Thursday, April 26, 2018

Winter Park Paint Out: Peacock Junction

In a small suburban neighborhood south of Michigan street in Orlando. peacocks roost each night in this live Oak tree. I had just gotten back to Orlando on a red eye flight from Las Vegas and taught an Urban Sketching course at Crealde. This year I am participating as one of the 25 artists in the Winter Park Paint Out. When I got back in town, I read an e-mail from Rachel Frisby the Albin Polasek Museum curator, and one of her suggested locations to paint was this neighborhood. Though running on fumes, I decided to immediately head that way to check it out.

The sun was setting as Pam Schwartz and I arrived. We could hear the Peacocks before we saw them. They resembled large looming vultures when we first saw them in the tree. It had rained earlier in the day, so there were puddles of water to sip. Neighborhood cars would slow and drive around the birds which were in no rush to get out of the way. One car parked in front of me while I sketched and the driver shouted out, "You can take a few home with you if you like!" He then pulled into the driveway of the blue home I was sketching. His daughter later came out to introduce herself. She was an actress who I had sketched in a murder mystery ghost show. In that performance he was dresses like a rocker chick with a Mohawk, so I didn't recognize her at first. I believe she will be in the cast of "Patrons Pick For Murder" at the Orlando Fringe starting May 18, 2018. Tickets are on sale now.

A small puppy was being taken for a walk. He was unfazed by the peacocks, some of which were much larger that him. The front door of the tan home opened and an entire bucket of bird seed was thrown out in the yard. Soon there had to be at least 50 peacocks crowded around the seed. Two males strutted around the yard with their tail feathers in full display shaking their booties. One female wandered too close and she was hypnotized by the display. In an instant he mounted her and the entire encounter lasted only seconds. As it grew darker more and more peacocks wandered en mass towards the tree. This street is located between two small lakes and the birds probably came from the water to this location to roost for the night, there being protection in numbers. Their calls sounded like, "HEEEELP MEEEE." I asked the actress how she slept at night and she claims that you get used to the noise over time. That seems unlikely to me because the noise is deafening. Any time a car dives by with its head light on the entire flock starts screaming out, "HEEEEELP MEEEEE."

The 10th Annual Winter Park Paint out is happening this week through April 28th. Admission to the Polasek Museum (633 Osceola Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789) is free for the duration of the event. Hours from Monday to Thursday are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday April 27, the hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday April 28th, the hours are 9 a.m. to noon. My work created this week will be hanging in the gallery. Artists are always painting in the museum gardens which are beautiful. Come on out and see all the new art. I might be standing near this painting subtly screaming out "HEEEELP MEEEE!"

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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