Sunday, July 22, 2018

Surfside Beach on Nantucket

Surfside Beach is a short drive from Glen Weimer's cottage on Nanucket. He let me  borrow his car and I packed a beach umbrella, sunscreen and a blanket along with my sketch supplies. I set up early and watched as people arrived to soak up the sun. This  is a rare moment where I was sketching not to document a particular event, but just sketching for the joy of sketching. Line didn't seem as important in this beech scene.

With the sketch done, I closed my eyes and relaxed while breathing in the salt air. This incredible island it a true escape. It was a warm beautiful day, and I needed to recharge my personal battery.

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

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Street Performers in Nantucket

After a full day of exploring the Nantucket side streets, I went downtown in the evening and sketches several street performers. Street performers are not encouraged in Orlando and they are banned by an ordinance in Winter Park. In Orlando performers are told they must move to blue beggars boxes which have been painted on sidewalks in 27 obscure places downtown. Evening strollers occasionally dropped a tip in the open case. Having an open case in Orlando would get you shut down by police unless you were in a blue box.

It was nice to sit and listen and sketch the acoustic performance. The arts can flourish in plain view of the public on Nantucket. The performers were curious about my sketch, so we chatted for a while between sets. They come out too this downtown spot quite often to jam together.

I was fairly familiar with the streets between downtown and my friend Glen Weimer's house, so I hiked back to his place. It had been a productive day, so it felt good enjoying the night air as I hiked. I like he gloaming hour when the silhouettes of the homes are barely visible against the evening sky.

There is something magical  about Nantucket. The architecture reminds me of Charleston which has tons of history. The sea faring history of Nantucket is visible everywhere. Although the rich move in every summer, there is a balance among the native islanders. There is also plenty of untouched natural land on the island. There are no monolithic mansions like in the Hamptons. Instead all the homes feel like they have been on the island for hundreds of years.

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

Friday, July 20, 2018

Weekend Top 6 Picks for July 21 and 22, 2018

Saturday July 21, 2018
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. Commander's Call. Museum of Military History 5210 West Irlo Bronson Hwy Kissimmee FL 34746. This ongoing program is held on the 3rd Sat of each month is designed to appeal to families, military memorabilia collectors, history buffs, re-enactors and others interested in military history. In addition, persons interested in displaying, trading or selling their military items such as honor coins, swords, photographs, military buttons, scale model boats & planes, military art, uniforms or other equipment register in advance by calling the museum to reserve a spot. Re-enactors and veterans are welcome to come in uniform to add to the history & authenticity of the military experience. Non-military booths such as health care providers, home improvement, local attractions or other businesses are invited to be vendors for minimal donation.
INFO and Register: 407-507-3894 or to register your table space.

7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Free. The Hate Bombs 25th Anniversary Party! The Veranda at Thornton Park
707 E Washington St. Orlando FL 32801. Your favorite creeps together again! Original lineup — PLUS — 25 years of Bomb-bastic artwork by Greg Reinel, Scott Sugiuchi, Jim Leatherman and more! All ages. Doors at 7pm. Show 8-11pm.

8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Free. Dive-In” movie series "Jaws". The Cady Way Pool is located at 2529 Cady Way, Winter Park.  The City of Winter Park has brought back their successful pool-based “Dive-In” movie series this summer, kicking it off with a screening of cult-favorite, Jaws, on Saturday, July 21.
The screening is part of the Parks and Recreation Department’s Family Fun program and will be hosted at the Cady Way Pool. It’s free and family-friendly; if your kids can handle animatronic sharks eating people.
Free popcorn and drinks will be provided.

Sunday July 22, 2018 
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mount Dora Village Market. Sunset Park 230 W. Fourth Ave. Mount Dora FL. Weekly artisans and farmers market.

Noon to 5 p.m. $7. Florida Wedding Expo. Meet with wedding professionals, enter to win thousands of dollars in prizes, taste gourmet food and decadent cakes, experience a runway fashion show, and much more. Orange County Convention Center 9800 International Drive West Orlando FL. 407-685-9800.

10 p.m. to Midnight. Free. GWADCIP$ Lil Indies 1036 N. Mills Ave. Orlando FL. Lo-fi, beats.

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

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Nantucket Architecture

I explored downtown Nantucket on foot. So many homes had a Victorian flair and they all had the grey weathered shingles.

All the homes on Nantucket have the same grey wooden facades. Nantucket has fairly rigid design mandates. You cannot build as you please on Nantucket; houses must have pitched roofs, not flat ones, and they must be covered in unpainted shingles, which weather to a soft gray once they have survived their first Nantucket winter.

In 1983 a Nantucket island town meeting approved a local two percent tax on property sales to finance the purchase of open space for conservation and public use. Now roughly a third of the island is in the ''land bank,'' and officials have been quoted as saying that they hope this figure will eventually reach half the island's area.This land tax and land bank idea is helping turn the island's boom into a means of preservation rather than simply a means of development.

I hiked endlessly and there was a beautiful home to sketch one every corner. I finally decided to sketch this building because I liked the way the tree snaked skywards. A man was out painting his fence. If you paint in Nantucket it means you are rather rich because you have to repaint every year. The Nantucket winters will weather any paint. Every day was a sketch crawl of exploration. I would do 4 of 5 sketches every day as I familiarized myself with the island.

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

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Old Mill in Nantucket

The first sight Glen Weimer pointed out on the drive back to his place was the Old Mill, which is a historic windmill located at 50 Prospect Street in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Built in 1746, the mill is owned and operated by the Nantucket Historical Association as a museum. It is the only surviving mill of the four “smock mills” that once stood overlooking Nantucket town. There was a fifth Nantucket mill called “Round-Top Mill” on the site of the present New North Cemetery.

Smock mills have a fixed-body containing machinery, and a cap that turns to face the sails into the wind. The Old Mill was sold for twenty dollars in 1828 to Jared Gardner in deplorable condition for use as “firewood.” Instead of dismantling it, Gardner, a carpenter by trade, restored the mill to working condition capable of grinding corn. The mill was sold once again in 1866 to John Francis Sylvia, a Portuguese miller, who operated it for many years with his assistant Peter Hoy, until it fell into disuse in 1892. When the mill appeared on the auction block in 1897, the Nantucket Historical Association was able to secure the mill with a successful bid of $885. After multiple restorations, the mill is still in working order today, and believed to be the oldest functioning mill in the United States

Everything is within walking distance in Nantucket, so on my first day on my own, I walked to the Mill. I got to know Nantucket intimately as I walked place to place. Isolated on tan island the islanders are not in as much of a rush as the rest of the world. When the ferry arrives  from the mainland of Massachusetts, thousands of tourists flood onto the streets of Downtown Nantucket. The tourists are all in a rush to get settled and find the nearest beach. It is a flash of chaos that happens every day. I simply mention this because some of the cars roaring past me on my walks, were speeding to their destinations. If everyone took the time to walk where they were going, the island would be a much more peaceful place.

There was no cloth on the windmill's sails. Just the wooden framework was in place catching no wind. A huge pole behind the windmill was hooked up to a wagon wheel to turn the sails into the wind. I didn't think to check if the light breeze was coming from the right direction. I wondered how hard it would be to rotate the roof or cap into the wind. I imagined a team of horses and men pushing and pulling it into place. Then again, the roof might rotate freely with the right parts and lubrication. How cool would it be to build a tiny house from the plans of a Wind Mill and use the sails to help supply electricity? Of course a Florida hurricane could decimate the sails.

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Lama Yesha Palmo

When my plane landed in Nantucket, Glen Weimer, my host was still with a client doing body work, so I couldn't go straight to his home. Instead, I caught a taxi to the Family Resource Center, (20 Vesper Lane, L-1 Gouin, Nantucket MA). Here a Mindful Meditation Group was going to meet and I thought it would be a good way to unwind and relax after a day of flying. The room we met in was set up for an Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step program. the 12th step was "Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions." In some ways Buddhist teachings are similar to the 12 steps. Buddhist thought holds that craving leads to suffering (the second noble truth). Twenty-five hundred years ago the Buddha taught that snippets of addiction, constantly wanting, ever craving this or that,  are the source of all human suffering. This craving can be reduced and eventually eliminated.

There were just two of us sitting in. The woman across from me had her fists clenched the whole time as Lama Yesha Palmo explained the meditation process. This was the first time I had practiced with someone in full robes. A candle was lit and we sat quietly. I sketched before and after the meditation. I consider sketching my form of meditation. Birds chirped outside and a dog barked a few blocks away. For once my body didn't ache and as I finished the sketch I felt a bit of peace. The session ended with the sound of a meditation bowl humming from the wooden mallet circling it's rim.

I would have left feeling satisfied, but afterwards the Yesha asked questions about our experience. The woman across from me also felt some contentment but she was told that she wasn't meditating properly. Apparently inner sensations must all be let go. I kept my mouth closed, I didn't need my experience to be criticized. I was far to new to meditation to have my experience picked apart and dissected. When I was finally let back out into the world with my suitcase in tow, the sun  felt good on my face and the breeze kept me cool. I didn't need so much structure to appreciate it.

I hadn't seen Glen since the early 90s. He pulled up in his car and we hugged warmly. It was amazing to see the life he had built for himself on this tiny New England island.

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

Monday, July 16, 2018

Heading to Nantucket

A month after the horrific attack that killed 49 people at the Pulse Nightclub, I was feeling burnt out from sketching vigils, fundraisers and community healing events in Orlando. Glen Wiemer, an old art school buddy offered me a chance to get away and take some time for myself up in Nantucket where he practices Holistic Bodywork.

I found a cheap direct flight to Nantucket right from the Orlando International Airport. I was recently separated and it turns out that getting divorced is a long drawn out process. Now two years later I am still in the process of preparing for the divorce. An art appraiser is determining the value of my art since it is considered part of the marital assets that need to be split.

The flight was uneventful and pleasant. I was excited for some time to soak up some sun and regain some strength to face the long road ahead.

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

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Climb Time Construction in Kidstown

I returned a second time to sketch the construction of the Kidstown, Isaac's Family Climb time at the Orlando Science Center (777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803). Protective screens had been added to keep kids from any attempted jumps from up high. It looked like a complicated maze and I am too tall to walk through any of the corridors without hunching over. At this point I believe the play area was close to being finished. I was impressed with how the structure filled the room. Construction  workers were still using ladders and the lift to get up high rather than crawling inside the structure itself.

Foam had been taped around one of the support beams. Perhaps the lift had been banging up against it in the commotion of construction. This was a chance for me to stretch my perspective muscles as I tried to fit the entire structure into the sketch. At the grand opening of Kidstown, I saw the kids climbing inside this structure for the first time. It is very popular with the kids.

This $5 million project opened to the general public in late October 2016. It signals the completion of the first phase of the $30 million Unlock Science Campaign, a multi-year/multi-phase effort to renovate all the exhibits and expand resources at the Science Center.

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

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Explore It at the Orlando Science Center

Explore It at the Orlando Science Center (777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803) allows children to build their own roller coaster. Loop de loops and bridges can be plugged together to create a dynamic gravity fed coaster. Kids have to really reach high after climbing several steps to get the red ball high enough for the launch. A dad decided to “help” his son build a coaster. It was clear the dad was more interested in the new design than his son.

The other device uses vacuum suction to inhale colorful bolts of fabric. The fabric snakes through transparent tubes and then is launched into the air where it floats down to the kids who catch them below. There was a constant line of kids waiting to feed the machine and then shrieks of laughter as they ran around trying to catch the fabric as it gently parachuted to the ground.Part play and part learning, Kidstown delights the youngest of visitors. Dads and moms get to play as well.

These sketched are going live because I am assembling art for a retrospective exhibit of my work at the Orlando Science Center which will open August 17, 2018. Each painting in the show will ave a label that links back to the article on Analog Artist Digital World. I am discovering that some of these paintings had not been shared before.

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

Friday, July 13, 2018

Weekend Top 6 Picks for July 14th and 15th, 2018

Saturday June 14, 2018
8 a.m. to 1p.m. Free. Parramore Farmers Market. The east side of the Orlando City Stadium, across from City View. Purchase quality, fresh and healthy food grown in your own neighborhood by local farmers, including Fleet Farming, Growing Orlando, and other community growers.

4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Free. Young Voices. JB Callaman Center 102 North Parramore Ave Orlando FL. Teen Open Mic Every second Saturday of the Month.

5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Free.  10th Annual Bastille Day Celebration. Audubon Park Garden District, 3201 Corrine Dr #216, Orlando, FL 32803. French Market at Audubon, Wine and Cheese tasting, baguette fencing, live music and more. Oui oui!

Sunday June 15, 2018
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. Lake Eola Farmers Market. Lake Eola, Orlando, FL 32801. Farm fresh produce in the heart of Orlando FL.

2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free. Vintage Market At The Abbey. The Abbey 100 South Eola Drive #100, Orlando, Florida 32801. The Abbey will be hosting its first Vintage Market. It will be a fun day of local vendors for your shopping pleasure, food trucks, and drinks made by The Abbey's amazing bartenders. What better way to spend your Sunday Funday than by supporting local businesses?
If you are interested in being a vendor, please contact us at

10 p.m. to Midnight Free but get a coffee. Comedy Open Mic. Austin's Coffee, 929 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL. Free comedy show! Come out and laugh, or give it a try yourself.

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

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Drip Drop Splash Construction

I was fascinated by the construction of Drip Drop Splash happening at the Orlando Science Center (777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803). Hydraulics has to be adjusted and everything perfectly balanced. One of the water columns required plenty of tweaking. In the end water would fill the pools and the columns would become the source for a cascade of water falling from above. If one element leaked things could get wet and messy, however the whole contraption was planted on a cement pool which had drainage just in case. Construction workers got used to me being on site and once in a while they would glance over my shoulder.

A group was given a tour to  show them the progress of construction. The area in the background of this sketch is the Toddlers Corner. Every worker had a task to complete and the place took  shape incredibly fast. Part of me wished that I had come in daily to watch the progress but I had to balance this assignment with other events happening in town. I am posting this sketch in preparation for an exhibit of my painting that will open at the Science Center on August 16, 2018.

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

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Harriet Lake's Kidstown Theatre

Harriet Lake is one of Orlando’s greatest patrons of the arts. Harriet’s Kidstown Theatre is located just past Drip Drop Splash in the Orlando science Center (777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803). A quaint little stage is littered with props like a hard hat, and tutus. The backdrop kept changing, I opted to sketch a playful view of the Lake Eola Fountain. It doesn’t take much to fire the imagination in a young mind. Kids are already gifted actors. A dad sat in the audience sporting his foam statue of liberty crown. The bean bag chairs helped keep the audience active.

I am assembling 30 paintings for an exhibition I am mounting at the Orlando Science Center opening August 16th, 2018. I like to include links in the labels that link back to the articles that appeared on Analog Artist Digital World. This quaint little sketch somehow slipped through the cracks, so I am publishing it now.

In some ways, the kids were just playing on the stage with no well defined story line. However some of the best theater happens when the actors relax and are playful on stage. Lets put on a show! After writing this post, I learned that Harriet Lake died July 10, 2018 at the age of 96. She will be deeply missed by the Central Florida arts community.

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

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Meditation in the wake of Pulse

In June of 2016 I became obsessed with sketching every wake, vigil, memorial and fundraiser devoted to the cause of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre. Every post at the time was about the shooting and the cities attempt to heal in the wake of the tragedy. To find some personal balance in my life I turned to meditation. I honestly hoped that the discussion on this day might be about the Buddhist teachings that might address such a tragedy. Certainly Buddhists must have thoughts that would shed some light on the feelings and confusion that follow mass murder.  I learned that the previous week had addressed those insights. The Mindful Medition Discussion Group meets weekly on Wednesdays behind the home of Peter Carlson (1818 Carrigan Avenue, Winter Park, 32789).

We all sat silently for an hour to meditate. My high blood pressure caused my ears to start drumming. I was concerned that my body didn't allow for enough quiet for me to get lost in the moment. My legs started to ache so I shifted to a new position. I must be doing this all wrong.  I was biding my time until I could sketch during the discussion to follow. Despite my annoyance at my inability to find any semblance of peace, I was glad that I had taken the night to do something for myself. I hoped meditation might allow me to come to terms with what had happened at Pulse. That never happened. Conversation turned to the four noble truths, but my mind wandered back to Orange Avenue just south of the Orlando Regional Medical Center.

I returned to mediation many times in the following months to  keep trying. Glen Weimer, an old college friend offered me a chance to escape to Nantucket and it was there that some quite meditation on the beach finally brought me a moment of respite.

The Dali Llama's thought on violence seem to ring true. He teaches the universal human values of peace, harmony, and community... "If we emphasize more on non-violence and harmony, we can herald a new beginning. Unless we make serious attempts to achieve peace, we will continue to see a replay of the mayhem humanity experienced in the 20th century. We need a systematic approach to foster humanistic values, of oneness and harmony. If we start doing it now, there is hope that this century will be different from the previous one. It is in everybody’s interest. So let us work for peace within our families and society, and not expect help from God, Buddha or the governments."

So what can  I do? I have just one tool at my disposal and that is to sketch. Now two years after the attack, I am still sketching and listening to try and understand.

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

Monday, July 9, 2018

Projected : A Creative City Project Special Event

The Projected event was held at the City Beautiful Church (1220 Alden Rd, Orlando, FL 32803). And was a fundraiser for the Creative City Project which shuts down Orange Avenue in Downtown Orlando each year to showcase some of the cities most amazing talent.

Six projection artists came together to create an immersive world of light an sound. Each artist brought a unique, interactive installation that allowed patrons to experience digital art in a whole new way.There was live music and dance presented with responsive light installations which cropped up throughout the evening. Live performance elements brought the entire evening together for a compelling art experience unlike any other.

I decided to sit on the edge of the stage to look back at the room full of projections. Green and purple lasers cut through the air and a dual wall installation featured alternating stripes of vibrant color. People stood on tip toe to wave their hands through the bright green laser beams. When Pam Schwartz and I first entered, our eyes were not accustomed to the dark. A long hallway lead to the main room, but a line of tables covered with black tablecloths blocked a straight approach to the room. I had to tap the table tops with my hands to figure out what the best way in might be.

We wandered down a hall illuminated by a projection of thousands of moving points of light. Several children crouched at the end of the hall looking back at the beams of light that caused every wall to flicker with moving points of light. Later that night I saw Cole Nesmith in the hall using a red light bar to illuminate couples who posed for photos in the sea of moving points.  

Becky Lane had a room set up that was an installation that was built around the experience of her long commute to Tampa. One whole wall had a projection that showed the Florida landscape flying by shot from the side window of her moving car. Palmetto fronds were scattered throughout the room. And when I glanced in at first I saw people waving the fronds in the air. The space incorporated movement, viewpoints and puppetry to give an interactive feeling for her commute.

Outside that room was a projection that used a sensor to track a persons movements. Pam and I were standing in the area looking at Becky's installation when we were scolded for disrupting the sensors. Only one person could be in the space at a time. Basically that person could create an image on the screen built up from a series of triangles of varying sizes. By waving their arms triangles would appear. I lost interest.

Nathan Selikoff had a projection that looked like a colorful cloud which people could manipulate by waving their hands over a sensor on a table near the projector. Some people couldn't figure out how to manipulate the cloud because they always had their hands too close to the sensor. Eventually most people figured out the proper distance to get the digital storm to brew.

On the stage wall behind me a series of movies were projected on the wall. The brightest image was of a cloud formed after an explosion. Dancers took to the stage and improvised. One dancer held a laser and projected the point of bright light on the floor. Dancers would follow the light like a cat. The same dancers later dances behind the dual wall of bright striped colors. Their silhouettes wold break up the wall of color dramatically.

The event was very well attended, and I am sure more people kept arriving as the night progresses. This year The Creative City Project will present their annual event, IMMERSE, on October 19 and 20, 2018. More than 1,000 artists and performers will bring the heart of the city of Orlando to life! It is possible to book tickets early.

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

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Lil Indies

Lil Indies (1036 Mills Ave N, Orlando, FL 32803) is right next to Wills Pub. I hosted an Orlando Drink and Draw event (ODD) there and when I arrived, Indies was not open yet. I decided to take the time to do a sketch outside and meet any artists as they arrived. Storm clouds loomed a steely blue grey on the horizon. Mills has a constant flow of traffic, and as I did this sketch, a van pulled up to Wills and a band started unloading their instruments and equipment. The sign outside the club says, "no colors and no weapons" which is a good policy in this day and age. I don't think they actually check for weapons.

The storm clouds blew my way, and it started to rain just before I was finished. I decided the sketch was done when the first big drops hit the page. Greg Bryla arrived just before the deluge and we went inside together.Lil Indies is decorated like I imagine my grandmothers basement would look like. Kitschy paintings adorn the walls, and vintage couches and chairs are scattered around the entry rooms.

The bar itself is built from various colors of hand stained boards and feels hand made. The signature cocktails can be delicious. I found a table in the corner for the artists and set about drawing the stage area. I believe four of us were drawing that night.

On this evening Tod Caviness was hosting a literary event called Loose Lips. Five writers reflect on the news with their own words, their own frightening words, and the drinks flowed (some of the best cocktails in town are made at Lil' Indies), and the world shall continue on as though uninterrupted. It was a good night of drinking, drawing, listening, laughing and reflecting on where we are headed as a nation.

The next loose Lips will be July 3, 2018 at 8 p.m.again at Lil Indies. The event is 21 and over and will return under the terrifying regime of the Functionally Literate crew.

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

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Chris Cortez at Blue Bamboo

Blue Bamboo Music Center for the Arts has become an amazing new venue that features top musicians. Blue Bamboo is part venue, part recording studio, and part art gallery!  Located at 1905 Kentucky Ave in Winter Park, Fl, just off Fairbanks between Formosa and Clay, this unique new space offers live performances most evenings, state of the art recording studio, and gallery space.  More concert hall than night club, they're open to all ages and present all kinds of music, theater, dance, and spoken word events.  They're also available for private parties.  Browse the schedule for tickets or call  407-636-9951 for more information.

The venue has limited seating so you are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance or make reservations.  Tickets are also available at the door, based on availability.  Most shows begin at 8PM and the doors open at 7.  They offer beer and wine, soft drinks, and light snacks. 

Chris Cortez is a talented local acoustic guitarist and I have sketched him before. In the low light, I got to play with my digital drawing tablet to try and capture the light and mood of the evening. On Tuesday nights there are ongoing acoustic guitar sessions that feature Chris Cortez. Best of all there is now cover, so this becomes a great sketch opportunity.

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

Friday, July 6, 2018

Weekend Top 6 Picks for July 7th and 8th, 2018

Saturday July 7, 2018
8am to 1pm Free. Parramore Farmers Market. The east side of the Orlando City Stadium, across from City View. Purchase quality, fresh and healthy food grown in your own neighborhood by local farmers, including Fleet Farming, Growing Orlando, and other community growers.

6pm to 9pm $60. Digital Nuts and Bolts: Getting Started with Digital Sketching. (Canceled) INSTRUCTOR: Thomas Thorspecken. LOCATION: Orange County Regional History Center Downtown Orlando. For the second year, Urban Sketchers Orlando is taking part in 10x10, the worldwide initiative to offer educational workshops wherever sketchers live. Launched in celebration of Urban Sketchers’ 10th anniversary in 2017, the program brings a variety of courses on urban sketching techniques taught by talented local instructors in their home cities. In 2017, cities around the world began offering 10x10, a series of 10 courses telling the stories of our places. For 2018, Urban Sketchers have a new creative plan of long term workshops.
DESCRIPTION: Have you wanted to venture into digital sketching but aren’t sure where to start? This nuts and bolts class will teach you the about the necessary tools, how to navigate digital programs such as Procreate, and share tips and tricks for creating incredible works from start to finish. Straight from the World of Sketch-reportage journalism Thomas Thorspecken will guide you through Digital sketching medium and onto your iPad.
SUPPLIES Digital sketching materials recommended: iPad, iPhone, iPencil, Procreate, or other digital program.However a simple pencil and paer are fine if you just want to learn about the digital world.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Thomas Thorspecken (Orlando, FL) Thorspecken is a correspondent for the Urban Sketchers organization since 2009 and has been an official Urban Sketching instructor for two years. An illustrator and journalist he is working in and around Central Florida and has been documenting arts and entertainment for eight years in one sketch a day for his online news site, Analog Artist Digital World. Thorspecken was an animation artist for Disney for 10 years and has taught courses at Full Sail University and Elite Animation Academy. USk Correspondent.

8pm to 10pm Free. Shuffleboard at Orlando's Beardall Courts. Orlando's Beardall Courts 800 Delaney Ave Orlando FL.  1st Saturday of each month. Free fun!

Sunday July 8, 2018
10am 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 3pm. Donation. Music at the Casa. Beautiful Music with Shannon Caine. Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, 656 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789.  Listen to live music and take a tour of our historic home museum and the James Gamble Rogers II Studio by trained docents.

2:30pm to 5:15pm $15. Roll Playing Game workshops: painting mini figures!  Gods & Monsters 5421 International Dr, Orlando, Florida 32819.
How can one possibly paint a figure so small? Your trusty Game Master Jess, is here to show you! Once again we venture into unkown territories with a beginners class to painting your mini figures! This class will cover all the basics of painting your tiny heros, including bases, drybrushing, watering that paint down, how to not have wonky eyes, and much more!
This workshop is free to attend, but if you would like to paint a mini figure along with us, we have model paints and brushes for you to use, and the mini you get take home afterward for a $15 fee. (This fee will also cover one regular soda or bottled water and snack per painter.) This will be a great opportunity for some individual attention, as you and your friends learn a new skill that you can use for all your future RPG needs!
Participants will also receive 15% off your gaming and snack purchases! If you enjoyed painting your mini, you can use the discount to purchase your own starter paint set and brushes and more miniatures to work on.
If you would like to paint with us, be sure to message us or stop in store to reserve a spot, at least 5 days prior to event. Please note, if we do not have enough attendees registered by the Wed prior to workshop date, we may have to cancel and reschedule for a later date.

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

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Waiting for Fireworks at Lake Eola

I finished teaching an Urban Sketching class at Elite Animation at 3pm on July 4th 2018. I decided to drive to the Pine Street studio since it is so close to Lake Eola and there is a parking spot behind the building. I didn't think to see if any of the downtown Orlando side streets were closed. My direct route to the studio was blocked, so I had to snake north in an effort to make my way around Lake Eola. Luckily my block was not closed as well.

Walking to the lake only took a few minutes once I had parked. Rain threatened, with dark grey clouds on the horizon and it began to drizzle. I seldom sketch outside in the summer since there is usually a rain storm every afternoon. My plan was to sketch the early arrivals at the Lake. People come with picnics and hang out for the afternoon so that they are guaranteed a spot lakeside for the fireworks after the crowd presses in.

This couple has three pizza boxes along with some cans of coke and an incredible assortment of groceries still in the plastic bags they got at the check out counter. The band shell across the lake still sported he rainbow paint job it got for Pride after the Pulse Nightclub Massacre. The fountain was working and come evening, it would be lit up with red, white and blue spotlights. All the swans were out in the middle of the lake probably intimidated by the crowds of humans that kept circling the lake. The path was barricaded at the World of beer, so i imagine the fireworks would likely be launched from around that area.

The couple I was sketching smoked the entire time I was there and they were perched on a carped of dry pine needles which would ignite like a wildfire with any spark. Of course with all the sparks raining down from the sky, I imagine a few cigarette butts might be the cities least concern. To my right was a stage for a band, so this spot would certainly be extra crowded once the sun set. I left when the sketch was done because a fabulous meal of ribs awaited back at home. The neighborhood is a war zone of amateur fireworks anyway. Last year the smoke was so thick on the street that visibility was reduced to a few feet as if a London fog had descended. It is now dusk and the explosions are picking up their pace.

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

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Complete History of America (Abridged)

CFCArts is presenting The Complete History of America (Abridged) at the CFCArts Black Box Theatre, (250 SW Ivanhoe Blvd. Orlando, FL 32804). It was a bit tricky to find at Central Christian Church on Lake Concord. Parking was in back behind the church.

The show is a tongue in cheek roller coaster covering the history of America from Columbus to the modern day. I had seem actress Melanie Leon at Fringe in a musical called Buggin' Out. She has an expressive way of using every nuance of a gesture to convey her thoughts,  and so I knew she would be very funny in the show. She sat in the audience several times and each time she got the audience members to interact with the cast on stage. Justin Hughes and James Blaisdell also kept the energy high in this fast paced show. There were fast paced costume changes galore, and a mysterious bullet kept sneaking into each period of history.

From the moment the actors took to the stage the lights flashed and they performed with over the top vaudevillian zeal. The trenchers of World War I were represented by several overturned chairs. The weapons they carried turned out to be high powered water guns and they sprayed the audience. I leaned forward and then closed the sketchbook to protect my sketch from the ravaged of war.

The final number was going to be either a high spirited Broadway musical number or a Film Noir mystery. A vote was put to the audience and we clearly wanted the Broadway number but at the last second it was decided that the Broadway number might have had the popular vote, but the Noir won based on the electoral college. The audience moaned.

The evening was a fun flippant and interactive experience which is perfect for the July 4th holiday. If you want a laugh with your fireworks, go see The Complete History of America (Abridged).

The remaining show dates are:
July 5, 2018 at 7:30pm
July 6, 2018 at 7:30pm
July 7, 2018 at 7:30pm
July 8, 2018 at 7:30pm

Tickets are $15 to $18.

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

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

A New 3D Printer at Art Systems

Four days after the Pulse Massacre, I found myself at Art Systems (1740 State Road 436, Winter Park, FL 32792) getting some prints. As I waited, I noticed this fellow behind the counter adding finishing touches to a laser printed architectural piece he had made. It looked like a tiny hotel. What was odd was that he spent so much time carving away sections of the print with an Xacto blade. The print was made from thin strips of paper that had been layered one on top of the other. Part of me wonders if there is a practical usage I could have for such technology. I havn't figured it out yet.

The color printer that was going to run my work broke. I left empty handed and haven't been back to Art Systems for a print since. Actually, I take that back I did go back one more time but the printer was still broken. Old technology fades away while new technology is pampered and slaved over.

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

Monday, July 2, 2018

July 4th Fireworks Guide for Central Florida

Baldwin Park Independence Bash July 3, 2018 at 6 PM – 11 PM (fireworks at 9:15 PM) 4801 New Broad Street, Orlando
Freedom on the Waterfront July 3, 2018 at 5 PM (fireworks at dusk) Elizabeth Evans Park, Mount Dora
Red Hot and Boom July 3, 2018 at 4 PM – 11 PM (fireworks 9:30 PM) Uptown Altamonte 150 Cranes Roost Park Blvd, Suite 2200, Altamonte Springs
4th Annual Firecracker Festival July 3, 2018 at 5 PM – 9 PM Earl Brown Park DeLand
Smoke on the Water – Fireworks over the Harbor Port Canaveral July 3, 2018 at 8 PM (fireworks around 9:30-10) The Cove at Port Canaveral
Fireworks at the Fountain July 4, 2018 at 2 PM – 10 PM Lake Eola Park 4th of July Celebration July 4, 2018 | 5 PM – 9 PM Oviedo Mall 1700 Oviedo Mall Blvd, Oviedo
Celebration of Freedom July 4, 2018 at 5 PM – 9:30 PM Central Winds Park 1000 Central Winds Drive, Winter Springs
Fourth of July Celebration July 4, 2018 at 5 PM – 9 PM Avalon Park 3680 Avalon Park East Blvd, Orlando
Fourth of July Spectacular July 4, 2018 at 5:30 PM – 9 PM Port Orange Parks and Recreation 1000 City Center Circle, Port Orange
Red White And Boom July 4, 2018 evening Check site for location Clermont
Fireworks on the Fourth! July 4th Celebration! July 4, 2018 at 6 PM – 9 PM City of Apopka Recreation Department | 3710 Jason Dwelley Pkwy, Apopka
July 4th: Symphony Under the Stars July 4, 2018 at 8 PM – 11 PM Cocoa Riverside Park Cocoa  Star Spangled Sanford July 4, 2018 at 4 PM – 10 PM Ft. Mellon Park, Sanford
23rd Annual Olde Fashioned 4th of July Celebration July 4, 2018 at 9 AM – 1 PM Central Park 2018 St. Cloud Fireworks July 4, 2018 at 10 PM Wilson Park and Hester Park along 5th Avenue North DeBary Lights Up Liberty July 4, 2018 at 2PM – 11 PM Gemini Springs Park 37 Dirksen Drive, DeBary
Geneva 4th of July Parade and FestivalJuly 4, 2018 at 8:30 AM – 2 PM Kissimmee Lakefront Park 201 Lakeview Drive, Kissimmee
Monumental 4th of JulyJuly 4, 2018 at 5 PM – 10 PM Kissimmee Lakefront Park | 201 Lakeview Drive, Kissimmee
15TH Annual All American Kids Parade and Breakfast July 4, 2018 at 8 AM – 12 AM Masonic Lodge 230 West Bay Street, Winter Garden
Party in the Park – Winter Garden July 4, 2018 at 6 PM Newton Park, 29 West Garden Avenue
Independence Day Parade July 4, 2018 at 10 AM Corner of Donnelly and Seventh and runs into Charles Avenue
Red, White, and Boom over North Brevard July 4, 2018 at 7 PM – 10 PM Sand Point Park 10 East Max Brewer Causeway, Titusville
Smoke on the Water Cocoa July 4, 2018 at 5 PM (fireworks around 8:45-9) Riverfront Park in Cocoa Village
Great American Celebration July 4, 2018 at 6:30 PM (fireworks around 9) USA Space Coast Complex in Viera
Palm Bay’s Independence Celebration July 4, 2018 at 4 PM (fireworks around 9) Palm Bay
Firecracker 5 K July 4, 2018 at 7 AM (fireworks around 8) Front Street Park Melbourne
Red, White and Boom July 4, 2018 at 7 PM (fireworks around 9:15) Sand Point Park Titusville
Daytona Lagoon July 4, 2018 at 10am – 10pm 601 Earl Street, Daytona Beach
Smoke on the Water July 5, 2018 at 8 PM (fireworks around 8:45-9) Lori Wilson Park
Red White and Blues Live Music July 7, 2018 Centennial Plaza at 7PM-9 PM Downtown Winter Garden

Other Events 
Bucket of Balls Eating Contest at Drive Shack July 4, 2018 at 12:30 PM-1:30 PM 7285 Corner Drive, Orlando
$5 Fourth of July at Astro Skate July 4, 2018 at 1 PM - 6 PM– free all-you-can-eat hot dogs from 1-2pm 866 Goldenrod Road, Orlando
Fourth of July Science Celebration July 4, 2018 at11 AM – 4 PM Orlando Science Center

Theme Parks 
Walt Disney World Fireworks Events July 4, 2018 Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts. You can watch the fireworks outside the parks in the following spots...
The promenade at Disney's Boardwalk.
Capa at the Four Seasons Orlando.
The marina at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
Narcoossee's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
Private Cruise.
The beach at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort.
Eleven at Reunion Resort.
Red, White and Boom! July 4, 2018 LEGO LAND Kids Bop Stadium at 9 PM pricing starts at $74.99
Fourth of July at Sea World – Electric Ocean July 4, 2018 at 9:30 PM Bayside Stadium reserved seating; pricing starts at $49 per person

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

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Modern Wiidow's Club: Love Always

LOVE, ALWAYS was a Modern Widows Club fundraising event held at East End Market (3201 Corrine Dr, Orlando, Florida 32803). The evening was a celebration of living a life full of love, always, all ways! I sketched the photo opportunity in the corner of the room where women in crowns could have their picture taken in front of the giant heart.
International Widows Day will be on June 23, 2018. Carolyn Caple Moor who founded the Modern Widows Club is raising money to help empower women who are often overlooked when their partner dies in our society.

Carolyn introduced herself to Isabella and Megan, both in their 20's.  They didn't understand what the Modern Widow's Club was, and said "Whaat?". She said "It's a nonprofit that empowers a lot of young (and older) widows to thrive". "Do you know what a widow is?" Carolyn asked, and they both said "Yes, a woman whose husband has died". she agreed and said "It can be a woman whose lost a wife too". They agreed.

Then, she said "Which of these ladies on this board do you think is the widow?" and they both really took their time looking at each one. They both selected the older widows "Mary, Mary and Bonnie". I asked them why they selected those ladies and they said "Because they look like grandmothers and a lot of grandmothers I think would be widows".

They are right. Of the 14 million American widows, 66% are over 65 years old and may or may not be retired, but 34% are younger and under age 65. The average age is 59. Carolyn became a widow at age 37 and that her daughter Mackensey Moor was only 4 years old when she lost her father.

That's when Isabella's face completely changed because she realized that someone her mom's age could have become widowed and all widows are not grandmothers like she thought. When Carolyn told her that every woman on the page was a widow, she was quite shocked.

Thankfully, these two young ladies are now aware that as women, education and information is so valuable. Megan said "Yeah, I would want to know this if I was married and could prepare if anything happened". Right, because 70% of all wives will experience widowhood at some point! We don’t know if it will be us or when. Let's prepare this generation better than our own.

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