Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Conservation after the Las Vegas Mass Shooting

On the night of October 1, 2017, a shooter opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada. He killed 58 people and wounded 413, with the ensuing panic bringing the injury total to 869. The incident is the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the history of the United States. This horrible incident came just 16 months after the mass shooting in Orlando that killed 49 people.

Cynthia Sanford the curator at the Clark County Museum took on the responsibility of having to archive the memorial items left for those lost. Volunteers sifted through items collected, took photos and carefully documented and archived every item that entered the collection. Pam Schwartz of the Orange County Regional History Center flew to Las Vegas to offer any advice she might have after collecting and archiving in Orlando.

The two collection sites were vastly different. In Orlando humidity, heat and daily rains soaked and degraded items left at memorial sites in Orlando. Las Vegas literally has no rain. The concert site however was next to the Las Vegas airport and Cynthia said that anything left on the site was literally blown over by planes as they landed or took off.

The Clark County Museum (1830 S. Boulder Highway, Henderson, NV) includes the Anna Roberts Parks Exhibit Hall and Heritage Street which contains eight historic buildings from the county.  In a building that was once a railroad station behind the museum, volunteers were hard at work even 6 months following the shooting. The woman taking photos of each item choked up as she described how proud she was to be taking part in the process.

The October 1st collection at the Clark County museum is made up of tens of thousands of artifacts that help to tell the story of how the community reacted to the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. The artifacts will be cataloged to record information such as physical descriptions, dimensions, and conditions. Each artifact will also be photographed or scanned for identification purposes. As museum staff and volunteers process these artifacts, you will be able to follow our progress by viewing identification photographs.

Museum curators across the country have formed an informal support group. Knowledge gained after one mass shooting is passed on the curators in the next city overwhelmed by tragedy and the super human effort needed should that community decide to collect memorial items. It is a small community that no one asks to be a part of. 

On September 28, 2018 The Clark County Museum opened  "How We Mourned: Selected Artifacts from the 1 October Memorials". Items put on display included flags, stuffed animals, rosaries, artificial flowers, signs, letters, banners, candles, art works and a portion of a Hawaiian lei that was used as a symbol to promote world peace. The Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando has also mounted an exhibit each year to remember those who were lost.

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, November 12, 2019

Chris Cortez at Blue Bamboo

Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts (1905 Kentucky Ave. Winter Park FL) consistently brings cutting edge music to Central Florida. Chris Cortez one of the founders often offers solo shows about once a month featuring selections from his many CDs and all time favorites from the Great American Songbook to the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Chuck Berry and more. I love the intimate setting and it is one of my favorite spots to sketch musical acts. Something about the setting gets my creative juices going.

Blue Bamboo is part venue, part recording studio, part art gallery. This unique 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. You can browse the online schedule for tickets or call 407-636-9951 for more information.

They have limited seating so patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance or make reservations. Tickets are also available at the door, based on availability. Most shows begin at 8:00 p.m. and the lobby doors open at 7:00 p.m.. A small bar offers wine, beer and soft drinks.

Thursday Night Hang: Dave Sheffield Trio
Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts, 1905 Kentucky Ave, Winter Park
Free admission!
The trio has been performing together for almost 30 years, and the group is regarded as one of the finest jazz trios in the central Florida area. The group features Dave on piano, Jeff Green on bass, and Don Sanderson on drums. This is an authentic jazz trio with repertoire consisting of standards from the American song book. The group can easily crossover from easy listening dinner music, to hard bebop.
This event is sponsored by the City of Winter Park.

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, November 11, 2019

Up the Ladder Down the Slide

PlayFest at the Orlando Shakes (812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL 32803) is a two-weekend festival, where patrons get to experience seven readings of new plays in development and participate in the creative process with post-reading playwright talk backs and surveys. Each reading is $10. I stopped in for a rehearsal of Up the Ladder Down the Slide by David Valdes. The play shares the story of three longtime best friends and their aging parents.

Three boxes were placed on stage to represent three ladders. The music stands which held scripts were numbered from one to six so actors knew where they would be staged during this first  staged reading of the play. The three characters who were taking care of their aging parents would commiserate over drinks sharing stories that were both humorous and sad.

In one scene a young daughter, Vee (Alanna Fagan) was trying on her wedding dress which was in her opinion way to short and relieving. Her mom, Karen (Tiza Garland) snapped a photo on her cell phone and shared it with her friend Oscar.  He responded with a photo of a far worse wedding dress fail.  Texts flew back and forth and we were left wondering just how absurd the exchange got based on the reactions on stage.

Laurel (Avis-Marie Barnes) cared for her father with autism (Michael Morman), Oscar (Bert Rodriguez) cared for his aging mother Mamita (Blanca Goodfriend) as they searched the stage for a stray cat, And the mother caring for her argumentative mother Joann (Karin Amano) won my heart as they drove each other crazy. Only laughs with friends and some stiff drinks kept these friends sane.

Towards the end of the play each aging parent sat on one of the boxes with their care givers behind them. With baby boomers aging, these stories become more common with this generation caring for the one before. The play has plenty of heart but I didn't get a chance to stay to the end. I am left wondering what the next step is towards the beyond and how it will affect those who invested so much of themselves. These friends seem capable of navigating even the worst times with some drinks and laughs.

Creative Team

Director: Nick Bublitz
Stage Manager: Jazlynne Williams
Stage Direction Reader and Dramaturg: Laura Swindoll


Laurel: Avis-Marie Barnes
Karen: Tiza Garland
Joann: Karin Amano
Mamita: Blanca Goodfriend
Vee: Alanna Fagan
Oscar: Bert Rodriguez
The Commodore: Michael Morman
Lonnie/Nurse Mike/ Bar Back: Sean Andric

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, November 10, 2019

Mozart and Dvorak

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra performed Benjamin Hochman with Benjamin Hochman, Pianist and guest Conductor, at Saint Luke's Lutheran Church (2021 West SR 426 Oviedo FL). It was a bit of a drive but well worth it for this concert. If fount it visually fascinating how Christ floated above the orchestra with his staff and lambs. The stained glass grew dark as the sun set.

Pam Schwartz and I managed to get a front row seat near the cello section. The church was packed yet few people ever choose to sit up front. Dvorak is widely regarded as the most distinguished of Czech composers and of course the prolific Austrian musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was among the most versatile, and popular composers of all time.

The program included Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major and Dvorak's: Serenade for Strings in E Major.

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, November 9, 2019

Barks, Bubbles and Brews

Digress Wine, formerly Cavanaugh’s in College Park (1215 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, Florida 32804) hosted Barks Bubbles and Brews along with Woof! Orlando. I had to go to sketch this pet friendly event which was a night to mingle with fury friends while sipping spectacular wines and craft beer.

Woof! Orlando provided goodie bags filled with treats, free nail trim coupons and more.Digress Wine hosted with delicious drinks, food trucks and the perfect ambiance under twinkling lights on their patio.

I ordered a red wine and settled n to sketch any dogs I could. A husky puppy was at the next table and became my subject. Her huge paws indicated how young she was. She spent most of her time tugging at her leash to try and get to the dogs inside Digress. She was a whirlwind of frenetic activity but that didn't seem to phase the couples at the table. The wine helped loosen me up to the challenge of sketching this frantic pooch. I am glad I  went.

Digress Wine is a casual neighborhood wine bar and retail shop that features artisanal wines and craft beers combined with old fashioned hospitality. Enjoy a bottle of wine with friends on the outdoor patio, our indoor lounge, or in our temperature-controlled wine cellar. 

Woof! Orlando is an urban oasis for the pampered pooch. Their award-winning grooming salon is the first Green pet spa in Orlando. A tired dog is a happy dog, so play care is a dog’s dream come true. No waiting around for the humans to return from a long day at work or people play. They also offer boarding.

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, November 8, 2019

Weekend Top 6 Picks for November 9 and 10, 2019

Saturday November 9, 2019
10am to 5pm $10-$15 Orlando Maker Faire. Central Florida Fairgrounds 4603 W Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32808. If you like combat robots, you'll LOVE Robot Ruckus. The signature event during Maker Faire Orlando 2019 will feature robots from 150 grams to 250 pounds in two arenas, and special appearances from your favorite televised robot battle teams! Learn more: 
For 2019 we are expanding the Combat Robot event at Maker Faire Orlando 2019 with a new name, twice the space, more seating, and more of your favorite teams from TV!
The Maker Faire Orlando 2019 ticket includes Robot Ruckus!

8pm to 10pm $10 Emily Dendinger’s play The Grand Illusion Show (which will involve some magic). Orlando Shakes, 812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL 32803.

In Emily Dendinger’s The Grand Illusion Show, Adelaide Hermann must fight her nephew Leon with wit, will, and magic to win the rights to her dead husband’s magic show. “This play is a magic trick, and like all good magic tricks, what you think is happening in the text isn’t necessarily what’s really happening in the story.”

10:30pm to Midnight Order a drink of food. Son Flamenco. Ceviche Tapas Orlando, 125 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32801. Hot blooded flamenco dancing set tom acoustic guitar.

Sunday November 10, 2019 
11am to noon. $5 Yoga. Lake Eola near red gazebo.

1:30pm to 4:30pm $5. Accidental Historian Urban Sketching Workshop: Sunday in the Park with Thor. For students 14 to 24 years old.
Bridging past and present, this workshop guides students to capture the present day in a sketch beside the photographic past. Inspired by a 1920s photo by T.P. Robinson, we will sketch the Sperry Fountain at Lake Eola. The fountain is made of wrought iron and has a duck base with water flowing from the ducks’ beaks and an acanthus leaf.
Students in this workshop are tasked with creating a modern interpretation of the fountain. The sketch will begin with the same sepia watercolor tones that exist in the photo. In the distance, however, is the amphitheater, which is brightly painted with the colors of the rainbow. Trees will likely block your view of the fountain, but you will learn how to walk around to catch a view and add it to your sketch.
All skill levels are welcome. Sketching materials will be provided by Sam Flax Orlando. The sketching portion of the workshop will take place outdoors. Participants should dress appropriately for the weather and bring water and a snack. Participants can bring a folding chair or stool to sit.
Workshop schedule • 2 p.m. Meet inside the Orange County Regional History Center
• 2:05 p.m. Introductions
• 2:25 p.m. Tour of The Accidental Historian exhibit
• 3:15 p.m.Sketching instruction outside at Sperry Fountain at Lake Eola Park
• 4:30 p.m. Sketchbook Throwdown
About the Instructor: Thomas Thorspecken
Thomas “Thor” Thorspecken is an illustrator and journalist working in and around Central Florida. He attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In his ten years as a freelance illustrator in New York, one of his assignments for the Daily News included sketching historic buildings throughout the city for a column called “Undiscovered Manhattan.” Thor relocated to Orlando in 1993 to work for Disney Feature Animation. After a decade, the studio closed, and so he continued to pursue his passion for art through teaching and sketching.
His website and blog,, began in January 2009 with a resolution to post a sketch every day. He describes it as “his way to finally put down roots, to become part of a community, one sketch at a time.” More than 4,000 sketches later, he’s still capturing our community.
Follow Thor on Instagram: @analogartistdigitalworld, Twitter: @analogartist, Facebook: Analog Artist Digital World, and subscribe to his blog:
About the Series: The Accidental Historian Young Artists Urban Sketching Workshops
Catch the world around you one sketch at a time! Join Urban Sketchers Orlando for any, or all three, sketching workshops in downtown Orlando for artists aged 14 – 24. In conjunction with the History Center’s newest exhibition, The Accidental Historian, these classes for all skill levels will get you sketching on location and capturing history as it happens. All art supplies are included, courtesy of Sam Flax.

4pm to 6pm Free. Morgan Samuel Price Art Opening. The University Club, 150 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32801.

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, November 7, 2019

Paint the Trail after Pulse

At heart Jeff Sonsken is an instigator. He creates art to ruffle feathers and make people think. He always loved painting and artwork growing up. It was something he always did on his own ever since he was a kid. He would get inspired and draw using colored pencils, he got into airbrushing. In college he was taking photography classes but he was doing airbrushing in his spare time.

After college he moved from Iowa to Orlando settling in Longwood. Painting the trail began sort of accidentally. During the 2008 housing bubble he was a carpenter working in million dollar homes building custom bookcases, offices, bars. Before the bubble bust everyone was living high on the hog. After the crash he started fixing kitchens. He painted a big sign on fence pickets and he was going to hang it on the trail where his parents lived to advertise his services. He decided against hanging it because he wanted time with his family. He felt disappointed since the sign was already painted but he kept driving. When he got home he picked up some pickets and battened them together base coated them and painted Einstein on them just so he had something to hang up. After Einstein he painted Yoda, and he put them up.

He thought people would be irritated but they weren’t. He was clearing out a spot for several panels and some guy on his bike stopped and asked if he was the guy that put the paintings up. He said, “Yea” expecting a possible argument. But the guy said, “I love it.” Soon a mom and daughter walked up and a small crowd gathered. The biker wanted him to paint Jack Lemon, the little girl asked him to paint Alfred Hitchcock. So when he left he had 5 more names for panels to be painted. He had a mission. He wasn’t getting paid, but he had something to do. When he finished the Jack Lemon piece the guy on the bike who requested it was riding by on the trail and he just rode past. He shouted out to him, “It’s Jack Lemon!” The jerk didn’t even stop. Every time he went out he would get more requests. After 6 months he started getting requests on the Paint the Trail Facebook page.

People wanted him to donate art to help cancer research or autism, he never said no. He found himself helping people who needed help. He realized he could have a positive impact even if it was just a drip in the bucket. He has done he would draw up someone’s family member and let them fill in the paint much as he did for Pulse families. That helped a lot of people. He has gone through a bit of a metamorphosis himself. He is going to do what he is doing for as long as he can. Though many of the trail paintings are pop cultural references there will once in a while be a memorial portrait in the mix. On the third fence he was painting, there was a woman who lost her 15 year old to leukemia and he painted the portrait. He went to meet the. Out on the trail one day, and they were already waiting. They were maybe 100 years down the trail and he walked down the trail towards them. There were two little girls and the dad, and the mom. Dad was holding flowers. So he flipped the painting around when he was about 60 feet from her and the mom just dropped. He has done many painting like that where that is what he was left with. He knows he is doing something good for them but it felt like he was inflicting pain on them. When he gets them to do the painting themselves, he is left with a more uplifting feeling about the experience. They might cry while doing the painting but when they get back to him they relate that it was an amazing experience.

 After Pulse he knew he needed to do something but he didn’t want to do something right away. Though it has been close to 2 years since the shooting it feet like yesterday while in other respects it felt like 10 years ago. The memories aren’t fresh but he remembered wrestling with it. He had a hard time with it. It happened like 18 miles from his home while he was sleeping. The rainbows don’t sink in anymore. Those were his neighbors. We all share the same community, they were brothers and sons. He spent a couple of weeks just pissed off. This happens all the time. You can’t even feel safe in your own town. It doesn’t matter where you go this could happen anywhere, a shopping mall a movie theater. We lost our mind as a civilization.

He did paint the skyline of Orlando in reference to Pulse. On Facebook he came across a video of people dancing. It didn’t make him feel happy. It tore him up. After that video he felt compelled to paint every face. He wanted people to see all their faces in one shot. As he completed each portrait he shared them on his Facebook page and families would share thoughts on his page. Once it was finished he took it to the Dr Phillips Center Memorial. Now any time there is another mass shooting people ask him to paint the number of people. No artist can keep up with those demands. He needs to think about his kids, and himself. At any moment you could be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Life was never like this before. It is crazy now. Middle school kids an high school kids are used to this new reality. Who knows what the answer is.

The trail is basically paint on wood so it can not last forever. He was doing some repairs and realized he can’t keep up with it. The more he creates the more maintenance there is. It is impossible to add up all the money he has invested. It is an expensive hobby. At some point people will have to swap out their fences when the wood rots. He creates a separate panel of fence and screws it right on to the back of an existing fence making it sturdier. When a hurricane blows through he has to think about taking sections down. Art might not last but it can help us anchor our thoughts and memories.

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, November 6, 2019

Transmutation: The New Abstraction of Juan Nieves Burgos

Juan Nieves Burgos solo show, Transmutation, is on exhibit now at New Concept Barbershop and Art Gallery (12427 S. Orange Blossom Trail South Chase Village Orlando Florida). Juan sat in a barbershop chair while he discussed his life and art. This magnificent space has become a community center and mecca for the artist community of Kissimmee. There is an excitement about the place that is contagious.

Juan Nieves was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1965. His grandfather had a sign shop and a barber shop. After Middle School Juan began to study commercial art where he was certified. He continued his studies at Inter-American University (Poly)  where he studied engraving woodcut, drawing and painting. He became a graphic designer. Back then commercial artists had to know how to draw and paint unlike today where the computer does much of the work. He went on to get a masters degree in education. After graduating he taught art for about 10 years. Teaching offered a consistent income but over time however he realized he preferred to work alone in his studio rather than working with the kids. As he said, "the kids right now are not easy." Thought Puerto Rico has its problems, the people are great and it is beautiful. In 1997 he started his own signage design workshop.

In 2005 he moved to Orlando which has become his preferred home. Here he is developing his art which has evolved from representational work to the present abstract work. Here he is developing his different styles. One painting in the show was a triptych with abstract blue patterns to the left with the hint of a human eye and the center panel was a transition towards the bright abstractions that followed in the show. Juan's beginnings in  commercial art left a strong imprint on his bold personal style that is showcased in the abstract work int he show. Strong hints of a fist or flora can be found when viewing the work for some time. He mentioned that his next series of paintings are very much different than what is now on display. They are bolder and simpler incorporating large fields of white. His work is in a constant state of transmutation.

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, November 5, 2019


A friend of Pam's came to Orlando for a nursing conference at the convention center. She was staying on International drive so we picked her up and took her to Bosphorus down by Dr Phillips. Bosphorus (7600 Dr Phillips Blvd Suite 108 Orlando, FL 32819) is well known for its large puffy Lavas or hollow bread. While Pam and her friend were catching back up I started to sketch before the food arrived. We ordered an appetizer sampler with A combination of humus, babaganoush, sauteed eggplant, tabbouleh, esme, tarama, haydari, and stuffed grape leaves. There was a pile of pita wedges to dip and try a bit of each.

After we ate, we decided to go to a bowling alley on International Drive. Pam and her friend needed socks so they went shopping at Walgreen's. No one would ever want to put on bowling alley shoes without socks. Who knows where those shoes have been or what they have seen. While they were inside I remembered I had socks in my bag that I save as back up paint rags. I ran inside to let them know I had an extra pair of socks. I often take my Crealde students to a bowling alley in Winter Park, so I have grown accustomed to sketching the gestures of different bowlers when they release the ball. The Winter Park alley hosts leagues so I get to see some really talented bowlers. However I have not bowled for probably 20 of so years. The bowling alley on international drive seemed smaller than the lanes I have grown accustomed to sketching. At the end of each alley are TV screens plying advertisements and lights project the American flag onto the lane itself. Anyway I account my low score to these visual distractions. Actually each of us won one game that night. so no one went home feeling like a looser.

Though we avoid International Drive like the plague, I have to admit it was a fun night out.

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, November 4, 2019

Jessica Domingo Going Away Party

Jessica Domingo joined the Orange County Regional History Center in the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting.She specifically joined the staff to help in cataloguing and preserving all of the memorial items collected from the Dr Phillips Center of the Performing Arts, Lake Eola and Pulse. This was a monumental task  since there were so many memorial items left and and the constant Florida rains, humidity and bugs made preserving the collection a challenge. She spent most of her time at the museum's offsite storage facility which is in a huge warehouse.

When Hurricane Irma hit Orlando in 2017 as a category 2 storm, the warehouse roof was damaged when a rooftop access portal the size of a manhole cover was blown free and the heavy cover ripped holes in the flat roof. Unfortunate some Pulse memorial items were on the floor as they were being triaged for conservation and cataloging. Ceiling panels from the interior ceiling soaked up water leaking from the roof and fell to the floor exploding like wet bombs. Items on the floor got soaked. Pam Schwartz the museum head curator was on the scene shortly after the storm passed and assessed the damage. The staff was quickly called in to help clean up the damage. I was on site to help by making a pile of all the ceiling panels and debris  while leaving the artifacts for the museum staff to recover.

Water caused mold to build up inside the off site facilities walls and dehumidifiers were moved in and all the interior walls had to be replaced while protecting the collection with floor to ceiling plastic tarps. All of that is to say that Jessica's job became all the more important after hurricane Irma. Conservation of memorial items did not include trying to flatten paper documents from water damage. The everyday Florida rains had already soaked and wrinkled any papers left at memorial sites. However mold could not be allowed to spread. Which reminds me I have a small pile of paintings and sketches which were also damaged by hurricane Irma. Water blew its way in through my downtown studio apartment windows soaking a small stack of art I had left near the window. I am sill debating if that work will end up in a landfill since it is damaged with black mold.

Jessica has family out west and her grandmother needed care so she decided she had to leave Orlando. A party was held at Pam Schwartz's home. I sketched briefly between food and games. Whitney Broadaway's child had a game that everyone played, it involved a maze that kept moving making it a challenge for players to collect the items needed to win. I played a round after the sketch was put a side and it was a fun game.

After Hurricane Irma Jessica allowed Pam and myself to come over her place for a shower and a bit to eat.  It is when there is an emergency when true friend step up. Since moving Jessica had had a child herself. It is a shame that really good and talented friends keep getting pulled away from Orlando.

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, November 3, 2019

Exponential Decay

Pam Schwartz and I went to the Rogers Kiene Building formerly The Gallery at Avalon Island (39 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando, Florida 32801) for the monthly In between Series featuring Exponential Decay.  The in between Series is so named because each concert happens as one art show is coming down and the next one is being mounted. I focused my attention on sketching the nudes forming a human skull before the performers took to the stage. The Nudes won a red ribbon. The ribbon added a festive 4H County Fairs vibe to the setting.The In between Series concerts are notorious for stating about an hour after the time posed on the invite. This gives me plenty of time to sketch in the setting before the performance starts.

Exponential Decay is an experimental duo from Orlando, Florida. Their music draws inspiration from a wide breadth of genres and artists but is firmly maximalist. Consisting of Jeremy Adams (bass guitar and visual programming) and Aaron Linglebach (electric guitar), Exponential Decay debuted at the IMMERSE 2017 presented by the Creative City Project. Adams and Linglebach graduated from the University of Central Florida with degrees in Music Composition and Music Performance, respectively. Outside of noise making Adams and Linglebach teach music lessons in Central Florida and perform in a variety of popular genres.

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, November 2, 2019

Crooked Can

Pam Schwartz and I have been to the Crooked Can several times because Pam was hoping to find a puppy to keep her dog, Sprout company. An animal rescue group is at Crooked Can on the weekends with puppies. She was courting a white dog who had some health issues. The pup was brought to her home several times and she went to a dog obedience course to work with her, but in the end the pup went to a family in the country. The puppies name was Heather. She was my speed of a dog. She was calm and collected and just wanted to snuggle and be pet.

After our visit with her on this day we relaxed and watched this musician outside the Plant Street Market. This sketch was a bit of a breakthrough for me in that I treated it like the fast watercolors I usually create. Color was just added in thin layers leaving much of the white background visible. When working digitally I usually tent to work dark to light with only a few bright highlights being pure white. I am finding that this tends to take longer to create and the paining might feel incomplete if not enough time is taken.

We returned to Crooked Can on another day to look at what was supposed to be an Irish Wolfhound. The mutt we met want that bread but instead maybe part pointer and maybe part lab. Anyway we took that pup for a walk and instead of the long series of meeting to see if we were the right fit for the pup, the rescue workers just said, “Do you want to take her home today.” So. This black coated pup came home with us that day. She was named Darcy, which became Darcino, since we were always shouting “Darcy, No!” That name later changed to Donkey which better suited her stubborn disposition. She has turned a coffee table into Swiss cheese as well as an antique couch which she ripped open spewing horse hair everywhere. On the first day, she pooped in my art studio and since then I built a moving box igloo to keep her out of that space. The las thing I need is for that pup to eat my sketchbooks of paintings. She also is so high strung that she is impossible to pet. Pam’s other pup, Sprout takes the main brunt of Donkey’s high stung violent play. They are growling and biting each other constantly. How can that be fun?

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, November 1, 2019

Harold's Auto Center

On a trip to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Pam and I were advised to stop by Harold's Auto Center by Rick Kilby. We stopped so I could sketch on the evening we arrived. Unfortunately it almost immediately started to rain so I cut off the sketch as is. I liked that the dinosaur had red eyes. He isn't menacing though. Instead every line is rounded and smooth offering a soft appealing shape. If I were ever in need of auto repair out that way I would most certainly stop here. It had a Flintstones appeal.

After this we wandered to find the motel which is on the river that comes from the Weeki Wachee spring. The room was nautically themed like an ocean front room with fishing nets and shells. Rich had lent us a kayak, so we had two kayaks to explore the spring the next day.

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