Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Why I don't watch much telly

I saw my hairdresser earlier today, we had the usual chat about what we'd both been doing recently and she went on to ask me if I'd seen various programmes on television. I smiled and said "No". I think she thought I must be a bit boring because I hadn't seen the latest blockbusters. But I went on to explain that I'm usually busy with art even at night when most people are sitting down to watch the soaps. Afterwards I thought about the jobs I've got on the go at the moment - and made a note that they are as follows:

1. New York erotic landscape oil painting to paint by Christmas.
2. Erotic landscape in oils to paint as soon as I can.
3. Dog pencil drawing to draw by Christmas.
4. I've got to write my talk for the forthcoming WI talk on being an erotic artist.
5. I've got my website to update at some point.
6. I've still got the Pussy Portraits to do, but they'll have to wait until the Christmas commissions are done.
7. I've got someone coming to see me, who wants to discuss illustrations for a book she's writing on spiritual healing.
8. I usually design and make my own Christmas cards, and haven't even started on a design yet, and its November tomorrow, which means time is ticking on.
9. Plus I'm in discussions with other people regarding other off-shoots off my artwork, and that needs to be updated on my website, when I get chance.

And that's just the main stuff. And only relates to art. But don't think that I'm moaning, because I'm certainly not! I love the fact that I'm so busy at the moment, and that I have a load of work to do, and will happily take on more commissions for Christmas if they're forthcoming. Because there's that adage that if you want a job doing, you ask a busy person, and I'll fit it in somewhere. ...........But ........if you ask me if I've seen the latest edition of your favourite soap, the answer will definitely be a resounding "NO"!!!!!!

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Autumn colours

The other week Indigo mentioned that she was interested in having a tee shirt with my "rainbow girl" image on it, so after a bit of investigating for the best result, I had one printed for her. And I'm delighted that she's very pleased with it and wanting to show it off, so much so, that she's had a photograph taken to show her wearing it. And here it is for everyone to see. I had wanted the image on a black tee shirt but due to some problems at the print shop, that I didn't fully understand, they could only do it on white. A pity, but its bright and effective either way.

I love the autumnal colours at the moment - especially in the bright golden sunshine we've had recently. The trees really look their glorious best in their shades of warm and vibrant yellows, intense golds, bright oranges, scandalous scarlets, deep dark reds the colour of old blood and the delights of rusty burnt siennas. Its so inspiring to see the colours, and lifts the spirits when they have the backdrop of a rich blue sky behind them. I'm in the mood for painting them all!

A woman came to see me earlier today regarding a commission she wants doing of a dog for a Christmas present. Christmas already - and its only October! Its a simple drawing she wants, and I'm more than happy to do it for her, as I'll tackle virtually any subject, even if it is as vanilla as this is. She isn't aware that I'm an erotic artist, and I had no need to tell her. And as far as I'm concerned, it's not an important issue. I'm an artist. I paint pictures. If someone wants something painting, I'll do it. Whatever it is. If they want something erotic I'll enjoy doing it more. But either way, I'm just glad they come to me.

Tonight I'll be doing some erotic drawing. I need to get back into creating art again, and the best way to do it is to do some life drawing, except the way I do it, its erotic drawing! Then I can get on with my erotic landscapes properly because I'll be in the right mind set for erotic art. It's like a warm up for the jobs in hand. So.......... what poses shall I do? Mmmm....... I haven't decided yet, but I do know they won't be vanilla. Perhaps a prop or two will help. Shall I go for sexy lingerie, sexy footwear, a blindfold, handcuffs or a riding crop................. and maybe, I'll incorporate the autumnal shades I saw earlier - a hint of colour to lift the picture, yes, I think that will work nicely!

Friday, 26 October 2007

Reaching out

This week, I've had the initial design ok'd by dj kirkby for her erotic landscape, and now better understand the image she's looking for and how I'm going to create it. Normally when painting a picture, I have a clear idea as to what I'm doing, and how I'm going to do it, but with her erotic landscape, its actually two pictures in one - the erotic couple AND the landscape, plus her interpretation of it. Which makes it a bit more difficult, but not impossible, when I ask the right questions and listen to the answers. So, steps forward on that, which I'm pleased about.

Plus, I had an interesting phone call this week from a woman I met in the summer. When we first met a few months ago, and she found out I was an artist, she expressed interest in meeting me, and perhaps working together. This week, she was going to email me, had a look at my website and through it, read my blog post (the previous one to this), and felt a huge empathy with what I had written about opening the soul, when I paint. Because she's a spiritual healer, and is writing a book on the subject, and is interested in talking to me about illustrating it. So, my words really connected to her. She asked me if I was surprised, and I said no. I think she was surprised at my saying that, but I know of four other people, just this last six months, who have said the same thing to me. All for different reasons, they have had an urge to contact me, and wanted to meet me, because of my blog and website. And I suppose that's why I have them - to reach out to who ever reads them, and see what response I get. And just to follow on from that, there are people I know in real life, who just drop it into the conversation, that they regularly read my blog, but because they don't leave comments, I don't know that they do. Its a funny thing blogging - you write regular posts, in the hope that someone, somewhere, reads them, and yet there's the surprise element when you find that some people actually do!!!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Work in progress

I'm making progress with my two erotic landscape paintings, after what seems an interminable age of nothing happening (to me, at least!). I now have a clearer idea of what dj kirkby wants for her erotic landscape, and separate to that I have now had the initial sketch ok'd of the other painting of the New York skyline so I'm ready to start painting it. And itching to get going on it!! The image has strong horizontal lines, broken up with strong vertical lines within the centre third of the painting. The viewers eye sees these strong geometric lines and is happy. But, hidden within the painting are the more rounded shapes of two lovers, she on top of him, he prone below her. It will be obvious, when you see them, as to what they are doing, and yet, it will take the eye a while to see them, as they will be painted in a subtle way, using the same colours as the buildings they are superimposed over. And whilst the contrast of the buildings will be stronger than the contrast in the couple, they will be hidden. This sketch is only a simple version, the finished painting will be brighter, with more depth of colour and contrasts in it. But it takes a while to find the couple, even so.
There's so much to do when starting a new painting - there's the initial idea, the thought process of how to convey that idea on paper, the thumbnail sketches to complete the thought process, choosing the right medium - whether watercolours will be better for their fluidity and movement, or whether oils or acylics would be better for the brighter and stronger colours and the ability to overpaint. Then the layout of the image on paper, making any final adjustments to that. THEN the actual applying of paint can start! (this is why I say that to produce a painting, nine tenths of it is the thinking part, and only a tenth is the actual painting, no matter how difficult it is to paint). And whilst I'm painting, I'm still thinking, still trying to work out if things could be better improved with the addition of something, or the deletion of something else, whether to change the colours, or add a dash of interest somewhere else. And I know when its actually finished when I look and look at my painting and can find absolutely nothing to improve upon. Then its done!

I was talking to an artist friend over the weekend, who I have not seen for a few months, and she was asking what projects I'm currently working on - so I told her about the two "erotic landscapes" and went into detail about how I was going to do them, and what was involved. She knows the two paintings are going to be a challenge to do, and made the comment that as an artist you're selling part of your soul. And I know what she means - we are producing part of what makes us artists, the creativity that is so deeply ingrained within us, that we have this need to create and produce artwork, and we advertise it for the world to see. Its like showing part of your inner self. And she asked me, where do you begin to put a price on that...................?

Friday, 19 October 2007

Being wicked

I've spent all this week thinking. Nothing wrong in that. I do it a lot! But I haven't been producing. And that's frustrating for me. I like to produce artwork on a constant level. It feeds the momentum of my creativity. But this week I've had to think....... deeply......about how I'm best going to do the erotic landscape responding to the request of dj kirkby. I knew it wasn't going to be easy when I accepted the offer, and also I haven't seen any other erotic art from any other artist elsewhere, to use as a starting point. There are some pieces, but not in the style that I want to use, or with a fully erotic couple as opposed to a couple kissing in the clouds or something equally tame. So, I'm having to start from scratch. I've started with looking at entwined erotic couples and trying to work out how to make them look like a landscape. And, so far, there seems to me to be three ways of doing it, any of which would work ok as a concept - I can either paint the couple in the shades of a landscape, so their bodies would be the greens of fields, and by adding a sky above, they would instantly look like a landscape, and the viewers eye would accept the deception quite happily. Or I could paint them using the details of a landscape as their features, for example utilising trees for hands, shrubs for hair, rocks for nipples, and I think that would work nicely too. Or I could paint a forest and in the foreground paint an old and twisted tree incorporating the entwined couple within the aged bark and hide them nicely there. All good ideas, and my quick drawings show me that they all would work in principal.... And I'm itching to get going on the designs now, and would ideally like to spend tomorrow working on it. But I put my name down a few weeks ago to attend an artists workshop. So I've got to attend that instead. Damn! And I'd forgotten what the workshop was about (as I go to a lot, to pick up new tips and learn new ways of painting). So, this morning I found the paperwork and after perusing it.............burst out laughing!!!!! The workshop is "Mountains and lakes in acrylic" - great!!! perfect!!! But the best bit is that the tutor "will be demonstrating how to use Acrylics as watercolour with emphasis on developing YOUR OWN skill and YOUR OWN individual painting style". Oh......... How wonderfully BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!

......So..........................whilst all the other workshop attendees will be busy working on their skies, trees and rocks, there will be me, working out how to incorporate a naked couple having vigorous sex within the structure of the painting!!!!! ......... I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Inspiring others

Just in my short blogging life I've seen the birth of a few blogs. Its fun to see, how they burst forth upon the world and develop and evolve into a thing of beauty. I know mine has developed since I first started, and I like the change in it, and the people I've met through it - both in real life, and in blogland. And its been good to know that I've inspired two other people to start blogging in the first place - blog virgins! - who are both getting a lot out of it, and pleasure from the subjects they write about. The newest of whom is Racy Redhead - an exhibitionist submissive (what an exciting mix that is!) who already has made some exciting posts including some very interesting (to an erotic artist) photographs of herself in some compromising and sexy positions. I can see a lot of inspiration for more erotic drawings coming my way!! She's also the latest participant of the "Pussy Portraits" collection, and had a lot of fun taking the photos with her cameraman of choice!

So, just to let you know I haven't forgotten the Pussy Portraits at all - nor the Erotic landscapes which are taking priority over them, as they're for a deadline, and the others aren't, as yet. Plus, in the background, I've got other things happening which may well take me more into another offshoot of art................ I'll tell you about it when I've finished setting it up!

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Vision versus Passion

I've been fortunate to see two shows within the last few days - both ones I've been looking forward to for some time as they were separately booked months ago. The first was Delirium, a Cirque du Soleil show, new to me, and I'm a big fan of Cirque. A spectacular surreal show with all the special effects they could muster, clever use of mammoth video screens, and a backdrop of constantly changing imagery. It should have been superb...... But it wasn't. There was no dramatic interest, no genuine human feeling in it, and the whole think just seemed utterly pointless, and spectacularly soulless. At the end of the show, I thought "Is that it??" and left the auditorium without the natural "high" that a good show gives.......

...... Then tonight, I went to see Tango Fire, an Argentinian dance troupe, all young and fizzing with energy and smouldering sexuality. And I sat mesmerised - and loved every minute of it! There were only a few dancers, and a simple accompanying band, but the passion was there, from the strong smouldering men to the long legged women, their nifty footwork showing the precise combination moves so particular of tango. I found the moves very erotic, partly because of the facial expressions of the dancers, it was almost like watching them have sex. And also by the movements, from the way a male dancer ran his hand seductively along the length of thigh of his female companion, or the manner in which they threw their woman into the air, and held her there, leaving her crotch tantalisingly close to his face, for a split second, before slowly releasing her down to the floor. You could almost smell the tantalising aroma of aroused woman hood. Such a joy to watch such toned and fit bodies, working themselves into a passionate sweat as the night progressed.

And I was struck by Ronjazz's comment on my last post - about being passionate about my art. I know I am. And I've learnt a lesson this week with the two shows I've seen - vision can be wonderful but if if doesn't touch a chord within the viewer, it doesn't matter how clever it is, it just won't work as a concept. However, passion can be created from simple tools, and doesn't need to be showy, because the audience will know that it comes from the heart, and will love it for it.

So, now I'm back to my erotic landscapes, and I'll try and work on the passion rather than the clever idea........

Friday, 12 October 2007

Making landscapes erotic

I've been busy this week with many things on various levels, but I've also been in separate discussions with two unconnected people who want totally different versions of the same thing! They both want me to do a painting for them, in oils, on a box canvas, and they both want an erotic landscape. Great fun! Just my sort of subject and very exciting to do! But they want different versions for their paintings - the first is of a city scape - like Boston or New York, the typical picture we all know so well of a horizontal landscape, split into three - clear sky, buildings on the land, water in the foreground. But hidden somewhere within that picture, I have to introduce an erotic couple. To me, there is only ONE place they can go, because the whole point of this painting is the hidden part of it - so the couple can't be in the sky, or the water, they have to be hidden within the buildings themselves. This will be a bit difficult, as the couple will need to be horizontal, whilst skyscrapers, by definition, are vertical! I had considered putting the couple in one or two of the skyscrapers but I think they might look "trapped" there, and not as well hidden as if they were horizontal. The painting will probably be at twilight/dawn so there will be colour in the sky and water but the buildings will be dark except for lit windows, which will make the painting very dramatic and interesting even before I add the couple. MMmmm..... interesting idea for a painting, and I shall enjoy very much doing it. I know exactly how I shall do it, once I've found a suitable erotic couple for the focal point.

The second painting is also of an erotic landscape, but totally different to the one described above. This one will require more thought, as the couple will BE the landscape, and the landscape will be them. At first glance, this painting will be a rural landscape,with trees and grass, plants and shrubs. To innocent eyes it will be a nice and pleasant landscape, it will only be on further investigation that it will become clear that there is a couple entwined within the picture, hidden somehow between the hills and hollows, valleys and peaks....... I think..... or maybe I won't do it that way, maybe the couple will be trees entwined around each other, their limbs merging and becoming one........... or perhaps the couple will be outcrops of rocks and craggy mountains. There's a lot of thought I need to do for this painting. It also will have water in the foreground, and maybe a mystical feel to it.

So....... that's what I'm doing this weekend...... thinking around the eroticness of a landscape..... and hopefully producing some drawings to show how each painting will look, so other people have an idea of what I'm considering before I sit down and start painting properly. They will both be subtle and clever, both with a secret, both fun to do, and I hope, fun to look at!!

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

The pull of art

Like the other bloggers, I was touched that Cherrie and Hardin could find time to see me during their short stop-over in England, but I have known for some time that they admire my artwork on many levels, and wanted to see my paintings for real rather than just on the internet, and ask various pertinent questions regarding the creative process and see some of the end results. Plus, what a wonderful opportunity for Cherrie to sit for me, so that I could draw her!

They patiently listened whilst I showed them my vanilla artwork, the landscapes and tigers, surreal and fantasy paintings and I was amazed at how easily they understood some of the concepts I had for some of my more surreal paintings, and could relate to the ideas behind them. They liked the different art techniques I utilise and listened to me explaining how I had created my paintings. After that, and since I still had their interest, we moved on to the erotic artwork, and went through my many varied drawings on that subject, Cherrie in particular making comments relating to some of the poses I had done, and what other ideas I could draw in the future. I'm always interested in other peoples ideas, especially when they are so helpful.

After a short break, Cherrie said she was ready to pose for me. And, what a delightful subject she is to paint, too! Since any readers of her blog will know that she loves to pose for the camera and even though I had a basic idea for the image, I didn't need her to ask how she should arrange herself, she just went naturally into the pose, and all I had to do was sit and draw her! Such an easy model. Obviously, she needs to keep her facial features a secret, so the painting I have done is not a portrait of her as such, but the arched eyebrow and wide smiling mouth are the essence of her, and sufficient to depict her. I knew I wanted to paint such a voluptuous woman in something equally voluptuous, so asked if she'd be happy wearing a fur coat, with a pair of fishnet stockings and black suspenders on underneath, as any other clothes were deemed unnecessary. The fur coat opened beautifully to show her many feminine assets as she lay back in the pose. She was happy with the idea (and before anyone complains, the coat is old, and not real fur, so no fluffy animals were hurt in the making of this blog). I decided to paint her in watercolour as it gave me instant colour which is what I felt I needed for this picture. So after drawing out the outline, I opted for a lovely gold and scarlet background which seemed apt for the subject matter. The use of splatter in the paint adds movement to the figure, and the lovely golden browns of the fur beautifully framed the paler feminine skin beneath it. The fishnet stockings were always going to be difficult to paint, and if I had drawn in each line the picture would have looked heavy and overworked, so I quickly and lightly drew in the black lines with a fine nibbed pen, making sure I left the viewers eye to fill in where the lines don't quite cross over, making the painting far more interesting for it. The burnt sienna I used for her hair also mirrored the colours of the coat and the slash of bright red lipstick at the mouth makes the viewer instantly aware of the woman being confident and alluring and offering an invitation to the viewer. I couldn't help but laugh at the title I have for this painting, as it was so very, deliciously apt!! Its called "Fur coat and no knickers" which is obviously a very English phrase as I had to explain it to the blank look of the American visitors! - it basically refers to a woman with airs and graces, but no real class. Its certainly a sexy picture, and I am delighted with it, but then I had a good model!

We talked also of the Pussy portraits set of paintings that I'm planning on doing, and still in the first stages of working on. Cherrie and Hardin were most interested in the idea. They viewed the first one that I am still currently working on, and still mentally working through the concept of, admiring the strong layout of design and the bright colours I have chosen for this particular painting, so far. They hope that I could get the exhibition to show in the US as well as in England - a wonderful idea, when I've got my collection of them all together.
So, all in all, a very artistically productive visit, and I hope they enjoyed their visit to England to get a glimpse of the English way of life.

Friday, 5 October 2007

People watching

When I'm out and about I tend to look at people with an artists eye - thinking how I'd love paint them if they're exceptional in anyway. The other night in the local take-away there was a stunning looking blonde girl who'd come to collect her order, and I could hardly take my eyes off her - she was gorgeous, with blonde shoulder length hair, neat features, snub nose, large dark brown eyes and very slim petite body. I just wanted to paint her, she was so lovely. Fortunately she didn't catch me staring at her, although the way she looked, I bet she was used to everyone looking!

A day or so after that, I was doing my supermarket shopping, when I noticed an electrician sitting perched on top of one of the tall fridge units, intently looking at something out of sight above the shoppers. He was drop dead gorgeous too, so I couldn't help but stare at him. Dark hair, good looking with a cheeky grin, dark eyes and an athletic body. Sigh. Very nice. He was busy doing something I couldn't see, but as it seemed so incongruous that he was being ignored by everyone, I felt I should speak to him, caught his eye, and asked if he was for sale too? His eyes twinkled, he smiled, and said he could be. Gulp (wishes do come true!) and said it was a pity he didn't have a twin because then I could have two for the price of one! Temptation indeed. That made me laugh!! What I could do with twins!

I've got a half finished painting of a nude woman in my studio, and have been looking at it for the last couple of years, wondering if I should finish her off (in a painterly sort of way, I mean!) and what I should do to do that. I'm not fully happy with the painting, as there are aspects of it that need more detail putting in. I like the idea of the subject matter - the back view of a woman, with her breast in silhouette, her full buttocks resting on her feet, as she suggestively runs her fingers through her hair. The painting is called "Without a care" - technically, its all done, but there's just something making me think I can do more to improve on it. So, I'll leave it on show, until I get a brainwave. I tend to leave paintings lying about my studio as a reminder of things to do, but just occasionally, I think I need to have a tidy up and put things away.

I'm also half way through the first pussy portrait which I am itching to get on with and finish off, and get on to the next ones. I want them to have a connecting theme, and that works best when they are all painted chronologically close together. If I struggle too much with this first painting I'll end up doing it again once I've got going on the other ones, and got into momentum with them. So..... I'm off to do some painting.........

Monday, 1 October 2007

Hiding naughtiness

I've always loved clever paintings, the sort where something is hidden within the image and at first glance it seems like an innocuous painting, but then you realise there's actually a clever depiction of something which puts a whole new twist on what you're looking at. And it's even better if some people see it, and others don't. It makes it more fun, and amuses and entertains the one's who do see it. I suppose you'd call the images surreal - that half reality, half dream like state of putting diverse subjects together that normally wouldn't be.

I also like painting landscapes and hiding something within the contours of the painting. I did this oil painting for myself a few years ago, and still get a lot of pleasure looking at it - the dramatic moon lit sky, the parting clouds, crashing waves, sandy beach and rocky headland........ Oh, and the naked woman!

Recently, I've been asked if I'd be able to paint a landscape with an underlying erotic theme - the sort where adults would see the erotica, but young children wouldn't. It's an interesting proposition for me - the sort of thing I adore painting. But..... how to hide the erotica is the tricky part - whether to use the entwined bodies as the landscape itself, making the hills and valleys with the odd bush sprouting up in prominent places! Or just to paint the landscape but have the erotic couples hidden amongst the writhing trunks of gnarled tree trunks, or secreted amongst the fast flowing waters of a stream, lovers entwined together in the craggy crevices of rocks and lichen covered rocky outcrops or just hinted at amongst the greenery of shrubs and foliage. The ideas are endless...... and exciting!
I know I'd get great satisfaction out of doing it - and hope that others would out of seeing it.