This week we talked to Allie, her artwork is diverse and not your usual run of the mill art. Her paintings burst with emotion and color. Allie also has a wide range of talents that have led her to meet Sasha Velour and also her love of non-ru girls. Alongside her artwork Allie gives her take on the best local drag queens to follow in the Portland area. So welcome to the stage Allie (thatdragpainter)
Dragadventures: How would you describe your art style? What’s your process when creating art?
Allie: I describe myself as a mixed media painter specializing in watercolor. I definitely implement a wide variety of collage and mixed media materials, but I use traditional watercolor techniques as the foundation of every piece. In school, I did a lot of work revolving around the female experience, body image, and different modes of feminine expression, as well as works examining different types of entertainment and celebrity. I think that to a certain degree, looking at Drag is a natural part of that creative trajectory, because in many cases drag addresses the very same topics!
DA: Favourite Queen(s) to draw and why?
A: Probably Sasha Velour. I’ve painted her a couple times, and it’s always really fun. I think my favorite part of painting queens in a more realistic style is that you have to sort of reconcile the person’s natural features that you see when you look at them, with how they contour and reshape their own face. Sasha’s nose & nose contour are a good example of that, and it’s always my fave part of painting her.
DA: Has there been a starstruck moment when Queens reacted to your art on social media?
A: I’ve gotten really sweet feedback from a few queens online! In particularly I was excited to hear from Evah Destruction, who I am totally crazy about. Honestly, though, I think I was the most star struck when I met Sasha in person and tried to ask her to sign my painting. I was so overwhelmed that I struggled to get a sentence out a little bit. Eventually, she figured out what the hell I was talking about, and with Johnny Velour’s help, we got my painting signed during intermission. I felt like such an idiot, but they were both super sweet and said they liked the painting, so it was worth it I guess!
DA: How is the drag scene where you live? Are there any local Queens you follow?
A: The drag scene in Portland is really cool and definitely eclectic. Lots of very artsy and alternative/grungy drag, which I suppose is very on-brand for the PNW, but there’s truly everything from pageant girls to bearded queens. One of the things I love about the drag scene here is that queens create non-traditional drag events, like Queer Horror film screenings with Carla Rossi!
As far as queens to follow, I love love love Madame Dumoore. She’s just really fun and interesting, and well rounded creatively. Like, she can get all glamazoned out and win the Le Femme Magnifique pageant, and then turn around and serve a Futurama Zoidburg look, or glue acrylic nails onto her mouth so it looks like she has big muppet teeth. She’s always serving something different, and I love it!
DA: How has Drag impacted your life? Favourite show you’ve been to and why.
A: Drag has had a huge impact on me for sure, but it’s hard to kind of quantify I guess. I remember seeing Ru on Vh1 as a kid and finding her so gorgeous and interesting. I also feel like Frank Marino from Las Vegas (if you don’t know who he is google him RIGHT NOW….such an icon) had an impact on me during my formative years. I think just generally being exposed to that level of glamor and gender fuckery at a young age helped shape everything from my personal taste and style to my political views. So kudos to them!
My favorite place to see shows is gone now, but when I lived in Las Vegas there used to be a club called Drink n’ Drag. It was 100% staffed by queens- every bartender, bouncer, everyone. Performing queens did a set every half hour, and there was also an attached bowling alley. It was a weird combination but it was fun as hell, and always a good place to see local talent!!
DA: What are your plans/goals for the future? What would be your dream to achieve with your art?
A: I’d love for a queen to commission me for a larger sized painting for their home, that would be cool! Either that or some kind of merch collab. I think in general my work is a little too painterly for traditional merch. I don’t think it would really translate well into an enamel pin or t-shirt, but I think it would be amazing to do some kind of limited edition art prints with a queen!