Dr. Sketchy’s for E.A.S.T.

“The East Austin Studio Tour (EAST) features dozens of creative events each year, but we couldn’t help being especially intrigued by psychedelic taxidermy, neon Marie Antoinette wigs, vintage clothes, and pop grunge illustrations all in one space. We stopped by the Maison d’Etoile building (2109 E. Cesar Chavez) during installation to catch up with Allyson Garro, Hope Perkins, and Bradley Wilkinson to learn more about their EAST offerings.”
– Tracie Chan, Austinist

On Sunday, November 18th, Maison d’Etoile hosted a Dr. Sketchy’s anti-art class where I  posed as a love-child mashup between the two featured artists, Hope Perkins and Bradley Wilkinson. Do you know about Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School? I’m the director of the Austin branch – come and sketch some time!

I made these gigantic pink antlers and attached chandelier crystals between the points. What outfit would be complete without matching necklace and Pop Art paint-dripped crystal pasties?

I was so, so excited to meet Hope Perkins after seeing her artwork in different Austin venues for the past few years. What a sweetheart! Dressing for this event was a fun extension for me – how else would I have incorporated velvet and arrows in to the same ensemble?

These antlers were much smaller, and thus, I wore them for longer during the modeling sessions. They are covered in velvet, pearls, and are gold-tipped. This outfit featured glittery arrow wounds that emerged from my chest and ribs. I took cues from Kahlo’s The Wounded Deer, and also vintage hunting scenes.

Bradley Wilkinson made me a special character head to wear for a few poses:

And one of his sketches:

A sketch of me by Heather Joy:

Check out Dr. Sketchy to see if there is a branch in your town and then GO and DRAW!

Phonograph Portraits, or, how I climbed into a bell

This summer, sat for a tin type photo session with Heather Curiel. I brought my Victor Monarch phonograph from 1901 to the shoot, and sat with it for the first photo. When I went to school for photography in Oregon, I was always drawn to tin types and wet plate methods: they are laborious, fickle and very reverential medium. There is a lot of room for error – dust specks in the collodian, defects in the plate, and problems with development. Also, this is what makes the photograph so special.
For the second portrait, I wore a phonograph horn as an Elizabethan ruff. This was an idea that I’ve been working on for about a year, in fact, you can see a picture of me hacking through the metal on my first post of Old Fashioned Way in August of 2011. A few years ago, I bought a cheap reproduction phonograph from ebay for about $100 bucks. The machine was so terrible, but it was my foray into the world of phonograph collecting. After the spring broke in the machine, it sat, collecting dust on my armoire. Essentially, the only function it had was to house my iPhone, which I would turn on and stick into the bell to amplify music.
I had this idea that just wouldn’t leave. What if a siren lived inside of the phonograph, and the bell encircled her head like a crown? What if her slender fingers could be the reproducer, the pointed nail the needle? I began doodling the image everywhere. This chalk drawing was up at the cafe where I invented my vegan ice cream recipe.
In 2010, I was lucky enough to land an appointment with Nick Baxter, who is probably the most amazing tattoo artist on the planet. It took a lot of explaining on my part as to exactly how my tattoo should look. He had never seen a phonograph up close, so I printed him off sheets and sheets of reference material that I found on ebay. The result was an enormous tattoo that covers my ribcage and most of my hip. I love his details: the wood grain, the spinal column Art Nouveau flowers, the rusty spots on the metal.

Last week, this obsession with climbing into the phonograph has come full circle. I sat for Darla Teagarden, a photographer known for creating paintings come to life. I brought my phonograph ruff, my Victor Monarch, and a freshly painted set of nails. She strapped me into the ruff, I turned the crank, and looked into the spotlight.

Volk: New Year’s Eve

I rang in 2012 in a snowy pine forest, surrounded by white wolves, champagne, and some of my dearest friends. Hosted at Justine’s, Volk: How did you come to be lost? was the theme of the evening. With Russian folktales at the core, the Brasserie was transformed by the addition of 200+ pine trees and snow machines that pumped over 20,000 lbs of snow on the scene. Real and taxidermy wolves lurked in the shadows. All photos in this post, by the amazing John Leach.

There were two white wolves in attendance. Actually, they are a special breed of dog called a Gibler dog, which is a hybrid of rescued wolves, Akita, and Malamute. There is a very lovely family here in Austin who raises them, and their daughter came to a Vintage Vivant for Easter with her wolf, Winter, in tow (read a little about Winter and his cute characteristics here). They are so patient and sweet! This one’s name is Snow, and I petted him at midnight.

Gina and Kitty with the wolf!

Miss Sassy Delure in the snowy forest. On NYE day, the weather in Austin was a brisk 70F! When I walked towards Justine’s, I could feel the temperature dropping because of the snow from the snow machines. It was 6 inches thick in some areas, but was forming a slick layer on top. I had to walk with a firm heel-toe heel-toe step through the trees, lest I trip and impale some poor fellow with my antlers. Hidden in the back of the forest was a vodka tent & a photobooth.

Mistress Stephanie & her snowy footprints.

My duties as Snow Nymph included filling the champagne tower with fellow fairies, including Kitty & Raven.

Me and Angeliska – supreme Queen of Snow

Me, Sassy & Liz. Snackface, Sassy!

Although I looked at the lookbook for the event quite extensively (which was a mix of Galliano makeup & Russian princesses) I still managed to look like a flapper babydoll underneath it all, with a little bit of drag queen thrown in for good measure. These white antlers are for sale in my etsy store, as well.