One of the few great things I learned while living in South Florida: Oy vey!
It covers all manner of situations, rolls off the tongue, is sort of fun to say. And so far this week, and I’m going to speculate all week long . . . . it would make Tim Gunn proud, cause it WORKS.
Okay . . . . enough of that.
Didn’t get everything done last night, so this is another combo deal. AND, given this weekend's Winter Park Autumn Arts Festival, the likelihood of at least one additional blog on Saturday is HIGH!
Today is Tuesday and you know what that means . . . . I type that and feel like I should go into a song I always remember from – I think – the old Mickey Mouse Club. Today is Tuesday and you know what that means, we’re gonna have a special guest . . . . Well, that’s how I remember it. It’s something close.
But no special guests, just another TOTALLY LOCAL TUESDAY. So, go forth an do EVERYTHING you do LOCALLY if at all possible! Local just feels better, tastes better, gives you a bit of a warm and fuzzy inside, a tingle in your toes and pep in your step. Or close to it!
Over this past weekend I had a Totally LOCAL weekend. I’ll get to the highlight, but many know I LUV our Local birds of prey . . . . they always fascinate me. On Saturday I was in our pool – where I do so much great bird watching – and from the neighboring yard – of Mr. Elliott, former Cottell’s 5 & 10 owner – I hear a dove frantically fly upward and directly overhead. A hawk is directly behind in pursuit. The dove flaps wings frantically. All I see in my mind is the hawk, wings fully outward, gliding like a fighter jet. I know he (or she) flapped her wings a number of times, certainly, but all I see, remember is that silhouette from one side of the yard to the other, directly overhead and then out of sight.
My partner makes fun of me for watching animal shows . . . . gripped by the wildebeests trying to cross the croc infested water, letting lose with sound effects before, during and after each take down. It’s morbid, yes, scary, nature. Seeing it play out first hand is, of course, even more thrilling.
But, aside from my bird of prey experience, the weekend highlight was surely my Saturday afternoon visit to the Rotary Club Maitland Arts Festival around Lake Lily. Threat of rain and fresh memory of the absolute DOWNPOUR from Friday, I still decided I would walk. It was maybe I tad further than I thought, but I was still pleased with my decision. I just like the idea of being able to WALK to events in which I want to participate. It makes them that much more enjoyable in a way.
Fortunately, my umbrella was only needed momentarily, and not once while I was actually checking out the art. But upon arrival, first things first . . . I got a beer! Roger Zalneraitis was happy to help and also told me about the Rotary Clubs dispersing of $40,000 last year to Local charities from the event. He said Local charities are invited to apply to the Rotary Club to be included next year. And, interested in Rotary Club? They meet each Tuesday morning at the Winter Park Civic Center!
So, beer in hand, I was off to view! I got to start with one of my Local faves, Gena Semenov of Apopka. I LUV dogs and Gena paints dog portraits like no one else! Her work is fun and colorful, charming and warm. Gena’s work can cheer you up if you don’t know the subject of her painting, warm your heart and become a lifelong treasure when you do. At some point in the future I’m going to do a column on her and already know the angle!
Just a few tents over I found Jessilyn Park multitasking as usual! This time last year Jessilyn had never painted anything more than maybe a bedroom wall. I wrote about her in August and learned she was inspired to start by her grandmother, a longtime artist. Next month she travels to California for launch of new Artiste Wine labels featuring her work. She also knows how to work social media and was busy doing it in her tent. Check out more on Jessilyn in my previous column: http://www.wpmobserver.com/news/2012/aug/22/clyde-moore-social-savvy-pays-fledgling-artist/
My next photo stop was not exactly a Local, as he’s from Gainesville, but ever the big kid, colorful, shiny, pretty always catches my eye. Sky Campbell’s large blown glass orbs and smaller ornaments reeled me in and I had to capture in a pic!
About this time a breeze picked up and I realized so many of these artists must have nerves of steel! Work from pottery to glass, to even fixtures for others, one stiff breeze could cause some real damage. I trembled a bit at the thought of what tragedies must occur regularly. AND, I said a little prayer for GREAT weather this weekend! After last year . . . I’d say the Winter Park Autumn Arts Festival surely deserves it.
I next stopped in to see jewelry maker and Winter Park resident William Carlie. He’s been a silversmith working in sterling silver and mixed metals for about six years, with many gorgeous pendants, necklaces, bracelets and more. He also noted that he grew up here and graduated from Winter Park High School of 1974.
Not far beyond I met Anne Holstein, a painter from Lake Mary. She had many wonderful works featuring Local scenes, from Casa Feliz and elsewhere along Park Avenue. She noted that she’s a participant in a large Local plein air painting group which has a show once a year at “Art House” in Casselberry. I should have asked, but didn’t, as I’m not even sure where this is but will be investigating!
Next, another Winter Park jewelry maker, Patricia Karnes, whose work is all hand constructed and one of a kind, made of sterling silver and 14k gold. A large ribbon was displayed on her fixtures, celebrating her best in category placement in the show. Congrats!
Lots of Winter Park residents in the show, I next came across Steve Vaughn. His large, amazing photography drew me in quickly. I especially LUVed the huge tree he showed. He said his works are mostly panoramic photos printed on canvas. As he told me abou the subject matter, “I go where it’s warm in January. If it’s warm in January, that’s where I go.” So, shots are mostly from Florida, Bahamas and the Caribbean.
On up the hill I come across another artist I’ve meet previously, and long been friends with on facebook. Brandy Renee is from Casselberry, says her work is inspired by nature mainly, and likes to use color to place emotion in a landscape scene. She often utilizes texture, she says, as her subject matter is often simple things like trees. As with Jessilyn Park earlier, she utilizes a palette knife rather than brush.
Last artist of my visit was Winter Park & McRae Studio’s Cindy Anderson. Cindy changes things up a lot. As she told me, “I have many interests and I bore easily.” She’s done whole series of bears containing honey and funny monsters I’ve LUVed, but her new work is my favorite. Check out the accompanying photo of the girl with large bow in hair, a tornado approaching in the distance. I talked with her a while, as I told her how much I think her sense of humor is similar to another Local artist, Dawn Schreiner, and having described some of her work, she said “Oh, I gotta meet her!”. I was also curious about the cocktail party scheduled for this Saturday night at McRae and done in conjunction with Park Avenue Fashion Week the following week. Cindy said there was a desire this year to include more of the Local visual artist community and there will be paintings hung at this year’s show.
On that note, tonight there is also an event at Tuni on Park Avenue: Tuni Swag Party. What the heck is that, you may ask? The Swag Bag, in its modern connotation, was popularized by Hollywood events in which high profile attendees received goodie bags filled with cool stuff everybody wants . . . or will want. During the event tonight fashion show attendees can pick up their Swag Bag, as well as catch a glimpse of the hair, makeup and fashion that you’ll likely see during the runway show. I’m hopeful of meeting and talking to the emerging designers who will be included in the show to learn a bit about them and what surprises they may have in store with their creations especially for the show.
Before I close the book on the Rotary Maitland Arts Festival this past weekend, I have to also say how much I LUVed listening to and watching Orlando resident Donna Moore morph from Cindy Lauper to Better Midler to Loretta Lynn to Janis Joplin and others. There’s one Local event each year I LUV – and will NOT specify – but I cannot deal with the VOLUME of the music, the inability to carry on a conversation during. I know, it’s not always easy to match just the right entertainment to the venue. Donna Moore, to me, was PERFECTION. She made me laugh, sway, sing along. Her voice is wonderful but her show is about truly entertaining. I enjoyed her TREMENDOUSLY and I will tell you in the future I would be MORE likely to attend an event simply knowing SHE will be performing. She is a true delight.
Lastly, it would be WONDERFUL if I could help find this sweet, sweet girl a home. Dosie is a ten year old female Boxer. She's been through a lot recently and needs a foster or forever home. Dosie is VERY mellow, walks well with a gentle lead, not into toys or playing, We haven't seen her around other dogs or cats but Dosie has been good with her 7 YO and 20 mos old grandkids. She knows sit and stay, hasn't had any accidents in the house. There are so many dogs right now who need a new chance. PLEASE check out the Florida Boxer Rescue site or their facebook page for more information and to view other available dogs.