Wednesday, January 27, 2016
On January 7th we held the first Orlando Drink and Draw (ODD) event of the new year at Maxine's on Shine (337 N Shine Ave, Orlando, Florida). Several tables were pushed together in front of the stage and amazingly eight artists filled every single seat. Two couples had heard about the event thanks to the Orlando Weekly. Actually all the artists were new to the experience except Audrey Zinder who runs the Sunday open figure drawing sessions at Crealde. I keep saying I wan to go each week for figure drawing but I've made a commitment to keep Sundays "Sketch free" so that I ha a day of rest. the only thing I do on Sundays is put together the week end Top 6 Picks.
I took the waitresses advice on a red wine and ordered muscles as an appetizer and then a full seafood stew. The food was amazing, and, since I was sketching the stage the dinner lingered for hours. I tend to get lost in the sketch for a while and then surface to play host for a bit. I have an ongoing project which is an eternal accordion sketchbook. It is often 2 good way to get new artists a chance to sketch something silly and small. I was quite happy that two writers joined the ODD group on this sketch outing. Janet Benge in a high heel respected author and she has just started doing watercolors. Her charming sketches might someday work their way into a children book. Logan Anderson is y poet who I see quite often at events in town. He reminds me of an Urban Sketcher because he always has a leather satchel over his shoulder in which he carries his writing supplies. Where I catch a scene using lines and washes, he digs deep into the scene with his words.
Since there were three couples, I suggested that artists face each other and do five minute ruthless portraits of each other. The energy at the table multiplied as they worked, and then there was plenty of laughter when the five minute were up. This is a great was for artists to break the ice. Conversations blossomed. I learned where to find some real talented tattoo artists. I've sketched tattoo artists at work before and I am fascinated by the long labor of love. One artist had tried to be a tattoo artist, but the constant buzz of the electric needle caused his hand to go numb. It is sort of like wanting to be a sea captain but finding out you get sea sick.
Nick Landess performed for well over two hours on piano and guitar. I often feel like I'm the only person in a room who truly focuses on the talent that plays live background music in a bar, restaurant or at an event. I'm convinced that I become invisible when I'm sketching. I admire a performer who can work despite all the conversations going on in a room. Once my sketch ass done, I shouted to be heard at the vibrant conversation be the artists at the table. I had more red wines than I should have. A song on the radio on the drive home caused me to pause and remember a Disney Feature Animation friend, Christine Lawrence Finney, who had died unexpectedly at the age of 47. The evenings frivolity turned to sadness. "Something touched me deep inside, the day the music died."