Monday, November 30, 2015

Third Thursday at 55 West.


On the Third Thursday of each month, the Downtown Arts District, (29 S Orange Ave, Orlando, Florida, comes alive as all the downtown galleries open their art shows with a Gallery Hop, Tech Meetup and Business Networking events.


 On a typical Hop, a series of galleries and non-traditional art venues (think restaurants, boutiques, and salons) spotlight the best of established and emerging Orlando-based artists as well as the works of nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. Venues include:
Aloft Orlando Downtown 500 S Orange Ave
Art for all Places 55 West Church St.
City Arts Factory 29 S Orange Ave
The Falcon Bar and Gallery 819 E Washington St.
Gallery at Avalon Island 39 S Magnolia Ave.
Grand Bohemian Gallery 325 S Orange Ave
Loft 55 Gallery 55 West, Breezeway, Church St and Pine
NV Art Bar 27 E Pine Street

It was threatening to rain on this particular Third Thursday, and I got as far as the breezeway at 55 west Church Street when it started to rain. Janae Corrado who is a regular at the art market was set up along with Christian Rivera. There was only other vendor set up. It was a surprisingly small turn out. Usually there are at least a dozen artists set up outside at church street across from the railroad station. I guess local artist know to stay home if there is the threat of rain.  Artists in the breezeway at least had a roof over their heads. Christian's work was playful, seeming to be inspired by modern pop Japanese imagery of mystical pandas and ferocious cats. He worked on his canvas whenever there was a break from potential customers. On this rainy afternoon, he had plenty of time to focus and work. 


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A creative crowd at the Dribbble Meetup at Envy Labs.

I went to sketch at Envy Labs (618 E South Street · Suite 620 Orlando, FL)  for an event called the Dribbble Meetup. Every one was scribbling away on graphic design concepts when I arrived. They were working on spec to create a new Orlando Designers logo. I was please to see many of the designers working old school putting pencil to paper. The venue provided dotted paper. There was drinking and drawing with the hope to win more than bragging rights. I'm not sure what prizes might have been offered, but wasn't tempted. I have my own agenda. If someone wants to design a logo they would need to hire me.

Many artists were more interested in hanging out rather than focusing on design. The open bar in the corner was constantly busy. Carlos Basabe an amazing illustrator who attends my Drink and Draw events stopped by to say hello. It is wife is a designer so that is why he gets the invites.  I'm not sure how I was invited, but it was fun to see a crowded room full of creatives. Music set the beat to the evening. An MC named Daisy stood at the front of the room with a megaphone. She let everyone know how much time was left to create. I timed my sketch to her announcements. She then walked around the room, still projecting her voice with the megaphone. She was quite funny.

There was apparently an art swap going on as well. Designers were encouraged to bring in any stray prints they might have to swag with fellow artists.I didn't actually notice any swapping going on. Dribbble is a growing artistic community. If you are a creative, you should look them up. And there are indeed three bs in Dribbble.The hand writing recognition on this Windows 10 tablet sucks. I may need to get a wireless keyboard and learn to type. The ghost in the machine keeps changing what I write.



All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Kicked out of Sam Flax. The story of an Otter and the Gun.

When I got back from NYC several weeks ago, I checked on Facebook to see what sketch opportunities I should pursue in Orlando. One of the first images I saw was a photo of a person posing in front of a Sam Flax event poster that had a low resolution harshly cropped version of a sketch I did at the art store's grand opening celebration. The original article promoted the store and the artists. The image had been lifted off the internet without my consent or knowledge. Later I learned that the sketch ran as an animated banner on the art store commercial website, as fliers, ads in newspapers, call to artist forms and the list goes on. This has happened many times before, with the The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, The Galley at Avalon Island, the Downtown Arts District, others like Ivanhoe Village District and the Orlando Weekly  ultimately went on to do the right thing, by paying for the reproduction rights. I aired my frustration and annoyance on Facebook at this copyright infringement from a store I had shopped at for years.

What followed was a long thread of comments about similar cases and advice on the best course of action to take. It also however,  opened a dog eat dog divisiveness in Orlando's tiny arts community. Because of that, I regret making this issue public until it was resolved. Then a troll entered the fray. He was furious that I had expressed my frustration and annoyance publicly before I spoke with Sam Flax.  He used the thread to promote a recent mural he did and then cursed, and berated everyone who tried to reason with him. I thought he was joking so I toyed with him a bit, but he didn't have a sense of humor. His stance was basically shut up and draw, although he seemed to feel I was too old to draw. Such an angry, bitter person is fascinating for a moment, but then I got bored with his tirades and stopped reading. My apologies to anyone who tried to reason with him.

The troll is a member of the B-side Artists. Asaan 'Swamburger' Brooks who helped found the group asked me to call him since he didn't understand my frustration. We both discussed our viewpoints and although we didn't agree on all points, we both shared a mutual respect. I gained insights that will help me redirect my energies with future infringements. We all make mistakes, but what a person does when they realize their mistake tends to define them. Sam Flax and I ultimately talked on the phone. We negotiated some form of compensation for the reproduction rights and he told me the check was in the mail. A sketchbook manufacturer also wants me to do a demonstration at the store, so I respected Sam for putting the incident behind him, and moving forward. I was invited to a workshop on using stencils at the art store, so I couldn't resist the urge to go in and sketch now that the air was clearing. Danny Rock had given a similar workshop at Blast Studios and I learned quite a bit.

That morning I put on a black T shirt with a sea otter on it. Sea otters are constantly active, very curious, and rather playful. They were hunted to near extinction, and they were decimated by huge oil spills, but their population is making a slow recovery. Sea Otters have been known to playfully climb on tourists kayaks just to see the reactions. At Living Room Theater, actors start off each show by saying to each other, "Can l call you Otter?" with the response, "Sure, can I call you Bear?" I was Otter for the day.

The workshop was at 5pm which meant I had to drive through hellish rush hour traffic on Colonial Drive to get to the store. I arrived about 15 minutes late. I wasn't concerned though, since I mostly wanted to sketch the students at work. When I entered, an employee shouted, "aren't you Thorspecken?!" That was an odd welcome. "Yes." I replied. "Where is the workshop?" I asked. "Have you met?" he asked, gesturing to a man at the far end of the check out counter. I approached the man warily until I realized it must be Sam Flax, who I had never met. We shook hands, but I was distracted since I was late to start the sketch. He asked if I got his email that the check was in the mail. "Yes, thank you." The only person who understands my distraction as I hunt down a sketch is my wife who has had to live with it for years.

The workshop was upstairs. There were four students and a store employee with plenty of empty chairs to choose from. The instructor was wearing a T shirt with a handgun pointed towards the students. The total number of gun related deaths in the US in 2014 was 12,569 the death toll in 2015 is already 11,811. The US leads the world  in guns per capita with 270 million guns in the hands of citizens according to a 2007 survey. The gun explained that he prefers to paint on walls rather than show his work in galleries. He offered me supplies, but I didn't want to be a bother, I was already concerned since I had arrived late. "I have my own supplies." I told him. Then he froze and his eyes darkened.  "I'm alright." he said. I sat down. "No, I'm allllright." He said again. "Me too." I said pulling the smallest sketchbook out of my bag. "No, I have to ask you to leave." Great, here we go again, I thought. I needed to buy a little time to block in the sketch. "I thought that this was a free artist workshop. I don't have to sketch you if that is an issue." In New Mexico in an outdoor public market, an Indian woman got upset when she saw me sketching. She was concerned I would steal her soul if I sketched her. I put a large basket in her place, and sketched everyone else. I don't think that was the issue here."Is this my workshop?" he asked the employee.


The staff woman went downstairs to get "the manager." I threw quick pencil lines on the page. I had only minutes to work. The gun's face was etched with deep lines of anger. His hands were fists in his lap. "He is here for a reason." he said. Then he sat mute. Sam Flax came upstairs and escorted me to the store exit. "You have to be kidding me." I said to Sam. I get it however, Sam was stuck between a rock and a hard place. It was the guns workshop and if he wanted fewer students, he was entitled. Sam explained the the gun doesn't want me promoting his events. Best to leave him in his cage of anger, although I've admired and discussed his work in three separate articles in the past on AADW.  As I left, the female employee said to me," Thanks for bringing 'that' in here to a safe place." All I had brought in was my curiosity and I sketchbook. "You're welcome?" I asked. I posted the incomplete sketch just to let you see what I put on the page in the panic of the moment.

The next day, I returned to the art store to complete the sketch. All the empty seats remained. I figured that with the instructor gone, I could relax and study the room. My rough sketch had already established  where I should place the figures. Even before I had my sketchbook out of the bag, an employee came up the stairs and asked me what I was doing. "Oh, I'm just finishing up a sketch." I replied. "You can't be up here unsupervised." he replied. Ugh, he's just following orders, I thought. "All right, I'll just shoot a few photos and I'll get out of your hair." This is a rare case where the sketch had to be finished back in the studio. 

Did I have to walk into the lions den? Perhaps not, but at this point in my life I would prefer to try and understand someone who has a different opinion than my own, rather than avoid them. I want to listen and learn and of course sketch. Hatred needs to be stared in the face. When the KKK demonstrated in Maitland, I stood face to face with a grand poo-bah or dragon as he aimed his large mace can at my face. If he sprayed the mace he would be arrested. I've seen the look before. I don't get it. After I got kicked out of Sam Flax, there was an ocean of possibilities. I went to a Base Orlando, Body Painting Circus event where I was welcomed with open arms. Time to play and enjoy the uninterrupted sketching process again. Creativity among the chaos, I was back in my happy place. "Hey, I love you're otter shirt." a model shouted.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Weekend top 6 picks for November 28 and 29.

Saturday November 28, 2015
9am to 3pm Free. Orlando Elks Vintage Faire. Elk Lodge 1079 12 N Primrose Drive Orlando FL.

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

7:30pm to 9:30pm Free. The Geeek Easy with Amy Watkins and Open Mic. The Geek Easy
114 S. Semoran Blvd Winter Park Fl 32792, 407 332 9636. Amy Watkins and Superhero Poetry Open Mic. Open to all: Musicians-Lyricists-Artists-and Poets of all kinds. Bring out the cape and have some fun. http://poetry.meetup.com/362/

Sunday November 29, 2015 
1pm to 3pm Free. Yoga. Lake Eola Park, 195 N Rosalind Ave, Orlando, FL. Every week.

7pm to 9pm Donation. Living Room Screening - The Donut, the Balloon and the Lifesaver. 736 Boardman St, Orlando, FL. Jack Graham, Banks Helfrich and Tisse Mallon present independent local films in your living room. Living Room Screening events go beyond movie night and into a shared experience which includes the film, the creator and the reflections and thoughts of the audience.
This intimate experience consists of a number of previews, one short film, a feature and a conversation.
A few things for you to know:
- Due to the nature of this performance space, no late arrivals can be accommodated.
- While not lewd or vulgar, these films are recommended for ages 18 and up.
- The films lasts approx. 80 minutes.
NOTE: Due to limited space, we can only accommodate a certain number of people. If you have a plus one, we welcome them with open arms but please let your host know so that we have space for everybody!

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



All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Legend bloodies up the Regal Winter Park movie screens.


I went to a free screening of Legend at the Regal Winter Park 20, 510 N Orlando Ave, Winter Park, FL. Gladys West from Elite Animation Academy somehow always gets me hooked up with these advanced screenings. I got there several  hours early so I could complete a sketch before standing in line. Terry didn't want to see a gangster movie. She was going to see a co-worker's baby. The ticket taker didn't want to let me in the theater, since the line for the movie would form outside. I had to talk to the manager to let him know that I needed to finish a sketch for my report. Inside I sat at one of fire empty tables to sketch the concessions stand. 

Star Wars, The Legend Returns banners announced that movie's opening in December. Recent Star Wars films have been rich in digital effects and short on story. With Harrison Ford back in the franchise, I'm hoping some of the original magic might return. A dark robotic villain is barely visible behind his high saber. I hope the film lives up to the hype.

A huge candy machine kept coming alive, belting out its sickly sweet song. It's hard to ignore concessions when they keep shouting for your attention. Terry showed up since she was denied access to the baby. The mom had simply forgot. She still didn't want to see the movie, so I was confused as to why she came. She spent some time on her phone as I finished up the sketch. Then she announced that she was leaving. She realized that she was in a fowl mood after not getting to see the baby, and she didn't want project it on me. Maybe ten minutes after she left, the sketch was done. I went outside to see how long the line was for Legend. There was no line. With time to kill, I decided to get Mexican food at Lime next door. As I ordered my surfer tacos, Terry said hello. She had also stopped for a taco salad, so we got to have dinner together. we talked about trolls, Nazis and gun control. My tacos were fantastic. I will definitely be returning to Lime.

After dinner,  I went back to the movie theater and went straight inside. The theater was 3/4 full. Perhaps because of Thanksgiving most people were home. The security lady told us all to turn off our phones. The lady two seats from me kept texting, clueless. The security lady shouted that is is very easy to spot an illumined phone in a dark theater. She marched over to the texter and stood in from of her saying that if she needed to text she could text in the lobby. When the texter stopped the audience clapped and hooted its approval. 

So, the movie, Legend had the Suave, charming and volatile, Reggie Kray (Tom Hardy) and his unstable twin brother Ronnie (also played by Tom Hardy) leaving their mark on the London underworld in the 1960s. Using violence to get what they want, the siblings orchestrate robberies and murders while running nightclubs and protection rackets. With police Detective Leonard "Nipper" Read hot on their heels, the brothers continue their rapid rise to power and achieve tabloid notoriety. The film was better than I expected. It was narrated by Reggie Kray's girlfriend an then wife, played by Emily Browning. Just like in the Godfather, Reggie dreams of going straight as a club owner, but he can't give up his East End London criminal past, he is just too good at it. The violence is graphic and insane, so don't bring your kids. It is a story of brotherly love and the pain that comes from loving a gangster. I gave the film 7 out of 10 hammers.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Benoit Glazer at Avalon Island


On the third Monday of each month, The Gallery at Avalon Island (39 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando Florida), hosts the In Between Series, a music series before the art goes on the wall for Third Thursday. June was a bit different because the nude photos by Yuri Maiorov  stayed on the walls until a fee the concert. Benoit Glazer usually hosts concerts in his custom built acoustic living room in the White House, he works at Cirque Du Soleil in Downtown Disney as the composer. He was on the trumpet along with Dan Jordan, Doug Matthews and Bobby Koelble some of the greatest jazz musicians from Central Florida.

There were lofty sounds from flutes and clarinets, African flavors, and funky odd meters, with a touch of sad ballads and angry mobs. The music related the story of a storyteller. It was about 2 boy named Abu, and his muse Lela. The music ebbed and flowed with intensity. The event was catered by Maxine’s on Shine.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Robots and Rainbows at BART.


Wednesday November 18th was the opening for Robots and Rainbows at BART, (1205 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL).  This show is a joint effort of the husband and wife team of Evan an Christie Miga  These are the artists who brought the blockbuster Fringe show, Dog Powered Robot to life. When I arrived, Evan was closest to the front door. He explained that he created all the robots, and that Christie art directed his paintings of laughing sun and puckering moon. He also made rocket ships out of simple plastic cups and slinkies. When the slinkies were jostled, they made a sound much like Star Wars sound effects. Later, Christie informed me that this was actually the first time Even had shown his work other than on the stage.

I figured it made sense to sketch robots digitally. Working on a tablet kind of blows my cover. People looked over my shoulder more than usual and I kept having to explain what kind of tablet I was working on. People must be attracted to the glowing screen, or perhaps the ghost in the machine lures them in. I had several pleasant conversations that put the sketch on hold, but in the back of my mind, I was concerned that the tablet battery would die before the sketch was complete. I also experienced several technical issues That I will not go into. But I resolved the problem by saving the sketch and working on it in another program. Pencil and paper never has these types of technical glitches.

Terry arrived and sighed in disgust when s saw the tablet in my lap. She prefers my watercolor sketches and feels I'm going to the dark side ever time I do a digital sketch. She took a look a the show and the shouted to me, "Should I get one!" "Sure Dear." I yelled back. Christie shouted to me, "Tell her to get a big one!" "Get a big one!' I shouted to Terry. Terry picked the big pink robot that looks a bit like Lollybot. Its head is a cylinder shaped hat box and its body a simple box. Its eyes have cute round lenses and there are three yellow buttons on her chest. I should really stop calling her "it", she deserves a name. I'll name her when she gets home.

The show is up for one month, right up until the week before Christmas. If you want to buy something truly unique for Christmas how about getting your loved one a robot or perhaps a genuine unicorn shoe. You will find one of a kind gifts, perfect for the holidays or just to keep for yourself. Both of the soft donut pillows sold immediately, but Christie says she will consider taking orders. She also has a line of hand made ornaments that will add sparkle to any tree.  Make this a Robots and Rainbows Christmas.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Phantasmagoria at the Gods and Monsters Grand Opening Celebration.


On June 13th Gods and Monsters, (inside Artegon, 5250 International Drive; Suite E8, Orlando, Florida) the second largest comics, toys, collectibles and gaming venue in the U.S. celebrated its grand opening. Inside the cavernous venue were comics games and collectibles making it a geek paradise, as well there was the Transmetropolitan Gallery and Offworld L.O.U.N.G.E. making it a comfortable haven to relax and linger. The Grand Opening consisted of 12 hours of entertainment, activities, art demos, contests and give-a-ways, all while raising money for the Hero Initiative!

The Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was at 10am. The re was a free arcade sponsored by Free Play Florida and BART.  Throughout the day, there were special appearances by renowned cosplay models, Callie Cosplay, Heather1337 and Jenifer Ann. [ don't claim to know who they are, or even who they were dressed as, but it upped the events celebrity status.

Florida's critically acclaimed Victorian Horror Troupe Phantasmagoria performed in the back of the cavernous space. The acoustics weren't ideal to say the least so it was near impossible y hear The actors over the din of conversation from excited fan in the store. They are consume professionals however and they shouted their lines to the rafters.

 the re were artist demos all day long and i said hello to Toni Taylor who was work in on a large canvas that will wrap around a pillar. Other artists included Bianca Roman-Stumpff, Kevin Wood, Mark Pacich, Robo Ohno, Shawn Surface, Derrick Fish, Jenni Gregory, and Michael “Locoduck” Duron . Photo opportunities with costumed characters, including Starlite Princess, Iron Man and Spider-Man.

After Phantasmagoria's performance there was a Costume Contest with prizes. The entire audience seemed to consist of comic book characters. Both adults and children got on stage to sport their costumes. One of the cutest costumes was a young girl dressed as a bumble bee. One of the goriest was z zombie Betty Boop.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Maxine's on Shine


I had an exhibit at Maxine's on Shine, 337 Shine Ave, Orlando, FL. After the exhibit came down, I returned to tie up some loose ends. Kirt Earhart and I met at the bar and the I stayed for dinner, drinks and a sketch. As I recall, Maxine was at some Gala. A young lady at the bar had her laptop perched open on two books, and her friend spent more time on her iPhone than she did eating or conversing. Since a sketch takes two hours, there were several shifts of couples that came an went. People in America don't linger in a restaurant the way they do in France. of course not as many people will be going out considering the terrorist attacks. My heart goes out to all the people who were out to enjoy an evening's entertainment, only to be gunned down.

Nudes were hung on all the walls with care. If you ever nee advice on picking a goo bottle of wine, Yo u need to go to Maxine's and talk to Kirt. He is an expert sommelier. His "Jedi Master Approved' wine case is a goo place to pick up a bottle to take home. If you are looking for fine food and entertainment today, Sunday November 22,  Alex Cole is performing for the Rejuicination Brunch, 11am to 2pm. Then, Peyote Moon will perform for the Sunday Serendipity Supper Club, from 7pm to 9pm. Sunday Serendipity Supper Club at Maxine’s provides an ever changing weekly eclectic mix of Orlando’s best from the live music scene. From indie to classic rock to folk to everything tasteful in between, enjoy the laid back sounds and intimate staging while savoring Maxine’s tasty offerings. It’s the perfect way to christen the end of your weekend.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Master Class at the Dr. Phillips gave insights into the mind of a Diva.


Terrence McNally's Master Class presented by Florida Opera Theater showcased insights into the mind of the world renowned singer Maria Callas. Susan Neves was original cast as Callas but she got sick just days before the show's opening. Seva Anthony stepped in to fill the lead roll having recently performed the roll this past summer at the Players Theater in Sarasota. of course, hearing this I lowered my expectations reverting back to the days I withheld respect for substitute teachers. However, the moment Seva walked on stage, she demanded respect, and she got it. She confronted several ladies in the front row, letting them know that they lacked a "look". She shouted to stage hands that the lighting was all wrong, and the audience was plunged into darkness.

She explained that this wasn't an evening about her. She would not be performing, and she expected no applause. She couldn't be bothered to remember the pianist's name, Manny, played by Austin McElwain, although she did recall that he wore a red shirt at a past workshop. Her stool was to tall so she demanded a foot stool. An elder stage hand, Larry Stallings,  humbly delivered the stool. Finally Callas was ready and the first student (victim) was called out on the stage. Soprano Eileen Vanessa Rodriguez entered wearing a short skirt and black stockings. Callas demanded that the singer block her ears. Stunned, she clasped her hands over her ears. Callas turned to the audience and said something like, "See this is what I'm talking about, she has no look." Once she was done shredding the young singer, she shouted repeatedly for her to open her ears. As an audience member, I was rooting for the singer to impress the diva. When she sang her first luscious note, Callas shouted "Stop ! Stop! STOP!!!" confused the singer turned to her master. "What was that?!" Callas shouted. "I was just singing." the girl responded. " Exactly, don't just sing!" The young singer never got to perform. She left the stage bewildered, in tears. "Tears will never get you anywhere my dear, trust me, I know."

The next singer, soprano Janette Zillioli entered in a gorgeous purple gown. There could be no denying that she had a look! However Callas chided that she should never wear such a gown to a master class. "A gown like that should only be worn after midnight." She demanded that the singer should enter the stage in character and she personally demonstrated how to perform the entrance. The girl rushed off stage and didn't return. Tony, a lyric tenor, Brandon Evans, followed with some confidence. After a battle of wills, Callas demanded that he leave the stage. He stood firm and replied loudly, "No!" "Well." Callas replied that is the first interesting thing to have said, continue." His performance swept over Callas and she clutched her chest completely enthralled. Emotionally over whelmed she had no insights but wished him good fortune with his career. When he pressed her for advice, she said simply, "Remember the spring."

The beautiful soprano in the purple gown returned, She had been vomiting in the bathroom. When she finally sang, Callas thought back to her own crowning achievement singing the same roll. She had married a much older man named Ari, and his fortune helped skyrocket her career. She loved him a little, but never completely. On stage however she gave herself completely to the audience. "Applause is what we live on, sometimes it is a we have." Her husband came to resent her callous partial love. She got pregnant and wanted to have the child. It was too little, too late. He demanded that she have an abortion. She followed through, crushed. All this rushed through her as she listened to the young soprano's performance. She hadn't really been listening. Once again her ego managed to hurt the singers feelings. This time the singer struck back, "You want to make the world dangerous for everyone, just because it was dangerous for you!" She stormed off the stage, a stronger, more confident performer.

Calla's best insight was, "It is hard to care about rivals when no one else can do what you do." and, "I have to think that art makes a difference." The performers got a well deserved standing ovation. The painting of Callas, projected above the stage was by artist Colleen Ardman from Winter Park.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Weekend Top 6 Picks for November 21 and 22.

Saturday November 21, 2015
1pm to 4pm . Free. Orlando Fringe Open House. Orlando Fringe 812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL.  See the new space and rehearsal hall on the second floor of the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, Suite 300. Light bites and champagne will be served.

7:30pm to 10:30pm Free. JC Sevcik's Farewell Reading. Kerouac House 1418 Clouser Ave, Orlando, Florida.  Doors will open at 7:30, and light refreshments will be available. You are welcome to bring something you'd like to drink.

7:30pm to 9:30pm $15 FIASCO: A Night Of True Stories, Entertaining Disasters. East End Market 3201 Corrine Dr, Orlando, Florida. Storytellers of Central Florida present Tellebration—A Global Event. Join us for a great night of crafted, personal stories, as cities around the world celebrate the art of storytelling through Live Performance. All centered around comic disaster.
Tickets: $12 in advance / $15 at the door.
Questions? 407-721-1999

Sunday November 22, 2015 
Noon to 2pm. Free, but grab some food. Florida Gospel Jam. Fish on Fire 7937 Daetwyler Drive Belle Isle FL. Every 2nd and 4th Sunday.

1pm to 3p m. Free but get some coffee. Irish Music. Olivia's Coffee House, 108 N Bay St, Eustis, FL. http://www.oliviascoffeehouse.com/

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


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Cigarz on the Avenue attracts regulars.

Cigarz on the Avenue, 333 S Park Ave, Winter Park, FL, seems to always have customers outside smoking a thick one. Sometimes I go to Winter Park just to enjoy a stroll down Park Avenue. Terry might crinkle her nose and complain any time we walk near smokers. I on the other hand seem to have lost all of my sense of smell. Anytime I return from a vacation, I notice a smell of mold when I get to Orlando. I'm likely allergic to Orlando. Having lost the sense of smell however can be a blessing however since it allowed me to relax outside the Cigar Store and sketch the regular patrons who likely relax every afternoon at this spot. I can say this because a woman stopped to admire my drawing and she named the two gentlemen and told me they could be found at this spot everyday.

The Cigar store wooden Indian seemed to have lost the spear or stogie he once held. He must search for it every night, but his feet are strapped to a dolly which might inhibit his movement. Then again he might get around better by kneeling down and using his hands to roll himself around the shop. I thought that a wooden Indian wasn't exactly a politically correct way to attract customers. But what do I know, 

Because of the general illiteracy of the populace, early store owners used descriptive emblems or figures to advertise their shops' wares; for example, barber poles advertise barber shops. American Indians and tobacco had always been associated because American Indians introduced tobacco to Europeans, and the depiction of native people on smoke-shop signs was almost inevitable. As early as the 17th century, European tobacconists used figures of American Indians to advertise their shops.

Because European carvers had never seen a Native American, these early cigar-store "Indians" looked more like black slaves with feathered headdresses and other fanciful, exotic features. These carvings were called "Black Boys" or "Virginians" in the trade. Eventually, the European cigar-store figure began to take on a more "authentic" yet highly stylized native visage, and by the time the smoke-shop figure arrived in the Americas in the late 18th century, it had become thoroughly "Indian." People within the Native American community often view such likenesses as a caricature or as depictions that perpetuate stereotypes, drawing an analogy to the African-American lawn jockey, which I've heard is quite popular in Winter Park as well.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Socialites and Dinosaurs at the Neanderthal Ball


Patrons partied like it’s 100,099 B.C. at Orlando Science Center’s 9th Annual Neanderthal Ball on Saturday, November 7. The Gala benefited the Orlando Science Center and its mission to inspire science learning for life, the event was part of the year-long 60th anniversary celebration and it was an evening of prehistoric fun for everyone! New this year, Mayors Jewelers presents: Champagne on the Rocks with the chance to win a diamond necklace by purchasing a $60 glass of champagne to toast the Science Center’s 60th anniversary.

One of Central Florida’s most generous philanthropists and fascinating fashionistas, Harriet Lake sponsored the Caveman Couture Contest. Patrons became an icon of stone age style by rocking a killer leopard print scarf with your outfit or wearing full-on Neanderthal garb! Prizes will be awarded to those who exhibit the most flair with their “caveman couture.” I had a brief conversation with artist Josh Garrick, and I believe he won a well deserved price for his skull inspired couture.

I spent most of time sketching the Jeremy, Freddy Quartet. They Jazzed up the evening although no one took to the dance floor.  By the time I was done, most of the foot had been devoured. I did grab a few chicken nuggets before I left. Maxine and Kirt Earhart had a thriving speakeasy bar set up in the back of the room. A giant woolly mammoth of a man blocked the door was but I squeezed in around him.  Every seat at the bar was taken. Although I had my own seat, I decided not to stay.

With the new construction I couldn't find the exit. I ended up in the basement with live alligators and turtles. of the silent auction items, my favorite was a ticket and VIP seating at the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. Terry and I went last year with my family and we had access to the police family viewing section. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience.  As I left the Science Center, I wondered if I should stay and do a series of quick close up sketches of the best costumes. That is on my bucket list. There are only so many hours in the day to sketch.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Beatnik brings flower power to the Venue.


This is the third year that Beth Marshall Productions has brought Beatnik to The Venue, 511 Virginia Dr, Orlando, Florida. This year the title was, Beatnik Cubed: A 60's Flashback. This was the 3rd and final installment of the unique, audience interactive speak-easy 60’s theme one-night only event. Whether attending for the first time or returning, all audience members will get into the groove of enjoying a flashback of the 60’s. Many of the regular beats, poets, freaks, geeks and gypsy artisans of every kind will be returning along with some new acts and surprises. Fully immersive and interactive theatrical experience. The pre-show was full of both entertainment, and information about past installments.

 The premise of the show is that the cast is celebrating the birthday of  the fictional proprietor of the Venue, Adrian LePeltier. In the pre-show, the black clad Beatnik chicks stood on the stairway where they read a poem. A Varie Tease dancer,  Michelina Wingerter, performed an improvised interpretive dance to the poem. In this small living room area the cast mingles with the audience. There was also a performance in front of the Venue, but I returned to the theater to finish up the sketch I had started. 

 This sweeping variety show has everything. The Beat King Host, Samuel Butcher, was a cynical but rather funny drunk whose dark insights speak to artistic integrity above all else. The cast is divided into the colorful and carefree hippies and the dark brooding beats. All of Them have a love for the Venue and what it represents. 

One of my favorite performances in the show came from the husband and wife team of Tod and Christen Caviness as the Poet Guru and his Muse. Tod recited a poem about Jack Kerouac and the striving of his generation in the late 50's and early 60's. Christen performed a sensual dance that perfectly expressed the longing of a generation. Since this was a rehearsal and they didn't have a baby sitter, their young son Carlin was part of the  performance. Tod held his grinning son in his arms as he belted out the epic poem. Carlin watched his mom dance in amazement. When she danced to the far side of the stage however, she was too far away. His face crinkled and he began to cry, softly at first, and then all out. In a pause in her dance Christen's face reflected her heart felt concern. Tod lost track the poem in 1961 but then got right back in the groove, shouting over his sons tears. later in the show, as the whole cast danced on stage to "Let the Sun Shine", Carlin was on Christen's hip and smiled with joy as the cast danced around him. Unfortunately Carlin will not par for in the actual show, but his moments on stage were pure unrehearsed magic. 

Brett Carson performed the Bongo Beat. Dramatic moments were often accompanied by a bongo beat followed by the snapping of fingers rather than clapping. The audience becomes part of the action when note cards are handed out. Each member of the audience with a card was asked to shout out their word when the host pointed to them. Scrawled on my card was a word that rhymes with truck. "Should I really shout this out?" I thought. Perhaps I should just make up my own word.  The host pointed to me and I shouted "F*ck!" "Oh come on!" he shouted. "F*ck me like you mean it." "F*ck!" I yelled. Other words included Woman, War, hate, and many others. Shouted in sequence they almost made sense.  That's beat. Or is it? Snap, sap, snap.
  
Andy Haynes read a story about breaking up with cynicism and choosing vulnerability instead. When he got off stage, he kissed Julie Snyder. The spontaneous evening came to a screeching halt when everyone learns that their beloved Venue has been sold to an Ivanhoe Development company. Julie somehow managed to secure herself a job in the new venue which features an exercise gym. She was hilarious as she struggled do push ups and do jumping jacks. In a break, she asked me to give her big muscles in the sketch, but I sadly missed that sketch opportunity. It was hard to separate the affection felt for the real cast as opposed to the drama of the fictional cast. Billy Manes as Andy Warhol entered the Venue snapping photos of the audience in the final scene. Billy is famous for reporting on the twisted inner workings of local government. Perhaps this however was his 15 minutes of fame.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screeplay about the Death of Walt Disney.


 I went to a rehearsal for A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay about the Death of Walt Disney written by Lucas Hnath who once lived in Orlando. John DiDonna plays the part of Walt Disney and the rehearsal was in the living room of his South Sanford home.

Cut to. . . A dark Prius arriving on a suburban street at night. The headlights cut off.
Cut to... An artist searching for house numbers illuminating mailboxes with an iPhone.
Cut to... An artist noticing a white car that is empty but has the interior light on. "This must be an actors car." he thinks.  
Cut To... A house with four or five cars parked in the driveway.
The camera dollies into the scene following the artist who enters the front door without knocking.

I'm late. John DiDonna is well into the script  that he as Walt wrote. It’s about his last days on earth. It’s about a city he’s going to build that’s going to change the world. And it’s about his brother. It’s about everyone who loves him so much, and it’s about how sad they’re going to be when he’s gone. Right? I mean, how can they live without him? 

The play reminded me often of the Film "Citizen Kane". It is about a giant public figure the demands the love of the public, but can not find true love in his own family.   Walt doesn't even refer to his wife or daughter, played by Jenny Ornstein, by name. He is however very sure everyone should know his name.

Ron Miller, Adam Del Medico, Disney's brother in law is a bit of a  sycophant who adores Walt. He is the only member of the family who feels that way.  But Ron is a jock and represents everything that Walt despises. 

Cut to... A meeting between Walt and Roy, Tommy Keesling, about the city of the future that Walt wants to build in Orlando. Roy explains that if the project is considered a township, then they have free reign to build what they want. Finally Walt will have a fiefdom that he is the supreme dictator of. He just has to live long enough to see it become a reality. Roy and the Disney board however see this project as just another theme park. 

Walt's fast fading health is covered in a quick series of snippets of conversation with his daughter. It becomes clear that his vision will never become a reality. His strength and domineering will can't put off the inevitable. Dreams of returning from a frozen stasis trigger rumors that exist to this day that Walt's brain is preserved in Cinderella's Castle running the huge theme part complex. This is an incredibly insightful and irreverent look at Walt's final days. The humor and humanity creep up on you and take you by surprise. The show flows at a breakneck pace and the audience has to keep up with Walt's furious pace.

When: Four Performances Only. November 20 – 23, 2015. Friday, Saturday and Monday 8:00 pm Sun 3:00 pm. Join cast members for a chat back immediately following the Sunday matinee. 

Where:
Lowndes Shakespeare Center Dr. Phillips Patron's Room 812 E. Rollins St., Orlando, FL,

Tickets: $10 advance (Paypal) $15 day of the show.  For tickets and information, email deathofdisney@gmail.com



All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Live from Orlando, It’s Science Night Live


Orlando Science Center kicked off the summer with an eclectic evening of fun and discovery reserved just for grown-ups during Science Night Live on Saturday, June 6 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. The evening had craft beer samplings with local and national breweries, craft beer mini seminars, a Pink Floyd laser light show and more! The event was part of Orlando Science Center’s year-long 60th anniversary celebration. I sketched a larger than life chess board. Two different couple competed during the course of the sketch.

A laser light show in the Dr. Phillips Cine Dome featured Pink Floyd’s “Best of Echoes.” It was a rock ‘n’ roll experience backed by 28,000 watts of stereo sound and  laser effects. Classics like “One of These Days,” “Comfortably Numb,” “Another Brick in the Wall,” and “Wish You Were Here” were augmented by laser animation. I watched the laser light show, and although I love the music of Pink Floyd the laser animation was insanely dated and trite. Many of the younger patrons lost interest and turned to the graphics on their phones.

Visitors could also examine the night sky in the Crosby Observatory through the use of the 10-inch refractor telescope, the largest of its kind in the state available to the public. View moons, planets and deep sky objects such as galaxies, nebula's and more. In addition, there is an unobstructed view of the downtown Orlando skyline from the sixth-floor terrace.

While the Science Center has a lot to offer kids and families during regular hours, Science Night Live was exclusively for grown-ups. Orlando Science Center's mission is to inspire science learning for life. The Science Center strives to create lasting impacts on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and develop the next generation of creative innovators. Fully accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Science Center ranks as one of the most popular museum destinations in the region. Having served more than 12 million people since its inception in 1955, the Science Center offers rich resources for lifelong learning.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Monthly Artist Critique at Barefoot Spa


Once a month, Parker Sketch hosts an informal, supportive and constructive discussion group about art at the Barefoot Spa (801 Virginia Dr, Orlando, Florida).  I try to got these sessions as often as I can, since I learn something every time I go.  This is a group of artists and art appreciators gathering to help each other grow as artists!  It is a limited space event. The work of about 12 artists is shared  and discussed. Once the capacity for participants is reached, you can be put on a standby list and you can participate without showing art. The opportunity to show art is first-come-first served. Attendees do not have to show art to participate. You don't have to be an artist to participate. If you are interested in art and want to meet other people who also enjoy art, you will feel right at home.

At the critique, artists share then newer art, art that is relevant to what they are doing now. If more than one piece is shared, it is usually part of a series. All kinds of art is shown, there have been oil painters, paper makers, glass artists, found object sculptors, video artists, watercolor painters, ceramicists, artists who draw and collage, jewelry artists, print makers, etc. It also doesn't matter how much experience you have. There have been artists who have never shown and artists who are nationally recognized competition winners. The point is to get people from many different styles, backgrounds, and experience levels together to talk about every one's work. The discussions have included pricing, finding materials, technique, framing, exhibition opportunities, and, yes, traditional critique. Each artist's work is shared  individually.

In May, Calvin Dunkle was showing several of his fantasy art themed paintings. His work seems inspired by the paintings of Frank Frazetta. Constructive comments about the compositions and colors seemed like they should help Calvin push the pieces to completion. I didn't show work, but the conversations wrestle with issues I confront in my our sketches daily. I learn from other artists mistakes. Now that I am teaching digital painting to student at Elite Animation, I have started schooling myself. Everyday I execute a digital painting based on paintings of my favorite arts. This week my masters have been John Singer Sargent, Toulouse Lautrec, and Giambattista Tiepolo. After spending several hours studying the paintings, I go out to sketch on location and I hope that some of their mastery will seep back into my own work. Taking chances and growing is a long slow marathon. None of this work will ever be seen. But I learn from the best.

On Saturday November 14th,  from 3pm to 8pm,  Parker Sketch is having a holiday art sale party and open studio at 1029 Delnova Lane Orlando FL. There will be appetizers, drinks, and art. He only runs this clearance sale once a year. After this sale, all pricing returns to his normal retail.
Art from 2015 20% Off
Art from 2014 40% Off
Art from 2013 60% Off
Art from 2012 and earlier 80% off
All prints are available for 50% off


This week my work was venomously attacked by an art troll on Facebook and I've come l realize that some local artists resent what I do when I report on the Orlando arts scene. Although my work is undervalued, often stolen by local businesses and arts organizations, and unappreciated by some, I will keep doing what I do, ignoring the haters and celebrating creative artists who change Orlando daily by supporting and encouraging each other. That is what the monthly artist critiques offer and I'm thankful that Parker takes on the task of pulling it all together. Mark your Calendar. The next artist critique will like be on December 3, 2015 at the Barefoot Spa starting at 6pm.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Weekend Top 6 Picks for November 14 and 15.

Saturday November 14, 2015 
10am to 5pm Free. Osceola Fall Festival.  Saturday and Sunday. Downtown Kissimmee FL.

10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday. $15. The 14th Annual Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Faire. Lake Idamere, Tavares at 12835 County Landfill Rd, Tavares, FL. What to Expect. . .
Beer + Turkey Legs
Men in tights and kilts
Busty wenches telling questionable jokes
100 period  reenactors/performers
60 artisans/vendors
Guys in armor hitting each other
Too many people saying "ye olde"
Rocking Celtic tunes
Aaaaaaand references to the King's nuts
Ye Olde Deets
Why (eth):
For charity. All proceeds from the Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Faire go to the  Educational Foundation of Lake County , a 501 (c) (3) organization that supports educational programs for at-risk youth in our community.
How (eth):
Tickets will be available online and at the gate and are $15 for Adults and $10 for Children. For more information, please visit our website or call the Educational Foundation of Lake County at (352) 326-1265.

Noon to 10pm. Free. Saturday and Sunday. Art Under the Stars. Lake Lily Drive, Maitland, FL.

Sunday November 15, 2015. 
Noon to 5 pm. Free. 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 fall..at the new brewery..next 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, & drink...so if that sounds like good times then..please join us!
Art..music..food..beer ...plus other interesting things...
Every 3rd Sunday.

2pm to 4pm.  $12 My Life in Dance Documentary, US Premier. Valencia College - East Campus 701 N Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, Florida.

9pm to 11pm Free. 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.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Grand Opening Party and Benefit features the work of Josh Garrick.

The new Henao Contemporary Center, 5601 Edgewater Dr Orlando, FL, held a Grand Opening party where one hundred people were the first to see the history making, Timeless exhibition by Josh Garrick. For the first time, after touring some of the worlds best museums, with 9 museums purchasing works for their permanent collections, Josh Garrick's TIMELESS, history making exhibit, is now for sale to the public. Part of Josh Garrick's magic comes in part from taking something classic and modernizing it with his use of lasered aluminum as photographic substrate. The new, cutting edge process is believed to be the first that will hold an image indefinitely. Timeless therefore a truly fitting exhibit title.

 This was the firs time I had seen so many of his photos in one place. The result is a museum quality show. The new gallery is located in an unexpected location across the street from a used car dealership. d parked my car behind a used tire store.  A large search high lit up the sky and this black tie affair brought out some of Orlando's most beautiful socialites. I decided to settle myself near the pianist for the evening, Joshua Glenn Wilson.An iPad on a music stank held the sheet music, therefor it seemed appropriate to sketch on a table to sketch on a tablet.

Outside, a car was parked on the sidewalk, and artist German Lemus was busy doing a custom paint job. The hood had a large lions head painted in spray paint and he follow up with layers of brush strokes to create a rich colorful textured surface. I considered sketching German at work but I had sketched him just the week before at Artlando where he was painting a Scion. Besides the Live music, there was champagne, wine, and signature cocktails, as well as a menu designed by the benevolent people of 4Rivers. A print to my let sold almost immediately.

Proceeds from the evening would help the Ronald McDonald House of Central Florida in their effort to build their new House. A resident of the Ronald McDonald House outlined the events in her life that lead to her being in need and she praised the Ronald me Donald House for being her safety net and helping her get back on her feet.

Jose Henao is the man who has established The Henao Contemporary Center. Josh Garrick praised Jose's commitment and dedication to art. Jose has a respect for artists which, rare to find in Orlando. I hope, therefore, to report on this galleries continued success. Josh Garrik's Timeless, will be on exhibit through January 15th, 2016.

Mark your calendar. On December 4, 2015, The gallery will be holding a fundraiser event featuring Steven Assael, the New York artist hailed by The Art Newspaper as “the foremost figurative painter of his generation”. On this day the artist will perform a life drawing demonstration in the Henao Contemporary Center. Patrons can drink wine and watch one of this generations greatest artists bring skill and creativity to life. Tickets are only $15.




All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Rehearsing The Quest, Choose your adventure, a musical.


Central Florida Vocal Arts presents "The Quest" at The Venue, 511 Virginia Drive Orlando FL. I went to the first dress rehearsal on November 9th. In a nutshell the show is about star crossed lovers with a mother in law from Hell. The show's producer, Theresa Smith-Levin welcomed me warmly to the rehearsal. It has to be nerve wracking to share a production still in rehearsals. The director for the evening was Keith Newhouse. Keith had an Ichibod Cranish enthusiasm that was infectious. Singer and actor Erik Branch had told me about the production several nights earlier at FAVO. When I arrived at the Venue, stage hands were still assembling the simple set.

The Quest Combines Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Magic Flute with Musical Theatre classics such as Steven Sondheim's Into the Woods and Idle and John Du Prez and Eric Idle's Spamalot, The Quest allows the audience to decide the fate of the characters on stage. Find your grail, rescue a bird catcher with his dream girl or escape the clutches of the Queen of the Night, it's up to you. This engaging and interactive show isn't your grandmother's opera!

The sweet young Pamina, McKenzie Frazier, always looked a bit bewildered when her prince Tamino, Kevin Romero, treated her  coldly, but when she sang, her soprano voice demand attention. I have to say that all the singers could sing operatic and also belt out the Broadway tunes.  This show is a rare case of a truly comic opera with modern flair. Erik Branch played the part of Sorastro, who at first seemed like a villain when he demanded that Pamina be imprisoned,  but as it turns out he was trying to protect Pamina from her evil mother, The Queen of the Night, Nissha Carson. Papageno, David Bracamonte, a baritone was often the comic relief of the show. He wore a  head dress with large pointy feathers and though he longed for love, he had to be content with making people laugh and the attentions of a much older woman.

The intimate nature of the Venue means that the audience will sometimes be surrounded by the cast. There are some stellar voices to be heard. I found myself humming along to the many familiar tunes, and smiling at the relaxed fun many of the actors had performing with comedic fervor. I had a blast, it is a fun night of musical theater. The rehearsal ended before I found out what happens to the lovers, but their fate is in the hands of each audience. Voting changes the plot multiple times so no two shows are the same.

Tickets are on sale now for ONLY FIVE SHOWS!
Show dates are November 14, 20 and 21 at 7:30 PM and
November 15 & 22 at 3:00 PM at
The Venue, 511 Virginia Dr. Orlando 32803.



All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Every other Wednesday Traditional Irish Music Sessions


I sketched at Claddagh Cottage Irish Pub (4308 Curry Ford Rd., Orlando, FL) on November 4th. Every other Wednesday, Vicki Gish, and Scott Vocca host a traditional Irish music session at the pub. Kathleen Cavanagh, has been playing the uilleann pipes for years. These three are members of Crooked Road, which keeps the traditional Irish music alive in Central Florida. 

An Irish Session is a gathering of musicians playing traditional Irish music (occasionally including other Celtic genres such as Scottish, Brittany, Cape Breton, and French Canadian) on traditional Irish instruments. Traditional Irish music is made up of dance tunes such as reels, jigs, hornpipes, slides, and a few other miscellaneous forms including polkas, set dances, airs and songs. It is not so much a performance, but a sharing of traditional tunes among the musicians and those who care to listen. The instruments might include fiddle, flute, accordion, uilleann pipes (pronounced ILL-in), concertina, tenor banjo, whistle (a.k.a. penny whistle, tin whistle), mandolin, bodhrán (pronounced BOW-ron), guitar, and sometimes piano.

At this session there was a visitor from out of town. He was visiting from Minnesota and he found this Irish session to help him celebrate his 30th birthday. He had with him a bodhrán and his beat helped enliven every set. This is fairly common for musicians to visit from out of town.  There is no pressure to keep performing, so between tunes, musicians would relax and sip Guinness. I glanced at the bar several times to consider ordering a pint, but didn't see a bartender. Once I started to sketch, I was lost in thought. Vicki got up to order and she bought me a pint. Which I didn't expect, but I'm grateful.

Sketching at an Irish Music Session is a delight. I tap my foot to the beat and sway a bit as the sketch progresses. Perhaps traditional watercolor is more appropriate for a Irish session, but I used the tablet since I had come straight from teaching digital art to my students at Elite Animation. A little girl kept struggling to see what I was doing but her bigger sister kept pulling her back to be polite. A patron at the bar decided to pose in the archway behind the musicians so I could include him in the sketch.  Everyone laughed at his gesture.

Mark your calendar, the next Irish Music session is November 18th, followed by December 2, 16 and 30.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Monday, November 9, 2015

ODD 5 at The Brass Tap


The fifth Orlando Drink and Draw (ODD) was held at The Brass Tap (Mills Park 1632 N Mills Ave, Orlando, Florida). Mills Park is a new development featuring apartments and a strip mall near the theaters on Princeton. There used to be a tiny store on the corner of Mills and Virginia called "Cash Lust Translator". That store sold of cash registers and the owner held on to the store for the longest time which held up the development project. I regret never going into Cash Lust Transactor to sketch.

Having never been to Mills Park, I got a bit lost looking for The Brass Tap. In all about six artists stopped out to drink and draw. I was pleased that two new artists came out. Audrey Zindler and John Nadeau are regulars at the Crealdé sketch classes. John sat at the end of the bar and as I sketched l debated if he was an artist or not. He does wonderful loose oil paintings in the figure drawing classes. Audrey showed me his work on her phone. She is now running the Sunday Morning sketch sessions and I'm encouraged to start sketching from models again. The Sunday morning sketch sessions are from 10am to 12:30 pm at Crealdé School of Art, 600 St Andrews Blvd, Winter Park, FL. The cost. $10. I need to loosen up my digital sketches and this seems like a great way to do that.

Carlos Basabe was working on a sketch of a steampunk penguin with a jet pack which I believe is for a beer label. He recently shared a beer label design for Chiberian Warmer and it is hilarious. Vote for it if to like it. I had the notion of having artists do quick 5 minute sketches of each other, but by the time everyone had arrived, I was contently working on my sketch and I couldn't stop, so I let everyone drink and draw in piece. My beer for the night was Funky Buddha and I had a pretzel to munch between sips. When my sketch was done I joined in on a conversation about the Walking Dead. I like having the opportunity to see what other artists are up to and being able to wind down after the sketch is done. Usually when I sketch each night, I pack up the art kit and head home once the sketch is complete. 

Mark your calendar. ODD 6 will be held December 7th starting a 6 pm at The Falcon Bar and Gallery. If you know an artist who likes to drink, draw or both, let them know.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Mel's Bad Girls Club Art Show


I stopped by City Arts Factory to see the volunteer team effort involved in hanging new shows. There are four galleries as well as the long haII way in which to hang art. That is a whole lot of wall space. In May, when this sketch was done, they were hanging, Mel's Bad Girls Club Art Show. Tamere Parsons was getting all the labels ready for the show. I don't think most artists are aware of the amount of work that goes into hanging each show. One piece that really caught my eye was a black frame that had physical branches breaking up the inner dimensional space by artist Chelle Shannon. Maura Luchesse had one of her sensual recycled magazine mosaic pieces titled "Catch Me If You Can." The price was $8000 which is reassuring since that implies that some people in Orlando are paying a reasonable market rates for art. Laura Williams "Gypsy Mermaid" on the other hand was marked down to the minimum wage, bargain basement price of $300.

On a black and white photo on the wall, a homeless woman holds up a sign that says help please. This is much like the common perception of "the starving artist." Local artists bicker and fight over scraps rather than banding together and empowering each other. A weekend away in NYC reminded me of what a vibrant arts scene can be like. I met 18 like mine artists for a Sketch Crawl in Washington Square Park where we documented a huge police violence awareness rally and then sketched the huge variety of performance artists in the park. In Orlando performance art is outlawed or rather limited to a few blue box locations that are in isolated locations downtown. I've never actually seen an artist use one of the blue box busking stations. Instead, Lake Eola has a speaker system that pipes in Disney white bread music for the swans to listen to.  The Creative City Project livened up the streets of Downtown for one night, but then the silence returned.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Mediteranian Deli has great gyros.


The Mediterranean Deli, 981 W Fairbanks Ave, Orlando, FL, has consistently great tasting gyros and Mediterranean salads. If I find I have time for a bite before sketching in Winter Park, I always stop into the Deli. The proprietor always shouts out, "How are you my good friend!" Its like going to Cheers, where everybody knows your name. I always order a gyro and salad along with caffeine. If there is enough time, I do a sketch, because this hole in the wall deli deserves all the credit that it gets. There is almost always a line but they keep the turn around quick. There was a new assistant at the register and he was doing a fine job. There was also a help wanted sign in the window since there is so much demand at the noon and 5pm rush hours. The Deli is a short drive west off of the I-4, Fairbanks exit. Anytime I'm in the neighborhood I stop in. Quite honestly, I sometimes drive a little out of my way, to stop in.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Weekend Top 6 Picks for November 7th and 8th.

11-15-13BallSaturday November 7, 2015 
3pm to 6pm Free. Facility Tour and Tasting. Breyting Community Roaster 1220 Biscayne Blvd 145 North Woodland Blvd, DeLand, FL. Breyting Community Roaster celebrates the Grande Opening of its 4,000 sq ft state-of-the-art coffee manufacturing plant in DeLand, FL capable of producing over 3.4 million pounds annually in two custom built 2,400 pound roasters. Organic certified production is slated to begin in the Summer of 2016. The roastery’s upbeat, socially conscious and avant-garde coffees have met with rave reviews, sparking considerable national buzz.About Breyting Community Roaster & Our New Location.
Breyting Community Roaster is a socially responsible, mission-driven business that seeks to align their coffee brands with worthy causes and support non-profits through an innovative fundraising program. Their long-held business strategy is to build brands that have modest, yet consistent, earning power with good returns on equity and support these brands with worthy causes, talent and honest management.

7pm to 10pm. $150 Neanderthal Ball. Orlando Science Center, 777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL.  Party like it’s 100,099 B.C. at Orlando Science Center’s 9th Annual Neanderthal Ball on Saturday, November 7. Benefitting the Orlando Science Center and its mission to inspire science learning for life, this event is part of Orlando Science Center’s year-long 60th anniversary celebration and promises to be an evening of prehistoric fun for everyone! New this year, Mayors Jewelers presents: Champagne on the Rocks with the chance to win a diamond necklace by purchasing a glass of champagne to toast the Science Center’s 60th anniversary.

7pm to 10pm. Free. Monster Bash with B-52s Fred Schneider. In celebration of Breyting Community Roaster's Grande Opening come join us for the Monster Bash After Party with Fred Schneider, frontman of the iconic rock band, the B-52s.
Fred Schneider’s caffeine-crazed monsters are back from remote villages with the perfect coffee beans for the fire-breathing dragon to roast Fred Schneider‘s Monster Blend to a frighteningly intense flavor.To celebrate this galactic find, join us to taste what’s been roasted up and party down as Fred DJ’s the dance mix. Space Vixens will be serving cosmic coffee cocktails: Godzilla’s Kiss, Rodan and Rum and Yetti Freddy.
To prove you were actually at this party, take a selfie with Javapussrex or one of the other monsters. Grab your best pals and rocket on over to Fred Schneider’s Monster Bash to celebrate his out of this world coffee and party like it’s 3015!

Sunday November 8, 2015 
11pm to 1pm Donation based community YogART class: 7 Chakra series. Artegon Marketplace 5250 International Dr, Orlando, Florida. Every 2nd Sunday of the month YogART will be hosting FREE Color Therapy Yoga classes for the community at Artegon Marketplace (located in the community room across from section B6 - use movie theater entrance)
We are excited to bring you our "7 Chakra Series" that will focus each class on each individual chakra: breaking down it's color, meaning, location and function. This particular class will revolve around our second major energy point known as "The Sacral Chakra".
Color Therapy glasses will also be provided for those who wish to experience the effects of color therapy. Orange will be the primary focus for our Root Chakra but you may wear any color you want to work with.
This is an ALL LEVELS class which incorporates stretching, breathing exercises and light yoga poses geared around the Sacral Chakra.
We also have a color wheel on our site that explains the benefit of each color (glasses) Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. http://www.yogartinc.com/color-therapy-chart/
Please bring your own yoga mat and prepare to unwind.


11pm to 5pm. Free. The Japan Association of Orlando's 15th Annual Orlando Japan Festival. Village at Hunter’s Creek, 13574 Village Park Drive.
Performances include:
one-hundred-member Japanese Taiko drum ensemble
Koto (Japanese harps)
Iaido (Japanese swordsmanship and martial arts)
Nihon Buyo (traditional Japanese dance)
Edo Satokagura from the National Theater of Japan’s Wakayama Performance Troupe
Experiences:
try on Yukatas (kimonos)
participate in the cosplay contest
play Japanese-style carnival games
watch a Judo demonstration
enjoy Japanese music and dance
observe a traditional Japanese tea ceremony
learn Japanese calligraphy
enjoy traditional Japanese cuisine


3pm to 5pm Free. Open Art Party. Kissimmee Lakefront Park 201 Lakeview Dr, Kissimmee, Florida. There will be Hot dogs, Hamburgers, Chips, Soda, and Water. Free for Artists. Please tip the chef. It will be held at the Heron Pavilion. Please RSVP with the amount of people you will be bringing or inviting. (We want to make sure we have enough food for all!!)
For more information please contact Tee at 407-732-3846



All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

FAVO Motel Art Studios First Friday Art Show and Exhibition


Mark your calendars. On the first Friday of each month, Faith Arts Village Orlando (FAVO) 221 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, Florida, hosts its First Friday Art Show. There are 36 open studios, childrens activities, live music, food trucks, and more. The weather is cooling and the holidays are coming. Stock up on locally created gifts for loved ones, family and friends.The next FAVO is Friday November 6th starting at 5:30pm. 

I love making a monthly pilgrimage to this event to see artists at work and to quickly check out the latest local art. There is a wide variety of art showcased and I almost always discover something new. The motel room studios are all rather small so I seldom sketch inside, but all the large glass windows appeal to the voyeur in me. I m always shocked at how early the Christmas decorations go up at retail stores, but at Faro you will find local art which can be a very thoughtful seasons gift. 

While artists are being evicted from studio spaces in Winter Park an Ivanhoe Village, FAVO is a rare case of renovating an old motel for artists. Not many of the rooms are full time studios yet, but every month the place lights up with activity. At this Friday' FAVO, there is a Living Room Theater Preview in room 236. Banks Helfrich and Tisse Mallon present 10 minute previews of Living Room Theater throughout the evening.  Living Room Theater is a unique, experiential show which focuses on fun, connection and authenticity.
A few things for you to know:
- While not lewd or vulgar, this show is recommended for ages 18 and up
- The preview lasts 10 minutes
- There will be 4 different version of the preview which will be on rotation throughout the evening. See just one or all four!
- No charge for preview and donations will be accepted.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

National Dance Day with a Hip Hop flair.


At National Dance Day, most of my sketches were done in the main rehearsal hall in the Orlando Ballet Central Campus. The room was always packed. Local artist and arts organizer Cole Nesmith was in the back row trying on the hip hop moves for size. The instructor slowly taught a entire dance routine by giving the participants new moves that built onto what they already had learned. I had already sketched an establishing shot that showed | entire rehearsal space, and now [ was loosening up and trying l catch the energy of the dancers gestures.

The woman right in front of me was having g blast learning the moves. She not only we learning the routine, but she gave it her own personal flair. This is what separates great dancers from goo dancers. They demand attention because they are loving an at they do. I'm sure that. true of any art form. In these looser sketches, I switched to using a pencil which gave the lines more life_


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Bring theater to your living room.

Banks Helfrich, Jack Graham and Tisse Mallon present experiential performances in living rooms.
This unique 50 minute show consists of short segments focused on fun, connection and authenticity. I went to a performance at Tisse Mallon's home in the quiet College Park neighborhood. Daylight savings time meant that it was dark when I arrived. A table was set up on the walkway to her front door and there was a bottle of red and a bottle of white wine along with wine glasses. For a suggested donation of $5 I had a cup of red to loosen up my line work.

I was a bit anxious since I knew that there would only be 50 minutes to sketch the show and I'm used to having two hours to complete most sketches. The living room was only about 12 by 12 feet. I sat on one of the two couches and about 18 people squeezed in. Folding chairs were set up until everyone had a seat. There were familiar smiles and some people I had never met before. In Victorian times long before TV invaded our living rooms, people would perform for each other for entertainment. These improvisational performances harkens back to those simpler and more creative times.  


Tisse is a talented photographer and life coach and Banks is an independent film producer and director. I had never met Jack but quickly learned that he is a talented acoustic guitar player and actor. The separate acts were tied together by a common thread of connectivity built from honest incidents from the actors lives. In one particularly powerful  scene, Tisse sat alone on stage and silently looked at each of the audience members. I paused my sketch as she looked at me and I felt her smile widen as we looked at each other. She addressed everyone letting then know she felt they we beautiful and she acknowledged how we tried to always get it right. "Darn right" l thought. "This sketch isn't turning out like I'd expected." Perhaps always struggling to capture the moment keeps me from appreciating the true warmth of being in the moment.

In another scene the living room went pitch black. l stopped sketching. The actors were warming up their voices and started setting a beat by pounding the floor. I joined in by pounding my unfinished sketch. Everyone in the audience joined in. There was a primal, playful joy in that moment. Scenes were separated by the sounds of birds singing the trees. It felt like seasonal separations that marked the moments of our common experiences. Scenes addressed love, compromise and betrayal.  In a rather dark scene, Banks lay on the floor claiming that his spine was severed. Jack, as his brother reassured him. In an unexpected turn he offered his fallen brother fresh pancakes. Back in the kitchen, off stage, we all heard him moan and then fall to the floor. Banks called on to his brother but never rose. Once again the birds chirped as the room went black.

In the talk back after the show, Tisse explained that rehearsals had established how long each scene was but how each scene unfolded was different every time they performed. Tisse came up with the concept of Living Room Theater and they hope to bring the show to everyone and anyone's living rooms. There is no cost to book your living room as one of their venues. They also hope to someday take performances on the road. It is a great idea. The intimate setting makes you feel like you are on stage, very much a part of the action. The fourth wall is broken. There were a few moments when I felt an awkward pause as an actor searched, trying to decide how to react and where to take the  scene. What was never lost however was how fearless and honestly connected they were to each other. Mark Your Calendar, the next Living Room performance is Saturday November 7th.


All artwork is for sale. Some originals available as well as limited edition prints. Commissions upon request. Please contact artist.