Tuesday, December 22, 2015
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).