Suzanne Forbes, an expat New Yorker in Berlin. Made possible by the generous support of her Patrons. https://www.patreon.com/SuzanneForbes. Former DC Penciller for Star Trek, former courtroom artist, painting portraits and teaching drawing.
And here is a member of community just chilling the heck out.
They are relaxing in the safe space that is queer bar and art gallery, Ludwig Berlin. Opening a radically inclusive, trans, lesbian and nonbinary welcoming, gay art bar in Neukölln has been a challenging journey for Maurus and Ceven, who run the space. I am so grateful the community has stepped up to support Ludwig, a beautiful and warm clubhouse for creative queers and their companions.
And amazing multi-talented singer-domina–bondage artistKristina Marlen, who was there with her lovely mom. Ms. Marlen knocked the room out with a classic Berliner cabaret tune.
Her mom bought the drawing in the fundraiser auction, which delighted me!
It is my goal to always make myself available for LGBTQIA, sex-positive, kinky, and alternative community benefits if my spoons/health allow. In the Bay Area I did a ton of benefits and fundraisers, and I am slowly ramping up here!
I can do this work because of my wonderful Patrons on Patreon, who provide the monthly financial support that makes it possible for me to document queer life in Berlin!!
If you want an art donation for a benefit or want me to draw at an event, just let me know 🙂 I’m on Instagram here.
I went to our much-loved art hangout Ludwig on Friday for my friend Sue’s birthday.
Sue is an artist and curator and we have done lovelyartevents at Ludwig, however this time we were just checking out the current show and chilling. I made drawings of some friends who were there. S. was wearing their internal clitoris necklace from a local Berlin artist!
Super pleased with this likeness of E., who I was meeting for the first time.
And as always, incredibly grateful to my Patreon Patrons, for making it possible for me to make portraits of these Berlin folx and share them.
Ok not much else to say cause I got SO MANY drawings to finish and scan and post from the rest of this Big Gay Weekend!
She was born on the same continent I was; nowadays she identifies as a “Citizen of the World”, and teaches German here in Berlin. She’s lived all over the planet; maybe all the experience is what keeps her so young. My friend Maurus, who owns Ludwig, calls the beautiful photos he takes of his guests “Souls of Ludwig“. I love the idea that we are all souls, meeting here in this world.
We were talking about the schedule for the Illustration Intensive course for the summer, when we get students from all over the world. Sara is from Spain, Omar is from Ecuador, and Sarah is from the UK. But we were all united by a discussion of how appallingly expensive, and yet wildly desirable, the new iPad Pro with the stylus is.
Berlin is a place for all souls to freely be themselves.
And I am so grateful to my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial support makes it possible for me to tell these stories.
This was the last pose of our Women’s Art Lounge, and we all loved it so much we asked her to hold it for an extra twenty minutes. You can see three other woman artists interpreting it in the first post about the Art Lounge.
And for good measure, here are two more elf drawings.
I wish all of you reading this the happiest holidays, at this beautiful inward-looking time, the turning of the year.
There’s something physical about the way they have to lean into the instrument, its spinelike flexibility, that just blows my mind. It’s like they have a person in their lap and they are squeezing music out of them!
So when Dirk Rave came onstage at Ludwig the other night with his accordion i was delighted to draw him. Amazingly, after I wrote the above, I went to his website to add the link, and guess what I read???!
“The proportion of the instrument can not be underestimated: the accordion breathes. This makes it the ideal partner of a singing man, whether it is a baroque, a pop song or a classic French chanson.”
So I was right! It is about the physicality and proportions of the accordion, it adds a unique dimension to a performance! Isn’t that cool, that Dirk and I share this notion and didn’t even know it?
Dirk performed several of his original compositions, then was joined by Danish tenor Mads Elung-Jensen.
They were GREAT! You can see them perform together yourself here. It was a performance way the hell out of the league of a quiet Thursday night in Neukölln, exactly the kind of unexpected miracle Berlin specializes in.
I wanted to use only grey tones, because I worry that I’m in danger of developing laziness around values from using pink and umber. I knew I had to be careful to leave the open space of the kraft paper as a value and that I needed deep darks to convey the night-time feel of the bar. I could just barely wrangle it all together, and it devolved for a bit.
Sargent said that if you control the midtones you control the painting.
I am working on midtones, trying to use them more effectively. Since I developed my entire style of drawing to be reproducible black and white linework for comics, that’s challenging to me. I still find spotting hard blacks is helpful when the drawing isn’t reading clearly.
Having a true peer that you see and work with often is so crucial to artists.
Dariais such an important part of my growth as an artist here in Berlin. It’s her voice I hear in my head when I want to overwork a drawing, and her voice I heard tonight saying, “When in doubt, add more black!”.
For the second drawing I kept it simpler, leaving more of the paper surface open. While pattern and value ensure it reads easily, it doesn’t have the same night-time feel. My next sketchbook is going to be a Canson grey tone pad. Sargent painted on canvases toned with a cool grey midtone, and I am excited to try using pastels to work on that kind of base! Wow, the 50th-birthday gift of greyscalemarkers from my beloved friend-muse-PatronClear really opened the drawing door for me!
Art will come to life at 8pm on August 19 at Ludwig, Anzengrubenstrasse 3, in Neukölln.
Natasha Artworx body painting!
People will be the canvas, experiences will be documented on the spot, gender roles will be reversed. Come to Ludwig, join and meet us and have a toast to this whimsical art affair!
Ludwig is a lovely queer-embracing space that is designed to show art beautifully. We will be exhibiting brand new works by me, Natascha Artworx (who will also be doing bodypainting) and curator/artist Suzanne Wegh.
I love to draw musicians. They are among my most favorite subjects.
As a non-musical person, being able to create music is like some kind of sorcery to me. So when I was invited to draw live at the party for the release of Donut Heart‘s new video I was very excited. Look at Alfred Ladylike and Rah Hell tearing it up!! The songs are hilarious, “Dude Band” is possibly my favorite. Rah used a heavy piece of chain for percussion at one point, which is not a thing I had ever seen. Although I dated a drummer for two years in my teens!
What a great time I had! Such a wonderful circle of people, and such delightful performances.
I helped Rah glaze the vegan donuts because if there is one thing I know, it’s getting sweet treats ready for a party. There were many highly drawable attractions at the Donut Heart event, as you can see.
Kay was a boylesque Jesus, and kindly expiated one of my many sins.
Natascha did body painting like this cupcake on my bosom!
You can see her here body painting live on stage. She is an artist on non-human canvases as well.
David sang “Chocolate Jesus” from the Holy Book of Tom Waits.
It was grand!
Ludwig is a wonderfully cozy clubhouse of a bar/gallery, staffed by barefoot punks in skirts!
It feels like your friend’s living room. Look how chill the altar boys are, enjoying their beers.