Saturday, May 2, 2009

Portrait #43: Zac

This drawing session with Zac took place on one of the nicest days of Spring so far, right after our sculpture class. Since Zac had just sat through my presentation of my Sketchy Lady project (for an ongoing "twice weekly" assignment) he had all kinds of questions while I was drawing him. For example, "Do you think about what you write in the posts while you are drawing people?" So I made a mental note to write about that.

Recently, Zac was kind enough to play my interviewer in a video piece I did for our class, Hey Girl Hey, episode 13: Two Folds in the Schmutzy Fabric of Space and Time. The project really wouldn't have been half as successful without Zac's interpretation of his part. He claimed to me that we traded his acting for my lending him the video camera (he made a hilarious video about Davy Crockett) but told him that his performance was so valuable that I still owe him. This is when he asked me if I was still doing my Sketchy Lady project and if he could be drawn after class. Perhaps we are even now?

It is confusing to me whether me or my sitter is doing the bigger favor for the other. on the one hand, they get to be immortalized in graphite and on the internet, but also they have to sit still for a pretty long time. (This is one part that Zac didn't like very much... he took lots of stretching breaks.)

I'm glad Zac and I have finally gotten to collaborate on some art related stuff. A couple assignments ago, we chose really similar topics (Jews & radicalism) to make our pieces on and in one of our class discussions I asked him if we could collab, but he said he needed to work it out on his own. Zac ended up coming up with this really amazing performance piece where he re-Bar Mitzvahed himself in the SLC spiritual space. This new Bar Mitzvah was performed through a radical lens, as Zac delivered a d'var torah about the changes in his Jewish identity since his first Bar Mitzvah. He had the class read passages from a Judith Butler essay on the backlash against anti-Zionist Jews, as if we were a congregation. It was a really successful project that I'm glad Zac maintained the space to work on alone.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Portrait #41: Khari

This gesture is one that Khari tends to perform during dance parties:

I think it is a tendency of percussionists.

Speaking of which, I think Khari is going to be the drummer for Lesbian Bed Death, also featuring myself and Max. Khari is a sick drummer so it is going to be TIGHT. I am already compiling really riotgrrlly love songs in my head so that I can whine them really screamily at a sea of liberal arts college students. Mostly what I am trying to say is that Khari is going to help me become a rock star.

Khari and I had a nice chat while I drew him the day of the Sketchy Lady Show. It ended up taking a pretty long time because we'd hit on a really important point and I'd dramatically put my graphite down and say things like "BUT NO SERIOUSLY." And then I'd look down and be like, "oh shit, you are missing an arm!" And then Khari would say something like "Dude that is not good. We gotta take care of that."

Then, last weekend, Khari and some other friends came over before our excursion to a scary mansion in Bronxville. Then they had an impromptu American Apparel dealing session with Megan in our living room. Khari bought another of the above sweatshirt and when I needed one for our haunting night mission, he not only let me borrow it on this cold night but he is letting me keep it for the rest of the semester! (In light of Charlotte's "Trade With Me Trades" project, it was great to get something in return for drawing this portrait.) Most of our group was wearing this sweatshirt or a similar one and we accidentally might have freaked out this woman who was walking her dog... I hope she didn't think we were going to mug her. Either way, the mansion had an amazing chandelier that took up the whole ceiling in a large dining room. SWEET.

This post was brought to you by RES LIFE.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Portrait #42: Ryanbakergreen

Ryan originally met because he lived with my friend Martin. Given that he is a pretty quiet guy (at least to most people) we didn't really talk a lot until this year since we are in sculpture class together, and then we both lost our friend Spencer so I'd try to chat with him about how he was doing.

I guess since Ryan is not my chattiest friend (I am probably the chattiest friend of others) I hadn't ever spent such a long sitting looking at his face until I drew him. Usually when we chill in the studio everyone is looking at something different and working on things. It was really interesting because there were a lot of aspects of his face that I hadn't noticed. Like I knew what expression he would end up having since he was spacing out at his computer reading up on the history of acid, but I didn't know what steps I would take with drawing forms in order to get to that expression.

One example of Ryan's quiet demeanor there is a facebook group from 3 years ago called "Ryan Green Needs to Shut Up" which all of his friends joined. It is one of the only groups that Spencer was in, so whenever I look at his profile if I'm feeling nostalgic its like, OH YEAH heehee.

Anyway Here is a tree that Ryan made first semester as part of his Death Mountain project:

Here are some octopi he made from dipping bent chicken wire and dipping it into wax:

Sw33t d34l ryan.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Portrait #40: Anna

Anna's hair was quite nice to draw since I like to space out at it in our Sixties history class. It's so shiny and straight that her bangs sit sort of like Cleopatra when she's not wearing a ponytail.

For example,

, and,

I imagine that Anna's critique of these pictures might be about the racialization of "Cleopatra" as white and therefore, indicative of white supremacy's hegemony in Hollywood and consumer culture. (However, perhaps I am conflating her analysis with another student in our class named Daisy (drawing pending) who is researching the history of beauty products in the black community.) This is my guess since a lot of what we talk about in class is the Black Liberation Movement and Anna always has thoughtful things to say about the different stages of the BLM (e.g. development of self defense politics in Student Nonviolent Coordinating Commitee). Sometimes in class Anna and I talk about having both worked with an organization that trains youth to do organizing around peace and nonviolence, and then questioned that framework thereafter.

Also sometimes we complain about what some like to call "manarchism". Also sometimes we discuss what kinds of eyeliner we like to use in order to get that perfect point on the end.

During our sketching sesh, I had the pleasure of chilling out with Anna and about 6 other folks and did lots of chitchatting. This is a good example of how Sketchy Lady can be a really nice way to do homework as a distraction from my other homework. This was one of the larger groups that I have Sketchy Ladied in, but out of the big groups, I felt the least amount of pressure in it. I think I somehow made Anna look way more Jewish than she is, but I think I captured her relaxed posture accurately. Some portraits that I've done don't accurately capture all the deetz of a person's image but sometimes the most important thing is the way that large forms relate to each other. Thanks for teaching me this important lesson, Anna.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Portrait #39: Kate Bed-uh-currr-ay

I had to catch Kate while she was studying since she's been hiding in her room a lot after she got back from her 3-week Cuba trip. Kate's portrait is also part of my campaign to make time for portraits in times of study stress... therefore the small scale. I think it turned out pretty cool with the dramatic lighting... not all the portraits get that. It was a little difficult to get her to stay still enough but I think it ended up looking like her. She even said that it looked more like her than her twin! (Twinness throws a whole other dimension to the assessment of likeness.) I am glad she liked it--Kate took a little convincing in order to let me draw her since I had to tell her I'd make her look pretty. She is super duper pretty so that was easy to accomplish.

Here's how her drawing looked in the show (and a sneak peak of three others):


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Portrait #38: Kait

Kait's drawing is certainly an outlier in this project in terms of both process and likeness. As the semester at SLC is getting closer to the end and stress levels run higher, I've been trying to figure out how to work sketches into busy schedules. Since Kait is a dance third and an early bird, I thought I'd take advantage of her 10:00am timeslot in her day so that I'd be forced to do work afterwards. Apparently I'm not so good in the morning... she got to my place when I was still in my pjs and I had a hard time transitioning from sleeptime into lifedrawingtime. I made coffee, we schmoozed a bunch, but I really just couldn't seem to wake up enough to capture her facial features like I have been able to with others recently. This portrait does not look as much like Kait as it does her housemate, Colman.

It's killing me trying to think of what specifically went wrong in this drawing. I think I needed to make her forehead bigger and wider on the sides. Hmm.

Even though it didn't produce my most successful drawing, that morning was very well spent; interesting to hang out with Kait in a new context--we had been in First Year Studies together, in a class called Emergence of Christianity. We both ended up switching Dons (FYS teacher=Don=advisor) as a result of finding a different academic direction. My first year I would have NEVER predicted Kait would switch away from Cameron too... she was always one of the most prepared and enthused students in the class. Her new direction in the dance department has been really great to see... she did this dance piece in the C.A.T.S. (SLC art collective) event called Friendge Fest where the audience could call out letter and color combinations to make the dancers do different movements based on what color their costume was. Fascinating.


Sketchy Lady Show, THIS FRIDAY APRIL 10TH in A*Space!

You should come! I think we're gonna set up drawing stations. Also if you come early enough, you can meet my parents (and draw a family portrait!)

Portrait #29: Bug

This drawing was completely unplanned. I heard about a lecture about Art and Politics that was going on at the library, and probably got distracted on my way there. Apparently a few minutes was way too late, because the room was teeming with eager students awaiting their favorite professor's lecture on the panel. Bug and I were two of the people who could not even squeeze through the door so we sat outside. I leaned against the wall separating the lecture room from the hallway, and he watched through the doorway directly at the panelists. This is why he looks so in awe in the photo: not only was I drawing his tall stature from below, but his mind was being developed rapidly as we learned about poststructuralpostmoderngobbeldygook.

I don't have a lot of stories about Bug since I don't actually know him that well. Except there is one story....

My first year, Megan and our friend and I had a boxed wine incident where the bag got punctured. Quickly we scrambled for the nearest bowls in our friend's room. But then we were stuck with all these bowls of cheapo wine... we looked into the hallway and there was Bug with his other friend. Megan offered them the bowl and they, being desperate first years, accepted. I don't know if Bug remembers this incident. But when I drew Megan a couple pages later during our trip to the New York Public Library, she wrote on my drawing of her "Hey Bug, would you like a bowl of wine?" I like that Megan's drawing spoke to Bug's. It was a very nice touch.

Portrait #28: Zara M.

I wrote this post about a month ago but only recieved the picture from Zara today.

Every new portrait I do lately seems to be my favorite... I think this Zara sketch confirms for me that I am into the groove. It was a very good snow day activity to jam around with Zara, Gil, and Alanna in the sculpture studio to hits like "We Got the Beat" by the Go-Gos. While I drew her, Zara worked on a little comic she's making... mostly sewing the pages together and adding text into some of the pix. She kept poking herself with her needle by accident and concentrating very hard, but I managed to give her a little smirk which she is pleased about. We decided that the hat was a very good touch and I think it is very characteristic of this zany girl.

Perhaps I am more comfortable drawing people that are also artists... they are less nervous being drawn and understand the process more? But also like, who the hell do I draw/know who is 0% creative? (False dichotomy!? Define YR Terrrmz!) Anyway, Zara is herself, as I mentioned before, a comix artist (often collaborating with Gil, on works like Taffy Hips, a collaborative comic which is having an A*Space release party this Friday!!). [EDIT: that happened a month ago; Taffy Hips is currently accepting submissions for issue #3... featuring yrs truly!] She also has super cool performances where she uses an overhead projector, cutouts, and audience cue cards//soundzz to tell a story. Hannah D. said the performance at Friendge Fest gave her chills! GO ZARA

-Zara did an even bigger and better performance at Wishbone Window, which was the senior show for students in my sculpture class (Zara, Ryan, Charlotte, and Hannah D). It was tight. Here is a pic from it:

The deal was that viewers could go into the tent, pick out a transparency and read out its number. Then Zara would read the corresponding story that went along with it. It set this really reflective mood because she said that viewers should try not to look at each other: either close your eyes or just look at the drawing. I think it is interesting that Zara and I have both made work this year that bridges drawing and stories.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Portrait #37: Vera

Vera's portrait might be one of my most accurate ones, which is suprising, considering how little it looked like her for 70% of the time I was drawing her. It was on one of the very first warm days, so the North Lawn was really happenin... so great to finally use that picnic blanket again right, V?

We decided that I made Vera look super Native American in this portrait. It definately has something to do with the combination of the jaw/braids/earrings. I don't remember ever doing a portrait where I inadvertently altered the sitter's ethnicity. I think I will try not to do it again... it might be problematic.

It was super nice for me and Vera to have special grrrltime together last week. Vera and I met through Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and for a while were the most nationally active women in our chapter. We spent a long time during our drawing sesh talking about the national SDS women's caucus and the different ways it responds to sexism in SDS, especially "sexual assault" and how it's defined. Neither of us are involved anymore but still get lots of the emails, so it was really good to have someone to speak/think critically about it with. I used to spend a ton of energy writing articles about how I think the women's caucus should be organized, before realizing that a lot of my SDS work was not really going very far and had nothing to do with my local campus community, which I found much more important to work on.

Right now the organizing Vera is doing is mostly around the creation of a Student Union at Sarah Lawrence, basically meaning a rebuilding of our student government from the ground up, to make it radically democratic, more efficient, effective, transparent, accountable, etc. It is going to be TIGHT and I'm so proud of Vera's work... It's great to see how her and others' work in SDS really led to this project. So even if our chapter died, it was a really great learning experience for students here and we really applied those lessons. (Shout outzz to Michelle Lewin for taking initiative as senate chair. and being insanely employable. go get em!)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Portrait #36: Devra

I tried to get Devra to let down her hair and shake it up a little so that it looked superpunx in the drawing. I am glad I got the texture across because Devra's hair texture (greasiness etc.) is admittedly a very important feature as part of her anarcha allure. In retrospect, wish I had gotten to draw some of her tattoos... there are a lot of them and they cover a lot of her (one of her two octopi covers most of her leg/rear end). Glad I got to draw her glasses though. After I was done, we talked about how I made her look especially birdlike... something about those big glasses gives her a little beaklike quality. CUTE.

Devra and I are in a class together called "From the Plantation to the Prison: Criminal Justice Policies." She always has good things to say in class that both come from a sophisicated intellectual framework but also have a lot of heart. Sometimes that combination is really missing in discussion-based classes so its nice to have Devra around. Tomorrow, our prison class is going to Bedford Hills, a maximum-security prison in Westchester. I am mostly scared for driving the 15-seater van, and then having to shift into a different kind of stress, which is having to go through security. We are only supposed to take an ID and a key on this trip. Wish us luck!

Portrait #35: Colleen F.

I liked drawing Colleen quite a bit because it went much more easily than many of my portraits. She was a good, still sitter but also engaging, she had really fun glasses to draw, and somehow I achieved her likeness with little to no effort. It was totally stress free, especially for a sitter I wasn't as well acquainted with at the time. Mostly I loved drawing her glasses and her fantastic chin. You might notice that I exaggerated this chin: it looks a little manly which was not my intention. Also I must note that this above picture of Colleen in the flesh is ADORABLE.

Some more information---Colleen...
-is from Olympia ("OLY WA")
-has a band with our friend Khari called the Larry Hoffmans (Larry Hoffman is the director of security at SLC)
-randomly knows my friend Guy fron Olympia. Guy was my first boyfriend in 6th grade for two weeks and we've been friends ever since

All of these things are true! Also true is that after this drawing was done we watched Cindy Sherman's 1997 film Office Killer in my room and it was SO GORY AND FANTASTIC. I loved it so much that I watched it another 2 times and then wrote a whole essay about it for sculpture class even though I only had to write two paragraphs. When we watched it was when I was still getting to know Colleen, but we still chat even though we don't have the time and luxury of SPRING BREAK anymore.

Colleen might be embarassed that I am mentioning this on here but I think it is important for followers of this blog to know about. Colleen got me into, a dating website that has lots of quizzes and fun things to fill out and waste time doing. How else would I have instant messaged with the facilitator of Dyke Knitting Circle at Bluestockings without even having to go an get new yarn and start a new project? Brilliant. (It was not that interesting of a conversation but I am impressed with ok cupid nonetheless.) Thank you Colleen for making my world of procrastination even richer. (SORRY I MADE YOU BLUSH BUT THE PEOPLE HAD TO KNOW.)

Portrait #34: Megan's Megan

This is the third time I've drawn Megan. She was my original guinea pig for this project but my drawing skills have improved a lot since then. Meaning, it was a really bad drawing so I didn't blog it. Also maybe it seemed too obvious when I'd try to find new people to draw. I feel much better about this one since it has much more of a style and incorporates all of Megan's tattoos which are a really big part of her physical presentation. I was there with her when she got the hearts on her chest, and had actually helped her draw the concept for it, so it was interesting actually drawing the tattoo from her actual body. I'm glad the drawing ended up with a sassy expression since that is part of Megan's true essence. Another part is this essence:

However, the Megan that I got to see while I was drawing her had much to do with her calm and reflected essence. I think she probably told me a bunch of stories about love and family history and identity since those are often things we talk about when we're not taking about our Sixties class homework or revolutionary nationalism or tuff grrrl alter egos. It turned out to be a really nice bonding moment since she sat really still and went deep in our discussion. I think it helped that beforehand, said she felt really comfortable and calm when I drew her in the past, so I wasn't worried about inconviniencing her during the process.

There was a lot to discuss during the drawing session since it's been a really transitional time for Megan in terms of life paths and phases since she is about to graduate. The title of this post comes from our inside joke about this 1960s/1970s feminist activist named Bev Grant and her music. She wrote this song (that goes along with a documentary she made) called "Janie's Janie". The premise is that as she gains independence from men, Janie is her own Janie, not Daddy's Janie or Charlie's Janie. So thus, Megan's Megan. Thanks to Bev for the inspiration!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Portrait #33: Max J. K.

Max and I were "set up" as friends by Shahnaz, a professor we've both had. A respected academic and intense teacher, Shahnaz is also very skilled at setting up friendships between her students. A good example of strange-Sarah Lawrence-social science-subculture is that people who are fans of Shahnaz (often switching to her as their Don, or advisor) click really well together and talk about her often. Apparently Shahnaz recommended me to Max, so when we finally met through Ashley, he was like "OMG yr the one Shahnaz wanted me to talk about feminist politics with!" And then we exploded with things on our agenda to discuss. We often exclaim things to one another like "that is so post-medium" before erupting in giggles.

This intense Shahnaz-based connection offers a plethora of conversation topics on aesthetics, urbanization, gender/power/class/race, etc. This (along with my struggle with ADD) made it very hard for me and Max to concentrate on our task of drawing. Sometimes I forget how stupid it is to hold a conversation with my subjectwhile drawing them. I guess that problem doesn't really arise when doing still lives or landscapes.

Despite the fact that I chose not to create a background for Max's portrait, it seems to contain more visual information than the other portraits. I had a difficult time capturing his facial features since he and I had a hard time not being really chatty during the portrait session. However, I think the red in the glasses I added make it much more accurate to Max's persona. His choice to hold my Curious George stuffed animal is an interesting exaggeration of our age dynamic, as Max is two years younger than me and seems to feel this difference.

Not long after I drew this portrait, I got really deep into a Dead Kennedys phase and proposed to my friends that we should start a riot grrrl-style DK cover band. Max took to this idea and we proposed some prospective band names that emphazie riot grrrl sensibility, such as :

Lesbian Bed Death
The Vajanglers

Thank you Shahnaz for securing me with a valuable friendship and perhaps music career.

Portrait #32: L. Klotzy

Klotzy and I very intentionally decided how she would pose and what the composition would be for the portrait. I wanted to maximize forms to draw, which meant more time and concentration (the latter of which I have little capacity for). Since Klotzy wanted to do what it took to help make interesting art happen, she let me create a more complex composition and sat in a weird position. She probably regretted this since it ended up taking an hour. Mostly I really wanted to draw her Nike Dunks. We maneuvered my bed so she could put her foot up. I might have made it look more awkward looking in the picture, but maybe it was awkward in real life too. At least I was nice and let her take breaks and chatted her up a lot.

The reason Klotzy was such a dedicated sitter is that she is also very dedicated to her own artmaking, having taken a year off to have art adventures in Marfa, TX. She also has a blog called CRAP BAG. Klotz and I have a long history of arguing about aesthetics and art but have come to an understanding that lets us discuss art and politics more productively.

In other news, Klotzy is one of the managers for A*space, the student art exhibition space. We're trying to work on getting me a show in A*space in the next coming weeks to show my Sketchy Lady portraits in real life, so stay tuned for more info on that!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Portrait #31: Jordnnland

The influenza epidemic at SLC has come in 2 or 3 different stages, ensuring that for about 2-3 weeks, there has always been a couple sick people in any given social, political, or academic group of students. Jordan followed me in-to-fluenza in the second stage and was a trooper to sit for me while he was feelin real ill. (And also a trooper to wash his hair for the occasion as promised.) The drawing sesh was supposed to happen at 5:30 but since both of us fell asleep and accidentally took 4-5 hour naps, it had to be postponed until 11.

Jordan sat very quietly reading while I drew him. At one point his face contourted a little and I asked him if he needed to sneeze. He said no but asked if he could blow his nose. So I passed him the tissue box and told him the story about how Spencer was really intensely like "uhmmbeth? is it ok with you if I scratch my nose?" as if it were really disruptive to the process. That's one of the stories I told at the quaker-style Spencer memorial/meeting in November.

Jordan and Spencer went to high school together, in both situations being a freshman and a senior, respectively. The first time I talked to Jordan was at the memorial dance party for Spencer called "Wolf's Teeth". I was like "hey didn't you just add me on fbook?" and then we acquainted ourselves by dancing in a circle with our friends to some really hip band Spencer liked like The Gossip. We've been hanging out and listening to more hip bands lately, but we don't really talk about Spencer that often since I guess both of us only knew him for 2 short periods. However, we both often wear the colorful Spencer pins that were passed out at Wolf's Teeth (made to look like hipster band merch) so the idea of him is totally on the mind. Especially since Jordan is really tall and his pin is at my eye level.

Also you might notice the introduction of a baby quilt on my bed in this picture, unlike the other pictures... usually the only other noticeable decoration is my world map poster. Maybe this marks the beginning of the "early quilt period" in Sketchy Lady history, from post-flu epidemic era of Sarah Lawrence.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Portrait #30: Harrison

This picture of Harrison shows just how very proud of his Sketch he is. (Also the fact that he made it his profile picture on facebook.) He has been trying to get me to draw him ever since he wrote about my art and Sketchy Lady in his collaborative blog in order to make me feel like I need to reciprocate. I did feel quite touched that he called me "one of the finest art students here at Sarah Lawrence". (I am especially touched because Harrison knows my work very well after we spent 2 semesters in printmaking together last year.) However, I think I would have drawn him anyway even if he didn't do that. This is a good example of how wacky Harrison is. Another example of how wacky Harrison is: so much chesthair in this drawing! I really need to get a detail shot of that.

Harrison looked a little nervous while I was drawing him (his eyes got kinda big like kittens do in cartoons), maybe because he had a lot of investment in it. Either that or the huge pack of dudes at the table behind me in the sculpture studio made us feel like a small pack of dudes.

We were all feeling a little lazy on the night of the snow day. So our portrait drawing sesh was interrupted by a really climactic pizza delivery. I had ordered a small pizza and mozz sticks, but a medium one was delivered, decked out with 4 garlic knots (one in each corner of the box). So Harry and I feasted on the mozz and the pizza for a little before returning to contemplation. I was greatful because I was worrying about getting too malnourished to do a good likeness of my friend Harry. He graciously paid me $2 for his slice. We really were full of trades and mutual benefit.

Overall, although I feel that the likeness is better up close in the lip-region than it is in that pic, I am happy that I captured his pretty-boy looks in this portrait. Thanks for being a fan, Harry.

By the way

I am skipping around my posts a lot because I don't have all the pictures yet. My camera's been broken for hella long and I only just ordered a new one. They are showing up chronologically so you might have to look for the post you wanna look at lower down if it's just posted. Does that make sense?

Sorry for the delay!

Portrait #27: Ashley Lorraine G.

Doing this drawing of Ashley totally tripped me out because, lets be real here, she looked profoundly sad while she was sitting for me. (Perhaps it was the record player blasting Cat Power's "What Would the Community Think" (saddest album evrr). I asked her about that and she said she was looking at this really intense picture on the wall of this multi-color blob and that it made her blink/tear up a lot.

Well anyway, I really had fun drawing her tangley blonde hair. It is so different than mine that it was fun to learn how to draw. I also really wanted to draw her friends Jordan and Khari (seriously they are like a package deal, so inseperable) but Khari was too busy sewing with his head really close to his project, and Jordan keeps putting off his Sketchy Lady Sesh for until he gets a haircut or washes it, whichever comes first.

Ashley belongs on this blog because she is a natural Riot Grrrl. The other night when I had a dance party, all she wanted was for us to put on some Bikini Kill and have a scream-a-long. And despite my influenza-induced throatache, I submitted to Ashley's requests, and it was beautiful. Me, Ashley and my BFF Megan (portrait coming soon) had a scream a long to favorites like "Suck My Left One" and "Don't Need You" in my living room which scared the boys (Jordan and Khari) out. When they came back Jordan greeted us "hey riot grrrlz" and we were like "where the hell did you go?" so then we pushed Jordan out the door. (We started a grrrl riot.)

Then Megan and Ashley figured out that they DJed at the same radio station in Colorado at different times. (Megan interviewed Kathleen Hanna on it when she was 15!) We are glad that Ashley came over.

Portrait #26: Annie S.

Annie and her friend Jessica and I had a really fun girltime after lunch at the dining hall last Friday. We had lots of talks about cameras, Jews and tattoos (I was wearing some temporary tattoos of a burning star and an anchor), but mostly about boys. Then we got the great idea to turn gossip time into Sketchy Lady time!! But oh dear did we keep girltime gossiptime going on, and it was so very supportive and thorough.

Annie was wearing a sweet shirt that her best friend from home made her-- each shirt has the opposite person stenciled on. Sweet. I decided to go ballzy and draw in the stencil. I thought it turned out pretty cool. John says that this is the shirt he thinks of when he thinks of an Annie shirt (they are housemates so John knows her wardrobe).

Also, Annie is a totally rad riot grrrl as long as we're on the subject from Ashley. Annie worked at the Rock n Roll camp for girls, which I am SO jealous of. I SO wish that I knew about that in middle school and high school when I played drums... I lacked any sort of female/riot grrrl inspiration and felt really disempowered by my super dude drum teachers (one was the son of the drummer from twisted sister). So yeah Annie is like one of those friends who the young grrrl inside of you looks up to as some sort of cool babysitter figure. (Maybe it's like that with all of my friends that I respect??) Also as you can see from the pictures she is toadelly beautz... even making that weird face!

Portrait #25: Erin Bunny Furrows

Erin Bunny first posed like the babealicious reclining diva she is, but it turned out to be a really weird angle and it was distracting that we kept talking. When she first saw the first version of the drawing, she made some reference to this book called "Fat? So!" and the part about chins. It could have been a rich place for us to talk about the situation and about body politics, since Erin has gotten really into that lately since she's been working at this plus size vintage store called Re/Dress NYC. But I guess we didn't really talk about it. Maybe that was my fault? Erin, what do you think about this conversation?

I think the problem of the first drawing also stemmed from the fact that Erin is only on campus once a week now that she is a women's history grad student and so Monday's Sketchy Lady sesh intended to serve as a catchup sesh too. (We used to see each other a lot last year and this summer since we've lived near each other a lot, on campus and also in Brooklyn.) So then to give us all more concentration, Erin busted out her sweet tiny laptop (IT FITS INTO HER CLUTCH PURSE LITTLE). I was very pleased that I got to draw her spunky eyebrows since they were all furrowed (Burrows!) Her hairs are also very beautiful to draw. And you can't tell from the shitty cameraphone picture we had to resort to, but she was wearing this huge ornate rose ring which was so diva delicious, and oh GOD so was the pompadour. I am pleased with this drawing and can't wait to show you a better pic of it when my new camera comes in. Stay tuned!

Portrait #24: Alex Brozen "That Cool Guy From NYU"

If Alex Skozzzen could only come to visit Sarah Lawrence for one night, it was very appropriate that he chose Saturday, February 21st.

One morning when I woke up earlier that week, I noticed an facebook message from Alex:

February 19 at 6:06am
what would you think about me visiting this weekend? or are you guys real busy? i can't believe i haven't seen this paradise they call sarah lawrence college yet! i just realized that i have a weekend free for the first (and last) time in a while. so let me know! my internet's been really shady lately, so texting/calling is probably a better idea. and beth, i would be honored if you sketched me, lady.
Alex has been hearing about this "paradise" ever since a year ago when he and Sarah met on their NYU abroad program in Paris. Then his dreams became deeper when we all hung out in Manhatty a lot over the summer and he heard all of my sex party stories. I understood this great need we all had for Alex to see what it's all about, so without looking at my calendar, in my foggy headed sleepy stupor, I replied "I feel great about you visiting this weekend and me sketching you." without asking Sarah. BUT I WAS RIGHT. It was an amazing time.

First we sketched and Alex was a perfect little bearded Polish goddess on my bed. We talked mostly about really funny fecal experiences, taking advantage of Sarah being out of the room.

Eventually after a lot of gossip, it was time for Friendge Fest (spelling not important), a night of collaborative art events put on by the SLC art collective, C.A.T.S. It was totally wacky, mostly because there was a PIE EATING CONTEST. Best art event idea ever. Also there was a lot of boxed wine which made everything a little funner. Other events included: a punk band performances complete with a mosh pit started by me and Megan, a slideshow that compared pictures of porn to pictures of sandwiches, Zara's cutoutz projection performance, and a dance performance that required the participation of the audience shouting out letter-number combinations to tell the dancers which moves to do. We ended up at John and Annie and Emily's apartment where I donned Annie's blonde wig and we danced around to Le Tigre. In this pictures from this party, someone tagged Alex as "that cool guy from NYU" hence the post title.

By the end of the night (I honestly don't remember anything from in between), my all-girl apartment had 3 extra boys sleeping over. That's a lot of heterosexuality. (Or was it?) Was this a good example of Sarah Lawrence? Well Alex, you're going to have to visit again.

Portrait #23: Zach W.S.

I had the pleasure of drawing my fellow Fellow Zach at our final retreat for our JFREJ (Jews for Racial and Economic Justice) Fellowship at this crazy pimped out waterside mansion in New Rochelle. Zach and I were the 2 youngest and undergrad fellows, with our ages ranging unevenly from 20-45, so we naturally bonded over that and also a lot of multiple similar identities (esp. as feygelehs). There was this one time that me, Zach, and our friend Alex from the fellowship had this really intense queer brodown where we all told our coming out stories and families and dads.

There was a lot of bonding the weekend of the retreat in general, since a) we had been meeting for all-day monthly sessions for 6 months and b) because we went really deep talking about our feelings and histories on Israel/Palestine. My favorite activity we did was called "life mapping" where we all kicked back together (I DJed) and mapped out our lives, often in regards to our understanding of racism, Jewishness, and coming out, since a lot of us are queer. Also we went through two bottles of Annie's Goddess Dressing! So good.

In sum, it was a good time to draw Zach over the retreat to reflect on this process in the fellowship that we have been through.

Looking back on this above pic, I don't really feel like the Zach drawing turned out with the right facial structure (near the chin/mouth) but I think in person this portrait does look more like him. Like with Erin's portrait, I loved drawing Zach's fierce eyebrows-- they are a very important part of his facial structure. Another total treat deet was his earrings, and also the SOUL PATCH. (Too bad you can't see them right now but maybe I will take a detail pic when my camera comes in.)

Even if this portrait is not perfectly structured right (thanks to my shortness and awk perspective to the page) I got a lot of really great ego-boost support from the other fellows who were my cheering section while the sketchy lady sesh took place. Thanks GPOFfers!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Portrait #22: Julia R. Robers

Dayyyummmm I wish I did this post right after I did the drawing, like 3 months ago!! God I'm such a bad Sketchy Lady.

Welcome back from Russia, Julia! I had not seen Julia since high school, mostly since I was 15 and we were friends who liked the Cure and watched 80s teen movies. I still wear these combat boots she gave me then too but I changed the laces. So over break we all caught up up and they talked about their study abroad experiences. Julia and I probably get along better now that we are older and wiser. Maybe we always got along well though, who knows. We even dated the same guy consecutively when we were 14! I was done with him when one day he wore a shirt to school that said "I'd rather be masturbating". Matt Rosenfelder, if you're reading this, hello from both of us!

Like Alyza, Julia enjoyed the fact that I painstakingly drew her beautiful necklace. I wish you could see how colorful the turquoise part is. It was good zone-out material while listening to wacky stories about creepy guys in Venezuela and Russia.

I don't necessarily feel like I did the most A+ accurate job on Julia, but def her lips are accurately pouty. Also, the whole gothy-darkness style is only appropriate for a Bard student. Ha.

Portrait #21: Alyza

I think it is rather appropriate that I took this picture of Alyza with her portrait in my parents' kitchen. Most of the time I've spent with Alyza has been either in my parents kitchen and basement eating pickles, carrots, and hummus. The place I've spend the 2nd most amount of time with Alyza is the powder room of our synagogue when we were in late elementary/early middle school (she was in my older sister's grade). In the latter scenario, Alyza taught all of us nice Jewish girls about things girls should know (dirty jokes, etc) that she learned from her teenage older brother Jason.

It was cool drawing Alyza because she and our friend Julia (post coming soon!) were having a long conversation on my bed, which allowed me a great deal of detail and ability to make corrections. For example, a lack of definition in Alyza's cheeks made them look way too big, which she was not pleased about, but her knack for telling long stories got me outta that one. The way the portrait eventually came out is a lot more accurate than it had been-- I think I'd been out of practice before I got this new drawing pad. It was a luxury to draw someone whose face I'd seen grow and change over the past 10+ years, and really wrap my head around the way her hair behaves texture-wise, and in what ways her nose is super Jewish. Alyza also really appreciated the inclusion of her turtle necklace that she got when she was working with turtles in Costa Rica.

Speaking of Alyza's travels... it is notable that they have been extremely far and wide, moreso than the average college student. I don't know how she did it (flexibility of UMass I guess) but she spent what seems like most of her college years abroad, taking semesters in Argentina and Spain and then travelling for 6+ months afterwards. She sort of disappeared from our lives multiple times but every time she comes home, we manage to still be the extended family we've always been (except for that separation when she and my sister Diane made the transition to high school... woops).