Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Sh! Who goes there

Now, what was I going to tell you? Oh, I know, about the great place I'm going to be exhibiting at, later on in the year! Actually, its two places........ both in London. One is in Portobello, and the other is in Hoxton.

The two exhibitions will follow on from each other, Hoxton will be in September, and Portobello in October. So, that means a bit of running around between the putting up and taking down dates, but I'm used to that, in setting up exhibitions.

And they are probably one of the best places for me to exhibit some of the Fantasy Fannies although I think I shall be taking other paintings of mine too, as well as some prints.

And the venue? It's........hardly a secret, but it sounds like one! Sh! Women's Erotic Emporium is probably one of the best places for me, as a woman artist, to exhibit at because they are sex shops for all types and ages of women. And it's run by women, for women as an antidote to sleazy sex shops.  They try to create a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for women to browse both within their stores and on line. Unaccompanied men are allowed in the shops, but only on one night a week, other than that then they must be with a female friend. Sh! want women to feel good about their sexuality, and I am delighted to have been invited to help them do that, since that is what my art is about as well, in a positive and creative way. So, it should be fun, and I'm looking forward to it very much.

And as an extra....... if you're in the area of Portobello on Saturday 9th April, I'd recommend you drop in to see (or at least hear!) my mate Lucy Felthouse doing an erotic  reading, along with other writers........bound to be a lot of fun! And very naughty too!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Juggling and being thrown an extra ball

The life of an artist is one of juggling. Juggling the one job you're currently working on and searching for the next one. Although I do know of some artists who can work on more than one painting at a time. I can't do that, and more to the point, I don't want to. I like to focus fully on the painting I'm working on, put all of my efforts into it, go with the momentum of it, let it fire me up, find my inspiration, and feed on my creativity to produce it, knowing I have put my all into it, and that it has my best, undiluted efforts, totally concentrated, and that it is as good as I can make it. Then afterwards I can sit back and admire it for all the talent and hard work that has gone into it. And then, I can go on to the next piece of work, and do the same with that one in turn.

So, although I am hard at work on the large oil painting of the Royal Crescent at Bath, and the life and people that inhabit that painting, I am also wondering what work I shall be working on next. Although, I am very aware that I have another Fantasy Fanny to do that was promised some time ago, and I really want to do that for the woman in question. She has been patience itself (and I know you read this blog, from far off shores, so thank you for that patience!) whilst I've had to sort my life out but now that its settling down again, I want to do that painting for her.

So sometimes I have to go out looking for work, and sometimes it comes to find me.

Like this week.

I have introduced myself via a mutual friend, to someone who it seems likes the sound of me, and is now offering me exhibition space in London later in the year. We are still at the negotiation stage, but it looks very promising.  And its the Fantasy Fannies that have caused the interest, and the invite. And that seems to be the way of them, that they are something that evoke a lot of  interest. And why am I surprised at that!!!! LOL  

But, I am certainly delighted at the venue, and think that it may be one of the right places for them. A place that women go to, a place that women expect to see sex, a place that women celebrate their bodies, and themselves.

I'll tell you more about it, when its been finalised........

Monday, 21 March 2011

Abstracted by the abstract

I go to a lot of art workshops. I've been to many over the years. I have learnt a lot, hands on, and always come away with more knowledge and more experience, which adds to my expertise as an artist. I always say that I can paint anything for anybody, and a lot of that is because of the diverse subjects using diverse mediums I have learnt at these workshops.

So, you would think that maybe I've learnt all there is to know, by now.
And you would be wrong. Very wrong,  to think that, because art is such a vast subject, that I don't think any artist could learn everything in one lifetime.

And you would think that going to these workshops for so long I must have learnt everything I should need to know by now, and sometimes I think that must be the case........

.....and then we had a day like the one last Saturday, which turned everything on its head. Totally.

I knew it was going to be a good one. Even before I went. It was about "Abstract". And that's a difficult enough subject on its own. But I do abstracts already, and enjoy them, and have painted enough of them for other people, who also enjoy them. But, what I have done in the past is the first step into abstracts, and that is when I've taken an image, a photo, of a tangible, solid thing (well, not too solid, in the case of the fannies!!! tee hee!!!) and made the realistic image an abstract in that I've changed the shapes, or the colours, to hide the image, so that those in the know, know what it is, but those not in the know (children and the more innocent amongst us) only see innocence in the art. And I must admit I love that aspect of the work I've done. So, I went along to the workshop with experience under my belt. But I also knew we were going into areas of which I hadn't got any experience, since I've never painted pictures of this new and more exciting subject matter.

There were 11 or so other people attending, and all women, I noticed. Don't men paint abstracts I wonder?

And during the course of this workshop we only spent two hours painting out of the six, and normally I would be tearing at the bit at that point, because as far as I am concerned, the whole point of being there is to paint and be creative. But this time, I didn't mind, not at all, as I was learning. Learning about abstracts.

About painting an abstract idea in an abstract way.

Sounds simple, doesn't it? Until you think about it, really think about it,  when someone asks you to paint "Happiness" and then put a colour to it. Just one single colour. And that was one of the easier emotions to do (for me, anyway!). The first picture here is depicting eight abstract notions - reading from left to right -happiness, sad, anger, misery, feminine, depression, elation, frustration. To start with we were asked to "make marks" with a pencil for each of the concepts. "Happiness" was easy for me, its a burst of wow followed by a large elongated circle rising up and reducing as it flows away. "Sad", "Misery" and "Depression" were more difficult as they're not emotions I dwell on if I can avoid it. And I found it interesting that I depicted "Anger" as a solid cube with bursts of high activity above it. But, of course, everyone else in the class had their own interpretations of each concept, and none was right, or wrong, just different in each of us. I liked the fact that femininity for me is bright, scarlet red, not pink and wishy washy. And that depression was muddy colours, and yet happiness was bright and cheerful yellow. How interesting, and revealing too! Psychologists would have a field day with this one!

The tutor went on to show us her ideas for painting more abstract ideas, like music, maths,  time, and motion. This got me thinking, and when we were able to start painting, with only two hours of the session left, I knew I wanted to paint "Time", but do it my way.

I stood and thought of the visual aspects of time - clocks, daylight, sun and moon, and then about clocks ticking, alarm clocks, the numbers on a clock face, but also the numbers that relate to months, years, weeks, and days. And started to come up with an idea for a painting, a working concept, that depicts time and all the things related to it. The picture here was conceived, drawn, created, and finished within two hours. It could be painted a lot better, and more subtly and perhaps with more ideas added to it. But as a working painting, its a good one. And it surprised me how involved I got in it. Because, whilst I was doing it, I let a cup of tea go cold. Now, that may not sound like much to you, but I love my tea, hot, sweet, fragrant tea. Nothing much stops me from drinking it, except being totally and utterly enthralled with a piece of painting. And that was the case with this picture. And not only that, but someone told me my shoe lace was undone, and I nodded in acknowledgement, but I was too busy to bend down to do it up, too busy to go to the loo, too busy to talk to anyone, or go and look to see what they were doing, too rapt in my art. Time was ticking, both literally, and in my painting.

We had to finish by four o'clock, a reminder of time and its importance. I stood with the others at the end and saw what they had painted, and felt a huge stirring within me. And when the tutor was thanked for the workshop she had given us, I added out loud to it, that I had been to many workshops there, but few had touched me as deeply as this one. And I meant it. Its deep. And its got me.

But then, its hardly surprising, when I come home, and I'm busy painting "Wind" in the oil painting I'm working on at the moment. Now, if that's not abstract, I don't know what is!!!!! 

Friday, 18 March 2011

Smut, to the highest degree

There aren't many meetings I have that involve many adult themed words as a matter of course, but my meetings with Lucy Felthouse, are definitely some of them!

We met up last night and had our usual good chin-wag about sex, erotica, erotic writing, erotic art, erotic websites, erotic writers, swinging, sex clubs, bi-sexuality, gay men, straight men, lesbian women, sex toys, sex shops, kissing, oral sex, sex in public, and smut in general! So, all in all, a good night!!!

But other more vanilla things did get discussed too - I'm sure Morrisons was mentioned a couple of times, along with er, well.........

.........Oh, yes, and I told her about my talk at Burton Library last week, but that was about me being an Erotic Artist. So, um, perhaps the whole evening was smut filled!!!!! LOL

But the great thing is, we can talk in great depth about all things erotic that affect women, in an open and honest and upfront sort of way. Although when its work, neither of us get turned on on the subject (because we talked about that aspect last night too, as we've both been asked if we get turned on when we're writing (or painting) and the answer is "No, it's work!" - not that anyone believes that though, I don't think. But it's true, because you use a different part of your brain for lust than you do for working and being creative.

But it was definitely a good meeting, in that she's given me a couple of names that may be good for me to follow up and see if I can do some work in conjunction with them, and Lucy has asked me to design a front cover for her latest writings on a mythological theme. She asked me if I had anything already that I could use, and I thought briefly and said "Unicorns?" and she shook her head and said "They're not very erotic" and I agreed and then said quickly "Mermaids!" and she brightened at that and agreed with a grin, and added that she had written an erotic story about mermaids, so that would be an excellent choice. I nodded happily at her too, as I find mermaids very erotic, and sexy. I think its the sensual feel of the water around their bodies, and the way their hair flows around them, their pert breasts and smiling faces. So, I await instructions from Lucy as to how many mermaids she wants on her front cover and whether there are any mer-men there too........and what indeed they might be doing..............  

And we also talked a little of my thoughts on doing some erotic writing... I've got some ideas milling around at the moment, which may come to fruition................

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Sea air and feminine responses

Well, I've had some fabulously positive reactions to the last blog post about International Women, so that's been a wonderful response to the talk I did. A couple of teacher friends have told me it was well written, and friends from far and near have praised it. And just to show how International it is, I've been contacted by a woman in South Africa whose friend went to the talk and told her all about it. How good is that!!!!

Since then I had a small break in Devon on business relating to my Mum's death, and although it was poignant and sad, it was a nice break too. I've missed the sea air. I knew before I went how much I'd missed it, but when I got there I  spent as much time as I could by the sea, taking photos and just soaking up the ozone to replenish my spirit. And it shows how much the artist is in me. I look at a scene, and I might like the overall landscape of it, but its the little things that excite me. Like the shape and colour of stones on a beach. These in particular excited me because of the pinkness of them, as much as their texture. The five foot high sticks embedded in the beach at Dawlish Warren also stopped me in my tracks. I think they are old wooden posts to stop the sand shifting down the beach from the Exe estuary, but the aged weathered look of them as dark verticals against the lighter background of the grey sea was the thing I loved most. A pity that the sun wasn't shining at the moment I took the photos as the horizontal shadows would have really added to the exciting geometric designs. And I absolutely adore the picture of the sea steps at the harbour at Brixham because of the light on the water and the gorgeous green of the sea against the ochres of the stone in sunlight. Wow! I want to paint it!!!!

So, I've come back all fired up and wanting to paint! Which is  a good job since I have an important commission to finish - of the landscape/portrait/spiritual portrayal of the Royal Crescent in Bath in oils. I was working on it til almost midnight last night, and have finished the acrylic underpainting. That means I've got to the exciting bit. The part where the oils go on the canvas. And I shall smile to myself as I use them, because I love the buttery feel of them, and the way the paint just happily moves over the canvas blurring, and merging, and creating fabulous cloud effects. Which is a good job really, since half the painting is of a dramatic and cloud filled sky. And my house will smell of oils and turpentine!

How wonderful.

Oh, and just as an aside. I've been watching the growth of a clump of daffodils outside my office window for weeks now. They have slowly sprung up during the snowy weather, and each week have filled out their leaves, and their delicate buds have formed. I knew when I got back from my weekend in Devon that they would be out in their full golden glory. Except they weren't. Because someone has nicked them! They have gone. And presumably are sitting in a vase in someones house. Which is a shame, because it means that they won't last so long, and only one or two people are enjoying them, instead of the passing world. So, I went to the local garden centre and got three pots of my own, which are  now sitting in my garden for me to enjoy. And their bright yellowness makes me smile each time I see them. They are sunshine itself on these grey days. And when they have finished flowering I shall plant them in the garden so that they'll come up year after year. Bringing fresh hope for springs to come.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

International Women

Well yesterday was International Women's Day and I was honoured and delighted  to be asked to do a talk about being an Erotic Artist at the Library at Burton on Trent in celebration of it, alongside designer Mariama Tushemeriirwe, author Janet Bennett and singer Hayley Di Rito who was accompanied by Blue Yates on the guitar. And I feel that the audience were very appreciative of our talks and that we were very inspirational for them. It was interesting for me to hear the other speakers talk about aspects of their lives, and to hear the positive affirmation of striving to follow your dream, overcoming hardships, finding people who inspire and help your creativity, finding support through like minded people, and being brave enough to tell others about it, and finding how much they appreciate the fact you do! Wow! What a night!

Various friends had rung, emailed or texted me to wish me good luck before hand, which was really sweet that they were thinking of me and wanted to wish me well with their support, I really did appreciate it!

I arrived a good hour early and was met by the positive and ever helpful Janet, who works at the library, and introduced me to the lovely Mariama, and we were shown the set up and the stage and seating for the audience. Ok, it was relaxed and informal and the emphasis was on the word "fun" for the evening. I'd been practicing my talk for a few days beforehand, and hoped that I wouldn't dry up during it! I was on in the first half, after Mariama had spoken. Then there was to be an interval for coffee and then Janet spoke, followed by Hayley singing. I'd met the delightful Hayley briefly in somewhat different circumstances, since she was at the house of a friend of mine the other week, and we'd said hi over a game of Trivial Pursuit!

There were enough people in the mostly feminine audience for me to still feel that I could relate to them as individuals and I was delighted that they came to speak to me before and after my talk, and at the end of the evening. Some were inspired enough to want to talk to me about the possibility of me doing commissions for them, some wanted to talk about the prints I'd taken with me, and some wanted to talk about their interest in art. All interesting, as ever, and really nice to interact with them as friendly people. The head librarian asked me afterwards how many times I'd said my talk before and was surprised when I said it was the first time. He said that it sounded natural and I said that I'd been practicing it out loud  for the last few days, so I'm glad that I did, even if the cat was a little bemused my by actions!!!!

It's been interesting for me to sum up my life so far in a succinct talk lasting 20 minutes, to complete strangers. I looked at the who-what-why-how-where-when aspect to help me put it in order. And its really focused me again on to what I do and who I am. One woman told me afterwards that she was enthralled with my talk, so that was great to hear! And for those who missed it - this is the basis of my talk:

Hello, I’m Jackie Adshead and I’m a landscape painter.
I also paint portraits of humans and animals, houses, scenes and various objects,  cats and dogs, horses, tigers and other big cats, children, mythical beasts, and fantasy pictures. But you’re not interested in that, because no one ever is! I don’t know why, but people are always far more interested in the fact I do Erotic art, more than anything else! And for some reason, I always seem to sell more erotic art than the “normal stuff”. But then what is normal? For me, erotic art is.

I’ve spent all my life painting. I’ve never stopped since I first picked up a crayon as a toddler, and I had my first commission at the age of 13 for my history teacher at school, and I've painted many things for many people, but the artwork has changed a bit since then! So I’ve always had the talent to paint within me, but I like to push my boundaries a bit, and like a challenge, and love to be creative so for that reason I am probably unusual in that I will paint any subject matter, I don’t limit myself to just painting flowers, or landscapes, or people. Or to a certain style. I love to paint in watercolours, acrylics or oils. And to draw with pencil or pen and ink. And I do surreal, abstracts, fantasy, camouflage art, as well as representational. I am a painter rather than an illustrator. In that I try to catch the essence and feel of the subject rather than a totally true representation. You can use a camera for that. But the image will be more stark. Painting is softer and more accepting, accentuating the good bits, and lessening the bad bits.

I know I am unusual in that I am a woman doing erotic art. But I love doing it, as an artist painting other people and making them look good. I love to see women in art, and painting art for women, as a woman artist. I believe all women can look erotic, regardless of their age, or body size. We all like to feel attractive, it’s that that I try to find, to pick up on, and put the essence of it into the painting.

I am most inspired by Caravaggio for his dramatic use of light and deep darks. And I also love the work of Dali, Jack Vettriano, Boris Vallejo, Frank Frazetta, Josephine Wall, Jim Warren.

I must admit, as far as jobs go, there aren’t many jobs where it’s perfectly normal for people to take their clothes off for you – but my job is one of them! People feel at ease when I draw them. They take their clothes off, and I just keep the eye contact, and whatever they look like is ok. They will only find it strange if the response is negative. To me it’s a positive experience.

Having said that, as far as I’m concerned drawing a human body is just the same as drawing a bottle or a vase of flowers, I look at the lines, and the tones, the form, where the light is hitting the body and work out the best composition. People sometimes ask me if I’m turned on by looking at the erotic images, and are probably surprised when I say that I am not. Its just work for me! Because it’s just an object I’m drawing regardless of what it is. But, what I have to bear in mind when I draw an erotic image is that I don’t feel sexy when I’m drawing the picture, and the model might not even feel sexy if it’s a difficult pose and they’re trying to keep still for me. But, what I need to capture is that certain something, the essence, that will make the viewer feel erotic when they look at it. And that is such a subtle thing to capture, and is something that may be different in all of us.

The way I describe “erotic” is that it is something that makes you wonder...... what has that person done beforehand to now be in that position and place and time, and what are they going to do next? The way I describe “erotic” is this – if I draw any one of you sitting here as you are now, it would be a portrait. If you were sitting here in the same position stark naked, then it would be a life drawing pose. If you were sitting here stark naked doing something graphically sexual (and I’ll leave that to your vivid imaginations!) then that would be pornographic. But that leaves nothing to the imagination. But what I draw is the erotic – the sensual, the sexy and the suggestive. And I can draw an erotic image where the woman in it is fully clothed, because it may just be the look on her face that makes it look erotic. And erotic is becoming more acceptable in main stream. We’re all used to seeing erotic images in magazines and on the telly – and don’t tell me that Nigella Lawson isn’t promoting erotic, because she is! Her cooking is a by-product! It’s the enjoyment of sensual things – whether its food, sensual experiences or erotic art.

How I started being an Erotic Artist was by attending life drawing classes about ten years ago, and I found that a strange experience to start with, until I realised that although the room was full of people, and one of them was totally naked, it was all quite normal, and the naked woman was an object, like a beautiful vase, and not something that was considered dirty and rude, so I just got on with drawing, as was everyone else in the room, and I realised how difficult it is, because if you draw a tree, it doesn’t matter if the trunk is a little too wide, or if one of the branches is too long, but it does if it’s a human body, the measurements have to be right, and the arms and legs need to look like they are all connected to the body and that the head sits on the shoulders. But after a few weeks of being at a life drawing class and looking at the work I’d done, I wondered how I could make it look more interesting, and life like, and I realised that it’s what I was leaving out that made the picture more interesting, as it leaves it to your imagination. And I drew with white crayon on black card instead of black pencil on white paper and that made it more dramatic. And it evolved from there.

I love it when someone contacts me and wants me to paint their passion, because then I can put my passion into creating it for them. And it doesn’t matter if it’s erotic or not, I just love painting!

But as well as erotic art I love painting secrets – and have done some erotic landscapes (see, I told you I was a landscape painter!). I had a commission a few years ago from a chap from Windsor, who asked me to paint a picture of the New York skyline at night as the typical picture but with an erotic couple hidden within the painting so that people viewing it wouldn’t know unless they looked closer or had it pointed out to them. And also that very same week (and there must have been something in the air that week!)  that he asked me to paint that picture I was commissioned to do a painting for a woman in Dorset who wanted an erotic picture to hang over her bed that her four year old son wouldn’t recognise as anything other than a landscape. She wanted me to paint an erotic landscape where the couple are actually the geography of the land - the picture is based on Lands End – there is sky, sea, cliffs, a beach, sand dunes, a cave, and a tree, and a bit of a phallic lighthouse in the distance. And to innocent eyes, this picture is nothing more than that. But to less innocent people, it is far more than that. You can see the man and the woman within the picture, and you can see what they are doing. It is both erotic, and a landscape. And it’s the thing that I am most proud about, because it took three months of hard work to design it. And innocence only sees innocence in my work.

But as well as that I love hiding the subject matter within my art too – like in the set of erotic feminine abstracts that I have painted that just looks like brightly colourful abstract shapes, but are actually a very intimate picture although most people looking at it wouldn’t have a clue – which makes it the ultimate conversation piece as far as I am concerned! A female Sex Therapist told me that a lot of her patients have issues with their body image, and seeing my beautiful and positive paintings might help them to over-come that. They have empowered the women who have participated in them, since they find them therapeutic and spiritual, and a little bit naughty as well! They are currently hanging on walls in America, and England, and a woman contacted me from New Zealand in raptures over them and what they stood for. I love the fact they are affecting women world wide. I painted one for a woman in Canada whose young step-son described it as “the sky diving picture”, because that was what it looked like to him. Again, innocence only sees innocence.

And from doing those pictures I was asked by a woman in California to paint a body portrait of her in the style of the feminine abstracts . She rang me specifically to tell me which tones and shades of which colours she wanted in it, and which she didn’t. And that's how I developed the “Living Flame” pictures. They are pastel colours glazed one on top of the other to create pretty and translucent shades which everyone seems to find very appealing. I’ve painted a chap from London in this style, as well as a couple which I sold to a collector of my work, in Chicago. I love the fact that one painting might lead on to another one because of one aspect that evolves into another and so on. The ideas for the art flow on and I love that aspect.

And I like to hide messages within my art too – like when I was asked to do a watercolour painting for a couple from London of a particular village in Southern France that they had visited a lot, and I suggested that they might like their initials hidden within the buildings itself. They loved that idea, as it made it far more personal to them, but I knew we were going to have a problem, as did the woman when I mentioned it. So, I had to just put in just their initials, and not the “and” part – since otherwise it would have spelt out “M & S” or worse still “S & M”!

I have exhibited a lot in the East Midlands, and with the Guild of Erotic Artists who are based in St. Albans in the Hertfordshire. I am featured in their second book, and have copies to sell if anyone is interested. It’s an international group and they actively try to promote the acceptance of erotic art. Having said that of course, it’s becoming more and more acceptable when you open most glossy magazines, or look at the adverts on the telly. But it’s a really nice friendly group to be part of and they are very supportive to everyone in the group. I have exhibited twice at Erotica (the liberated lifestyle event) at Olympia in London, which was an eye opening experience and great fun! I got chatting to a guy there who asked me “Why is a nice girl like you exhibiting here?” and the answer I gave him was that if I could sell enough vanilla artwork then I wouldn’t need to sell erotic stuff! But, I do love doing it, because it’s difficult, and the most challenging of art to do, because of the subtle nuances of it. It's my niche market, and its one I love.

I am on Facebook. I have a website which promotes my art worldwide, and I write a blog about being an erotic artist, and some of the very strange conversations I have with people. Someone once thought I was an erratic artist. And someone else thought I was a neurotic artist, I don’t know how one of those paints, very shakily, I suppose!

I have had a number of people brought to tears through a special commission that they’ve asked me to do, and when that happens I know it’s because I’ve touched their soul with mine. I know that people like to see what they look like through another person’s eyes, and I know I have been good therapy to some of the people who I have drawn, because they’ve told me so, with emotion in their voices. Someone I drew with a perceived lack of confidence says I’m good therapy because she was surprised I wanted to draw her and that she was so inspirational for me. Her elderly mother got emotional because when she saw the images as it reminded her of how she was as a younger woman. I have seen within them and it’s deeper than looking in a mirror.

And I’d like to think that I have brought a lot of pleasure to people through my art. I know I have done so far, and I hope to continue to do so. I try to touch people’s hearts and hope that they feel more enriched through knowing me. And I hope that I am an inspiration.

What I love most, and try to paint, is the thing that I think is most important in the world. And that is the power of communication - whether it is through the spoken word, touch, empathy, painting pictures for other people’s pleasure, or for my own, the written word, or just the look between two people. And as a woman, I think that’s important for us all.


Monday, 7 March 2011

Fifteen minutes of fame

Well, I've spent the weekend fine tuning the talk I'm going to do at the library. And it's been interesting for me to consider, because it's making me think about what I am, and what I do. You'll be thinking I've got the start of Alzheimer's now I've said that! But, what I meant, is that when you've got 15 minutes to talk to a group of people, it makes you focus and try to be succinct in summing it all up. Because I've spent my whole life painting pictures, but have only started doing the erotic stuff for the last ten years really. So, I'm having to look at the whys and where-fors as much as anything else. Why did I become an erotic artist, how did I, when did I, who I am, what I am, where I am both mentally and physically speaking? If I can answer all of that, I've got the basis of a talk. But, someone is bound to ask me a question regarding something I've not thought of yet! And the danger at the moment is going past my allotted time! Although I suppose I can cut it down if need be, rather than finishing lamely after five minutes and looking at the audience and saying " I can't think of anything else!"

I also need to sort out what art work I'm taking with me to illustrate it, as well as the Guild of Erotic Artist books to sell, and sign if anyone wants signed copies.

I've already found an arty top to wear, one with pretty colours that will inspire me. Is that a woman thing, that the colour of your top decides what sort of mood you're in, and want to convey to others?

I know I am only a small part of this celebration of womanhood tomorrow, but I am proud to be part of it. And I shall look forward to meeting the diverse group of other women there who also have their few minutes to convey their messages too.

So, now I'm wondering who is going, and whether there will be anyone there I know. I feel its going to open new doors for me too, I'm just not sure where and how yet!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Five minutes with

I was hoping to put the link in for the "Five minutes with" article that was featured in the Burton Mail paper this week but they don't seem to have that part on line. No matter, I know the answers I gave the journalist although he had to edit them down to 420 words for the paper. I could have doubled that figure, easily! So, I'll give you my answers in full here...... which will give you a better insight into me.......

Born and bred

Born in Shropshire, then moved back to the Burton area since my parents are originally from here. My formative years were mostly in Repton (near Burton on Trent, East Midlands).

Film, photography, travel, reading, writing my blog, collecting wooden puzzles, walking, quiz shows, playing computer games

Favourite book - The Chimney Sweepers boy by Barbara Vine

Favourite film – Femme fatale, Perfume the story of a murderer, Notting Hill, Shakespeare in Love

Favourite food – Satay chicken with peanut dipping sauce

Proudest moment
Designing an erotic landscape where the couple are the geography of the land itself, after three months of hard work on it.

Having one of my tiger portraits win Ashby Art Clubs top prize, then having the artist doing the judging buy it from me.

Watching the sun rise over Machu Pichu in Peru

Exhibiting at Erotica, Olympia, London

Most embarrassing moment
Almost missing a flight out of Pisa, after waiting in the departure lounge for over an hour, finding that the flights weren’t actually announced, and having to run at full pelt from the departure lounge, along various empty corridors, across the tarmac, and arrived breathless on the plane, being the very last to arrive, whilst everyone else was seated and having to walk the length of the plane knowing that everyone on it despises you for being the idiots who held the plane up and almost lost the flight.

Biggest inspiration
Caravaggio, because of his use of strong dramatic light and darks, and the emotion he conveys in his art, as well as the fact that they are beautifully painted as well.

Hopes for the future
Wider recognition for my art, more solo exhibitions, inspiring others through my art. I currently have paintings hanging on walls on two continents, and I’m still working on the others!

Biggest/best achievement
The Fantasy Fannies series of paintings that I’ve created as they are the ultimate piece of feminine art. The are the most interesting of conversation pieces, since they contain humour, a deliciously naughty secret, are personal, bright and vibrant, and the ultimate of feminine portraits. They have empowered the women who have participated in them, since they find them therapeutic and spiritual. And they have touched women worldwide as far away as New Zealand, USA and Canada.

Travelling unaccompanied through Japan when we didn’t speak the language, or could even read it.

If you ruled the world ........
I’d get rid of road humps, call centres, cold calling, phone menu options, and my paintings would hang on everyone’s walls!

Pet hate – Road humps

Greatest love
The power of communication - whether it is through the spoken word, touch, empathy, painting pictures for other peoples pleasure, or my own, the written word, or just the look between two people.

Favourite belonging
A very large framed photo I have on the wall and look at daily, it depicts a moody sky, the sea, a beach, black rocks, and the stream of water in the foreground carving through the sand as it snakes down towards the sea is almost the shape of a woman’s body. I get great pleasure looking at the picture and find it very inspirationally uplifting and also calming at the same time.

Perfect night in/out
Being in the company of good friends, when the conversation, wine, and laughter flows.

What will your epitaph say
She brought a lot of pleasure to people through her art. She touched people’s hearts and they felt more enriched through knowing her. She was an inspiration. And she had a dirty laugh!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

International Womens Day article in the paper

Nice to see your name in the paper - this was the article in the Burton Mail last week:

BURTON Library is to celebrate 100 years of International Women’s Day with songs, drama, craft and speeches.

Centred on the theme ‘Women in the Arts’, the events will be held at the centre on Tuesday, March 8.

Nottingham singer and actress Mellonie Page will start the celebrations by running a singing and drama workshop from 9am until noon.

Burton author and illustrator Kate Slater will then hold a similar event focussed on paper crafts and collage from 1pm to 3pm.
Tickets for the workshops are £3 each and advanced booking is advised as places are limited.

Mariama Tushermiriiwe, a Derby-based designer who trained at the London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins College, will be among the guest speakers during the evening.

She creates hand-crafted items from reused, recycled fabrics and fibres and her work is available to buy online and countrywide.

Another performer will be Jackie Adshead, an artist who works with acrylics, oils and watercolours.

She has been acclaimed for her work as an erotic artist and is a member of the Guild of Erotic Artists.

Her work has been exhibited at the library as a solo artist and sold worldwide.

Ms Adshead, who lives near Ashby, said: “I’m very proud to be asked to take part because it’s International Women’s Day.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for me as a woman artist to talk to other people there, male or female.

“If I can inspire anybody with the way I do my art, that would be great. It’s going to be an interesting evening.” Author Janet Bennett will discuss her three books on Burton’s Caribbean community as well as a recent exhibition with photographer Martin Naidu called ‘Community Clicks’, due to be published this year in book form.

She jokingly describes herself as ‘a writer who tolerates photographers’.

Burton singer Hayley Di Rito, a former Mail employee, will end the evening by talking about her life as a film make-up artist — she worked on ‘Robin Hood’, starring Russell Crowe — and singer.

Miss Di Rito, who has performed throughout the Midlands and is a regular feature at The Dial in Station Street, Burton, will also perform a selection of her favourite songs with Blue Yates on acoustic guitar.

Tickets for the evening event, which will run from 7pm to 9.30pm, are £3.50 each, or £2.50 for those entitled to concessions.

Advanced booking is advised.

Bookings for all of the events can be made by telephoning 01283 239556.