Tuesday, 25 September 2007

What do you call a collection of pussies?

The fantasy fanny collection seems to have got properly off the ground now - which I am delighted about! Todate, I have ...........wait for it...............ten ........participants! Yay!! Which makes a good set of paintings, and bodes well for the start of an interesting collection. My plan is for them to be exhibited somewhere - hopefully a gallery will be interested in them, as I would love to see them all shown together. Since this is a celebration of womanhood and the desirability of women, it should be big, bright and beautiful. And I have to make the paintings slightly abstract with a surreal twist otherwise the collection will look something like a gynaecologists convention!

But..... what to call the paintings - I've been thinking about it ever since the idea was first discussed. I've been referring to it as "Pussy portraits" or "Fanny fantasies" but I knew that wouldn't be the finished title as I didn't want the local cat lovers group arriving and being shocked that it wasn't a set of paintings featuring fluffy kittens playing with balls of string. And since the word fanny means something totally different to the English than to Americans, neither did I want an Americans thinking it was of bums! Plus I didn't want the title to particularly have the normal swear words in it, as that would make it seem derogatory - and that is CERTAINLY not my intention. So........ on to other words....... but then there were words that have differing meanings - slits, snatches etc. and I wasn't happy with them either. So - a bit of further investigation has come up with much better words, and included in them is what I consider to be the perfect word - one that is suitably apt for what I am doing........ I love the old words for pussy like coint, coynte, quaint, qwaynt but my favourite of them all is queynte. Queynte is an old English word that is apparently a pun on the word "cunt" and its also from where the word "quim" is derived, and it means "many layered in-folded mystery". How perfect is that????!!!! So the paintings will be anonymous as to the identity of the owner and will be very simply called:"Queynte 1", "Queynte 2", "Queynte 3" etc.

And it's particularly apt regarding the many layered mystery as the point of the paintings is an affirmation of the desirability of women, especially the part that a lot of women may not be wholly comfortable with, and which is normally hidden from the world. I like the idea of calling the whole collection "Shameless" as they will be without shame about their beauty and their power. They know they are desirable, that their lovers want to be there, it's where they accept lovers, and where life starts. And in particular to this, I want the identities of the women to be a secret, so that whilst they are happy to have their pussies on show, the normal recognition of their identities and faces will be the part that's hidden. Regarding the participants, each persons identity will remain a secret unless they wish to tell other people that they have participated, and which one is theirs.

I want to do them as a set of largish paintings of close-ups of fannies. I want them to appear to be abstract paintings, that could hang on a wall and anyone looking at them would think that it’s a nice contemporary painting but then they might think it looks just like a fanny before they get a jolt when they realize that actually it IS close-up of a fanny! I want the images to be brightly coloured, with bold shapes and lines, and they will probably be slightly abstract, and each one will have the surreal twist of the hint of a naked woman drawn amongst the folds. The hidden woman is the reference to everyone having secrets, deep within them, and a reminder of the essence of what I am actually depicting within the painting, even if it does looks abstract.

The finished paintings will be 20 inches by 16 inches, so I’ll need as much detail as possible from the photographs that I will be working from, so that I can fill the painting. And since I have more to paint than I first considered, I will also have to paint them in different colours, or else it'll look too uniform and boring when they are all exhibited together.

Oh, and I have been asked a question today - well , THE QUESTION, actually, the one that I have been expecting form someone at some point. The "Are you going to participate in this, too, Jackie?" question. And my answer? It has to be "Yes". I have to be part of this if its going to be a celebration of women - because how can I not be part of it? But, mine, like the others, will be a secret as to which it is.

So......... now I need to find someone to take some photos for me............... Now, who shall I ask.......???

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Pussies Galore

I've got two pussies to paint today - and both so exquisitely .......... DIFFERENT!!! The first is of a fluffy feline moggy, the sort you'd be happy to have purring contentedly on your lap. The second is most definitely not like that at all, although a lot of people might get it purring after they'd been lapping contentedly at it! And of the two paintings, although I shall enjoy doing the first, I shall REALLY enjoy doing the second! I have been thinking for a couple of weeks how I'm going to do the fantasy fanny paintings (and what I'm eventually going to call them, as a collection, too) and I know I want to make them look like contemporary abstracts, with the hint of a naked woman hidden in there somewhere, and lots of bright colours and strong shapes to make the design work. For a design to look good in a painting, it has to work as well in simple black and white, as much as in colour, and doing a thumbnail sketch is the usual way that an artist works out whether a painting will work as a finished composition. So, to this end, I sat down last night with a pencil and a small sheet of paper and I just started drawing in the lines, and then the shading, and it became apparent very early on that the image is going to work well for this painting, there were lots of interesting darks and lights, shapes merging into each other, and textures to play with, before I even think about the colour aspect. So, I'm all raring to go.......... the minute I've done the watercolour of the fluffy mog!

Whilst we're on the subject of pussies, I've got some lovely new images on my website - most of which have appeared here first, but not in as much detail as my website, plus they all look so much better when seen together in a gallery, with the explanatory text. Lots of lovely erotic images to peruse........ I'll be hopefully updating the more vanilla stuff in the next week or so, but the erotic images always take priority! To view them click here: www.jackieadshead.co.uk/gallery/erotic

I saw my friend Lucy Felthouse this week too (are we still on the pussy theme?) and had our usual delightful time together. We talk for hours, laugh a lot, and compare notes on working in the land of Erotica, and although she's a writer and I'm an artist, we are very similar in our approaches to our work, and the people we work with. It was a very productive night, and with Lucy's help I feel I've leapt forward on my ever growing things to do list!

Just whilst I'm updating the week, I have been booked to appear later on in the year with the WI to go and talk to them about being an Erotic Artist (and boy, am I looking forward to THAT night!!!!!!). Whilst in the pub last week, two separate women I know, who are not in the WI, told me that they are coming to hear me talk that night! So, they're expecting to be entertained and have a good laugh, which is great, and I hope I manage to give them both!

Now...... back to pussy paintings....

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Whats in a title?

I visited one of my favourite galleries yesterday, always a joy, and lovely to see their latest batch of paintings. Some I really liked, some were mediocre, a lot of them were tastefully arranged young women with only the hint of nipple on show - any bums, crotches and full breasts were covered artistically (and disappointingly) with a cloth (unlike my drawings!). But what I was struck by was the naff titles of the paintings - they were something along the line of "garden", "beach at sunset", "picking flowers". And didn't, for me, involve any emotion in the painting, as they were actually of a beautiful girl, or a couple of pretty girls, within the garden or beach setting - so, if they had been something along the lines of - "Julia in the garden", then I'd have instantly had an affinity with "Julia", or if they had been less personalised but perhaps invoking an emotion - like "picking flowers for mum" or "Sunset thoughts of my lover" then I'd have been happier with the painting. But, I suppose for a lot of people, once they've bought a painting and hung it on the wall, what does it matter what the painting is called?

I can agonise for days over the title of a painting, sometimes taking longer to think of it than it actually took to paint it! And on the whole I like my titles (I'm not saying they're the best in the world, because they're not, but hopefully they convey something into the painting through them). Although the fanny paintings that I'm currently working on will be called something along the lines of "fanny 1", "fanny 2", "fanny 3" etc that is ONLY to protect the identity of the person behind the painting, and not because of any inability to think of a title on my part.

I have painted lots of watercolour paintings of tigers. I love tigers. I love their bright dramatic colouring, their stripes, their menace, and the whole cat thing about them. So the first tiger painting I did was quite naturally called "Burning Bright". The next one I did was called "Tiger bright" then followed "Spitting mad" since the tiger was all teeth and fury. After that followed "The tiger within" since the tiger looked like it was looking though a wall of water at the viewer. Then came "Cool regard" as the tiger was looking quietly at the viewer, and then came the jokey one which I called "Tiger spotted" since there were two tigers in the painting, one all regal and majestic in the foreground, and the other was approaching from a distance, having spotted him, and it amused me to call it that, as tigers aren't spotted, they're striped (as well you know). So, all tiger paintings, all with titles I was happy with. Then came the painting I did of a tiger swimming. I was really pleased with the painting, it had gone beautifully, looked good, and was technically well done, showing the body of the tiger submerged beneath the green waters. But what to call it? I went though all the titles I could think of ....... tiger swimming, tiger in water, water tiger, swimming tiger...... none of them worked.......... so in the end I called it "Sea for cat" being a pun on the phrase "C for cat" and it amused me to call it that. But I had chickened out of the title I SHOULD have gone for...........it was so obvious, so deliciously apt, so totally RIGHT, and yet I didn't use it!! So, now you're wondering what it is, what I should have called this painting of a swimming tiger?

Yep, its........................................ "Wet pussy"!!!!!!

Friday, 14 September 2007

Capturing stray pussies

Further to my posting "Dare to bare - pussy wanted" on 17th August I'm delighted at the response that (so far) six ladies have volunteered to keep their faces (and to an extent, their identities) hidden but their fannies on show - well, technically, its six but the last one has been volunteered by someone else and they have suggested I send her an email to ask for her details. Now that was an interesting email to send as she isn't a blogger I know as well as the others, only as someone on the peripheries of other people's blogs....... so the wording had to be........er...........tactful! Something along the lines of "Hello, you don't know me, but your mate has volunteered you to pose intimately for me, so if you're willing, can you send me some close-up photos of your fanny?" ...... and since I've sent the email I've not heard anything, so she's either cowering in a dark corner petrified at the thought, or laughing her head off and trying to work out HOW to take the photos. Cos it's not easy, at all. I've already had some photos sent to me, and had to direct the angle/lighting/focus and composition by email and words. It would be far easier to take the photos myself since I know exactly what I want, to be able to work from, to produce some detailed paintings, but of course that's not possible to do. The one thing that all the ladies concerned have expressed is the difficultly in getting the photos taken. And I'm sure all the guys out there would jump at the chance to take the photos for them.........!

But............ when I get my collection of photos together I will be able to start painting, and since this little.............er................exhibition.... was mooted, I've had chance to talk to the volunteers and think about what they want and what I want to express in my painting. I did a practice drawing the other week and wasn't at all happy with the outcome. I ended up with something that could be taken as a gynecological technical drawing, or in certain lights, maybe a botanical drawing of a rare and exotic orchid. And that isn't what this is about, not for me. Its a celebration of womanhood, an affirmation of the beauty and desirability of females. And because of that, the images should be bright, with strong shapes, and very colourful, probably slightly abstract or maybe a touch surreal, as I fancy introducing the hint of a naked woman amongst the folds, and think that that as an idea will work well. I want to use bright pinks, reds, oranges and golds, and maybe purples, blues and blacks for the hidden depths. I want the paintings to be hung on a wall for people to see, and think they're looking at some abstract design until they realise with gut-wrenching shock that they're actually looking at close-ups of womanhood - open, and on view, for all the world to see, and admire, like some erotic flower.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

A bit of French

I'm just back from a few days in southern France and after the misery of this years cold and depressingly wet English summer, it was a joy to be in hot sunshine again! Everything looks so much better in bright sunshine, the natural colours shine and purple shadows dress the landscape. Its rare for me to like a landscape that isn't bathed in sunlight. And of course French rural landscapes are full of ancient limestone buildings half forgotten in their bucolic decay.... their aged weathered doors just clinging on to the last remnants of faded paint, worn steps lead up to flowerfilled doorways, shuttered windows look out upon the day, and cobbled paths lead up to interesting hidden shadowy passageways, I just had to go and investigate! I was in artist heaven!! Ok, so it wasn't erotic art, but it was full of inspiration for me - and I took enough photos to keep me busy with a hundred future paintings! (and that is NOT an exaggeration!). But....... even though I was full of inspiration for old French tumble-down buildings, I was greatly amused to see that others think of erotica quite often too......... Whilst visiting the famous wine village of Chateauneuf du Pape, and clambering up the hill to look at the remains of the papal chateau, I stood admiring the grandeur of the old building, which is basically a couple of tall castle walls, some old stonework, an archway, a few windows, and a large piece stone flooring, I was much amused to glance down and opened my eyes in wonder to see ......an extremely large and very erect phallus drawn out in the dust of the stone floor, seen in ignorance by the majority of visitors there, but to an erotic artist it was MUCH evident, and caused me a few minutes of wicked mirth to see what someone else had thought of, and most had overlooked or walked over in total ignorance!

So.......... back to painting again........ now........what shall I do? French landscapes versus erotica.......MMmmmmmm.............. tough decision!!!!!!

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Catching rainbows

I decided to try a bit of whimsy this week with my life drawing. It was just an idea to see what a pose would look like if it was drawn in the colours of the spectrum, and I'm really pleased with how pretty it is! I decided to do it on black card as the colours stand out better, and pastel was the obvious medium as it's instant and bright colour, ideal for my design. I worked out a pose that would take the image well - knowing it had to be the long length of the figure rather than having the figure scrunched up and losing the whole concept of the idea otherwise. The female figure was drawn first in white crayon, then I worked out the seven divisions for the pastel colours, starting with red for the head, descending to violet for the feet. I had considered going down the arms to the tips of the fingers in the blue, indigo, violet, but I think that would have looked a bit too much for the image. It works better that the legs just have those colours and the green fingers are in line with the hip colour.

I'm delighted with the result and could easily see it as a logo for gay pride!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

The latest model

Who'd want to be an artists model? Certainly, there aren't that many people who fancy the job. Not many people are happy taking their clothes off for other people. Especially people who are going to look intently at them. Examine them in minute detail. And then after they've done that they're going to put all the details down on paper infront of them, showing all the parts of your body they you may not be a hundred percent comfortable with. Warts and all ....... so to speak! So, who would want to do THAT for goodness sake???? Well.......... it appears that some people do, and they actually enjoy doing it. And yes, I know that people pose as life drawing models for various reasons - some of them financial - because a life model can earn a reasonable rate of pay for sitting there in the buff, doing nothing in particular but keeping still (and BOY is THAT hard work!!!). But other people do it for far more involved reasons than basic cash. They do it for the love of it - they adore getting their clothes off for someone else and definitely get a frisson of excitement every time they stand before a room full of clothed strangers, knowing that all the eyes in that room are focused on THEM. They are the Star of the Show!!!

But deeper than that, there's another group of people who enjoy the creative process, and want to be part of it, but just don't know how to. They're not artistic, they're not particularly creative, they can't draw to save their lives, but they really really want to do something arty. So, they decide to aide the artist in another way - they become life models. They are the focus of the artistic process - they are the basis of the end product - their body is frozen in time, portrayed upon a canvas, immortalised in paint to live on in perpetuity for the world to see. And whilst you could say that they are being altruistic in some ways, they are also fully aware of their selfish needs in this. Its fulfilling their desire for being the creative focus of someone else.

And then there's the next group - the happy amateurs, who are doing it for a bit of a laugh, a lark, a bit of fun. They just pick it up and do it on the spur of the moment, something else to add to their "done that, bought the tee shirt" scenario, something they can laugh about down the pub with their mates, and tell their grandchildren about when they're old and grey.

And I suppose taking it to a different direction all together, there are those people who get their sexual kicks from the fantasy of being naked with a load of other people, and imagine the hot and frenzied passionate no-holds barred gang-bang orgy that might.......just......... happen .........if certain things go their way, and who probably go home bitterly frustrated and incredibly disappointed when they realise that actually the artist only really did just want to draw them for a couple of hours, and have a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit and talk about their herbaceous border.

But, to go to to another side altogether, there's the sublime relationship between artist and their muse - not just a model, but a person who truely inspires the artist. They have a deep and lasting love affair, not always of a sexual nature, but certainly one of a deep and significant type, where the artist does their best work because of the relationship and feeds from the artistic flow that comes from it. That's the pinnacle of the artist/model relationship. One that we all aspire to - and is so hard to attain. Its a thing of beauty when it happens. Something to be valued because its just so rare and special.