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Butterfly Club: Dr. Sketchy's Anti Art School

Lydia De Carllo - our model for Dr. Sketchy's Anti Art School, at the Butterfly Blub - created lovely and interesting poses for us, very much in the pin-up style of the 50’s, and she looked the part.
Butterfly Club: Dr. Sketchy's Anti Art School
Butterfly Club: Dr. Sketchy's Anti Art School I studied art, I collect art, and go to big quiet places to appreciate it... but I have never attended an art class like the one I turned up to last night. We arrived just before 8pm to collect drinks and tickets. People were milling around outside, smoking and clutching their sketch pads. Last night Lydia De Carllo was our model, a burlesque dancer from Vancouver who has been running shows at Cristal Burlesque, each Sunday at the Cristal Bar in South Yarra. Having attended shows at the Butterfly Club in the past, I was familiar with the venue and knew that it would be an interesting space in which to run a drawing class. I was not wrong, it was packed, all with sketch pads and pencils in hand. From where I was sitting I could see snippets of Lydia as she held poses for us. The first hour was spent sketching short poses of around 3 minutes each, although this was extended if the audience requested and Lydia was comfortable. After a short break to refill glasses and remove some of the charcoal from my face, we settled in for some longer poses. Lydia created lovely and interesting poses for us, very much in the pin-up style of the 50’s, and she looked the part. We were allowed to take photos, which I took advantage of so that I could practice for next month. The evening ended with Lydia performing for us, which was a great way to end a fun couple of hours. There were balloons involved and I felt like I was in a speak-easy in Chicago for a short while. One piece of advice for anyone planning to attend, do not wear anything warm, the room heated up as we worked, and in the end it was like taking an art class in a sauna, (an arty version of Bikram yoga). This drawing class offered me an insight into just how out of practice I am, and any experimenting with perspective was completely out of my reach, although I did think that some burlesque dancing classes might be next on my list of skills to attain, (such a cheeky and sexy genre). Unlike a traditional art class you do not receive any instruction, this is simply an opportunity to practice without grades and also be with other people with the same interest, and see how they work and what they produce. That being said, my work ended up looking like either some kind of insect scratching or a completely unintelligible mess of line and form (ho-hum).I tried to angle my sketch pad to hide the train wreck of my efforts, but by the end of the night I had relaxed and was happily sharing with others. If you consider the last time I attended a life drawing class I had to submit a letter from my mother allowing me, (an innocent Catholic school girl) < insert smirk>, to look at and draw naked bodies, then I have certainly come a long way - taking myself off the the Butterfly Club with NO NOTE from my mother! So if you have the urge to draw naked bodies, then go along, you will be part of a worldwide event, there are 30 classes around the world. Dr. Sketchy's Anti Art School is run on the last Wednesday of each month at The Butterfly Club, 204 Bank St, South Melbourne. The fun starts at 8pm and continues till about 10. Visit Dr. Sketchy’s website for more information. event: Dr. Sketchy's Anti Art School venue: Butterfly Club, 204 Bank St Sth Melbourne date: 25/03/09

Zoe Wolfendale

Thursday 26 March, 2009

About the author

Zoë Wolfendale is a reviewer for ArtsHub.