has found value in what most might consider valueless. From rocks to wine cork collections, Heather has been an avid acquirer of things, but with an extreme hoarder in the family, she has fought the genetic proclivity to collect stuff by understanding the science and specifics of the disease...she hopes to help others transform their habits from hoarding to helping re purpose waste and keep it from landfills. By day, Heather turns wasteful lawns into food-growing gardens and she is co-creator of East End Market. Her talk hit home because she had family that were hoarders. This made her talk more personal as she tried to explain her own hording tendencies. I myself seem to be a hoarder. I collected rocks and minerals as a child, coins, stamps and now I collect shelves full of sketchbooks. My studio is a riot of materials and books making it hard to even enter the room. Yet, since I still create every day, I don't seek a cure.

The final talk, "The Cosmetology Cosmologist" by Derek Demeter. Derek has been Planetarium Director at Seminole State College of Florida since 2007. He writes and produces new shows that explore the astronomy and history of numerous cultures from around the world. He serves as Vice President of the Central Florida Astronomical Society and sets up telescopes at local shopping centers to give the public a truly “out-of-this world” experience.

After this evening, Ricardo Williams took the helm to lead Nerd Nite into the future. Now the events are being held monthly at the Geek Easy ( 114 S Semoran Blvd Suite 6, Winter Park, Florida). Mark your calendar! The next Nerd Nite is Ladies Nite and it will be tonight, July 9th from 7pm to 9pm.

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, July 8, 2015

There's a White Elephant in the room.

Believe it or not, this is a sketch from December of 2014. I'm going through all the sketchbooks and finding sketches that I didn't post yet. Terry and I went to the home of Wendy Wallenburg's friend Christine Billis right before Christmas. Everyone was encouraged to bring a rather quirky present for a White Elephant gift exchange. Of course there was plenty of food and drink before everyone settled in the living room for the exchange.

With a White Elephant gift exchange, you can pick a wrapped present, or you can steal a present that had already been opened. When it was my turn to pick, Terry encouraged me to steal the bottles of booze that had been someone Else's pick. We hid the booze under a chair but soon enough it was swiped back. Every item that Terry got seemed to be swiped away, because she had to keep going up to take another turn.

Towards the end of the party, I was introduced to a young teen who loves to draw. I told her all about my new teaching gig at Elite Animation Academy. Hopefully I helped inspire her to pursue her dream. That's what I love about my new job, I get to teach kids who are young enough to have never said to themselves "I can't" or "I don't know how." Kids create with wild abandon.

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, July 7, 2015

Birdman questioned what is real and what is imagined.

Terry and I went to see Birdman at the Enzian Theater,1300 S Orlando Ave, Maitland, FL. While I waited for her to arrive at the Eden Bar outside the movie theater, I couldn't resist doing a sketch. I ordered an Orange Blossom Pilsner and sketched as fast as I could. The advantage of being an artist in this digital age is that people who focus their attention on their phones become completely absorbed and therefor never notice that they are being sketched.

Birdman turned out to be one of my favorite movies of 2014. It was much like Hitchcock's The Rope in which there were no discernible cuts between scenes. The movie was about an actor who was famous for his role as Birdman in the movies but he wanted to be taken serious as a true artist. He wrote and directed a play for Broadway that he hoped would revitalize peoples perceptions of him as a true artist. The camera followed his every move as opening night approached. The first scene showed him in his dressing room in a cross legged yoga pose. As the camera pulled back you realized that he wasn't only meditating, he was floating above the floor. My disbelief was suspended and I accepted each of his supernatural yet ego centric quirks.

What happened on stage always seemed to reflect what was going on in his own life. Because there were no obvious camera cuts, the moments seemed to play out in real time right until the opening night of the show on Broadway. Much of what happened might have been imagined by the narcissistic director played by Michael Keaton. There was a hilarious moment when he took a cigarette break right outside the stage door. A stage hand closed the door locking him out and he had to walk around the block, through Times Square in his underwear to get to the front entrance of the theater. Did this actually happen, or did he imagine the humiliating situation? Every scene raised these type of questions. This wasn't a CGI effects block buster, but it was a smartly written drama that raised more questions than answers. I absolutely loved it. The film garnered wide critical praise, and won the Academy Award for Best Picture, along with the Best Director for González Iñárritu, the Best Original Screenplay, and the Best Cinematography from a total of nine nominations, tying it with The Grand Budapest Hotel for being the most nominated film of the Academy's 87th annual awards ceremony. Michael Keaton deserved to win the Academy Award as the best actor.

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, July 6, 2015

Barre Bellas tones muscles with dance stretches and strength.

I went to 'Barre Bellas' at 1061 South Sun Drive Suite 1121 Lake Mary Florida to sketch Dion Leonhard as she lead a strenuous dance workout. She has classes are every Monday and Wednesday starting at 10:30am and 11:30am. She also offers private one-on-one classes. The full class line-up with other teachers is available on the website.She also offers a dancer, theater, student,and performer discount at $15 per class and a package of 5 classes for $50. The package is good for a year. This discount is only available for her classes, so individuals interested need to contact her on Facebook or email smile emoticon.

Dion is a talented dancer and actress. I first sketched her years ago when she danced for Emotions Dance and now she is part of the quirky cast of Phantasmagoria, a Gothic Steampunk group that tells tales of horror. She has always been a master of classic ballet and modern dance. After the initial stretches on the pink yoga mats, everyone lined up at the barre at the front of the classroom. Stretches, with one foot up on the barre involved both strength and dexterity. One woman's knees started to shake as she tried to hold the pose. Although the workout seemed simple enough, it clearly pushed everyone to their limit. I later learned that the one guy in the class, Stelson Telfort, was the actor who played Hooper in Beth Marshall Presents, Hoodies. After this group was finished with their workout, an individual women came in for a one on one instruction session. What a great opportunity to get fit and toned head to head with on of Orlando's top talents.

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, July 5, 2015

Violectric Debut Revolutionary LED Instrument Lighting “Violuminescence” at Bite.

Bite Night, hosted by the Orlando Weekly was held at The Orchid Garden and Ballroom at Church Street in Downtown Orlando from 7pm-10pm on June 29th.   I went to the event specifically to sketch the premiere performance of Violuminence. 

Michelle Jones the founder of Violectric asked her husband, Jerry Jones, the groups technical director to design the diodes along the rims of the instruments which made them glow like souped up Harley Davidson motorcycles. Violuminescence produces unique, lighted string instruments that can be remote controlled to enhance any performance in an unrivaled manner.

When I arrived, the event was just getting started but there were already long lines for food. I immediately started hunting for my sketch opportunity. I ran into Ilene Lieber the groups pleasant and hard working PR representative and she let me know that the Violuminence performance would start at 9pm in front of the DJs table on the main floor. That gave me several hours to sketch in the Orchid Room's magical turn of the century decor. When Violumenence began, I added color starting with the blue glow of the instruments. The instruments glowed in every color of the rainbow as if celebrating the recent Supreme Court decision allowing everyone to share the rights of marriage.

“We are beyond excited to finally unveil Violuminescence to the public later the month,” said founder of Violectric and Fretless Rock, Michelle Jones.  “This will be the first opportunity for public audiences to experience Violuminescence and revel in this truly spectacular and awe-inspiring musical innovation.  We are known for getting audiences up out of their seats and dancing along with us as we play, and we look forward to blowing away all our loyal fans with Violuminescence and hopefully gaining many more new ones worldwide.”

When the violins performed Journey's Don't Stop Believing, everyone in the room started singing along. "Shadows searching in the night". It was really a magical moment. The crowd was hooked and I sang along as I sketched. The violinists weren't passive. They began moving around the room finding their way through the crowd.  By the time my sketch was done, the crowd was starting to thin out. All the food vendors had packed up. Darn it. I hadn't tasted a bite so I can't report on how good the food was. Genevieve Bernard and Seth Kubersky told me that the food directly across the room from me was absolutely delicious. I am pleased by the rich warm and cool colors that I could catch with my digital sketch.  For more information on Violectric contact 407-434-1261 and for more information on Fretless Rock by Strings Etc visit their web page.

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, July 4, 2015

Beer tasting at East End Market.

I went to East End Market, 3201 Corrine Drive Orlando, FL, where I have some cards on consignment displayed at Local Roots Farm Store which brings the freshness and quality of the farm directly to the city, including local produce, artisan foods and craft beer. I was advised to get a rotating card stand to display the cards but it had slots which were too large for the 5 by 7 inch cards I had created. Because the slats are so large, cards kept falling on the floor and I was asked to remove the display. I'm thinking that I could hand make foam core boxes that could keep the cards from falling but that is a complex task that is on the back burner for now. For now, my cards are on display in a small wicker basket on a shelf.

The bar is made of a huge single slab of wood that curves elegantly.  Taylor and Megan were trying a beer sampler which had six shot sized glasses of beer for their tasting pleasure. I like this sampler idea. I just started a monthly artist group called "Drink and Draw" and the idea is to sample beers at a different bar each month with a group of artists. I am hoping to refine my tastes while also sketching.

Mark your Calendar. The first Orlando Drink and Draw (ODD) event will be at Taverna Opa, 9101 International Drive, #2240, Orlando, FL from 5:30pm to 8:30pm on July 6th. Taverna Opa has an assortment of unique Mediterranean dishes. But you might not be too focused on the food as restaurant goers participate in the traditional Zorba line dance and throw plates and napkins on the floor. I'm having to re-think my retail display since cards keep falling on the floor, but it has to be fun sketching a restaurant and bar with plates and napkins getting thrown on the floor.

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, July 3, 2015

Weekend Top 6 Picks for July 4th and 5th.

Saturday July 4, 2015
4pm to 10pm Free. Fireworks at Lake Eola. Lake Eola Park 512 East Washington Street Orlando FL. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer invites Central Florida residents and visitors to attend Fireworks at the Fountain on Saturday, July 4, 2015 at Lake Eola Park in Downtown Orlando. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early in order to find a great viewing spot. The night will conclude with a patriotic firework display over Lake Eola, which will begin at 9:10 p.m.

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

7pm to 9pm Free.  Swingout Saturday. 644 Florida Central Parkway, Longwood, Florida. The music is hot and the dance floor will rock! Beginner dance lesson at 7pm. Dancing from 8 to 11pm.

Sunday July 5, 2015 
Noon to 5pm Free but get a beer. Sunday's with Smiling Dan. The Falcon Bar & Gallery, 819 East Washington Street, Orlando, FL. DJ mixes music for the afternoon.

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

9pm to 11pm Free but get a coffee. Solo Acoustic Spoken Word. Natura Coffee & Tea, 12078 Collegiate Way, Orlando, FL. 407 482-5000.

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, July 2, 2015

Artegon then and now.

Artegon is an artist market set up in the former Festival Bay Mall. Festival Bay had only a few merchants who were long term, one was the Bass Pro Shops, Ron Jon Surf Shop. Unfortunately the rest of the mall was usually half empty. Artegon came in with an exciting concept to convert the mall into an artist market. I liked the idea, having been to a number of exiting markets around the world like the bazaar in Turkey. Rent for artist vendors started at a cheap rate of $6 a day, so I went to several of the early pitch meetings to consider the idea of setting up a shop for myself.

After the pitch we all got a chance to tour the new facility. All of the inner courtyards had been given alleyways of cages for vendors to set up shop. Each cage was about 10 feet square. The effect as we walked through the dark space was much like an insane asylum or Thunder dome from Mad Max. One artist had invested in a huge retail gallery space for his own vanity gallery. When I re-visited Artegon several months later, he had moved out. Unfortunately the cages are never more than half occupied.

A metal zip line elevated aerial adventure  had been constructed in the largest courtyard. Within one month of the opening, a tourist fell to his death from the attraction. There is no safety net, but I imagine tourists must sign a waver before they climb up to the heights. The Daily City, another Orlando News site set up shop for the opening of Artegon, but that store also closed. Walking around recently I didn't recognize and local artists as vendors, although local B-Side artists collaborated to create some decent murals.

Driving from the airport to Orlando on the Bee line and on I-4 I noticed billboards for Artegon. They hope to bring in tourists to the market and travel destination. Despite the marketing efforts the place still has a lonely vacant feel. Gods and Monsters, a comic superstore just opened, and at the opening day the market was finally bustling with costumed superheros. Perhaps it will take a superhero to save this artist market ideal. Right now the place seems to have an identity crisis.

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