Van Gogh Inspired
Thursday night at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in downtown Orlando, 19 guests joined us in the artful Bosendorfer Lounge for a night of Collage and Cocktails. The guests were treated to a beautiful spread of appetizers and an Iris Blueberry Açaí Van Gogh Vodka cocktail upon arrival. Once everyone was settled in their seats, they were presented with their collage packets which included hand painted papers, collage glue and brush, prepared iris image, and custom made Van Gogh Vodka aprons (courtesy of our sponsor). Christin from Van Gogh told us all about Van Gogh the vodka and some key points about Van Gogh the artist. Folks were excited to get started, purple and yellow and blue papers covered the tables like hand-made confetti as they were pulled out of the guests’ paper packets. Everyone was studying my original collages on easels around the room from the Gallery, for tips on technique. Once the glue started flowing, folks were even more happy about the aprons!
Our collage project was an iris, a detail taken directly from my collage Iris of my Eye which was inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Irises. Each guest began with their own 12×12 printed panel. The guests were essentially collaging in the very same way that I work, even using hand-painted papers from my studio. Working on the pre-printed panel helped many guests get over the fear of not being able to draw or paint. Tonight was about having fun, spending some time with friends or family, and enjoying the Grand Bohemian Hotel and Lounge. Oh, and let’s not forget the Van Gogh vodka!
Everyone received one-on-one attention as I made my way around the tables to be sure nobody had white edges on their paper tears or bubbles in their glue technique. It was nice to see so many familiar faces, I had neighbors, former students, friends, and fellow artists in the group. Even my facial retraining therapist who helped me through my Bell’s Palsy came out to try her hand at collage. It was also great to meet new people, a few guests admittedly had no art experience at all but were willing to have fun trying something new. And why not?
Debby from the Grand Bohemian Gallery was there to cheer people on and assist with supplies, everything goes smoothly when Debby is involved and I am so appreciative of her time and talent.
A Wonderful Atmosphere
The Bösendorfer Lounge in the lobby of the Grand Bohemian Hotel is absolutely beautiful. The guests were surrounded by my collages as well as some amazing originals of Richard Kessler’s personal art collection I have taught my class in some wonderful venues, but this 3-hour night-out took the award for most luxurious and inspiring atmosphere! The Grand Bohemian Hotels are all about “an experience in art and music” which tied in perfectly with our collage class and our sponsor, Van Gogh Vodka. Inspiration comes from all around at the Grand Bohemian Hotel, as an overnight guest you have access to hallways full of original artwork. As a patron of Sunday Jazz Brunch, you may be lucky enough to have one of the Gallery’s stable artists demonstrating in the lobby. The Art Gallery on the main level keeps regular business hours, and the collection of originals on the 5th floor is open to the public. There are some very amazing pieces on the 5th floor including some Egon Schiele etchings that make me really want to linger. Schiele was a student of my all time favorite, Gustav Klimt. I think Mr. Kessler just might have a soft spot for Klimt as well, as the Bosendorfer Lounge leads into the Klimt Rotunda at the hotel. Here you can find not only an rare model 290 Hollein Bösendorfer piano, but several etchings by Klimt himself. Any day of the week.
Thanks to the Photographer
So many amazing images of the event are only available because I have a photographer following me around most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I follow him…. 🙂 Douglas Nelson Photography is forever willing to take photos for this blog, and as an artist, I’m always thrilled when my posts are visually stunning. You can always tell when Doug’s at home holding down the fort and I’m off on my own, because all you get are fancy iPhone photos.
For an album of images from this spectacular evening, you can see about 40 great shots of people having a great time with Collage and Cocktails on my Facebook Studio page, no Facebook account needed. Click here.
Van Gogh’s Influence
I created Iris of my Eye to be unveiled at the Van Gogh Vodka Collage and Cocktails event and I could not be more proud of this piece. Iris is 39×35 and custom cut wood panel (thanks again to the photographer and his woodworking skills) You will also find this work in progress on my Facebook Studio Page. It’s available for purchase, but you’ll want to act fast! These colorful cut-out collages are a big hit and are exclusive to the Grand Bohemian Gallery collection.
Future Grand Bohemian Events
Contact the downtown Orlando Gallery about future Van Gogh Vodka Collage and Cocktails events to add to your social calendar: (407) 581-4801
Contact the Grand Bohemian Gallery in Asheville, NC about my 3-day June 13/14/15 workshop there: (828) 775-3973
or register online here
for being a part of my
Click on any Douglas Nelson Photography image to enlarge. Visit his Facebook Photography Page here.