Thursday, 30 April 2009
Saturday, 25 April 2009
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
The first one is called "Distraught" and is a study in the primary colours – blue, red and yellow as they show a prone woman, her head buried in her arms, as she hides her face and her body merges into the shadows around her which then become part of the pure whiteness surrounding her. There is hope for her though, as the colour in her skin depicts life and vibrancy in yellow and orange, and the underlying red of passion.
The second one is called "Camouflage" and is an interesting interplay of elongated shapes as the long female form merges into the background. Although the tones are all of the same mid-tone, the female form is still distinct against the background, and the rounded lines add to her shape rather than detracting from it. Strong colour makes this a visual feast.
The third one is called "Black jacket" and is an abstract showing a woman naked except for a black jacket, the bright colours of her body making a jig-saw of colour and tone, creating interest for the eye as it picks out the body shape against the background shapes.
The fourth one is called "Interplay" and is an abstract of a naked woman sitting upright, the tones depicted by bright colour and strongly defined shape. The white spots of paint showing the line of light along the body.
Sunday, 19 April 2009
The woman who ran the day workshop was very arty, and creative, and inspiring. She does very vibrant and brightly coloured landscapes using virtually everything that she can, to create her works of art - watercolour paint, acrylic paint, oil pastel, soft pastel, acrylic inks, dried ink, pens, brushes, and collage made from patterns she's created on paper and tissue paper to add texture to her work. So a messy day then! YAY! I can always tell if its been a good art day if I go home with blue fingers! LOL
To start the workshop, we were asked to draw basic shapes in specific colours, a black triangle, a green rectangle, yellow circle, orange swirl, blue oval,red square. And then to say what we thought of the colour and how it related to the shape. For instance, the green was considered calming but the shape of the rectangle was strong and rigid so they were giving conflicting signals, the yellow circle was happy, the black triangle was menacing, and the red being the colour of passion but a square isn't passionate as the lines are too straight. I preferred the orange swirl both for colour and for a shape.
So we had learnt that you have to consider colour AND shape and the message you want to convey by using particular combinations of them.
Next we had to paint sound. And what an interesting concept that is! We were played seven short extracts of music, one at a time, first to listen to the piece and imagine the colours, then to hear it again and paint the colours. I loved doing this! I closed my eyes as I listened to the first extract, so that I was closing off my visual sense, and concentrating on my hearing sense. As I listened to the first piece by Debussy, the soft strains of gentle music filled the room, and I could see pale greens, pale blues, light yellow and pale pink, and that's what I painted - no specific shapes, just abstract shapes and colour. The next piece was by "Afro Celts" and was staccato in sound, with strong rhythm and beat, and I could see bright red dots and orange zigzags. For a gentle piece by Wagner I could see the palest pinks, oranges and yellows with a slightly darker pink floating over it, and for "Bulgarian voices" I could see strong vibrant red and orange and deep purple vertical lines, rising up. Beautiful! and a lovely experience to depict them all. But, I asked the tutor, why hadn't she played us some punk, some rock, and some metallica? She thought I was joking, but I was quick to reply that I wasn't! And told her that I paint to rock and dance music, and music with a strong beat, to help me paint and move on with ideas and concepts, painting techniques and dynamic action! It helps me immensely.
Then we got to the "play" stage where we added paint and water to paper, made prints from acrylic paint applied to ceramic tiles and the paper pressed to it for interesting effects and patterns. We all loved doing that, and it was at that stage that I realised that we were all women of varying ages there, and the workshop was run by a woman. I asked then if the tutor has men on her course, because its very rare for me to attend a workshop that hasn't got ANY men on it (and I've been to many!). She said that men were usually bemused by her workshops. I can see why! I think men would find it difficult, as I think a man artist would look at a colour and try to emulate it in paint, whereas the workshop was more focused on what colour do you "feel" or "hear" than "just" see. An interesting concept, and certainly one that would relate to the more sensual painter I think - like a woman Erotic Artist, for instance!!!!! LOL
After lunch, we started our paintings, using the techniques we'd learnt earlier. Some workshops I go home at the end of the day with a finished piece of art, but this wasn't one of those days. Today was a learning day, to be creative, and try different ways of producing art. I used the patterned paper I'd made earlier to add texture in collage to my painting, I used acrylic ink to create swirls of shape, I used oil pastel to make a "wax resist" to the acrylic paint, I used pastel to make texture on top of the paint, and I went home without a finished painting, but with a lot more knowledge learnt, and with blue fingers!
Thursday, 16 April 2009
I've not shown you a drawing for a while, and thought I'd show you my latest. I love these white on black images and think this one works particularly well. I had decided that I'd draw my usual model in a wide brimmed hat, and she was still wearing her black bra whilst we were deciding on poses. I liked the basis of the pose but felt it needed a bit of something else, and with the addition of a long scarf, this was it!!!! I loved the pose the instant I saw it - lots of lovely strong diagonals, her face in shadow under the wide brim, her hands on her hips in a defiant pose, and lots of white flesh peeping out from under the clothing, with enough black clothing and shadows to add a lot of interest..................The picture works really well and I really do love it! As for the title, I felt that she was thinking about something with her head held down and her hands on her hips and that she had reached a decision regarding it, and this was what lead to the title - "Decision made" - as to whether the decision was to her choice of clothing at that moment in time, or a deeper and more profound problem, that's for you to decide................
And I think this picture is even more special considering I was injured whilst I drew it!!! I'd burnt my finger just before I was starting to draw and the best thing I was taught for a small burn is bicarbonate of soda held against the damaged skin. This isn't easy when its a finger on your drawing hand and your model has turned up ready for a drawing session! She watched incredulously as I covered half a tissue in the bicarb of soda, wrapped it around my poorly digit and bandaged it up with plasters to keep the whole thing in place. I let her get away with the hysterical laughing at my plight, since it wasn't a bad burn.
My fingers fine now, so the treatment worked! As did the picture. And as is Fitzy's painting. Yay, a hat trick! Yes, I know......................... a pun!!!!!!! :)
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
I saw the bride and groom over the weekend. It was good to see them again, as the last time was on their actual wedding day. Two years ago. My wedding present to them at that time, was a painting. *Any* painting of their choice. Erotic or non erotic. Landscape, portrait, watercolours oils, fantasy fanny and willie, anything! Up until this weekend they had not made a decision, and I was beginning to think they never would. Everytime I saw the brides parents, which is very often as they are good friends of mine, I would ask if they had made a decision, and the answer was always "No, not yet!". Ok. I'll just quietly forget about it then, although I was looking forward to painting whatever they wanted...............
But now, they have made the decision! Fanfare of trumpets in the background, and bring on the dancing girls!, YAY! And they were able to tell me and show me at the weekend. Lovely. They want a landscape of a place that is very special to them, and which I have also been to and love almost as much as they do. Its a small quiet village in rural France and they want a view of it, done in traditional watercolours. Ok, no problem. The scene is taken from a high vantage point, there will be the tiny village in the valley below with the mountains behind, and some sky. Nice picture. And as we discussed sizes, styles, colours etc I asked nonchalantly if they wanted any secret messages put within the painting - an erotic couple, or something that was special to them, to make it especially their painting. They thought for a bit, and decided that the best thing to put in would be their initials. Good idea. Ah, but here lies the problem....................... They had the same problem with their wedding invites. Their initials are "M" and "S" and the bride said to her mother at the time of sorting out the wedding invites "Well, we CAN'T have "M and S" entwined on the front of the invites. "No", agreed her mother, as anyone in England would think of the shop"Marks and Spencer". "And we CERTAINLY can't have "S and M!!!!!!!" said the bride to be. "Why ever not?" asked her mother. Pause from the daughter...........who then found herself explaining to her mother what "S and M" stood for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Her mother listened in disbelief, and said "I'm going to ask your father if he's heard of it........." and went off in search of her husband! As the bride told me this tale on Sunday (whilst her mother was out of the room!) I was laughing my socks off!!!! Ok, then, we'll make it an "S" and we'll have an "M" somewhere else in the painting and no "&"..........................ANYWHERE!!!!!! LMAO
Saturday, 11 April 2009
So, to start work, I've drawn it out, and am happy that I've got a good likeness, so all I have to do now is colour it in. Ok. Easy enough you would think.............. and yet it isn't! I need to think where the light is coming from, I need to look at the tone, and I need to portray the form within the painting. And I've got the original "Living flame" image to look at to replicate the effect in Fitzys painting. Right, music on, and start..................................
............................... and I worked on it all day......... but, for some reason, it didn't flow................. that lovely time when the whole aspect of painting it F...L...O....O.....O....W......W........S. It just didn't happen. It might be due to the fact that it rained all day and the world looked grey and wet and miserable, maybe the ions weren't right in the air, maybe it was the fact that I had a few interruptions and couldn't fully concentrate on it, maybe I wasn't happy with the music I was playing, maybe I was out of kilter with my energies, or maybe I just needed to start with a working painting for the working painting! LOL
This has happened to me before, though. Not often, but enough for me to know how to deal with it.
I don't get uptight, depressed or annoyed over it. There's no point. I don't think that I've wasted all that time and not got a good picture at the end of it. I know it for what it is. It is the thought process at work. And I did the best I could with those thoughts and made a painting. Its an "ok" painting. But............. I know I CAN do better. A lot better. I can change the colours slightly, tighten up the tones and form, and move the colours to create better effect. So I'll do it again. And the next one will be better, because I've already had the initial thoughts for the painting, and the next time these will be extra thoughts, and they will be more positive, upbeat and forthright, and they will be more dynamic. And the choice of music will lift me, and then the painting ........................ should.............. Flooooooooooooooooooowwwww........................
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
Mmm.... I wonder what they bought..............................
Saturday, 4 April 2009
Its like any new experience, the many thoughts in your head usually outweigh the reality!
So, we finally met, face to face. It was far easier for him to come to me, since I've got all my "tools of the trade" here. First tool ...... a hot drink! Tea for me!!! :) Coffee for him. And a chat, about anything really, because that communication is important for two people to get to know each other, you look at the body language, read the face, listen to the connotation in the voice, look at the eyes, and get to know about the person better. It makes for a good working relationship, for me, certainly. Because if I'm going to paint someone I like to know abit about them, it helps to be able to put that image of the person into the pose for the artwork. I'm not just creating an image, I'm looking for the essence, or soul of the person, to put that in too.....
So, on to work. Fitzy wanted three pieces of artwork doing - he loves the "Living flame" painting and wants a painting of himself done in that style. So, I needed to take photos of him to work from for the painting. It takes a long time to do that style of glazing painting, so its totally impractical to work from life for that painting. So, you would think taking photos would be easy, and it wasn't! Because I had to get the light right, and make sure I picked up the nuances of muscle tone, make sure I'd got all the detail in that I wanted.
Then on to the second piece of artwork that he wants - a Fantasy Willie painting. Infact he will be my first fantasy willie, which I'm very excited about! But because of that, I wasn't fully sure what I was looking for in the photos. With the fantasy fannies, they are abstract in shape to start with, so its easy enough to hide the image in the abstraction. But, a willie is more obvious! So, it took a few photos until I was happy with the image I'd got, and how I was going to create a painting from it! Success!!!
After a short lunch-break, it was time for the main reason for the visit - the sitting, whilst I drew him. I know he's had health problems and the very pose itself was probably going to be difficult for him. We discussed a standing pose as opposed to a sitting pose, and decided on the latter. But when I asked his thoughts on a pose, and he showed it to me, I knew from past experience that he would be in agony within five minutes from it. We discussed ideas and quickly settled on a simple seated pose, that would be comfortable for him, and would show to good effect his long legs. He also wanted a white on black drawing done, and to set up the lighting for those is a bit challenging, as I had to make sure that the light was creating interesting shapes on his skin, without lighting all of his body. This usually entails a low light off to one side, and although I have proper lights on proper stands, it turned out that the light itself had to be on a book, on a larger book, on a low stool, to create the correct lighting to satisfy me!!!! It might look very odd, but it worked!!!! LOL
On to the drawing............... I started with a blank piece of black card, and with a conte pencil in one hand, and a rubber in the other, I started. I know I'm a quick worker, but afterwards when I explained to Fitzy the thought process that had occurred through the drawing, I was surprised myself how much "thinking" I do. I first look at the pose, and work out the angles within it, I look at the blank paper and envisage those angles on it, I measure with my pencil, to make sure that the body that I'm drawing will fit on the paper (I sounds silly, but I've seen enough amateur artists miss out the feet at the bottom of the paper because they've not done this simple exercise!). Then I start to draw, to get the basic overall shape in, check the measurements again, and if need be adjust anything. Then I start to build up the body shape, gently drawing in all of it, slowly, bit by bit, until its all there, and then use the rubber to remove the parts I don't want. These are the bits that cause the interest. The pencil and the rubber working in conjunction with each other, to create the effect I want. And all this is done whilst the model sits still. And it helps enormously if the model CAN sit still. And Fitzy could, beautifully! He's a natural! So that helped greatly, that I could see the tiny details that I needed to put in the drawing to make it interesting.
Whilst all this is going on, I played my "art music" - thumping rock, bouncy pop, throbbing dance music, it all helps me to work quickly and easily and for the creative energies to flow. No music, and I'd be a lot slower!!! Fortunately Fitzy liked listening to it too, and said afterwards that it had helped him to get through the sitting, whilst he played a musical quiz in his head, as to which band was singing which song! He only needed one short break, but was able to sit long enough for me to produce this drawing. Its called "The thinker". I had originally thought that Rodins "The thinker" might be a good pose, but Fitzy thought it might be too reminiscent of Bruce Forsyth! MMM...I know what he means!!! LOL Anyway, here is the image I did of him.......
We sat chatting afterwards, about all sorts of things, and that was good to do. I know exactly how I'm going to do the paintings now and can't wait to get started on them......
Since then, Fitzy has emailed me to say a lot about his experience of being drawn by me, and is happy for me to quote some of them here:
"I was drawn to the title of one of your recent blog entries “Empowered” and it certainly was an empowering experience, but really it was so much more than that, I felt a great sense of achievement in becoming part of something that will last, well longer than me really.
I also found it a rather liberating experience as well.
.....your mention of a friend that works as a therapist, and they thought your Fantasy Fanny paintings could work well in a treatment room as a means of improving body image and perception about an intimate area of the body..... Anyway, that struck a chord with me as I have always had a very negative view of myself for all manner of reasons .... but I do feel so very positive about what I was able to achieve on Thursday and this is thanks in no small part to you. Now whether there will be any lasting benefits of course remains to be seen, but for the moment at least I really do feel very pleased and proud about what I have achieved and your drawing of me really is so much better than I could of ever hoped for, so thank you so very much for that and it was worth it at any price.
That reminds me of something I said to you a while ago when I joked about paying you thousands of pounds and do you know what, it really would have been worth it.
The day really did have such a profound effect on me and for that I will always be grateful, so thank you very much".
So, it looks like I didn't scare him, too much, and he, like my previous sitters, have found it a very positive and uplifting experience! That's good then!!!! That makes me happy.
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
WHAT A POSER
It was Sir Arnold Bax who said that you should try everything at least once during a lifetime, with the possible exceptions of incest and folk dancing. On December 3rd last year I took his advice.
At 2pm on that afternoon I could be found in a room sitting in an armchair clutching a book with a view of the garden through the window. To my left a log fire crackled and the strains of a Beethoven Opus could be heard.
A few feet in front of me sits a beautiful, blond haired woman.
Nothing startling there, you may think.
What is surprising, however, is the fact that I am naked. Not a stitch on. I have even removed my socks, something that few Englishmen would do only in the most extreme circumstances. Even my watch has gone but I do retain my spectacles.
You have guessed it, the blond woman is Mrs. Jackie Adshead, a professional artist, who is doing two life drawings of me. Jackie is a very versatile artist who specialises in erotic art.
What possessed me to pose nude, you may ask. A few weeks prior to this my wife and I had attended a life drawing workshop held locally. We both enjoyed the day but I have very little talent as an artist. I was, however, enthralled by the model who could adopt difficult poses and hold them for long periods. He was certainly a master of his craft. "I would like to try that", I thought as I have few hang-ups about my body.
I mentioned this to the tutor who said that she could probably find someone to give me the chance. A short time later she put me in touch with Jackie.
Initially I spoke to her on the phone and she came over as a confident and efficient woman with a sense of humour. She said that she would be pleased to fulfill my wish to be portrayed nude in the next few weeks.
On Monday December 1st Jackie rang to ask if I would be available for a sitting at her studio on the following Wednesday at 1pm. "I can certainly do that" I replied, "I have very little on that day". "A few minutes here and you will have nothing on", she chuckled.
I turned up punctually if apprehensively, for the appointment. I wondered what she would look like. I was hoping that she would be a plain, dowdy woman.
I rang the doorbell and a few seconds elapsed before the door opened to reveal a woman with remarkably blond hair and beautiful features. She was a striking looking woman, not what I wanted. I was invited in to her home where she explained what she did and showed me examples of her work. She is certainly a very good artist.
She asked me what I would like done and I requested two drawings using conte crayon on A3 paper. The poses were of me sitting, as previously indicated, and one of me lying supine on a couch. They must be explicit as I did not want a coy representation of me. After all, Newhall men don't do anything half cock!
She explained that the fact that I would be nude meant nothing to her. She could as well be looking at a milk bottle. "Thanks for that", I thought.
During this conversation my confidence grew due to Jackie's confident business like manner and friendly approach. In short, we got on very well.
When the moment of truth arrived I had no inhibitions of removing my clothing. Self confidence is not my main trait but I strode to my chair to assume the pose chosen with assurance.
It did seem strange to be sitting in a room without clothing, with a lady present. After only a few minutes I had grown so accustomed to nudity that I had to look down to confirm my state of undress. The sight of certain familiar bits and pieces assured me that I was totally exposed.
As the drawing was underway we had an interesting conversation and found that we shared several mutual interests and a similar sense of humour.
Jackie suddenly looked up and announced that the drawing was complete. Although it had taken about 1 1/2 hours the time had flown by.
At that point we had a break for a cup of tea and a leg stretch. As it was to be only a short recess I did not trouble to don any garments. My confidence was now so high that I stood talking to Jackie without any embarrassment and also took a walk down the hall to the toilet. I vividly recall hurrying back and swinging into the studio.
Jackie informed me that the second drawing would not take as long as she had got my body shape. Is the technical term the "angle of the dangle?"
On the resumption I took my supine pose on the couch making sure that the position was comfortable. Having settled myself Jackie called out, "Could you lower your right leg please? I cannot see your genitals". When I was a teenager and a regular at the "Rink" dance hall I would have been elated if a girl had made that request. Unfortunately that was over 50 years ago.
As she had prophesied this drawing only took just over the hour and the time flew by.
And so my debut as a nude model came to an end. At the age of 72. It's never too late! I had enjoyed the experience, surprisingly, but I did appreciate Jackie's efforts to make me comfortable in the role. It was a strangely liberating event for me with no feeling of vulnerability which I had expected.
The drawings are magnificent and rate amongst my most valued acquisitions. She has done the "family jewels" proud. Generally women like them very much but men are generally sniffy about them.
Incidently I met Jackie in the street a few days late and she recognised me clothed. She is also a good friend of mine now.