Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Even when you're bunged up, things flow

I've realised its been a while since I last did a blog post. And its been at the back of my mind for the last couple of days to do one. I hadn't realised that it has been a week since I last wrote. And in that week I've had a cold. I wouldn't normally mention it, as I've had colds before and they are usually an annoyance rather than anything else. A cold is a cold......your nose is full of snot and your head doesn't work properly.

But when I think back over this week, and remember that I kept thinking I've got "nothing to write about", I remember that I've been working hard on the "living flame" erotic couple painting which is almost finished, I've attended a meeting for one of the art groups I'm in, looking at the years exhibitions and poor sales (due to the recession) and have looked at ways to find exciting new venues, and have other artists on the waiting list wanting to join the group and hopefully will benefit from any future associations with them. I've had some lovely chats with some of my artist friends, and have benefited hugely from a couple in particular, I have exhibited at two local exhibitions, one a weekend one, and the other a month one, and although I didn't sell anything other than a small print - IT IS A SALE, and proof that someone likes my art enough to want it hanging on their wall. Ok, I may not be feeding on caviar for the next month from the sale, but it is a positive step forward and one that I appreciate and am grateful for.

And I have also been on a shopping spree. One that I thoroughly enjoyed. One where I bought some exciting blank canvas's (when I think of the wonderful paintings I'm going to paint on them!), some mounts, and a large amount of industrial velcro......................

...........................now, why would she want velcro, and not just that, but INDUSTRIAL velcro, in large quantities...........?


Well..................I'll let you ponder that one for a while, and maybe I'll tell you, if you can't guess.

And I shall be very very interested to know if you can................ :)

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Socialising with the Erotic Guild

As usual the sun shone brightly on the Guild of Erotic Artists event day, the car park was full, (always a good sign) and a few new faces joined the familiar ones.

There was quite a bit of diverse entertainment for the day - starting with the Jade magazine awards for the top three articles of the year. The next part of the entertainment was a couple of raunchy songs from one of the female Guild members dressed for the part, who then stayed on the stage to have her elegant foot body-cast as part of the days fascinating demonstration. Her foot was angled on a triangular wedge of stone to give it a more appealing shape whilst the body caster explained that the stone would become part of the foot in the finished sculpture to add interest. He explained the procedure as he went along and answered various questions from the audience, although mostly from one source I noted!

During the afternoon, everyone took the chance to be out in the warm sunshine as much as they could and during one conversation with the Guilds official videographer he told me about the 24 minute video he had produced of Erotica at Olympia for the last two years that would be featured in the Guilds next DVD. I was fortunate to get the chance to view it later on, as I am exhibiting again at Erotica in November but this time in the art gallery and wanted to see the layout there to remind myself of the placing of the stands. It was also good to see myself and my "Fantasy Fannies" stand of last year on the video. I discussed with the Guild Secretary where my stand is going to be this year and I picked up a lot of helpful advice and suggestions regarding the show.

It was good to see another particular Erotic Artist again, I've not seen him since last October but I enjoyed the chance to have a chat and hear how his career is going. We discussed the recession and how its affecting us all with lower sales than we'd like.

Towards the end of the day, the Guild Secretary asked me if I'd be happy to write an article about the Guild for "Milk Cow" magazine (featuring the 1940s and 1950s lifestyle) and after a little discussion of the best way of tackling it, was happy to agree. It looks like I've got the job as the Guilds journalist now as well as the the report writer, but that's fine by me and I was delighted to be asked.

It's not possible to talk to everyone as these events but its always nice that even in saying a brief greeting to people that it's done in an affectionate way and that indeed was the case with one of the artists as he gave me his customary warm hug and friendly grin as he passed me as I carried on my conversation with someone else regarding art shows and his experience of them. We talked about doing demonstrations for them and how much the public like them, and how the artist benefits from it.

I only managed a brief hello and goodbye with a couple of the other artists but they were busy chatting to others every time I was hoping for a chat. But these social occasions are like that and hopefully I'll catch them next time.......

Thursday, 17 September 2009

And start again

I've been working on the erotic couple in the living flame style of painting all week, solidly. It took me ages to find a pose I was happy with, and then I drew it out, and checked that I was happy with the drawing. Started the painting................ was happy with the way it was going, worked long hours on it, and then when it was almost done, I took a break, stood back.............. and started seeing the things I wasn't happy with........... the woman's arm was too thick, the colours were too strong, her head wasn't right, the hair was too dark, his hand didn't look right, his bum didn't look right. There were some good bits, but too many bad bits for me to work around. Nothing else for it................I'd have to start again. Sigh.

So, again I started looking at other images, but there was nothing I liked as much as the image I'd got. Ok, then. Start again with the image and make it so that you DO like it, before starting the painting. And that's what I did. And made sure I was happy with it before starting the painting. And made sure the colours started off pale so that they could build up in the subtle way that they are supposed to. And you know what? It looks SOOOoooo much better than the original one, already! But that's the way it goes sometimes - that the first painting has the thought processes in it, but the second one is the better one, the one that has the problems dealt with, so all I need to think about is the painting. So much better!!!! its flowing..... and that's how it should be...........................F.............L......................O.....................................................................W

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Building an erotic landscape

Whilst I'm starting one painting I am usually semi-consciously thinking of the next one. You may think that's a bit silly to be half thinking of one painting when I should be fully concentrating on the current one. But there is a reason for it. I find that when I haven't got a painting in the planning stage that its far harder to get going on the idea from scratch. Its actually a lot easier for me to have the idea half formed whilst I'm working on another, and then I can flow from one to the other far easier, almost seamlessly.

And that is the case at the moment, as I work on the living flame erotic couple (which is looking really good, so far). Because I plan the next painting to be an erotic landscape, possibly one featuring trees in a woodland setting, and maybe with water.

So, when I attended an art workshop today, on the subject of "landscape in pastel", I wondered what subject matter to take a long as my source material, and decided that the basic "landscape" for the "erotic landscape" would be ideal. Hmmmm........ I looked through piles of my photos looking for something to inspire me, and came across the ones I took in the Lake District last year. Ideal! Well, actually, not totally ideal (can you get "not totally ideal" ? No, I don't think so, but you know what I mean!). Anyway, the subject is ideal. Its the weather that wasn't. It was a dull day. Because it rains a lot in the Lake District (an awful lot in the Lake District!) and the day I was there it was overcast with the threat of rain. And that doesn't make for good photos. But, if you're only there in that place for an hour in your whole life, you've got to make the most of it, and take the photo, even if the lighting is all wrong. And that's what I did..................

And that's what I worked from today for my pastel. The picture I did was ok, not excellent, but ok, but then that's good for a workshop. I enjoyed doing it, I enjoyed the day, I enjoyed being with my artist friends. A couple of them asked me during the day if I was going to hide an erotic woman or couple within the painting, and I smiled. And at the end of the session, when the tutor took his final look at it, I casually said the sentence that usually has a "shock effect" on all the other tutors I've said it to.............. the one that is "I'm an Erotic Artist and I'm planning on hiding an erotic couple within the painting............" And then I wait. For the stunned expression, the look of shock and horror. And this time, it was me who was surprised. Because the tutor nodded in total understanding, and started pointing at various parts of the painting saying "Yes, you could put one here, or here, there, or over there.............."!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Still, it was nice to have that response, even if it was an unexpected one!!!!! LOL

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Friends and posing

I've been more aware this week than any other of the good friends I've made through being an Erotic Artist. In a strange way, they're all connected this week. Is the Universe pulling them all together for me for some reason? Well.... maybe MY universe is. I think that maybe the case anyway. Its making me look at each friend in turn and see the value I place in each one for their importance in my life. Huge value, each and every one, in their support of what I do, and how I do it. Its a validation that I'm on the right path to have such good friends helping me. And somehow I think its partly because I do the erotic art that I have these friends. If I painted flowers they wouldn't have made the connection with me. I know that for sure! :)

And, after a couple of days searching, I think I've found the image I've been looking for. I've been wanting to do an erotic couple in the "living flame" style of painting, and have been searching around for suitable poses. I didn't expect it to be difficult, but it turned out to be. Because I knew I wanted the couple to be upright for the painting, and that in itself can make the painting too symmetrical and boring. But, I think I've got it now..... a pose with some interest in it, sensual, erotic, and sexy..... yep, that'll do it everytime!!! LOL

Sunday, 6 September 2009

There is another way

I've been searching for some time, for something that I think will make me very happy.

And, as is the case, when you start searching, you start finding.

Maybe not the thing you thought you were looking for, but something else, something even more beautifully life enhancing.......

and the answers came from the North........

Sheffield, to be exact! In that delightful county of Yorkshire. At the "Art in the Gardens" Event that they hold there annually. I had never heard of it until 10 days ago, but it sounded like something I needed to see and participate in. So I went. And liked what I saw, very much. Its an Arts and Crafts fair held at the Botanical Gardens, with various little stalls and tents dotted around the gardens and amongst the trees, selling art, ceramics, cards, wood carvings, glassware, clothing, knick-knacks and all things creative. So, a lovely day out in itself. But I was there for a particular reason. I was there to see the "Premier Artists" who were exhibiting there. Because I knew a few of them, as we'd met before at other art events. And they, like me, are professional artists, who need to make a living selling art. I greeted each of them at their tent, admired their work, and had a chat about how the event was going for them, how they liked the venue, and listened to the good and positive feedback I got.............

But there was one conversation that was more positive and helpful above all others. And that was with the lovely Helen Parsley - who I met for the first time in June at Patchings (an Art Fair in Nottinghamshire). It is rare for me to be bowled over with another artists work. I see a lot of art, and can admire it, like it and even respect its technical ability to a large extent. But I was totally bowled over with her art. Because she paints atmosphere in her landscapes and I can totally relate to that. So, I was delighted that she was at the Art in the Gardens event and went over to say hello again. She and I are both friendly and chatty, so the conversation flowed, and I told her that the reason I was there was to suss out the venue as a possibility for me to exhibit there, because I've always struggled to find a gallery that will take my artwork. And then she said the magic words: Yes, me too, I don't want to give 50% of my sales to a gallery, I'd far rather do these events, they're harder work, but you meet the buyers direct, and get all the sales proceeds for yourself. So I asked her how many events she did, and there were a large number throughout the year, and she very kindly told me which they were scattered up and down the country. It was SO refreshing to hear another successful artist say what I've felt for some time. That galleries are not the whole answer to selling art. They may be useful, but they are not the definitive answer.

And looking at Helens tent, I could see the little touches that make all the difference to selling. I could see why she was so popular. And I've made mental notes, to do the same when I next do an Art Fair. Because I think that's the way forward for me..............

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Queynte 17

After the success of Nitebyrds rainbow Queynte, I thought I'd go straight onto the next one but try something a little bit different this time with the colours. And keep them to as few tones as possible within the basic colour scheme. The original idea was to try it with three tones - cream, pale gold and mid gold. But I quite quickly found that it needed more depth unless it was to look completely abstract, so had to add some deeper darks and the brighter yellow to add extra interest. I also had to incorporate more texture in the painting, but I certainly think it works as a concept and the Queynte is as interesting as the more brighter coloured ones. I also think it might work well as a black and white image which might be a good idea for another one at a later date....

I've spent the weekend at art exhibitions that I've exhibited at. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and loved seeing my artist friends, loved seeing their artwork and was pleased with the standard of my paintings against the others there. But I didn't sell any. Its sometimes the way it is. Its frustrating. Its a shame, and a pity. I've put a lot of hard work into creating the artwork, into taking it to be hung, in the hope that someone might want to buy it. But they haven't. So, the paintings are returned to the cupboard. Until the next time. On the off chance that someone might want to actually buy them. One day.

And this is the reason that I much prefer commissions. Tell me what you want me to paint, and we'll discuss it. We'll agree a price, and I'll paint it for you. You'll be happy because you'll get exactly what you want, and I'll be happy because I'll be selling paintings!
So, does anyone want their Queynte (Fantasy Fanny) painted? :) In the single colour style seen here, or a brightly coloured one? If you do....................let me know...............