Thursday, 30 July 2009

Into the S & M

I spent nearly all day yesterday sorting out paintings for an exhibiton at the end of August. It doesn't sound a lot, to sort out some paintings and fill out a form. But the problem is that I've not painted much new stuff for exhibitions this year as I've been working on commissions. I'd far rather work on commissions because then I'm painting exactly what someone wants. I always think of exhibiton work as "best guess" paintings. I "best guess" what subject matter, what style, what medium, what size, what frame, and hope that someone walking into the exhibition may like it enough, and may have a space to hang it, and may have some money to buy it, and may actually put all of those together and purchase it.

So, for this exhibition I've had to find ten paintings. Its no problem - I have ten, easily, but a lot of them have already been to this exhibitin in past years and its better if the artwork is fresh. So I had to search around for new paintings, and frame a couple, and that takes time. As well as that I had to write a 60 word "Artists Profile". Sounds easy enough, you'd think. But 60 words isn't a lot - when you've got a lot to say! I started with 240 words..............................and then started carving it up (or maybe it was down!) into 60. And that took about an hour!

Then I had to work out the sizes of the paintings as the hanging fees are dependant on the size of the paintings, and they're worked out on A4, A3, A2, A1 and above sizes. I know how big my paintings are, I just wasn't sure exactly how A2 relates to it!

Anyway, that was yesterdays job. Along with painting the "S and M" French village landscape. Which is going nicely.

When I first thought about how I was going to paint the landscape, I didn't have an idea at all about the way I was going to tackle it. Its not surprising in a way, since its a while since I've done a landscape in watercolours, as I've been concentrating on acrylic "tarses", "queyntes" and "living flame" type paintings for the last six months....................................!

But...........................I started drawing it out the other day, and then put the masking fluid on it to "block out" the white of the houses.................and as I drew, my mind was quietly working, and suddenly it all came to me very clearly how I was going to do it.............simple, really, when you think about it..............and know what you're doing...........................

Here's the photo that I'm working from, so you know what I'm talking about. It of Joyeuse in the Ardeche, in France and a lovely village.

I've been asked to take photos of the different stages as I do this painting, so I'm doing that, and so far its looking good!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Are ALL galleries like this?

I've been searching around again recently for decent galleries to enable me to show my art to a wider audience. But they seem to be sadly lacking............ somehow. I've been in two privately owned ones recently, in different but affluent parts of the country (Somerset and Cheshire) where there was a definite pattern to the way the visit went...............

I walked into the large and expensive looking gallery with a companion. Two people, who had made the effort of walking through the door. In both cases the person in the gallery was male, and on his own and not at all busy. Very little eye contact was made by the gallery man, even though I made a point on both occasions of trying to make it. We walked around, looking at the pictures, made comments about some and passed over others very quickly. We had opinions, and made them in an informed way. We were in the gallery for more than ten minutes. And at no point did the gallery man come out from behind his desk, at no point did he walk around with us asking what we were interested in, at no point did he try to start any conversation of any kind with us, at no point did he try to sell anything to us. As we left, and thanked him, he quietly acknowledged us. I walked out, feeling that I hadn't been given any "service" from him.

Am I missing something here?

Isn't the gallery there to "sell"? Or at least promote, or to interest people in some way in art?

Why didn't they make any effort? Are all the people who go into a gallery considered "time wasters"? Was it because I didn't look like a *buyer*? Do they work on the thought that if anyone wants to buy a painting, they'll ask?

Was I impressed with each gallery? No. Will I be trying to get my artwork into their gallery? No. Has this increased my faith in galleries? No. Will I still carry on looking at other galleries? Yes. Do I hold out much hope of any success with them? No.

But the day wasn't wasted - not at all. I finally met one of my all time favourite musicians. Busking! in Chester! The minute I turned the corner, and heard the haunting electric violin, I thought "That sounds like Ed Alleyne-Johnson" and sure enough, on closer inspection, it WAS him! WOWWWWWW! WOW! WOWWWW! We joined the crowd of interested onlookers, a silly grin on my face, to actually hear this violinist in real life. I've listened to his music often enough, infact one piece always raises the hairs on the back of my neck - its eerie, and haunting, soaring but with an underlying depth of beat to it - one of my favourite tunes. We stood, and listened and when there was a chance I went up to him and told him I'd been a fan of his for years, he shook my hand and smiled in acknowledgment but had other people clamouring for his attention, so I turned away with a rueful grin, and started back along the street........................until he started playing again.......................the piece that I love so much, the haunting melody of Oxford Suite 1. That stopped me dead in my tracks, and as a person pulled by the magic of his music, I returned to hear it in its entirety. Beautiful!!!!! I had a chance then, to go up to him, smile, and gave him my business card and say"Thankyou for that. I'm an Erotic Artist, and if you're in need of any art, let me know!". He took the card, and I left it at that. There wasn't much else to say, but I knew I wanted to make contact with him, I knew as a creative person how much I like it when someone makes the effort to speak to me and say they like my work. So I wanted to do it for someone I admired too.

And, on a final note for the day, here's the receipt for a meal we had in Chester. It makes me smile everytime I look at it............can you see why......................................:)

Friday, 24 July 2009

Chasing the erotic

Its been a while since I did a black and white drawing, well, one I was happy enough to show you anyway.....................!

But this week I've done one that I'm pleased with.

I know from past experience that if I don't do regular drawing that my brain gets out of practice, and although I still know how to draw, its just a little bit harder to get the effect that would flow naturally when I paint and draw on an almost daily basis. That's why its important to do life drawing, or at least to be drawing out images for a painting on a regular basis. But still, I am aware of that, and try to keep myself "taut" most of the time. Its only when things like holidays come along and I don't do any artwork that I get like this.....................but with a bit of practice I'm back up to my normal flowing drawing level and the art is back to the level it should be...................

So when I saw my model this week, I had an idea in my head for an image - it was of her lying with her back arched up and her head thrown back in abandon, probably with her hand at her breast or crotch. That was my plan.

She had other ideas.

She had backache.

"Ok, then, well what CAN you do, if you can't do that?" I asked.

And whilst we contemplated the pose problem, she pointed out that she had some new specs - I like them, and thought they suited her. As she took them off, the idea for the pose came to me! Yes!!!!! As a secretary, with a white shirt and black tie, her clothes undone, her bra on show, as she looked directly at the viewer and removed her specs.................YES...................that'll work, and work well!!!

We set up the pose, I put on my favourite rock tracks, loud. The thumping music filled the room.

I started drawing, and yes, I knew instantly it would work, the image was a good one, the pose was good, there was enough black and white to make the image interesting, it was erotic, very erotic! I'd found it!!!!!!


And here it is......................the image. There's lots of lovely lines and contrasts in it, and I love the fact that some areas have more detail than others. I think the message gets across nicely. And the title? MMMm.................."Hot and bothered" ................that describes it nicely, I think!!!! :)

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Guild Auction day

I've been quiet whilst I'm sorting out things in the background, but now I'm back, and ready to tell you about the Guild of Erotic Artists event day on Sunday.............

Like the last auction there was a lot of diverse artwork on show and the event flowed nicely over the afternoon with plenty of bargains for anyone interested in them. The Guild Secretary was the ever eager auctioneer, ably assisted by the other two founder members who kept passing him the artwork for sale as the afternoon wore on..........

I’d taken a new visitor with me who found the whole set-up at Beaumont Hall quite fascinating, and after we’d had deliciously tasty bacon butties and a mug of sweetened tea on arrival, it was time to chat with friends and I was delighted when Julie and her fella Russ came over to say hello. After that I found Chris to discuss pertinent points about art and finances and as ever he was most helpful, supportive and full of good business advice. The artist Richard was there too with his gently amusing observations on the days proceedings, and although he wasn’t doing any actual body painting today he had photos to show me of his latest session that looked so lifelike as clothing the model went home totally naked but appeared to be discreetly dressed!

I was able to have a brief chat with Ken at the beginning of the proceedings, and we discussed how easy it is for people to come to Beaumont Hall Studios, especially lone women. The first time I went, I was on my own, and found it a little difficult to do, but everyone is friendly and pleasant that it’s easy enough to make new friends if you so wish.

It was good to see Bob and Sandra again, he has been designated “Meeter and Greeter” and I always enjoy his easy personality and banter.

The day brought the chance for new people to buy more art, and some more funds for the Guild but attendance figures were down on those expected.

At the end of the auction, Ken came over to tell me that a couple in the audience were very interested in my “fantasy fanny” painting hanging on the wall and took me over to introduce me to them. It was actually the woman who was most interested, she’d seen it hanging on the wall and had loved the bright and vibrant colours of it. We went over to it as I explained about it being the ideal piece of art – a portrait but not of your face, the ultimate conversation piece and private joke that no one would guess at unless you told them. She loved that idea and smiled delightfully at the thought. We discussed the ideas she had for having her own painting done, or maybe a joint “his and hers” along with her fella, either way I shall be happy to do a painting for her. I love it when people approach me to ask me for a commission and always enjoy discussing the details of it.

As ever it was a good networking day, everyone good natured and friendly, and my visit was made even more special by the fact that Silvee insisted I took home two large bouquets of flowers that she had taken for table decorations. How lovely!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The joys of S & M

Well, I'm ready for it.

I've been a long time getting myself ready for this moment. I've almost forgotten my promise to do it, its been so long. But, a promise, is a promise.

And I so want to do it.

I've been keeping it close to me...............savouring it. This delicious moment. When I take this big step. Into the unknown.

Into S & M.

Or...............more to the point "S" and "M"........

And for those of you who know what I'm referring to - you know I'm talking about the watercolour painting I promised to do for the newly weds - the one of the French village landscape with the letters "S" and "M" hidden within it. Its been so long since I've done a watercolour, I've got to think how I'm going to tackle to style of the painting to get the effect I want. But, I shall love looking how I can hide the letters within the painting. So, they're not easily seen, but can be found by those who know where to look. I love hiding secrets in my work!! And this one is going to be fun!!!!

So, if it looks like its going to have me tied up for a bit........................................ :)

Thursday, 2 July 2009

The art of voyeurism

I've had an interesting conversation recently with a friend regarding the joys of voyeurism - we agreed that watching someone else doing something erotic is very sexy. And that got me to thinking about how I would portray that in a drawing........ Its an interesting concept, and since we all like to look at things that are erotic, we ALL do it to an extent......

So I set my model up in a pose that I thought might portray that thought. I liked the shapes that were formed in the composition, I liked the way the light worked within it, and I liked the idea. And it flowed as I drew it so I knew it was working as a concept within the drawing. And as I drew it, I realised that there was one part of the drawing that TOLD the story, and it isn't the obvious bits. The obvious parts are the way she's looking at herself in the mirror, the nape of neck, the way the open blouse is just starting to fall off her shoulder, the way her hand is near her nipple, almost about to brush it. But all of those are a woman looking at herself in a mirror, women do it all the time, there's nothing particularly erotic about that. No....... its the thigh. The fact that when you look at the thigh, you realise she's sitting on the floor, with her leg agape. And that starts to make you think...................why is she sitting on the floor, why is her leg wide open.............where is the other leg.......................................

And then you learn that the drawing is called "Playing to the audience".

And that makes you think even more.................................

What audience? You wonder. Is it herself, is she about to play with herself infront of the mirror?

Or is there someone watching her? Who could that be? A man? A Woman? A group of men? Or women? Or a mixed group?

Or..........................are the audience?

Is's doing it for.....................................?

Mmm....... now that's got you thinking hasn't it...............................!

Don't you feel like a voyeur now.............................?

Have I achieved my aim???!!!!! LOL