Monday, June 13, 2016

Pulse Shooting Vigil at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

By Thor 

You must be aware of the horror by now. On Saturday night around 2am, a gunman shot and killed 49 people and injured 53 more people at Pulse Night club in Orlando. This is the largest single gunman terrorist attack in the history of the United States. This morning, I woke up and the first thing I did was search the Internet for the names of victims. Though none of the names were familiar, I was in tears. Through out the day friends and family from around the country checked in to see if I was alright. I had sketched events at Pulse five times before, so I am familiar with the venue.

At dusk, there was a vigil at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. I wondered how tight security might be. At security check points my art supplies are often suspect. I was pleased that the were no fences or barricades. The crowd was huge and growing. I decided to stop when I saw this large sheet of construction paper for memorial wishes. People knelled down to write and draw messages of hope love and pride. Half way down the scroll, a young girl was writing a message. She was interrupted by a friend who spoke to her. I saw her face contort in pain and sorrow as he spoke. Clearly she had lost a loved one. She hugged her friend for longest time and cried on his shoulder. My heart broke.

On stage, names of the victims were being read out loud. the list went on forever. A woman to my left was sobbing and I had to stop sketching to clear my eyes. I was thankful when another announcer suggested we hug the person beside us. I hugged the man beside me. A quote from Martin Luther King rang true... "Darkness cannot drive out hate; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." I picked up a stray crayon and used it on my sketch. Can creativity really comfort or heal? People wandered the crowd handing out snacks and water. Like a funeral, food is thought to bring comfort.

The little town where tourist dreams come true was center stage for a nightmare. There is no pixie dust that can heal such a tragedy. I don't understand love in the face of sorrow, hope in the face of pointless violence. Speakers called for strict gun control but legislation is never passed. The ever powerful social media sites don't have an automatic message to let you know a friend has been shot dead.  We all face our certain demise. Yet that field was full of love and community support. Someone complimented my sketch and I choked up in response. Such kindness despite everything. The gravity and scope of what happened washed over me fully for the first time.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Japanese Pavilion, Epcot

by Kim Minichiello

Sketching bonsai today since this is the last weekend for the Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot.  They won't be there next week!

Assassinations and Other Macabre Tales at Fringe.

By Thor 

Jeff Ferree presents Assassinations and Other Macabre Tales at the Orlando Fringe Festival. This 15 minute show is located in the most intimate venue at the Fringe. It is located in closet near the volunteer staging area in the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center. Hanging from the ceiling are tortured presidential heads shot through wit arrows. The blue curtains lining the space along with a presidential seal, are reminiscent of a White House press conference.

The program describes the show as, "Creepy true stories of the American Presidency told to you by puppets. Held in a dark intimate theater filled with the macabre. It’s the stories you wish they would have taught you in school."

The two primary puppets are male and female Native American corpses. They are incredibly believable as decomposed mummies. The story centers around Curse of Tippecanoe an Indian Curse that has caused an American President elected or re-elected in the last 100 years, Every U.S. President elected in 20-Year Intervals Has Died In Office. Among those affected were from William Henry Harrison (elected in 1840), Abraham Lincoln (elected in 1860),  James Garfield (elected in 1880), William McKinley (elected in 1900), Warren G. Harding (elected in 1920), Franklin D. Roosevelt (elected in 1940), through John F. Kennedy (1960). Ronald Reagan, elected in 1980, was wounded by gunshot but survived and George W. Bush (2000) survived an attempt on his life unharmed.

When a hanging was mentioned a tiny rag doll with a tiny penis fell over the stage and hung in the glow of a red Christmas light. there were other multi media effects that shocked the packed in audience (up to 13 people can cram into the closet). This was the first Fringe show for one volunteer crammed into the venue along with me. Be sure to find the closet and, experience the horror for yourself.

Analog Artist Digital World

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Arnold Palmer Invitational 2016-17th hole

By KC Cali.

We were the grateful recipients of passes to a skybox on the 17th hole on Sunday afternoon, March 20. I don't understand much about golf except that it's really difficult to play well, can be addictive and if you've ever played, you can really appreciate what the pros are doing. I've played - badly - and one good hole can keep me locked into 17 miserable holes. 

This particular hole begins on a little hill, on the other side of a pond and a sand trap and has another trap behind it (on the left of this sketch.) I watched in amusement and sympathy as one player dropped his ball into the water and then was forced to shed his shoes, roll up his pant legs (to catcalls from the crowd), and wade into the water to chip it out. He got it onto the green to make par. 

That's part of what makes the tournament so interesting to watch-how pros deal with setbacks with hundreds of people watching in silence. It could be a metaphor for life--dealing with setbacks that you've tried to prevent but they happen anyway.

You can see monitors with their hands held high standing around the perimeter of the hole in the sketch. I don't know what the people who hold up their hands for silence are called so I'm using 'golf monitor'. Like 'hall monitor' from elementary school.

The silence is another thing that amuses me about golf-the whole 'silence your cell phones' while you're anywhere around the course and then spectators are admonished to be still and not talk while the players are hitting. Maybe it IS harder than basketball but can you really call yourself a champion when everyone within 50 yards has to freeze and be silent when you're teeing off? What if you had to do it with spectators screaming "Whiff it!" and using noisemakers like at a Magic game? THAT would be interesting.

The people watching is also fun. I love to see people who dress as if they're playing, and others dress like it's a version of the Kentucky Derby and everything in between. There's a lot of walking. Bay Hill is a large course and quite lovely, so if it's not too hot, it's a very pleasant day. 

Newell Lodge Bluegrass Festival

By Jill Hawk. 

The Newell Lodge Bluegrass Festival took place March 9-13, 2016 in Folkston, GA.  The festival is co-sponsored by the Northeast Florida Bluegrass Association and is held at the Lodge grounds every March and October.

Bluegrass enthusiasts from Florida and Georgia enjoyed great music throughout each afternoon and evening.  The bluegrass lineup included Goldwing Express (included in the sketch), Mountain Faith, Larry Gillis Band, and The Claire Short Band.  The musicians on stage were exceptional and treated fans to music and humor each day.  The stage is surrounded by live oaks providing a shaded venue for the guests to place their lawn chairs and enjoy the music.

One of the best aspects of the festival was to be found in the campground where amateur musicians "picked" at all hours of the day and night.  Nothing beats relaxing with a cup of tea in the morning listening to a bass, acoustic guitar and banjo.

The sketch took about three hours to complete and another two hours to paint.

St. Augustine Race Week

  By Jill Hawk.

St. Augustine Race Week 2016 was held March 30 - April 3, 2016 along the Bayfront, Matanzas River, and offshore.  The five day Regatta is St. Augustine's signature spring sailing event and is hosted by the St. Augustine Yacht Club as a member of the First Coast Sailing Association.

What made this year special was the introduction of the Paddleboard Racing Series held on the Bayfront along Avienda Menendez.  This event was coordinated by the Saint Augustine Lifesaving Association (members are among the dedicated members of the St. John's County Fire Rescue - Marine Rescue unit) and First Coast Outdoor Fit.  The race series included 1/4 mile sprints, a technical course and a two mile distance race past the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.

This sketch was completed during the first day of competition for the paddle boards while racers were signing up for the sprint event.