Saturday, April 28, 2018

Painting Demo

Winter Park Paint Out Artist Steve Andrews gave a painting demonstration in Downtown Orlando at the Orange County Administration Building Sculpture Garden (201 South Rosalind Avenue Orlando FL). He set up on the lawn facing the Orlando skyline. This was a free event so anyone was invited to attend. As I arrived, Rachel Frisby and several assistants were setting up the Albin Polasek Museum banner and a tent. I paced around an tried to figure out what I should sketch as they set up. I finally realized I should sit back a bit so I could include the sculpture of a man trying to fly with I-beams and very non aerodynamic wings. It seemed fitting in that it implied to me that most of man's aspirations though well intentioned can be futile. I had every intention of doing a good sketch but it always seems that circumstances are always set in place to keep me from the task of taking flight.

Several people approached as I set up the scene asking well intentioned questions that stole time as the sun raced towards the horizon. Terry Olson who heads up the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs stopped to say hello. He then checked out Steve's progress and headed on his way, probably to another cultural event. I see him everywhere I go. A security guard from the Orange County Building approached and asked if I was with the County. It was clear he was looking to stop my sketch in progress. I told him I was, to buy time, and kept working. My mistake had been to say hello to him as he did his rounds. He approached a second time and asked to see my credentials. I showed him my Winter Park Paint Out badge and told him that this was an event that had been approved with a permit. He told me he had not been informed and I assume he went back inside to call around to see if he could get the artist/anarchist off of the city property. I must have seemed an easy target since I sat apart from the crowd. His main concern was that this would be an isolated event. We don't want artists running amok downtown, now do we?

Steve began blocking in his painting as everyone sat on the lawn to watch. The biggest challenge was looking straight into the setting sun. Instead of using line, he boldly blocked in the shapes in oil always being able to refine a shape as the painting progressed. He told a story that his father had been a doctor during world War II and he was one of the few doctors who stayed in Orlando during the war effort. Orange County Regional History Center curator Pam Schwartz made arrangements to get his fathers oral history.

The crowd gathered to watch Steve paint broke out into laughter. I didn't understand why at first. Rachel later explained that her dog had taken the moment to squat in front of the artist and take a lingering dump right in the scene he was painting. "Everyone is a critic!" Steve mused.

Today is the last day of the Winter park Paint Out, so it is your last chance to see all the paintings that have been created this week in the "wet gallery". Admission to the Albin Polasek Museum (633 Osceola Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789) is free for the paint out until 5pm. Tonight is the Paint Out Garden Party from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. This is the big blow out gala which showcases all of the art from the event. Over 400 patrons are expected to attend dressed in cabana chic garden attire. Tickets to the Garden Party are  $100 in advance or $125 at the door. Each ticket enti­tles the buyer to $50.00 off the pur­chase of a paint­ing dur­ing the Gar­den Party! (Limit one ticket per paint­ing val­ued at $300 or more)

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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