Saturday, March 18, 2017

Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival

I went to the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival and arrived shortly after noon of the first day. I found a nice spot on the merchant side of the street from which to do a sketch. Officially, I was breaking the law, that says no art can be created on that side of Park Avenue. I had my back to several magazine stands which kept any passers by from looking over my shoulder. Melissa Marie McCain had said she would be there and I do believe I saw a large feather plume in the crowd that had to be heard. I need to give her a commissioned piece called "The Rainbow Connection". It documents the many rainbows I have sketched in the wake of the Pulse shooting. The notion of locating someone in the crude at this festival is insane. The artist whose boot I sketched did the most amazingly photo real still life's. I jotted his name down in my cell phone, and spell check changed it to shouting. That isn't his name at all.

My favorite art in the show was by R. Michael Wommack. They were large pastels that showed areal views of suburbs at night. Each home had a glowing green pool it the backyards and clouds were unified puffs. An occasional window would have the blue glow of a television. They were all haunting and quite amazing. I stopped to talk to Stacy Barter, a Winter Park plain air painter. She had some amazing painting of a construction site. I asked her where the site was and she said she had gone to where the Whole Foods was being constructed on Orlando Avenue just north of Lee Road. It is the type of scene that attracts me as well. Don Santag had sold a large sunset painting of one of the canals that connect the many lakes in Winter Park. He confided that the Disney Feature Animation background painters had inspired his work. Seeping his large work made me want to start painting big.

I left for the festival with many layers because the morning temperatures were down in the 40s. By the time I left, it must have been almost 80 degrees. I was overdressed. I got a chicken gyro for lunch along with a green drink, Mountain Dew. Oh yes, I forgot to mention. The opening day of the Winter Park Art Festival fell on Saint Patrick's day this year. There were plenty of people wearing green. My Nantucket hat was green as was my artist stool. I decided to paint the sketch only using green and Orange.I was told Orange is the color of Northern Ireland. My mothers family came from Corr Ireland in the south, so there is more green in the sketch than orange.

The Winter Park Sidewalk Festival continues today and tomorrow from 9am to 5pm. There is plenty of amazing art to see so be sure to check it out. Just don't sketch on the merchant side of Park Avenue, you risk a $500 fine and 30ndays in jail. If you do happen to sketch, let me know and I'll send you the Winter Park Illegal Art logo to emblazon your image.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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