Thursday, August 17, 2017

History in a glass.

The first History in a Glass took place on June 22 at the Orange County Regional History Center, 65 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32801. History in a Glass pairs fun and fascinating historical collection artifacts with delicious hand-crafted cocktails. Three bar districts - Downtown, Mills/50 District, and Winter Park - battle for the championship to see who can win people's choice in designing the best custom cocktail based on a story from the history of Central Florida. Three ace mixologists from each district will go head to head with their colleagues, the winner advancing to the series finale in December.

In the first competition mixologists from three popular downtown Orlando establishments – Hanson’s Shoe Repair, The Woods, and The Courtesy Bar – received a brief biography of Billy Bluebeard, Orlando’s first swan to create their drink from. Billy was brought to Orlando in 1910 by Charles Lord and placed at Lake Lucerne with his mate Sally. They were a rather romantic pair and Billy took quite an interest in their domestic affairs. Sally would sit on their eggs, but each day Billy would come by to relieve her so that she might swim about the Lake and stretch her legs.  One day, Billy was running a bit behind and Sally decided to take off before his arrival.  Their eggs grew cold, Lord knowing they would be dead, removed them from the nest. Upon finding an empty nest, Billy was furious. He swam out to Sally in the middle of the lake, grabbed her by the throat, and held her head under until she died.

Billy was given a new mate, Mary, who was quite a bit younger than he. Billy grew ill and was taken to a veterinarian. Once he was better, he returned home to find Mary with another swan! Unfortunately Billy wasn't quite the fighting swan he once was, and the new, younger Charlie wasn't having any of Billy's attitude. Lord made the decision to remove Billy to another lake where he eventually passed away.  Some say it was old age, others say Billy died of a homesick broken heart.

In 1933, the proprietor of W.H. Swan Company had Billy stuffed and placed in the foyer of his department store where he stood until becoming one of the very first donations to the History Center.

Mark your calendar! The next History in a Glass, "Hog Wild" Edition is Thursday, August 24 at 6 PM - 9 PM. Not far from the present-day History Center’s door, razorbacks once rubbed their backs on the steps of Orange County’s wooden courthouse in the 1870s, when Florida was a wild frontier. Florida still has an estimated one million feral pigs on the loose. Just recently in the news, wild hogs are still running amok in Brevard County! Come cheer on your favorite bartender from the Mills 50 District in a competition to create the best history-inspired beverage. The winner will advance to the series finale in December.

Admission tickets include great music with a DJ, three hand-crafted cocktails, and tasty cuisine from a local restaurant. Member tickets are $20, general admission $25. This event is for guests 21 and older. For details, call 407-836-7035. Doors open at 6 p.m., cocktail competition and drink service start at 6:30.

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

First Orlando Urban Sketching Workshop at the Orlando Public Library.

This is a very quick sketch I did in the Orlando Public Library (101 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32801) at the First Orlando Urban Sketching Workshop. This  first of 10 weekly workshops focused on using simple shaped to place small intimate objects on the page.  We used the magnolia room as a studio for the first two hours.  There we sketched from busts of Abraham Lincoln and small statues of American Buffalo. We experimented with blind contour and using a simple shape to define the shape before focusing on detail.

For the last hour I sett the students free to explore the third floor of the Library. The  goal was to catch an intimate detail and I let the students interpret that as they pleased. I did quick sketches for each student offering suggestions on what to consider as their sketch progressed. Then I settled in and did this quick sketch. There wasn't time to add color, so on this rare instance I finished the painting back at my studio days later.

We all gathered at the rainbow of books at the end off a hallway for a group photo with everyone holding up their favorite sketch. I am having fun creating worksheets and course materials for these 10 workshops. The Worldwide Urban Sketchers organization was founded 10 years ago and they are celebrating by offering 10 long term workshops at cities around the world. The goal is to encourage more artists to carry sketchbooks and discover the world, one drawing at a time.

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Orlando Urban Sketching Workshop 2 at Dixon Toconderoga.

The second Orlando Urban Sketching Workshop was held at Dixon Ticonderoga's headquarters (615 Crescent Executive Ct #500, Lake Mary, FL 32746). Dixon Ticonderoga is best known for making those ubiquitous 2B yellow pencils that you will find being used in most classrooms and many artists studios, mine included. It was a rainy afternoon on a Friday but all the attendees braved the weather and rush hour traffic. Rachel Fox, Dixon's Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator greeted us in the lobby and guided us to a small classroom set up on the first floor. The room is clearly for younger students with bright picnic tables and a salt water fish tank in the corner, but it suited us just fine.

Rachel showed us some of the art products we would be able to play with and then escorted us upstairs to the Ticonderoga museum and curator, executive assistant Donna Cochran, who offered us a brief tour of the art work that the company has collected over its 200 year history. The jewel of the collection is a Norman Rockwell painting that was one of 3 paintings stolen from the Ticonderoga offices in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1975. This one painting titled "Grandfather and Grandson." was later recovered by police but the other two have yet to be found. The painting has since been cleaned and is worth an estimated 4 million dollars.

In the museum was an old green machine with a hopper that was used to sharpen pencils. The pencils would be rolled over a cylinder of sandpaper. Our time in the museum was limited, so we all immediately set about sketching artifacts and the scene. Everyone was encouraged to take photos of some of the incredible artwork created using the Ticonderoga pencils.

Dixon is one of America's oldest companies, created by a merger of the Joseph Dixon Crucible Corp. with the Bryn Mawr Corp., a Pennsylvania company dating back to 1794 when the company built the first highway in America between Philadelphia and Lancaster. The highway was 62 miles long.  Joseph Dixon began making pencils in the 1830s. Dixon used Cedar wood from Cedar key until the supply ran out. Graphite was mined from the town of Ticonderoga in Upstate New York. During the Civil War, soldiers needed pencils so they could write home. Quill pens with ink weren't a good option to be used on a battle field. In the early years, machines turned out 86,000 pencils a day. The company also made wooden boxes for the model T when it was first rolled off the assembly line. The crayon company willed this automotive order from 1914 until the 1960s. The Dixon Ticonderoga company has since expanded to include other art supplies like Prang, Das, Oriole, Lyra, Daler Rowney, and Canson.

Back in the classroom, we put watercolor on the sketched since wet media wasn't allowed in the museum. I handed out workshop material that covered one, two and three point perspective, I invited everyone to take one of the sketches from the collection and do a sketch that showed the horizon and vanishing point used by the artist. I also asked them to take one item from the collection and interpret it 3 different ways using the three different perspectives. We were encouraged to use Dixon art supplies and at the end we each were given a Canson sketchbook. Students were asked to write an article about the experience and share it on the Orlando Urban Sketcher's Facebook group page. Each of these workshops is a new adventure. Each attendee is quickly becoming an Orlando sketch correspondent.

The Third Orlando Urban Sketching Workshop will be at the Orange County Regional History Center on August 19th starting at 6PM. We will be sketching models of Historic Orange county architecture to further hone our perspective and composition skills. Tickets are $35 and available from Eventbrite.

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

Monday, August 14, 2017

Do Good Date Night at Second Harvest.

Kristen Manieri who founded the Orlando Date Night blog hosted a Do Good Date Night at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida (411 Mercy Dr, Orlando, Florida 32805). Couples were invited to a night of pitching in for a good cause combined with date night fun with your sweetie. An hour was spent sorting food during this very busy time of year. Skids full of large boxed items were lined up on the left and couples walked down the line inserting items in a baggie as they moved to the right. Finished bags were sealed and then packed into boxes on the right. It became a playful and then efficient assembly line with a bit of a competitive spirit.

Then the second hour was spent enjoying gourmet bites (burger slider station and more) and sipping one great beer or wine, which were included with the $20 tickets. Additional glasses of wine or beer could be purchased. Entertainment was provided by Curtis Earth Trivia, who led a fun trivia game complete with prizes for the top three winners.

The Do Good Date Night is a 100% non-profit event series that joins couples with local non-profits through a fun and connective volunteer project. Couples volunteer for about an hour and then enjoy food, refreshments and entertainment.

The next Do Good Date Night is coming up in Orlando on Friday, September 15, 2017. Tickets go on sale 8/24. The Do Good Date Night series is expanding into Tampa, FL and Asheville, NC.

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

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bass Pro Shops

I needed a new pair of hiking boots. The soles of my old set had literally started to flap loose. I was beginning to look like Charlie Chaplin's Tramp. Before getting the boots, I decided to get a sketch of the large fish tank in the middle of the huge Bass Pro Shops warehouse store. Bobcats, deer and bears roamed above in a taxidermy diorama. Water cascaded down the false rocks into the tank. Behind me, rows of guns were for sale, but I'm not in the marked for an assault rifle.

While working on the sketch, a friend from Boston called whose back had seized up, making it impossible to get out of bed. Someone had to go over and help with getting dressed. It was apparently an awkward scene. Being on my own, the thought of not getting out of bed and staring at the ceiling was a rather terrifying thought. On the other hand, I was in the middle of the sketch and wanted to get back to it. I listened, but kept my hands active. That evening I sent several get well presents. My friend made a full recovery.

I found the boots I needed and went to the register. My credit card didn't work. I asked the cashier to try a second time. I had to leave bootless. That evening I was contacted by my bank. My identity had been stolen and someone had tried to make purchases with my card out of state. The bank had canceled my card. Thankfully the incident didn't cost me any money, but it was a major inconvenience. This was the second time my identity has been stolen. Last year someone filed a tax return in my name and got a refund. In this digital age identity fraud seems to run rampant. I have turned to using cash,which is a solid, old school analog way to make a purchase.

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

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Merry Widow at the Rep.

I went to a dress rehearsal of The Merry Widow, directed and re-conceptualized by Eric Pinder, and conducted by Aaron Collins. Pam Schwartz and I searched for and found an open stage door. The cast could be heard warming up their voices in the distance. A life-sized model of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang sat tireless back stage. It was a challenge to find a way into the theater without walking onto the stage. I could see that the cast was dressed to the nines from the wings. This production features the best vocal talent in the area with members of the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra in the pit. I was excited to sketch the pit in action. Not many productions feature a live orchestra so predominantly. The steam punk themed set must have been left over from the previous show. Perhaps it was intended to indicate the complicated gears of love.

Leading lady, Hanna, (Claire Tendl) inherits a fortune from her late husband. The year is 2005, and she is so wealthy that everyone who is anyone in Silicon Valley is vying to get into her inner circle in order to gain access to a piece of her wealth, in the range of $300 million. Believing that a new marriage is the best way to secure her inheritance, business mogul friend, Baron, (John Segers) springs into action with the help of his own wife, (Eliza Healy Dopira) to find Hanna the right husband. It proves to not be as easy as it seems. The clever widow has her sights set on the charming and reckless Daniel, (Kevin Romero) a former college flame. There is only one problem, he has no intention of sacrificing his bachelor lifestyle for the comfort of marriage. He has a "wealth" of ladies to keep him entertained, and not even the promise of Hanna's fortune can pull him away from his drunken escapades. Rendezvous are rampant. Complications abound.

The cast of about 20 often filled the stage with a party atmosphere. Claire Tendl's singing was amazing. Kevin Romero acted with a drunken vaudevillian bravado, his body often struck in an arching curved gesture. The modernization of the show was most obvious in the third act which took place in a strip club called Maxim's, complete with a stripper's pole, on which Dawn Humphries gave an athletic performance. I wouldn't mind this being an Olympic event. Money was thrown everywhere, as the other dancers gyrated on several chairs. Then the club abruptly emptied leaving the lead couple, Hannah and Dan, playfully holding onto the pole and spinning around it together.

The Merry Widow will be presented in the Edyth Bush Theatre at the Orlando Repertory Theatre (1001 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803). Tickets are on sale now with local Orlando shows August 10th through the 13th. There will be two satellite shows in Melbourne and Vero Beach August 19th.

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

Friday, August 11, 2017

Weekend Top 6 Picks for August 12th and 13th.

Saturday August 12, 2017
4 PM to 6PM - Free. Young Voices. JB Callaman Center, 102 North Parramore Ave, Orlando. Teen Open Mic Every second Saturday of the month.

9 PM to 2 AM - Free. Perseid Meteor Shower. Night sky. According to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke, the Perseids are perhaps the most popular meteor shower of the year. Typical rates are about 80 meteors an hour, but in outburst years (such as in 2016) the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour. The meteor shower's actual peak is around 1 PM EDT on August 12, which means that the night before and the night after will both have good rates; Cooke said the show would be slightly better in the predawn hours of Aug. 12, but that there would be a decent show both nights.

7 PM to 10 PM - $25 to $35. The Merry Widow. Orlando Repertory Theatre, 1001 E Princeton St, Orlando, Florida 32803. A modernized version of Franz Lehár’s Operetta. This production features the best vocal talent in the area with members of the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra. Rendezvous are rampant. Complications abound.

Sunday August 13, 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.

Noon to 1 PM - Free. Yoga. North East corner of Lake Eola Park near the Red Gazebo.

2 PM to 5 PM - $25 to $35. The Merry Widow. Orlando Repertory Theatre, 1001 E Princeton St, Orlando, Florida 32803. A modernized version of Franz Lehár’s Operetta. This production features the best vocal talent in the area with members of the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra. Rendezvous are rampant. Complications abound.

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

Thursday, August 10, 2017

ODD at Elixer.

The June Orlando Drink and Draw (ODD) was going to be held at another bar on Orange Avenue, but that bar was closed. At the last minute I sent out a message on Facebook letting artists know that we would have to go to Elixer (9 W Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801) right down the block. Pam Schwartz and I arrived first and I started working on the panoramic view of the bar right away.

I got a text from Stella Arbelaez saying she would be there soon with her daughter Laura. Laura is taking a summer theater class and so they were right nearby. She spent the duration of the ODD event going over her lines at the next table. I tried to arrange a chance to sketch a rehearsal but the schedule never worked out.

Anna Ast also managed to find our group. She recently moved here from Russia and according to her, my book is used as a text book there for a group of artists who gather to do Urban Sketches. This is pretty exciting news, and I am hoping to see a copy of the book in Russian at a future ODD outing. Anna founded a cake decoration business here in Central Florida and her husband is a pilot.

We all just drew the bar for the first hour, and then I decided we all needed to sketch each other. I timed the drawings at 5 minutes, and artists had to face off to sketch one another. The artist being drawn, would sign the sketch made of them which makes for a simple way to learn the names of everyone at the table. One of my sketches was done blind, which means that I never looked at the sketch as I put lines on the page, only at the person's face. These sketches are always fun since you never know what you are going to get.

All sketches are available for sale as a print or original. Contact the artist for details.

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

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Great Florida Road Trip Tacky Tourist Party.

The Orange County Regional History Center (65 E Central Blvd, Orlando, Florida 32801) held an evening of historic proportions as they saluted the Tacky Tourist in Florida. The event was free for History Center members and a $10 suggested donation for others. Rain certainly did its part to thin the crowd and it was pouring when I arrived.

There was a book talk with Cathy Salustri, author of Backroads of Paradise: A Journey to Rediscover Old Florida. After the slide presentation the audience could test their Florida knowledge with trivia.  I was invited to be one of three judges for the Tacky Tourist Costume Contest. The winner wore every conceivable piece of tacky tourist paraphernalia, shopping bags were full of Disney plush toys and trinkets. Shuffleboard was offered in the lobby. I managed to win a round thus reclaiming my dignity as a shuffle board champion.

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

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The I-4 Band at La Maschera Parisian.

The Downtown Arts District hosted a fundraising event at The Abbey (100 S Eola Dr #100, Orlando, FL 32801). Patrons enjoyed a journey back to Paris in the 1890s, when impressionist artistist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec created his most famous works of art. The birthplace of modern can-can dance, the Montmartre neighborhood is the symbol of creativity, pleasure, beauty, and celebration.

The I-4 Band was performing on stage when I arrived, so I set up immediately to sketch. The lead singer had on a gorgeous black dress that was quite reminiscent of the can-can era. Guests did a great job of dressing up in their Parisian best. I did a second sketch near the bar and was considering a third sketch of the dance floor, when friends invited me to their table. It is sometimes frustrating to only have time to do one or two sketches, when this event clearly had inspiration for dozens of them. It is important to learn, however, that sometimes it is nice to let go and just enjoy the moment.

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

Monday, August 7, 2017

Barbara Poma remembers Pulse's inspiration and growth.

Barbara Poma was born in Connecticut and her family moved to Florida when she was 10 years old. in 1987 she moved to Orlando. Her brother John was four years older than her and he got her into trouble as a child. He was the source of entertainment and centered the family. Barbara graduated from UCF and started teaching. She got married young and that marriage only lasted two years. Around that time her brother John died from complications associated with AIDS. To honor her brother she dreamed of opening a clean and beautiful gay club. Gay clubs were known as being seedy she wanted to create something clean and inviting. She remarried and with her husband ran a series of restaurants. Ron Legler knew about her brother and suggested she try opening a club. The name Pulse was to honor of her brothers pulse living on through the establishment.

The original design of Pulse was in three rooms. First was the all white room which has LED lights that would change color turning the color of the room from red to blue, etc. The dance floor was in the center room and then there was the smaller dancer performance stage room. The club used to be an Italian Restaurant and she has a good time remodeling. Her husband referred to Pulse as an expensive hobby.

Her favorite night was Drag Night. Boys would come as girls and girls would come as boys. Employees came up with ideas for events. Comedians came in, and gay days brought people from all around the world in. We enjoyed ourselves. Twisted Tuesdays drew a young crowd. They were young people trying to find their way. There was a talent nigh and and every four to six weeks there would be a finale. Pulse had some amazing talent develop over the years. 19 year old kids would blossom into full on performers. Wednesday was College Night. That evening was popular for 12 years. Friday became Hip Hop Night. Every room had its own DJ. Saturday Nights were Latin Night for the past few years. Employees just didn't leave Pulse and if they did move on to a new career path, they often returned. We were family. Pulse was the second home for many people. The purpose of a gay bar is to be a second home. Often someones own family will not accept them.

Pulse had just recently been renovated. The white room was removed and the place returned to the original South Beach and Miami vibe. The new look was amazing. Gay days had just finished and the club was gearing up for its anniversary in July... The evening of June 12, 2016 interrupted that anniversary.

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

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The First of 10 Orlando Urban Sketching Workshops.

The first of 10 X 10 Orlando Urban Sketching Workshops was held at the Orlando Public Library (101 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32801) in the Magnolia Room. The brutalist style architecture of the building makes it feel like it belongs in a futuristic non-Utopian society as in George Orwell's 1984. Classical music is pumped into the lobby and when the automatic doors open, you can feel a rush of inviting cold air hit you as you walk by.

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! The 10 workshops will cover three themes:
1. Little Stories.
2. Medium Stories.
3. Great Stories.

The Goals of the progressive workshops are to:
1. Show stories from Orlando, one drawing at a time
2. Improve 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

For the first workshop I started with simple shapes like squares, circles, and triangles. We sketched the simple shapes and then sketched them as dimensional objects on the page. The most important building block to understand for me is the cube and we sketched it from all different angles as if it were dice on a roulette table. We then softened the edges of the cube and stretched, bent and twisted the shapes on the page. Being able to sketch that form from any angle is critical.

We then focused on contour drawing by doing blind contours before more controlled contour drawing of Abe Lincoln statues and buffalo statues. We then focused on producing a more finished still life of our art supplies. We used watercolor for the first time and I offered sketch suggestions to each student as their work was in progress.

 The library sketch with all the computers shown above was broken down into simple shapes. We left the classroom and found small intimate things to sketch throughout the library. The goal of each sketch was that the object chosen should have a story. As part of the workshop each student is encouraged to write about their experience and post those articles on the Urban Sketch Workshop Group page on Facebook. I am excited about the line up of venues that is coming up. We will be sketching exhibits and historic building models at the Orange County Regional History Center, the Ticonderoga Museum which is devoted to the humble pencil, a Celebrity Impersonators Convention, Zombietoberfest, the Creative City Project and Skeletons at The Museum of Osteology. By the end of the 10 workshops, I hope to have helped inspire some new Urban Sketch Correspondents.

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

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Daddy Issues at the Parliament House.Footlight Theater in

Coming direct from its Off Broadway premiere, Daddy Issues written and directed by David Goldyn is coming to the Footlight Theater in the Parliament House (410 North Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando FL). Pam Schwartz and I went to a dress rehearsal. Walking in, we passed a drag queen bingo session going on at the bar. The cast sat in the audience for the first hour or so since Blue Estrella was working power nailing baseboards to the walls, framed show posters were hung on the wall with care. We all waited with anticipation for a white door to arrive which went stage left. I had to resist drawing any furniture since it had been pushed around the stage to make room for set construction. An air compressor that looked like a cross between a Roomba and R2D2 was eventually removed.

Donald Moscowitz (Wes Miles) has overbearing parents. Don’t we all? He is trying to live his life as a gay man in 1980s New York as a struggling actor no less. Of course his parents are in denial about his lifestyle, disapprove of his career choice, and question his flair for decoration. To get his family to stop kvetching, Donald needs a son. With the help of his ballsy best friend Henrietta (Darby Ballard) and rising drag queen Levi (Tim Garnham), Donald hires the ten-year-old kid (Rhysee Silvestro) from downstairs to play his son. What could go wrong?

This fast-paced new comedy, takes audiences on a fun ride to remind us just how far we’ll go for family.  Both Henrietta and Levi want to play the part of Donald's long lost girlfriend that he dated in college, before he realized he was gay. When his grandmother (Jack LeDoux) brings home the real college girlfriend, Mary Ellen (Melanie Leon) who happens to be the mom of the 10-year-old son Donald has hired. Melanie was always thick into the drink, having named her son Johnnie Walker. Her off kilter performance certainly added humor to the third act.

Donald's father Sid (Joe Zimmer) and grandmother approach the boy to find out if he has been circumcised, only to be pulled away by Donald. The show was a fun romp. It was just as fun to watch the actors who performed with selfless abandon since there was no audience. For instance, rehearsing the bows for the first time brought out some over the top styles.

Daddy Issues opens Friday August 4th at Footlight Theater.
Tickets are $20  7:30PM to 10:30PM
Show Dates are
Friday August 4
Saturday August 5
Friday August 11
Saturday August 12
Friday August 18
Saturday August 19
Monday August 21 (Industry Night)
Saturday August 26

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

Friday, August 4, 2017

Weekend Top 6 Picks for August 5th and 6th.

Saturday August 5, 2017
8 AM to 5 PM - $100-$399 Widow Empowerment Weekend. Renaissance Orlando Airport Hotel, 5445 Forbes Pl, Orlando, FL 32812. Registration is OPEN. 200 ladies will come together for a very special weekend! #Orlando #Florida #TeamCompassion #ModernWidowsClub #2017WEW

3 PM to 6 PM - $35-$300 1st of 10 Orlando Urban Sketch Workshops. Orlando Public Library 101 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32801. The first Orlando Urban Sketch Workshop will cover Little Stories (Microcosm, Small Objects). I encourage artists to bring a small personal object that has personal meaning. We will discuss how everyday objects can tell a story. 

We will warm up doing contour drawings in which more time is spent looking at objects rather than looking at the sketch page. The fact that a sketch isn't perfect is an excuse to loosen up and have fun with the process. I will do quick sketches for each student to drive home ideas that could help with each sketch in progress. Each sketch is a step towards slower and more deliberate observation.

After classroom discussion and sketches, we will branch out and sketch small isolated scenes in the library. You could sketch someone reading, or focus on some small items in the library collection. The idea is to find something small and intimate to sketch. The library closes as 6 PM and we will meet in the classroom just before closing to look at all the sketches done and compare notes.

Thomas Thorspecken (Thor) has been an official Urban Sketching instructor for two years. For 8 years he has been documenting arts and culture throughout Central Florida with one sketch a day for his online news site Thor was an animation artist for Disney Feature Animation for 10 years and has taught courses at Full Sail University and Elie Animation Academy.
If there are any questions, contact Thor at

7:30 PM to 9:30 AM - $20.  Daddy IssuesFootlight Theatre at the Parliament House Resort (410 N Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32805)  Donald Moscowitz has overbearing parents.  Don't we ALL?

Sunday August 6, 2017
10 AM to 4 PM - Free. Lake Eola Farmers Market. South East corner of Lake Eola Park. Weekly.

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. 

Noon to 1 PM - Free. Yoga. Lake Eola near the red gazebo.

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

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Artlando in Lock Haven Park.

In 2016 I was asked to participate in Artlando at Loch Haven Park (900 E Princeton St, Orlando, Florida). Over 80 artists cover the lawn with their displays, selling and creating art. Art created on-site was to be entered into a competition with thousands of dollars offered as awards. 100% of revenue from art sales went directly to the artists. I set up my tent the night before. The next day I had to teach classes all day, so I asked Bonnie Sprung to help man the tent for the duration of the event. She did a great job selling quite a few t-shirts. She offered her own art as well which gave some variety to the work offered. I am starting to realize that small ticket items are the only things that move at an outdoor festival like this.

There was a Toyota 'paint by numbers' exhibit which asked the community to paint in a mural by local artists, which covered an entire Toyota with art. Local artists also painted Juice Bike racks to be used at Juice Bike locations, which is a way to display art year-round in Orlando. I haven't seen these painted bike racks yet, if you spot one, please let me know.

The outdoor performing arts stage featured Orlando’s most prominent performing arts organizations showcased throughout the day and into the night. From Orlando Ballet to Orlando Fringe, programming transitions from kid-friendly in the morning, to general audience in the afternoon, and acts for mature audiences in the evening at Artlando After Dark.

As the host sponsor, the Orlando Museum of Art is an integral part of Artlando. The museum provided an air conditioned environment and housed exhibits from participating galleries.When I got to the park late in the afternoon, it immediately started to rain. Loud speakers announced that a strong storm was heading to Central Florida and that there would be high winds and tons of lightning. We were all warned to get off the lawn. When there was a lull in the downpour, I packed up my tent early. Just as I loaded it into the car, it started to pour again. I returned to Loch Haven Park later that night to pick up my empty tent. Many tents had been mangled in the high winds and looked like umbrellas that had been turned inside out and put in a blender. Oddly my old tent sat serenely alone among the carnage as if a cyclone had decided to stop and spin around it, hitting everything else in its path.

Mark your calendar, Artlando will return to Loch Haven Park on September 30, 2017 from 11 AM to 11 PM.

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

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Creative City Project's VIP Night of Global Influence.

This night featured some compelling performances by several Central Florida artists organizations, some of the 2017 partnerships, and an exclusive look at the exciting future of Creative City Project.  The biggest announcement by founder, Cole Nesmith, was the unveiling of the new identity of the annual Creative City Project, to IMMERSE The evening showcased the next steps in fulfilling the mission to “shape the global perception of Orlando as a city known for innovation and creativity.”

More than 1,000 artists and performers bring the heart of the city to life! This year, you will find yourself surrounded with inspiration. Just one example is a performance by the 100 piece CFCArts Symphony Orchestra on 5 stages, surrounding the audience with an immersive orchestral experience. Artists will invite you in to become part of the experience. The fusion of performance and technology extend beyond the stage. The artists of IMMERSE will inspire you to live creatively everyday.

Mark your calendar! The Creative City Project will present the annual event, IMMERSE, on October 21, 2017. Tickets this year range form $10 to $100. There are also a limited number of free tickets available.

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

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Wekiva Paint Out Gala.

The Orlando based Oak Hill Drifters span the rockabilly, country and early R&B genres with ease, with nods to Janis Martin, Bob Wills, The Everly Brothers, Little Willie John and Charlie Feathers. The high energy provided by Craig Roy's upright bass and the kicking drums by Tom Pearce kept feet moving and heads nodding, and the dual vocals and harmonies from Tom Cooper and Rachel Decker rounded out the band. They were on their own dock on the Wekiva river which acted as the stage.

A gala was going on for the yearly Wekiva Paint Out. There were food tents, beverages, and plenty of tables set up on the lawn. Rather than eat or hobnob, I set up behind a palmetto on a dock opposite the band. Since most folks ignored the music, I had a front row seat to enjoy and sketch the show. I was most attracted to the opposing warm and cool colors and I let them collide brightly on my digital tablet. After the sketch was done, I walked through the tent where all the wet plein air paintings were being exhibited. Close to 30 artists had been creating landscape paintings around Wekiva Island all week. You could see bugs caught in the paint, like in Neolithic Amber.

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