Saturday, 27 June 2009

The birth of siblings

Well, I'm happy.

And Fitzy's happy.

So, that's good then isn't it!?

The pictures are finished. The "Tarse" and "Fitzy Living flame". And they look good together, I'm happy to say, so that last week of me brightening tiny areas of colour, increasing tone, and keep putting the two paintings side by side to see how they looked as a pair has really paid off. I'm delighted. Its been three months of hard work, on and off, in the production, and I think Fitzy and I had a few weeks of discussion before that before I even started the painting. But he tells me he's thrilled with them, and that's what matters! That means I can relax, with a warm feeling and content smile, and know I've done a good job on them. And I also know that the finished painting is far better than the original working painting. There are more subtleties in it, and the flame is more fierce around the body. I think it adds more to it because of it, especially as its a man in the painting, it makes it more masculine and strong, I think. My favourite bit is the bum on it - the way the bright colours add form and interest.

I've shown the "Fitzy Living Flame" here on its own, and also along with the Tarse painting so you can see the comparison. They are bright and beautiful, vibrant and strong, and although the "living flame" style of painting is subtle it stands strong against the bright and vivid abstract of the Tarse painting. And it certainly didn't when I originally *thought* I'd finished it! Of course the canvas's also bring out the colours of the acrylic paint, which you can see when you look at them in real life but they look slightly muted in these photos. They are painted on box canvases, and I explained to Fitzy that the paintings go around each of the four sides of each painting which I think gives it more of a 3D effect when its hung on a wall. I also had to put an "optical illusion" in the "living flame" painting. As you can see the painting stops just below the knee, if I had carried on the natural tapering of the calf, the picture would have looked like his legs were "pins" and would have looked really silly. So, I had to carry on the calf at the same width when the image carried over the edge to give it more substance. No one would notice particularly when its hanging on the wall, but it would have screamed out as a glaring error, if I'd done the natural taper.

And just as a matter of interest, to me anyway, I have shown two women friends, on two different occasions this week, the two paintings, and asked what they thought, and both liked the "living flame" painting best, particularly the bum on it (!) and NEITHER could see that the abstract was a "willie". Not at all. Now, that interests me, and delights me. That was exactly the response I want - the shape IS hidden! YAY!!!! I've done it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

My Eternal Quest for Eroticism of the Highest Order

During some of my interesting discussions with Xanthropy, I am struck by the thought that although I am an Erotic Artist, who paints, amongst other things, erotic art (I’m stating the bleeding obvious here, but bear with me) I am also on a quest to find out what IS the true definition of “Erotic”. Simple, you would think.............. and yet it isn’t. I am constantly on the search for erotic things. But do I become too desensitised from erotic images because I analyse them so much, as its “work” for me. I hope not, but maybe....

Because it is slightly different for each of us, there is no “definitive erotic”, there is only a “specific but mirage erotic”. What on earth do I mean by that? ............Well, as erotic is slightly different for all of us, someone might find one image erotic but someone else won’t, they may find it too tame, or too pornographic for their tastes.

When I talk about “specific but mirage” - erotic IS specific, I could state various specific things that I would find erotic, but it could waver off the erotic in a mirage will-o-the-wisp sort of way, if something else is involved that I don’t find erotic. And sometimes it's actually the background to it that makes it erotic.

For example, the other night in the pub I was standing chatting to Xanthropy and he nodded towards a girl he referred to as “a Paris Hilton lookalike”. I looked over at who he was referring to, and realised I knew her very very slightly although I don’t know her name, I know a little of her background. Xanthropy’s opinion of her was low, because of the outfit she was wearing, plus he thought her too thin, he prefers a more curvaceous woman. My opinion was higher as I knew she wasn’t the tart he took her for. I thought her outfit was stunning, although outrageous in an acceptable way for a nice pub. Certainly she got away with it as she was very slim and young. A fatter or older woman couldn’t have carried it off. You’re now wondering what she was wearing, so I’ll describe it for you. She was wearing a black sleeveless tee shirt, which covered her breasts and came just below her bottom. But over the top of it was a shocking pink very loose singlet that hung down as far as her mid thighs, but because of the low slung design of it she was showing about an inch of pale thigh at the outside of her body between the black top and the pink singlet. She wasn’t showing anything sexual at all. But that little bit of pale thigh was very visible, sometimes a little more depending on how she was moving, and I found it very erotic and thought she looked great. Xanthropy disagreed with me and thought it tacky. I went over to her, she’d had a lot to drink, was in a group of people, and had her boyfriend and mum with her. I told her how much I liked the outfit and she thanked me. Her boyfriend said I was the first to say that to her, and I felt they both appreciated my comment. I went back to stand with Xanthropy and told him that I thought she looked really good. But I think that it was partly because I knew she had her boyfriend with her, (who couldn’t keep his hands off her and the gap in her dress by the way!). She wasn’t on the pull. She was having a nice night out. And for me, that made the outfit acceptable. And sexy. And erotic.

Its frissons of electrifying interest that make things erotic, for me. The odd word, or group of words, a look, an elicit touch, or all of those things put together. There is certainly a deep sensuality about it. I always describe erotic as subtle, and for me it is. Its not quite everything you want, its the chase but its a little held back, its a tease, a waiting, something that increases the wanting, a promise of something delicious and desirable on its way soon..... That’s how erotic is. For me.

It sounds like a Burlesque performance, and maybe it is.

And that’s what I try to draw.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Erotic weekends are good fun

I've had a really good Erotic Artist weekend starting with interesting conversations in the pub on Friday, followed by a portraits in oils workshop on Saturday and the Guild of Erotic Artists Event day on Sunday. Phew!

The workshop went really well, the tutor who was running it certainly knows his stuff and is laid back in his approach, but full of useful tips for learning how to paint portraits. My painting wasn't finished in the time spent, but I was actually happy with it as an "unfinished" piece. The sitter was a fascinating mix of a woman, she was half Irish and half Pakistani, so had gorgeous bone structure and a delightful personality to go with it. She was very spiritual too, so full of life and vitality, looked many years younger than her true age and was a joy to be around and to paint. Plus an old friend I've not seen for a year or so was there too so it was great to catch up with her again.

Then on Sunday it was the Guild of Erotic Artists Event day, and I’ve not been to one for the last two months, due to various logistical reasons, so it was good to go and catch up with everyone there again.

Since it was a glorious sunny day a few people were sitting around outside chatting when I arrived, and I noted the car park was newly laid with hardcore (are you allowed to say that word in relation to the Erotic world?!) and packed with cars.

I was delighted to see one of the guys as I walked towards the Studios, who always greets me warmly with a hug and bright smile. We exchanged pleasantries, before both deciding we were going inside for a refreshing cup of tea.

And what a transformation, from my last visit! The kitchen area has been revamped and is a lot brighter and more welcoming, and still with the welcoming caterer in attendance to cater to our needs. Another hug with her as I placed my order for a cup of tea and bacon buttie!

The Guild Secretary by then had seen me from across the room and came for another hug and warm greeting, closely followed by his brother with a big bear-hug to outmatch even his brothers!

Then a face appeared that I hadn’t seen for a year, so more grins of greeting and as I said hello to my photographer friend. We always seem to find a lot to talk about so it was good to catch up with him and compare notes about promoting our artwork.

He and I were still chatting as another couple appeared – their happy and smiling faces are always very easy to be around, and we all stood together as the entertainments of the day started, but before that the Guild secretary followed by the other founder member had a few words for the assembled throng. It was the seventh anniversary of the Guild being formed, and as usual they had positive and uplifting words for the members, and was delighted to say that a beautiful cake had been donated by members which would be cut later on in the day, although with all the beautiful decorations on it, it was a shame to cut it! There were various photos in icing sugar of different events that were poignant for the Guild over the last few months, and they were featured on the cake.

Then it was time for the entertainment of the day. The first was by a woman who gave us a brief and informed history of Burlesque before showing us an alluring example of the way to remove stockings as two other girls also removed elbow length gloves. I had a chat with the women later and she was most passionate about her love of Burlesque and the way it seems to be very acceptable and appealing to women.

The next was a delightful surprise, as it was a belly dance by a girl who obviously knew what she was doing. Her outfit was black velvet with silver and diamante detail, and as she shook, shimmied and undulated, the light flashed off her beautiful outfit, adding to the lovely feminine movements of her rounded form as she danced to the beat of the Turkish music.

As if that wasn’t enough entertainment, we were also treated to a model starting almost nude, then being wrapped in black, red and pink pvc bondage tape, the opposite of a strip-tease but most interesting all the same and she certainly seemed to be enjoying it and all the attention she was getting!

Whilst all of this was going on, the body painting artist was intently painting a bra on a woman who wasn’t wearing one! She sat in the heat of the lamp, as he patiently painted every detail for her, and from where I was standing, I had a lovely viewpoint through a gap between one of the barn upright supports and the partition wall, which gave it a real erotic voyeuristic effect. When I mentioned it to him afterwards he said he wished he’d known as he’d have asked someone to photograph it. Its always a delight to talk to him, his lovely laid back style and delicious sense of humour always appeals to me.

I did had a long chat and interesting chat with the smiley couple about being comfortable with body image, and the differences between what women are happy with compared to what men like. We also discussed the different types of clothing that we felt happy with.

Then it was time to cut the cake, and we were all handed large wedges of it, to celebrate the occasion. And very delicious it was too! I was able to catch up with another couple then, who are very supportive of the Guild. He showed me a drawing that he was very enamoured with, and I admired it with him, as we talked about buying and selling art, and I told them about my latest commissions that I’ve been working on for some weeks but are almost complete now. Both of them were most interested to know about them as I described designing and painting my first “Fantasy Willie” acrylic painting on a large canvas, and the “living flame” style of painting that I love to use for painting bodies, with the glazing technique of laying one translucent colour over another letting the colour under it shine through the one on top. They said they’d have a look at my website and blog to see the effect I was talking about.

It’s always interesting to hear what other people are doing in their work, and a delight when others are interested in what we are doing in turn. Late in the afternoon, I had a nice easy chat with the videographer, as I had noted him quietly videoing the various entertainments of the day.

Almost time to go, and I’d taken one of my “Fantasy fanny” canvas’s to hang on the wall but wasn’t sure where it was going to fit with all the new hanging that the Guild secretary has done recently, but he said it would fit in easily and was very appreciative of the bright colours in it as he pointed out where it would probably hang.

Time to go, a quick chat smiles and hugs with everyone who was still there, and off into the late afternoon sunshine with a warm feeling of being with my friends again.

So, all in all, a busy but interesting weekend. I'll tell you about the conversation in the pub at a later date................. :)

Friday, 19 June 2009

Keep going

Well Fitzy's Living Flame painting is coming on nicely. I'm really pleased with the figure, and think I've added some more excitement to the painting than was in the original working painting that I did a few weeks ago. All to the good! But I also have to consider the "flame" part of the painting, as it is very much part of the image. Instead of painting the figure THEN painting the background, I've painted the two together, building them up slowly, so that the figure is IN the background of the painting and not sitting on top of it, which it sometimes looks like in other peoples paintings.

Earlier on this week I decided that I was close to finishing it. I just needed to do a few more little bits to the flame aspect and it would be done. After spending quite a few hours on it, I thought that when I looked at it fresh the next day, I would think it was finished............... But I didn't. I felt there was more I could add to it, so I kept on painting, only little bits of it here and there, tiny subtleties that slowly built up the background. Great. I must be finished now then. The next day I looked quizzically at it and decided that it needed more depth of colour in parts, more flames reaching up in other parts, and spent a long time standing back and looking at it to make sure. Because that's so important to do. The painting might be created horizontally or slightly raised up at an angle, in this case, but its going to be viewed vertically, so periodically I'll raise the particular painting I'm working on just to check, and usually find that there are a few areas that need extra attention due to doing that. And I always say that however much time I put into painting a picture, its only a tenth of the thinking that goes into it. So, its good to stand back and assess a painting and just "think" about it whilst I'm looking...... making decisions like "Am I happy with the way that the focal point is showing, should there be a stronger contrast in that area, is that area too dominant and needs toning down a bit, do I need to put more highlights in there, or darks against it, which bits are shouting at me that they're wrong? Which am I happy with? Where can I change something to enhance the painting.......?" And so it goes on until I look at the painting and think "If I did any more, I'd spoil it, there is nothing left that is needing to be changed" and that's when I say "Its done!". But................... with this style of acrylic glazing painting, you can go on and on and on, and not spoil it, but add more depth to it here and there. When I first thought at the end of the week that it was done, it was, in a way. But the next day I thought I could enhance it a bit more. The same the next day. None of it has done anything but add more depth to the painting, which I think gives it more personality.

So, yesterday I looked at it after spending a few hours on it, and thought "It really is done now".

But there is something else I need to consider. Something that normally doesn't come into this decision making.

It has a sibling. The Tarse.

And The Tarse is brighter than the "Living flame" painting. It is more vibrant. More colourful. Stronger. More potent.

Next to it, the Living Flame painting looks pale, washed out, weak and ineffectual. On its own, it doesn't.

And they are going to hang together on the wall. So I have to consider that they have to look good together too, to enhance each other as siblings.

So, it looks like I've got to paint some more after all. I want to get it right. I want them to look right together. I can't dim the Tarse -its finished - and its right that it is bright and beautiful with strong vibrant colour. So, the Living Flame picture will have to be darkened and brightened in places. But not all over, just enough to give it depth and credence. But without losing any of the glazed colours that are showing through the white of the canvas and giving the flame effect.

So, it looks like I've got to keep going for a while longer then................................ :)

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

The perfect orgy

He stood alone at the bar as I walked in. I saw him straight away. He may have been waiting for me, maybe.............

I went over to him, smiling, and said hello, then "Well, how did you get on at the orgy?
He grimaced and said "It was awful!"
"It was?" I wasn't expecting this response, "Why?"
"It was like being at the House of the Grotesques" he said.
"In what way?" I wanted to know, intrigued at his use of words.
"Grossly overweight people, all of them. Loads of tattoos. No teeth! Loads of swearing, Common, really......" He said in a sad sort of way.
I felt sorry for him "But you were so looking forward to it! There must have been SOME redeeming features?"
He didn't need to think about the reply "No", he said, "It was awful, I left early, and as I left, I thought to myself 'thank goodness she didn't come', it was horrible! " looking directly at me.
I looked back at him appraising and said "This is what happens in real life. We all imagine that orgies are going to be fun, full of slim, happy, appealing, co-operative, sexy people doing really erotic things to each other and to us, and the reality just doesn't live up to it". He agreed, looking a little sad.
I looked at him, and spontaneously said:
"I know, lets make up our own orgy! I don't know who you know, so think of a celebrity, who do you fancy inviting?"
He didn't need to think for more than a couple of seconds "Mmm..... not Nicole Kidman, she's too thin, er, I know, Sophia Loren! and Marilyn Monroe, Gina Lollobrigida...........
"And I bet you like Michelle Pfeiffer?" I asked
"Oh, yes!" he said, with a glint in his eye, "And............ Jane Mansfield......! He thought a bit longer as we discussed various names, adding them to the list as he found one he liked. There was a pause. "And ......who are you inviting? he said.
"Ooooh...................... Oh, Orlando Bloom, the guy who played Aragorn in 'Lord of the Rings' the young Paul Newman like he was in 'Cool hand Luke', Robbie Williams, Pierce Brosnan (sigh).............Antonio Banderas "
"I bet you like the young James Garner? And what about Hugh Grant?" he said
"No, not James Garner, but yes, Hugh Grant's ok.And I want to pick some women, too!" I said grinning "That gorgeous woman Rebecca Romijn in the film 'Femme Fatale' and Maria Bello the blonde woman who played the bar owner in the film 'Coyote Ugly' and Stephanie Beacham, and Amanda Burton............"
We warmed to our game, and thought up various celebrities as we talked, then I said "Now we need to pick a venue, where do you think?" He thought for just a moment and said "The large suite of a classy hotel" I nodded and said "Or, a flash hotel by a beach, no better than that, what about a large private country house in its own grounds?" He grinned, and obviously liked that idea! "But, who's going to pay for it all?" he wondered. " I smiled at him and said "A rich Arab sheik will pay for it all, he will sponsor the whole lot, so money is no object!"
"Ok, then" he liked that idea.
"And everyone can arrive in the afternoon before the party starts, and can relax and have a massage before it all starts, and then they can go and view all of my erotic art in a special gallery, just to get them in the mood for later on" I decided.
"And there's got to be a spa bath" he said, and I nodded and added "With a hunky well oiled guy in just a tiny black G-string pouch serving champagne just for everyone who is in the spa". He liked that idea again, and nodded.
"The staff should be scantily dressed" he said. I nodded in agreement and said "Yes, the maids in tiny French maids outfits, and the butler definitely in a smart tuxedo but...." He finished the sentence for me "With the back cut out showing off a tanned back, and taut buttocks!" I agreed, laughing, and picturing it!
"And the food should be served off a 'lady table" I said.
"What's that?" he looked intrigued.
"Its where the table IS a naked woman and the food is served on her, and you help yourself" I said to explain it to him.
"Ah, yes, and it should be served 'no hands' like they do at that restaurant in Singapore, where you sit down to eat and the food is put in your mouth by gorgeous Asian girls"
I'd never heard of that place but agreed that it was indeed the best way - "Soooooo sexy to eat like that, truly erotic! like in the film 'Nine and a half weeks' when Kim Basinger was fed that way whilst she was blind-folded.....MMMmmm................"

We looked at each other, the time had flown, and we'd designed the basics of our orgy, and hadn't even got to the sex part! And our *fantasy orgy* was FAR more sexy and erotic and appealing than the real life that he had experienced, and that's what erotica and erotic art is all about, I'm used to it, its what I do. He and I may have been creating an erotic fantasy, but it was a lot like the way I design a painting for someone. They tell me what they want, and I paint it for them. I take out the warts and unappealing parts, and make the image beautiful. That's my job........ creating beauty away from the mundane..................

So.............................what would you have in your fantasy orgy.......? :)

Friday, 12 June 2009

All together now

I'd like to thank the kind commentators on my last blog post, at least I have a better understanding of what you all think about me. Its been most interesting for me to find out. I know I know some of you in real life, some of you I don't know so well, but I may know some of your real names as well as your blog names, so I feel I know you as people even if I haven't seen you in real life. I might have only met you once or twice, but I feel that you are all friends, if not friends in the traditional sense of sitting down together with a cup of tea or glass and wine, and sitting chatting together. Communication doesn't need to be face to face to work, or to be understood. Or for a feeling of trust to be there. So, thankyou. I really appreciate it.

I've met some good friends through blogging and certainly through my art. I suppose that's because the people who want me to paint for them, or want to buy my art from me, are on the same wave-length and that's how we become friends. I like that! Very much.

And I suppose that's how I became to have lunch with Stuart and his wife yesterday. We had a really lovely time, he's lively company, full of clever wit and banter. He likes the fact that I drew him naked, and is often quoting things about his nudity and my having seen him like it. It amuses him and makes me smile.

I suppose its all quite normal for me.

And my friend in America and I have been discussing the sex industry in Las Vegas quite happily too this week, talking about the pretty escort girls being advertised but not necessarily the ones that appear at your hotel room when you ring for a prostitute, about nudity in some of the swimming pools, about exotic dancers and call girls.

It all makes for interesting conversation.

So last week I was chatting to a guy in the pub. Someone I've met a couple of times, and who I like chatting with. And he and I were talking about our week and what we've been doing, things and people, the normal stuff. I told him that I had finished painting my first "fantasy willie" and he was interested to hear about it. Then I asked him what he was doing over the weekend. He paused. And quietly said "I've been invited to an orgy". I don't think he was expecting the answer he got from me, it took him aback somewhat. I looked him in the eye and said "How interesting! How did you get involved with that then? Where is it held? How many people are going? Have you been to one before? Can anybody go? What are the rules? Is it gay or just straight? " And he smiled gently and quietly answered my questions. He said at one point " I can't believe I've told you this!" and I smiled and said "Ah, but I'm not giving you the reactions most people would, as I am GENUINELY interested to know all about it!"

And I think it was at that point that he quietly said "Why don't you come with me then?"...............

Post script: I think I must be the only person who, when invited to an orgy, thinks of it as a marvellous business opportunity! The ultimate life-drawing session (presuming I can draw fast enough! LOL ) and the absolutely ideal place for my "fantasy fannies" to hang on the wall!!!! :)

Monday, 8 June 2009

What on earth do you look like?

Does it matter what I look like? Is it important? Does it matter what sort of person I am and how I appeal to people?

I'm beginning to think it might.......................

Last week I had quite a bit of correspondence going back and forth between me and the library where I am hoping to exhibit next year. I'd met the woman I'm corresponding with at Stuarts Writers group, as she is part of it, and she also works for the library and thinks my erotic art would be fabulous at her library. Great!!! Very exciting, and a delight that she was so enthusiastic and positive about my art, and about me too. BUT, she and I both knew that I do erotic art, and some people struggle with it, and they might struggle a lot with it in a public library, if they are of a sensitive nature - or, of course, children. Some of my art is not at all suitable for children to view. I understand that. So, for that reason, I was asked to send some erotic images to my new friend at the library for her to check with her colleagues that it was "acceptable". No problem. I sent 30 of my more "acceptable" ones, 29 of which only had a single woman in the picture, so there was nothing sexual going on between two people in any of the pictures. The answer came back that whilst all the work was considered good and accomplished, some of it was deemed to be a little risque for the library, but if I would like to get together a collection of my other art, and put in some of the tamer erotic stuff, then that was fine by them, and I could ring up to book a date for next year. So, I rang to make the arrangement, and had another positive and upbeat conversation with my contact there. She made me smile when she said that some of the little old ladies might complain about some of my art and yet they took out "Mills and Boon" books by the dozens, and those books in particular are FULL of erotic goings on on EVERY page!!! I'm imagining all these fevered old ladies now getting all hot and bothered by the muscular thighs, square shoulders, tight buttocks, chiselled jaws but sensitive hands of Peregrine or whatever the hero's are called as they rip the clothes off the heroines in a frenzied and heated passionate embrace!

But, there was something else she said, that made me think. She said that she had shown my website to her female colleagues for them to see what sort of work I do. And whereas the art was considered acceptable as most of these women in their 50's and 60's had "seen it all before" there was one burning question they were intrigued about...............

They wanted to know........................... what I looked like. Was I young or old? Was I a punk with spiky hair? What was I like as a person? It REALLY mattered to them.

And that's got me thinking. Because last week I went to the annual art festival at Patchings and had a lovely day there looking around the arts and crafts being sold there, buying a few art materials, and chatting with the artist friends I bumped into whilst I was there. But there was one artist whose work bowled me over, it was stupendous. It was stunning (I'm not chosing these words lightly, I truly was *stunned* by them to the point of losing my words to start with, then after having a long and very positive chat with the artist in question, I had a strong feeling of the other art there being of a far lesser quality, and therefore not so important for me to spend my time looking at it afterwards!). But when I told other people about her, I said "The artwork was stupendous, the technical ability was fabulous, the way it was painted really spoke to me, the choice of composition called me, and the artist was a really nice person, she was lovely to talk to, and look at, and I really liked her!"

So. Have I answered my own question. Should I put more about myself on my website? Should I put a photo of myself on it? Would it make a difference to the people who like my art? Could they relate to me better because of it?

I've always presumed that I don't need to put more personal details on my site, because "the art talks for itself". But does it say enough?

And as a post-script: One of the reasons I haven't put my photo on my website is because I do erotic art. And I'm a woman. So, if I put my photo on my website, am I going to get aggravation from it?

What do you think? And I know some of you know me in real life, and some of you don't have a clue what I look like.

Does it matter?

Friday, 5 June 2009

One down, one to go!

After all these weeks of working on it, I cay say the magic words - "Its finished!"

There's a good feeling of achievement, of a job well done, of reaching the goals I'd set myself. To produce a picture of Fitzy's "fantasy willie" so that it doesn't look immediately like what it actually is, to paint it as a fun and exciting picture, to put some clever technical details in it so that the eye is tricked into some deception over the subject. And this finished painting is tighter on the design than the working painting that I did, more finely tuned, I think. Plus, it's painted on a large block canvas, so I've painted the four sides as a continuation of the main painting, which means that where ever it hangs, the finished image will look more "padded" than just a flat 2-D image in a frame would.

I love the way that the more I look at it the more I see different shapes within the picture - I can see a bird, a fish, an elephant, an oak leaf, a whale tail, and various letters of the alphabet. I love the flowing lines, the changes of colour, the way the eye wanders over the image and finds interest in the different shapes and contours, the way some of the colours mutate into other colours, the flat colour a good contrast to the softer tones painted thinly on the canvas and letting the white of the canvas below it to shine through. Even though the glazing technique that I've used here is really a watercolour technique, it works well enough on the large canvas and makes the painting more delicate in a way, than just flat colour does. Having said that, this is the most masculine of images, so it needs some good deep colour in the painting too, so that it is strong and powerful, and the areas of black paint certainly help to anchor the lighter colours within the painting. So, I'm really pleased with it. Infact, absolutely delighted with it, and Fitzy is too, so he tells me, so that's two happy bunnies over this painting!!! LOL

And just to make the point, that the colours on the canvas are far stronger and yet more subtle than the image here shows. I think it's the sort of painting you can never tire of - partly for the subject matter, the vibrant colours and flowing shapes within it, and the hidden shapes that appear to each person who views it, in different ways. Fitzy said he could see a fire breathing dragon, and tigers stripes in his first viewing of this picture..... and more images will appear, I'm sure! That's what I love about my pictures, when other images appear to different people.......

So, it's done.

But I haven't finished. Not by a long way.

Because now I can start on the "living flame" picture that Fitzy also wants as a sibling to this one. They will hang together, so the colours need to match and enhance each other. I wanted to paint this one first, as the colour was applied flat in places, so by doing those first I got a good feel to how the canvas and paint react together. All surfaces react in different ways, and different paint does too - watercolours, gouache, acrylic and oils all have different feels to them on the brush, and how they are applied to the surface they sit on, and how absorbent that surface is - whether its watercolour papers, and all of those react in different ways too, board, gesso'd board, and canvas, all of those are different in their surfaces and absorbency, so it made sense to get the "feel" of the paint on the canvas before I started the tricky painting, and the living flame will be a bit tricky as it is created by "glazing" the paint.... in that a transparent colour is applied to the canvas (say pink) , then another translucent colour will be applied over the top (say yellow), allowing the lower colour to shine through the top colour (creating orange, in this example) - its a way of colour mixing on the surface, and is far more interesting to look at than just painting one colour.

So, that's it, one down, another to go! :)

Monday, 1 June 2009

Talking to the magic writers

I quite enjoyed it, in the end, talking to the writers at Stuarts Magic Attic group. But I'd spent all week writing, re-writing, editing and practising my talk. It was only ten minutes, and in a way it was harder doing ten minutes than a longer time, because there is so much I wanted to say, but had to keep it down to the bare facts. Of course, it helped enormously that Stuart did his talk before mine, as he was an excellent "warm up" guy - being both entertaining and amusing. And that's hard to do - to be funny. And in the right places! But he's clever with words, and that helps.

I hadn't met any of the writers before, and they knew nothing about me or the subject matter of Stuarts or my talk. And I wasn't sure what any of them wrote about until I got there, and had an introductory chat with the woman running the meeting. Most of them were local historians. Ok, then, no problem. And some had never been before. Ok, then, no problem. And the talk wasn't to go over ten minutes, as people start to get bored then. Ok, no problem. What about mentioning erotic art then I asked. Better not, she said. Ok, then, good job I'd decided on a two part talk, the basic promotional one, and the other about the more specific very erotic art. I'll cut the second part, don't want any of them walking out in disgust and being offended.

I went up to the meeting room with Stuart and his wife, and we decided where to sit - I opted for the far end of the room, with a wall behind me, as then I could put my art carrying bag down easier, and also could talk to the room, without having to swivel around to include the people behind me. It was all very informal, with tables laid out in the refectory style, with seats either side. There were about 25 people there, drinking tea and coffee and chatting, and I was told they meet every three months.

Stuart and I settled ourselves in, and I sat conversing with the woman next to me, who I hadn't ever met before but she knew all about my website and the artwork on it because Stuart had told her about it months ago after I'd done the drawings of him and he'd shown them to her. He's a walking advert for me!!

After a few minutes the meeting started, a few points that needed mentioning, then we were introduced as the speakers "Stuart and his friend Jackie". Stuart stood and did his talk. (The gist of it is featured here on my blog). And he entertained them beautifully, and they laughed in all the right places, and he got a rousing round of applause for his efforts. Then it was my turn, I stood, and explained that I was an unusual artist because of all the different types of art I do, so I call myself an erotic artist as it gets me noticed more! I explained what erotic art is, and how I started doing it, I told them I was in two art organisations - Ashby Guild of Artists, and the Guild of Erotic Artists, and that I had sold artwork locally and internationally to Canada, and the USA. I said I was a writer too, in that I write a blog, and told them about my website, and said that if any of them wanted any illustrations done for their books, or a dog portrait doing, for them to contact me, and said I had flyers and business cards to hand out to them all there. That was it - ten minutes! And I got a good round of applause too. Phew!

But that's just the fishing, I suppose. That's the bait thrown out and I never know what sort of interested things I'm going to catch with it...........................

A few people came over to view Stuarts drawings that he keeps in a large folder. He hadn't held them up incase any of them didn't want to view them, someone had joked earlier that he should have had them on the large projection screen behind him!

Then they came to me - the first chap asked me how much it would cost to repaint a print he had of a dog picture, I replied that I'd have to see it to be able to give him a full answer, but yes, it was certainly possible for me to do it for him....

The second chap asked if I would do a talk to his local civic group of 50 or 60 people, maybe next year, and I said I would be interested in doing it.....

The third chap said that Stuarts and my talk were the best thing they'd ever had at the Magic Attic, and that he was a speaker who did two or three talks a week to local groups, on local history. He'd written a few books that he pointed out to me on the shelf at the side of the room, one of the books was about the history of the privy, and he said he knew within five minutes of talking to a group, about which stories he could tell, and which to avoid!!!!!!!! He asked if I was on the WI list of speakers, and I said no, it was only the second talk I'd ever done, but I'd bear it in mind.

And the fourth person was the most interesting for me - she was fascinated with the white on black erotic drawings that I do and asked me if I'd be interested in exhibiting at Burton on Trents library. Yes I would! She said that she would book me straight away, if she could, but because it was erotic, would have to check it out with her colleagues. Ok, that's fine. I can do tasteful and acceptable art for the visitors to the library, it doesn't have to be strongly erotic.

So, ALL good stuff!

And I found them a friendly bunch of people, who made me most welcome. So that was nice too.

And maybe someone is writing a book, and maybe they want some illustrations, and maybe they'll contact me. But at least they know who I am now, and they didn't the day before.......