I’m pretty sure for a few years I’d noticed lone painters around town, seriously involved in recording the Local scene before them in oils and acrylics. Artists go out in public, of course, spend time in parks and on streets, nothing out of the ordinary. But they don’t tend to do it en masse, travel in packs, so maybe I knew something was up even before I had confirmation.
I remember last spring seeing two of my favorite Local artists, Lynn Whipple and Don Sondag, hanging around Central Park one afternoon, involved in regular art’s more serious older sister, ‘plein air’ painting. I’d enjoyed seeing their wonderful art at the McRae Art Studios several times before, saw them that day and immediately LUVed the idea of real live painters being in Central Park creating new art, there on display for all to see and enjoy the evolution of their work, to observe. Each Artist’s individual techniques, manner while painting fascinates me a bit.That day Lynn told me of the Winter Park Paint Out which was ahead. A “paint out” sounded exciting. I have an active imagination, so I may have entertained visions of Artists with paintball guns in addition to their brushes, canvases, easels and umbrellas. A “paint out” evoked the idea of non-stop activity, perhaps even a battle.
During that week I did find a number of Artists out there doing what they do during such events, found my own curiosity increasing. I’ve been fortunate to see many of the world’s most celebrated museums, the Louvre and Musee D’ Orsay in Paris, The National Gallery in London, the Prado in Madrid. Viewing art has always been something I’ve enjoyed, sought opportunities in which to do it. But this event, other Local art discoveries, I was becoming more interested than ever before.
While I enjoy art from around the world, I think I now understand the art I truly LUV, most enjoy, is the art created around me, of Local sights with which I have some familiarity. Included in that is surely also meeting the Artists, knowing something about them, seeing them and their individual style in what I am viewing. You come to really know and understand the people you meet and then know over time. Art created by individual Artists can be a similar experience.
With the advent of this year’s Winter Park Paint Out, as organized by the Albin Polasek Museum, I was determined to see more, to participate at a higher level. I’m pretty sure I indicated that desire to its Executive Director, Debbie Komanski, but I’m not sure how well. I hope my stalking of her artists was never a problem. Focus and enjoyment of the event took over and each day became a little magical as I sought them out to see where they were and what they’d focused on that day. As with the Local Artists I follow, I came to know several a little better each day, know their individual stories and where they were from. Yesterday and today have seemed like something is missing as my stalking opportunities have ended.
The Winter Park Paint Out this year was a daily treat. It is now one of my own favorite events of the year, an event so easy to take part in and enjoy because it takes place over the span of an entire week. If you missed out this year, don’t make the same mistake next. It happens over the last full week of April. No matter what your schedule, there’s a way to take part and enjoy.
The short time I’ve been back to writing on-line, beginning anew to build my blog has been wonderful, has already begun to produce such terrific opportunities and nice reader response. The blog can now be found easily at ILUVWinterPark.com. I’m pleased and excited to say that I will be among those covering this year’s Chef’s Gala at the Epcot World Showplace this coming weekend. This event is a yearly fund-raiser for Heart of Florida United Way. Among the amazing Local restaurants participating will be Winter Park’s own Cask & Larder and the 4Rivers’ Sweet Shop. Beginning mid to late week I’ll be writing more about the event and its two Local participants. THANK YOU to Lisa Junkerman, the Vice President of Marketing & Communications for Heart of Florida United Way, for the invitation. I’ll be attending with founder of The Marketing Square, Rebekah Brown. More in the coming days! We’re both looking forward to it! April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. As part of this national awareness program The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families has placed those blue pinwheels around Orlando at various businesses and other spots to heighten awareness and raise funds as part of their Paint Orlando Blue program. Contributing to this cause is EASY . . . just text ‘HPC’ to 20222 to make a $10 donation. YES, that’s it! You can find more information online at www.PaintOrlandoBlue.com. Congratulations to Local mom and Downeast of Winter Park buyer Carina Graham who was recently honored with the organization’s Semper Fidelis award for her work with the center. On Saturday the Peter Millar store on Park Avenue opened and closed for the last time. Over the last four or so months I’ve had opportunity to interact with its manager, Thomas Allen Cox, quite a few times, and have enjoyed his amazing eye for color and pattern over the entire past year. Thomas is a graduate of The Parsons School in New York City and I have many friends who, like me, have marveled at the amazing and unexpected combinations he worked into displays and on mannequins in the store. His plans are a bit up in the air at the moment; but, I want to wish him my best in whatever he does, though I’m pretty sure he’ll be a success in whatever that is.
And lastly . . . I, as many others, are used to seeing rabbits on Park Avenue during the weekends. I was on Park Avenue the other day when again, here comes the rabbit guy and his wee friends. I feel embarrassed now to say I didn’t even get his name. But I did get the names of Cinnamon, the brown bunny, and her adoptive sister, Desdemona. Apparently they don’t get along too well, which may be why he carries Cinnamon and her bitchy sister rides along in the shoulder satchel. They apparently have their own little portion of the house at home but like to get out to feel the breeze in their bunny hair along Park Avenue!
So, so much going on this week and weekend . . . I’m determined to cover it all like Spanish moss covers Winter Park!
Til tomorrow . . . holy bricks and Spanish moss . . . I LUV Winter Park!