Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Speaking through colour

I was chatting with my spiritual healer friend the other day and mentioned in passing that I was waiting for an order for art materials to arrive, amongst it some cobalt blue oil paint I need for my erotic landscape. I said that it was very expensive to buy and she asked why and I said that some paints are, depending on what they are made from. For instance French Ultramarine used to be made from Lapis lazuli and was incredibly expensive in the old days. "Oh" she said "I've got some of that, would you like to see it?" and indeed I did, very much! So, she brought out her crystals and I sat like a child in a sweetshop enthralled with all the colours, shapes and shiny stones infront of me. She picked out her pieces of Lapis lazuli to show me, and I sat with them in my hand, looking at their particular shade of blue, flecked with gold. How beautiful they were. I pictured the guy who had crawled deep underground to find it, had first seen it, had recognised it for what it was, had brought it into daylight, where it had been sent away to be cut and polished and sold, before finding its way into my hand where I could stare in amazed wonder at it.... And with the Lapis lazuli were other stones, equally as beautiful, a myriad different colours and shapes, all polished and shiny in their settings, they shone and gleamed in the light and enraptured me with their beauty. For I could see their colours and could relate to them for that, but my spiritual healer friend could see their energies and knew their individual powers. And we discussed what we each could see, and learnt from each other of what the other saw. And further into our discussions, it made us wonder about the properties of these stones and crystals, and especially Lapis lazuli, because if it is used as a healing stone, surely there must be something of its power still within it even if it's ground into pigment to paint with? Could its energies be chanelled to the artist and held within the canvas and experienced by the viewer? Healing art? Mmmm.... is that likely? Interesting thought........ so, here are the healing properties of Lapis lazuli:

It is deep blue flecked with gold, and can be found in Chile, Italy, the Middle East, Russia, Afghanistan and Egypt. It opens the third eye, and balances the throat chakra. It stimulates enlightenment, enhances dream-work and psychic abilities, and facilitates spiritual journeying. It releases stress, brings deep peace, processes enormous serenity and is the key to spiritual attainment. It encourages taking charge of life, releases repressed anger in communication or throat. It allows self expression without holding back or compromising. It brings honesty and compassion, encourages creativity through attunement to the source. It aids in expressing own opinions, harmonises conflict, teaches value of active listening, bonds relationships in love and friendship and aids expressing feelings and emotions, dissolves martyrdom, cruelty and suffering, alleviates pain, especially migraine. Overcomes depression, benefits respiratory and nervous systems and the throat. Cleanses organs, bone marrow and the immune system. Overcomes hearing loss, purifies blood, alleviates insomnia and vertigo and lowers blood pressure.

Wow! So, then, if that's the case, will looking at a painting with French Ultramarine in it give you a better nights sleep, make you a better communicator and make you feel happier? Somehow I'd love to think so. But I won't feel any of the above by using French Ultramarine, whether it's in oils or watercolours unfortunately. The reason I know this? Is because Lapis lazuli isn't used nowadays to make paint, its too expensive, the paint is made by a synthetic substitute now. What a shame. It would have been lovely to experience the inner peace the stones can give. Mmm... perhaps my spiritual healer friend will let me look at hers every so often instead..... or maybe I should get some of my own to hold!

Sunday, 24 February 2008


When it flows, it flows. When its hard work it shows. It's better when it flows, and for me its better when the whole thing just flows in one easy liquid movement. What on earth are you talking about, you're now asking yourself, cos it all sounds cryptic so far! Well, I'll explain....... sometimes I'll see something that will inspire me to paint an image. Sometimes I'll hear something that will give me an idea for a painting. Sometimes a painting will go well and I'll paint it easily. Sometimes it can take me days to think of a good title for one of my paintings. But occasionally, and it is occasionally, the whole thing will just come to me in one nice fluid moment. I'll have the idea, the notion of how I'm gonna paint it and even the title for it, all at once! Wow! Big WOW!!! And this week when I saw my model I had no idea of what pose I was going to draw her in. Sometimes I know instantly, sometimes she'll come up with an idea and I'll modify it to fit with how I want to draw her. Sometimes, like this week, I'll be struggling to come up with something. Then I came up with the pose, a good one I thought, but because it had taken me a few minutes to think of it, and I'd said something cheeky to her like "Come on then, get yer kit off!" she had answered me in a cheeky way and as she was undoing her jeans she stuck her arse out at me, as well as laughing, as she looked back at me over her shoulder! "That's it!" I said "Hold it there, that's the pose!" and drew her in that position, and laughed to myself in delight. She asked what was funny and I said "I've got a title for it already!" "What?" she asked. "Kiss my ass!!" I replied! And that was it - pose chosen, title chosen, picture drawn, all very quickly, and I'm even delighted with the result! It works well, has just enough in it for the viewer to know what its about, the only detail is the arse itself, since it's in pride of place, both in the drawing and the title! And I really like it because it's got ATTITUDE!!!!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Cartoons and good causes

I've just sent my entry piece to the bloggers good cause charity book as promoted on Vi's blog post the other week entitled You're not the only one. I'm sure they'll get a load of interest from other bloggers and I hope its the success they long for.

And whilst I'm on the subject of Vi, its reminded me of the cartoon that made her think of me when she saw it! I can't imagine why!!!!!!!

Actually it made me laff outloud when I saw it - what a perfect thing to send an erotic artist who's currently working on an erotic landscape!!! I love it! Infact, it may well inspire me to do something creative of my own with it at some point in the future!

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

I have standards you know

I saw my friend last night and amongst other things, she showed her usual interest in my latest creative outpourings and asked to see what I'd done this week. I showed her both the artwork for the erotic landscape I'm currently working on and the vanilla river scene I painted over the weekend at the workshop I attended. She really loved the river scene, particularly as I had added a unicorn on the far bank of the river and went into raptures over it. I dismissed it as an inferior piece of my work which surprised her. So I had to explain...... how can I get excited about a painting I'd done at a workshop when it was one of those step-by-step days when the tutor shows his painting, then paints part of it, for instance the sky. And we all paint the sky in the same way he has. Then he paints the hills. And we all paint the hills in the same way. Then he paints the trees etc etc and at the end of the day all the people in the room have an identical painting to take home. You might wonder why I would go on one of these workshops but I know that the painting is not actually the end product, the LEARNING is! So I learnt new ways of tackling landscapes and tips for painting BUT the picture I brought home is not something I am proud of. It can't be. Its just a mediocre painting of some other artists choice, that I have copied. The only bit of "me" that I put in it was the unicorn! I can't exhibit it. If I sell it I have to say that its not actually my work. I wouldn't be proud to admit it was mine even. The only way I can do anything with it is to go over it with pastel or acylics to radically change it so that it has my creative input in it. So I file it with the others under "learning" and get on with my proper art having learnt a new trick or two about how to tackle a certain subject matter in watercolours, and having had an enjoyable day spent with other artists.

But when I showed my friend the working painting I am currently working on for the erotic landscape, then I can get excited! REALLY excited!!!!! Its all my own work. The concept works so well. The picture is clever in that it is both an erotic couple AND a landscape. And how clever is that, to incorporate the two that they work in conjunction with each other? I've spent three months on and off thinking about it, planning it, discussing it with dj kirkby and now I'm at the point where I'm finally working out the best colours to use for it, the tones, the use of light and shade. I may have to do two, three or four working paintings before I'm happy with the end result and then, and ONLY THEN, can I start painting the actual painting. Now..... THAT'S exciting!!!

Friday, 15 February 2008

Channelling energies

Sometimes you have to clear the other stuff that's happening in your life before you can get on with the thing you really want to do. I love painting. I love being creative. I could quite happily spend every day painting and creating things. But to do that I would have to put all the other parts of my life on hold, or ignore them. But then my life would get messy and I'd get even more stuff to deal with!! So, I have to finely balance my art against the other things that make up my life. Because if I spent all day painting I'd become a hermit, I'd become very introverted, or so focussed on art that my house would become a pigsty and the various relationships with all the people in my life would suffer. So sometimes art has to be put on hold. Life gets between it and me.

I've been discussing this problem with my spiritual healer friend, and she's helped me put it into perspective. She tells me that sometimes you have to sort out the difficult stuff before you can get to the pure stuff. And the pure stuff for me is being creative. I've thought alot about what she's said. And she's right. So, now I've been able to sort out the things I've needed to sort and you know what? I feel totally revitalised because of it!!!!! I feel I've chanelled my energies to clear everything within me. I feel strong again and can focus properly on my art now. It doesn't mean I'm ignoring the people in my life, they know how important my art is to me, and support my passion for it. It just means my energies are clear for art again now, and hopefully, it should shine through in what I next create!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

What do you see

That last blog post was most interesting! Mostly for what other people see in my artwork that I don't always intend! Now I'm not sure if that's because everyone who reads my blog has an active and fertile furtive imagination (!) or because anyone, however vanilla they are, will always see other things within an image. Or because people who know me, and my art, know that I tend to put erotic images within my artwork, so will actively look for it even when I don't intend it! The last image I showed of the red landscape was taken from a friends photograph. She liked the image because she went to the actual place. I just copied the photograph and didn't add anything to what I saw infront of me except one naked woman lying on the rocks within the foreground, and one flying through the air in the clouds..... and yet.......... everyone who has viewed this painting has seen other images within it, some of them quite graphic! How wonderful is that??!!! I paint erotic landscapes without even knowing it!!!!

Seriously though, I love doing these erotic landscapes and want to do a lot more of them. But first, I need to finish the one I'm currently working on for dj kirkby. Its a really exciting picture and I can't wait to see the finished painting!

Monday, 4 February 2008

Thinking of naked women

Always looking for new ways of doing things I often go on art workshops - sometimes it might be a subject I'm not that interested in but I always come away having learnt some new technique for painting or drawing. The workshop the other day was landscapes in acrylic and I knew it would be helpful whilst I'm contemplating the best way to do the erotic landscape I'm currently working on. And there were quite a few other people there that I knew, so its good to see how they tackle painting a landscape, although they were all thinking hills and trees and I'm thinking of naked women! Because for me, painting a picture, whatever it is, is usually enhanced if I can find a way of incorporating a naked woman in it! And of course, its not helped by the fact that a lot of people I know, also know that's what I do.... so then I get a challenge - "Ok, Jackie, make this one erotic! "And then, of course, that's what I'll do with it, and that's exactly what I did with this one. The picture is ok, nothing special, its just a working piece to try techniques and effects, but at the end of the session I spent a little time playing around and put in some of my typical images......... just to see what I could do....... and you know what? ............. The people who have viewed it so far, have seen erotic images that I didn't intend, and perhaps missed the ones I did! I love it when that happens................

So.................... what do YOU see in it...................?

Friday, 1 February 2008

Popping corks

The last few weeks have been busy and for various reasons I've not been able to see my model to do any erotic drawings. So, it was good to see her this week and get a picture down on paper. I thought it would be good to use a prop with her, and to hint at another person she was interacting with, even though the other person can't be seen within the drawing.... and it struck me that a bottle of champagne and two champagne glasses might just do it! The minute I saw what underwear she was wearing it also gave me the idea of how the composition of the image should be. Her black bra perfectly framed her breasts, giving them a lovely lift and rounded shape and this lead on to the idea for the next stage. It seems to me that a champagne bottle is deeply erotic when used in conjunction with a half dressed woman, particularly the phallic shape of the bottle, so I got her to lean forward so that it was almost framed between her breasts....... leading onto the thought of what would be happening next if it wasn't just a bottle she was holding in her hand........... And I know the idea of a popping champagne bottle actually leads on to that thought too! So the drawing is called "Come join me" - which amuses me greatly!

And also whilst I'm talking of celebrating and erotic art, I've been in communication with dj kirkby regarding the erotic landscape I'm painting for her. Over the past few weeks, I've come up with a few ideas, and told her of them, and drawn her a few sketches from my ideas, and shown them to her, and listened to her thoughts and suggestions, and gone away and thought some more, and drawn some more, and shown her the next stage, and we've discussed it, and I could see what she meant if she any criticisms she had of it, and have adjusted them and created a better picture through it....... and you know what? I love the design I've finally come up with! Its taken a long time to get to it, because its so challenging - to paint a picture that looks like a landscape. AND to paint a picture that looks like an erotic couple. Both difficult enough things to do on their own - BUT THEN, I've got to interact them so that they work in conjunction with each other at the same time! Now, THAT'S a challenge!!! But...... after working hard on it, thinking alot about it, and sitting down and working through the designs, I've come up with a good image - it works well as a landscape AND as an erotic couple, I've worked out the tones and composition, I've worked out where to incorporate the clever artistic bits that give a picture that "zing" and now i've got to work out the colours for it....... So, the next stage is to sit down with my palette and mix up some colours, see how they interact with other colours and get them down on paper to see the effect. And then...... after all this, comes the good bit ......... I get to paint the actual picture!