Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Moving on

I've moved my blog onto my new website.

So you can now find it at www.jackieadshead.co.uk/blog

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The unique gift of paper, in a very sexy but elegant manner

She came to collect her drawing yesterday, as we'd agreed, and to see it for the first time. Up to then she'd only seen it as an email attachment on her blackberry but was very pleased with it she told me over the phone.

I welcomed her in to the house, out of the steadily pouring rain, and ushered her through to my studio and went through my work process as I showed her the photos I'd used as my source material, two of them she had sent to me set in her bedroom, and the other two were ones I'd taken whilst she was with me in my bedroom  a couple of weeks ago (since that was the best setting in my house to use as the basis for drawing her in real life), and then I showed her the drawing I had done from them.  It looks like a simple drawing, but it was actually difficult to pull all the information together to make it look simple! But I suppose that's the secret to good art, when something looks appealingly simple, regardless of whether it was to create it or not.

I unveiled it for her, and watched her face as she viewed herself and the picture I had created for her.  And watched her as she looked and looked at it, drinking in the image of herself that I had created for her to give to the man she loves. She bit her lower lip as she looked at it, and said "Do you think he'll like it?" and I smiled at her, and said "Why wouldn't he...?" and then went on to say in more depth "It's a lovely image, regardless of who is in the picture. Most men would find this a very appealing picture, because of the way you're standing in it, the nape of the neck is very sexy when its revealed like that by lifting the hair up, its a lovely drawing, and the two versions of you are pulled together through the use of the mirror, its set in your bedroom, infront of your mirror, with you, doing something you do naturally, and which your husband loves to see you doing, and you're lovely, so why would he not love it...?"

She nodded at me, still not fully convinced I could see, but I know a lot of women have doubts about their body size, and appealing desireability, but those doubts are mainly in their heads.  I have asked her to let me know her husbands reaction when he sees it, and she has agreed happily that she will.....

She's happy for me to show the  image on my blog, but wants her name to remain off it, which is a fair request, since its a private picture. But a very sexy and charming one, I think.......

And an absolutely perfect idea for a first wedding anniversary gift from a wife to a husband..... the gift of.....


Monday, 19 September 2011

Saved by a kiss

It's been a week. Of illness and sore throats and feeling like shit. I've no idea of where the spiteful virus came from, knocking me for six with its casual ease. To start with I thought it was just the first cold of the winter, but two days later when I felt I was swallowing razorblades, I felt the easiest option was to give in, rest totally, and recover slowly. Thursday was the low point. No energy, no appetite, no interest in anything, and no voice! Just a bare strained strangulated whisper of communication and the medicines mounting up in the bathroom, lined up as fervent hopes of soldierly battle against the lurgy attacking me. They rallied forth as valiantly as they could, and by Friday I felt amazingly a bit better, although still very weak. By Saturday, I was bad again, with a racking cough, and a lot less energy than normal - working at 70% of my normal busy and active self.

Which was a bit of a shame, as I'd got visitors.

One of them my fella's son on a rare visit from Australia and his delightful girlfriend who I'd not met so far who resides in Brighton. Their love affair is a difficult one due to the nature of financial rewards in one country, and not the other, for one of them, but not together, at the same time, on the same continent. It's a shame as they're such lovely young people, and very much in love. I apologised to her for my incapacity, and she brushed it off with her charm and good manners and was an excellent house guest for their brief overnight visit. When her man and my man went out to collect the Thai take-away that was deemed choice of favourite food for dinner, she asked to see my studio, which I gladly showed her, in my reduced state. She loved the "Tree of life" painting that I have hanging on my studio wall, as the reminder of that greatly complicated painting I did a few years ago for a client. And, surprisingly to me she didn't see that there was couple hidden in the landscape, and was astonished when I pointed it out to her. But, it was a few minutes later when her eyes fell on to a print of another painting I sold recently, that her mouth smiled, and she made the comment "I LOVE this ONE!!!" she said as she nodded towards it, and I grinned at her, and said that everyone always does. It causes a lot of smiling faces from both men and women. She nodded and said wasn't surprised "It's really cool!" she said in that way that I knew she meant it. And she added that she would happily buy a canvas print of it, when I can sort out the pricing for it. I said I'd let her know when I am able to fully price it and find a suitable printer to manufacture them for me . And the picture? The one that always makes people smile? It's my painting of "Kiss"  - the original I sold to a Lord in Sussex earlier this year, who was reported to be a fan of my work by his secretary after he had received it and had it hanging on his wall. I mentioned this to my young visitor, and she urged me to mention on my website how many people from around the world have sent me strongly positive messages regarding loving my artwork, or the way I portray things in my paintings, or just how much they admire my talent. I am touched by their affirmation of their love of my work, and after my visitors had left on Sunday, I spent three hours or so sourcing the best of the many comments, so that I can add them to the other Testimonials on my new website.
Its nearly ready to go live. And has had many hours of hard work from me, and my webmaster, to get it to that state.......

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Art flow overrides blocked head flow

I don't get colds very often...maybe one or two a year, which I suppose is the average for most people. I always think there's not a lot you can do but get on with it, as the cold will run its course. I'll take various medications, to help it along its way, and take good care of myself in the meantime with hot baths, early nights, hot lemon and honey drinks, and eating well (based on the old adage of "feed a cold and starve a fever" which has probably been long since proven to be nonesense, but it makes me feel better) and trying not to do anything that makes me feel any worse.

But I am also aware that some things still have to be done.

Like, commissions for people, when there's a deadline involved. And when that deadline is looming ever closer. ... .. .. .. ..... ..

The commission I'm working on at the moment is a pencil drawing of a naked woman, looking at herself in a full length mirror.  So, technically, its two drawings of her - the front view, and the back view. But they have to interact with each other, and look like it's one woman reflected at herself, and not two seperate women who are not interconnected. I know like I'm saying the bleeding obvious, but for the drawing to work, that shouldn't occur to anyone looking at it, but if it doesn't work, then it will scream loud and clear at anyone viewing it! And just to add to the difficulty of this drawing, I did a drawing of her whilst she was in my hosue last week, at night-time, and took accompanying photos to help me to continue the drawing after she had gone home. BUT, the finished drawing is to be set in her bedroom (which I've never been in) in daylight. And the mirror has to be her mirror, not my mirror, and since she felt uncomfortable being naked infront of me, and wouldn't totally disrobe whilst she was with me,  she kept her rather large knickers on, whilst she posed for me. So, I've got to draw her - in daylight, in her bedroom, fully naked, infront of her mirror, but looking like she looked in my bedroom, at night-time with the light iluminating her differently, wearing knickers.

Ok, this is going to be a difficult one.

And yesterday I knew I had to start the drawing of her, because time is ticking nearer to the deadline.

But, I've got a cold.

Ok, but you're still going to have to start the picture, I told myself.

And, so you know what was so totally unexpected?

The drawing that I did yesterday was better than the drawing I did last week of her when I was fully fit and healthy.

Er, how did that happen then?

.......the minute I picked up my drawing pencil, I forgot I had a cold. The picture went well, from the very beginning, and although I was only doing the pencil outline, it looked great. I left it a couple of hours later, knowing that it was a good start. The minute I put the pencil down I felt slightly low with cold again, and was glad to have a quiet night, and early to bed.

This morning, the same thing. The minute I picked up my pencil I felt fine, the drawing worked, its looking really great, I could do all the mental planning that I had to for this slightly complicated drawing using various source material (some of which she had sent to me) to create something that has never existed in real life, but I have to make it look effortlessly like it has done (being of the woman naked in her bedroom, in the morning, looking in the full length mirror).

So, how does that work then?

I've no idea, but it does do! Thank goodness.

AND, the drawing looks better than the one I did when she was standing infront of me!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Making an exhibition of myself

I made the acquaintance of a new friend the other week, and liked her very much. Since then we've chatted on the phone, and texted, a little, as you do when you get on. I knew a little bit about her, and her background, I'd met her man, knew what he did, and bit by bit, you build up a picture of the person, as they build up a picture of you. But, whilst you're doing all of that, you're doing other stuff too. The stuff that makes up your life, as they do the stuff that makes up theirs.

And I've had a really busy week, this week, as I've got a lovely commission to do for the woman who came to pose for me at the begining of the week, I've got to put some ideas together for a guy in San Francisco who has sent me some erotic photos and is waiting for my response of how they can be made into a painting of him, I've made a lot of new friends via Twitter, including a friend from a few years ago, who I met through blogging, and as well as that I'm updating my new website, with a large batch of emails back and forth between my webmaster and me, regarding his ideas, my ideas, the website layout, the best way of displaying the images, and a whole list of other questions between us too!

But, I would like to think that I've also got time for my friends.

Especially the new ones. When you're still finding out about each other.

So, it was great to hear from my new friend when she texted me earlier, and made reference to the fact she'd looked at my website, and suggested I look at her website. Which I did, later on this morning, expecting for some reason, to find that she was selling tee shirts from it (a slight mis-understanding with her surname in the web address gave me that impression!).

So... I looked...... with an open mind.......

And what I found.... astounded me..............

And that doesn't happen often!!!! :)

I sat there, reading her website, with my mouth hanging open,  and HAD to ring her straight away!

And on answering it - I told her I was flabbergasted!

She asked "Oh.....Why....?"

And I responded

"I didn't know you were an ARTIST too!!!!"

And she laughed, and agreed she was, which meant that we spent the next hour both of us all fired up, talking about creativity, art, erotic art, models, posing, art workshops, and art motivations, art experiences and all things connected.

And it was only during that conversation, when I relayed to her about me being hugely impressed with the places and countries she has exhibited in, that I realised that I hadn't created my own page on my new website for my OWN exhibitions!


So, when Ieventually came off the phone, all bouyed up with talking about to a fellow female artist, I sat down and made MY list of places and dates of where I've exhibited..... and was surprised...... at how many places there were on that list!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

When even my laid back sympathetic open mindedness isn't enough

She googled "Artists in Staffordshire" and my name came up.

I'm still not quite sure why, since I don't live in Staffordshire.

But, nevermind, work is work, and I know people find me from various places.

She chose me because she bought the house she currently lives in from someone also called Adshead, and the name seemed familiar to her.

She found my artwork on another site and liked what she saw.

We spoke a couple of weeks ago and she told me what she wanted.

A drawing of herself, in the nude, but discreet. As a present for her husband to celebrate their first year of marriage since Paper is the wedding anniversary gift for one year.

What a wonderful gift, I told her. Ideal, and different, and totally apt!

She came to my house yesterday to discuss it further. And to pose for me.

I showed her other pictures I had done, of other women in the nude. I talked about my huge experience. I talked about past drawings and paintings I had done of other people. I talked of the reasons why they wanted their particular pictures doing. I talked about nervous people I had drawn who felt afterwards that it was therapeutic to be drawn by me. I talked about my various and many experiences. I talked about how open minded I was. I talked about how used to seeing naked people I was. I talked about the fact that naked people are the same as a vase of flowers/bottle of milk/house in my world and I treat them all as objects to be drawn regardless of what they are. I talked about the fact that all women look beautiful. I talked about being comfortable in your own skin. I talked about all manner of things to make her feel relaxed.

But none of them were enough.

She just wasn't happy taking all her clothes off for me.

To be able to draw her.

Which made the fact she wanted a nude drawing of herself slightly more difficult to achieve.


She is happy to send me photos of herself. In the nude.

Which helps enormously.

But in a way I feel I've let her down somehow.

Because, I've never had this happen to me before.

I can usually calm people with their experience of posing nude for me.

They find it a positive and uplifting experience and feel happier within themselves that they have taken that difficult and challenging step to disrobe and pose for me.

But, this one didn't.

Friday, 2 September 2011

For women everywhere

Well, the day of the exhibition set-up arrived full of golden September sunshine and promise!
The drive to London was going to take three hours, there was no doubt whatsoever about that one, but at least I had good company with my man, and we arrived at Hoxton reasonably easily. Its not an area of London I've been to before, so was intrigued as to what it would be like, and found it to be one of those gems within London particularly the area around pretty Hoxton Square, which is where Sh! Womens's Erotic Emporium is situated. I went to locate the shop and found Renee the manager there - it's good to put faces to names, to email messages, and we chatted easily - but then both of us are easy in our vocations of earning money in the eroticism for women business. I must admit Renee came out with the best comment I've heard in a very long time. She mentioned one of the women who works in the shop and said that she wasn't there that day as "She's gone to a bukkake party. Have you heard of it? It's where men stand around you and ejaculate on you. It's Japanese. I've told her 'Take your goggles!' ".

There's not a lot you can say to that one, but certainly you can't help your mind flooding with images!

Renee welcomed me into the shop, offered tea and coffee, and after a few questions, and a bit of chat between us, she went about her business, and I started setting up the exhibition. We had agreed "a few more than 12-14 medium to large pieces" which isn't exactly an exact figure, obviously, so just to be sure I had taken 22 pieces, large, medium, and small, in the hope that the majority of them would hang there. And was delighted to find one of those delightful pieces of serendipity when it all fitted, in the right places, and looked good too. So, I didn't need to take any home, they all stayed as part of the shop. Large, medium, and small, acrylics, watercolours, pencil drawings, originals and prints. Prices starting at £40 going up to far higher prices, to suit every pocket.

What I hadn't accounted for was the fact the paintings needed to be on long strings, so I had to spend an hour adding string to the back of the paintings so that they could hang on the S hooks there. But I had ample help from my man, as always with practical assistance and upbeat manner, and the pictures looked great when we'd finished. We had a quick look around the innovative shop, at all the lovely goodies on sale, before saying our farewells, and I came away feeling that it was the ideal erotic shop for women!

I had hoped for a couple of hours looking around the area, but the rush hour traffic was threatening, so after a brief but most delicious late lunch from one of the cafes on Hoxton Square we headed back north in the glorious sunshine.

But the thing that I am most pleased about, and proud to be part of, is the fact that I am a woman artist, specialising in erotic art, and my artwork is being exhibited in an erotic shop run by women, for women. What a wonderful partnership of the right venue, and the right artwork on show!

So, I hope you're able to go along, and see for yourself, the artwork, and the venue! Its fab!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Chilled to the bone, but warm to the heart

It might have been a miserably cold, grey day, but the positive feedback I've had at the exhibition has kept me warmed through!

I knew there would be a lot of artwork there, there always is. And probably more there this year than in past so I knew that there would be a lot of my arty friends there, both old and new, either exhibiting their work like me, or just there to view the artwork. Smiles of greeting, and "Hello Jackies!" as I went around, knowing all the faces that spoke to me, but one - a fat faced man I knew I didn't know but he seemed to know me. I disregarded him as mistaken and carried on around the show, bumping into him again an hour or so later, as he smiled again at me, and said a clear "Hello" to my face, and I felt he felt he knew me, so wondered how he thought he did, and then I saw his wife, who it turned out was a friend of the woman I bought my house from last year, who I had met there a year ago, so he was right, he did know me, and well remembered me into the bargain!

I loved seeing the new paintings on show there, and discussed some of them with a fellow artist as we went around,  agreeing on what constitutes good art, and bad, whether quick acrylic abstracts are better than traditionally painted watercolours and discussing the merits of both.

With an other artist friend we discussed erotic art, and the difference between that and life drawing and she said I'd like the burlesque drawing session she goes to every month or so. That sound's like fun!!!

I was pleased to see I'd sold a pencil drawing, that always makes the whole hard work of exhibiting, worthwhile. But it wasn't til I chatted with the woman who runs the show and she told me it was the guy who opened the show who had bought it, the Chairman of the local County Council, no less, and I told her he'd got a good picture, as it had won an award earlier in the year when I exhibited it with another art group, also at Ticknall.

As I was packing up my artwork after the show, another art acquaintance I've known a long time,came up to me specifically and made the comment about how much my art had come on in the last few years. She said that it showed in my art, and nodded at the pencil drawing that I had sold, and said that she had thought it was a photograph when she first saw it, and could appreciate the work that had gone into it, and I nodded, and agreed, it had. She said "You've got to have to paint every day for a talent like that!" and I said that I don't paint or draw every day, but certainly every week, I do, and she nodded at me, knowing that for art to be successful, you have to hone your skill on a regular basis. 

Friday, 26 August 2011

Fond fairwells

Full of hope, as is the way of my world, that some of my most beloved and cherished items are leaving me. To move on to pastures new, well, walls really, old and new.
That the paintings I have chosen for the exhibition are delighted over,
get emotionally entwined with,
and purchased by,
those who fall in love with them.
So much so that they want to buy them, to own them themselves for ever more.

I think I've picked wisely.

There is certainly an eclectic mix, something for everyone.

So, I shall pack them up later on, lovingly.
And hand them over to the exhibition people setting up the show.
Who will hang them tonight.
For the exhibition tomorrow.
For the people to view.
(And hopefully buy)!
My paintings.
Which will then become....
Their paintings.

The exhibition is at Ticknall Village Hall, South Derbyshire. Over the bank holiday weekend, open to the public on Sunday 8am to 6pm, Monday 8am to 5pm. Its a great day out, there are many great paintings to view there and they sell the most fabulous tea and homemade cakes too!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Why I turned her down

A friend asked me yesterday if I was free one night next week. The answer was a regretful "No, sorry, can't". it's not as if I didn't want to see her, I do, but we've arranged to meet in a couple of weeks anyway. And it's difficult to say more than "I've got a lot on at the moment" and no doubt people think, oh, ok then, she's a bit busy.

But, it doesn't explain it, not at all.

For instance, this week, I am sorting out which paintings or drawings to take to the Sh! exhibition next week.
I don't know exactly which are the best ones to take with me, as I've never exhibited there before. I don't know how big the wall space is, how good the lighting is, what sort of paintings are likely to sell there. Its a new venue for me. So, I've got to take a good selection of my artwork.
And some of whichever I choose to take, may need to be re framed. So I need to sort that out.
And they will need wrapping up in bubble wrap to transport them.
And I will need to make sure that I have the painting title cards ready to take with me for them.
And I will need to make sure that I have the right equipment with me for hanging, for when I get there I don't want any conversations about "Oh, I thought YOU were bringing the hammer and nails with you".

And because I'm exhibiting at Sh! its prompted a couple of interesting conversations - one by text, one by email, regarding the possibility of other work that may come my way in commissions. I never know with commissions if people are really serious, or just like asking a few questions of a woman artist, or whether they like the idea, and may, just maybe, at sometime in the future, get back to me, if they don't go off the idea in the meantime. It happens, and I know its part of the way of an artists life. But, I treat all conversations equally as "Well, it might be a good commission for me" and "Well, I may not get it, so don't get too excited at the prospect". I try to be fair with everyone I deal with, and will explain the artistic process for them, once they have decided what sort of painting they want, subject matter, size, medium, and price range they are considering.

And, just to add to the mix, I'm still in the process of updating my new website, and that's taking far longer than I had hoped.

And I've joined Twitter this last week, and am slowly building that up.

As well as the comments I've had on Facebook for the exhibition.

AND, as if that isn't enough, I've got a big exhibition on at Ticknall Village Hall  in South Derbyshire,this weekend, that is something I enjoy being part of, as there will be about 1,000 paintings hanging there from all sorts of artists, both amateur and professional. The money raised there is for the village school fund raising, and makes a vast difference to the people involved there.

So, that's why I'm a "bit busy" this week and next, I can't see her next week, not at all.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Sh! have shouted loud for me

I'm really excited about my forthcoming solo exhibitions at the Sh! Women's Erotic Emporiums, starting with their Hoxton branch on 2nd September til 30th September, and following on at their Portobello branch in October.

So, go to their Facebook page to see what they're saying about it, and let them know if you'll be attending......

Monday, 15 August 2011

Cleaning up and not being Adam

Every so often I invite complete strangers into my house. Its not often, and there is always a reason.

The latest reason being that I wanted my stairs carpet cleaning.

The guy arrived, later than he had anticipated, well into the afternoon, and had another couple of appointments to do after me. So, he was running late, and wasn't due to be finished with his days work for a long time after. I expected him to do the job as fast as he could, and leave with equal abruptness.

But it didn't work out that way......

After efficiently bringing all his cleaning stuff in, parking his van, and peering at my carpet with a quizzical eye. He looked up. Then looked at me and stated with full assertion "This is an artists house!!!!" and I nodded and grinned at him, glad it was so obvious to someone who doesn't know me from Adam. (Hi Adam, if you're reading this!). 

And then he started asking questions, and I started answering them, brimming with excited confidence, as I explained about various pictures hanging on my walls, the ones I had painted, the reasons behind them, the subject matter, the methods of painting them, places I had exhibited, the studio I paint in, the latest artwork and the favoured older ones. He heard it all.

And he loved it all. Which just added to my telling him more as he was obviously fascinated by it and what I had painted.

So by then, he was running a further hour later as he had delayed doing my job because he was more interested in hearing about my art and my life as an artist!

And he couldn't wait to go home to look on the internet at my website and all the work on there too, and tell his wife about it!

He arrived late, and left as a fan, with a big grin on his face as if he had found a fabulous treasure. But, as he explained to me, he goes in many many houses, and a lot of people say "Oh, I paint you know" and he looks at their artwork and doesn't know what to say, because he has an eye for art and knows when its poor amateurish rubbish. But, as he said "I can tell that YOU can paint, and have a talent for it!"

He arrived late, and left as a fan.

YAY!   What a result!!! :)

Friday, 12 August 2011

Tucked away on page 10

I had a bit of a clue in the week that I would be featured in the paper, from the journalist who wrote the article, but wasn't sure which day it would actually be.  But fortunately others saw it, before I had had chance to find out, and kept a copy behind for me, so thanks for that if you're reading this!

So there I was, tucked away - well not that tucked really, it was at the top of the page under the "News in brief" column in the Burton Mail on Tuesday this week (the ninth, if you want to be exact) that the article appeared telling its readership about the watercolour commission I've just done of the Old Bothy at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire. (And just whilst I think about it, its quite interesting to note that Burton Mail is based in Staffordshire, Calke Abbey is based in Derbyshire, and I am based in Leicestershire! but none are actually that far away from each other!).

Anyway, the article, if you can read it here, (click on it to expand it) explained about the watercolour painting I'd done recently and described how I loved all the textures in it and how detailed the painting was to capture all that was featured in it.

I rang Stuart to tell him that the article about the painting I did for him was in the paper, and he "matched me" by saying he was having something printed in the paper next week too! He often write articles about local history so its normal in his life to have his name featured in the paper, still he was pleased to hear it, and glad I'd told him about it. 

And its certainly put a big grin on my face too!!!  

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Family unit

The last week has been a blur of days out with my nephew and his friend. The highlight of which was probably Alton Towers which was their, and my, first visit. And although the thought of going on the well named Oblivion ride was too daunting even for teenage boys, they loved Nemesis (and I loved watching them on it, with my feet firmly on the ground, from the side-lines). We also went on some (far less scary) rides together, my man, them, and me, and since all of the male contingent came home dripping wet and sodden, it seems the day there was a great success!

Yesterday was their last day before heading back home, and I gave them the choice of the Space Centre at Leicester or the zoo at Twycross, and they astounded me by choosing the zoo. We arrived at lunchtime and had a bite of lunch before heading around the animal enclosures. One of the highlights, before we'd even set foot in the zoo, was a trip to the toilets. Now you may think that a strange thing to say, and think I don't get much, but it was what was in the toilets (well not in the pans themselves, but the room!) that interested me. To be more specific, it was the display area behind the wash basins, in particular that caught my eye. As I washed my hands, I could see that behind the glass was a couple of long straight boughs. And had presumed that they were just decorative with a woody theme for the zoo. But there was more to it than that. Infact there seemed to be little sails gliding along it. How can that be...? Er.....? and I leant forward to see how little emerald green and bright red sales were gliding gaily along the boughs, and gasped in wonder as I realised what they were.........

.... and after watching them for a few minutes, went to find my nephew and his friend to tell him what was in the ladies loo, and to ask them if there was the same phenomenon in the gents. They immediately hot footed it to the gents and came back a few minutes later with huge grins on their faces, yes, indeed, the same thing!


....walking along the boughs, back and forth, left and right, along the whole length of the display cabinet they were in, and the tiny sails, were infact, brightly coloured leaves! They had cut them, and were carrying them back to their nest, which was actually only a foot away from where the leaves were growing, but they had to take a detour of 30 feet to get there! How ingenious a display area, and as fascinating to watch the activity within as any fishtank.

We went into the zoo proper, and spent a leisurely afternoon looking at all the animals there. No reptile house, no snakes, no lions, but there were a lot of primates, since that is what the zoo is known for. There were also some of my favourite animals there - the cheeky meercats who always seem to be having a good time in their noisy inquisitive communes, and the even more fun loving otters, who play around for the sheer frolicsome joy of it. Less playful but equally fascinating were the elephants, Scottish cats, and Gorillas.

But it was at tail end (couldn't resist that one!) of the day that we eventually found the one display area that I had been searching for - and behind the glass, in a beautiful setting of water, rocks, trees and shrubs, we found her. Sitting quietly, tucked behind some grass and rocks, she sat, ignoring the activity watching her, and her proud face, and fierce eyes showed no emotion. But I noticed that everyone behind the glass looking at her, was as fascinated with her as I was. Its not often you see a snow leopard, and its the second time I have done in the last two months- although one was in a zoo on French soil, and one here on English. I took as many photos as I could, because I love painting big cats, and have done a painting of a snow leopard some years before, showing the fury and life force of the feline to good effect - which I'll show you here.

The highlights of the day seemed to be over, and we had a last walk around before the zoo closed for the night, so it wasn't a planned thing to find the next place we went to. We wandered through an open door, and found a family group who were sitting down comfortably and just starting to have their evening meal. We stood as voyeurs do, to watch them. They were aware of us, but didn't want to include us in their eating, and carried on, regardless of our impudence.  But there was one member of the group that caught my eye more than the others, and that was the youngest member, who wasn't much more than a baby, with large round eyes, and a solemn air, made more quirky by the sticky up hair at the back of (his/her? I'll go with his) head. The baby wanted to be with his mum and did whatever he could do to be with her, but whenever he got to her, she pulled him closer, kissed him, then firmly but lovingly gently pushed him along to fend for himself  for a bit. He went, reluctantly, and did as she bid him, but kept looking back to make sure she was close by, and as soon as he could he headed back to her. She leant over to him, hugged and kissed him again with reassurance, and gently but firmly pushed him along to be a little more independent. And so the pattern went, him going just far enough to follow her bidding, but heading back again as soon as he could. No words were spoken, but there was a lot of eye contact, and even the voyeurs could see the love and commitment between them. I stood there entranced, and knew I wanted to paint that scene before me, the loving family group, having their evening meal, as the baby took baby steps towards his independence. The mother tucked up under a blanket she'd placed over her head, the baby learning all he needed to know about life from her. But, unfortunately,  as it was time to go, we had to leave, and with smiles on our faces at the sight we'd witnessed. I don't think I've ever seen a baby like that before, and certainly not ever been so close as we had been, to that little family group of vegetable chomping Orang-u-tangs.

But, what I have got, is a large amount of something that will help me to achieve my desire -  oh, yes! Photos! :)

Friday, 5 August 2011

Well cool and lush

My sixteen year old nephew has come to stay with me for a few days, along with his male friend, and I'm enjoying having two teenagers in the house (yes, really, I do mean it). Its the first time they've been to see my new house and it was described as "Well lush" which seems to give it the thumbs up in teenage-speak! This morning they asked to see my studio and the artwork I produce in it, which I was more than happy to show them. And my nephew declared that it was "Well cool" which again was great acceptance! He picked up one picture and asked me if it was painted in oils, and I said no, it was in watercolours, remembering that he had mentioned the other day about me painting on material, and realising he meant canvas. Its all new for him to see for himself as he lives the other end of the country from me so I don't see him as often as we'd both like.  He particularly liked the "Tree of life" painting I did, as a version of it is hanging on my studio wall, and his friend liked the "Guardian Angels" painting I've done with the faces in the cottage garden. It reminded me of the sort of art that I used to do when I was their age - surreal paintings of faces with a macabre twist to them, mostly.

I took them to see the village of Repton, in Derbyshire, the afternoon they arrived as it's the village I grew up in, as well as being a very pretty and interesting place to visit. We wandered around the ancient graveyard as I pointed out the more interesting gravestones, and then into the church itself for a brief visit. You don't have to be religious to find the building of old churches interesting. As we walked in there was a small tea party taking place, and the first person I saw there was a woman I knew from years ago, who helped me get a drawing of mine in a local book about Derbyshire villages. We saw each other at the same time and said hello as I went over to speak to her properly. "Hello Jackie, how are you?" she said and we had a brief chat before I took the quietly loitering teenagers down to the crypt to show them the ancient historical areas which I was pleased to note they were actually interested in! As we ascended the well worn stone steps back into the church and walked back past the tea party one of the old ladies beckoned me over "Are you the artist Jackie Adshead?" and I nodded at her and smiled and she said "I've always wanted to meet you, since you did the covers of the Parish magazine" and I smiled even more at her as we chatted. And on the way out, I pointed out the Parish magazine to my nephew and his friend - they still use my artwork for them, and I did them in the 1980s. Its certainly been a good advert for me over the years.

I saw my good friend Peter the other day, who I've not seen for a few weeks, and as we chatted he said he had spent the evening with some purple people the week before. Although I am an artist, and colours are incredibly important for me I don't particularly know what a "purple person" was, and queried the description. He went on to explain about the "arty types who don't wash very often and their houses and clothes are a disorganised mess" and I nodded at him in understanding. He asserted "You're not a purple person" and I replied with a big grin "I knooowwww!". Peter said "No, I always think of you as half yellow, and half blue" and I thought about it, and agreed, yes, I could see that. I know I am an unusual mix in that I am creative and artistic, but also methodical and logical too - hence his description of the half and half colours. He said that he was fully blue, as he has the methodical accountant background to his career. It's funny, the colour thing, because I've always thought of myself as gold coloured. I wonder what colour other people view me as?

Because I did the parish magazine covers, but also I used to do macabre surreal art as a teenager, I like doing erotic art, but I'm more than happy doing landscapes and pet portraits and mythological creatures too!

Basically,   I just like doing art, whatever it is.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Earthy ideals

The paraphernalia of old potting sheds is something of a delight to a gardener. The sight of old clay pots stacked up high awaiting this years seeds, the well remembered spades and forks for digging, the old machinery taking the toil away from back-breaking labours, and over the whole pervades an earthiness of compost and old soil, of damp hessian, and the faint underlying odour of engine oil.  I love that smell, its all so familiar and welcoming.

But when all of that has to be put into a painting, it certainly is something of a challenge for the artist, and a feeling of accomplishment to actually achieve it.

And all of that was what Stuart was asking me to paint for him. His memories of the old bothy at Calke Abbey in South Derbyshire, the years he spent working there as a volunteer as the old house and garden were slowly brought to life again for visitors to view and marvel at the changes in time from the current new and shiny, back to the old, worn and decrepit.
Stuart took me back there a couple of weeks ago so that I could view it for myself, take in the atmosphere and take some working photos for his painting. He didn't give me many stipulations, other than removing some of the clutter on the floor, and to move a couple of the tools to different positions on the wall. Other than that it was as the photos depicted.

And that was what I drew, and then painted, and then went over with fine black pen to bring out the finer details of the drawing.

It sounds so simple saying all of that in one sentence.

But it wasn't at all easy.

It's the most detailed subject I've ever drawn.  And the details within it fascinated me. Particularly the textures. The grooves of the old wooden counter top, the peeling plaster, the faded blue of the aged paint, the sagging shelves, the missing draws in the seed cabinet, the cobwebs, and old bricks.

And within those areas there were odds and end of tools - the obvious ones hanging up - scythe, rake, spade, fork. But also as I looked closer I found two saws, a set of scales, two tiny keys, a spanner and a bird feeder, and even an old chair. 

And I drew all of them.

Because what he also wanted was for all of it to look interesting for anyone to see. Not just for his memories, but for anyone viewing it.

So it all went in.

I rang him last night to say I'd finished it, and we arranged for me to deliver it to him this morning. He asked me if I was pleased with it, and I said I was. He said an ominous "We'll see" about whether he would be......

The minute I arrived at his house, he welcomed me in, and demanded to view it straight away, he and his wife clearing a space so that we could view it. He stood back, looking at it, and said how like the bothy it was, except it was perhaps a little too clean on the floor!

He looked and looked then said he'd look at it for ages, and fall in love with it, and I agreed that was the way it should be with paintings, to gently fall in love with it from constant viewing, and constant liking what is seen in it.

After he stood and looked at it for a while he said  "Its better than I thought it would be!" and I smiled at him. He went on to say "I knew you're good at what you do, but you've made a better job than I expected!" and I smiled even more!

And just as I was about to go, after cups of tea and a visit to his garden to admire the latest blooms, he said "I've got to go and look at it again!" as he shot off to view his new painting. And as he and his wife stood looking at it in quiet reflection, he commented on the thing I knew to be the case, but others don't always see. He said "That view of it isn't real" and I agreed. It isn't. The picture isn't full reality as you can't see what has been drawn in one go. Because there is a wall and a doorway which are in the way, and the room seems bigger than it actually is, because of that ability to stand back to see it all in one go, particularly the items on the right hand side which are behind the wall and in a corner.

And that is the anomaly of art, and particularly of this painting. Although it isn't a totally true depiction, it is although a true feeling, a true memory, and the true remembrance, and true ambiance of that aged gardening room.

 And that was exactly what he wanted me to paint. And that is what he now has hanging on his wall.

Friday, 29 July 2011

For Four Fores

My friend K called to see me this week, and as always it was really good to see him, to have a catch up chat, our usual shared laughter over mugs of hot sweet tea and to hear his interesting and informative latest news.  We'd got so much to say to each other and it was good to sit outside in the fitful summer sunshine whilst we talked. I offered him another,  rhetorical....."more tea", since I know he drinks as much of the beverage as I do,  and he accepted with a grin, and said "Ill have a look at your latest effort whilst you're doing it" I turned back to him "EFFORT?????!" I queried. And he explained patiently to me "It's not a masterpiece until its finished, until then it's an "effort"!" "Ok" I acquiesced with a smile, although he was on iffy ground as far as I was concerned, I've not thought of my art as "efforts" for many years. They invariably turn out as I expect, and are always pieces of art from the first pencil line. I consider the word "effort" in this case to describe amateurish attempts at artwork that may or may not become a finished painting.  So, I don't consider my paintings as "efforts", not at all! It's a good job he's a good friend, for me to let him get away with that comment!!! LOL

But I was more than happy to show him the watercolour painting I'm currently working on for Stuart, of the interior of the Bothy at Calke Abbey. And he agreed with me how detailed the painting is! I'm really pleased with the way it's progressing, and the drawing out that I've done of it. It was always going to be a difficult picture as I'm painting from half a dozen photos to make a whole room, although the photos can't capture the whole room all together. It's half painted, by now, and I may use a fine black sketching pen to pick out the detail afterwards, I'll know for sure when I see how the painting has progressed and see how much it may be needed. And the surprising thing is - I'm loving doing it! Its great fun, and very challenging to draw all the tools, and paraphernalia of an ancient garden shed.

Today, a guy I have only met a couple of brief times before, came to my house on an unrelated to art matter. He and I stood chatting in the kitchen as we drank tea and coffee together (not mixed you understand, that would be the worst of both drinks!), and it was only in passing during the conversation that I mentioned that I'm an artist. "Aaaarrre you an artist?" he asked in wonder, and I nodded at him, and agreed that I was. I went on with the conversation, and skipped over the artist part. It was only when he was leaving the house, that he looked at the artwork on the walls and asked if I'd done it. "Yes!" I said. "What, ALL of it?" he asked, and I agreed with a broad grin that it was indeed all mine. He peered at one of the big cat watercolour paintings that I'd done and asked me how long it had taken. I appraised the picture he was indicating and said "MMMMmmm.. about 12 hours for that one" and he was flabbergasted at that answer and shot back with "Is that all...?" and I answered with a bigger grin "Well, I know what I'm doing!" and he nodded in understanding, especially when I went on to say a bit later on that a painting actually takes "12 hours AND forty years of experience" - THEN, he understood!!!!  :)

And the reason for the strange title for this post...? Well, this is the four hundred and forty fourth blog post...... so I thought it worth a mention....... don't you...?  :)

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Look and look again and look some more

It's going to take hours to do this picture. Hours of pencil drawing, hours of pen drawing, hours of watercolour painting, hours of looking at it to get the ambiance right. Hours of studying photos of it before I even start the work I've just described. Hours of peering into tight corners, hours of looking at colours, and shapes, hours of studying texture, and hours trying to put it down on paper.

And I'm gonna love every minute of it!

...and that's exactly what I told Stuart the other day when we finalised what work I would be doing on his painting for him. He wants it "to look interesting to anyone" and to have ambiance and atmosphere in it as well. I explained to him that a photograph only captures a split second in time, but it flattens shapes as it does it. A painting will bring out those shapes, will create more light where it's needed, and more dark to add depth  and interest to the painting. And this one will be about the most complicated thing I've done for an awfully long time. Each drawer in the seed cupboard has to be drawn, each seed word painted on it has to be written out, each plant pot, each shelf, each aspect of the clock and the tools on the wall has to be drawn. And some of the tools have to be moved around as well, just to add to the fun of it! And some of the pieces of gardening equipment have to be removed in the foreground, which will add to the fun again! It's going to be like drawing knitting, or a dish of cooked spaghetti, this hotch-potch of ancient garden implements.  

And looking at the photo here, you can see how much work has got to go into it, to depict it as a watercolour/drawing in pen and wash.

And I can't wait to get started!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Falling in love with a colour and a memory

The chance to paint some one's memories is always a pleasure. When that someone is my friend Stuart Haywood, and it involves a day out in his company, it makes it even more of one. It also involved a lot of walking, a history lesson, a botanical lesson, a bull, a herd of sheep and some cheekiness! But I'd expect all of that when out with Stuart, who's age certainly doesn't curtail his ability to walk many miles over hill and dale, and to air his considerable knowledge to any willing audience, which was me, this day.

We met at the village of Ticknall, in south Derbyshire and had arranged for us both to walk to the nearby stately home of Calke Abbey. I hadn't realised it would involve passing through a field of cows, who were all lying down chewing the cud, and I noticed one of them was a lot fatter, and fuller than than the rest...."Hey, isn't that a bull?" I asked as we passed by. "Yes" Stuart agreed "He'll be calm if he's with his herd" and I was incredibly pleased and relieved to note that that was indeed the case. We walked through woods and through the beautiful parkland and came out by the large house. It's not a very attractive house, quite square and heavy looking I always think. But we weren't there to look at the house, and passed on and up the hill, towards the little church. But we weren't there for that either. We were heading for something far more interesting.

We past by the newly restored Orangery and stopped before a gate in the high wall. Closed against us. "Do you want to go through?" he asked and I nodded in agreement. I love doors in outside walls, and always imagine they lead into mystical worlds. As indeed did this one. A world of the past, a world of colour and fragrance.

It was the world of Peter Rabbit, and Mr McGregors garden!

Cabbage patches, currant bushes, fruit trees, gourds, and beans, and in the distance a white lean-to greenhouse, and upended clay pots on canes amongst the potato plants. We by-passed the well stuffed scarecrows and passed under Medlar trees, and black Mulberry trees, (both of amazed interest to me since I've never seen either tree before) and on to the next part of the garden. Of flowers and colour and sweet fragrance and Stuart indicated the plain looking building to our left. "That's it!" he said, and I looked with interest at the place we had trailed this far to see.

I walked towards it with him, walking in through the main door and he indicated the greeen painted doorway to my left. I stood in wonder and looked at the scene infront of me.  A vision of metal, wood, brick, pot, hessian, glass, plaster and paint. All of it much handled, aged and worn. This was what he had brought me to see. And more to the point, this was what he wanted me to paint for him! Wow! It was a veritable cornucopia of ancient gardening implements and would be most interesting to sort into some semblance of structure and interest.

For what Stuart wants me to paint is the essence of the spirit of 17 years spent there, in that room, the Bothy, when he was a volunteer working at the gardens at Calke.

I took photos, lots of them, and looked at all the old implements. But the thing I loved most about it was the blue distemper on the walls, all peeling off and faded with age and many summers, and long distant winters. And I knew that I would love doing that painting for him, because the haphazard piles of old clay pots would be set off to perfection against that blue. If you can fall in love with a colour, I fell in love with that one.

We continued the rest of the visit looking in other old buildings, all full of memory and one purpose - the boiler room, the pony lawn mower shed, the ice house, the Orangery. Soaking up the atmosphere, soaking up the memories, the feeling of the place, the ambiance. And I agreed whole heartedly with Stuart as we set off back through the woods that it was indeed important to do that, to see the place for myself, to understand what it is he wants me to paint for him.

The photograph is here, of what he wants me to draw and paint for him in watercolours. And I can't wait to get started! And he can't wait to see it!!!!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The special painting within

My hairdresser talked of an idea for a painting that she would like done, of someone close to her, and asked me if I could do it.

Yes, I can.

I believe everyone has a "special painting" within them. And I love to ask people who I meet what it is. For some, its a racetrack at Silverstone, for others its magical unicorns in a mystical wood, or the scene by a favourite beach,  or their dogs, or their children, or their house. Its different for us all, and is the precious image we hold dear.

And me?

I'd love to paint it for you.

I told my hairdresser that whatever she wanted, it was possible. Even from bad photos, it's possible to create a painting of a beloved one.

So, she's looking through some favourite photos, and will get back to me.

But, in the meantime, I am  busy with other things, again.

The new website updating is limping on, and I'll be far happier when its done.  I feel like I'm juggling again. Trying to set up the new website, whilst painting, and looking for outlets for my art.  Some may work, some may not. But I tend to find, that when I try something, it opens other doors for me.

And I've met some very interesting people, that way.........

Friday, 15 July 2011

It started with the smell of the sea and ended with a happy twist in the tail

The week started with a burst of painting from me. That in itself isn't that unusual, I have bursts of painting sessions quite often. This one was prompted by the fact that I had to get the paperwork completed and returned this week for an exhibition that is taking place at the end of August, and when the questions require such things as "title","medium", "size" and "price" it helps somewhat if the painting actually exists in real life! I couldn't ever just presume a painting would be finished by then, it has to be actually complete, for me to fill the form out. Hence the flurry of paintings, as I particularly wanted to do a couple of the sea, since I've recently been on holiday, and I find it a delightful place to be, as do most people.

I had virtually finished a pretty watercolour of the area I went to in France, at St Palais - and was absolutely delighted with it, as it depicted all that I had hoped for - the view of a sundrenched sandy beach, the tide receeded a little to reveal hidden rock pools full of sealife to explore in their miniature worlds, sand, sea, a large beach curving around to the next headland, pine trees revealing the buildings tucked amongst them, and the feeling of a bright sunny day from the strong shadow to one side, hinting at the steps following the wall down to the beach, and a couple of children playing by the waters edge, paddling and debating whether to have a swim or an icecream. The picture so easily named itself "The summer holidays start here"! And because it had gone so well, it inspired me to start another one, but this one a looser picture, more a hint of the sea crashing in, wet sand, and the curve of a wave as it foamed against the sand, and a couple walking in the distance. But the whole purpose of the painting, indicated by the title itself, is that the sky and sea merge as one as the clouds come in as the wind picks up. So, again, another easy title to name the picture (and I love it when it flows like that, it means it feels right!). But the part I love the best of this painting is actually the wave in the foreground, and the foam itself, it more than anything else in that picture is the part I love the most, the way the water is flowing, the texture and the dedicate colours of water, sand, and foam so difficult to paint, and yet it works so well here, but I know that's because I was on a roll, and all inspired from the other painting I'd done!

So, that was my week, of painting, and it's been a good one, because of these happy holiday paintings.

And then I opened up my my emails.

And found one from Lucy Felthouse.....

.....which said..

Just a very quick message to you to let you know that the Seducing the Myth cover is out in the wild! I just posted a blog post about it, along with the table of contents. You’re fully credited within the manuscript, too. It should be out within a few weeks.

So, go and have a look for yourselves, and see what my painting looks like now that it's a book cover!

And I'm so delighted to see that it has been well received so far, with the comments Lucy's had for it, which is really exciting to hear!

So, all in all,  it's been a good marine week! (I mean, of the salty variety, not the sailor sort!!)

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The smell of the greasepaint

My friend the local historian, Stuart, rang me this morning. We chat regularly, every couple of weeks or so about things in general, flowers in particular, and any snippets of news either of us have. He's featured in the local paper next week and wanted to tell me about it, and also wanted to inquire whether I'd be interested in accompanying him at a talk he's been sort of asked to do (but it needs confirmation, it's only a verbal request at the moment) to a local ladies group "sometime next year". It's only for half an hour, and he will talk for half of it, and I could do the other half - like we did a couple of years ago when he did the talk about posing for me, and I accompanied him to tell the group a little more about myself. It's our double act! I said I'd more happy to do it again, whenever the "sometime next year" actually is.

He asked me what I'd been up to, and I told him about updating my new website, which is being created as I speak, although its all behind the scenes stuff at the moment, and not live. I'm enjoying doing it with my webmaster, tweaking and creating, designing and fine tuning.

And the rest of the day has been finishing off a watercolour painting that I'm hoping to exhibit soonish, at the end of August. I finished it off, and started another one, as I was in the momentum of it, and had the fresh idea for the next one forming away as I completed the first. I like it when that happens, it means I'm in the mental flow of it. I won't show the finished one to you yet, but I'll wait until the other one is completed and show them together. They're both the same subject matter, just different aspects of it, done in different styles.  And I'll be interested to know which you like the best.......

Right, now I need to go and wash my hands, which have blue acrylic down two of the nails, and somehow, I've got it in my hair as well, and I didn't even know until my man pointed it out to me when he saw me at the end of the day. That show's its been a good painting day! When I've got so excited and passionate about it, I didn't even know how or when I managed to smear it on me as well as the canvas!!!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Just a bit too good

The watercolour finished, viewed from every which way I could think of, tweaked and adjusted so that I was happy with it, I rang the client to say it was completed. We agreed a date and time for him to come and collect it and I got on with the next painting on my to do list....

He arrived on time, and seemed quietly happy with the painting. Well he had a big grin on his face. I think it had taken him back abit to see himself depicted in a painting. I smiled in understanding, I've seen that reaction before. I know he will spend the next few days looking and looking and looking at it until he grows to know it as well as his own reflection. In a way it is his reflection, but also it isn't. It's the face we all see, not the face he sees. When you look in a mirror it is by definition, and excuse me for stating the bleeding obvious, a mirror image. When you look at a painting of yourself, it's the face the rest of the world sees, and will seem a little disconcerting at first to the person whose face it is, a little out of kilter, well known, but slightly wrong somehow. But gradually, quietly, there is an acceptance that that is the "real me" and the love for it will grow accordingly.

As he was about to go I mentioned that I might put it on my blog, to show my latest painting, and asked the same question that I ask of anyone who has had their portrait painted by me, the "Are you happy with that...?" question. And he said straight away "If you don't show the face" and I laughed in understanding and said "Ah, it's too good isn't it - its too like you, that you don't want anyone down the pub taking the mickey of you posing for this naked".

So, here is the picture, because I want to show it as my latest artwork, because its in watercolours and they're far more difficult to do than oils, to get the nuances of tone right, as its so unforgiving a medium to adjust if anything needs adjusting.

But the face has been blanked out. And he is without name. Without age. Without geographic area.

But, I'm pretty sure that somewhere, some one is quietly sitting looking at this picture in its entirety and smiling gently to himself......

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Massage messages

The naked man who I have spent most of the last couple of days with is almost ready to leave me. I've spent a few hours getting him how I want him, tweaking and adjusting where necessary and viewing him upside down to make sure he's fully there. As you do! :)

An odd thing to do, I'm sure you think, but that's the best way to check when you've painted someone, particularly a nude, that the shades, colours, tones and lines are all correct. When you look at an image to paint, the brain overrides what is actually there to read "what should be" so you have to bypass that bit by putting the image upside down, which doesn't read as any recognisable shape as far as the brain is concerned, and then you can see the ever so slight tiny nuances of changes of colour and tone, and adjust it accordingly. I never paint the whole image upside down, because strangely enough that wouldn't work as a finished picture. No, its just for checking when the image is nine tenths finished, and sharpens up the bits that aren't quite right. And its mainly for when I paint a face or a naked figure, as the adjustments can be so slight that you hardly see that they've been made, and I use my smallest paint brushes to do it with. But if I showed you the nine tenths finished painting, and the totally finished painting you'd notice that the totally finished one just looks better overall, more complete somehow.

So, he's almost ready to go, and I am thinking about my next commission. Or at least I hope very much that it is my next commission, because it's something that is fascinating me as a subject matter. I have had three or four long chats on the phone with the guy who is interested in me doing this painting for him (and I mean long chats - a few hours worth), and we haven't even got to the point of discussing whether its going to be in oils or acrylics or watercolours, on canvas or board, the size of it, the use of colours, the painting style, the price, or even the subject matter fully. But he and I know that we have to have the discussions we have had first, for me to fully understand the subject matter he wants me to paint for him. Its a new subject for me, but one that is certainly erotic, and sensual, two things that I love to put together, although they should always be together as far as I am concerned - erotic and sensual - although it is possible to paint something sensual that is not erotic - enjoying eating a delicious meal by candlelight, or bathing in the sea on a bright sunlit day, are both sensual experiences.

But, his idea as we've discussed so far is certainly very much of the erotic and sensual, but more than that as well. And its something that he knows a lot about, because of his job. And I know a lot about art, because that is my job. So the long conversations so far have been the pair of us brain storming ideas to put together for his special painting. Because I know that the various ideas in his head can be painted, and depicted as the fabulous concepts they are. And I know that there are very few other artists who could do what he is asking for. But I know that I can.

We haven't even met yet, so I don't even know what he looks like, I have no clues other than his age. I will have more ideas I'm sure when we eventually do meet, but so far we've got on really well on the phone, and both find each other really easy to chat to and open up to. But then, its part of my job and character to make people feel easy, and its part of his job to make people feel relaxed and at ease within themselves too.

And the subject matter? Well, lets just say that it involves the work he does, but more so, far more so.......

And the work?

It's massage..................

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Hitting the ground running

Since I've got back from my holiday I've not stopped being on the go, which is great, and I'm really pleased about. Some holidays it takes a while to get going again  with the work momentum after the relaxing break (or maybe that's just the jet lag when you feel like shit because you're wide awake at 3am but half asleep by 4pm!!).  But, I think it helped that on the day that I was travelling back from France there was over 9 hours sitting in a car, and four hours of sitting on a ferry, so I was able to get my mind in gear again, and think of the jobs I needed to do when I got home, so by the time I stepped over the threshold, I was mentally focused and totally tuned into the work in progress.

Which is a lovely job for me to come back to do.

It's a nude.
Of a man.
In watercolours.

Just the sort of thing, that's right up my street! :)

I'm working from a set of photos, that I took of the guy in question, as it's easier for me to do it that way. I know when someone is in a pose, it can be hard work, and the pain, concentration, need for a stretch, or an itch, shows on the face, and in the posture, and in the aching muscles. So, I made the decision to do it from photo, which I can do at my pace, and get it right for the client, so that he will look at it and know instantly its him, that he posed for it, but he won't have the unhappy memories of getting cramp whilst he did it!

I've drawn out the image, and am happy with the drawing, so the rest should follow on easily enough after that. I love the way the colours build up slowly, the highlights of pale colour on the skin, slowly building up the tones of colour to make the darks, and give the figure form and life.

And it's going really well so far...... I can't wait to get on with it!