Tag Archives: cadbury parfait

Painting Cadbury Parfait, second sitting.

It’s been a busy summer for performer/producer Cadbury Parfait, and I’ve been sick an awful lot, so it took a while to schedule our second sitting.

It went great though!

Portrait of Cadbury Parfait second sitting by Suzanne Forbes August 21 2019Cadbury is a total professional and working with her is terrific.

The painting is coming along very well.

I have a new tool, a USB-powered LED light bar with multiple color temperatures.

It replaces the bulky, expensive full-spectrum OTT-Lites I used in the US, which I donated to the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse when we left for Berlin. My new light has LED bulbs and is much lighter and smaller. It’s working great, and was super cheap.

Cadbury’s next Berlin solo show as a performer is at Zum Starken August on August 31.

And this Fall there is gonna be a fantasy-themed Extravagant Shambles, which I’m super excited about!


Portrait of Cadbury Parfait, first sitting!

Portrait of Cadbury Parfait work in process June 2019 by Suzanne ForbesThe minute I met Berlin burlesque producer and performer Cadbury Parfait, I wanted to paint her picture.

She is exceptionally beautiful, and she has fantastic personal style, grace and power. She performs and produces wonderfully naughty, sexy, political, intersectional burlesque shows. Plus, she’s funny!

So we scheduled a sitting, which is challenging because she’s one of the busiest people in the Berlin burlesque scene, and got started. I had a fine large canvas given to me by one of my Patrons, and it is thrilling to be working large again.

I really prefer to paint on the biggest canvas possible for a home studio, so the subject’s figure is one third to one half life-size. We settled on her 1930s style Voodoo Vixen gown in sapphire blue velvet for Cadbury’s outfit, and kept everything else simple and natural.

As sometimes happen, I lost the thread during the process – I made good headway to capturing her likeness and proportions, then screwed it up. This is an almost inevitable part of the portrait painting process; there’s generally at least one point where I almost have it and then lose it, either by accident or design.

So while much of the structure you see is a good foundation, the essential spirit and humor of Cadbury’s personality is currently AWOL. Working back in forth in that uncertainty of recovering the good bit, tolerating the fact that you’ve fucked it up, is part of the process. Keats called our ability to tolerate uncertainty the “negative capacity”.

Whistler used to wipe down the canvas to a shadow after every sitting, then start over.

His process was the process of seeing the sitter and painting the sitter, and he stopped when he did it enough times to hit the sweet spot, know it and call it. I often have to explain this to my sitters, who may be startled that what looked like a really promising portrait has turned weird, or awkward, or lost an arm. Cadbury, who has a striking way with words, got it instantly and phrased it this way: “It’s like the Rubik’s Cube – you have to destroy it in order to fix it! You almost have it except that one orange square – but you have to break the whole thing to get that part right.”

That’s exactly, exactly how it is. I’m used to it, so I trust the process.

Cadbury’s next production is the all-queer-performer

Extravagant Shambles Presents: Pride, Not Prejudice on July 25 at Monster Ronsons!

and all profits from this show are going to an LGBTQ+ cause! And it’s at beloved East Berlin queer clubhouse Monster Ronsons, which has some shitty A/C, which is 200% better than 99% of Berlin venues! Some of my very fave local performers will be onstage, like Noeline la Bouche, as well as breathtakingly gorg out-of-towners like Betty Fvck and Lily Lustre, both of whom I’ve drawn once and been simply CRAVING to draw again!

This is a can’t-miss Pride event, and I’m so excited!

Another lovely Extravagant Shambles!

Cadbury Parfait at Extravagant Shambles by Suzanne Forbes Oct 20 2018What a great job Cadbury Parfait does putting together her burlesque shows at 800a in Wedding.

That’s the lady herself above, doing a routine to “All by Myself” that showcased her comic timing as much as her great beauty. I really like the cosy theater-bar venue 800a and was able to fight my way to the front of the stage this time!

MC Sarah Tonin, below, in a dress by Harry Hardon!.Sera Tonin at Extravagant Shambles by Suzanne Forbes Oct 20 2018

The very beautiful Ruby de Cadence!Ruby de Cadence at Extravagant Shambles by Suzanne Forbes Oct 20 2018

Stella von Fersen, celebrating Halloween’s candy-related pleasures.Stella von Fersen at Extravagant Shambles by Suzanne Forbes Oct 20 2018

A new-to-me performer, marvelous La Loba Lucía.

Loved her warrior woman cowgirl routine and she makes costume parts herself, using cosplay materials like Worbla!Lalobalucia at Extravagant Shambles by Suzanne Forbes Oct 29 2018

Burlesquer and drag king Fifi Fantome!
At Extravagant Shambles by Suzanne Forbes Oct 20 2018

Agata D Mon at Extravagant Shambles by Suzanne Forbes Oct 20 2018And Agata D’Mon , above, spooky in mask and then eating some fire! Like you do.

Agata D Mon eating fire at Extravagant Shambles by Suzanne Forbes Oct 29 2018Thanks so much to my Patrons on Patreon, who make it possible for me to document Berlin’s queer intersectional burlesque scene and release the artwork free to all.

You can learn more about sharing and using my free documentary art here, and you can help for a little as a dollar/euro a month!