Monday, 31 December 2007

Reviewing, reflecting and renewal

Well...... it's been a very busy year! Lots of challenges, lots achieved, lots of artwork created, and some very interesting people met through it all.......

This was the year that I finally found my niche in life - as an Erotic Artist, a painter of naked people and their subtle interactions. I've updated my website accordingly, promoted myself more, and started blogging about it. And through blogging I've met some incredibly interesting and diverse people, a couple of them even coming from the USA to meet me! This year I've sold paintings of animals, landscapes, erotic landscapes, and erotica! I've exhibited locally and sold paintings to other countries, hence making me an International Artist. I've joined the Guild of Erotic Artists, which has introduced me to like minded artists and raised my standing in the world of erotic art. I've shocked and enthralled the ladies of the WI with my tales of naked people and my life as an erotic artist. I've been asked to quote for a huge architectural commission which I possibly won't get, and it doesn't bother me if I don't, because my passion is painting the erotic, the inter-relationships and emotional connections between people. It's that, that inspires me. I've been to the interesting and exotic Erotica show in London, to promote myself more as an erotic artist. But best of all of this, I have become an artist, proper. I have the skills, talents, self belief and passion that make me so, and others recognise and acknowledge it also. I've been feted like a minor celebrity (very minor!), met a fascinating spiritual healer, had strangers email me out of the blue and offer their many varied services, had others just contact me to say how much my art or outlook on life has struck a chord with them, been asked to paint an aura, captured on paper the embodiment of a favoured pet, sold artwork on the basis of my surname (and talent, I hasten to add!), sold cards and paintings, contributed to local newspapers and local exhibitions, met a very talented erotic writer, inspired others to start blogging, met fellow bloggers and drawn them, invited other women to participate in very intimate and graphic portraits, been invited to sell my artwork as bespoke wall coverings, and had many strange and exciting conversations with all types of people. A good year then.

But what of the new year.......?. Before its even started, there's a lot to do already. Firstly I have an erotic landscape to paint. This one is going to be an interesting challenge and I shall enjoy doing it immensely. I also want to get back to the Fantasy Fanny collection of paintings, the idea of which excites and exhilarates me. I've had to put it on hold for the sake of the Christmas commissions, and can't wait to get started properly on this most exciting of female art projects. And as well as this, I want to get more involved with the Guild of Erotic Artists, meeting more of my fellow artists and exhibiting with them in new and varied locations. I have also been asked to illustrate the book my new spiritual healer friend has written, which will be the exciting multi-faceted and mystical sort of artwork I love doing. I also want to spend the new year concentrating on promoting the bespoke wall coverings of my artwork which I think will be another exciting outlet for my art. And then, maybe, I can get on to the other ideas I have for paintings and drawings, the half formed notions and visions that will make excellent paintings, when I get the chance to get paint to paper, oils to canvas, pencil to card............

And as an image for the end of the year, and beginning of the new year, I'll put up this unicorn. I used it as my Christmas card this year, (well, I could hardly use an erotic image for it, could I?!!) I'm very happy with it as an image of reflection on the old year and hopes and dreams of the new.................

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Back to what I love best

Well....... Christmas is over. I find it an artificial time, for various reasons. But now its gone, I can get back what passes for normality in my life! So..... what would that be then? Oh, yes, I remember! .......... Naked women!! And better still, naked erotic women! So, I've done a new drawing. Something that is arty and erotic. But the thing I like about this drawing is the title that makes it so. The image is of a naked woman lying on her back, with artistically draped fabric arranged around and along her body. All very tasteful. The fabric is a nice contrast and the fact that its a different colour accentuates that contrast. Even when you see that the fabric is pulled between her slightly open legs. Yes, you think, that's arty and nice. Then the eye follows the fabric up along her body, and sees that her hands are clasping it quite tightly. And that her head is turned to the viewer, with her mouth slightly open. And you think, yeh, thats ok, its arty. Then you look at the title. And Because the title is "Exquisite friction" and you realise, that there is movement in the drawing. Not that you can see it, but because you can feeeeeeeeeel it. Because of the title............. you know .....exactly..... what she's doing!!!!

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Clear heads

Due to a busy week and other things getting in the way I've not been able to do much work on the second dog commission this week and the Christmas deadline's looming..... And none of this helped by the fact that I've had a stinking cold this week and felt like shit!! But, part of the joy of being self employed is that jobs have to be done for deadlines no matter how you feel! So..... today I thought I ought to at least try and get some of the painting done even if it was something easy like a bit of the background, (cos in theory I shouldn't be able to cock that up, even if I did feel way under par). So, a cup of tea in one hand, and a paintbrush in the other, I stood and looked at the painting and realised virtually straight away that I'd been going wrong in the first place by thinking that I should use gouache paint! I'd chosen it as I needed to paint virtually every hair on a hairy dog, I needed to use a medium that could paint light on dark (unlike watercolours) so had opted for gouache to do the job, but didn't like the effect I had achieved so far (I couldn't have been THAT ill then, if I could tell that straight away!), so my only option then was to use acylics as a fast drying watercolour medium that would show the gouache under-painting clearly but give a better overall result. I quickly did a glazing wash over with the acrylics and instantly felt a whole load better about the painting, to the point that within a few hours it was completely finished! Wow! I certainly hadn't expected to finish it today. And that surprised me too. Because I started painting feeling bunged up, and full of cold and not thinking straight, and ended up still bunged up and full of cold, but with a totally clear head, aware of my creativity working properly and finishing the picture and even being very proud of the end result. So, another Wow!!! Perhaps my well-being just needs to be creative to get me feeling better!!

So... here it is - the finished painting. I'm not sure what sort of dog it is - a bit of everything I think. But I'm really pleased with the painting, and hopefully the recipient will like it too ...... I think I've captured the dog nicely especially the large soulful eyes....

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Letting go

I've had two emails today from recent buyers of my artwork and its poignantly reminded me again of what it's like to create a piece of artwork - either as a commission or as an exhibition piece - and to sell it to someone. If its a commission I know what I'm painting as the client has specific ideas and I just have to find out what they want and create it for them. If its a painting for an exhibition I paint something that I hope may appeal to someone, as the idea has appealed to me somehow. But either way the painting is created and either short term for commissions, or sometimes long term for exhibition pieces, the painting will be stored somewhere where I see it regularly. And I get used to seeing it, and I like looking at it, and get pleasure from it. And then, suddenly, its sold. Its gone. I don't see the original anymore. I can see a copy of it but not the real thing.......

..... and then today I get an email from the buyer of the erotic landscape of New York, the painting I've entitled "Towering passions". He came to meet me and collect the painting at the weekend and he just wanted to say a big thank you for the painting and to say that he'll miss looking at it when it goes as a Christmas present to its intended recipient! And I realised that he was going through what I did - getting pleasure from the painting being in his view for a short space of time before it went to to hang on someone else's wall full time.

And then later on today I got another email from the USA - from a fellow blogger who has recently bought another of my paintings, and who received it this week, and wrote to say thank you and to tell me she is delighted with it. Which in turn delights me. I love it when one of my paintings goes to live where it will give pleasure to the people who now own it.

And the really nice thing too is that I'm meeting some lovely people through my art and the circle continues when my art brings people to me, to commission one of my paintings, or I advertise my art and the people come to me through that .... because it turned out that I know the buyer of the erotic landscape, although I had no idea who he was when he commissioned the piece. I had no idea who he was when he walked through my door at the weekend, it was only when he told me his connection with someone I know from years ago that I realised exactly who he was!! What a joy to meet him and say hi. What a powerful pull art is, to bring people to me, and for my art to be pulled to them through the images I depict.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Dog days

Almost finished my Christmas commissions - just one last one to do (unless someone rings me two days before Christmas with a request for a piece of artwork - and that wouldn't be the first time!). I'm pleased with my little pencil drawing of this female lakeland terrier and really enjoyed doing it (don't worry, I haven't left the world of erotica for long, just a brief sojourn into the land of Vanilla, I'll be back again shortly, I promise!!). Although I try to do a white crayon on black card erotic drawing most weeks, its not the same as a normal graphite pencil drawing on white background. I suppose the result of both is a simple tonal drawing showing lights and darks, shape and form, but my pencil drawings tend to have more detail in them and I'm building up from white to deepest darks, whereas the white on black drawings are picking out the pure light on the subject and leaving the rest to the imagination in the black of the background, and thereby giving more of a feeling of mystery to the picture. So a while since I've drawn in the way of this pencil drawing, and I enjoyed doing it very much, as a bit of light relief, I suppose. I've done so many of these that I don't need to put much depth of thought into it, I tend to work on it almost automatically - deciding on the composition, and what size, drawing out the outline, working out the background, and then I start filling the image with tone, building up from the lights to the darks, and creating texture within the image as I go. Using a hard 3H pencil for shiny surfaces, an HB or B for the main detail and soft pencils from a 2B, and 3B up to a deep 6B for darks and grainy texture, going over it with the 3H pencil again if I want REALLY deep darks with depth of tone, as the pencil covers the surface of the paper and covers the white. I can play some good drawing music, something with a good beat to it, that gets me moving, and on with the picture. Easy enough! And I must have got something right, as the woman who commissioned it was delighted with it and is talking about commissioning me for another painting in the new year! Yay!!

And so on to the second dog portrait..... this one in paint, not pencil.... so colour to consider in this one, which makes it more of a challenge...... mmmm......

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Pleasing yourself

I did another drawing last night based on the pose I used last week, but I was far happier with the result this time. Instead of drawing the model from behind her head, I drew her from the side and was happy with the pose I had set her in and was just about to commence drawing when she commented that the spot-light was in her eye too much, and she momentarily put her forearm over her face to shield her eyes - and I exclaimed "That's it! a loads better pose, stay there, just like that!" so that's how I drew her, eyes hidden, and much prefer the outcome of it! The drawing is a nice body landscape showing feminine curves and plains, and is called "Pleasing yourself" which leaves no doubt at all as to what she's doing, unlike last week when I couldn't make my mind up if the drawing was fully erotic or not (and that's not usually a problem for me, I normally exactly know what's erotic!!). The model was happy with the pose and said she could quite happily go to sleep in this pose, so I agreed and said I'd find her some nice quiet music to listen to then. She was surprised as I normally like something with some *raunch* in it then burst out laffing when I put on AC/DC at full blast!!!!! We don't do quiet when I'm drawing!!!!

..............And I want to say at this point that I feel I have finally arrived as an artist. Sorry, I'll rephrase that - as an Artist. I love it when someone introduces me as "Jackie, the artist" - that use of the word "the" says so much!!! But I know I've worked very hard this year on my art, on promoting me and my artwork. I've built up my website, and started this blog, I've met some very interesting people both in real life and through my virtual internet life. I've talked locally to the WI and had in-depth conversations with people from different continents, I've sold artwork locally and to the USA, and joined the Guild of Erotic Artists which I know is going to open many other doors for me, through my connections with it and other artists. And during one of my recent conversations with a well established erotic artist, he said that people buy artwork for three reasons, and they are:- because you're an established name, and people buy your art as an investment; because they just like the painting; and because the artwork is decorative, but that's all it is. And I know I'm a long way past being "just decorative" and for some years now I've been painting and selling artwork because people have an empathy with a particular drawing or painting, but....... now.............. I feel I've arrived as an "Artist" - I'm just starting to become an established name. And how do I know this? Because I've sold quite a bit of artwork in the last few weeks, locally and abroad, and at no point has anyone quibbled over the price I've set. They tell me what they want, and if its a commission I explain how it will look, we discuss size and medium, whose framing it and any other pertinent details and then I give a price and they nod and pay me. Maybe they think they're getting a bargain and are relieved I wasn't as expensive as they first thought, maybe they just think it's a fair price. I know I'm not expensive as an artist, but neither am I cheap. But I also know I can paint things that many other artists can't. So I have a unique talent. I know my prices will rise as I get more established - its the way with the arts, whether you're a musician, writer, actor or artist. And, hopefully, my buyers will have an investment for the future........ I'm working on it, anyway!