Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Aftermath resounding bright and clear

Well, What a response!

It seems you all like my Fantasy Fannies then. :)

And I'm delighted that you do.

They're a big thing for me, and something I believe strongly in as an empowerment for women. I've had lots of positive feedback both through the comments and by email. Women telling me that they have had problems accepting that part of their body, but to see their "Queynte" in glorious techni-colour detail has made them realise it is a thing of beauty to be admired. One woman told me she is a blatant exhibitionist and this is the ultimate exhibitionism for her!

A guy I know has said how wonderful the colours are. That he is drawn to bright and well-defined colours and that the similar palette creates a kinship among the portrayals. The bright colours denote energy and emotion, ever moving, ever changing, and focusing on the opening itself. They radiate life, just as a woman does, even though her actual colours are more subdued.
He commented that vaginas are as individual as faces, and drawn in this multi-hued way the features take on added beauty. He particularly liked the detail of the interiors, the folds and the crevices, and the fact that for some women the opening is quite evident, while for others it's hidden, waiting to be discovered. He also really loved the nude woman hidden in the detail of each portrait.

One of the best comments I had was from a woman who referred to the images as "spirited and spiritual" and that I had touched her on a primal level. I really loved that!

Another woman commented that the paintings are absolutely beautiful and that they are a reminder of what makes women so special, being able to give life but also commented on the complex nature of our beings, exemplified in the folds, crevices, curves, texture and smoothness of this entrance to our depths.

I've had interesting dialogues with Having my cake too - since the idea sprung up between the two of us semi-joking with each other a year ago, and then when we discussed it a bit further, we both realised the other was serious! Its been an empowerment for the both of us too. I realised that a lot of women don’t know what they look like down there – infact, only one of the participants has recognized her own from the painting, bearing in mind that I was working from photos sent to me from the participants, so I had presumed they had looked at them first!
We also discussed the fact that some women consider their vaginas to be ugly and the terrible mutilations some religions inflict on young girls. If any of this has helped to empower women, or helped them come to terms with the subject of the beauty of their own bodies, then I’m delighted. I’ve certainly learnt a lot!

And now that other women have seen them, they want their fanny painted too, and I'm delighted to say that already I have another twelve participants who are in the process of sending me photos for the next batch of Queyntes. I hope others do too.

This last week I have had many conversations with many people on the subject and its interesting to note the differences between the sex bloggers and the men and women I have chatted to in "real life". The sex bloggers have accepted it with open arms, and love it. But I've had slightly unexpected responses from other people. A broad-minded, creative and feminist woman wasn't greatly interested in what I consider to be a wonderful celebration of womanhood. A flirtatious and vibrant woman who I would have expected to be greatly interested in the subject, wasn't particularly, and yet most men I've mentioned it to are intrigued with it and want to know more. Am I back to the experiences I've had before of vanilla women not showing their interest in erotic art?

I attended a seminar at the weekend, to pick up more information about making a living as an artist, and found the session very useful. I was even able to ask specific questions relating to my own career and the projects I currently have on the go and how I am dealing with them. The tutor's answers were helpful and honest. Which is what I'd rather hear. But he doesn't think the Fantasy Fannies will work in real life, he thinks they will only work on the internet. I think he's wrong. I think there will be a lot of interest, in the right place. I just need to find the right place. I want these Fantasy Fannies to be exhibited somewhere together, so that people can see them. I know that some galleries will turn them down flat, and I also know that I have to find the right gallery for myself - because a gallery is for ME, not me for them. Maybe I'll have to do it privately then.

But one way or another, I want to do it.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Unveiling of the Queyntes

Well now, where was I? Oh, yes I remember! Fannies!! (or for the Americans amongst you Pussies!!).

Just to give you the background before I do the grand unveiling, I wrote a year ago (and it is a year, all but one day, now that I've checked, Wow!) about wanting to do the paintings as a celebration of womanhood - as bright and colourful abstracts of their most innermost secret places. The thought was that when someone has their portrait painted, its of their face with their name as the title - but in this case I wanted the names to be anonymous - so unless the participants reveal it, I won't say who they are. I originally asked for volunteers and at the time ten women contacted me, but I only received good enough photos from seven of them - and these are the original seven here. I hope that more women will be interested in having their "Queynte" painted and I would love to see them all part of an exhibition somewhere for the world to see - because just seeing the seven of them together is a beautiful thing already! I hope to sell any to anyone who is interesting in purchasing them - but at this moment I have no idea what price to put on them because I have put so much of MYSELF in them, I don't know how to put a financial value on it as yet (I will in time, I just need to think a bit about it for a while!). I painted them intuitively - which is a new concept for me - and one I like very much. It was the right way of painting them, as they are so personal, and abstract. The point of the abstraction was so that they, although anatomically correct, are hidden enough in colouring and some of the external shapes to hide the image for what it is. I want them to be hung on a wall so that anyone other than the people who know, would not know what they are - except for something exotic flower shapes maybe, that may just resemble something subconsciously and vaguely erotic.....
They are painted in acylics on 20 x 16 inch boards. The reason I used the acrylics was because I needed the paint to be bright and to dry quickly and cleanly, leaving me time to work intuitively and quickly without the annoyance of waiting for paint to dry (and losing the impetuous of the intuitive way of painting) or of the paint annoyingly merging into other colours and muddying the effect. I liked using the board as it absorbed the paint very quickly, leaving no room for error or a change of colour. Once the colour was put on the board, it stayed there, and other than brightening a colour here or there for more depth, I haven't overworked it to ruin the effect (always a concern for artists!).

At the moment, all the participants are bloggers, but that doesn't exclude any other woman from participating, I won't restrict it to that degree.

All the paintings have a woman hidden within the folds to remind you what the image is about.

I'm delighted with them - I've put so much of myself IN them, and they are EXACTLY what I predicted last year that I wanted them to be - bright, beautiful and SHAMELESS.

So, now they're here - what do you think of them.......

Monday, 22 September 2008

Huge positive effect

At least it was sunny and warm this time at the Guild of Erotic Artists Event day - so when I arrived, most people were already standing or sitting outside the building, chatting in the late summer sunshine. As I walked past I was aware of my photographer friend talking to a group of people, so I just patted her on the shoulder in greeting, she turned to see me and her face lit up and we hugged in greeting - then and she grabbed my hand and said "Come with me, I've got something I want to show you" - I happily followed her lead and she took me inside to a quiet corner and showed me the photos she'd taken recently - of the subject matter we'd spoken off two months ago, lovely submissive photos taken with an understanding and knowledge of the subject matter and full of sensuality. I thought they were gorgeous and told her so!

Very soon after that the entertainment started - the first part being the body caster who'd taken the body cast of the large breast last month, which he now presented to the delighted owner. And what a beautiful memento for her to hang on the wall! Afterwards she and I stood chatting about the attraction of large breasts, and how some women can use it to their advantage (!). She also told me that its nice to have a pseudonym (as all models seem to do) because that persona can do things that your normal everyday one can't. You can use more attitude, definitely! I told her that when I'd seen her have her makeup done last month, and stride off the stage in such a powerful way, I really loved the effect the makeup had on her in her outfit! And that in turn had led me on to painting a picture of a kiss - which I had incidental taken with me that day to hang on the gallery wall, when the guild secretary has time to rearrange the current artwork. She said she'd be interested to see it, since she had inspired the thought that had helped to create it so I'll show it to her when I get the chance. And maybe my painting in turn will lead someone else on to create something else....

The body caster was selling various casts during the day - it was interesting perusing his wares and seeing various nipples, fannies, breasts, and bums in pure white plaster or bronze. He also had small sculptures of women in various positions, although they obviously weren't casts unless he's visited Lilliput recently!

Then we were on to the first proper entertainment of the day - a burlesque performance by an attractive Eurasian girl who came on the stage in a bright red satin Chinese robe, her hair beautifully arranged with complementary black and red feathers, her mouth matching vibrant scarlet too. The music started with its rhythmic beat and she danced provocatively and sexily whilst she slowly stripped off first the robe, to reveal a red basque, then a red strapless bra under and finally after the large red feathered fans had been twirled to good erotic effect, she removed the bra to reveal two shiny red nipple discs! Rapturous applause from the audience - I don't know why, but the men really enjoyed the show!!

At this point I got chatting to the couple next to me - he's an erotic artist, and she is also an artist but of the more vanilla variety, although she knew a lot about erotic art and was a delight to talk to. We discussed what makes art "erotic" and the importance of a title. He talked about dealing with galleries and how artists and gallery owners quite often have a different view of the world!

Then it was on to the second demonstration of the day which was shrouded in mystery. No one seemed to know what it was about - so it came as some surprise to see my photographer friend get on the stage to introduce herself. She was so nervous, she needed notes, and this was a suprise in itself because she's confident, gregarious and extrovert normally. She explained that what she normally does is lightweight and frothy, images with a bit of fun about them. But she had had this "big idea" recently and wanted to explore it, and was going to show us now, she wanted to thank her husband for his support and "Jackie" she said, pointing a finger directly at me standing in the audience, for believing in her and encouraging her to do it!!!!! WOW!!!!!! I stood there with a huge grin on my face! Now I knew instantly what she was going to do!!

Then she left the stage and five models came on it - the black haired dominatrix dressed powerfully in maroon basque and long matching skirt, the four submissives, all with black hair and pale faces, in black basques, corsets, stockings, holdups and high heels, they gathered around her feet, as she looked down into the face of each one, taking their chins in her hand, as they looked adoringly at her, loving her, appealing to her, pleading with their eyes for her attention and ministrations. Handing out rope, a cane, or a paddle to her, she took each in turn from them and interacted with them. It was so sensual, so erotic, so beautiful to see. At the end anyone else could take photos if they wanted, then the models disappeared. My photographer friend had a lot of people chatting to her, but when there was chance, I went up to her and with a flat expression I said "I didn't like that". Her face dropped and I quickly said " I didn't like it, I LOVVVVVVED it!!!!!!!!!!!" and she said with great force "YOU BITCH!!!!!!!!!!" Followed by a big grin, and a hug, and went on to explain that she had SSOOOOO much wanted me to like it, how important it was for her, how nervous she had been to present it, and I hugged her as she shed a couple of tears and I realised the enormity of what she had done. I hugged her close and said "It was FUCKING AWESOME, what you've done!!!" And I meant it - she had captured something so very subtle, so fleeting, so beautiful, so truly EROTIC.

Later on I was stopped by her husband who thanked me for helping her so much. That she'd not been taken seriously as an erotic photographer before, but now she had proved to everyone that she WAS. And I agreed wholeheartedly that she was! He said I'd been so enthusiastic about her big idea and I explained to him that I as a creative person like to be around other people who are creative and positive, because that in turn feeds my creativity. I don't think partners of creative people always know what to say to help the creative person, so I was delighted to help - and even more so when I saw the results!!! Big Wow!!!!

Later on again when she'd quietened down from her euphoria, I told my photographer friend about MY "Big idea" about the fantasy fannies and what I hoped to do with them - she was intrigued with my description of them, and wanted to see more. Whilst she and I were chatting quietly, the body caster came up to me to say how much he liked my writing for the Event day reports - and I was touched that he'd taken the time to come over to tell me especially. But the Guild is about support and help and the exchange of advice and experiences.

In and around all of this happening, I also had a chat with another artist who had taken some of his artwork to be hung, as I had taken four more of mine to be hung, but until the Guild Secretary has chance to re-arrange the other artwork, they had to be stored to one side. I was interested in seeing his drawings as he, like me, does erotic landscapes. Although his are totally different to mine - his were simple pencil drawings depicting all sorts of weird and wonderful simple shapes, whereas I do coloured paintings hiding the erotic images more.

Whilst I was ferrying my paintings from the car I passed the guy who'd had his sexy low slung sports car cleaned last month by the topless car wash girls, I made a funny comment about him bringing it again for the same treatment, and he asked if I was offering! Ha ha - no I wasn't I grinned! Later on he said he wanted to look at my work, and it unfortunately wasn't until the end of the day that we were able to meet up again - I showed him the two paintings I currently have on the wall and he gave me his very forthright opinions about them, the style, the pricing, the colours used. Whereas he wasn't terribly enthusiastic over them, he didn't criticise them either, but his opinion was useful because he's made me think about who I need target regarding selling my work. He's running a seminar soon on the subject and I think I may well attend it......

One of the things I love about the guild is that the Event days have scantily dressed models standing around in basques and stockings, maybe chatting to someone in jeans and a tee shirt whilst conversations are going on about dominants and submissives, S and M, gay sex, nudity, as well as erotic art and all relating to it! As the Guild secretary commented - where else can you get such good entertainment over the year from your subscriptions!

Saturday, 20 September 2008

French fancy

Before I show you all of my many faceted fannies I'll just tell you about my holiday! I've just had a much well deserved week in the South of France and I just fell totally in love with the beautiful colours there. Such purity! Such lovely bright pastel shades. And the Cote d'Azure is so well named (well, perhaps they put some thought to it before they named it!) - the sea really IS azure. And clear. And so very appealing in its beautiful depths - you just want to dive in and luxuriate in it. And the buildings are gorgeous shades of yellow and orange, apricot, peach and cream, with shutters of blue or green. An artists paradise! I've taken loads of photos and can see loads of paintings coming from them. Big wow factor.

And today, before I've had chance to properly get my breath back, I've attended an art workshop and the title of it was "Mediterranean light"- how apt is that! The tutor did a beautiful pastel of Monte Carlo - and I was able to tell him with a grin that I was actually THERE on Tuesday!!!! Yay! So I could totally relate to the colours he was using and the viewpoint he was working from. I chose to do a panoramic viewpoint taken from a tiny hilltop village called Eze, just along the coast from Monte Carlo - and when he saw my photo he said that he'd stood in EXACTLY the same place to do the same painting! He reckoned there was loads of paint splattered around that viewpoint from all the artists that had stood in the very same spot! So I'm in illustrious company!! The painting has the bay of Nice in the far distance, the next cove is of Ville Franche, and the headland jutting into the ocean is Cap Ferrat. I'm pleased with the painting - its a good rendition of a beautiful view overlooking a beautiful part of the world. Very very beautiful...........

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Big big stuff

Well, you're not going to believe this - but after almost a year of talking about it - I've finally done it! And its turned out exactly as I had hoped as well as being far more than I had hoped - if that makes sense......

I've painted something so very close to my heart - something that may well be the "big thing" in my artistic life - maybe even the ultimate "thing" - I wonder, unless it moves me on to other even more important things. Maybe.

I need to explain more for you to understand what I'm talking about.......

I've been painting all my life - all of it - and the majority of what I've painted has been representational - in that it looks like whatever it is, and I've put my artistic talents into painting a good version of it in my own style. And anyone looking at the painting would know what it is and recognise it as such.

But my big dream of last year was to paint something so totally different, it was just a "feeling" - a strong one, but not at all my normal way of painting, and this is why I'm so totally excited about what I've done recently - because its pulled something out of me that I didn't fully recognise was there - its big stuff, this!!!

What I've painted, if you haven't already gathered, as the "Fantasy Fannies" that I've been wanting to paint for the last year since it was first mooted - and now that I've done them, I'm stunned by their beauty, their vibrancy, their life and soul, the very embodiment of them!

And the reason I'm so taken with them, is because of the way I've painted them - although they are drawn from the gynealogical photos I have, and are representational in their basic shapes - the way I have painted them is by "feeling" the abstract colour of each area. Normally, to paint an area in painting, I will look at the colour and think "Well, that's a bit of burnt sienna, with a touch of cobalt blue and maybe a little raw sienna to tone it down" - and that is the colour I'm seeing, so that is the colour I paint. But not with these fanny paintings - I will look at the area of colour I'm about to paint and I might think "Well, it looks pinky with a touch of purple going into yellow, but theres a bit of blue there too" - BUT what I will paint is the colour it feels like compared to the colours around it - and that may well be bright orange or lime green! And since the whole painting is painted that way - it makes for a very interesting and dynamic painting! But now that I've done quite a few of the paintings, when they are all viewed together, they have a HUGE WOW factor!!!!!! Fucking hell, YYEEEESSSSSSS !!!!!!!!

They're beautiful........... Really beautiful.

I've reached down into my soul to paint them - and it shows. Its like nothing else I've ever done before. Ever.

But you're going to have to wait a bit before I show them to you.....................

Friday, 5 September 2008

Balancing act

As an artist you'd think I spent most of my time painting - and yet........ I don't. Yes, I do spend a LOT of it painting or drawing but the majority of my time is actually spent doing things that are part of being an artist - updating my website, writing this blog, looking for new work, making sure people know what I do by either advertising, or telling them, or finding good ways of promoting what I do. Or buying new art materials, finding good places to buy frames, talking to gallery owners and asking for feedback re my paintings, going on art workshops or courses to learn new skills and techniques, talking to other artists, finding perspective buyers and chatting to them, answering their questions and queries, finding good places to exhibit locally, and having to steward them, having a social life that revolves around art and artists. So when a friend who dabbles in painting by copying a picture he's found in a magazine, said airily and rhetorically to me "Painting's soooooo relaxing isn't it?" he was amazed at my denial. NO IT BLOODY ISN'T!!!!! Its bloody hard work!!!! Even my holidays are spent looking at the local landscape and wondering if it would make a good backdrop for a painting - my "holiday photos" are always taken with the thought that I could use them for a painting somewhere. If I've got time to sit down and read a book, I feel that it ought to be a art reference book. My spare time should be spent going to more galleries and exhibitions than I probably do........

And yet, I painted a picture this week, and was happy with it, its exactly what I wanted it to be. But that doesn't just happen. I have to work at it. I have to THINK about it. And that in itself is tiring. At the end of a painting session I'm mentally whacked. I always say that producing a painting is nine tenths thinking about it, and one tenth painting it!

But I'm not moaning - its the way it is. I don't HAVE to do any of it. I could sit at home and watch telly all day and do fuck all art. BUT I don't........ I CHOOSE to do this!

Its been a hard day...........................I'm tired.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Decluttering the dust

Its been an extremely productive day, art wise, extremely! And yet...... I haven't once picked up a paintbrush to paint or drawn anything or produced any artwork at all today. The nearest I've come to any artwork was a pastel drawing of a topless woman that I framed for the Erotic Guild of Artists gallery, the next time I go there.

No, the reason I say I've had a productive art day is because I've had a tidy up in my studio - how exciting you yawn, and yet it has been! I've thrown virtually nothing away except odd scraps of paper with scrawled notes long since written (and acted upon) but what I have done is put all my reference art books together on book shelves, I've loads of them on subjects as diverse as figure drawing, fantasy art, big cats, sex, erotic art, favourite artists, women in art, more sex, photography, sex positions, Australia, New Zealand, how to capture light in paintings, and more sex positions (well, it IS art, honest!!!!). As well as those I have a whole load of art magazines, gallery catalogues, and photo albums for reference subjects. I have files for various useful papers, and more notes on scraps of paper to be acted upon. And that's all before I get to the paints (watercolours, acrylics, oils, gouache), water pots, brushes (for watercolour and also oils/acrylics), palettes, and other collected accoutrement's of the active artist. And at the end of moving most of the things to slightly new positions, I have a whole load of something wonderful ........ Sigh! Yes, I have S P A C E !!!!! Loads and loads of it, to spread out in, to work in, to have freedom to fill with art and NOT CLUTTER! And I expect that when I get to use that space I'll produce better artwork because I'm not having to work around piles of papers and pots and brushes that I'm not currently using! So, yeh, its been a productive time!!

Yesterday the woman who commissioned the freebee Christmas card design back in June came to collect it. It was the first time she'd been to my house and we'd not met before. We got on well enough and as we chatted I showed her the Three kings design I'd done for her, which she was delighted with. So I was happy too! I had a few paintings stacked up in my studio, ready to go for exhibitions, and showed her a few of them so she could see what else I did, she knew I did pen and ink drawings but didn't know what else I do - and she said what most people say when they see my work - she commented on how diverse I was , and I agreed, I am! I only showed her the sexy large lips kissing I've just finished, a French village landscape, a Venetian night scape, a dramatic English Gothic landscape, some tigers in a snowstorm, a family of swans back lit under a tree, an old Cornish fishermans hut, a pair of fantasy unicorns in a woodland glade and an oil painting of an old country cottage with faces hidden within the flower garden (and that's only a SMALL amount of what I do, because I kept off the erotic stuff!). She was impressed with me and my artwork, and asked me how much I'd charge to paint her two children' s portraits. She said she'd discuss it with her husband and come back to me. So that was a good productive visit too! Yay!

Now.. where did I put my favourite paintbrush... and should I categorise all the art books alphabetically into fantasy/cats and SEX - nah, I haven't got one complete shelf long enough for the sex stuff!!! :)