Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Unexpected responses

I attended a workshop at the weekend, one of many that I go to throughout the year. This time we were painting a Cornish harbour scene in watercolours by one of those step by step demonstrations that I dislike so much as they leave no room for your own artistic input. Not that they're made for anything but learning the technique of the artist who's teaching, so they don't expect you to use your own creativity much! This particular artist knew that the group was of a high standard so he'd brought a challenging painting for us to do. Which was fine by me. We had to draw the boats, sea, harbour wall, cottages on the hillside in the middle distance and sky above. Then he showed us how to paint the sky and hillside, followed by the middle distance, the sea and reflections and boats (boats are always a difficult subject, not that water and reflections are much easier either!!!). The tutor walked around the room, scanning everyones work and adding bits of advice as he went. Of course he didn't know any of us so he didn't know the standard of artists he was dealing with. Any one of us could have been the sort who ask "How do you make purple?". So he flitted around the room, looking at our work and adding his tutorly advice. And the bit I liked was when I could see in his eyes that he knew that I knew how to paint, even when my painting was only a quarter into the painting process, he could tell. And I liked that. Very much. I liked the respect I could see. As the day progressed, my painting progressed, and he could see I was enjoying doing it (and I was, even though it was a step-by-step painting, because it was such a challenging subject). And he brightly said "I can see you'll be doing this sort of painting again, won't you?" And I smiled. He must have been aware at that point by the muffled sniggers in the background, that he'd said something amusing. But he wasn't quite sure what. And I said, grinning, that I didn't normally paint this subject matter. And because he was a polite and interested guy he enquired "So, what do you usually paint?" and I smiled in a friendly and outgoing way and loftily said "I'll tell you at the end of the session!". He was intrigued. And five minutes later he was back again and said authoritatively "Tell me what you paint" and I replied, firmly, but again with a smile, that I would tell him at the end......

We carried on painting trying to finish the paintings in the alloted time, and at the end of the session, we all sat around in a group and each painting was put up infront of everyone else and comments were made on it, each person said what they had got out of the session and the tutor added any comments he felt were necessary. When he got to me he asked me my first name "Jackie" I said, and he took my painting off me to put it up for the others to see. He asked me what I had got out of the day, and I said how much I had enjoyed it even though I don't like step-by-step workshops and it had been a challenging subject which had suited me admirably and I was very pleased with the end result of my painting. He added a few comments about my painting, then, infront of everyone, said again, very authortively "Now, tell me what you do!" So I smiled and said "I'm an erotic artist, and if I was painting this picture myself I would incorporate a pair of lovers in one of the boats in the harbour, or hide them within the painting, perhaps making the distant hills the silhouette of a naked woman". And smiled as one of the women who knows me reasonably well quipped, "The couple are in the upstairs bedroom of the cottage second from the left!" His response was "Do you have a website?" and I smiled and said yes I had and would give him the details of it. And then a couple more people there asked me for my website address too - including the elderly woman sitting next to me, who I don't know particularly other than a smiling and pleasant woman who looks like she might bake cakes for the local WI or be a keen gardener. She was certainly the last person in that room who I expected to ask me for my erotic website address!!

And people do still surprise me by their response to my artwork. I was in the pub over the weekend and saw someone I've not seen for very many years. She's in her late twenties now and I've known her very well since she was eight. I know her family very well too and it was a delight to bump into her as I've not seen her for probably ten years or so. We hugged in delighted greeting, and she asked me what I was doing now and I said "Well, I still paint but I've changed what I do now" and she asked me what I do and I said "I'm an erotic artist" and her eyes widened in that way it does with people when they're not expecting the answer they've got and she said "Oh yes, tell me more!" and we had a really interesting conversation for the rest of the night about erotic art, art in general and erotic things, and I loved every minute of it! We also talked about our mutual travel experiences and the sex hotspots of the world we'd both visited and compared notes, but that's another story!!!!

10 comments:

Trixie said...

I'm sure you are never at an end for conversation when you tell people what you do for a living!

Jackie Adshead said...

Trixie - That's true, I'm not, if people want to talk about it - but some of them just go quiet!! lol

hornymaleuk said...

Jackie - Each morning, you should stand in front of a mirror and say "I'm an erotic artist; a very good erotic artist". Say it with conviction and enthusiasm! People will respect you when you say it. Most people will be interested in what you do. A few will go quiet, probably from embarrassment. I doubt that anyone will be offended.

Jackie Adshead said...

Hornymaleuk - Thanks, yes, that's good advice! Its taken me a while to realise that people aren't offended by me being an erotic artist. Well, not that I've found, yet!! lol

Spiky Zora Jones said...

I would love to hear..."but that was another story." hehehe

I have to say...water colors is a passion of mine though I have not done water colors in a while. I know some people don't like waters colors but I find it relaxing and challenging. I have my niece doing water colors now...she is quite good but over does a painting. She is though only 4 years old. I love to try different styles.

It is a fabulous post. I love talk of art. Oops...have to go bye jackie.

Jackie Adshead said...

Spiky - Yes, watercolours are very challenging, and I find them relaxing, but I find all painting relaxing (if it's going right!).

I love talk of art too, and love to chat to anyone else who does. We'll have to have a proper arty chat Spiky!

Racy Redhead said...

You have to watch those W.I. types Jackie. Behind the victoria sponge and Jaegar twin sets there's a seething mass of sexual desire and perversion. Even I'm too tame for my local group .....!

Jackie Adshead said...

Racy redhead - Fuckin 'ell!!! Reaaaalllly?!!!?! They must be a very interesting lot if you're too tame!! There's no point me applying then................. lol

nitebyrd said...

Gods, Jackie - that's fucking amazing! I can't believe the difference! You're right, it's magical. And, yes! I see the "secret" unicorn.

Jackie Adshead said...

Nitebyrd - Wow, hey, that's great that you can see it - it's certainly magical!!!