The Berlin Sketches

The Berlin Sketches

My First Solo Exhibition

This blog post is a summary of my first solo show:  The Berlin Sketches. For the best experience viewing my new works, I highly encourage you to read this first. Each Section in this post represents a collection of sketches: club sketches, city, art nights, etc. Statements are posted by each for explanation along with a preview of the works. 

Set the Stage
Now of course you won't get to experience the mood lighting, the all black dress code, the techno music, and the ambiance of the exhibition, but I do hope that by reading this you experience the same emotional journey as in-person attendees.

Before getting into the statements, here are a few of my favorite images from the show on December 1st, 2023.

Artist Statement

I’ve never liked sketching and I have always preferred to dive right into the piece. The artwork so clear in my head, a sketch felt pointless. Until now. The first three months of this year I moved to Berlin on a whim and I found myself constantly inspired by the new surroundings, and sketching became a fun way to unwind and document my time there. From drawing the lively nightlife to capturing the quiet streets, my sketches became a journal of my life. A majority of the pieces are light, intriguing, and mostly have no meaning. Allowing myself to find solace in sketching, however, sparked a new light inside me, that would lead me in a new direction for my artwork. Being away from friends, family, and my therapist, my mental health had some pretty low swings. Anxiety making a large appearance. Unsure what to do, I started creating self portraits to represent how I was feeling. What I couldn’t put into words, practically yelled at me from the sketchbook urging me to seek help. To honestly check in on my mental health. This collection represents a turning point in my work, embracing the unknown...sketching things I couldn’t visualize before hand. The final pieces are something I never expected, challenging me to look within. Berlin helped me fall in love with the process and showed me the power of art to say things we might be scared to say ourselves.


Falling in Love with Sketching

This series of works reignited Stelter’s love for sketching and is the reason this entire exhibition exists. Berlin’s underground art scene is full of small word of mouth gatherings. From sketching nights to open mics, there is no shortage of inspiration. These specific hanging pieces are from the below events, and as you view the sketches, you will see each hanging section is of the same model in different poses. Sketcherei Berlin is an artist ran, bi-weekly sketching event with a live model/burlesque dancer. The model performs her burlesque routine, pausing in 1-7 min increments to be sketched. Berlin Strippers Collective also hosted monthly sketching nights! These nights helped fund the collective to continue funding resources for sex workers in the city. Fargo Scribble Night is Stelter’s way of bringing the sketching nights to her local community.


From the City

From quiet coffee shops to the busting U-bahn, these works were sketched in various locations around the city.

From the Club

From Sex Clubs to one of the most elusive and famous clubs in the world (Berghain) this series celebrates Berlin Club Community with sketches of friends made at the clubs.

From London

This three piece micro-collection is a collaboration with a London based artist - Ishilla, who visited me in Berlin during my time there.


From the Mind

These 10 pieces represent the emotional turmoil of a young woman (me) who was oblivious to the immense pressure she placed upon herself. Over the course of three months, her life spiraled into a tempestuous maelstrom of nightmares and soaring dreams, so emotionally charged that drawings were the only means of expressing it.The collection delves into the depths of her psyche, exploring the raw, untamed emotions that raged within her. Each piece is a visceral outpouring of her inner turmoil, rendered in a style that mirrors the intensity of her feelings.The drawings are raw and unfiltered, capturing the rawness of her emotions with an unflinching honesty. They are a testament to the power of art to express the inexpressible, giving voice to the unspoken anguish that lay hidden within her heart.The collection is a poignant reminder of the importance of self-awareness and the destructive consequences of suppressing one's emotions. It is a call to action, urging us to confront our inner demons and seek help when needed.

The Nightmare Vortex

Acrylic on Canvas
30”x 40”

“I’m not the best at putting my feeling into words, so lately I’ve been putting them into paintings. Self-portraits.
Nightmare Vortex - a poem
You know that feeling
when you take a step back and
realize some of your biggest fears
are becoming a reality
and you don't know
what to do.

When your brain is flying a
million miles a minute,
your gut impaled with anxiety.
When the energy around you
feels like its sucking
the oxygen away
and your heart struggles
to beat.
When your dreams are clouded
with chaos and fear.
When you are living
your nightmare.”

In a world where anxiety and fear are increasingly prevalent, "The Nightmare Vortex" serves as a powerful reminder that we are not alone in our struggles. It is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, the ability to face our fears and emerge stronger on the other side.



Acrylic on Canvas
30”x 40”

Chaos of Dreams and Desires - a poem

“Sometimes - more often lately
I feel like half of my life is
at the seams,
just as
everything seems to be going right.
big dreams trailed with
chaotic whiplash

when will it end?
Do I want it to end?”


From Before Berlin

This section was included in the exhibition to give viewers context on her previous work. Stelter’s works Pre-Berlin celebrate body positivity and self love. Still using the same scribbl-y technique, one can see cohesion; however, after exploring adding emotions to her works, Stelter sees a shift coming, combining the portrayal of emotions with her classic pieces.

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who made it to the in-person show, and also to everyone who is reading this from afar, your support means so much to me! All the works are now available for purchase. Go you my main menu > The Berlin Sketches to view them all. 

Hannah Stelter at the Berlin SketchesHannah Stelter at her first solo art show: The Berlin Sketches

A special thanks to Chase Evert for all the photos! 

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