Tag Archives: traditional portraiture for alternative lifestyles

Sexy male people and a colorful textile artist at Bordello Bizarre!

Unicorn at Bordello Bizarre by Suzanne Forbes Dec 20 2017Just finished up the rest of the drawings from Bordello Bizarre at Bassy Club.

The colorful woman below is an Australian textile and multimedia artist named Anto Christ; she made her marvelous outfit.Dancers at Bordello Bizarre by Suzanne Forbes Dec 20 2017

Ludwig performed an opera!

Ludwig opera at Bordello Bizarre by Suzanne Forbes Dec 20 2017This gent with bowler and cane brought the gun show!

Gent with bowler and cane at Bordello Bizarre by Suzanne Forbes Dec 20 2017You can see the previous Bordello Bizarre drawings here.

Thank you for having me at the Bordello Bizarre party, Joseph, and thank you so much to my Patrons on Patreon for providing the monthly sponsorship that allows me to document Queer, Indy, Punk as Fuck Berlin!

You can help with as little as a dollar a month 🙂

 

Women’s Art Lounge at Ludwig, with a Wonder-Elf!

Artists and elf Dec 17 2017 by Suzanne ForbesThis past Sunday I organized the first Women’s Art Lounge at Ludwig Berlin.

Here are artists Suzanne Wegh and Alexandra Ru sketching our holiday elf, who is reading a very long naughty list! Other art friends present included Giulia Caruso, The Artist Minotaur.

Miss Natasha Enquist by Giulia Caruso dec 17 2017

Miss Natasha Enquist by Giulia Caruso, Dec 17 2017

Cheeky Elf Miss Natasha Enquist by Suzanne Forbes Dec 17 2017I engaged my favorite life model, Miss Natasha Enquist, and our lovely group of woman-identifying Berlin artists gathered to draw.

Miss Natasha wore her fabulous Elf outfit! Her Fluevog boots made the best elf boots ever.

I don’t know why so many of my models wear Fluevog, I swear I’ve drawn at least twenty people in them!

Miss Natasha also had a string of red and green lights AND the battery pack for the lights fit perfectly in the back pocket of her candy-apple red shorts which just slayed me! Professional at work.

 

Check out this gorgeous digital drawing from illustrator Kelsey Bass.

Miss Natasha Enquist by Kelsey Bass Dec 17 2017

Miss Natasha Enquist by Kelsey Bass Dec 17 2017

Both Kelsey and Alexandra, who is known around Berlin as artist’s meetup organizer BarSketcher, were using iPad Pro tablets and Procreate software.

drawing by Suzanne Wegh Dec 17 2017

drawing by Suzanne Wegh Dec 17 2017

Daria got one of them early this year, and seeing her experiment with it has made me feel like digital drawing technology is finally at a place where I want to try it.

Now I just need a Patron to gift me one!

Alexandra has a cool time-lapse of her drawing on her insta. Meanwhile Suzanne went in the opposite direction, using white pencil on black paper for this lovely drawing of MNE’s hands.

 

It was very cozy in the middle room at Ludwig, with our group of woman-identifying artists gathered close.

Miss Natasha Enquist posing at Ludwig photo by Suzanne Wegh Dec 17 2017

Miss Natasha Enquist posing at Ludwig; photo by Suz Wegh Dec 17 2017

I made vegan peanut butter chocolate bars and flourless chocolate cake with pistachio icing to keep our strength up. Turns out it is quite easy to make vegan chocolate with cocoa butter and cocoa powder.

I had to request a drastic music change; Maurus was playing some kind of classical stuff I am not sophisticated enough to appreciate.

So we switched to Parliament which always makes everyone feel good!

 

It was a lovely time, and I look forward to our next gathering together, whether it’s in my salon like the Halloween Art Salon or at Ludwig, like this one and the A(RT)ffair Suzanne, NataschaArtworx and I put on last summer.

Wonder Elf by Suzanne Forbes Dec 17 2017

I can do things like things for Berlin’s art community and pay professional artist’s models like Miss Natasha because of the monthly support of my Patrons on Patreon.

Patreon is a subscription support service where you can automatically contribute financially to an artist. You can contribute as as little as a dollar (or euro) a month! And it has changed my life!!!

Pastel and mixed media experiments on Canson Mi-Teintes, with cats!

Miss Natasha Enquist with Cat by Suzanne Forbes Dec 17 2017I finally finished up these drawings of Miss Natasha Enquist from our Halloween Women’s Art Salon.

I was scared to work on big drawings with pastels, so I worked on them to procrastinate when I was even more scared of finishing the pastel portrait of Iris!

Miss Natasha Enquist with Cat by Suzanne Forbes Dec 17 2017 detailThey’re much too big for my scanner, so I had to photograph them.

Miss Natasha Enquist in Cat Mask by Suzanne Forbes Dec 17 2017Turns out photographing pastels is hard! I guess the dust sticks and grease sticks create a lot of surface specularity.

Miss Natasha Enquist in Cat Mask by Suzanne Forbes Dec 17 2017 detailI hope you get the idea anyway. I am pleased with them, and working on them moved me along the road of using pastels and gave me enough confidence to finish the picture of Iris. Which is much closer to a true pastel painting.

I love the process, even when I’m scared. And I love my Patreon Patrons for making possible the space I am working the process in.

A deeper dive into pastels with Iris Perez.

Portrait of Iris Perez by Suzanne Forbes Dec 17 2017We are lucky to enjoy visitors from the Bay Area so often here in Berlin.

Our dear friend Nathan was in town and was joined by powerful creative force Iris Perez. I asked her if she would pose for a quick painting and she said yes.

However, on the night she arrived for painting, my perimenopause fatigue was severe.

suzanne forbes drawing iris perez dec 2017I didn’t have the physical energy to set up a palette or the strength for the larger arm and shoulder movements of moving around the long brushes I use.

Fortunately I’ve been gradually experimenting with pastels for the first time since childhood this year.

Suzanne Forbes drawing Iris Perez with Morgan Dec 2017And I have a nice large pad of legendary Canson Mi Teintes, a pad of various sepia and buff toned papers with marvelous tooth.

Just like I had at the Art Students League during Summer Drawing for Children in 1977!

Portrait of Iris Perez by Suzanne Forbes Dec 17 2017 detailThis year I came to feel that pastels could have the kind of power I want in an image, and the kind of creepy sexy cool style I love. It happened through seeing the work of artist Barnaby Whitfield on Instagram . There are some other pastel artists I am enjoying as well, like Elena Pancorbo who has really impeccable technique.

I can’t say I will ever become anything like a real pastel painter, but I am enjoying experimenting with them as part of my mixed media toolbox!

Iris is wearing a Dollymop for Dark Garden corset and leather glovettes by Xenolux.

Cosmic Pussy Power – MC Gaff-E onstage at Bordello Bizarre!

Gaff E at Bordello Bizarre Bassy Club 2 Dec 14 2017 by Suzanne ForbesUnique, spellbinding, confrontational: I got to draw international performance artist and tornado of woman Gaff-E last weekend!

I was invited to draw at Bordello Bizarre again, and this time I was well enough to do it. Thank the goddess, cause the performers were amazing subjects. I really pulled out the stops trying to capture the furious spirit of Gaff-E, who I had not seen perform before. She is a lioness onstage!

Gaff E at Bordello Bizarre Bassy Club 1 Dec 14 2017 by Suzanne ForbesShe was wearing a third eye on her forehead and her eye makeup was that of the alien Sh’iar Empress Lilandra.

She started out in a dress and shed layers of glittering Bowie bodysuits. These drawings reveal my roots in comics more than any I’ve done in years, because Gaff E really gives superhero vibes. Ya gotta see her incredible self-styled portraits – she works as a stylist as well as classically trained musician turned postpunk renegade and dj.

Gaff E at Bordello Bizarre Bassy Club 3 Dec 12 2017 by Suzanne Forbes

At one point she was howling at the adoring audience, “I exist!” in a combination of wonder and fury.

There is no better mantra for a woman artist in these terrible times. At the end, clad in nothing but her completely OTT hair and her growling, demanding, interrogative performance, she pulled out her tampon and flung it on the stage. I have seen many things, but never that classic riot grrl move, and I’m so glad I got to draw it. I feel like this drawing came partly from Gaff E onstage and partly from the images branded in my mind of Anthony McCall’s iconic photos of Carolee Schneemann performing “Interior Scroll”.

I feel so lucky to be here in Berlin, documenting all these women rocking the fuck out.

Gaff E at Bordello Bizarre by Sara Herrlander Dec 8 2017

Gaff E at Bordello Bizarre by Sara Herrlander Dec 8 2017

Thank you for having me at the Bordello Bizarre party, Joseph, and thank you for your warmth and friendliness backstage and your indelible performance, Gaff E! Check Gaff E’s music here. More Bordello Bizarre drawings coming soon!

And thank you so much to my Patrons on Patreon for providing the monthly sponsorship that allows me to document Queer, Indy, Punk as Fuck Berlin!

You can help with as little as a dollar a month 🙂

 

 

Band practise with Baron Anastis and the Erinyes in a secret space!

Rah Hell at the Catacombs Dec 6 2017 by Suzanne ForbesMy wonderful drummer muse Rah Hell is in a second band, besides Donut Heart, now.

The band is called Baron Anastis and the Erinyes and consists of Baron, Joe Dochtermann and Rah. They are a sexy-punk glam-punk triad! They rehearse at an undisclosed (and remarkable) location, in a space called (with reason) The Catacombs.

Baron Anastis and the Erinyes by Kim Hven of Kimera Photography

Baron Anastis and the Erinyes by Kim Hven of Kimera Photography

The band came and had a photo shoot in my studio last month, it was lovely to help them get all funky and be photographed! I was flinging props and wardrobe at them like a maniac, my secret fantasy career has always been set dresser or costume designer.

Here’s frontman Baron at The Catacombs, growling and crooning over his handsome polished wood bass.

Baron Anastis catacombs Dec5 2017 by Suzanne Forbes

Drawing Joe, below, is such fun. He is a classic rocker.

The guys were coming in on one of the songs a little Hendrix-y, as I drew these, and arguing about a pedal. I was loving being in a rehearsal space for the first time in a long time, really enjoying the way you can hear the music when you are an audience of one. It sounds different when there’s only a couple meatsuits for it to bounce through. The band already has a real sound, too.

Joe Dochtermann at the Catacombs by Suzanne Forbes Dec 5 2017I did four drawings of Rah behind the drum kit, in front of the space mural with its flaming asteroid.

I think you can see the progress in them. I did a pencil sketch of the drum kit for the first, to get a handle on how it takes up space in the space. You can see the ghosts of innumerable corrections for scale and perspective. With the second I opted to use just a stick of compressed charcoal on the smooth paper, for crude power and speed.

Rah Hell drumming in the catacombs Dec 5 2017 by Suzanne Forbes 1 and 2I am getting used to drawing the physicality of a drum kit, and the struggle to find an angle where you can actually see the drummer’s movements.

I’ve been drawing accordionist and guitarist musicians for decades, and made a great long-term study of a cellist with Unwoman over eight years in the Bay Area, but this is the first time I’ve worked on getting a drummer’s energy and movements down.

On the third drawing I sketched in a rough outline with charcoal, wiped it out and drew over it with my PITT “B” pen. And the fourth was pure charcoal again.

Rah Hell drumming in the catacombs by Suzanne Forbes Dec 5 2017 3 and 4

Next time I go to the secret space I’m gonna take my Windsor and Newton Series 7 Sable, some Sumi Ink and a big newsprint pad.

Gonna get SERIOUSLY loose and kick out the jams!

You can see dozens more musician drawings here on flickr. As always, I am so grateful to my beautiful Patrons on Patreon for providing the monthly sponsorship that allows me to document Queer, Indy, Punk as Fuck Berlin!

 

The Cabaret Spirit of Berlin, alive in people.

Silver Man at Vaudeville Variete Revue by Suzanne Forbes Nov 30 2017Here are some marvelous Berlin artists and performers from my October drawing spree!

My tablemates at Vaudeville Variety Revue were all very kind and enjoyed my drawing. The silver man is a friend of LaLaVox, who co-produces Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin, and I will have to get his name from her. His silver face makeup was the best I’ve ever seen, and his sheer chiffon gown over his silver suit was actually yellow with yellow pompoms and huge yellow faceted rhinestones!

Le Pustra at Dr Sketchys Berlin by Suzanne Forbes Nov 30 2017Le Pustra is an incredible performer, producer and muse.

Here he is releasing some hooligan spirits from Valentina Demonia , who was one of the models at Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin in October. Here are some of my previous drawings of this elegant man and here is his Instagram so you can check out his ethereal works!

Jo Pollux is an amazing photographer.

I drew this at her installation of her photographs at the Berlin Porn Film Fest. She was exhibiting a series she had just shot that week called “As you wish, my Lady”, which featured Sadie Lune. I stared at the pictures for a long time in the small crowded theater. They are full of mystery and time, like Le Pustra’s evocation of Weimar Berlin.

I am only beginning to open the jewel box of inspiration and fascination that is the people of Berlin.

Chris Harder: Rhinestone Cowboylesque!

Chris Harder Vaudeville Variete Revue by Suzanne Forbes Nov 27 2017Another performer I really liked drawing at Vaudeville Variety was Chris Harder.

He is seriously HARD-working and honestly worked the stage into a lather! And he was super friendly and nice, and is made entirely of cheekbones and muscles, like an ambassador from the Buff Gayboy Planet. He wore a light-up g-string, which was grand!!

Chris Harder pre show at Vaudeville Variete Revue by Suzanne Forbes Nov 27 2017Spending time at the theater during rehearsal gave me a wonderful opportunity to see the performers in regular lighting.

I made rough drawings to get to know their movement, like the one below. I got to look at them up close and chat with them during dinner.

Chris Harder sketch at Wintergarten Berlin Oct 10 2017 by Suzanne ForbesPrevious drawings from this event hereherehere and here. Thank you Sheila Wolf, producer of Berlin’s fabulous Vaudeville Variety Revue, for your hospitality!

And thanks to my beautiful Patrons on Patreon for providing the monthly sponsorship that allows me to document Queer Berlin!

Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin: The Haunted Medium and the Ghost Bride.

dr sketchys Berlin drawings by Suzanne Forbes Nov 26 2017Dr. Sketchy’s here in Berlin features elaborately costumed models, fabulous sets, and often multiple skits and wardrobe changes.

Dr Sketchys Berlin Haunted Medium by Suzanne Forbes Nov 25 2017I really enjoyed the saga of the medium who is possessed by the ghost of a bride.

And working on different transparency techniques for the bride’s veil!

Dr Sketchys Berlin Ghost Bride by Suzanne Forbes Nov 26 2017

As you can see I purchased my first white gel pen and used it for the first time on these.

Like all other tools I use, my crude multi-media “technique” will quickly contaminate it with chalk particles and destroy it! But it sure was fun to have something precise to make marks on the Strathmore Toned Gray paper with. It was so much like using the Pentel White Paint Markers that first appeared at Pearl Paint around 1981-1982. They were the biggest thing ever for us NYC graffiti writers!Dr Sketchys Berlin Ghost Bride and Haunted Medium by Suzanne Forbes Nov 26 2017

I had to photograph this one rather than trim it for the scanner cause there was just too much going on at the edges!

I should either get a bigger scanner or start not using the whole page, which is unlikely since “use the whole page” was drilled into me at Parsons from age seventeen.

Previous post from this session here. Thank you LaLaVox and Le Pustra for another incredible night! What a gift you give us!

And thanks to my Patrons on Patreon whose financial support makes it possible for me to go to events like this. You are the best.

Previous Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin posts hereherehere and here.

 

 

Genderqueer Berlin at its finest: Vaudeville Variete Revue favorites!

Lou at Vaudeville Variete Revue by Suzanne Forbes Nov 25 2017Finally got a minute and I’m finishing up the last of the Vaudeville Variety drawings.

Here’s showboy Lou Henry Hoover, of Kitten N’ Lou. Lou is a tremendous performer but I confess I did not know the pop song or get the joke of this act; everyone else was laughing though!

Dusty Limits at Vaudeville Variete Revue by Suzanne Forbes Nov 25 2017And Dusty Limits, singing the Cabaret classic “Don’t Tell Mama”.

Dusty was the emcee and very charming. I attempted to persuade him and his creature to move to Berlin.

Epiphany Get Paid at Vaudeville Variety Revue by Suzanne Forbes Nov 25 2017Epiphany Get Paid opened the show singing a customized version of “Science Fiction Double Feature”.

It was torchy and lovely and had callouts like “Miss Mosh was there in silver underwear”. Epiphany is on the Instas here!

Previous drawings from this event herehere and here, and the last few 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.

Thank you Sheila Wolf, producer of Berlin’s fabulous Vaudeville Variety Revue, for your hospitality!

And thanks to my beautiful Patrons on Patreon for providing the monthly sponsorship that allows me to document Queer Berlin!