Monday, 28 July 2008

Tickled pink

I'm fully aware of the reason why the last picture I put on my blog wasn't brilliant. It was because my mind was elsewhere........ lost in visions of naked women doing feminine things. I wasn't fully focused on the guy I drew last week because I've spent so much time recently thinking about the artwork of women I want to produce for the gallery I visited three weeks ago. Then whilst I was on holiday in the Lake District I was thinking about it, and in days after I got back I was thinking about it even more, and last week I was collating the information and just about ready to start drawing them. Then I received an email from the gallery owner asking how I was getting on and wanting me to email the first image to him. I was going to reply by email and then thought, no, I'll ring him. I needed to explain it to him and an email wasn't the mode of doing it........

.......These images are going to be part of a "set" so that when they are viewed together they can be seen as a collective. But any of the images can be a picture on its own. Of course if someone wants to buy one of the pictures they will have a nice image all on its own but ideally they will have the chance to "pick and mix" the images so they can buy two, three, four, more and all the images will interconnect. That's the plan. And that's what I've been thinking of the last three weeks. Nothing else, well .......artwise, anyway!!! And that is what I needed to explain to the gallery owner. That although I had done one of the images, I didn't want to show him just the first one. I wanted to show him the finished set. Because although I'd completed one, and was delighted with it, by the time I'd finished the whole set, the first one may not fit in it so well (although I doubt that that will be the case). He understood when I explained it, and said there was no pressure, and I was happy to hear that, because pressure whilst a bit of is a good thing, a LOT of it can take away from the creative process if a dead-line is looming!!!

So, here's the first one and I'm delighted with it. Its simple but effective, has colour and enough feminine charms to be interesting. Her breasts are framed by the boa and she's in a contemplative mood. The look on the girls face is good, with the hint of a smile and the pose is interesting with enough lights and darks and angles. The feathers are soft and have enough depth of colour and form. And I'm even delighted with the title too! Its called "Tickled pink" which fits in with the boa image as well as the colours used.

So, now on to the next one.................MMmm......... Oh, yes, I know what I'm going to do!!! :)

And as a post script, I was delighted last week to be asked to write up the Guild of Erotic Artists Event day report for July, and the Guild secretary only asked me because I'd mentioned that I write a blog and he was featured in it! I enjoy writing, and find as much satisfaction in it as painting almost. I suppose its all part of the creative spirit.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Exploring to find new depths

A different model for me this week - a male one, and that means I've got to re-think the pose and how I want it to look. And the end result is another drawing that I'm not 100% happy with - it may need a bit more work doing on it and then I'll be happier with it. But sometimes a drawing is just an idea explored to see what happens. I like the lights and darks in this one and there's movement in there, a focal point, something about to happen, something that has just happened. I like the way the boot is not actually on the back of his hand but looks like it might be. I like the way he's pulling it towards him and the thought of what he is maybe going to do next.

Mmmm... perhaps I'd be happier if the picture had more passion in it..... What do you think?

Monday, 21 July 2008

Striking a chord

I don't think you can be boring if you're an erotic artist. The two don't go together. And part of the joy of being one is that you have interesting conversations with interesting people.....

I went along to the Guild of Erotic Artists event day yesterday since I'm still guiding myself in there and getting to know names and faces, who the different photographers/artists/models/are and collating all the information together. I'd also taken along some of my business cards so that if anyone is interested they can contact me, and I'd taken a couple of erotic paintings (Naked desire and Venus of Timaru) to hang on the walls there, since its a gallery and a good place for me to sell my art. The guild secretary, asked me where I wanted them and at my request of "Somewhere prominent and well lit", did just that, much to my delight! So now people can relate to me and my work and when they say "And what do you do?" I can nod in the direction of my paintings and they know instantly. If a picture tells a thousand words, two pictures should do two thousand. Mmm.... I'm not sure if it works quite like that, but you get my drift......

And then onto socialising, except its far more than that, because its networking and listening to ideas and concepts and other peoples suggestions and experiences, and passing on your own tips and experiences and comments, its an exchange of ideas and support. And in any organisation some people are more helpful than others, its always the way, as much as you know yourself that you can help some people more than you can others. But when you meet someone who you just "click" with, its a delight, a pleasure, and it feels absolutely wonderful. When they seem to feel the same as you too, its even better. And that's the way it was yesterday. I got chatting to a woman photographer, we talked about our work, and interests, and had an in depth conversation about using models and what we expected of them. And also talked to some degree about the dominant/submissive scene and also how women depict erotic art in a more sensual and seductive way than men do. It always fascinates me this difference, and I love to explore this subject especially with other people who work in the same genre of erotic art. And it interests me greatly the difference and parallels and similarities a photographer will experience compared to me as an artist. And women also think differently to men on this subject too. It all adds to the vast and rich erotic art that we all produce in such different ways. You'd think erotic art is all the same, and it certainly isn't!

And I was really touched that whilst we chatted, my new friend told me about a vision she had for some erotic images. She discussed them in depth with me, and as she talked I could feel that chill on the back of my neck when you just KNOW you're hearing a good idea, a concept that is inspired and exciting and you want so much to see it come to fruition because its clever and part of someones life work. Its connected to their soul. I felt honoured that she told me about it, because we'd only just met that afternoon, but she trusted me with it. I'm not going to tell you here what it was, because I don't want anyone stealing her idea, its for her to do. And she said to me "But, its not the sort of erotic art that I normally do, what if it doesn't work out, what then?" and I said to her that she's got to try it, she's got to explore the idea she has, because even if it only works to 70% of what she's expecting, that's ok, but it might be 80 or 90% or it might even be 150% better than the idea in her head and at least she'd have tried it. I could see how important this idea was to her, this vision. And I told her that if she doesn't do it she'll regret it for the rest of her life - that my philosophy is that we don't regret the things we do, but the things we don't do. And even if we try them and afterwards think "Well, I wish I hadn't done that", we still learn from it, and it might lead on to other better ideas. Its gotta be explored for us to find out. I could see I'd helped her, and she said that she was going to go for it, and I was delighted to hear that I'd helped her to formulate the decision to at least try. And she jokingly said that if it didn't work for her, I could paint it instead! Now, that would be an interesting subject, and challenging to portray.

I liked her as a person, I liked the way she works, she seems similar to me in being forthright and focused, but friendly and fun loving. She's offered to help me with my art, not in producing it, but in the offer of props and helpfully suggesting any models should I need them. It looks like the start of a promising friendship. And I also liked the fact she made me laugh out loud a couple of times, especially with her facial expressions whilst describing her touching up a female model infront of a guy, knowing full well the impact she was having on him. I loved that playful touch..... !!! (And I'll leave that comment there as an inadvertent pun!!!!).

The afternoons entertainment was the erotic version of a beauty contest - except it wasn't faces being judged, or even legs - it was a boob. Just the one! The contestants stuck their chosen breast through a gap in the curtain, and the four male judges had to choose one from the five they viewed. Hard work getting the judges to decide (you decide if that's a pun or not!) and eventually they chose the winner. Her prize is to have the winning boob done as a body cast in plaster. The thing is its a 44G cup, so I think they're gonna need an awful lot of plaster............. !!!

When it was time to leave, I said goodbye and hugged my new female friend and kissed her on the cheek, and then I went to hug the Guild secretary as I always do, and he made the most of it, pulling me close to him and flirting with me as he does - always nice! - and did it a couple more times as we were both enjoying it so much. Then my friend said "My turn now" and I stood to one side so she could hug him, and she went for me instead! Another hug! Aw, that's nice! I feel like I belong there now, I'm part of the group.

I walked away with a big grin on my face, and one of the other guys there was walking towards me, he's been a member for many years and he asked me if I'd had a good time. I agreed with a big smile that I had, but said that everyone I've met through art has been nice. He said that the Guild of Erotic Artists are a good friendly group, and I agreed with him - they are! But then, you've got to make an effort to be part of it - you've got to get in there to get something out. And I'm getting a lot out of it already, and this is only my third visit!

When I got home there was an email for me from my new photographer friend, saying "I just wanted to drop you a quick line to say how much I enjoyed chatting with you today. It was a real pleasure to speak with someone so alive and focused with such a clear view of where they are going" - and then she went on with more information for me on subjects we'd discussed earlier. I was really touched, we'd struck a chord!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Black on white, white on black

I've finished two drawings this week - and although they are very different in subject matter, they are similar in technique. The first is a Christmas card design of the three kings done as a black pen drawing on white paper. I was asked to design a card using which ever I felt was best regarding the three kings/stable/Bethlehem skyline and decided in the end to use all three, mostly because I fancied doing the star! It didn't take long to come up with the design and after a couple of preliminary sketches I knew what I was looking for - the darkened forms of the three kings on their camels, heading towards the stable, and pointing to the star above lighting their way. Plenty of dramatic interest and lighting. I drew it out in pencil first then the outline in black pen, but realised that if I was going to draw in the night sky and every star it was going to take me hours and hours. So the obvious thing was to speed up the process by using a paint brush instead! And that decision meant I finished it all in one sitting rather than half a dozen which meant the finished image worked better as a flowing image rather than an over-worked laboured one. I'm pleased with it, I'm pleased with the effect, and hopefully the people who have commissioned it will be happy too! Although I think the image perhaps should be entitled "camels bum" since that's what's in the middle of the foreground!

The second drawing was a white on black erotic one, using just a bit of red in the detail of the underwear. I'm half happy with the result of the half naked woman. I like the pose, and what I've drawn, but, there's no "oomph" in it. It hasn't got the wow factor. The woman in the drawing isn't alluring enough as she pulls down her panties to reveal her bum. I think she needs to be more aware of the viewer, and the fact she's got short hair makes her look too boyish. Perhaps I'll have to buy a wig for my model or ask her to grow her hair!! So I haven't named the drawing other than "red nix" as I don't think its fully worthy of a name.
And I've just had a thought - There can't be that many blog posts featuring the backside of a camel, a half naked woman, three kings, and a pair of red knickers! Still, who wants to be boring!!!! LOL

Monday, 14 July 2008

Garden party

I went to a garden party over the weekend. Well, two, technically. It was a garden in Yorkshire, and I knew very few people there, except the people holding the party. It was a beautiful setting and quite a lot of people attended. You nod and say hello and smile at people, and conversation starts, and flows (hopefully) and moves from subject to subject. And the one thing that is guaranteed a reaction is the "I'm an erotic artist" one. Guaranteed everytime...... or so I thought!

The first party in the garden was during the day, lots of nice friendly folk there, keen gardeners and creative types. I had a couple of lovely chats about erotic art with two very nice older women and their general interest in the subject delighted me.

Later on that evening, the second party, still in the same garden, was for a slightly younger set of people, but during my many conversations it was mostly the older ones in their fifties and sixties who were interested in my art. Even if they didn't know much about art, they were happy to listen to me talk about it and exchange views on the subject. And there was one chap in particular who showed a lot of interest and asked very pertinent questions. I was more than happy to explain about erotic art to him. And he asked a good question "What's the purpose of erotic art?" And I hesitated before I replied - for me, art should be appealing, it should be pleasing to the eye, and erotic art should have an air of mystery about it. It shouldn't be too explicit, and it should be sensual. So then that made me think about how men and women view erotic art - if its a picture of a woman, does the man viewing it think that he'd like to see his lover do that, and if its a woman, does she imagine herself doing what the woman in the picture is doing? And then, the chap I was talking to, said something really profound about my art and its purpose, but it was just as something else was happening, so I didn't take it in fully, and afterwards when I prompted him to repeat it, he couldn't remember what he'd said, and neither could I! Bugger! And I know it was really important, and now its lost for ever. I'll never know it. Unless he's reading this, and remembers! In which case can you email me please!! (and yes, it'll teach me to listen properly in future!).

And later on that night, very late on, in the early hours, there was a younger set of people standing around chatting, we talked of visits to Amsterdam, and Bangkok, of sex shops and sex shows, and then I thought it might be pertinent to mention that I was an erotic artist, there was complete.......................silence. And no response whatsobloomingever. What was that all about then?????!

Friday, 11 July 2008


I’ve been away for a few days this week up to the Lake district. Its beautiful there, even in the rain, and boy, does it rain!!! Lets just say the lakes were certainly a lot fuller when I left than they were when I arrived......

It was good to see all the well known places - Windermere, Bowness, Ambleside, Grassmere, William Wordsworths cottage, Beatrix Potters farm, the tiny gingerbread shop, as well as some gorgeous old pubs, including one with old chamber pots hanging from the beamed ceiling (really, I'm not taking the piss!!!!) and I got a few ( very very very very wet!) walks in as well as a couple of dry ones. I had a fabulous (dry) walk around Tarn Hows which I thought was gorgeous and took loads of photos of with a view (joke!) to using them for paintings some day. I even saw a young red deer on one of my walks which was totally unconcerned at my presence, and eyed me with gentle interest as I took photos of it.

I also went into Kendal where I fell in love with a print of a photo and bought it cos I loved it so much (and I rarely buy artwork!). The photo is massive and framed (just under 4 x 3 feet). The image is in soft muted colours of beiges and pale purples and is of a deserted wet beach with a rivulet of water in the foreground leading on to an old partly submerged tree trunk, and then to some large black rocks in the middle ground, and a misty background. I love it for the interesting interplay of light and dark, the shapes and serene subject matter. I’ve walked on so many beaches that it looks like. And the really really lovely thing about it is that the rivulet of water in the foreground is almost a naked woman so its sort of an almost erotic landscape! Since it’s a photo and not a painting, its just the way the shapes look, but I love it. The photographer could obviously see it too, as the picture is called “She lies within the sand”.

And whilst I was with friends having lunch in an old pub half way up a hillside somewhere in the Lake district, we noticed Richard Wilson (the actor who is Victor Meldrew from "One foot in the grave") at the next table – it was only when he spoke that we all recognized his lovely resonant Scottish voice, but of course One foot in the grave would be about 20 years old now, so that’s why he wasn’t instantly recognized by us. He was with a film crew filming about Englands best drives, so they were all there too. He walked out of the pub whilst we were still eating, but as we were walking up to the car in the car park, and the others had gone on ahead of me, I found myself alone and walking towards him. In the past I wouldn’t have done anything, but because of what’s happened this last year (to me as an artist), I felt I wanted to speak to him. So I just said that I wanted to thank him for the pleasure he’d given us over the years and he charmingly thanked me, we had a little chat and he asked me if I wanted my photo taken with him – so I agreed and asked someone to take it for us, whilst we stood with his arm around my shoulder. I thought that was really sweet of him, and called him Mr. Wilson. I bet he gets loads of people calling him Victor and wanting him to say “I don’t believe it!” but there was no way I was going to ask him to say it. He stood and chatted for a bit and I shook his hand (and didn’t get chance to mention I was an erotic artist, but now I wish I had!). I just felt that since I get a lot of pleasure from hearing people saying how much they like my artwork and how it touches them, I wanted to tell him the same sort of thing for his acting. It surprised me that I did it, lots of people would have been straight in there, but not me normally! Infact thinking about it – HE asked to have the picture taken, not me, so perhaps he realized HE was with a celebrity!!!! LOL

Sunday, 6 July 2008


I've been searching for a long time for a gallery. One that's right for me. Because I don't fit the criteria of most galleries. I'm not a traditional artist and I'm not contemporary either. I love doing erotic art and painting fantasy, but I enjoy painting old buildings, tigers, cats, dancers and horses too. But now I'm in the Guild of Erotic Artists, and it is an outlet for my erotic art, I felt it was time that I found another gallery for the vanilla stuff too. And with that in mind, I've spent this last week searching for possible places. Cities are the obvious place to start, and I'll look further into them in the future, but sometimes the less obvious places can yield interesting results too. And there was one place on the map that seemed to have what I was looking for. So that was where I went over the weekend, to see if my hunch was right. And it seemed it was - a small town just far enough out of London to be in the commuter belt, so there was money there. A town that had an individual feel to it, with unique shops with their own personalities rather than the faceless sprawls that most towns have become with all the same national names plastered up and town the high street. A town that had a nice ambiance to it, so the people were happy. And better still a town with a number of art galleries, which meant that the people not only liked art, but bought it regularly enough to keep the galleries in business. I liked the look of the place and started my search. I had done some browsing on the internet before I went, and there was one particular gallery that had really caught my eye, and that was the one I found towards the end of the day. It was purpose built, bright and fresh, had good artwork at reasonable prices and I liked the guy running it - we had similar forthright personalities and as we chatted both said that the other seemed to be saying all the right things. And even better, he said that the artist set the retail price and he took 50% commission. Other galleries I've spoken to have asked what I as the artist want, and then add a whole load on for themselves. So for instance if I wanted £300, they'd sell the painting for £2,000 and to me that's a lot of a difference! So, to hear this gallery owner say that he wanted 50% was very fair, to me. And he seemed to be good at his job since he'd been in the business over 30 years, and had a lovely light and airy bespoke building for his gallery with the no doubt costly overheads to go with it. So he looked at my website as I looked at his gallery which gave us both time to decide if we wanted to do business with each other. It seemed that we did. He asked what sort of art I did, and I said I was an erotic artist but I wasn't looking for an outlet for erotic art as I have the Guild of Erotic Artists gallery for that, but intriguingly, he wasn't at all interested in my landscapes or animal paintings, he was actually looking for an erotic artist as a client of his had suggested only last week that he sell more erotic art! And then a few days later I walked through his door! A good sign for us both! So after he'd looked at my website, and decided exactly what sort of thing he was looking for, he's asked me to go away and do some fresh artwork on that theme. How exciting! I shall love doing that for him, but it'll take a while to think of exactly the right subject matter. And if he likes them, maybe that will lead on to bigger paintings based on them. It all looked very promising. Especially as we discussed an up and coming artist whose artwork I like, mostly for the colours he used in a set of paintings I'd seen, and its those colours the gallery owner wants for the artwork he wants from me - again, a good sign! And to add interest for me, this artist regularly sells his artwork for £6,000 to £13,000. A bit more than I sell my artwork for at the moment - although I'm working on it! LOL The gallery owner asked me what I wanted as an artist and I said cheekily to be "Rich and famous!" and he laughed and said that I could be famous and I could make him rich! His cheeky response made me laugh out loud delightedly!

This week my spiritual healer friend referred to me as "The Alchemy Artist" because I was taking some of my old mediocre paintings and painting over them to produce far better paintings - or as she called them "breathing new air over them and re-creating them as masterpieces of mystery and magic" - I love that idea! She tells me that I should believe in myself and my talent and magic can happen. I believe it. And I hope so. I think I've had some of that this week. Having said that, for magic to happen I've got to work for it. It won't just appear. I've worked hard for how far I've got todate. I have to continue working hard for the next batch of magic - but I think it just might be in a little town I visited yesterday..............

Friday, 4 July 2008

Tidying up ready for the big one

I've been working on the pen and ink Christmas card design of the three kings this week, and fighting the urge to incorporate a naked woman among them, as per the suggestion I've had from a couple of irreverent and naughty friends!! Not that there's a deadline on it until the end of September, but it needs doing and I'd rather to do it and get it out of the way so that I can concentrate properly on the Fantasy Fannies/Pussy Portrait set of paintings that have been put on hold since last September. I really don't like having had to put them to one side, as they're really very important and special to me and I think they will be to the women in question who I'm painting in such an intimate way - I'm itching to get working on them, and am very excited at the prospect of doing them. But unfortunately, a lot of things have been stopping me getting on with them, but now the way is clear, and I can start work very soon! YAY!!

As well as that this week I've re-vamped another old painting - a third! (I'm on a roll!) and am again delighted at the end result that a bit more paint, and lots more knowledge, can revitalise a mediocre painting into a special one, worthy of hanging on a wall. This one is a vanilla painting of some old fishermen cottages at Prussia Cove in Cornwall that I originally did a number of years ago. Its along a quiet and secluded dusty track to the sea and the cottages were ideal to paint - really very picturesque with their old stone walls, rusty roofs and bright blue peeling paint! I went over the paintings with bright Windsor blue, and dramatic burnt sienna, and added a touch of violet to the shadows, as well as added detail and splatter to the mass of foliage in the foreground and the thatch of the first cottage roof. I also cut down the painting to a smaller size than the original, which makes it a more interesting and exciting composition. I'm really pleased with it now, even though its not a greatly exciting subject matter (for me!). Maybe it will be for someone else.

And this week I received the phone call I've been waiting for - the woman who had the dog portraits painted for her husbands birthday was delighted with them, and so was her husband, fortunately! She kindly rang me to give me the feedback of his reaction, which was all positive and good. She's also told all her friends about the paintings I've done, and sung my praises so maybe I'll get more commissions through her. At this rate, I'll be better advertising at Crufts rather than the erotica shows!!! Can you be an erotic artist AND be good at dogs? Don't answer that, I think I'm gonna regret asking that question!!!!! LOL

Tuesday, 1 July 2008


Since overpainting the "Naked desire" painting in oils the other week and being astounded at the vast and improved difference from the original acrylic painting of it, I've been wondering if there are any other paintings I've got that I can give the same treatment to. And lo and behold - there is! ...........

Early last year I painted a watercolour of a white horse in a bluebell wood, and although it was exhibited a couple of times locally, I didn't sell the painting. And looking at it now I'm not at all surprised! Its a very mediocre painting, of a mediocre subject with no depth of tone to it and nothing exciting happening within the painting. So, when I cast my eye on it last week, after looking through my dusty file of old paintings (filed under "not good enough to frame and too good to throw away") it struck me straight away what I wanted to do to it to change it. Wow. Instant idea! So, I did a little pencil thumbnail sketch , showing where the strong tones were going to be, and where I was adding the interest and got on with the painting of it. And d'you know what???? ........I think its one of the best paintings I've ever done! I'm mesmerised with the result! I can't believe how MUCH better it is from the original. Its astounded and totally amazed me! And it was me who painted it!! But just incase I was getting too carried away, and to get a second opinion, I showed it to my spiritual healer friend, since the subject matter is now two unicorns and not a single horse as before, and unicorns is very much her subject (as she's writing a book on the subject and I'm going to illustrate it for her when she's finished writing it). So, I took my new painting along to show her, unveiled it and waited for the response (and if it had been crap, she'd have definitely told me!) and she sat there, and looked at it, and looked at it and when she eventually tore her eyes away from looking at it, she announced that it was probably the best painting of mine that she'd seen. Ok, then, she likes it!!! YAY! LOL. So, we both sat there looking at it in companionable silence when she said "There's a THIRD unicorn in there" and just as she said it, I could see it too, she didn't need to point out where, it was there, if you knew where to look. HUGE WOW!!!! I've painted a "magic" picture, something with such a wonderful piece of serendipity in it, that within the paint techniques, I've inadvertently painted a secret unicorn. How wonderful is that!? (I've done it before but it was some years ago, and strangely enough that was with fantasy horses!) And even more amazingly upon the back of the hidden unicorn is a shadowy figure, possibly of a woman in medieval dress. How lovely. This morning my spiritual healer friend informed me that to her the shadowy woman is a Sylph, a beautiful and mysterious fairy-like spirit of the air. Wow again!

And you know what, the best bit is - last week through my spiritual healer friend I cleared a whole load of negativity that was forming around me, and almost immediately afterwards I started this unicorn painting and knew EXACTLY how I wanted to paint it, and how it was going to look. And it looks EXACTLY the way I envisaged it. EXACTLY. And this morning my spiritual healer friend informed me that looking at my painting has inspired her for the next part of her unicorn book. Isn't that wonderful, when creativity begets creativity, and the circle is complete.

Anyway, before you think I've lost the plot completely - look at these two paintings and see if you think the same as me - one of them has magic and a mystical feel to it, the other is ....well.... boring!

The new painting is called "Love at first sight" because the two unicorns are obviously meeting for the first time in a glade in the forest. The sunlight filters down between the trees, casting patches of light and shadow. I used mostly strong Eygpt Violet and deep Touareg Blue for the darks, and added Viridian Green and Quinacridone Gold for the interesting depth of the mid tones, and using a white and warm cream gouache for the unicorns and patches of bright light. There is a pale ethereal light around the unicorn on the right, as it trots into view, out of the light. The focal point is the unicorn on the left, since the light is pointing at it, but the trees and branches point towards the right hand unicorn too, whilst the mossy hillock with the three tree trunks in the middle of the painting is splitting up the painting, showing the distance between the unicorns, but because of the way the painting is constructed, you know they're going to go and nuzzle each other in a minute.....

And to add as a postscript - I don't know if you'll see the secret unicorn here as the image isn't of the best quality for loading onto blogger - but if you look carefully, its in the top right hand side corner of the painting.