Burlesque Models Inspire Drinking, Drawing

Dr. Sketchy sessions throw a curve at figure studies.


We instantly bonded with Dallas painter Lisa Lindholm when we noticed artist Audrey Kawasaki on her blogroll. Kawasaki's delicately imagined paintings -- almost always of vulnerable, wistful women with thin shoulders and cloudy eyes -- carry a tone similar to Lindholm's images of long-haired women materializing softly onto the canvas.

So you can imagine us blushing a bit when we heard it was Lindholm who brought the spicy Dr. Sketchy's drawing parties to Dallas. Alongside musician beau and natural emcee Johnny Hardy, Lindholm books buxom burlesque queens who pose for game designers, commercial artists, painters (Lindholm pointed us to Kawasaki's own attempt during an L.A. Sketchy class) and the general admiring public. The group maxes out the space at City Tavern with sketchbooks and double scotches in hand for monthly sessions.

"I would say 70 percent of the people who come are serious artists," Lindholm says.

A stash of random dollar-store coloring books is on tap for the rest, who can manipulate the pages to follow an established theme while the model du jour completes timed poses, just like in a standard university figure drawing class. Except, Lindholm says, the models are a lot more fun.

"A nude model doesn't talk," she says. "There's a respect between the artist and the model. There isn't a lot of conversation going on."

Those walls are about as thin as thigh-high fishnets at Sketchy sessions. Lindholm says the Sketchy model doesn't apologize about adjusting during a pose to take a sip of her drink, for instance -- and she'll fire back something sassy if any of the so-called "art monkeys" start a banter. The exchanges are lively but harmless.

"She gets to play princess for three hours ... It's fun and flirty. It's not overtly sexual."

Real-life comic book pinup girl Ruby Rocket is driving up from Austin just to model -- she works tomorrow morning. Purchase tickets at Dr. Sketchy's Dallas myspace, or, for tonight, come dressed as a superhero and get in free. 4-7pm at City Tavern in Dallas.

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