Saturday, February 29, 2020

From Here

From Here is a new musical by local playwright, Donald Rupe. Donald handled the book, music and lyrics with additional music by Jason Bailey. This musical is personal and heart felt while also being incredibly funny. The simple stage set, painted by Ashleigh-Anne Gardner, had a map of Orlando with a heart at it's center. Small hearts scattered around the map showed where each of the cast members were from. The story centers around Daniel (Blake Aburn), who in the very first scene is calling his mom (Sarah Lee Dobbs) on his cell phone but it becomes clear that she never picks up. He related to the audience first hand how his father left when he was very young, and he became inseparable from his mom. However when he came out to her, she said some things that can never be taken back. They had not spoken since that day. This yearning for acceptance while remaining defiantly independent is the life blood of the story.

The story is about friends, from here, meaning Orlando Florida, just before the Pulse Nightclub shooting, but the shooting doesn't happen until deep into the second act. A joyous game night shows just how these friends gain joyous strength from being together. Michelle (Dorothy Christopher) is an amazing singer and after Daniel looses a boyfriend, she insists that he come to her show. She sets him up on the sly with someone new and sings a glorious song celebrating her gay friends that had me laughing out loud.

I will not go into the plot of this fabulous musical. You should experience it first hand with few preconceptions. All of the performers had exceptional voices and the music and lyrics were amazing. I have not felt this warmly embraced by a theater performance since seeing Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George with the original cast on Broadway. This show has Broadway legs. Perhaps I am biased since the show deals with the wave of emotions that followed the horror of June 12, 2016. This play brought all those emotions flooding back, it was both painful and cathartic.

After the shooting, all the friends gathered together to watch the news on TV. They were all safe. The loss of the 49 lives seemed all the more devastating since they all frequented the club, and had such amazing and memorable times there. This was the moment I wish I had sketched but I knew it would be over too soon. They held each other through the days that followed, and then found that the world responded to the horrific event that same way they did, with the hope that love is more powerful that hate. In a time when politics seem to want to divide people, the message of this show is more important than ever. Daniel's final words summed up what is important in life... "All that matters here are the people you choose to love, and, of course, the people who choose to love you back."

This is quite honestly the best play I have seen this year.  I highly encourage you to go. It was an emotional roller coaster, but in the end very up-lifting. It is a uniquely Orlando story, one we have all lived, and are still living.

From Here is running through March 15, 2020 Do NOT miss it! Tickets.
Remaining show dates...
Sat Feb 29, 2020 at 7:30pm $18-25
Sun Mar 1, 2020 at 7:30pm $18-25
Thur Mar 5, 2020 at 7:30pm $15
Fri Mar 6, 2020 at 7:30pm $18-25
Sat Mar 7, 2020 at 7:30pm $18-25
Sun Mar 8, 2020 at 3:00pm $18-25
Thu Mar 12, 2020 at 7:30pm $18-25
Fri Mar 13, 2020 at 7:30pm $18-25
Sat Mar 14, 2020 at 7:30pm $18-25
Sun Mar 15, 2020 at 7:30pm $18-25


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Friday, February 28, 2020

Weekend Top 6 Picks for February 29 and March 1, 2020

Saturday February 29, 2020
1pm to 6pm Free. 5th Annual Windermere Fine Art Show. Downtown Windermere, FL 34786. This elite boutique event will showcase 85 fine art artists traveling from around the United States to quaint Windermere, and will be surrounded by live entertainment, food, wine/beer & performing arts in a festive atmosphere around Town Square and Main Street sidewalks. Don’t miss this amazing event, which promises to be the best ever!

5:30pm to 7:30pm Free but get a drink. Rhythm and Waves 27th Ave Park 3701 S Atlantic Ave, New Smyrna Beach, Florida 32169. Enjoy the syncopated beat at the seaside with cool sounds and yummy s’mores around a fire pit. The Flammable Babylon Percussion Ensemble (led by 3rd Wheel dot Org) will provide amazing sounds! Bring your chairs and gather around for an exciting final event of our NEA Big Read. This is not a drum circle - it is a performance, but there will be dancing, s'mores, chanting, sunsets, and more! 

7:30pm to 9:30pm $18-$25. From Here. CFCArts 250 SW Ivanhoe Blvd Orlando, FL 32804. Book/Music/Lyrics by Donald Rupe. Additional Music and Orchestrations by Jason Bailey. From Here is an original musical written by our own Director of Theatre, Donald Rupe. The production originally premiered at the Orlando International Fringe Festival in 2019 to enthusiastic crowds and rave reviews. Expanded to a full-length musical, the story follows Daniel, a 30-something gay man on his journey to find love, fulfillment, and his tumultuous relationship with his mother. Daniel, born and raised in Orlando, is surrounded by a loving community of friends, and the musical also explores what life was like as a gay man in Orlando during the tragic shooting at Pulse nightclub in 2016.

Sunday March 1, 2020

9am to 5pm Free. 5th Annual Windermere Fine Art Show. Downtown Windermere, FL 34786. This elite boutique event will showcase 85 fine art artists traveling from around the United States to quaint Windermere, and will be surrounded by live entertainment, food, wine/beer & performing arts in a festive atmosphere around Town Square and Main Street sidewalks. Don’t miss this amazing event, which promises to be the best ever!

2pm to 4pm Free. St. Patrick's Day Parade. Downtown Winter Park Park Ave. Winter Park, FL. The St. Patrick's Day celebration will include a parade, featuring Irish dancers, local politicians, community groups and businesses. The parade will begin at the Winter Park Country Club and proceed south down Park Avenue to Lyman Avenue. Irish music and dance performances will follow the parade in Central Park.

7:30pm to 9:30pm $18-$25. From Here. CFCArts 250 SW Ivanhoe Blvd Orlando, FL 32804. Book/Music/Lyrics by Donald Rupe. Additional Music and Orchestrations by Jason Bailey. From Here is an original musical written by our own Director of Theatre, Donald Rupe. The production originally premiered at the Orlando International Fringe Festival in 2019 to enthusiastic crowds and rave reviews. Expanded to a full-length musical, the story follows Daniel, a 30-something gay man on his journey to find love, fulfillment, and his tumultuous relationship with his mother. Daniel, born and raised in Orlando, is surrounded by a loving community of friends, and the musical also explores what life was like as a gay man in Orlando during the tragic shooting at Pulse nightclub in 2016.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Untold Stories


I went to a preview of Untold Stories presented by Emotions Dance at their dance studio (111 N. Longwood St. Suite 201. Longwood, FL 32750). I arrived a bit early so I got to hear the music while they rehearsed and warmed up while I waited in the lobby. Larissa Humiston did much of the choreography along with Emily NunezKatie Masterson, Autumn Goetting, Brooke Shoultz, Stefan Dolbachian and Amparo Padilla. Amparo kept catching my eye with some incredibly athletic dance movements. Some moves defied gravity and reason. A great thing about this dance company as well is that the emotions expressed shine through on the dancer's faces. In all there were 14 dance routines that spanned the emotions.

Of course sketching dance is a challenge since everyone is moving all the time. Instead I tried to catch the emotion expressed in one routine while following one dancer to try and catch the proper proportions and expressive stance. At times movements repeat and that is when the pencil and pen fly. Titles of the routines hint at the expressive dance to follow, #METOO, followed by Body Love and Unspoken Loss. I focused on a feeling of loss and angst which is something I easily relate to. The final routine, The Hope Within Us, however was up-lifing, hinting that the expressive creative journey has just begun. Much was left behind, it is time to spread your wings and fly.

Untold Stories show times are February 28 and 29, 2020
at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center's Mandell Theater (812 E Rollins St Orlando FL0
Tickets are $20 General Admission
$18 Students and Seniors


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Joel Strack: Heart and Soul

This article and sketch have been posted with the express written permission of the interviewee. Analog Artist Digital World takes the privacy and wishes of individuals very seriously.

At Walt Disney World, Joel started as a performer, the he moved on to become a lead, or coordinator,  then he became a character trainer. A trainer has the talents to inspire and motivate others to do the job while not quite being a supervisor. He loved being a trainer. It was a tough job being inside a costume and he tried to set up new hires for success. Being a character could be nasty or joyous depending on your attitude.

It could be difficult because of the brutal heat, and how physically demanding it was, while you can also feel under appreciated. Because of the camouflage of the costume, you can feel like a non entity. Yet you fill a need with your heart and soul.

Joel had a friend who has been a Disney Character for 35 years.  She has changed peoples lives because of her work as Cinderella. She has had an impact in the world. She is a savant in remembering peoples names and relationships. She remembers every kid and family she has ever met. In a parade she would wave to families she had seen years before shouting their names. She is no longer a princess because of her age, but she remains loved and respected among the Disney cast and repeat visitors to the parks.

Their is no set age for when a performer can no longer be a princess. It comes down to body type and  height range that are important in the casting discussion. At a Disney 20th Anniversary parade, a photo was taken by a Sentinel photographer of a princess on a float. The princess in the photo was thick. This caused an internal uproar and it was discovered that the costuming department had been "letting out" the dresses when a performer gained weight. Princesses can NOT gain weight. If you become too old or too fat, you can no longer be a princess.

For some reason so many of the character costumes are designed for people who are less than 5 feet tall or over 6 feet tall. That leaves a big one foot gap in which a performer could not be cast.  So much talent is lost to that gap.

Joel was the casting director for the Hercules parade. He had a really difficult time casting the character of Hercules who just had to be muscular. He had about 20 prospects in mind, but as a performer, Hercules would have to get into a furry character costume after the parade, and the pay was just $12 an hour. Not surprisingly there were no takers. Once it was clear that no one would take the part under those conditions, they brought in a equity hiring agent. They offered $250 a day for just the parade. Suddenly there were men available.

One of Joel's favorite performers, was maybe 4 foot 10 inches and she performed as Minnie Mouse or Mickey Mouse. About two years into her employment she became pregnant. She kept going out into the park to do her job. A guest at some point, said out loud, to her handler that, "Mickey Mouse looks pregnant." He had to pull her in and say, "I'm going to have to pull you out of costume." She said, "No, I can still work." He pointed out that she moved differently now that she was pregnant. She was devastated. She thought for a moment and then said, "An Ewok can be pregnant." He said, "You are absolutely right!" Joel loved his cast.

One time he was performing as Tigger and a little boy came up to him and kept saying, "I love you Tigger, I love you Tigger, I love you Tigger." Each time he said that, he would punch Tigger in the leg. Character performers are trained to bring a child in close when they are being aggressive, much like a rope a dope in a boxing ring. When Tigger reached out to the child he saw the child's eyes grow wide and he flinched. Joel suddenly realized that this child was abused and the only way he could express love was through his fists. He put his paws out in front of the boy so he could feel how warm and fuzzy they were, and he gave him a hug... so the boy could know that love can be warm soft and fuzzy and he would be OK. That moment could have made a difference.

Joel Strack, 59 of Orlando, Florida, passed away Monday, July 15, 2019. His obituary stated, "In the last days of his life, when Joel was asked what he most wanted to be remembered for, it was friendship and love. He wanted that to be his greatest legacy."


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Character Zoo

This article and sketch have been posted with the express written permission of the interviewee. Analog Artist Digital World takes the privacy and wishes of individuals very seriously.  

Joel Strack grew up on a family farm in Sycamore, Illinois. As a small boy of 6, he and his family used to watch, The Wild Kingdom followed by The World of Disney. During one of those programs Walt introduced the idea of Epcot in Florida. It would be the world of tomorrow. Joel was enthralled. He decided that would become his home. He wanted to be part of the new Disney World.

Joel visited his brother for a week in California and decided to go to Disney Land. As he was walking through the parking lot, he noticed a sign for casting. He thought, "Wouldn't that be a hoot." He walked into casting and went through an interview. He was told he needed a permanent address in California to work there, so he asked his brother if he could stay at his place and that became his address for the summer. He worked on the Submarine Voyage

During his Junior year, Disney came to his school, the University of Illinois, to recruit for the first round of college program students. He had already worked for Disney the previous summer. He understood the culture and what the work experience was like. He was accepted. They were called "The Pioneers". There were 250 students. They lived at a newly built trailer park called Snow White Camp Grounds outside of Kissimmee Florida on 192. It is now a KOA. There were four students per trailer. The water pressure was so low that you had to crouch to get under the shower since the water just dribbled. That summer he was a Jungle Cruise Skipper. Back then The Magic Kingdom was the only park that was open. Every student interacted with guests.

After graduation, he was considering a serious job in public relations, but before starting that career track, he decided to work at Disney. He was still on their list as a casual temporary. He moved into a friends house and then worked on the Jungle Cruise again. About a week into the job he hit a wall, not feeling inspired to go into work each morning. After 4 weeks on the job, he decided to walk into the character zoo. He wanted to work as a Disney Character.

To become a character, you auditioned. He went to his first Disney audition at the Contemporary Resort in the Ballrooms of America. The audition was for the Electric Light Parade. Judy Lawrence was the director running the audition. Joel was nervous. He met Pam Bachelor who performed as Mini Mouse. He asked her for advice. She told him he needed to be a court dancer. The other performers had to lug heavy equipment down the parade route. Dancers had to do a bell kick and skip. He could skip and watched how others kicked. He knew how to waltz. He felt graceful and talented and ended up becoming a court dancer.

Court dancers wore a baroque gentleman's coat with huge sleeves and collars. The tails went down to the mid thigh. The knickers were Pepto Bismal pink. White stockings were covered with gold shoes with white rind stone buckles. The powdered wig was more like a baseball helmet. Inside was a solid plastic shell while outside, fun fur created the hair. Tubes of fun fur created curls down the sides and back of the wigs. The border of the coat and tails had lights. Two battery packs had to be worn around the waste. A switch on your hip could be flipped to light up the costume. Because of all the electrical connections, the costumes were NEVER washed. They wreaked. Cast could use a spray can of disinfectant to try and get rid of the smell which was like stale urine. As you danced, the scent would be re-invigorated. Under all the costuming you wore t-shirts and shorts. You adjusted. The parade was about a quarter mile, down Main Street around the Castle Hub, through Liberty Square, and through Frontier Land lasting about 15 to 20 minutes twice a day at dusk.

Between shows the character actors would spend time together. They might venture out into the park, but mostly they socialized and had a great time in the production center. This resulted in some delightful experiences and friendships.

Character auditions were less about talent and more about your body type and if you could handle carrying the 70 pound or more of consuming. Some performers had a preference about which character they most identify with. Joel loved Tigger, because of his boundless energy and he seemed oblivious to the problems in the world. The costume was fairly light, a bit like wearing a snow mobile suit with a helmet and gloves and boots in the summer heat. It was close fit with no padding. You put it on like PJs or long johns.

In the whelm of characters there was an order of prominence among character performers. One performer could define the way that character was performed by all others. Bill Sikes was THE Tigger. He was always true to the character. He never changed the character's integrity for his own entertainment. He was constantly in motion. He would bounce. He taught Joel how to make the Tigger noise. "Who Who Hoooo!" Only a limited number of sounds could come out of the character. A kissing and sniffing noises were fine. After doing a day as Tigger, your calves would ache from bouncing so much. Tiggers chin was a fiberglass bowl. On a hot summer day Joel would fill the chin with ice to bring down the heat inside his head.When he threw his head back to shout "Whoo Ho Hooo!", the ice and water would splash onto his face and then settle back into the chin.

Every costume came with its own challenges. The other character Joel loved was Baloo the Bear from Jungle Book. That costume wasn't as comfortable. Baloo is pear shaped with the bottom being larger and it tapers towards the top. It was physically challenging because it was heavy. But the bear's personality shined through. He is cool and laid back, living life having a great time. Why worry about troubles. Baloos feet consisted of a pad of leather for the sole of the foot, glued to that was a Brogan work boot which laced up the ankle. In the early days they would cut off the toe of the boot so that someone with size 7 feet or someone who wore size 12 feet could wear the same shoes. If you had larger feet the cut off boot would rub against the top of your foot. If you had a smaller foot your foot would flop around inside the boot with room to spare. Tighter lacing would keep it on. Shoe covers were made of fur. Velcro would hold it in place. You would step into a white pad of thick insulation like a bed duvet, inside there were straps that would snap around as loops to hold 5 large hoops that filled out the shape of the character at different levels to create the pear shape. Fur went on top of all that. The head had the arms connected to it. A metal bracket circled the chest inside the costume. The pad of the costume piece would hang over the shoulders and the bracket held that in place. Two seat belt clips in back, held the head in place snapping into the metal bracket. The head would hang behind you as you got into the costume, Your arms would then slip into Baloo's arms at shoulder level, you would then have to jump and lunge to get Baloo's head over your own. In front, two hooks would snap onto the bracket under the costume. It might take 10 minutes to get assembled.

In the beginning there was no training in the character department. On the first day Joel wore a Goofy Costume, The only training was to be silent, and don't look up since vision for the performer was through the mouth. You would have to tilt your head up to see out of the mouth. So you couldn't talk and you couldn't star gaze. He entered the park and started signing autographs. You are only supposed to be in the park for half an hour and he suddenly realized he had been out for 45 minutes. He had wandered into frontier land lost since he couldn't look up. They had to search for him. In the beginning there was a limit on how long a performer could be in the character department. Two years was the limit. Smaller performers were the exception.

When MGM Studios opened, now Hollywood Studios, Joel was one of 12 performers who started in that park. They had to go through a physical examination. Warm ups were initiated before people got into the costumes. One test, involved a weight machine where you had to shrug. With each shrug, more weight was added. The woman doing the test was amazed. Every time you wave in a costume, those shrugging muscles are the ones used. All the costumes built up different muscles. If you add the heat, the cardio, limited air since you are breathing much of your own CO2, it was a personal work out.

The union came in to represent the character department. One union rep took a thermometer inside the character head. It is estimated that in a character head it is 10 to 15 degrees hotter than it is outside, depending on the costume and how much ventilation it has. On a typical Orlando summer day you can expect the temperature to reach 104 to 110 degrees. A experienced character performer knows how to find shade near a flagpole at noon. You knew how to find a breeze and face into it during a meet and greet. The company developed some cooling units over time. Ice packs could be slipped into pockets on your chest. They were nice but added weight and didn't last very long. A tube cooling system was developed but half the time that failed. As a performer you became like a long distance runner. You knew the physical demands and you hit the window and move through it. At times, when it is over, you collapsed.

Geppetto was a delight to wear since it was just some basic costuming and a rubber head. There was good line of sight since the rubber eye sockets came up flush to your eyes and the breathing hole was hidden by a large mustache. There wasn't even a screen over the breathing hole and your mouth and nose was right by the mustache opening making breathing easy. Children understand fantasy and magic. A little girl came up and shouted out "Geppetto!". He lifted her to his lap and quietly said, "You are the best little girl in the world." Her face lit up and they hugged. He broke the rules by talking in costume but that little girl got a magical experience.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Monday, February 24, 2020

Nature at Barefoot


"Congratulations, your artwork;  'Tree' and 'Edge of Field' were accepted in the Nature Art Show at The Barefoot Spa." wrote Parker Sketch who is organizing an exhibit at Barefoot Spa (801 Virginia Orlando FL 32803). The art drop off was on Tuesday after 5pm. I dropped off my art and then lingered to sketch the other artists dropping off their work. These shows used to have a $10 donation for the opening supplies, but that has been bumped up to a $15 required admission fee. Parker spends two days collecting the submissions and then hangs the show which can take 3 hours if all goes well. That is quite a time commitment on his part. Barefoot Spa has been and remains an amazing supporter of visual arts in Orlando. They collect no commission on any sales.

There was plenty of paperwork to fill out which mostly hold Parker and the venue not responsible should there be an act of god or vandalism that destroys art. The two pieces I submitted were rather dark, showing dead and decaying tree trunks in all their twisted agonizing forms. I figure the show would have plenty of bright and cheerful pieces showing natures wonder, so I offered decay.

Artist Jennifer Payne, arrived at the same time as me. She pulled up on her bicycle as I was lugging my rather large pieces up to the doorway and she offered to hold the door for me. She has been doing an amazing series of impressionistic pallet knife paintings of sunsets and landscapes. She tends to post her daily paintings on Instagram about the same time I post my daily sketches so I get to admire her work almost every day. Other artists were concerned abut how to price their work and one artist struggled trying to wire her painting  with no success. Parker had a long list of things he had to explain to each artist, which boiled down to the idea that the Spa would do its part to promote the show but each artist should promote the show as well and show up to the Opening which will be March 14, 2020 probably starting about 6pm. Each artist will get a drink, but otherwise it will be a cash bar. Jennifer jokes about bringing her own flask of a spiked drink and we all laughed. I'm thinking an IV bag might be my choice for medicating myself.

So stop out to Barefoot Spa on March 14, 2020 around 6pm if you want to see a couple of my darker pieces or if you want to buy me a drink. From the art that I saw arrive, this should turn out to be a fun show. Support the venues that support the arts.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Crealde School of Art Urban Sketching Class


The Spring Session of my Urban Sketching Class at Crealde School of Art (600 St Andrews Blvd Winter Park, FL) will start March 29, 2020 and run for 6 classes. The classes are on Sunday mornings starting at 9:30am to 12:30pm. Each class begins in the main campus classroom where I introduce a premise. Much of the focus is on learning to create compositions that use the whole page. The supplies are cheap and easy to find, a sketchbook, pencil and eraser, pen and ink, and watercolor. The main hope is to share my love of sketching on location every day and to carry a sketch journal wherever you go.

In this class I had introduced some basic human anatomy (note the blackboard sketches) and the students are tasked with sketching one another being sure to get more that one fellow student in the sketch. For each student I go around and dash off a quick composition sketch. I know that an important aspect of this assignment was making students in the foreground large and far students small. My notes are usually dashed off on my iPad so I don't waste paper. But if the student wants I do it in their sketchbook as well. In this note, I wrote BIG to stress the importance of making the foreground figure big and then focusing on the smaller figures behind. I am also showing the way to use tile floor and paneled ceilings to stress one point perspective to draw the viewers eye into the scene. We learn by doing. The goal is to produce a lot of sketches consistently. A sketch by definition is never complete so there is less pressure and the next sketch will be better having learned from what didn't work at the moment. As Chuck Jones said, “All of you here have one hundred thousand bad drawings in you. The sooner you get rid of them, the better it will be for everyone.”

Urban Sketching: Tips and Techniques
  • Class starts on: Sunday, March 29, 2020
  • Duration: 6 Weeks
  • Sundays | 09:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • Location: Main Campus
  • Fee: $290
 Enroll now!


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Congress Hotel


I believe this is the last sketch I have from the Art Deco Weekend in Miami Beach Florida. Pam and I joined a sketch tour and the Congress Hotel was the first stop. Across the street from the hotel was a wall of tents with merchandise and since the street was blocked to cars, people were walking up and down the street. It was crowded.

The Congress Hotel, (1036 Ocean Drive Miami Beach FL) was built in 1935 designed by Architect Henry Hohauser. The bold round shapes of the Congress Hotel’s lettering evoke a machine-age aesthetic. The hotel’s architecture, like many in the neighborhood, combines Art Deco’s vertical emphasis, in its ascending central fin, with streamlined horizontal features, such as the projecting “eyebrows” and corner ribbon windows.

Though some artists did park themselves on a curb across the street, it seemed the best view was found by sitting  right on the street. While working on the sketch, one of the vendors from the tent behind us walked up not to admire the sketches we were working on, but to ask us to move, since people were looking over our shoulders apparently rather than looking at his tent. He reminded is that he spent $1000 to set up his tent at the Art Deco Festival. We were no where near his tent and certainly not blocking foot traffic, but I shuffled up a foot or two basically sitting on the yellow center lines on the street. This forced is up close and personal with the building facade. We had one hour to work. Frederico Giraldo, a Miami Urban Sketcher sat with us and created a bold rendition of the building. Before we were done, the tent merchant returned but this time praised what we had put on he page.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Friday, February 21, 2020

Weekend Top 6 Picks for February 22 and 23, 2020

February 22, 2020
9am to Noon Free. East Polk County Plein Air. Lake Alfred Historical Society Museum, 210 N Seminole Ave, Lake Alfred, FL 33850.  
Pioneer Village  •  Chuck Wagon
Native American Exhibit
Civil/Seminole War Exhibit
Outdoor Market and More
Artists of all levels invited.
Bring your own painting supplies and join us for a morning of outdoor painting/drawing.
Meet other area artists share ideas and tips and find out about other local happenings.Show and Tell 12:30
behind the Historical Museum
Lunch following
Pack a lunch or purchase food at the “Good Ole Days Diner”
where everything is $1



7:30pm to 9:30pm 25 Premium Seating (Includes seating in the first 3 rows of the theatre and a complimentary concession item) $18 Standard Reserved Seating. From Here. Book/Music/Lyrics by Donald Rupe. Additional Music and Orchestrations by Jason Bailey.
From Here is an original musical written by our own Director of Theatre, Donald Rupe. The production originally premiered at the Orlando International Fringe Festival in 2019 to enthusiastic crowds and rave reviews. Expanded to a full-length musical, the story follows Daniel, a 30-something gay man on his journey to find love, fulfillment, and his tumultuous relationship with his mother. Daniel, born and raised in Orlando, is surrounded by a loving community of friends, and the musical also explores what life was like as a gay man in Orlando during the tragic shooting at Pulse nightclub in 2016.
From Here carries an important message for our community, and for this show we proudly partner with the One Orlando Alliance, an organization that unifies and empowers  LGBTQ+ service organizations in Central Florida. Donations made while purchasing tickets for From Here will benefit the One Orlando Alliance to help members of our community. 
*This production contains adult language and themes and may not be suitable for all audiences. It also contains themes surrounding the Pulse Nightclub tragedy, which may be upsetting or trigger a traumatic response in some audience members. Viewer’s discretion is advised. 
Please feel free to step out of the theatre if you need to, and please be understanding of others’ reactions. 
10:30pm to 12:30am  Get food and drink.Ceviche Tapas Orlando, 125 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32801. Hot blooded flamenco dancing set to acoustic guitar.

Sunday February 23, 2020
9 am to 11am Admission: $10 for Guests, $5 for Mennello Museum Members. Yoga in the Mennello Museum Sculpture Garden. Mennello Museum of American Art 900 E Princeton St, Orlando, Florida 32803.
The last Sunday of every month is Yoga in the Sculpture Garden at Mennello Museum of American Art! Start your Sunday morning out blissfully with a relaxing lakeside flow. Practice is suitable for beginner to moderate levels and will be led by certified instructors from Full Circle Yoga, Winter Park. Don't forget to bring your own mat and water to practice.
Your practice also includes a complimentary pass to enjoy the museum’s indoor exhibitions at your own leisure during our operating hours. Full Circle Yoga Instructor: Sarabeth Jackson.

2pm to 4pm Free. Panel Discussion Power Myth and Memory in Africana Art. Hannibal Square Heritage Center, 642 W New England Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789. Collector CJ Williams, Curator Kristin Congdon, and Haitain Artist Patrick Noze. Moderated by Andrew Browne.

10am to Noon. 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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Year of the Rat


The 9th Annual Lunar New Year Dragon Parade began om Lake Highland Avenue near Track Shack and the Orange Studio, and made its way down Thornton Avenue finishing at the parking lot just north of Colonial near Spiral Circle Books and More. I parked at a side street about mid way down the route and made my way over to the parade route. The first thing that caught my eye was a pick up truck parked on a lawn. The tail gate was down and a couple sat in lawn chairs to watch the parade.

Then this giant live oak tree caught my eye. It occupied multiple lots in this suburban neighborhood. I had never seen it before and was pleased that it was allowed to thrive. One of the tree limbs arched down to the ground. People were lined up on the curbs all the way down the parade rout waiting for the parade to start. I started the sketch observing the twists and curves of the Live Oak. Than I started focusing on the people sitting cur side. I didn't catch everyone because soon enough the parade was passing by.

City Commissioner Patty Sheehan passed by seated up in the back of a convertible carrying a small dragon marionette. Mayor Buddy Dyer, and Governor Jerry Demings and Commissioner Emily Bonilla also passed by. Acrobats. drum corps, and sword play streamed by in quick succession. I decided to focus on a dragon which snaked its way by quickly in spirals and circles. Another dragon passes by but this one had a large image of Bernie Sanders face taped over the dragon face. It was a rather funny reminder that elections are right around the corner.

Before my sketch felt complete the parade was over. I continued to work as the crowds dispersed. Welcome to the Year of the Rat.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Art Deco Weekend Classic Car Show


Art Deco Weekend is the longest running free community cultural festival in South Beach Miami. Orlando Urban Sketchers, Tampa Urban Sketchers and Miami Urban Sketchers teamed up to offer free demos and sketch walks during the festival. The Breakwater Hotel was one of the buildings that was on the sketch walk I hosted. Walking up and down Ocean Avenue I became infatuated with this car parked in front of the Breakwater.

The owner sat in a lawn chair behind his car and other car owners chatted with him for the longest time. A guy and his girlfriend sat on the grass in front of me while I sketched. When they got back up, the guy asked what I was doing. I think he suspected I might be drawing his girl. When he saw the sketch of the car he offered a compliment. He turned to his girlfriend and brushed her butt with his hand saying, "Your dirty." He did this three more times, laughing as they walked away. At the outdoor patio across the street, guests were enjoying drinks and "The Best Cuban Food" at Havana 1957 Cuban Cuisine South Beach which is also known as the "Cathedral of Cuban Mojitos." Now I kind of wish I had ordered a drink to sip while I sketched.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Premise Entertainment Drawing Night

About every month Premise Entertainment hosts a drawing night at Creative Cay, (5959 Anno Avenue Pine Castle Fl). The cost for a two hour sketch session is $10. The poses were fairly short which offered me a chance to do a whole series of sketches instead of the one  sketch I usually do each night at events. The model was Megan Crawford who is a talented local dancer, aerialist, acrobat, body paint model and artist model. I see her at events all over town and have drawn her multiple times.

She was running a bit late because of traffic. When she got to the studio, she was rushing to get on her ballet outfit. On the side lines she started the delicate process of lacing on her ballet slippers. This is the kind of moment I always hope to sketch when drawing on location. Dominic Carola the President and Creative Director of Premise runs the sketch sessions and I shouted out to him, "Do you think we could sketch while she laces up?" He agreed and we were all off an running. I stood so as not to relax and settle into old habits while drawing.
It was a fun night of sketching. My goal was to loosen up working digitally. Instead of creating multiple layers, I simply painted right on top of line work on the sketch. When sketching on location there really isn't time to switch back and forth between layers. At some point I usually end up painting or sketching on the wrong layer. This meant that some line work was destroyed. Destruction as it turns out is very much a part of creation.

 Dom plays music during the sketch session which adds to the story of the scene. The song I most remember from this session was "Don't You Want Me" by the Human League which was about a female performer who was lifted from obscurity by some guy who is shocked that she is moving on to a better life without him.

Artist Kyle Gentry brought in a "Making Of Klaus" book and Dom was flipping through while sitting on the model stand during a break. Apparently there are very few of these books and they are sold out. Klaus was produced for Netflix and there was speculation that might be the only reason that this film did not win an Academy Award. The film uses traditional hand drawn animation combined with some simple but very effective ways to paint the characters so that they look volumetric and solid. The backgrounds resemble the work of Disney artist Eyvind Earle. I recently heart that a film is in the works inspired by the drawing style of Ronald Searle, who is my favorite cartoonist and illustrator. My hope is that this is a sign that traditional hand drawn animation may be experiencing a resurgence.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Monday, February 17, 2020

Terry DiCarlo


 This post discusses the shooting that took place at the Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016. It contains difficult content, so please do not read on if you feel you may be effected. 

This article and sketch have been posted with the express written permission of the interviewees. Analog Artist Digital World takes the privacy and wishes of individuals very seriously. 

Terry DiCarlo had been in the HIV diagnosis business for over 30 years. He was the director at The Center at the time of the Pulse shooting. The Center is the largest tester for HIV in Florida. They do 500 to 600 tests a month for HIV.  Orlando is fifth in the nation for the most newly diagnosed cases. Just before the shooting Terry had been offered a Director's position at AIDs Health Foundation (AHF) which is a Los Angeles based global nonprofit provider of HIV prevention services, testing, and healthcare for HIV patients. AHF currently claims to provide medical care and services to more than 1 million individuals in 43 countries worldwide. He was offered twice the salary that he was making at the Center. His start date was to be August 1, 2016 and July 16th was going to be his last day at the center. All the paperwork was done. He was packing up his office and then June 12 happened, the day of the Pulse massacre. AHF pushed off his start date to September but by mid August he realized in his heart would not let him leave Orlando.

There were between 300 and 600 people working in the tiny space inside the Center. It got hot in there in with the smoldering June heat. Someone donated several large mobile air conditioners to help. With the back doors always open taking in donations, the heat kept flowing in. On the third day after the shooting that took 49 lives, Terry decided he had to close the Center at 6pm. Had he kept the Center open 24 yours, the volunteers would have stayed for 24 hours. They had been working 12 to 14 your days for three days straight. They were ordered to go home and rest. Terry started turning off lights to shut the Center down.

At 5:45pm he got a call, letting him know that Florida Governor Rick Scott was planning to visit and wanted to enter by the back door so as not to draw attention. All the lights went back on. The governor banned all press and anyone in the Center would have to turn off their cell phones. Terry grew angry. His Orlando community had just been hurt, and this as their house. He called every news station and let them know that they had 5-10 minutes to get to the Center. The news trucks were all close by.

Three black SUVs pulled up behind the Center. The governor and his entourage entered via the back door and the press poured in the front door. The governor was shocked, but put on a plastic smile. Then Terry invited everyone in the Center to take out their cell phones of a photo op. This was supposed to be a private photo op for the governor since he had his personal photographer in tow. It was a chance for him to brag that he had been to the Center and the photo would imply that he cared. It was all self serving PR.

He never said the word LGBT. He never said "I'm sorry for what you are going through." He looked at Bill, Terry's husband, who had a tattoo and asked, "Did that hurt?" Bill responded, "Is that really all you have to say?" The governor shook Bills hand who wiped his hand off on his pants as the governor walked away. He seemed to have no idea what the Center was or why there were 600 people there. He asked nothing about all the donations or where they were going.

Down at Pulse, Marco Rubio showed up and started talking to the media about The danger of Islam, terrorists and hate. He was spewing false information. Terry shouted out that this wasn't about hate and division. All the cameras turned towards him. He always spoke from the heart. He tended to stand on the side lines while Patty Sheehan, Mayor Buddy Dyer and Police Chief Mina walked to and from the Command Center for updates. Then while they stood talking to media Chief Mina signaled to Terry that he should join them to help relay information to the world. This would become his role in the months and years to follow. One New York Times reporter had Terry's name on file with the initials GTG beside his name. That meant "go to gay." Terry would always offer honest opinions when asked.

The Angel Action Wings were created at the Shakespeare Theater with the help of Jim Helsinger. They were donated to the Center after Terry explained that they would be respected and used at proper events to honor the 49 lives lost. No one ever sees the angels getting ready. When they appear at Pulse, the fire station down the street lets them get set up in the parking lot behind the station. When they appear at Lake Eola, a condo association across the street allows them to get ready in the ballroom. Bill created an 8 foot high PVC pole that held several white flags. This helps in letting people know that the angels are coming and it helps part the crowd. The angels were originally intended to protect against hate and now they have become a signal of hope and of love. People just come up to the angels and hug them.

In time, Terry had to step down from being the director at the Center, taking a communications director position instead. In the months after Pulse he was pulled in so many directions, that something had to give. He has talked to survivors who are going through a lot. For the first year, survivors were being flown around the world to Pride events and fundraisers. After one year that attention disappeared. They felt lost. One survivor, a nurse said she can not get a job. At interviews she holds back not wanting anyone to know she was at Pulse that night. She suspects she might be sabotaging herself.

The current administration is promoting hate and division and that trickles down. The love and unity we experienced is being torn apart. People seem unable to see through the smoke screen. We can not let people forget. Orlando stood as one, united in not letting hate win. Orlando reacted with love and the world saw that and stood beside us. For a few days, hate stood still.

On January 27, 2020, Terry DiCarlo died of Cancer at the age of 57.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Terry DiCarlo

 This post discusses the shooting that took place at the Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016. It contains difficult content, so please do not read on if you feel you may be effected. 

This article and sketch have been posted with the express written permission of the interviewees. Analog Artist Digital World takes the privacy and wishes of individuals very seriously. 

Terry DiCarlo was the Executive Director of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Central Florida at the time of the Pulse Massacre. Before June 12, 2016, the Center had 3 employees, Terry, a clinical director and a bookkeeper. The Center acts as the hub of the Central Florida LBGTQ community. They offer free aids and STD tests to anyone who walks in.

On the evening before the shooting, Terry watched a movie at home with his husband and they went to bed. Usually Terry turns the ring tone off on his phone as he charges it overnight, but for some reason on this night he forgot. Around 2:15am the phones started to ring. Bill, his husband was the first to get up. Terry's first thought was that somethings might be wrong with his 76 year old mother. Bill tossed his phone on the bed saying, "Something is up." Terry's phone had a text from someone inside the club. The Center Board President called to let him know that things looked bad. They got dressed and immediately drove down to Pulse. Just south of the Orlando Regional Hospital the street was completely blocked off, with police car and fire truck light flashing everywhere. His first thought was, "How is this just a shooting?"

He saw a police officer he knew and was instructed to drive down a side street and turn around to park in a small lot with some TV News Trucks. They got out and started walking fast towards the club. The same officer ran towards them shouting "Get back, there is going to be an explosion!" Terry pleaded for information, and the officer confided that there were 20 dead inside the club. Terry's legs gave out and Bill and the officer held him. They fell back to stay out of the way. Within an hour Patty Sheehan arrived. For five or ten minutes Terry lost it and he then realized that people would want information from people that they know. Things were unfolding as they stood there.

A mother ran towards Pulse yelling her son's name, trying to get past the police line. Press began to follow her with microphones and cameras.To shield her, Terry and a board member took her into an insurance agency building and locked the front doors to keep the media out. They held her on a brown couch in the lobby. So much happened that it was a blur. Some things were completely blocked, for instance Terry did an interview with "Good Morning America" didn't remember it until he saw the video a year later.

Even before the Center opened at about 5:15am there was a crowd outside. Flowers had been place at the front window and people stood vigil holding candles. The press was also there with cameras ready. Once open, close to 100 people pressed inside in the first hour. It took three hours before they realized the Center was not secure. There could be another fanatic or copycat shooter. Armed guards were called in. Counselors were needed and within hours 600 counselors were ready to respond. Information was sent out via social media. The Facebook page numbers swelled astronomically. Facebook asked if they should activate the "I am OK" message. This was the first time this was used in America. Everything happened organically.

The Center became a hub. People at home were glued to the TV hoping for news but they could also go to the Center to be around others. Donations of every kind began to pour in. They would be brought in the back door and then pick ups up front would deliver the goods where they needed to go. In the first three days there were 35,000 cases of water. The water was needed since it was June and insanely hot outside. People were lined up in the sun at blood drives.

Two full trucks pulled up at the Center full of office supplies. They didn't have any place to put it all. Luckily down the street Track Shack had a storage site and they let the Center use it. That site eventually became the distribution center. Over $80,000 worth of Gift Cards of every kind were dropped off as well. They were all logged in but the Center wasn't great about getting every donor's name.

That first week Terry probably got seven hours of sleep. He was Ex-Military, but nothing can prepare you for this kind of situation. Terry was on the news constantly. Bill began scheduling all the press calls and at one point he took Terry's phone because it never stopped ringing. It was amazing how far reaching the support was after the shooting. The Eiffel tower was lit up in rainbow colors, cities from around the world showed their support in similar ways with vigils. The Orlando Community came together and we all held on to that.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Nude Nite Orlando


Celebrating its 15th year, Nude Nite is a body-themed immersive pop-up art experience. This talked-about art party, is held in a 20,000 warehouse with over 200 of the best nude artworks for sale from artists around the country. The event features burlesque stage shows, world class body painting, interactive installations, performance artists, acrobats, stilt walkers, aerialists and a cast of painted characters creating a stunning canvas for Insta-worthy photos. Nude Nite is a multi-sensory art encounter that leaves you feeling hot with what you've got.

Nude Nite has 3 full cocktail bars, gourmet food for purchase and DJ music to ignite the vibe. Nude Nite is created with conscious intention. It is female owned and operated, maintains a gender equal model ratio meaning for every female there is a male. Nude Nite models are all sizes, colors and genders. The event utilizes sustainable products wherever possible.

For me the evening is always an inspiring and awesome sketching opportunity. Immediately when I entered I was attracted to this  antique tub with a woman in it. The tableau was set up by body painter Nix Herrera. He said he had essentially used everything from his outdoor patio to set up the scene. The woman sat submerged in water at first in which floated ferns and flowers. When she stood, she would entice people to come closer like a siren. On her belly and legs were written phrases. I didn't lean in to read them all and the only ones I put in the sketch was the surprising phrase, "You slut." On her head was a miniature model of the greenhouse enclosure they were in. Behind her stood a stoic and still couple in masks. On the woman's head was a crown which looked like a model of a cathedral spire wrapped in fabric. When people were not around I heard her giggle occasionally and touch her hand to her lips which never moved. Later when she looked over my shoulder at the sketch, she spoke and I finally realized that her lips were part of the mask. When posing she tended to curl her toes, which made me wonder if she was uncomfortable or cold. There was a space heater beside her. I also wondered about the temperature of the water in the tub. It is strange what you think about while you sketch.

While sketching, I was joined by local artist Erin Colleen who also had a sketchbook. I am very familiar with Erin's work because of Facebook and was happy to meet her in person. Strange but because of social media I already thought I knew her, or at least her art. I am an antisocial machine when sketching but I did ask her a few questions. She used to work at Madam Tossauds wax museum painting the skin tones for the figures. She hopes to work with animatronics next which would be a pretty sweet gig. I bumped into her a second time while I was considering sketching Mandi Ilene Schiff who was body painting a golden man with a buddha on his chest.

In the center of the room was a peace and tranquility zone with a woman posed in a cross legged pose with a radiating golden crown. From a distance Erin noticed a photo in the exhibit of a woman covered in honey. She said that the photo was of the woman in the golden crown. I looked back and forth and the resemblance was amazing. I am a doubting Thomas however, so I had to walk up to the model and ask if it was indeed her. It was. Of course an artist who could paint wax figures of celebrities, making them come alive, could pick out a portrait from a distance. Erin is also a portrait painter. I was amazed and tickled. The photo as it turns out was by Mandi who had shot her model from a past body painting session. Photos are the only way to immortalize the art she creates.

I never did do a second sketch, I was satisfied with this one. Of all the art on display, I was most impressed by a painted drawing done by artist Broni Likomanov from Studio City California. Titled Nude 4 it had bold charcoal strokes and acrylic paint that created a vibrant Egon Schiele inspired pose. Everything about the piece was inspiring. If I had $500 in my pocket I would have walked out with it. This was a fun night full of surprises.

Tonight February 15, 2020 is the last evening for Nude Nite.
Admission is $35 and tickets can be purchased at the door. The event will not sell out.
There are cash machines on property if needed.

The industrial warehouse is on the site at the Central Florida Fairgrounds
4603 West Colonial Drive Orlando, FL 32808

Open to the public. Because of nudity, the show is 21+ ID required.
Self Parking is abundant and complimentary.
Tickets can be purchased at the door.
Cell phone cameras are encouraged. DSLR cameras and video is not allowed.
Stage Shows begin at 9pm, 10pm and 11pm. Entertainment on the floor is ongoing throughout event.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Friday, February 14, 2020

Weekend Top 6 Picks for February 15 and 16, 2020

Saturday February 15, 2020
Noon to 8pm. $20 Orlando Wine Festival.  ICON Park 8375 International Drive, Orlando, Florida 32819. Let’s Make Pour Decisions Together. The 3rd Annual ORLANDO WINE FESTIVAL benefiting the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.  35+ vineyards, wineries, 100+ wines to try, Pet Adoption Puppy Park, A ride on The Wheel included with every paid ticket, Themed photo booths, Rosé Garden, Wine Classes.

1:30pm to 3:30pm Free. Playwrights' Round Table February Play Writing Workshop.  Art's Sake Studio 680 Clay St, Winter Park, Florida 32789. Open to the public, play writing workshop for present and future playwrights.

6pm to Midnight. $35. Nude Nite Orlando. Warehouse on the site of the Central Florida Fairgrounds 4603 West Colonial Drive Orlando, FL 32808. Celebrating its 15th year, Nude Nite is a body-themed immersive pop-up art experience. Join this talked-about art party, held in a 20,000 warehouse with over 200 of the best nude artworks for sale from artists around the country. Experience burlesque stage shows, world class body painting, interactive installations, performance artists, acrobats, stilt walkers, aerialists and a cast of painted characters creating a stunning canvas for your Instagram-worthy photos. Nude Nite is a multi-sensory art encounter that leaves you feeling hot with what you've got!
Nude Nite has 3 full cocktail bars, gourmet food for purchase and DJ music to bring the vibe. Nude Nite is created with conscious intention. It is female owned and operated, maintains a gender equal model ratio meaning for every female there is a male. Nude Nite models are all sizes, colors and genders. The event utilizes sustainable products wherever possible.

Sunday February 16, 2020
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. 

10am to 4pm Free. Lake Eola Farmers Market. Lake Eola Park, 512 E Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801. Local produce and goods.

Noon to 3pm. Donation based. Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, 656 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789. Members of the public are invited to visit our historic home museum on a Sunday afternoon to listen to live music and take a tour of our historic home museum and the James Gamble Rogers II Studio by trained docents.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Thursday, February 13, 2020

ICEBAR


Pam Schwartz and I went to a media taste testing at ICEBAR (8967 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819). ICEBAR is a below-freezing room with a bar built from ice and an adjacent Fire lounge with dancing for warming up. The girl responsible for putting on the security bracelets had such long glittery nails that she struggled to pop the clasp in place.

They have rolled out a new menu and were curious for some feedback. I ordered a Toasted Coconut Martini which consisted of Ciroc Coconut Vodka, Bailey's Irish Cream, Frangelico, Dark Creme de Cocoa, with a Chocolate Sugar Rim, which was fabulous. I was offered the option to try other drinks, but kept sucking down the martinis. I  loved rotating the glass with each sip to get the flavor bursts.

Much of the menu items consisted of flat breads. The first had goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes. This menu item was a bit too dry for my taste but had the advantage of making me want to sip my drink more often. My favorite of the flat breads was the Caprese, with roasted roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, garlic puree, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. The Caprese is even better when re-toasted the next day at home.

Beside us was a news caster and his wife. Pam had a wonderful conversation with them as I worked. All four of us put on Faux fur coats and went into the ICEBAR itself which had an ice throne a central bar and walls of ice. The manager let us know that the ice bar would be getting a complete overhaul in about a month. Drinks were served in ice cups. We didn't linger too long in there. If I wanted the cold I would move north.

Celebrate Valentine's Day with Roses and Rosé At ICEBAR Orlando and Fire Lounge all weekend long February 14-16, 2020. The Love Potion Package for the VIP Section includes 1 bottle of Moet Rosé in the Fire Lounge, 2 ICEBAR Entries, 2 ICEBAR Drinks, 2 Faux Fur Coats, 2 Appetizers and deserts for $250 plus Tax and Gratuity. The Dose of Romance includes 2 glasses of Moet Rosé in the Fire Lounge, 2 ICEBAR entries, 2 ICEBAR drinks, 2 Faux Fur Coats, 2 Appetizers and deserts for $120 plus Tax and Gratuity.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Art Deco Weekend


On the last day of the Art Deco Weekend I was slated to give a demo before the drive back to Orlando. I believed that there was to be an Art Deco Doggie Costume Contest to the held at the Barbara Baer Capitman Memorial at 13th Street and Lummus Park in South Beach so that is where I planned to sketch. It sounded quirky and fun. All of the demos assembled at the Urban Sketching tent on 10th Street and Ocean Drive. We held up poster boards with our names on it so people could go to the demo of their choice.

I had two attendees join my group and Pam Schwartz decided to join us. We made our way up to where the doggie costume contest was to be held and just before we arrived, a parade of dags in costume and their owners walked down the street in the opposite direction. Well this was an impossible sketching situation. Even if I followed the puppies I would just be drawing butts. There were some mighty fine puppies in costume but they were on the move.

We made a quick change of plans and walked over to the outdoor stage where the FIU Studio Jazz Big Band was performing live. The 15-piece big band, directed by Jim Hacker, performed new and well-known jazz classics by Stan Kenton, Thad Jones, Thelonius Monk, and more. The members of the FIU Big Band are full-time graduate and undergraduate students.

One of my attendees only spoke Brazilian, so anything I said was lost in translation although Pam related some info using Google translate.  I discussed how I block in a scene, perspective and the challenge of capturing the energy of a scene. What I left out of the sketch is as important as what I included. When the band conductor made it sound like they would be taking a 15 minute break, I worked frantically to catch the band in pen and ink. I know from experience that a 15 minute break can stretch out to an eternity if you are needing to sketch in the moment.

The guy in the lawn chair to the right was on the phone for most of the performance. It is strange how people can go to a live performance and then be distracted the whole time. Lisanne Lyons Vocal Studio students also sang live on this afternoon of great jazz. Strangely when the band took it's break, that is when people began to get up and dance to the piped in music. Catching a couple on the dance floor became my last order of business. It is hard to know when to stop when people are watching every move you make as you sketch, but I asked for any questions and then folded up my sketchbook.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Enakai Mpire

This post discusses the shooting that took place at the Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016. It contains difficult content, so please do not read on if you feel you may be effected. 

This article and sketch have been posted with the express written permission of the interviewees. Analog Artist Digital World takes the privacy and wishes of individuals very seriously.  

His stage name is Enakai Mpire and he worked at Pulse Nightclub. He grew up an army brat in Fairfax County Virginia near Washington DC. In fifth grade, school recess was canceled because of the DC Sniper who was terrorizing the region. His aunt taught him to walk in a zig-zag pattern to avoid being shot. He was taught to avoid being outside altogether. He had to get from the school to the bus and from the bus to home.

His father worked for the Pentagon and on September 11, 2001 his father stepped out of his office in the army department around lunch time, and that is when the plane hit. Having survived 9-11 his father decided to retire from the military and move to Florida to leave all that behind.

Enakai was 14 when the family moved to Orlando. He loved theater. In 2015 he started working for Southern Nights and then began working for Pulse. He was a shot boy or cocktail server at Pulse. Unlike bartenders, he was able to walk around and serve drinks to guests. He got to know everyone  . There were regulars and tourists, he loved working there. He grew connected to the other shot boys, they were like family. There as also a VIP shot girl. Dancers had their dance dressing room, bartenders seemed connected, and the shot boys had the kitchen. He loved the staff at Pulse.

He worked Wednesdays and Saturdays at Pulse. Wednesdays were college nights and Saturday were Latin Nights. Saturdays were problematic. It got so packed, and everyone was dancing Sensa and Meringue. Imagine trying to navigate that crowd with a tray of shots. He ended up covered in his own shots. It was so hard to walk through that sea of dancing people.

Gay days had motivated Enakai to want to work more nights at Pulse. He had talked to his manager about coming in on a more regular schedule. On that Saturday he had gotten dressed to head out to Pulse. For the first time, his mother stopped him in the kitchen. She said, "You worked a lot this week, you worked outside and are getting sick." This was true he had worked through Gay Days getting body painted at a pool party and was getting a cold. She wanted to go to Downtown Disney with his father and dance, so she asked if he could stay home with his brother. She never made such requests, so he didn't go out.

About 2am he started getting phone calls from friends. One was from David who had walked out of the doors at Pulse just about 2 minutes before the shooting started. He left in a Uber and got home and didn't know what to do. He had heard about the shooting as he was heading home. He didn't know who the shooter was.

Enakai had just broken up with a possessive boyfriend. Several days before the shooting that X went to Pulse and assaulted an employee. With that in mind Enakai feared that the shooter might be his X. He decided he had to go to Pulse to hopefully calm the situation. David picked him up and together they drove to Pulse. They arrived after the shooting. Everyone was already in the hospital. From the hospital he was directed to the Hampton Inn across the street where concerned family members were assembling. No one had any information.

He turned on Facebook Live and began recording. A form was being handed out, on it there was a spot where you could put a picture of the person you were looking for. He asked people to share photos with him and he sent the picture out into the world via FB Live to see if anyone knew where that person was. He had never seen so many followers before on FB Live. Media began contacting him.

The shot girl had last been seen entering the kitchen at Pulse. He tried so hard to find her. Since he hadn't been there when the shooting happened, he thought wherever she was is where he would be. It ate at him not knowing where she was. She didn't answer her phone. He asked about her on FB Live. There were a lot of people looking for her. Someone said she had dropped her phone. He remained hopeful. No one knew how many had died at this point. It was so chaotic. Finally someone wrote back, "She is with me, she is fine." That news brought him so much joy. He could relate to others who could then tell her family that she was fine.

He continued making connections online. "Your son is OK, he is at this place, go get him." Then came a point where he wasn't getting any news back. All that remained were missing people. He had done what he could. About 10:30am a friend showed up with phone chargers for everybody. A lot of phones were dying that night. At this point there was nothing to do but wait.

A sheriff came out with the chief operating officer from the hospital and they read a list of names of the people they had sent home or who were in stable or critical condition. Fifty two people had entered Orlando Regional Hospital from the club. Nine had died on the operating tables. Forty three were alive. There were also eleven people alive at Florida Hospital as well. Enakai turned on his FB Live to record the names as they were read. If a loved one's name was read then one or two family members could go to the hospital to visit them. By the end of the list, it got real quiet in the room.

One woman finally stood up and said, " Those names you didn't read, are you telling me those are the ones that are still in the club? Are you telling me they are dead?" There was no response. A heavy weight settled on everyone. It was like a war zone all of a sudden. People started screaming and punching walls. The people right next to Enakai were looking for their daughter and they fainted. He tried to help the father up. Looking into his eyes he realized he was not there. He had never seen someone go into shock before. He froze not knowing what to do. People were falling all around him. Something clicked on inside of him. He started yelling, "I need an EMT here!" He began commanding people to help. "This person needs water, put that person in a wheel chair." At that moment her grew up. His entire life changed.

Everyone was asked to leave and return the next morning. But how could they go home, not knowing? He stayed around as long as he could. There was a vigil that night at Parliament House. He went, but was concerned. Here he was again in a club the night after the shooting. During a moment of silence, he could not close his eyes. He looked around for possible treats. He had to go.

The next day family and friends were told to go to the Beardall Senior Center. Once again he went live on Facebook. His Pulse manager said he had to barricade himself into his house because media were trying to get answers from him. So he tuned into Enakai's feed as well. Media could not get close to the Center. Enakai felt a sense of responsibility to record. When family left the Beardall, every media camera would turn on them hoping to see them cry. The community stepped up. A leader from a church brought volunteers over to protect them from the media cameras. They surrounded the family so they could walk to their cars without being filmed.

For the first year or so after the shooting a lot of staff member were getting tickets for events. Norman who had been held hostage in the Pulse bathroom that night had survived. Enakai wanted to make sure survivors were also invited to events. He started a Survivors Facebook group and invited people he knew who had survived, they invited more survivors and family members. Over time it developed into a large support group. He was able to get Sia tickets to survivors who wanted them. He continued creating events for survivors for healing. He got a tattoo that says, "It could have been me. It could have been you. Don't forget that."  He started a group called First Responders Survival Unit. He has worked non-stop trying to help everyone recover. By helping others, he is also helping himself.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Monday, February 10, 2020

10 Minute Tuesdays


I drove to the Turpin Garage Theater for 10 Minute Tuesdays presented by Phoenix Tears Productions. I love this idea. Spot lights were strung up all around a suburban garage, illuminating a mini set inside the garage. The theater opened at 7:30pm. Tickets are just $2 at the garage door. Meg had created some adorable buttons and other merchandise from past scripts. There were four rows of Dick's lawn chairs set up in front of the garage for the audience. 10 Minute Tuesdays happens on the first Tuesday of every month featuring plays in a set theme. This month's plays celebrated all things pink and red with a plethora of love and murder. I decided to sit in the back row to get an overall view of the garage theater set up. In most theaters the seats are set up on a ramp that rises towards the back of the theater. A driveway on the other hand slops down towards the street.

My favorite play of the night was the first in the line up of three. Called, Misfortune by Mark Harvey Levine and directed by Madison Payne, the show featured two women who sat in a Chinese restaurant having just finished dinner. The waitress with chop sticks in her hair served them fortune cookies. One woman (Melissa Riggins) read her fortune which was bland, sweet and reassuring. Then her friend (Kira Silverman) read her fortune which said something like, "You will be murdered tonight." In a furor she called over the waitress, read her the fortune, and insisting on getting another cookie. Each time the one woman got a soothing and uplifting fortune while the other got a menacing premonition of certain death. The waitress was just as surprised as the couple and she stayed at the table curious to hear each reading of the fortunes.

If your fortune is so set in stone then it must be true, and perhaps there would be now way to escape your fate. The woman who had been getting the reassuring fortunes began to believe that there might just be a reason her friend might need to be murdered. She picked a sharp knife off the table and questioned her friend about possible affairs as she paced around the table. A mistake by the waitress changed the fortunes of this distressed couple.

A guest performer, (Mathew Stephens) followed with a monologue and then a reenactment of a planned murder of Batman (Vex Batchelder). Outlandish humor was added by Harlequin (Michelle Papaycik) playing a weird tune on a kazoo. Her amazing costume and acting stole the scene.

The final play was, Played for A Sap by Rex McGregor directed by Jade Roberts. In it, a couple having an affair tried to extort money from the woman's husband. The show featured murder, money and mayhem with affections that turned on a dime. A guy sat in front of me wearing a cowboy hat, so I really didn't see anything house left for the entire final show, but I was busy painting anyway. With only 10 minutes remaining, I had to rush. By the end of the night, every seat in the driveway was full.

This 10 Minute Tuesday at Turpin Garage Theater is such a fun concept. I was laughing out loud at very twist and turn. When you have a theater full of actors and supporters, you are in for some fun and enthusiastic audience reactions.

Here is a full listing of upcoming productions of 10 Minute Tuesdays.

March 3, 2020        Ladies Night
April 7, 2020          Shakespeare
May 5, 2020           Shows about Show Biz
June 2, 2020           TMT with Pride
July 7, 2020            Christmas in July
August 4, 2020       Come Away with TMT
September 1, 2020  Get Back to Hogwarts
October 6, 2020      Spooky Sendoff


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com