Tuesday, April 11, 2017

La Maschera Goes Parisian Ooh La La!

La Maschera was presented by Goose Island: Madame Rose, Sofie, Matilda and Pere Jacques. Guests enjoyed a journey back to Paris in the 1890s, when impressionist artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec created his most famous works of art. How could I resist the temptation to sketch in the Abbey, turned into the Moulin Rouge, the birthplace of the modern Can-Can dance? The Montmartre neighborhood is the symbol of creativity, pleasure, beauty, and celebration.

People dressed up for an evening of live entertainment, dancing, a silent auction, gourmet food, beer and wine. Proceeds from this event benefited the Downtown Arts District. I wanted to play the part of Toulouse, but I'm just too tall. My only option to dress a bit French was to wear a striped shirt. During the course of the evening, however, I found out that the stripes were in the wrong direction. French stripes are horizontal, but mine were vertical.

I sketched the band and the lovers seated together. Rather than do a third sketch, I sat with friends and sipped a glass of wine. The dance floor was full. Maxine Earhart was a hurricane of social activity and I was swept up and seated strategically. The evening's laughter cemented the start of a new friendship. The promise of a complimentary bottle of wine and dinner was interrupted by Hurricane Matthew, which blew apart my social plans by shutting down Orlando, yet creating a common bond in the face of danger. Lawn furniture was secured and every imaginable lawn missile was placed in the garage. We were told not to sleep, so the TV announced the storm's progress while we watched the animated swirling storm maps. I finally went to bed the next morning knowing the worst of the winds had passed. There was no damage, but returning life to normal would take time.

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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

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