So two of these unterwegs are from other months, drawings that started as quick sketches and were left unfinished. Often I’ll have a sketchbook that has some orphans in it, left behind when I ran out of empty pages.
This month I’m gathering up the orphans and finishing them!
Actually, pretty much every sketchbook has a sketch or two I forgot about or didn’t finish because I ran out of marker, lost my pastel, or needed some reference for a bicycle.
I might need to check the layout of the car, see where the doors or handrails are. Orphans are generally dated the day I finish and sign them, which is why the woman with the tree in summer clothes is dated February 18.
The drawers, drawn! AKA, women cartoonists unite and rule!
Last weekend my friends were performing in my neighborhood, just a couple blocks from my home. At a cool place I didn’t know about, an art gallery/music venue called Art Stalker!
We don’t get much punk rock here in the Far West, ya know, so it was a big deal!
It was my first chance to catch an official gig of Baron Anastis and the Erinyes. Friend and muse Rah Hell is the drummer, veteran Berlin rocker Joe Sparkle is on guitar and Baron Anastis, punk titan of West Berlin, is the frontman and songwriter.
(You can see my drawings from when I went to a rehearsal at their Sekrit Mystery Rehearsal Space here. )
To my delight, I also got to IRL meet Rah’s bestie, Switzerland-based American cartoonist Kristen Haas Curtis. Kristen is known as Miz K in the independent comics world, and she is a marvelous talent. I had been enjoying her warm and deft diary comics for a while, and was intrigued to see her at work in the wild.
Miz K and I settled down together to share a drawing table – she was doing Hourly Comics Day, which I didn’t even know was a thing!
It turns out it is, and damn, no way would I be able to do that. Would you look at this??
It was so nice to have a drawing buddy at a gig and the show was great. They played some of their terrific glampunk originals and some covers including a deliciously corroded cover of “Pure Morning” and a rollicking “Commando”. Everyone had a good time!
Afterwards we took a taxi since Rah and Miz K were transporting drums, and they dropped me off at my door like a fancy person. And then I read Kristen’s lovely comic done in collab with her daughter Bee, Princess Wolf and her Life of Darkness, which is really wonderful and if you have kids or like comics, check it out right here, I HIGHLY recommend it!
Thanks a million, million to my beloved Patrons on Patreon, who make it possible for me to show up and document events like this!
ESDIP Berlin, where I teach drawing, has an in-house print studio. It’s run by Suspicious Package, who teach printing to our Fine Arts students and give standalone screen printing courses. Screen printing, a beautiful way to make unique printed images, is really popular here in Berlin. The work being done is gorgeous. The poster print show called Flatstock has a big European event in Hamburg.
Rob Hanna of Suspicious Package asked if I’d be interested in doing an art collab with them for our Fall Fine Arts semester.
I honestly hate most of those saccharine “Mucha-esque” designs on deviant-art that turn pop culture icons into Mucha posters. They almost* universally lack the shocking fleshy immediacy of Mucha’s women, which was his great strength and their source of power.
Almost nobody today has the draughtsmanship skills to give women’s bodies the physical presence and grace Mucha did. I certainly don’t.
But I did the best I could to capture the confrontational nature of my favorite Muchas, their determined physicality and returning of the artist’s gaze.
The art scene here embraces urban art like nowhere else I’ve ever lived, with support (and specialty supply shops!) for graffiti artists and stencil artists.
So I included some classic Krylon cans, and of course the cinder blocks and broken glass and empty bottles that are still common in lots of places.
I love to draw a punk girl! I decided she would be a Modern Muse Of Fine Arts.
Mucha did a series called The Arts, with a representation each for Dance, Poetry, Painting and Music. They were sold as a limited edition of prints, because he produced work across a spectrum of availability: unique paintings, work created for fine art prints and works made for commercial reproduction.
These famous exhibition posters were made for the Salon des Cents, a huge public print show and sale.
Mucha was a master of design, but the humanity and specific natural beauty of his models was the power behind the arabesques.
This less well known exhibition poster, sometimes called “Muse of the Arts”, has been one of my favorites since I was a teenager. I love the rack of prints!
I think of it whenever I go to an art event like Berlin Graphic Days at Urban Spree and see posters in the same kinds of racks, over a hundred years later.
There’s a beautiful through line from early 20th Century art print culture to modern East Berlin screen printing shops where artists are pulling unique pieces by hand.
I sent my finished drawing to Rob Hanna, who did the graphic design and created the text elements to turn it into a poster.
Then the students made it into prints! It was the first time printing for all of them and I am so excited at what they made. I framed one!
I was super excited for this session of Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin!
There’s nothing I love like too much, and Broken Baroque is such a gorgeous theme. As always, LalaVox and Le Pustra did it up right. Above is the marvelous Viva Lamore as Mistress Overdone. She looked both beautiful and deliciously wicked! She is such an amazing performer, and her gestures are incredibly expressive. I brought my new pastels and drew with them!
I always try and draw hostess LalaVox, as she brings her A game to her look every time. Like this ship-in-head!
Isn’t the sacque-back gown a perfect style for her?
I had been wanting to draw Evilyn Frantic for a long time, since I saw her in the street last year, introduced myself and told her I wanted to draw her picture.
This one-minute sketch was my first chance, more to follow as I clean up and finish up the pastel mess I made!
Also bonus: here is a drawing of Viva Lamore jumping out of a Campbell’s soup can, from the Sunday Slips New Year’s Extravaganza! She is wearing a hand print bra and panty set from the Bettie Page line by Playful Promises, the queer, trans, gender-fluid-, sex-worker-, body positivity- and diversity-embracing lingerie company. They’re donating a percentage of sales to fight ovarian cancer til Feb. 15th. They don’t sponsor me, they’re just great!
Thanks so very much to my Patrons on Patreon whose financial support makes it possible for me to go to events like this. You are the best.
The Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin Instagram!
These two just slayed me. What you can’t see is that her amazing vintage 80s coat was a rich deep marigold yellow and her chunky knit scarf was a darker mustard. She was coolly wearing the hell out of her whole look.
People often look so displeased when they are looking at their phones. Since I don’t have a phone, I’m free to look around and observe this!
The older guy was playing and they just started dancing together. This isn’t the prettiest drawing, it’s kinda clunky, but I found it half-finished in a sketchbook this weekend and decided to finish it cause I like the women in the background.
And I really like the fact that I drew a guy doing an actual double take!
I also found this drawing made very quickly from the upper deck of the M29 bus and finished it roughly.
It’s a good example of how elements can be added to a documentary drawing responsibly. You couldn’t see the typical European notice column with its posters in the same shot as the guy, but it wasn’t far away, and adding it helps to sell the setting of the sketch really quickly.
You can see previous unterwegs here:
This woman was singing Tracy Chapman’s “Give me one reason” on a cold night, pretty late. Her voice rose up in the station, and she laughed as she got a little feedback howl.
These two guys, one Russian and one British, were speaking English and having the loudest, most public discussion about buying drugs I’ve ever heard.
Brit: “Her message – ‘love gettin fucked with you'”
Russian: “And yours?”
Brit: “Gonna go get weed.”
Russian: “Aw that’s the sweetest thing to text to a girl!”
They had a long discussion where the Brit explained she had offered to get the weed, but he said he’d do it his own self, because “Gotta show I’m a provider”, which the Russian guy followed with this whole story of how when they had kids, there would be a little miniature boy who felt the same need to take care of supply maintenance, and then they rambled into how to split two bags for €15 three ways, which is not a math problem they were really up for. To be honest, I don’t know that they needed much more weed.
The German girl with the skateboard was laughing at them.
She replied, “Actually, Miguel -” and she enumerated some recent times when he’d gotten to do exactly what he wanted.
She said it in a very chill way, like she was just explaining something reasonable to a reasonable person.
And he kinda huffed, like, “Fair enough”, and settled back against her legs.
The little girl next to him was blown away by it. As her mom was herding her off the train, she was staring at me and I flipped my sketchbook around and showed her the drawing, and then she was even more astonished!
You can see previous unterwegs here:
We had a great New Yorker talk, ranging from the things lost from the East Village to how it impacts your life to be a collector and archivist of your community’s history.
Folks from this particular community have a hollow leg for Club Mate.
I asked if they wanted one and Emmanuel said, “Well we just had one – sure, why not!”.
Good thing we keep a case on the balcony around CCC season, also known as the Hacker High Holidays in our house!
We went to the Sunday Slips Extravaganza at Lagari for New Year’s.
This year though, lots of our friends were performing/going to Lagari so we got on the M29 bus and went to Neukölln.
It was so wonderful to ride on the upper deck of my beloved M29 along the river of stars that is the Ku’Damm at New Years.
I felt ridiculously, absurdly fortunate to be riding the bus to friends with my husband in a city that was not just safe, but sparkling.
Well, exploding, really, but I like the noise and fireworks of Silvester! We arrived at Lagari around ten, just as the open mic session was ending.
The host of the event, Liliana Velásquez, is someone I drew previously at Folsom Europe. You can see her dancing with friends in the top drawing. As well as hosting the Sunday Slips, the weekly clubhouse of Freudian Slip Club, she is part of the Fetish Comedy group.
Her partner Wynton Kelly Stevenson is an amazing one-man band.
We were blown away by his sounds, created with harmonica, beatbox and Loopstation. And his sound is super danceable. Hubbin got up and danced a bit along with the folks of all ages who enjoy the chill Lagari scene!
…the rocked to fuck show by Alfred Ladylike and Rah Hell of Donut Heart!
They were joined at the end by Liliana, who just learned to play the bass!
At one point Rah had to stand up and drum because her drum was trying to escape the pounding she was giving it. Wynton had to lie on it to hold it in place. Berlin is punk as fuck.
Berlin art and music fam, we love you!
Miss Natasha Enquist was performing at the DILF/Testosterone party at Club Gretchen last night.
I arrived at the club, which is a beautiful venue in old military stables, to find it full of great-looking classic leather daddies in Tom of FInland gear.
I was a little nervous at first with so many NYC policemen uniforms- anyone who was arrested as often as I was by the NYPD would be!
It was dark and I kept it loose, using mostly broad-tip markers. The club manager came over and gave me a tea towel to put my markers on, so I wouldn’t mark up the white lucite bar – not that I would have!
Miss Natasha came onstage looking like if Rolls-Royce made hood ornaments for Star Destroyers.
You can see I didn’t really get her face right in this picture, or I drew her head too large, but her body is completely right.
The specific is the key to the deep spiritual magic of touching the universal humanity in each of us. And practise and observation is the sacred work of portraitists. I have so enjoyed drawing Miss Natasha this year!
I would have liked to draw some of the DILFs in more detail, but they were all too busy dancing!