La Bellissima Maria Bella

We have a new winner for my favorite photo ever taken at a Dr. Sketchy’s Baltimore.  Russell should just go ahead and give Maria Bella his scooter, ’cause honestly, it looks hotter with her on it.

This was our official Two Year Anniversary session!  If you missed it, well, you should just sit down right now and cry like an itty-bity-witty baby because Maria Bella, “Baltimore’s Sicilian Princess” and founder of Gilded Lily Burlesque, was absolutely gorgeous—if she had been a snake, not only would you have NOT missed her in the grass, she would have had her own late-night SciFi Channel movie where she gobbled up an entire village in the Congo or something.

And there were cupcakes from Sweet Sin Bakery!

Before we got the ball rolling, we had a mini-contest at 6:50 for a rail drink.  The question was, “Can you name another member of Gilded Lily besides Maria?”  Some lucky fellow in the back shouted out Sable Syn Cyr, which, while not currently correct, got “old school” points since she was a member until she moved to Wisconsin a little while ago.  Plus, her picture was on the wall, so who are we to be sticklers?

With that, Maria Bella took the stage and the 1 & 2 minute poses began.

Our first contest contest of the evening—well, I guess it was the second—was the good ol’ “If you’re right-handed with your left, if you’re left-handed draw with your right, and if your ambidextrous, your calling is Kung-Fu, not drawing burlesque performers”.

A few more five-minute poses…

Next up were the ten-minute poses.  The first pose was our third contest which was the best incorporation of an accordion with the winner receiving a $15 gift card from Atomic Books in Hampden, on Falls Rd. just off the Avenue.

R. L. May III


The second ten-minute pose was the one we dragged Russell’s moped up onto the stage for.  You’d think that wouldn’t be too difficult, but that stupid thing must weigh a ton.  It got up there after a fair amount of cussing though.

Liz Beetem

Next up were the twenty minute poses and another contest which was the best incorporation of a drop bear with the winner getting Visions From Within the Mechanism: The Industrial Surrealism of Jeffery Scott from Baby Tattoo Books.

The weekend before Dr. Sketchy’s, Alexis, Maria, and I took a trip to Asheville, NC for the Asheville Burlesque and Sideshow Festival.  Maria was performing and since my folks live in Asheville, carpooling seemed the cheapest and funnest way to mosey down there.  Not only that, but the ten-hour car ride gave me plenty of time to run on at the mouth at excruciating length about the local fauna, so Maria would be prepared if a wild boar tried to chew off her leg or a snake popped out of her salad.  (She actually saw 4 snakes over two days, though it was probably 2 snakes seen twice—wait, one of the performers was carrying around a snake, so does that make 5?  I suppose it’s not important.)  Anyways, this may sound like Jager-induced paranoia, but forewarning tourists is what stops people’s babies from being carried off by bald eagles and shit.

What we were talking about?  Oh, drop bears.  One of the many carnivorous hazards of my fair home state is the wily  Drop Bearfirocicus.  A sub-species of the normal mountain black bear, drop bears are basically black bears that are soooo fat and lazy they eventually get tired of killing mooses (meeses?), elk, and raiding old ladys’ trash cans.  Instead, the climb up in a tree and wait, sometimes for days at a time, until some tourist, park ranger, or teenagers looking to have sex in the woods walk by and then BLAM, they fall right out of the tree and squish them flat with their big ol’ butt.

I’m telling you, it’s a god-damn zoo down there.

Knowledge is half the battle, folks.

So, best incorporation of drop bears . . .

Ben Carnow (winner)

Liz Beetem

Mike Hasson

Last up for the evening was a final 20-minute pose and a contest for the best incorporation of the World’s Cup with the prize being a slick frame from Artist & Craftsman Supply which is just across the street on the corner of North and Howard.  (They’re open till 8 too, so if you forget your art supplies, for God’s sake run over there and tell them you came from us.)

Liz Beetem

Ben Carnow

Mike Hasson

We’d like to thank Baltimore’s Sicilian Princess, Maria Bella of Gilded Lily Burlesque, for making our second anniversary session a rousing success, and not only that, but driving us down to Asheville with her and for just an over all kick-ass weekend.  We’d also like to thank our generous sponsors Atomic Books, Artist & Craftsman Supply, and Baby Tattoo Books for donating prizes for us give away.  Thanks as well to Russell of the Windup Space for slinging drinks, CDs, and his moped up onto the stage; Jeff for the stunning photos you see above; and to Alexis for being our sardonic host.

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“She’s dead . . . wrapped in plastic.”

April 12th’s special Twin Peaks themed session with Viola Van Wilde of Gilded Lily Burlesque was EASILY one of the best sessions we’ve ever had.  You probably don’t know this, but this session has been planned for over a year.  When we first moved to the WindUp Space and were discussing the ins and outs with Russell, one of the first things he said was, “Hey, uh, is there a chance you could do a Twin Peaks themed session next year when we do our Lynchfest?  Ummm, have you seen Twin Peaks?”

Oh, little did he know.  If you’ve not seen Twin Peaks, you should.  Yes, it’s obscure, but basically, Twin Peaks was the Lost, Firefly, or BSG of its era.  I’m not going to belabor the point, but if you’re looking for a good yarn, Google it, you can watch it online for free with a little digging.

Anyways…we had donuts and some “damn good cherry pie” from Fenwick Bakery!

To be honest, we came pretty close to eating all of them before any of you showed up.  We’re good, moral, upstanding folks, though, so, err, we didn’t.

Well, we ate a few.

(This Monday though is going to be even sweeter….Sweet Sin Bakery is sponsoring Miss Cherry Delight’s session with free cupcakes!  Don’t be late, they’ll go fast.)

In any case, take a gander at sexy Log Lady, Viola Van Wilde.

FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper: “Who’s the lady with the log?”

Sheriff Harry S. Truman: “We call her the log lady.”

Log Lady:  “One day my log will have something to say about this.”

Kerry Brady

Log Lady: “Dark. Laughing. The owls were flying. Many things were blocked.”

(Well, in this case, the owls were blocking two things. Otherwise, we’d all get arrested.)

The Giant: “The owls are not what they seem.”

BTW, those have to be the coolest pasties ever.  (Or, as Russell said, “Nice hooters!”)

Viola’s next outfit was the sexy Audrey Horne.  Not only was she holding an amazing pose, but while doing so, she secretly tied the stem of a maraschino cherry into knot, which is how Audrey was able to infiltrate the bordello, One Eyed Jack’s, in Twin Peaks.

Our first contest was the opposite hand contest, where if you’re left handed you draw with your right, and if you’re right right handed you draw with your left, and if you’re ambidextrous you should . . . I don’t know, email me some jokes, cause, I’m running out of clever things to say in this portion.  The two winners got some sort of mystery concoction from Russell.  Lord knows what was in it.

Pete Martell, upon finding the murdered Laura Palmer in the opening scene of Twin Peaks: “She’s dead . . . wrapped in plastic.”

Kerry Brady

Stewart White

Stewart White

Special thanks to Brian K. who was thoroughly and appropriately disturbing as Bob for a pose or two. 🙂

The next contest was, “What other things are wrapped in plastic?” with the prize being a sketchbook from Artist & Craftsman Supply which is at the corner of Howard and North, basically just across the street, which is pretty damn convenient if you need some last-minute art supplies.

Kerry Brady

Next up was the artist’s best incorporation of “Fire, walk with me”, the quintessential phrase/key to all of Twin Peaks.

Kerry Brady

John Brewer

Stewart White

The prize was a Mini-Munny from Atomic Books, on the corner of Falls Rd and the Avenue in Hampden.

BTW, this is a good time to mention that you’ve got about a week left to check out what some local artists have created from these DIY vinyl dolls in Vinylmore 3 : Vinylmore, Munnyland at Atomic Books.  You can see photos of some pieces from this and past shows here, but really, you should see them in person, so don’t miss it.

And last up was the artist’s incorporation of “What’s the next TV series we may be paying homage to 20 years from now?”  The prize was Obscene Interiors by Justin Jorgenson from Baby Tattoo Books.  We didn’t get any of those sketches in the mail this time, so you’ll just have to imagine those.

Special thanks to Viola Van Wilde and Brian K. for seriously going above and beyond for this session!  Big thanks as well to our generous sponsors Atomic Books, Artist & Craftsman Supply, and Baby Tattoo Books.  Thanks to Bill for doing door and filming for the Dr. Sketchy’s Baltimore documentary, to Jeff for taking all the amazing photos you see above, and to Russell for helping everyone get sloshed. And thanks to everyone who came out, Peaks geeks and otherwise!

Tonight, April 26th, is a super-duper special session with Miss Cherry Delight, Coney Island’s burlesque confection, who is coming down to Charm City for your drawing pleasure . . . not only that, but there will be free cupcakes from Sweet Sin Bakery!

The flyer is by Alexis, and that amazing photo is by Sherri O’Connor.  Check out the rest of her stunning work.

Oh, keep in mind the door charge is now $8 instead of $7 . . . after two years we finally had to raise it.  Free cupcakes from Sweet Sin Bakery though and Cherry Delight?  What could you possibly be doing on a Monday night that could be better than that?