Friday, 28 January 2011

Speaking to the crowd

My friend the librarian rang me yesterday with a proposal.

It was one she had mentioned to me last July when I had my exhibition at the library, and she had been so upbeat about my art, and about me as an artist then, so the full invite wasn't a surprise, it was just that I wasn't expecting it JUST yet! She asked me if I still wanted to do it? Yes, I said, I do. She said that if my nerves were going to get the better of me, it was best if I backed out now, before they have the publicity printed. No, I said, I will do it. I said I would last year, and stand by my promises. Ok, she said, as she gave me the date, and the time, and told me what was expected of me. I listened to her, she's always so inspirational in her positive attitude and supportive comments, and feeds my positivity. I could feel the excitement rise in me as we made the arrangements.

It helps somewhat that there will be more than just me there. But, I can see why she's asked me, and I can see my place within the setting. And I feel strongly that it is the right setting for me. There will be others there too, also doing their bit, although their "bits" are different to mine, but then perhaps that's what will make it more interesting for the audience.The audience isn't expected to be more than a hundred people, but it will be bigger than I've spoken to before, hence her asking me if I was still happy with the idea. 

The event is for Women in Arts, and she wants me to be part of it. I am proud to have been asked, and especially happy to accept since I am a female artist, mainly doing art based on women and the female form, so I can see my place there. I also know that part of what I do is good therapy for the people who have posed for me, and that I produce artwork that people really respond to, and which I hope is life enhancing. So, I am passionate about my profession as well as my art.

She wants me to talk for fifteen minutes with perhaps five minutes afterwards for questions. She assures me that as soon as I smile, I will win them over. She suggested I talk about any funny moments, any amusing tales, and just to talk about what I do..... as an Erotic Artist. Ok, an interesting subject already, and one that will intrigue most people before I start. Its my subject. I just need to get the subject matter in order, and dredge up the amusing tales.... there are enough of them, and certainly it helped when the librarian referred to me being the "cheeky one" during the event. I like that! It is, after all a cheeky subject. And although I am professional in my approach, I try to include humour and cheekiness within my demeanor, it helps to break any awkward moments I suppose for other people. I've got a few weeks to prepare, but I want to start as soon as I can to get my notes ready, and think what points I want to get across....... and whether I should mention the Fantasy Fannies or not. UUmmm........

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Searching for secrets

After yet another forced delay, I've got back to the painting I've been working on for a couple of weeks now.

The erotic abstract that looks just like an abstract, unless you know where to look.

I've taken the original full image and drawn it out as a simple line drawing and it's obvious what it is.

I've taken that drawing and hidden the lines of the form within the tones of light and dark, and its less obvious as it what it is.

I've taken that image and drawn it as a black and white image, colouring in the shapes with greys,and its far less obvious again, as it what it is.

I've taken that image and done a couple of small paintings with full colour in the design and I think the image is hidden enough.

Its so hidden that even I am having difficulty working out some of it! LOL

So, I think I might have a little wager with you, when its done. To see what you can see in it.............

Friday, 21 January 2011

Tits and all

The art workshop being the first one of the calendar year tends to be a little more off beat than the others. I think the organisers think that we need something stimulating (and messy!) to get our creative juices running. And I tend to agree, as it certainly helps me get my mind and art back on track after the excesses and  lethargy of the Christmas period.

This months workshop was "murals on board" which sounded a bit vague to me. But I knew the "board" would be provided at the workshop, at extra expense, depending on the size we each chose. And I knew I had to take along acrylic inks, ordinary inks, and acrylic paints, and pastels as well. Ok, then, a mixed media workshop... but the sizes of the boards are an unknown, and may be six foot across for all I know.....they are murals after all......

I arrived just as the tutor was explaining her working process. She gave us the option to use the white painted side of the boards on offer, or the plain wood untreated side, complete with all the imperfections that that side offered for use. For we were painting on thick chipboard. She encouraged us to see into the patterns and shapes within the wood and see what inspired us to paint. I've done this sort of art before, and can "see" things within the random shapes, but they tend to be two most definite types of things...... I wondered if I would see anything else ...this time.......

I chose a piece of wood that looked interesting to me - a long thin piece, about eight inches wide by a yard long. And had decided that I would opt for a horizontal picture rather than a vertical. I stood looking at it quizzically at arms length. It was just a piece of wood....what would be within it - what image was calling out to me, what image could I feel......

The tutor joined me, and stood looking at it as well. She pointed out shapes that I couldn't particularly respond to - but I agreed, that there was indeed part of a cat, and part of a few other animals within it. But not enough to call out to me.  But there was ONE creature there that I could see clearly. Surprisingly! A blue whale.... MMm.... what on earth could I do with a whale......!!!?

"Well, that's decided it then!" I said. She looked at me, enquiringly. And asked if I could see any abstract shapes within it, and whether I was happy about making it more abstract? I smiled, and said that doing abstracts was easy for me, and I know that some people struggle "seeing" abstract, both as artists creating them, and the spectator viewing them. But, that wasn't the case for me. Infact, I do a lot of abstracts. She asked politely "What subject matter?" and I smiled and said "Erotic abstracts!" Which caused the usual opening of the eyes as the eyebrows shot up, from her. "In that case, I'm really looking forward to seeing what YOU do!" she said. I nodded, and said I'd see what I could do........

I returned to looking at the board, as she continued around the class with constructive advice and practical help. And nodded to myself, as the familiar images came to me..... yep, the usual I'd suspected, and expected.....

..... figures and faces.........
but the figures are female, and nude.......

That means only one thing then. If there's a whale there, then they must be mermaids......

I looked further at my board, and easily and effortlessly found a couple of mermaids, complete with tails, for me to paint within the surface markings. But, to balance the picture, it needed another one. But, would that be male or female? I stood considering the concept......

.....MMMmmm........If, they were all female, then that made the concept of the picture "Erotic but playful". If there were two males and one female, it made the picture "Erotic but with male dominance overtones possibly suggesting aggressive tendencies". But, if there were two females, and one male then it made it "Erotic with interesting overtones of what two females and one male were going to get up to!" - Ok, then, that's decided that then!

I started work on it - with inks at first to see how they reacted to the bare untreated wood - but wasn't happy with the results as the inks soaked in too much and lost some of their vibrant colour. Ok, on to the acrylic paints then as they are stronger and will sit on the wood.....

....the tutor came to see what I was doing, intrigued with my subject matter. She asked if the three partly marked out mermaids were all going to be women? I said no, one was going to be male, I felt. And she made me laugh out loud when she announced robustly "Well, it depends if you paint tits on them!" And I smiled in agreement, yep it certainly did!

I carried on painting, and did indeed paint "tits" on two, and not on the third, he had "pecs" and a six pack (very nice!) instead..... !

The painting wasn't finished during that workshop. It needs further work doing on it, and will certainly need a lot more paint on it than there currently is. But, I received a couple of emails in the week after the workshop from the tutor, and we had a bit of a chat through it - and I was delighted when she commented

"Your mermaids had rather a compelling attraction I thought, one is obliged to seek out what is going on..... Always a good thing, the longer someone stares the better."

Good, she sees the story that I could see within the basis of the painting, an interesting idea that will form in peoples heads, and which will add more depth to the subject matter. And I told her that I consider that mermaids are "acceptable erotic" by most people - even little old ladies who like chintz, and children find them "nice" and not aggressively sexual. I will certainly work on the picture some more, but not for a while. I still have other work to finish......

But, in the meantime, have a mermaid or two to show you from previous paintings I've done.....  The one on the left is called "Dance of the deep" and is in watercolour. The one on the right is called "Out of the blue" and is also in watercolour but has gold gouache paint in the mermaids tail which gives it far more interest I think, as there's that flash of gold as she flicks her tail and the light catches it. Hope you like......

Monday, 17 January 2011

Suprise suprise

Her mother hadn't a clue. It was just an invite, after all, for dinner. She regularly asked her mother around for dinner, so why would it be any different this time?

But it was.

Her mother knew I would be there. But there was nothing much different in that either, since we had met a couple of times before, and had eaten meals together in the past. So, nothing different in that.

But there was.

We stood chatting as she prepared the meal before her mother arrived. We both knew my part in the arrangement, although we didn't discuss it. It lay between us as a tacit arrangement.

Her mother arrived, full of chat. We exchanged greetings, and talked as women do about many things.

The meal was served, the wine flowed, and the chat continued. I wasn't nervous, I'd done it before. But not before in this particular way......

After the meal, we sat around the table, and she told her mother that she had something for her, and nodded at me. I left the room and went to collect it, returning a couple of minutes later. I could see her mother hadn't a clue as to what it was. I had expected her to guess, but I think she was thinking future tense, not past. She had asked her daughter to ask me for a print of the picture I had done of her, on the understanding that she would pay me for it. She hadn't expected that her daughter had already arranged it with me, and that the frame and mount had already been chosen a couple of weeks ago, and that I had taken them away on my last visit, to put the print in all ready for her birthday. So, she showed surprise when she was presented with the picture. And delight. Absolute delight. She kept looking at the picture, her eyes couldn't leave it. I watched her watching it. Her eyes returning again and again to it.

And I felt that warmth in me, that I sometimes get when I get the chance to see what I saw then.

Sometimes I don't get to see it, like when a picture is sold through a gallery or at an exhibition. The buyer does it all without my presence needed there. But, I saw it today. I saw someone fall in love with one of my paintings. They keep looking at it, their eyes keep returning to it. The feelings that they feel then, will cause happiness for them, it will fill them with warmth and comfort. The bond between them and the painting will be forged, and will be strong in those first few moments.

That's the feeling I love to see. Because, I've caused it.
It's better than winning the lottery for me, to see that.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Windows on the world

There I was, quietly working away, when...

The phone rang.......
I answered it (as you do....)

"Hello, can I speak to Mrs G"
"She doesn't live here any more"
"Oh. (pause) Are you the new home owner?"
Cautiously I replied with a "Yes", waiting for the loaded next question....
"In that case, do you know that your windows need replacing?" she chirpily asked.
"Do they? Why is that then?" I asked her.
"Because they're ten years old!"
"Are they indeed?" I replied with a smile "How are you aware of that?"
She paused, obviously reading something in my amused tone.
"Have you replaced them recently?" she asked me suspiciously.
"No, I haven't" I replied crisply, with an inward smile.
"In that case they need replacing, because they're ten years old!"
"Mmm..... that's interesting that you think that ,as the house is actually only EIGHT years old..................................."

I came away from the phone with a smile. And then a thought. Maybe I ought to check with Mrs G who I bought the house from in December, who bought it from brand new, to see if the windows ARE infact ten years old. Perhaps they stood alone and freely on the building site for two years before the house was actually built..................

I went back to the job I was doing. Working on the erotic abstract which was coming along nicely. I'd started with an image that was definitely erotic, and drawn it out as a line drawing, which just simplified the basic shapes. But, it was still erotic, and quite obvious to anyone as to what it was. And then came the fun bit. To take that basic image and disguise the shapes and lines. To do that, I looked at where the image had light and dark areas that merged together, forgetting the lines of the bodies, and just looking at the shapes and how they appear together, and marrying them together, making them less obvious. That already makes the image far more abstract. But the next stage will be to take each of those shapes and change the tones for contrasting ones, as that will disguise the shapes even more so. So where there is light, I will make it darker, and where it is dark or medium tones, I will lighten them. I'm hoping that at the end of it, even I will have problems seeing what is where. Then it will truly be abstract.

But, not to the point where you can't see what is what, if you know where to look.... and how to look at it........ its just tricking the eyes, and then teaching them how to look in a different way......

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Awaken within

Today was going to be reasonably quiet, with me working on the new painting later on - probably about sixish. But, as is sometimes the case, things didn't go quite to plan........

It turned out that I had to make a journey today I wasn't expecting, a car journey to deepest darkest Essex. Well, actually that's not correct, its a very pretty part of rural Essex even in the middle of bleak winter. But the journey had to be made, to help another out, to collect something that isn't mine, from someone who wasn't there (are you following this?). So, although the journey took over two and a half hours, I was only at the venue less than five minutes, and then headed straight back again, with a short stop on the way down, and way back, for a coffee and loo break. So, seven hours more or less, of travelling, and not doing what I had planned to do, today.

But, it meant I could do one thing. One very important thing.

I could think.

And I like thinking, especially when its about an exciting new painting I want to do......

By the time, I'd finished off the other chores for the day, its gone 9pm. Well past 9pm. But, that doesn't matter either, because when I'm fired up, time disappears, and I'll happily stay up til well past midnight getting on with the art and working on a painting.

I'm still in the design process though at the moment. The part when I put some inspiring music on, and get a pencil out, and some pieces of paper, and start playing with shapes, and lines, and tones.

But, when I start work on it, I can feel the excitement build in me. The way it catches my breath as I realise that the lines are flowing. Particularly when its an erotic abstract, one depicting more than one person.....

This is going to be a good one......

Friday, 7 January 2011

Not infront of the children

Discussing the subject matter of the painting with the person who has to live with it is always hugely important. I always ask questions to make sure that I am in total understanding of what they want, and why they want it. This conversation started with various questions from me - and one of them was whether she wanted the painting to be erotic? The answer came back that she would really LOVVVVVE it to be erotic, but because she had youngish children living in the house with her, she couldn't possibly consider it as an idea. I thought about that, and realised that the basis of an idea was forming. I suggested that it may be possible to make it erotic, but keeping it innocent too. She replied "That'd be a challenge!" "Yep," I happily replied, "And I lurve a challenge!" - let me have a think about it, and I'll come back to you with some ideas.

I spent the night ruminating (as you do!) :)

And the next day rang her to discuss my idea.

She had already provided me with some photos for me to work from. I spent some time going through them searching for the ones that would let me put my idea into practice. And I had found a couple that were ideal for my purposes.......

I explained what I had in mind. She listened at the other end of the phone, and agreed that it should work, and would achieve exactly what I described to her. And she happily gave me the go ahead to do it! YAY!
The idea of it excites me. And better still, it excites her. I'm totally fired up with it, and can't wait to get started on it!!!! I just had to ask her if there were any colours she particularly wanted in it - and she said her bedroom colours of cream and brown. Because this is definitely a bedroom picture! And I think it will look great in her bedroom, and asked if she wanted to add any more colours to it - suggesting red may be good? She agreed, caught up in the idea "Yes, red would be good, it's the right colour for it!" And then went on to suggest two other colours she likes - purple, and silver. "Was silver going to be a problem?" She wondered, and I said "No, I've got some silver acrylic paint, it'll work well with it!". And said that I might incorporate some black in it too, to balance it with depth of colour, which she said was quite acceptable. And we agreed that adding the extra colours to the cream and brown meant that if she changes her colour scheme at some point in the future that it would still go with various other decors.

So, as far as her children are concerned, it will be an abstract painting. There will be lines, and blocks of colour, shapes, and tones. It won't look like anything but an abstract.

But, to those who know what it is, it will be far more than that. It will be lines, and blocks of colour, shapes, and tones. But they will definitely mean something. Something very special.

Because it will be personal. Because she will be be in the picture. But, more than that............

There are actually three people in the picture. And they are all naked. And they certainly aren't being innocent.

Truly erotic. And yet, at the same time, not.

The sort of picture I love to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And as an example of what it will look a little similar to - here is my "Tarse and Queynte in gold" painting - a simple abstract in creams and gold...................

Monday, 3 January 2011

The Artists House

When my new friend the muse visited my house over Christmas, she wasn't sure what to expect she informed me after the visit. She hasn't known me long, and didn't come to my previous house, so she only knew what she had seen of ME, and of the conversations we had when you pick up from people that they have a strange unexplained phobia over the colour of duck eggs, or they casually mention that they have a desire for a chandelier in the downstairs loo, or that they really really love barbie pink zebra stripes in the bedroom.

So, she came to my house, blind.

But, she did have one idea of what it would be....

It would be an Artists House. Because that is what I am.

But, when she visited, she told me a few days afterwards, it wasn't what she was expecting......entirely.

The house was exactly as I had described it to her, she said, but it was what was within the rooms that was the unexpected. For instance, one thing in particular surprised her.....and that was that I am TIDY. I think she was expecting an eclectic mix of mess scattered on every flat surface, perhaps dried up paint brushes mixed in with the dirty laundry, and congealed marmalade on the telephone lost behind the toilet in the bathroom. Because, that's how all artists are, right!! Er, well SOME of them are, but I'm not one of them! I'm tidy. I try not to clutter my self up, because I know that I won't work productively if I haven't got a clean(ish) space around me - and that includes my house as well as my studio.

And she was expecting half finished canvas's drying on every available space. And that would normally be the case, but I haven't been doing any art recently due to all the other problems in my life that I've had to deal with. So, next time she comes, that should be part of the set up. She will smell the turpentine, oil paint  and linseed oil as she walks through the door. It will be a  tangible thing that assails her.  

She was expecting more colour within the colour schemes of the house. I am an artist after all. But, I've only just bought the house and have taken on one that was painted in soft creams by the previous owners. I have learnt to live with the innocuous colours, but to start with it was a little strange for me. I left behind (my choice of) strong colour schemes at my last house and like colours around me, so I'm certain that when the rooms are redecorated, there will be more depths of brighter colour put on the walls in some of the rooms if not all. At least none of them are brown, or grey, both colours I find depressing.

She was expecting more arty ornaments and nick-nacks in the house, and I know that they will appear when I find them in the many boxes which are still awaiting being opened. That's a definite!

She was expecting more pictures on the walls too, I think. And although I have finally got some pictures up, there are still more to hang, and more wall space to fill - so that will happen too.

But, since she has said that she was expecting more, I have been looking at the house and seeing what she means. But, I also know that there are signs within the house of who it belongs to......... the studio has a work board out, with various paints and brushes around it, work in progress ideas sketched on pieces of paper, and a "Jackie Adshead  member of the Guild of Erotic Artists" framed certificate on the wall (That's a huge clue, isn't it?!).  In the room I'm using as an office there is a couple of large book cases full of books on art, erotic art, travel, and an ever growing  pile of International Artist magazines. In the lounge there are more art books, and some small erotic sculptures of naked women, and one of an erotic couple. And in my bedroom, there is erotic art on the walls - and will soon be another one as the large centrepiece of the room, when I have painted it - at the moment its just an idea.

So, the clues are there.

But, I want to make it more than just subtle perceived clues. I want it to be screamingly obvious, to all visitors alike! ! !