Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Orlando Tech Week at Church Street Marketplace.

I walked over to Church Street Marketplace (101 S Garland Ave Orlando FL 32801) for what I thought would be a tech demo. The place was deserted except for the caterer. I asked him what he knew about the event and he was pretty clueless. A large screen was set up, and when I arrived, it was projecting a computer desktop. I figured that had to be my center of interest.

Procreate, my digital sketch program on my iPad had updated several days ago and a new feature showed up called the perspective tool. It allows you to place several vanishing points on the sketch and the program automatically sets up a perspective grid to use a s a drawing guide. I used that feature for the first time on this sketch which is a pretty high tech leap for me. I was utilizing a bit more tech to cover Tech Week.

Only later that night did I learn that what I was sketching was the Black  Orlando Tech Hip Hop Happy Hour. DJ Nigel John shouted up a welcome to me, shouting "Thor!" I shouted back and then sketched him as he set up his DJ mix station. Janessa Gursky must have been an event organizer because she also greeted me. About 6 round high top tables were set up and slowly people started to arrive. This was slated to be the chillest, happy hour event of Orlando Tech Week 2017. It was a chance for everyone to unwind from the nonstop tech events of the week with a drink and conversation.I was a little disappointed not to walk away with some miraculous tech enlightenment but, the music was pumping as I left for dinner.

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

Monday, October 16, 2017

The First onePULSE Foundation Town Hall Meeting.

The onePULSE Foundation's first Town Hall meeting was held at the Rep Theater (1001 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803). 400 people reserved tickets to attend. The meeting was a panel discussion exploring why and how we create memorials and museums, and what is involved in the process. Experts from around the country came to share their experiences. Barbara Poma, the Pulse Nightclub owner and onePULSE Foundation executive director, said, "Building a permanent memorial and museum at the site is the most powerful way to pay respect for the lives taken, and to all those affected on that awful night." The moderator for the night, was journalist Indira Lakshmanan.

Kari Watkins, the Executive Director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial was the first panelist on the left. The event was being held just one week after the mass murder in Las Vegas. She explained that the community memorials had already begun. An empty lot was acquired from the city and 58 trees were planted, one tree for each victim. At the Oklahoma City Bombing site one tree had survived and saplings were being handed out. 168 people died. Initially, the Chamber of Commerce was not on board with the plans for a museum and memorial, they didn't want their city to be known as the city that had been bombed. The site is now the most visited tourist attraction in the state.

Ed Linenthal is a PhD and author of several books such as Sacred Ground, Preserving Memory, and The Unfinished Bombing: Oklahoma City in American Memory. He explained that the process of deciding what to put on a site is incredibly difficult because you are dealing with an open wound. We need to get rid of psycho babble words like "closure". People in Orlando will be living along side of the Pulse tragedy for a very long time and that is OK. There is a new "normal". The process involves many, many people who are very personally involved. Everything is a razor's edge issue. Should there be 49 hearts, trees, or points of light here?... on and on and on. How could it not be agonizing? Memorials are a protest of the anonymity of mass murder in our times.

Jan Ramirez, is the Executive Vice President of Collections and the Chief Curator of the National September 11th Memorial and Museum in NYC. She explained that the NYC site is an unplanned cemetery. 40% of the close to 3,000 people who died when the towers fell, have no remains. The families never had the comfort of a burial. Our work is never done. Only since the museum opened have many victim's families decided to share their stories and artifacts.

Anthony Gardner is the Senior Vice President of Government and Community Affairs at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. He became involved after his brother Harvey died in the tower collapse. The process of building a memorial is going to be painful. It needs to be. The reaction to people visiting the 9/11 memorial is universal, they pause and say to themselves, "I am there." They know it is a tragic story, they know it is painful, but they leave inspired, because this is a story in which the best of humanity responded to the worst of humanity.

Anthony's brother Harvey loved history. The night before he was killed, he was watching a documentary on WWII. He became a part of the history he cherished just several hours later. Harvey is one of the 40% who were never identified after the towers fell. The family didn't have anything of his that was recovered. He found himself trapped in that office. The one call that got through to Harvey allowed the family to overhear him comforting his colleagues, who were starting to panic. He was directing people and he was calm and brave in those acts, so the family holds on to that. Anthony values the authenticity of place and setting. He feels some authentic fabric of Pulse should be left behind. Authenticity of place helps people connect that didn't have that direct experience.

Pam Schwartz is the Chief Curator of the Orange County Regional History Center. "...Typically museums collect, "old stuff". We  have historical perspective on that... When doing rapid response or contemporary collecting, you have to rely 50% on your training and education, and 50% on intuition, or what we think might be an important historical story...That can change very rapidly. It took 9 years for Orlando to get the title of the worst mass shooting after Virginia Tech. It took just 16 months to give that title to Las Vegas. The history of our event is already changing based on what is happening in Vegas. The question goes from, "How could this happen to us", to "Is it ever going to stop?..."

Pam explained, a mass shooting is when four or more people, not including the shooter, are "shot and/or killed" at "the same general time and location." This year there have been at least 276 mass shootings in America. That is close to one mass shooting a day. We can't memorialize every single event, but each time there are people who lost their loved ones, there are emotional and mental scars. Everyone feels the most strongly about the event that affected them. You focus on the stories and try to make it a teachable moment. We are dealing with a lot of different demographics here in Orlando. Our event at Pulse is unique in that it speaks to a broader situation in our world today, in politics an in the fights we are still fighting.

She went on to say that the memorial items come from the community. They are outpourings from the heart. They are often items left because people don't know what else to do. One thing they collected was a cooler from Pulse. If you went to the Pulse site, you would have seen the big white cooler left by the police. The church down the street kept filling it every day because it is HOT in Orlando. So this artifact was one of support. 

Pam and the History Center staff were out there collecting every single day and  drank some of that water. One day, they showed up and it was just covered in signatures. There were all these signed banners full of love and support, and then people were like,  "What else can we sign?" So they collected this cooler, it is sort of a living history of the memorials. 

The History Center staff also went into the club after the site was released back to Barbara Poma. Pam approached and asked if things could be collected from inside. That might seem a bit macabre, but think of it as Abraham Lincoln's hat or the artifacts you might see at the 9/11 museum. These are very real artifacts that tell a story. Should they be displayed now or put them on exhibition, no, but in 200 years there will be people who were not here, did not experience it, and it is very real evidence that this event truly happened to people. The History Center also has items from Pulse before this event. Pulse has a very rich history before June 12, it was home to so many people.

In response to a question from the audience about ensuring the process is inclusive, Pam explained that this series of community conversations are the first link to inclusivity for everyone. Everyone should fill out the online Survey for the Memorial. The results of which will become the design brief that will go out to the potential designers for the memorial and museum. This is not a fast process. It takes time, so we have several years to figure this out together. This is at its heart a community event. It happened to us all in some way shape or form. It will be a community conversation and ultimately a community decision in how we move forward. That is why they are starting to have meetings with families of survivors and other community members. Talk to onePulse Foundation members. They want to know what everybody is thinking. They do not have all the right answers for what this can look like or what it should look like right now, but they are beginning the process and want everybody who feels attached to this to be involved.

In other Pulse related news, the City just approved a temporary memorial designed by Dix.Hite + Partners which will add landscaping to soften the area while replacing the fence with more aesthetically pleasing elements. A rainbow colored sidewalk crossing was also approved by the City and already painted into place.  I filled out the survey and it took no longer that 10 minutes. Be sure to fill out the survey as well. Your voice matters, your opinion matters. Help shape the future of the Pulse memorial site. Earl Crittenden offered a quote that pointed the way towards a solution, "The best way to predict the future is to create it." - Abe Lincoln

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

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Phantasmagoria VIII "The Chains of Fire" at the Shakes.

Phantasmagoria Orlando and DiDonna Productions is proud to present the eighth all new installment in their Critically Acclaimed “Whimsically Macabre” Halloween Celebrations at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 E Rollins St, Orlando, Florida 32803). 

The brand new PHANTASMAGORIA VIII "Chains of Fire" thunders on to the Mandell Theater with all new stories of terror! Live performers, “Phantastical” dance, explosive stage combat, large scale puppetry, aerial performance and haunting storytelling combine to create a tapestry of macabre and whimsical horror!

Phantasmagoria’s evocative troupe of storytellers, dancers, and chorus embark on their newest and perhaps darkest journeys yet through literary tales of terror, and horrific folk stories, legends, and myths. Enter with us into dark tales from the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, HG Wells, Robert Browning, Lord Byron, Charlotte Perkins Gilman among many others – all to set the tone for a truly Phantasmagorical Halloween season!

I went to a dress rehearsal which had a fairly clean run through of the show. Using the iPad meant I could see what I was working on throughout the performance. I am really enjoying the ability to zoom in when sketching performers. The digital sketchbook is becoming my preferred medium when sketching in a dark theater. This was indeed a darker and more sinister show. Strangulation and death haunted the cast though most every story. Once they begin a tale it must be told to completion. The hitch is that the live the tale intimately to the point of near death. The cast seems immortal however having told the stories for centuries. 

One of my favorite moment came after the run through. John DiDonna was giving a note on how to dramatically stage a strangulation. He said, "Here allow me to show you by strangling my wife." He grabbed Dion Leonhard DiDonna by the neck and arched her backwards as he leaned over her. Being a ballerina, she made the gruesome moment look graceful.

After the run through the cast did a whimsical and comically relaxed rendition of the story, Captain Murderer". The cast ran out into the audience often getting face to face with the audience as the told the tale with absolute delight. They are at their best when mixing the macabre with the whimsical.

Special VIP Experience - Arrive by 7:20 on Select Nights
This year Phantasmagoria also has a Special VIP Experience! The VIP show will occur BEFORE the main stage show on select nights only (Fri/Sat nights and Halloween) as we introduce our “Phantasticaly Phantabulous Sideshow Extravaganza!” Specialty acts, special guests, and appearances by members of the Phantasmagoria troupe weave together to start the evening off in the best and darkest of ways! This year all VIP seating can be RESERVED (for the first time) upon coming to the door to ensure prime seating for all our VIP guests. At the end of the show, the VIP audience member will also be treated to a final encore especially designed for them! VIP also includes a glass of wine or soft drink, a take home gift and more!

Information and Ticketing can be found beginning in September on the website at  or on our Facebook page.

Phantasmagoria/DiDonna Productions
Phantasmagoria VIII “The Chains of Fire”
Oct 13th – Nov 4th 2017
All evening performances at 8:00pm (Box opens at 7:00pm/
VIP Show experience at 7:20 / VIP Theater Entrance at 7:50 followed by General Admission seating)
Oct 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27. 28. 29. 30. 31, Nov 3, 4
Special MONDAY Performance on October 30th @ 9:00pm only
NOTE: VIP Show Experience only available Friday/Saturday nights and Halloween MUST arrive early for 7:20-ish start
General Admission and Student/Senior/Military available on all nights.
The Mandell Theatre, John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center - Loch Haven Park, Orlando, FL
Lot on site, additional lots and street parking in close proximity
Student/Senior/Military Admission - $15.00 / General admission - $25.00
Student/Senior/Military VIP Admission - $30.00 / General VIP Admission - $40.00
(VIP Admission includes Pre Reserved Seating, VIP SideShow performance, wine or soft drink, a take home surprise, and more! – Available only Friday/Saturday and Halloween nights)
WILL CALL/CASH ONLY AT DOOR reserve by calling our hotline at 407-476-5121
(Leave name/number/date of performance and number in party – you will be called back only if there is a problem with your reservation)

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

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Petrified Forest Serves up Some Gorgeous Horror.

The Petrified Forest is offering its 10th year of fear. I went early on the opening night of this series of scare trails. The director Silvia Katherine Viles had invited me to sketch the trail by lingering in one of the sets. To blend in, I was given a bloodied shirt and my face was quickly painted to look like I had been beaten to a bloody pulp. Scare actors were waiting for costuming and make up. They waited on the lawn and there was an excitement in the air since the forest scares were yet to come. Silvia was at a loss as to where to put me. She finally settled on the chapel filled with roses and a casket. I could sit in the church pews and sketch while guests wandered through.

 Before letting the first guests onto the trails, all the scare actors gathered and some one shouted, "Who's house?" Everyone shouted back, "Our house!!" Quickly everyone made their way back into the maze to find their places. I followed Sylvia to the church.

It was decided that a lamp in the church room was too bright, so a tech had to unscrew one of the bulbs. She used a leaf to grab the bulb since it was hot. Righty tighty, lefty loosy. The scare actors in the church seemed like a brother and sister. He leaped over the pews lunging at people walking through while making guttural noises. His ragged costume was ripping all the more with shreds left everywhere. As he distracted people, the girl would lunge out of a wall of roses and scream. I looked like a zombie sketching in the back row. If people complimented my sketch or addressed me, I just grumbled and moaned, which is pretty much my typical behavior. "Are you an artist?" ugh rrrrrrrr. I couldn't see the sketch very well in the dark. When I suspected it might be done, I made my way out through a back stage door. I returned the bloody shirt but didn't attempt to clean off all the stage paint on my face.

I met Pam and Lesleyann from the Orange County Regional History Center and experienced all the trails for the first time with them. I shouted quite a few times. I am easily shocked or amazed. My favorite area was a haunted forest illuminated by black light. It reminded me of the beauty of scenes from the movie Avatar. The actress in a white flowing dress seemed genuinely strange and flighty. It would have been a great space to try sketching on the iPad. Another scary area was the farmstead. A pig-faced menace greeted us from the start as we slogged through the muddy trail. In one dark space, a ghoul ran through the air with the help of ropes. Near the end with safety in sight, a creepy clown asked why we weren't smiling, and a chainsaw wielding menace chased people from behind.

That night, washing off the blood in the shower looked like the scene from Psycho. Blood splattered on tiles and the shower curtain before circling down the drain.

Remaining show dates, after dark are
October 14.
October 18, 19, 20 and 21.
October 26, 27 and 28
November 2, 3 and 4.

They're located on S.R. 436, just 1/4 mile West of 17-92
1360 E Altamonte Dr, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701

Tickets are $33 for VIP
Double trail is $25
Single trail and back stage tour, $23
Single Trail $15
Backstage Tour $10

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

Friday, October 13, 2017

Weekend Top 6 Picks for October 14th and 15th.

Saturday, October 14, 2017
Noon to 10 PM - Free. Come Out With Pride. Lake Eola Park and surrounding streets. Celebrated in October, Come Out With Pride welcomes everyone from Central Florida and beyond to come together and #KeepDancingOrlando! The marquee event, "The Most Colorful Parade in Orlando," will start at 4 PM next Saturday at Lake Eola Park. The route has been expanded down to Orange Avenue.

7 PM to 10 PM - $35. 8th Urban Sketch Workshop - Come Out With Pride.  515 East Pine Street #1 Orlando, Fl 32801. One of ten workshops training artists to become sketch correspondents. 

9 PM to 2:30 AM Official After Party for Pulse. The main event runs 9 PM to 2:30 AM at 111 N. Summerlin Ave. It has a Latin Night theme and performances by 69 Boyz, Anais and the Pulse Orlando Family. You must be 21 and older to drink, 18 and up are welcome. The pre-party starts at 4 PM. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017
10 AM to Noon - Free. Heartfulness Relaxation and Meditation Class. University, 5200 Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32811. The Method of Heartfulness A simple and practical way to experience the heart’s unlimited resources. 

1 PM to 8 PM - Free. Will's A Faire Fall Market at Southern Fried Sunday. Will's Pub 1042 N Mills Ave, Orlando, Florida 32803. Will’s A Faire, the one day retro, vintage, local and handmade market with live music, food trucks and fun indoors and out is back for fall at Will's Pub! The outdoor market runs from 1PM until 8:30 PM, with food trucks and live music from: Oak Hill Drifters, Van Gordon Martin, Invisible Sun (The Police Tribute Set), B-Tru Mann, Luke Wagner and Jessica Delacruz and More Music later, with a free show inside Will's by Marc With a C, Steve Garron Is An Asshole and Milk Carton Superstars. The outdoor music is free to the public and all ages are welcome. Bring the Fam! Inside is 18+ after 9 PM.

2 PM to 6 PM - Free. Gentle, Manly Photoshoot 3. Macbeth Studio, 37 North Orange Avenue, Suite 900, Orlando, Florida 32801. Gentle, Manly is a photography project that seeks to explore and challenge society's cultivation of toxic, stereotypical masculinity. It is a collaboration of Macbeth Studio, Elar Institute, and Jeremy Seghers. Who they are looking for: straight men of any background or way of life. What they will be doing: photographing straight men holding hands with each other and being affectionate. Why they are doing this: because real, straight men show compassion and affection. What this is not: sexual or exploitative in any way. What to prepare: just come as you are with an open mind. Wear whatever makes you comfortable. We want to capture your honest, authentic self. To participate, please email your name and phone number to: whiterabbitorlando@gmail.com

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

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Vagrant at Dangerous Theater in Sanford.

The Vagrant is the little production that could. Hurricane Irma interrupted rehearsals and then Winnie Wengelwick, the theater owner, had to have oral surgery. One cast member had a family emergency and pulled out of production during the revised tech week and then another actor pulled out at the last moment. Amazingly, replacements were found within a day. The 5 week production run has had to be cut from 5 weeks to 3 weeks. The new intimate theater is continuing to take form.

I went to the production and was blown away by the play written by Brett Hursey. Lenny Madison (David Martin) is a vagrant living on the streets of the big city. He swindles hot dogs from the comically soft-hearted and easily coerced Rodney (John Sullivan) and takes care of Maggie (Winnie) the bag lady. Eventually, it becomes too difficult to hide in plain sight. 

The actor playing Lenny the vagrant did an amazing job. His roll involved acting insane while actually being incredibly intelligent. His quick-witted performance reminded me of the best parts played by the late Robin Williams. Winnie played Maggie the bag lady. She would wander onto the set while winding through the audience. She would comment on what people were wearing, breaking the 4th wall. From the stage she continued to bring the audience into the scene by trying to convince Lenny that people were watching them. She would stare out at us and say we were judging them with our laughter. And there was plenty of laughter. Lenny is a character that embraces each day and celebrates the beauty of the urban sprawl.

Lenny takes care of Maggie by getting her an extra hot dog and convincing her to take her medication. One day, two stock brokers stopped to rest on Lenny's bench. He boldly introduces himself and offered stock advice. The young male broker, John Wilson (Sean Delaney), takes the advice and on a whim decides to play them out on the market. Sure enough the leads are pure gold. The brokers return again and again to cash in on the vagrant's insights that yield huge dividends. Rachel Lamonde, (Jacqueline Papaycik) is content to leave the vagrant as is while John wants to get him set up in an apartment. He is talked out of such charitable notions. Maggie the bag lady is ignored as the vagrant plays the market with the brokers.

Both Lenny and Maggie have family they wish they cold see. Living on the streets keeps them from being close to their loved ones. John Wilson doesn't just offer the vagrant charity, he offers a chance to get back to his family. This is a heart warming show that hints at the possibility that any one of us could be just two paychecks away from having to live on the streets. The problems of this vagrant are very much like the problems we all face. In the end Lenny picks up the newspapers strewn around the stage and shoves them in a plastic milk crate and braces for a new life. Since I still live out of milk crates that scene hit rather close to home.

The final performances for this show are on Friday, October 13th and Saturday, October 14th. I highly recommend the show at Dangerous Theater (115 W. 1st St. Sanford, Florida 32771). I laughed, and yes, I damn near cried. $20.00 cash at the door on the day of the show. $5.00 discount at door for students, seniors and military. The show is free for any homeless attendee.

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

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Downtown Paper Launch Party

Volume 1 Edition 1 of the Downtown Community Paper arrived in my mailbox in September.This monthly paper is devoted to keeping downtown residents like myself informed about what is new and trending. A simple article titled "Why would anyone want to live in the heart of Orlando?" reaffirmed all the reasons why I have been living and working downtown for this past year. I contacted the editor Michelle Rocheleau about contributing to the paper since I am documenting the arts scene and lifestyle downtown everyday already.

The paper held a launch party at the Orange County Regional History Center and I decided to sketch. The publisher Debbie Goetz and Michelle were pulled in all directions. Debbie already published a College Park Community Paper and when she met Michelle the idea of the Downtown Community Paper took form. The paper is founded on the principles that include bringing the community together and highlighting inspiring individuals who live in the area. The paper doesn't plan to compete against the Sentinel or The Bunglaower to cover hard hitting news. They instead  are committed to only positive uplifting news.

At the launch party, singer, songwriter, Justin Kangrga, entertained the crowd performing covers on his acoustic guitar. Tom Petty died this week, and Justine performed one of his songs. It was a lively launch party where advertisers got to meet staff and enjoy a drink and hors d'oeuvres.The papers demographic isn't the 20 somethings hitting the downtown bars each night, instead they focus on the older more established demographic that calls downtown home.

The paper will be delivered monthly to 8,000 homes in the area and is also available at Newsstands downtown and there is a digital version posted on the papers website.

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

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Walk for the Trees at Lake Baldwin.

Harbor Park at Lake Baldwin (4990 New Broad St, Orlando, Florida 32814). In the Fall of 2015, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer launched an ambitious goal to strengthen Orlando by building our urban forest and expanding the tree canopy. To achieve this goal, the City of Orlando launched the 'One Person, One Tree' program, an effort to engage private residents in creating a cooler and greener future for The City Beautiful, and help grow our urban tree canopy to 40% by 2040.

At Walk For Trees, every registrant received one free tree from a selection of tree saplings. They were asked to plant this tree in their favorite location so that the tree can make Orlando a better place. Orlando is proud to be listed as a Tree City USA since 1976, named a Sterling Tree City USA in 2011 and received a Tree Growth Award every year since 1990.

April 10th, IDEAS For Us and the City of Orlando launched the inaugural "Walk For Trees event" around Lake Baldwin to support Orlando's tree programs, with a goal of raising enough funds to plant 1,000 trees in Orlando. The event had local celebrities, elected officials, nonprofits, food trucks, and more.

It was a beautiful day. I soaked in the sun as I sketched the Orlando Philharmonic musicians who performed that morning. $30 Tickets were available for a 5K walk around the lake with proceeds going to IDEAS for Us. IDEAS works to solve environmental problems on campuses and in communities around the World. Since 2008, they have been supporting people and developing their ideas into solutions that solve the environmental crisis. Their approach to sustainability focuses on five key areas to catalyze local action.Those are: Energy, Water, Food, Waste and Ecology.

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

Monday, October 9, 2017

Blue Box 12, Sasha Kendrick Violinist.

I established the Blue Box Initiative, so I could sketch talented performers in each of the 27 blue boxes which are painted on the sidewalks downtown Orlando. These boxes are for panhandlers and buskers. Busking was possible only during day light hours, but a recent amendment allows the boxes to be used at night. Although set up for panhandlers, police often insist street performers must use the blue boxes. Performing outside the boxes can result in 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

I sketched Sasha Kendrick at Blue Box 12 which is located across the street from the Disney Band shell at Lake Eola. There was no shade on this stretch of sidewalk and the heat was unbearable. Sasha was worried that her violin would warp in the intense heat, but she performed anyway. Not a single person walked past as she performed. No one walks that stretch of sidewalk in the noon day sun.

When the sketch was done she wanted to perform at Lake Eola which she does regularly. Police in the park do not ask her to leave. They turn a blind eye to the city ordinance that bans busking because she is pleasant and respectful. It was much nicer sketching in the shade with a lake side breeze. One man stopped to listen and sat on the bench next to Sacha. He decided to go to the Relax Grill and Bar and he bought Sasha and I a drink. This was the first time I had ever been given anything while I sketched. He was legitimately grateful for Sasha's performance.

She told me about a charity she was establishing which raises money for musical instruments for the homeless. She figures that by performing music, a person can raise some cash just as she has done for years. She gave an instrument to a man in town who also raises money selling palm frond woven flowers. The instrument disappeared and she thinks he sold it for money for crack. Unfortunately this musical charitable experiment became a failed experiment.

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

Sunday, October 8, 2017

$1 Sketch Sale.

When I moved out of North Bay, near the Bay Hill Golf Club, I needed some extra cash to help pay for the moving expenses. I have mountains of figure drawings and decoded to have a sketch sale with each sketch available for $1. I held the sale all day on a Sunday. People arrived all day long to riffle through the sketches piled up on the dining room table.

There were some major deals to be found. Besides the figure studies, there were sketches done for paintings and even a few drawings that had turned into paintings. A pink robot build by Evan and Christie Miga overlooked the scene. Zorro, a white umbrella cockatoo greeted people and screeched for attention.

I raised several hundred dollars which helped a bit as I settled into a new place. Some people just waked in off the streets because I had a sign in the front year. Friends and strangers didn't know that this was close to the last day that I would be living in this neighborhood. All my sketchbooks had already been moved. When I die, this is my legacy, a mountain of sketches that hopefully will find a home. The sketches are culled down each time I move.

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

Saturday, October 7, 2017

One Orlando Alliance organized an Orlando Vigil for Las Vegas

The lawn in front of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts was packed with thousands of people 16 months ago after the Pulse Nightclub shooting. Tears were shed and strangers hugged one another in a truly moving vigil to honor the victims of the nightclub shooting. Days after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, the same stage was erected in the Dr. Phillips lawn to show solidarity and support for that city which is now the site of the largest mass shooting in American history with 58 victims to date. 515 others are injured, so that number may well rise as people fight for their lives.

Pam Schwartz and I arrived a bit early expecting to find the lawn crowded with Orlando citizens who who would show their support for such a tragic event. The lawn was strangely empty. One third of the lawn was a construction zone for the new Dr. Phillips theater being built.  The entire area was surrounded by temporary concert barricades. There was no crowd to contain. A single wreath stood on a tripod in front of the stage. The press huddled together on the walkway opposite me. Desperate for some sort of story, a young reporter asked to interview me, but I explained that I had a limited amount of time to finish my sketch so I couldn't stop to talk.

The green lawn remained empty the entire time I sketched. I had looked at some of the video footage from Las Vegas earlier that day and recall seeing people running for their lives or lying on the grass hoping not to get hit by the bullets raining down from 32 stories above. The Dr. Phillips lawn, surrounded by humble Orlando high rises, wasn't much different than the Las Vegas field where concert goers were massacred. One Orlando high rise had several windows blown out from hurricane Irma, just as the Las Vegas gunman had blown out his hotel room window to massacre the crowd below.

Dozens of people showed up to the vigil held in Orlando. Any photos of the vigil show a few people together in closely cropped shots.  Perhaps it was just to soon. The staff at the History Center said that they just weren't ready to accept or digest that such a horrific incident had happened so soon after the incident at Pulse. Days after the Las Vegas shooting, rainbow flags appeared on all the Orlando downtown street lights. I thought this was in solidarity for the Las Vegas shooting but it might just have been in preparation for the Gay Pride Parade coming up next week.

Someone removed the metal steps that lead up to the stage. A source at The Center said that a permit had not been applied for and thus no one was allowed to go up on the stage. How amazing that such red tape should come from a city who had just experienced mass murder 16 months earlier. One Orlando Alliance organizers stated that a radio station set up the stage just for the amplification and they didn't want any speakers. Five or six of the 49 angels in action arrived and stood silent in front of the stage, their fabric wings flapping in the breeze.

 one PULSE Foundation president, Barbara Poma, spoke to the small group gathered from behind the stage. Her online statement read, "Finding words to convey the depth of horror we are all witnessing in Las Vegas is just impossible. It is unimaginable that another mass shooting of even greater scope than that of Pulse Nightclub could occur again in this country, but indeed, it has. We must work harder to stop these crimes that destroy human life. We pray for those whose lives were taken, as well as for the wounded and the hundreds who will forever be affected by this monumental tragedy."

The Orange County Property Appraiser arrived to get his picture taken in a tuxedo in front of a banner which people signed in support of Las Vegas. Mayor Buddy Dyer made a cameo and disappeared quickly. I recognized some of the Pulse family and activists like the Eskamani sisters who truly made a difference in our city following the Pulse shooting. A GoFundMe set up by Ida Eskamani for Equality Florida raised more that 2.4 million dollars for Pulse victims families. With Hurricane Maria causing so much damage in Puerto Rico, many Hispanic activists are perhaps occupied with that cause.

The Vigil held at the Dr. Phillips for Las Vegas was a small gathering by a few of Orlando's core activists but the impression it left with me was apparent indifference by the community as a whole. The Methodist Church bells rang for each victim of the Las Vegas shooting. I left disheartened.  The faces of the beautiful people lost in Las Vegas are just now appearing online. All of those lost have not yet been identified. Perhaps people stayed home because mass murder is now the norm. A mass murder is defined as 4 people dying in a single gun related incident. Close to one mass shooting happens every day in America.

Pam was going to the Savoy to be a Celebrity Bartender. That event would raise funds to help The Center which is a refuge and family for the LGBT community as well as playing an important role in testing and treating sexually transmitted diseases. Sketching that event felt more supportive to an organization that makes a positive change in the Orlando community. Life goes on as social services struggle to stay afloat. I needed a stiff drink. How we memorialize is becoming increasingly important as these shootings are becoming more common.

P.S. Justine Thompson Cowan, one of the events organizers reported that City representatives were willing to do whatever it took, helped with permitting, and opened up garages for free parking, spending staff resources to pull it together. He stayed until the end and joined with what he estimated to be about 250 people as they heard the bells toll, the Orlando Gay Chorus sing and spread out into the audience with their voices that touched their hearts. She felt solace. She felt companionship. And maybe even a bit of hope.

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

Friday, October 6, 2017

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

Saturday October 7, 2017
5 PM to 10 PM - Free. 10th Annual Zombietoberfest. Audubon Park Garden District Orlando, Florida 32803. Orlando's original zombie festival returns, with all the dread, undead and revelry that entails. Food trucks, open air market, zombie crawl, costume contest, food and drink specials and more.

7 PM to 10 PM - $35. 10 x 10 Orlando Urban Sketching Workshop. The workshop will be held at Zombietoberfest. Urban Sketchers is celebrating 10 years by inviting sketchers from around the world to attend ten on location workshops with an Urban Sketching official instructor in your city! You may choose to participate in one or more of the workshops at the following prospective locations in Orlando.
1. Show stories from your city, one drawing at a time
2. Improve your drawing skills
3. Learn how to select, frame and design visual stories on a page
4. Learn how writing and drawing can work together to communicate more to your audience
5. Experience the advantages of group learning and seeing the many paths to success

10:30 PM to 12:30 AM Get a bite or drink. Son Flamenco. Ceviche Tapas Orlando, 125 W Church St, Orlando, FL. Hot blooded Flamenco dancers perform to live acoustic guitar.

Sunday October 8, 2017
10 AM to Noon. Free. Heartfulness Relaxation and Meditation Class. University, 5200 Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32811. The Method of Heartfulness A simple and practical way to experience the heart’s unlimited resources.

 2 PM to 3 PM, Free. Celebrate with Dance. Orlando Public Library 101 East Central Avenue Orlando Fl. Enjoy a lively performance of Spanish folk dances by Alborea Dances in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

2 PM to 6 PM Get a drink. Halloween Hair of the Dog Day Charity Event. The Thirsty Topher
(601 Virginia Drive Orlando FL). A canine costume contest tops off a day of raffles, complimentary homemade dog treats and mingling with furry companions. Donations will be made to the Humane Society's disaster fund.

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

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Espolon Cocktail Fights 2017 at Will's Pub.

The Espolon Cocktail Fights took place at Will's Pub (1042 N Mills Ave, Orlando, Florida 32803). Six of Orlando's best bartenders went head to head with six of Tampa best bartenders  in a no holds bared showdown  for the title of the most creative cocktail. The winner of this evenings competition would go on to compete in New York City in the semi- finals and then possibly move on tho the finals in Mexico.

Competing bartenders each took on the persona of a Mexican wrestler. Million Dollar Dan (Daniel Messina) from Orlando entered the competition as a braggart who threw play money at the howling audience. Perhaps the most flamboyant competitor was El Serpiente (Jacob Ceciro) from Tampa, who claimed he could tame any serpent, but is drink was rather lack luster. Other competitors from Orlando were, Red Feather (Robyn Conen), Quetzal the Great (Felix Fernandez), Finger Guns (Sean Sheenan), and El Lobo Gris (Jeremy Hazmier).

Tampa competitors were bused to the event and I imagine they were already a bit tipsy before they got to Orlando. There was just one female competitor in the line up and she was Foxxy Lady (Linaris Santiago-Wright) who had long red eye lashes, and a feather boa. She won every round to become the champion of Orlando and Tampa.

The hosts did a good job of keeping the energy up in the room. Samples of each drink were available for tasting. Some were spicy hot and the serpents was like poison. Judges sat in front of the stage to sample each concoction. One round had all the competitors each prepare margaritas while one hand is behind their back in a boxing glove. It might have been fun to see the bartenders compete with both hands in boxing gloves. The final rounds had a giant table of ingredients and the competitors had to select their ingredients and prepare a drink while working against the clock.

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

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Orlando Urban Sketching Workshop 5 at House of Blues.

Hurricane Irma blew the wind out of the sails of the 5th Orlando Urban Sketch Workshop that was held at the Ultimate Art Party in Tavares Florida. I decided to reschedule that class since so few artists attended. The next week we met at House of Blues in Disney Springs. When I arrived artists were already gathered at the iconic rusty water tower. We looked for a location where I could talk without the canned in Disney music. I thought we would hang out in a grassy area, but the lawn had loud speakers. We ultimately walked across the courtyard to a bunch of benches a short distance from House of Blues.

I had everyone work small on thumbnail drawings. This allowed us all to do a series of sketches rather than one long sketch. I executed this sketch quickly as everyone worked. I encouraged everyone to limit their color palettes so this sketch was just in sepia tones and then I added color later. The large cement courtyard between us and the water tower gave a good ground plane for me to explain how to populate a sketch.

We did 5 minute studies of each artist in turn as they looked at their cell phone or sketched. With all those quick sketched done I asked the artists to create a ground plane using two point perspective and then copy several of the quick 5 minute figure studies onto the grid. The figure studies were like chess pieces on a chess board. Pieces in the foreground were larger, and pieces in the background grew smaller.

Live music could be heard coming from the House of Blues, so the last exercise was to approach the music and draw the crowd gathered to listen as well  as the musicians. I executed a second tiny sketch while everyone found a spot and got to work. We then returned to the benches to see each others work and take some photos.  It was a fun night and I think the attendees age getting a feel for the excitement of working on location.

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

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

In the East Village of NYC.

I was asked to teach an Urban Sketching Workshop in NYC. The hotel was located in the East Village which has changed quite a bit since I lived in NYC close to 25 years ago. Hip new bars and eateries proliferate the neighborhood. When I got to this street corner of Clinton and Houston the age old feeling of the city returned. I took the time to sit on a bench in the middle of the intersection and sketch the neighborhood. I  imagined myself living in that cylinder shaped corner tower on the corner on the top floor. From there I could see the bustling city life as I painted in the studio.

I went to college in the city and wish I had the patience and perseverance to sketch the scene as I can today. A homeless man on the far corner to my left was begging the entire time I sketches. His mantra for a dime became the soundtrack for the scene as I worked. It was a rather crisp day which I am not used to, so I had to put on my gloves to keep sketching. Direct sunlight helped when it struck  my hands.

The sketch workshop went well. We did quick studies while e were gathered in a dance studio which had mirrors on the walls. Mirrored walls are perfect for showing where a vanishing point is in a scene. For the second part of the workshop, we went to Grand Central Station. I wanted my crew of artists to see the main floor from the second level. We walked up the steps and overlooked the expanse. The amazing this is that the second floor of Grand Central Station is now exclusively an Apple Store. Phones and iPads were everywhere. The store staff didn't seem to mind us leaning against the marble railings and sketching. After sketching at Grand Central, we all went to a German pub for drinks and to share sketches. The New York City Urban Sketching community is vibrant and exciting. I kind of miss being in the city that never sleeps.

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

Monday, October 2, 2017

Leaving Vietnam: Building a New Life in Central Florida

Coinciding with WUCF TV’s September presentation of The Vietnam War, the new 17 hour documentary series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, this retrospective exhibition at the Orange County Regional History Center (65 East Central Boulevard Orlando FL 32801) uses oral histories to explore the war’s impact on Central Florida. Learn about the parts local veterans played on the front lines and how the experience shaped them. Discover the roots of Central Florida’s Vietnamese community and its impact on leadership, local commerce, and Orlando’s food scene.

I attended and sketched the opening reception for the exhibit. Veterans and members of Orlando's Vietnamese community came out to see the exhibit in which their words and artifacts were assembled. As I sketched, a Vietnamese woman took a keen interest in my work. She wanted to know all about the ink I was using and my brush with the water in the handle. She said she needed a sketch done, so I gave her a card. A veteran in a wheel chair also stopped to chat. He was shooting video on his iPad. He is a documentary film maker and told me about the footage he shot on a parachuting mission.

I have become a binge watcher of the Ken Burns Vietnam series. Though I don't have a TV, the series can be viewed online. There ar some amazing audio tapes that point out the reservations, fears and frustrations of several presidents who couldn't see a way out of the war. Some of the footage brings back childhood memories of burning hutches and graphic violence that aired on TV at the time. On display in the exhibit were hand-made incendiary devices made from soda cans designed to blow off a soldiers hand. The text panels in the entire exhibit are bilingual, in English and Vietnamese. A letter home from Vietnam that had likely been unread for over 50 years, had one viewer in tears when she read it in the exhibit.

Active-duty and retired U.S. military personnel (including National Guard members) will receive a $2 discount from History Center general admission prices ($8) during this exhibit. Disabled veterans will be admitted at no charge. The exhibition runs through November 5.

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

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The 15th Anniversary Sunburst Convention Of Celebrity Impersonators

The Sunburst Convention of Celebrity Impersonators fell on the same day as one of my Orlando 10 x 10 Urban Sketch classes, so I arranged for our group of artists to go to the convention as sketch journalists. Ilene Lieber of Passion PR granted us all press passes. The event took place at the Florida Hotel and Conference Center located at The Florida Mall (1500 Sand Lake Road, Orlando, 32809). Artists met in the lobby of the hotel and then went in to sketch the celebrity showcase.

Imagine Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Neil Diamond, Elvis, Cher, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, Joan Rivers, Robin Williams, Lady Gaga, Barbra Streisand, Tiger Woods, Tim McGraw, Kenny Rogers, Frank Sinatra, and numerous other icons of the past and present all gathered together to perform and be seen. No, it’s not another reality show, it is The Sunburst Convention of Celebrity Impersonators returning to Orlando for its 15th anniversary year.

This year, the public was invited to attend special talent showcases where impersonators performed, delighted, and entertained the masses. Plus, guests could get their picture taken with their favorite “celebrity” during intermission and following the showcases.

The goal of the workshop was to encourage artists to populate their sketches with multiple celebrities. I wanted them to focus on the gestures and costuming while the face was just secondary icing. Once we were inside the showcase theater, I couldn't offer any more advice, so I let the students just focus on sketching, while I did the same. I decided to sketch Lady Gaga since I couldn't resist the bra that looked like two hands cupping her breasts. She had red lipstick smeared beyond her lips and blue eye shadow defined her eyes. There were some impressive presidential impersonators and the acts ranged from excellent singers to muddled lip sync attempts. The guy taking notes in both of my sketches is a talent scout.

During an intermission, all the artists gathered back in the hotel lobby and we shared notes. I encouraged them to change the scene as needed to suit the sketch. For instance if someone's head is blocking a view of the performers feet, I suggested they get rid of the offending head. I honestly don't know what celebrity was seated next to me in the gorgeous black had and bold white dress. Anyone care to venture a guess?

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

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Little Orphan Annie at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center in Sanford.

Pam Schwartz and I went to the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center (201 S. Magnolia Ave Sanford, FL 32771) to see  dress rehearsal for the musical, Annie directed by Cynthea Fuoco. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City Orphanage that is run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the Orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan's (Amy Hughs) evil machinations... and even befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt! She finds a new home and family in billionaire, Oliver Warbucks (Stephen McPherson), his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.

I have never seen the play although I have seen examples of several of the comic strips. We approached the theater, walking down a narrow alley way to the stage door. We walked right into the dressing room and had to make our way back into the house. The first order of business was the sound checks for each actor. Everyone had on a microphone. Clearly the number, "Its a hard knock Life" had been rehearsed often. The kids scrubbed the floor while singing the song, and they would bang down the buckets to the beat of the music.

There were some rough transitions but this was a rehearsal so I am sure any kinks will get worked out before the show opens. My favorite scene was when Annie and Sandy, the dog (Olive Garvey) she had just found, confront a cop (Rob Dove). He pulls the dog aside and tells Annie to call the dog by name. If he doesn't go to her than clearly it was not her dog. She whistled and called Sandy and the dog took off towards her. But then he ran right past her and down the stage steps into the audience. The police man stayed in character and said, "See that is most certainly not your dog." It was a hilarious moment and I hope the dog continues to stray from his mark.

The play is clearly a wish fulfillment for a country that was suffering from the great depression. It seems a bit far fetched that Annie singing, "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow" would help inspire Franklin Delano Roosevelt's (Russell Trahan)  New Deal. The young actress playing Annie (Lily Dove) did a great job. One little, Molly (Irelyn Silvestro) also stood out as she joked and played with Mrs Hannigan.

When: Remaining show dates, September 30, 7:30-9 p.m., Sundays, 3-4:30 p.m., Oct. 6-7, 7:30-9 p.m. and Sat., Oct. 7, 2-3:30 p.m. Continues through Oct. 8
Phone: 407-321-8111
Email: info@wdpac.com
Price: $20-$27

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

Dueling Dragons at the Global Peace Film Festival.

I went to Rollins College to sketch a piano recital. As I walked past the Bush Auditorium, I heard my name shouted out. It was journalist Michael McLeod. He pointed out that it was the last day of the Global Peace Film Festival. He had just seen a film he loved called Accidental Courtesy, about Daryl Davis, a black musician, actor, author, and lecturer who befriends white supremacists and because of that friendship, they left the Ku Klux Klan. How can you hate someone you haven't met? Rather than sketch the recital, I decided to blindly see a film at the Global Peace Film Festival. The film about to screen was called Dueling Dragons.

The Global Peace Film Festival, established in 2003, uses the power of the moving image to further the cause of peace on earth. From the outset, the GPFF envisioned “peace” not as the absence of conflict but as a framework for channeling, processing and resolving conflict through respectful and non-violent means. People of good faith have real differences that deserve to be discussed, debated and contested. The film festival works to connect expression – artistic, political, social and personal – to positive, respectful vehicles for action and change. The festival program is carefully curated to create a place for open dialogue, using the films as catalysts for change.

Michael had told me that because of Hurricane Irma, the film festival has had very low attendance this year. I decided to sketch the close to empty theater but people kept arriving to populate my sketch. The theater probably became close to half full. I didn't have enough time to sketch everyone before the lights went out for the screening. The front row filled up with the musicians whose music was used in the film.

Dueling Dragons directed by Brett Gerking runs 65 minutes. Orlando police officers and inner-city children form a dragon boat racing team and reveal their emotional journeys as the program grows. This ancient sport is rooted in Chinese culture, and is introduced at a critical time in the lives of both cops and kids in some of the city’s toughest neighborhoods. Success in dragon boating comes only when all 20 paddlers are in complete synchrony. Told from their straightforward perspectives, these cops and kids, they are transformed from wary participants to steadfast teammates. Along the way, they build trust and mutual respect, compete for gold medals and deal with the tragic loss of one of their mentors, Orlando Police Department Officer Lt. Debra Clayton

I had sketched a makeshift memorial for Debra at Walmart but seeing this film finally hit home for me how beautiful a person she was and how much of a loss her being shot in the line of duty was. She appeared throughout the film, smiling and beaming her love and support for the youth who became a team and each time I saw her my heart sank, because I knew what was to come. Life is so short and precious. Don't waste a moment. The Orlando Dueling Dragons team is the only rowing team in the country that has police and youth working together. I am intent now to find a dueling dragons race and shout for their victory.

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

Friday, September 29, 2017

Weekend Top 6 Picks for September 30th and October 1st.

Saturday September 30, 2017
8:00 AM to 10:30 PM - Free. Day 2 of Indie Galactic Space Jam. The DAVE School (2500 Universal Studios Plaza, Soundstage #25, Orlando, Florida). What is Indie Galactic Space Jam?
 1. It's an annual space-themed game jam hosted by Indienomicon, Orlando's independent game development association.
2. It's a collaborative event that's great for creatives of all sorts. Artists, animators, developers, writers, designers, and others are all welcome to participate.
3. It's a good way to flex your game-making skills, find new people to work with, and learn how to rapid- prototype a game idea.
This will be the 4th Indie Galactic Space Jam. This year they’re providing additional fun challenges, better resources, and greater opportunity for talent exposure. They also plan to kick things off with an amazing crop of speakers from both the space and video game industries. This is your chance to build something extraordinary with talented peers from all over Central Florida. Become part of a team or stay a lone (space) wolf charting a course to fun and excitement.
 Everyone is welcome to participate throughout the 48-hour Jam. They’re looking for artists, programmers, game designers, UI and UX designers, sound designers, writers, poets, interpretive dancers, people excited about games, people excited about space, people who like to eat pizza, and people like you. Register today and get ready to jam!
SATURDAY - SEPT 30TH - THE GRIND CONTINUES The non-stop game building action remains non-stop, except for the times you have to stop for food and ask for help.
8:00 AM – Doors Open, Breakfast/Coffee
12:30 PM – Lunch / Status Updates / Call for Help
6:30 PM – Dinner 11:00pm- Go Home!

7 PM to 9 PM - Free. Ybor City Art Walk (7th Ave, Ybor, Tampa, Florida 33605). Featuring a number of arts organizations and artsy businesses. Participating locations:
The Bricks of Ybor
Bloodline Tattoo
Ybor Arts Colony
Hot Wax
Wandering Eye Art Gallery
Dysfunctional Grace
Moon Over Havana Arts Gallery
Live Arts Labs
There will be other businesses joining the lineup so stay tuned! For any questions please feel free to contact the Ybor Art Alliance through Facebook. Expect to be wowed!

9 PM to Midnight - Free but get a drink or 2. Oranga Tanga. Live music at The Dog and Bone British Pub, (9 Stone St, Cocoa, Florida 32922).

Sunday October 1, 2017 
8 AM to 9 PM - Free. Day 3 of Indie Galactic Space Jam. The DAVE School (2500 Universal Studios Plaza, Soundstage #25, Orlando, Florida). PROJECT WRAP UP + FINAL SHOWCASE The hard work hopefully looks like it is forming into something recognizable as fun. Success or failure, hopefully you learned something. Participants will present their team’s game concept for everyone to enjoy!
8:00 AM – Doors Open, Breakfast/Coffee
12:00 PM – Lunch and Status Updates / Call for Help
4:30 PM– Complete Game Projects, Begin Project Uploads
5:30 PM – Dinner & Technical Check with presentations over the projector
6:30 PM – Team Presentations Begin 9:00pm – Go Home!

10 AM to Noon - Free. Heartfulness Relaxation and Meditation Class. (University, 5200 Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32811). The Method of Heartfulness A simple and practical way to experience the heart’s unlimited resources.

4:30 PM to 6:30 PM - Free. Market2Park. Shady Park, (Hannibal Square New England and Pennsylvania Ave. Winter Park FL).

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

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Story Club at the Abbey.

Orlando Story Club gatherings are every other month at The Abbey (100 S Eola Dr, Orlando, Florida 32801) in downtown Orlando. Anyone with a story can put their name in the hat for a chance to share. Ten names are drawn at random. Judges are picked at random in the audience, preferably those people who are new to story club. Judges are given a chalk board and piece of chalk to rate each story from 1 to 10. First, Second, and Third place winners receive a prize!

The theme for the March event was "Bodies". Like it or lump it we are all born with our bodies. It seems much of our life is spent just taking care of them. Storytellers explored our topsy-turvey relationship with them. Every body part was explored. Mike Scottie's story, was about trying to gain 40 pounds. He was a thin rail as a child with stork like legs. He pushed the notion that you are what you eat. When he discovered that all his pants no longer fit He decided to slim down, but then realized it is even harder to loose weight than to gain weight.

The evening was moderated by special guest story teller, host television personality and stroke survivor Mark McEwen. Orlando Story Club gives anyone the chance to showcase their story telling for the enrichment of the local community. The benefiting charity was The Assistance Fund. Every day, The Assistance Fund walks alongside thousands of patients and helps break down their financial barriers to medical treatment by providing direct financial assistance

Mark Your Calendar, the next Orlando Story Club with the theme, "A Promise" will be on Wednesday, November 1 at 7 PM - 9:30 PM at The Abbey. Tales will relate a time when you were trusted with A PROMISE.

All proceeds will support Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Admission: $5 (additional donations encouraged)
Doors open @ 6:30pm. Show starts @ 7pm.

Laugh, listen, drink, and help build our community!

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

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Spotlight Cabaret Series featuring Janine Klein.

 Janine Klein returns to the Winter Park Playhouse Spotlight Cabaret Series premiering her latest solo cabaret, "Nobody Does It Better." From "Dr. No" to "Spectre," James Bond films have given us some of the most iconic movie themes of the past 50 years. Janine takes her audience through an evening of popular Bond theme songs and stories that will definitely cause some laughs.

Pam Schwartz and I went to a rehearsal. It turned out that it was Janine Klein's birthday. She put on a gorgeous sequin gown and had Christopher Leavy, the musical director at Playhouse Theater, zip her up. He was wearing an orange t-shirt and asked me to sketch him in a dress shirt. He then discovered that he had a dress shirt in his office. In theater you always have to be ready with a change of costume.

Janine gave a hilarious and irreverent performance. She gave a hilarious list of some of the Bond Girls, like Pussy Galore, Plenty O'Toole, Holly Goodhead, Xenia Onatopp and her favorite Octo Pussy. She was at ease and the show became largely a comedy as she lambasted the Bond mystique. She might reign in the irreverent jokes when there is a full house, but I hope not. The microphone was only a prop. It wasn't live, so for some numbers she spared her voice. Even as she glossed over the difficult passages she was always entertaining. She was even more entertaining as she growled out some lyrics and held the microphone provocatively.

The cabaret showcases a different professional singer each month up front in the beautiful lobby bar. A truly "New York-style" cabaret, each performance is approximately 55 minutes in length with no intermission. Shows are September 27th and 28th at 7:30pm. Doors open at 6:30pm for General Seating. Tickets are $20 for general seating.

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

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Chuck Archard Electric Bass-Faculty Recital at Rollins College.

Rollins College Tiedtke Concert Hall (1000 Holt Ave, Winter Park, Florida 32789) The night of music featured new original compositions dedicated to Keith Wilson, Jay Flippin and Harold Blanchard, as well as tunes by Smokey Johnson, Wardell Q., Galactic, Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Alan Parsons and Irving Berlin

On stage with Faculty member Chuck Archard were Chris Rottmayer, Ed Krout, Marc Clermont, Greg Parnell, Per Danielsson Suzy Park, Michelle Amato and direct from New Orleans the legendary drummer Allyn Robinson.

This was a fun experimental evening of music with each musician seizing the music and making it their own in lively solos. Rollins college has an ongoing series of free concerts and I like to stop in once in a while to sketch. There is nothing like the inspiration of good live music to help the lines dance on the page with less regard for stifling accuracy.

Mark your calendar. Upcoming free concert include..

September 26  |  7:30 PM
Keene Hall, 1000 Holt Avenue Winter Park, FL
32789This recital is free and open to the public. Parking is available nearby at the SunTrust Plaza Garage located on Lyman Avenue. 

September 28  |  7:30 PM
FACULTY RECITAL: Curtis Rayam, tenor
Keene Hall, 1000 Holt Avenue Winter Park, FL 32789
This recital is free and open to the public. Parking is available nearby at the SunTrust Plaza Garage located on Lyman Avenue.

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

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Ultimate Art Project

Tamera J. Rogers made me aware of The Ultimate Art Project which was slated to happen days after Hurricane Irma struck Florida. This program was planned for the Square in Downtown Tavares, America's Sea Plane City. It was an opportunity to catch artists in their moments of creative glory. There were to be actors, painters and singers and potters and poets and jewelers and dancers, sculptors, and weavers and crafters, musicians and magicians and libations and food.

I decided to make the event one of the locations for the 10 Urban Sketching Workshops I have been offering. This was the 5th workshop. Progressing from small stories to medium stories and ultimately big stories.  Pam Schwartz and I took the one hour drive to sketch the Ultimate Art Project. The sun was setting as we approached the town square. The event was easy to find because of all the white events tents.

The grassy area was about the size of half a football field surrounded by wrought iron fences. The first tend we saw had kids doing four inch square paintings. In a corner of the field was Karaoke which dominated sound scene. Mixed in was a pan flutist, in the center of the field. One lady stood listening and then chatted with him. I decided he wasn't a sketch option since she was keeping him from performing. A van was painted black like a chalkboard and people could do chalk drawings on the vehicle. This is a pretty awesome idea and I wouldn't mind setting up mu Prius as a chalk board. There was the option to take a selfie in “paintings” of the Mona Lisa, The Scream, American Gothic, and Girl with a Pearl Earring but we never got around to taking those selfies.

I stopped when I heard this father (James Whitehead) and daughter team singing in the artists tent. They referred to themselves as Southern Roots. She had an amazing voice. They were strictly acoustic so their music had to blend in with the karaoke and Pan pipes across the way. Dad explained to me that his daughter really had to stress her voice to be heard. He was afraid she might not perform her best at next weeks church service. The set abruptly ended when the free movie screening began of Woody Allen's
Midnight in Paris.

Conversations among the artists were mostly about the recent hurricane. The Tavares marina was destroyed by Irma and all the boats piled up by the high winds. Sections of the park were cordoned off due to hurricane damage. The Ultimate Art Project was a chance for the community to get out after the hurricane and have a relaxing evening on the town green.

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