And they're off!

And I don't mean the model's clothes. Well, okay, I do mean the model's clothes, but mainly I mean we're off — the folks who made possible the first Dr. Sketchy: MCD life drawing session in the gritty, artsy, eclectic little village of Hamtramck, Michigan (a town 2 1/2 miles square and almost completely surrounded by Detroit).

On Thursday, August 10 from 9pm-midnight, about 15 or 16 artists (some of whom weren't even close friends of mine or anything...) gathered on the cozy, loungy second floor of Mephisto's, ordered themselves drinks, lit up their smokes and set to work.

Our subject for the evening: fabulous local burlesque diva Sparkly Devil! Sparkly gamely jumped up on an improvised platform (4 milk crates and a piece of plywood, covered in a blanket and a papasan cushion) and wowwed us with her feather fans, vintage costumes and ear-splitting belches. Er, I mean, lively banter! Seriously, Sparkly's enthusiasm, good humor and mix CD really made the evening a blast (and besides that, she set up our MySpace page and has already lined up at least one future model). I'm greatly indebted to her for all her help.

The artists were in good spirits too, and the contests had some fun and funny results. We tried to make Sparkly live up to her name by drawing her as devilish-looking as possible. Then we name-checked Samuel Jackson's upcoming flick with a "Snakes On The Model" contest (Jim Anderson did the "snake in a bottle" version shown here, as well as the smoky portrait above).

The last contest, a sort of sketchbook "round robin" affair, might have been the most fun for everyone. It was a 20-minute pose. Everyone drew in their own sketchbook for five minutes, then dropped it, shifted one seat to the left, picked up their neighbor's sketchbook and worked for the next five minutes on that drawing, and so on. The result was several amazing four-artist collaborations that everyone ran around excitedly signing afterwards! Some of those drawings ended up being the best of the night.

This was the first event sponsored by Hatch, a newly formed artists' collective in Hamtramck. Our web site is still getting assembled, but we have more events and announcements in the works, so keep an eye on the link in the sidebar!

I'll post more art and photos as I receive them. The upshot is: Dr. Sketchy is a big hit in Detroit, and we'll certainly be having more sessions in the future. Stay tuned!


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