On February 14, a small group of female-identifying people gathered at Ludwig Berlin to make art out of a pile of magazines, glue and scissors.
With the help and support of Suzanne Wegh, I tried paper collage for the first time. What a startling process!
It was not at all like I thought it would be! It was confusing, and mysterious! I thought it would be challenging, but it was in fact quite a bit harder than it looks.
First of all, it never occurred to me that you could move the pieces of the picture around before you glued them down.
Until Suzanne explained that’s what she does! I was as startled as I was the first time someone showed me windows being minimized and moved around on a computer, in 1996. With my bricolage shadowbox projects, I glue each thing down as I go.
This idea of fluid composition broke my brain!
I saw this greyed out pastel flower paper and wound up choosing a palette of images and materials related to it, and then making this rococo chicken being ridden by a chicken princess.
I wanted to make a Baba Yaga! What the heck??
So I decided to just go with the process, even though for someone as afraid of artistic failure as me that was pretty scary. I’m learning things I never expected to about composition, pattern and color from my bricolage and mixed media work. I can see how those things could be put to work in making collage art, but I’m a long way from being able to do it.
I was really amazed at how the other women could make their collages look like something so easily. I mean, make them look like resolved images. The one below, which Suzanne made, is just beautiful. You can read about her experience of our collage adventure on her Patreon here.
The Medusa with butterflies at the top was actually the third I made, and the only one I felt sort of resolved into an actual picture. And that expresses my style, with its beetles and jewel colors! Why is Megan Markle’s head on fire? I have no idea! It just happened!
I don’t know if I’ll try collaging again right away; it was pretty disorienting for me. But I’m so glad and proud we created a safe space for me to try it.
We went to the Sunday Slips Extravaganza at Lagari for New Year’s.
This year though, lots of our friends were performing/going to Lagari so we got on the M29 bus and went to Neukölln.
It was so wonderful to ride on the upper deck of my beloved M29 along the river of stars that is the Ku’Damm at New Years.
I felt ridiculously, absurdly fortunate to be riding the bus to friends with my husband in a city that was not just safe, but sparkling.
Well, exploding, really, but I like the noise and fireworks of Silvester! We arrived at Lagari around ten, just as the open mic session was ending.
The host of the event, Liliana Velásquez, is someone I drew previously at Folsom Europe. You can see her dancing with friends in the top drawing. As well as hosting the Sunday Slips, the weekly clubhouse of Freudian Slip Club, she is part of the Fetish Comedy group.
Her partner Wynton Kelly Stevenson is an amazing one-man band.
We were blown away by his sounds, created with harmonica, beatbox and Loopstation. And his sound is super danceable. Hubbin got up and danced a bit along with the folks of all ages who enjoy the chill Lagari scene!
…the rocked to fuck show by Alfred Ladylike and Rah Hell of Donut Heart!
They were joined at the end by Liliana, who just learned to play the bass!
At one point Rah had to stand up and drum because her drum was trying to escape the pounding she was giving it. Wynton had to lie on it to hold it in place. Berlin is punk as fuck.
Berlin art and music fam, we love you!
Miss Natasha Enquist was performing at the DILF/Testosterone party at Club Gretchen last night.
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!
Miss Natasha came onstage looking like if Rolls-Royce made hood ornaments for Star Destroyers.
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!
I’ll have to wait til the next Cigar Lounge!
Here is Miss Natasha Enquist resting peacefully in the cozy corner at Ludwig.
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.
Just 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.
Ludwig performed an opera!
This gent with bowler and cane brought the gun show!
You can see the previous Bordello Bizarre drawings here.
This past Sunday I organized the first Women’s Art Lounge at Ludwig Berlin.
I 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.
Both Kelsey and Alexandra, who is known around Berlin as artist’s meetup organizer BarSketcher, were using iPad Pro tablets and Procreate software.
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.
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.
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!!!
Unique, 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!
She 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.
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.
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!
My 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.
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.
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.
I 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.
I 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.
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!
Here 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 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.