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

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