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.
That’s the drawing on the left, in blues and greens. The Grace Bar is a very fancy place, and I never go anywhere fancy in Berlin, so it was an interesting experience. The rooftop bar was absolutely full of blue magic hour light, reflected from the blue-tinted glass of neighboring buildings and the long Berlin twilight.
It was very beautiful, but the scenesters and “influencers” at this invite-only party were completely ignoring that.
I had to leave after her first set because it was quite hot and the waiters were passing around all these frosty mojito thing drinks, which made me very thirsty! I very, very rarely feel any temptation to drink alcohol since I got sober in ’89, but a hot night and frozen drinks all around was a bad combo for me, so I went home! And quickly got to work on drawing the colors of the evening. I tried to capture that blue feel.
I was also inspired to finish an orphaned drawing from this April, when Miss Natasha performed a concert at the English Theater, with proper theatrical lighting. Me and several friends went to see her, including Giulia Caruso, a fellow artist and also fellow art collaborator with Miss Natasha. The lighting and visuals were really lovely, but unfortunately it was really dark in the seats!
So I finished the lighting and color on this from memory, my mental file of images of light particles falling on MNE’s elegant face. As a portraitist, it’s so important to me to draw the same models over and over, to really try to understand how light lies over the skin and bones of a face I know.
My friend Miss Natasha Enquist was performing and I very rarely draw outside, so I wanted to take the opportunity.
I was sitting in the shade in the tent with Roxie so I was drawing MNE from a new angle, her very lovely and hard-earned posterior!
I was intrigued by the way the straps of the accordion delineated her shoulders. An accordion is such a heavy, breathing instrument; I love to draw the way people play with their whole bodies.
I especially like the fashion-illustration style of this last one.
I was gonna be a fashion artist before I discovered superhero comics. I don’t know how long it’ll be before I can draw live again or use a pencil/brush pen, because of the bus accident I was in. So these are the last new drawings for a bit! But my orthopedist says I should heal up just fine. Meanwhile, I’ll be finishing up other things and doing other kinds of art 🙂
Hosted by Liliana Velasquez and masterminded by Wasp Summer aka Samantha Wareing, Rah Hell, and Miss Natasha Enquist, it was an amazing night of music. You can see them left to right above, bracketed by Baron Anastis and Joe Sparkle.
Here’s Liliana, sharing some filthy and hilarious anecdote about how Tom Petty was the soundtrack to her teens!
I know you can relate. The man wrote some sexy music! She also said something I loved, which was that she’s not an expat in Berlin, she’s an immigrant. As are we. She hosts the Freudian Slip Club, among many other things in this city!
And the drummess sang! Rah Hell sang AND drummed on several songs. Most impressive!
The venue was the fabulous Marie Antoinette, which is right on the river. I felt a little disoriented finding the place amidst the darkness of riverside warehouses, but then remembered the website said it’s behind the BVG building.
And the BVG building is conveniently lit up with neon in the distinctive BVG piss-yellow!
The windows of the club look out over the water, and late night cruise boats and ducks went by all evening. It’s a really beautiful place to see a show.
Here you see me working out the elegant lines of Miss Natasha Enquist’s look.
This was the first time I’d heard her indoors with decent quality sound and a live band backing her, and I could really appreciate her phenomenal singing. Checkher out, seriously.
Some folks I didn’t know performed too!
Including the amazing Ok!Chorus, which I didn’t draw because it’s like 30 people! Stephan Paul Taylor is on the right above, and that’s a quick scrawl of Joe Sparkle in the middle. More info and links coming soon! As always, I am so grateful to my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial support makes it possible for me to document Berlin life and art.
Finally finished this drawing of dancers and smoochers!
These lovely boys were crowding the dance floor at Chantal’s House of Shame. It took me a long time to finish this one because at Bassy Club I always sit on a stool in the raised loge area and it makes my perspective of the dance floor a slight, tricky downshot. Eventually I figured out the foreshortening and how to fill the space. More drawings from this night here!
Bartender at the KitKat club.
This friendly young bartender reminded me of my boyfriend Richie Barton in the 80s. This is from the night Miss Natasha Enquist and I went to KitKat; more drawings here!
Five minute gesture drawings from ESDIPBerlin Friday night Life Drawings!
With excellent model Luciano. You can see more of these here.
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!
As a portraitist, it’s so important to draw the same person over and over. It’s critical to understanding what makes each face, body and library of gestures unique.
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!
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.
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!
They’re much too big for my scanner, so I had to photograph them.
Turns out photographing pastels is hard! I guess the dust sticks and grease sticks create a lot of surface specularity.
I 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.
The Pussycat is a warm, snug lesbian bar that once a month welcomes a celebration of classic leatherman culture. This evening included head shaving, with a proper razor, and bootblacking.
I could smell the cigar smoke all the way down the block from the Ku’Damm.
I knocked on the door and Miss Natasha peered through the speakeasy peephole and let me in out of the cold.
Wow, what an amazing group of great-looking old-school (and young) leathermen and wow so much smoke! I love the smell of cigarette and cigar smoke. I smoked two packs of Marlboro Reds a day from age 13 to age 24, and people smoking freely is one of the things I love about Europe.
And yet even for me it was a lot of smoke! I actually got a tiny bit nauseous from it, like when Tom and Joe and Huck smoke corn-cob pipes on the island.
I had a fabulous time, and everyone was super friendly and nice.
The crowd was international and relaxed. It was like travelling back in time to the Chelsea of my childhood, the Chelsea and Christopher St of the ’70s and ’80s, and I felt very much at home.
I didn’t know much about bootblack fetish and culture until I worked at Wicked Grounds kink coffee shop in San Francisco in the Oughts. We had a young woman bootblack there who came in to do boot nights, and I saw the passion that people have for boot care and wear. So I was delighted to get a chance to draw Andrew the Bootshiner, above. Sadly, I missed the headshaving this time!
The Berlin Cigar Men event is produced by Olaf Hartmannsgruber. He is the same gentleman who puts on the MaleSpace main stage at Folsom Europe, which was wonderfully diverse and inclusive despite the name. I am looking forward to the next event!
I hosted an art salon for female-identifying people in our flat the night before Halloween.
It was wonderful! It was incredibly special to have a group of women artists gathered in our home, feasting on veggie and vegan treats before settling into a life drawing session with a professional artist’s model. It was like Eat and Draw instead of Drink and Draw!
I made vegan pumpkin pie, which is weirdly way better and easier than the dairy version. Way pumpkinier too!
Many people had not previously had pumpkin pie, which isn’t a thing in Germany or really most of Europe, and are now very seriously into it. Suzanne Wegh helped organize and brought hardcore salty Dutch licorice, which I thought I would not be into but really enjoyed.
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!
And I was surrounded by big, buff leathermen who were cheering Miss Natasha on and saying incredibly nice and supportive things about my drawings.
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!
I will have to get the name of the very young and very funny woman with the ukulele.
She was hilarious and pretty shocking!
See more drawings of Miss Natasha Enquist here and here and more Folsom Europe here.