Tag Archives: traditional portraiture for alternative lifestyles

Pride, Not Prejudice: an all-queer Extravagant Shambles – Wrap-Up!!

Noeline la Bouche at Pride Not Prejudice Sept 7 2019 by Suzanne ForbesThe last batch of drawings from Pride, Not Prejudice at  Monster Ronsons!

Fabulous muse Noéline la Bouche shook it in purple, amazing as always. Afterwards I visited her at her booth where she sells her beautiful fascinators and headpieces – check her insta to see what shows she’s selling at.

Felicity Felicis at Pride Not Prejudice Sept 7 2019 by Suzanne ForbesRock’em sock’em showgirl Felicity Felicis!

She is so gorgeous and sassy!

Skirt Vonnegut at Pride Not Prejudice Sept 7 2019 by Suzanne ForbesA thoroughly Longbottom routine from Skirt Vonnegut!

They told me about this routine in advance but I am a movie-potter not book Potter person so I may have missed some subtleties!

Lily Lustre at Pride Not Prejudice Sept 7 2019 by Suzanne ForbesAnd the rose of English Roses, Lily Lustre!

I was so thrilled to draw her again that I didn’t even mind getting earwormed with Wuthering Heights at Monster Ronsons for the second time.

Thanks to producer Cadbury Parfait for having me as your guest at this Pride Week show with an all queer-identifying lineup!

See more Extravagant Shambles events!

An important note to all my lovelies: I’ve been at home finishing all these drawings from way earlier this summer while I have a horrible case of strep throat AND bronchitis.

As a fat, queer, disabled artist, crowdfunded support is the only way I can make this work. 

You can join my Patreon Patrons, for as little as a dollar/euro a month, to keep me working and releasing my documentary art of Queer Berlin as Free Art.

Portraits of loved ones.

Portrait of Clear and Jen Sept 5 2019 by Suzanne ForbesMy absolutely cherished Beloved Friend-Muse-Patron Clear was in town with his lady companion Jen.

I have a lot going on right now, and I still have strep, but I can work under damn near any conditions, and there was nothing on this earth I wanted to do more than have the sacred, precious drawing-time with these two. There is a connection when I work with people, when we sit together and I draw them, and we talk, that is like nothing else I’ve experienced.

It creates a bond, the bond between artist and muse, that lasts and connects. I get to see them through the merciful eyes of a Higher Power, illuminated by their beauty and character. Their faces move and shift, and the portrait is a gestalt of all the moments that pass between us as we work.

I say we because my portraits are a collaboration, the result of the work of being together and their work being visible to me. It’s the most precious and important thing I know. And of course it’s why I don’t do portraits from photos, only from life. We gotta hang out!

Portrait of Clear and Jen Sept 5 2019 Suzanne ForbesThis image is the drawing halfway through, before I added pastels. My technique is evolving and developing in a very unorthodox way as I figure out how to “paint” with a combination of toned paper, chalk markers, greyscale and sepiatone markers, and pastel. I am figuring out how to make the drawing process additive-subtractive with these new tools. It means rather than pass/fail, this-mark-is-final, I can keep shifting as I would with a painting.

I described the changes that have happened in my drawing style since Clear came for my 50th birthday two years ago and brought me my first set of greyscale markers. How then my Beloved Friend-Muse-Patron of 44 years, Victoria, gave me a set of pastels and I started shyly, almost apologetically, adding touches of color. How Lydia loaned me a chalk marker at a life drawing session in her home in 2018 and I fell in love with its painterly qualities.

“It sounds like you’ve been iterating really fast,” said Jen, who is very smart as well as funny and beautiful. “Yeah, I guess I have”, I said. It’s the hothouse environment of my Patreon, I realized; it lets me feel so supported I can take risks. It was so wonderful to have this time with these two, and to document them together. Clear’s been commissioning  portraits from me since 2006!

Portrait of Dan Sept 3 2019 by Suzanne ForbesAnd this is the other portrait I did this week, of my husband at the visa office, where we got startling bad news!

He is always gracious about posing, even though he really dislikes having his picture taken and being seen or shown on social media. I’ve been carrying this little Kraft paper sketchbook around this week, and it was the perfect size for a quick drawing. Although I generally like to work as large as possible, sometimes a little drawing is just right 🙂

Keep Suzanne in Berlin art sale and media drive!

Hello lovelies! I need your help!! There’s been a serious mixup at the visa office and we have a related tax crisis. Right now, I have only a three-month visa to stay in Berlin. (Read more below)

You want your Suz to stay in Berlin, drawing your beautiful selves as you do your wonderful creative work, right?

Then swing by our flat in West Berlin and buy a drawing of yourself or a friend for the excellent price of 40 euros, which is 20% less than the regular price!

This is just a single file, above – I have 25 files!!

Can’t buy a drawing? Here’s how you can help!

My loves, there has been a big mess with the visa office, and I have only a three-month visa to stay in Berlin now. Yes, this is happening when I am about to have surgery and have had a year of serious health problems. I have an appointment to renew my artist’s visa or restore my spousal visa on November 20, and before then I need three things:

  • Our 2018 tax declaration complete and the money to pay it (about 1,000 euros).
  • An Apostille showing our marriage.(do you know about Apostilles? Help??)
  • Bank statements showing more income as an artist/more media coverage of my work.
 

How I am asking you to help:

1. Buy an original drawing at my tax/visa sale price of only 40 euros – 20% less than the regular price. And pay by Paypal or bank transfer, stating “artwork sale”, if possible so I have a record of the sale. Paypal: suzanneforbes@protonmail.com

Easy to view and search albums here. Scroll the whole stream of thousands of drawings here.

2. If you can’t afford that, sign up for my Patreon for one euro a month! If you’re already a Patron, you know how incredibly grateful I am to you for transforming my life and work.

https://www.patreon.com/join/SuzanneForbes?

3. If you can’t afford that, promote me like hell on your social ( which you already do, so wonderfully and so lovingly, I know!) Suzanne on Instagram 

https://www.patreon.com/join/SuzanneForbes?  

4. Do you have a reliable steuerberater who can work fast? (ha ha no-one does, I know)

5. FREE TO YOU and ideal for US folx!! ! Email online art magazines/websites about my work. I desperately, desperately need a break with some media coverage.
Got a gallery contact or a contact at the Schwules Museum? Tell ’em about me!

More info about my work, the loss of Patreon income SESTA/FOSTA has cost me, and how to promote me here:

https://www.chipinhead.com/2019/01/08/roundup-of-my-open-source-crowd-funded-documentary-art-for-2018/

Sample text/project descriptions for submission to art news websites:

  • Former courtroom artist makes a life’s work of open source documentary art, live-drawing scenes from sex parties to the Berlin subway.
  • Former DC comic artist documents alternative culture by drawing live on the scene, then distributes her work open-source.
  • Huge open source queer and alternative culture art archive in jeopardy from SESTA/FOSTA.
Suzanne Forbes is an expat New Yorker by way of the Bay Area, using the skills she developed as a courtroom artist to live-draw queer, trans and alternative culture. Much like the embedded combat artists who traveled with troops in World War One, she draws live on the scene for public distribution. Instead of newspapers, her drawings are published open source for anyone to print and share on flickr and her blog. Her documentary art project has been running since 2005, and is crowd-funded through Patreon. Her mission is to tell unique human stories, with a focus on visibility and representation.
Schwester Francine of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at Folsom Europe Sept 20 2018 by Suzanne Forbes

Schwester Francine of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at Folsom Europe Sept 20 2018 by Suzanne Forbes

Wanna see all the drawings (except the sexy ones)? Scroll from here or:

Berlin art 2019.

Berlin art 2018.

Berlin art 2017.

Berlin art 2016.

Berlin art 2015.

Most of these drawings are available. Some have been sold or are in or committed to galleries or collectors.

You can forward this post to anyone you want and share the info anywhere you want.

thank you, in advance, I love you and all I want in the world is to be here and draw your beauty and strength and document your stories!

Your Suz

Bushwig Berlin, Baby!!

Hungry at Bushwig Berlin Sept 4 2019 by Suzanne ForbesWhat a glorious thrill ride of drag magic!

I was so excited to be a guest of international NY/Berlin drag festival Bushwig this summer. I knew superstar drag performer and makeup artist Hungry would be performing; I’ve been dreaming of drawing her for years. And I knew I’d get to see and draw a whole armada of international drag talents for the first time.

That is Hungry at the top; the crowd went WILD.

I got to speak to her briefly and show her my drawing after, and I have to admit I was a gibbering fangirl.

Hungry at Bushwig Berlin Sept 4 2019 by Suzanne Forbes face detailYou just can’t imagine how beautiful, how ethereal, how meta-human and naiad-like and perfumed with colors she is.

Her makeup is painterly perfection, her skin glows, her brocade corset by Misty Couture has an extraordinary pipestem waist, her smooth bone-tattooed chest is flecked with gold leaf and petals. Her nail gloves were made by Vie of Unicorns Poop Glitter and they waved like undersea fronds in the air!

Hungry is simply a living orchid, a baroque marvel, and the kind of talent you meet only a few times in a lifetime. And she was so sweet and kind!

Read about the development of her style and her collaboration with Björk here.

Betty Fvck at Bushwig Berlin Aug 29 2019 by Suzanne ForbesI got to draw Europe’s Cheekbone Queen, the beautiful Betty Fvck, twice in one week!

Always a thrill to see this beauty work it. Drawing her at both Bushwig and Extravagant Shambles “Pride, Not Prejudice” was a total drawing Lotto win! Betty is so elegant!!

I was seated right up against the stage, and had such a great view of everyone. The venue, Festsaal Kreuzberg, is really lovely, a kind of industrial/tiki forbidden island on the river.

Dirt the drag goblin at Bushwig Berlin Sept 4 2019 by Suzanne Forbes

The variety and diversity of talent was marvelous.

This angel bby drag goblin is Dirt from the Ground. You can see them perform here!

I was very charmed by Frida Pussy, who was assigned acts of contrition for unsafe acts: “Repeat, ‘I’m on PREP it’s fine’ fifteen times”.

Nun to devil transformation is a classic for a reason, baby!

Frida Pussy at Bushwig Berlin Sept 4 2019 by Suzanne Forbes devil style

I loved Donna Trump, a sass queen from Manchester’s thriving drag scene.

She has a new weekly cabaret happening! You can get her goodies on DragQueenMerch here.Donna Trump at Bushwig Berlin Sept 6 2019 by Suzanne Forbes

Sookie Sterling at Bushwig Berlin Sept 6 2019 by Suzanne ForbesAnd check out Sookie Sterling of the Sterling Sisters, a full-on legend.

You can see her on her Insta here.Tyler Ashley at Bushwig Berlin Sept 6 2019 by Suzanne Forbes

Tyler Ashley, a trained dancer, hit the stage like a comet.

She is like a divine blend of Liquid Sky and Xanadu and is known as the dauphine of Bushwig! DJ Hannah Lou at Bushwig Berlin Sept 6 2019 by Suzanne Forbes

DJ Hannah Lou is an incredible professional who managed the music for a huge lineup impeccably.

She was in an amazing silver space angel look.

As usual these drawings are licensed Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) for all to share and enjoy!

In addition, I release the copyright on each drawing to the performer shown and they may use the drawings for their own profit and pleeeasssure in any way they choose.

As a fat, queer, disabled artist, crowdfunded support is the only way I can make this work and release it for free. 

You can join my Patreon Patrons, for as little as a dollar/euro a month, to keep me working and releasing my documentary art of Queer Berlin as Free Art.

I was pretty damn wobbly near the end of this show, as I have been sick on and off all summer and it was very, very hot in the venue.

I was lucky enough to have a kind stranger be my support team – basically as my health has deteriorated this past couple years the type of embedded, in-the-splash-zone, eight-hours-nonstop drawing I do has become much harder.

A stranger (or friend!) showing appreciation for the value of my work, offering to get me a non-alcoholic drink, helping to buffer my drawing hand against surging crowds, fanning me with a flyer, holding my seat while I hit the loo, giving me a Euro or two to help my crowd-funding – all matter so much. Thank you, Arthur!

 

Pride, Not Prejudice: an all-queer Extravagant Shambles at Monster Ronsons!

Eden Lost at Extravagant Shambles Pride Not Prejudice August 27 2019 by Suzanne ForbesThe minute producer Cadbury Parfait announced a Pride Week show with an all queer-identifying lineup, I was in!

I love to go to shows at iconic venue Monster Ronsons, even though it’s on the absolute opposite side of town (and of course in the summer getting to the East is a nightmare because U-Bahn construction). Because, a) the place just feels like home, and b) Ronsons actually has some shitty air-conditioning, which puts it WAY ahead of basically every other venue in Berlin. And Pride, Not Prejudice was a can’t-miss Extravagant Shambles lineup!

Above, Eden Lost shakes off the patriarchy.

Eden Lost is one of those performers who just blows my mind. They have the kind of star power and gorgeousness that comes off the stage in waves. I was so thrilled to meet them and have been following their adventures on the Insta, where I just saw they cosplayed 80’s Punk Storm!!! You must click!!! So good I am basically rolling around on the floor SHRIEKING.

Sarah Tonin at Extravagant Shambles Pride Not Prejudice Aug 27 2019 by Suzanne ForbesHostess Sarah Tonin as a seven-foot tall Gothic Lolita in mint and black outfit by Harry Hardon.

HP Loveshaft at Pride Not Prejudice July 27 2019 by Suzanne ForbesThere was a terrific showing of local drag kings.

Above, gentleman dandy HP Loveshaft bringing hard thrills! (My Patrons got to see these two hot drag king portraits a month earlier than everyone else, as an exclusive treat).

Daddy Sparkles at Pride Not Prejudice July 27 2019 by Suzanne ForbesAnother fabulous performer I was drawing for the first time, Daddy Sparkles!

Daddy Sparkles is an explosion of colorful charisma!

Stella von Fersen at Extravagant Shambles Pride Not Prejudice Aug 27 2019 by Suzanne ForbesStage Kitten Stella Von Fersen wore one of my favorite classic cabaret looks, tux and topper!

Betty Fvck at Extravagant Shambles Pride Not Prejudice August 29 2019 by Suzanne ForbesEveryone loves glamour queen Betty Fvck, she always brings her A game!Miss Strawberry Moon at Extravagant Shambles Pride Not Prejudice August 29 2019 by Suzanne ForbesMiss Strawberry Moon came over from the UK!

You know I love me some tentacles, and Pride flag tentacles, well hell yes!!!!

Coming soon, more drawings with breathtaking Lily Lustre, genderqueer Harry Potter cosplay from Skirt Vonnegut, and rock’em sock’em showgirl Felicity Felicis!

An important note to all my lovelies: I’m at home finishing all these drawings while I have a horrible case of strep throat AND bronchitis.

As a fat, queer, disabled artist, crowdfunded support is the only way I can make this work. 

You can join my Patreon Patrons, for as little as a dollar/euro a month, to keep me working and releasing my documentary art of Queer Berlin as Free Art.

Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin, Barbarella Edition part two!

Lucille Spielfuchs as Barbarella Dr Sketchys Berlin Aug 11 2019 by Suzanne Forbes loungingYou can take the girl out of comics, but you can’t take the comics out of the girl!

It doesn’t get more superhero than Lucille Spielfuchs as Barbarella at Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin.Sebastian Stone as Pygar Dr Sketchys Berlin Aug 11 2019 by Suzanne Forbes

Her companion Sebastian Stone as Pygar was equally superheroic.

Would ya look at that guy!

Lucille Spielfuchs and Sebastian Stone as Barbarella and Pygar Dr Sketchys Berlin Aug 11 2019 by Suzanne Forbes profileLucille Spielfuchs and Sebastian Stone as Barbarella and Pygar Dr Sketchys Berlin Aug 11 2019 by Suzanne Forbes profileAnd these two lovelies posing together!

Pure comic book goodness. Below, a three-minute drawing of Lucille. Powerhouse lady!

Lucille Spielfuchs as Barbarella Dr Sketchys Berlin Aug 11 2019 by Suzanne Forbes 3 minDr. Sketchy’s Berlin and the good folks who make it happen are one of the best things in my life in Berlin.

All the thanks to producers Syren Joey and Miss LaLa Vox aka @lalavox, UFO Hawaii, @pixie.scarlett and Matthias for all their hard work, and @marenmichaelis  who takes the amazing photographs, and to @lepustra and the hardworking team at the gorgeous vintage venue @ballhausberlin!!

And all my love to my Patrons on Patreon.

I’m a disabled artist with chronic, unpredictable, debilitating health issues.

My Patrons’ monthly financial support allows me to make this art and make it available as free art! You can help, right here.

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!

 

Dr. Sketchys Berlin Nr. 70 – the Barbarella Edition!!

Lucille Spielfuchs and Sebastian Stone posing as Barbarella and Pygar Dr Sketchys Berlin Aug 11 2019 by Suzanne ForbesWow, that was a hell of a good time!!

I returned to my comic-book roots with this edition of Dr. Sketchys Berlin. I have a new tool, a giant PITT brush marker, and I just dashed the drawings out like a wild woman!! Using a combination of the PITT marker and my beloved white chalk marker on Strathmore Toned Gray paper, I was able to treat the drawings like paintings, working additive-subtractive. This method gave me tremendous freedom and confidence.

Lucille Spielfuchs and Sebastian Stone posed as Barbarella and Pygar Dr Sketchys Berlin Aug 11 2019 by Suzanne ForbesThe fact that the models looked exactly like the superheroes I spent my teens drawing made it so easy!

The models were Lucille Lehr and Sebastian Stone, two extremely muscular and fit humans who totally embodied cartoon heroes. They are both extremely talented multi-disciplinary artists, and they brought such marvelous energy to the show. Lucille’s resemblance to Jane Fonda was UNCANNY. I had SO MUCH FUN!!!!!

UFO Hawaii at Barbarella session Dr Sketchys Berlin Aug 29 2019 by Suzanne ForbesI also drew Dr. Sketchy’s house DJ, Berlin legend UFO Hawaii!

His sound is always the sickest in town. When he breaks out the T. Rex I get so happy!

I am so grateful to have Dr. Sketchy’s and the good folks who make it happen in my life.

All the thanks to producers Syren Joey and Miss LaLa Vox aka @lalavox, UFO Hawaii, @pixie.scarlett and Matthias for all their hard work, and @marenmichaelis  who takes the amazing photographs, and to @lepustra and the hardworking team at the gorgeous vintage venue @ballhausberlin!!

And so much love to my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial support allows me to make this art and make it available as free art!

 

A summer finissage at the Schwules Museum.

Layana Flaxx and L at the Schwules Museum July 29 2019 by Suzanne ForbesI have made so many drawings this summer!

I’m still catching up from the beginning of June, with events like this finissage at the Schwules Museum. It was a beautiful event for the closing of the incredible “Objects of Desire” exhibit, with two live performances.

Above, gorgeous model, makeup-artist and advocate Layanna Flaxx shows off her purple hair. I was sitting with my friend Sadie Lune and saying how amazing her makeup in her latest film was, and she was like “Yeah Layanna did it!”.

Photographer at Objects of Desire Finnissage and Liad performance Schwules Museum July 29 2019 by Suzanne ForbesI also drew this young photographer who was documenting the live performance of Liad Hussein Kantorowicz. I need to get the photographer’s name!

The performances involved nudity, so I can’t create those drawings for this site – look for them on my other site in the next few days.

A night at the Circus – Martini Cherryfurter MC’s!

Martini Cherry Furter at Zum Starken August by Suzanne Forbes July 27 2019I met up with Suzanne in Prenzlauerberg for a visit to the Circus Bar!

There are two circus bars, actually, kitty-corner from each other as we used to say in the Old Country.

Zum Starken August has burlesque Friday and Saturday nights, with an MC like Martini Cherry Furter, above. Toast Hawaii has bands and also something called Pornokaroake which I don’t know what that even is. Toast Hawaii, btw, is a disgusting German dish. Do not google it.

Martini Cherry Furter at Zum Starken August by Suzanne Forbes July 27 2019I’ve drawn Martini before and it is always SUCH a pleasure. She is so beautiful, all glamour and cheekbones and legs and sass. The straight boys she was teasing as I drew this were blushing like little kids.

La Labo Balucia at Zum Starken August Suzanne Forbes Aug 29 2019Here’s performer La Loba Lucía, one of my favorite people in Berlin to draw!

She always looks like a super hero, even doing her gangster routine here. She brought the routine out of retirement just for this night so I was super excited! It was so important to me to be there on this night, and yet I was so sick I almost gave up and went home. Only the support of my friend and fellow artist Suzanne Wegh kept me there.

As a fat, queer, disabled artist, crowdfunded support is the only way I can make this work. 

You can join my Patreon Patrons, for as little as a dollar/euro a month, to keep me working and releasing my documentary art of Queer Berlin as Free Art.