This month’s theme at Uke Boogie Berlin was X for Xtra-Terrestrial.
No way was I gonna miss that! Check out alien co-host Dara Star getting some psychic energy from her glowing eyeball orb.
No way was I gonna miss that! Check out alien co-host Dara Star getting some psychic energy from her glowing eyeball orb.
What a thrill! They are the most gorgeous, creative boylesque pin-up models. I have been a fan of these multitalented muses since I discovered them through the work of master gay erotic artist Ali Franco. He has made a whole series of amazing paintings of them, collected in this beautiful calendar which I got myself earlier this year.
The Brothers are the kind of inspiration that make artists gleeful with happiness. And they are super nice!! It took me forever to finish these drawings, because I was wanted them to be perfect and to do justice to their beauty. I’m still not sure if the colored versions are better than the black and white.
So I am just very much hoping to get a chance to draw them again sometime soon, perhaps at Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin 🙂
BTW, If you like hot, tender, superbly rendered man-on-man love, check out Ali Franco’s Patreon!
I mostly drew the performers practising, as seen with the aerial duo LIttle Finch at the bottom of this page. But I did also capture a couple of special moments in the empty venue.
It looked really cool though! As did everyone who wrangled it.
Previous drawings from this event here and here, and more to come as soon as I get a second to finish them! Having the extra hours of dress rehearsal really gave me time to get into each performer’s style.
Look, I lived in the Bay Area for eighteen years. I’ve seen some aerial performers. Sarah Goody brought so much lusty power to her rope performance, and I hope I captured some of it.
This is one of those incredibly rare drawings that is so perfect I actually knew not to mess with it.
It’s a long song, and their performance was extremely complex and precise; they never missed a beat. I had no idea you could do put a ping-pong ball there!
Previous drawings from this event here, and more to come as soon as I get a second to finish them! Having the extra hours of dress rehearsal really gave me time to get into each performer’s style.
At 30″ by 80″ (76cm by 204cm), these conjoined canvases form a fine large surface. I could have gone the traditional route, setting my sitters deep within the pictorial space with plenty of air around them. But I wanted something more demanding of my abilities and more interrogative of the viewer, a compressed space with an exploded perspective that tips the viewer into the painting’s world.
I set up the perspective of the picture with the idea that Sadie and Jo should take up as much space in it as possible.
At some point in the 90s I read a quote from Roseanne Barr, where she advised young actresses to “take up as much space as you possibly can.”
I think this is a great idea for women, to just occupy space with our presence and authority and strength and certainty, and in Sadie’s case, coiled professional menace.
I approached the portrait I did of Rah Hell this summer the same way, opening and flattening the pictorial space to force the viewer to acknowledge her carelessly confident drummer’s body (below left). Our Art Nouveau herringbone wood floors work even better for distorting the perspective than the floors in my Berkeley Craftsman did.
Then I make decisions about scale and positioning, as described in the previous post, and position one foot to break the frame, my signature! This is a straightforward way of suggesting that the power of the woman in the portrait can’t be contained by the picture plane. And it also references my career in comics and my love for comic panel design.
Sadie and I reminisced about the wonderful Oughts’-era climate for sex-positive kinky art in San Francisco. We talked about the many performances and shows we did for Madison Young’s queer art gallery Femina Potens and the events, like Sadie’s birthday party, at the Center For Sex and Culture. For a while the background of the painting looked like the Leather Pride Flag!
The whole process of making the painting has been nourishing and strengthening, a collaborative meeting of minds and talents. Sadie and Jo both brought their A game to the work, serving tremendous presence and face and great physical stamina.
After the final sitting I dug in and sorted out the background and details. As much as I liked the Leather Pride colors, I wanted to paint the realistic space of my salon, to ground the figures in a real world and place the viewer in it with them.
I adjusted the perspective of the floor over and over, to give the immanence I wanted to Sadie and Jo.
And I repainted Jo’s hands like a million times, so they would only be substantial artist’s hands, not disorientingly large! I had fun painting the Autumn goddess head-dresses of leaves and rosehips Jo and Sadie wore to Folsom Europe for a performance this year.
I gave Jo a branch to hold because I was like, “Needs moar witch!” Once the details were done, it was time to separate the two canvases for transport to Ludwig, where they will be shown. I didn’t know what would happen once they were separated; the painting looked finished and resolved with them conjoined but….
Which was good, really, as it made the unused pink velvet boudoir chair more significant. I like to include pink velvet furniture, like my sadly lost dusty rose velvet model’s armchair, in my paintings. Not only is pink velvet a great visual reference to pussy, it references a powerful moment in my experience as an artist.
In 1993 I went to Philadelphia with my first husband. We went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where we saw the Cornells, Duchamp’s Étant donnés and the Degas known as both “Interior” and “The Rape”. I can’t begin to describe the impact that group of works had on me, but I can tell you the most important thing I carried away: that women need to make paintings of women.
My spiritual master as an artist, John Singer Sargent, was not sexually involved with women. He made pictures of them as beings. Numinous, sensual, prickly, elegant, fearless beings. I am hoping in the next few years to really move into my abilities as a painter, and to begin painting women with all the strength I see in them.
This work was made possible by the generosity of my Patrons on Patreon, who contribute monthly support to enable me to make art. I am so, so grateful.
You can help for as little as a buck a month!
It was a very comfortable and relaxed scene. On my way in I saw what I thought for a moment was security frisking backpacks. Then I realized it was just a group of uniform fetish players looking for their beer or gear or something!
Because I was a child in Chelsea in the 70s, I really love the classic leather daddy and uniform looks. It feels like being wrapped in a warm blanket to see gay men rocking the old school Christopher St Clone style.
I was very casual myself, unlike my friend Sadie Lune who wore gorgeous high leather regalia and an Autumn goddess headpiece, which inspired the big diptych of her and her girlfriend Jo Pollux I just finished. You can see my previous Folsom Europe posts here:
The show was called the “Sunken Ship Show!” Check out Alfred Ladylike and Baron Anastis, above. I feel like I got a very good likeness of Baron, who is a professional life model as well as rocking out with both Donut Heart and Baron and the Erinyes.
Well and truly is it said that she is the sexiest and most amazing dork in all Berlin. Also kinda cool, the drawings form a panorama of the stage! By accident mostly, I’ve never done that before.
I also wore an amazing mermaid outfit, although I only made the jewelry and headpiece of mine!
Check out how great we look and how cool Arcanoa is! There is a running stream built into the bar. It is probably neither safe not sanitary, but it is beautiful. Living in Berlin is heaven.
He belted out some fine sea shanties later as well.
New Donut Heart video online here.
You can see I’ve scaled down Jo’s body significantly and adjusted the room and furnishings as well. I made her enormous hands much smaller, although enormous hands are cool! I had made them so large I had to repaint them twice to get them normal size 🙂
One foot of at least one model always breaks the frame in every one of my portraits, and it was best if it was Sadie’s new Fleuvog boot, so I moved Jo’s knee and feet back.
You can see the previous pass of post sitting work above, the color clarification pass where I clean up muddy colors from the first sitting.
More info in the first post!
So of course I was there to see her. And the other women on stage. There were plenty, despite the event being produced by male.space! ! Miss Natasha was styled for the event by legendary Berlin fetish wear designer Butcherei Lindinger.
She played a set you can check out here and also my favorite cover, “The Cat Came Back”. She got down and twerked and waggled her cock at the audience. You might have thought it was pretty transgressive for a mainly-gay-men event, but the crowd loved it!
She told jokes about working in a house in New York, which I was greatly entertained by. It took me back to the 80s when my friends worked at a house in the Meatpacking District. She was wearing a bespoke latex gown from The Baroness!
She was hilarious and pretty shocking!
This is my first diptych painting. It is being done on two canvases, which will be hung together or separately at the choice of my curator Thorsten at @ludwig.berlin when we show the works in early October!
Sadie is wearing her beautiful black leather Alexandra corset by @darkgardencorsetry. Jo, a photographer, is wearing a marvelous outfit of a little ruffled white dress and a cage harness of black elastic, which I will paint in at the next sitting. And they will have Autumn headdresses of rosehips!
I have wanted to paint Sadie since I met her at “Nude Aid”, an art benefit for the Center for Sex and Culture, in 2007. She is an artist, performer, sex worker and activist and has marvelous style and presence. The day I met her she was working as both artist and model as she often does. She was wearing a cloche, I remember it so vividly!
As the drawings were all sold that day for a fundraiser, I don’t have a picture of it, alas.
We talked that day about a portrait collaboration, but with our busy, frantic, community-focussed, subsistence working lives as Bay Area artists, we were never able to make it happen in the US.
I did make several drawings of her at events, like the one above of her at her birthday party (also at the CSC) in a latex dress. That party was full of amazing performances, like Jiz Lee and Syd Blakovich doing a work from their Twincest collaboration with blood-drinking and fisting.
Sadie invited the audience to use her body as a canvas for “birthday bites” and we all decorated her with bite marks!
I drew her again in 2009, when she performed with her snake at Art of Restraint, a regular fundraiser for queer art gallery Femina Potens. Here’s Violet Blue’s photo of the scene. and her shot of me drawing Fivestar.
We both were constantly donating time and art to fundraisers for the sex-positive and queer art community in the Bay Area in 2006-2010. My policy for five years was, if someone in the community asked me for any art or art labor, I said yes. So we were doing the same events in the scene all the time. Here’s another shot of me drawing at another Art of Restraint. You can see my red flowered head in this one from another Nude Aid. These events were so beautiful and magical, so queer and body-positive and great for community resources. They didn’t leave us as much time for personal projects as we would have liked, though!
She was tremendously helpful in the year before we moved here, providing critical advice about how to prepare for life here and apply for an artist’s visa. (By the way I was granted a two-year artist’s visa of my own on August 28th!)
It has taken us until now to sort out doing a portrait at last, because we both face health challenges and Sadie has a little one, who is now four.
And that’s fine. It takes time to come together for personal-project portraits.
it took a year to schedule and another two years to finish the sittings for my portrait of Midori, for example!
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