Split second decisions

Having spent the last two weekends gallery sitting I’ve had time to sit and surreptitiously watch the viewing public in an art gallery setting, and what surprised me most was how short a time people spend actually looking at art. Some people were taking two to four SECONDS to look at each painting! Now, I can do that too, for some art, because to me it might be a poorly painted piece, BUT when I see a painting I like, it’ll stop me dead in my tracks and I will be transfixed for minutes infront of it, taking in its beauty and admiring the technical brilliance of it, or the choice of subject matter, the way the colours work together, or some other thing that makes it a stunning piece of work, for me. I love it when I see a painting that I couldn’t improve on. But the majority of people obviously aren’t artists so are therefore not looking it in the same way I do. And if I was to ask them about pictures they would say “Oh, I don’t know anything about art!” to which I would reply “Oh…. BUT you DO!!” – in those split seconds their brains are analysing the artwork, deciding whether they like it or not, whether it appeals or repels, and making informed decisions about it. Sometimes you’ll see a couple going around an art gallery and they’ll stand infront of each and every painting and make loud comments about it “OOOh, I don’t like this one!” or “That cat looks just like our neighbours three legged ginger tom, Lucky” or “Oh, we went there on holiday that wet Easter week when our Jane had measles and the dog threw up all over Grandma”, and sometimes you learn from their comments……… and sometimes you wish you hadn’t!!! (I stopped being sensitive years ago – I don’t mind if people say out loud that they don’t like a particular painting – at least they’ve noticed it).

But most people don’t invite discussion with their companions, usually they make their own decisions in their own minds. Art’s very personal. We either like it. Or we don’t……..

………And what’s really nice is after sitting in a gallery for two hours on my own, when for the first half hour there was a steady stream of people, then a WHOLE HOUR of not a soul, when the sun is blazing down on one of the nicest days of the year and I’m wondering why I’m stuck inside on my own on such a glorious day, until another steady stream of people arrives and no one says anything to me. I leave…….But the next day, when I went to collect my paintings, a woman who also stewarded the gallery at another time says that she adored my “A step above” painting and both she and her friend put it in their “Top Three” paintings of the whole exhibition and she loved it so much as it reminded her of her holidays in France, and asked me where it was of? I smiled and said “A tiny village in France, in the Ardeche”. She said how much she loved it, and was very interested in buying it. She likes it and is thinking about it……………

I've been an artist all of my life, and my paintings now hang on walls in Europe, USA and Canada. I'm working on getting them on the other continents! My wide range of artwork has been exhibited nearer to home in the East Midlands, with the Guild of Erotic Artists at Beaumont Hall Studios in Hertfordshire, and at "Erotica", Olympia, London. I have also been featured alongside my work in the Guild of Erotic Artists book (volume 2). I love to create dramatic interest in my pictures, whether it’s to paint an unusual landscape, or just to utilise dramatic lighting in my figure drawings or strong colour in my animal portraits. Delighting in the spontaneous tendencies of watercolour adds an interesting and distinctive look to my paintings, some of which are purposefully ambiguous, enabling the viewer to use their own interpretation of my artwork. I also love to hide images, and humour within my paintings, whether it’s a secret message, or an erotic couple hidden within a landscape, or even an erotic landscape where the couple are camouflaged as the features of the land itself. I am equally happy painting in oils, acrylics or watercolours and love to draw with pencil or ink. I have also developed the very effective method of drawing using white pencil on black card which creates dramatic pictures by just picking out where the light catches the body and leaving the rest of the image to the imagination, in darkness. I can also utilise many different styles, whether it is realistic, abstract, surrealistic, erotic, fantasy or camouflage art where something is hidden within the painting. I'm just passionate about my art, whatever I paint! But, it doesn't matter how many landscapes or pet portraits I paint, its always the erotic stuff that people are interested in! I started blogging to share some of the strange conversations I have with the people I meet. But its evolved into far more than that now.

Comments (18)

  1. having my cake
    Aug 14, 2007

    I thought France at first glance too. I cant believe that people came to the exhibition and then ignored you. Not one person asked for the motivation/story behind any of the paintings? How sad… and how disappointingly dull for you. We all want some form of vindication for our work, that’s why we have comments boxes on our blogs. Even a ‘Thank you, I enjoyed looking at your work’ is just polite…

  2. Jackie Adshead
    Aug 15, 2007

    Having my cake – yes it was a bit dull, just a general nod in my direction as they exited would have surficed!

  3. Cherrie
    Aug 15, 2007

    That is a lovely painting. When I visit art shows (and we have them periodically in our community; the next one is in early September) I do try to talk to the artists, because I know I would want to hear reactions to my works if I had any on display.

  4. Indigo
    Aug 15, 2007

    I stopped to look at your painting, I felt the warm sun on my back and imagined myself walking lazily through the arch way, with the shade of the buildings taking away for a few moments the heat of the day… and still imagining myself in France, listening to the sound of distant chatter in another language, I love this painting it gives me imagination to roam. Nicely done Jackie, I keep going back to wonder some more…

  5. having my cake
    Aug 15, 2007

    Let me know when you next hold an exhibition. Ive never been to such a thing, the closest I got was the ‘cunt painting’ episode on Sex and the City. Oh, and the episode of The Apprentice where they had to sell art… Im such a Philistine! I probably cant afford to buy anything but Id love to see your work.

  6. Jackie Adshead
    Aug 15, 2007

    Cherrie – And I’m sure the artists really appreciate your talking to them, I know I’m always interested to hear what anyone thinks of my work.

  7. Jackie Adshead
    Aug 15, 2007

    Indigo – I’m glad you can lose yourself in one of my paintings – I did exactly what you describe when I walked through this French village last year, so I’m really delighted you can do the same through my painted interpretation.

  8. Jackie Adshead
    Aug 15, 2007

    Having my cake – I loved that episode of Sex and the City! – I’d love to do my own exhibition on that subject!! – so, do you want to pose for me???!

    And I’m sure you can afford my art, if there’s something you’re interested in, I’m very reasonably priced!

    I’m part of an exhibition at the end of this month, but I don’t know which area you’re from. If you want to look at more of my artwork take a look at my website

  9. ronjazz
    Aug 16, 2007

    Being an artist (albeit a performing artist), I always feel that the audience offers you the best reaction to your work. But on occasion, that single kind word is deeply appreciated. Jackie, your work is so captivating, so passionate. I wish you were in the States, so I could begin a Jackie collection. I’d buy your Tangos immediately…

    Of course, it would have to be small at first…remember, I am an actor…:)

  10. Jackie Adshead
    Aug 16, 2007

    Ronjazz – Thankyou so much for your supportive and positive words, I do appreciate them and value them highly. And remember, you can start your own collection whenever you want – I have three tango paintings already!! (and can ship them!).

  11. having my cake
    Aug 16, 2007

    Jackie, you know what, I think I would. That would be another step in my personal journey of body image acceptance. Can you imagine ‘Blogging Cunts – the Exhibition’ 🙂

    Your website doesnt give details of the exhbition at the end of the month. Someone mentioned to me that you were in the Midlands…?

  12. Jackie Adshead
    Aug 16, 2007

    Having my cake – If you’re serious, you’re on!!! I would LOVE to do that!!!!! And I can think of a couple of other blog friends who might be up for it too. Do you want me to make a proper request on my next blog post? To see if we can get a few others interested? Or are you going to back out now I’ve called your bluff? 🙂

    The exhibition is on 26th and 27th August (the bank holiday weekend) at a village called Ticknall in South Derbyshire. Its a big annual exhibition and will have about 900 paintings there featuring the work of 100 or so artists. It’s a vanilla exhibition though, so there won’t be any erotic stuff. If you go, let me know, because I will be there for part of the time.

  13. bittersweet me
    Aug 16, 2007

    I love the picture Jackie – i could lose myself in that for hours .. along with your more erotic pics too 😉

    I think you are very brave to sit there – well done. I remember my degree show as being one of the most painful experiences of my life … public exposure of one’s creative soul.

    Nowadays i stick to the anon blog!

  14. Sage
    Aug 16, 2007

    Jackie, I am always baffled at how someone can quickly breeze through a gallery or museum when looking at the paintings. I especially like to get up close and really look it as a panting can look so different up close as opposed to far away. Sometimes a lot of the fun is trying to figure out what the piece is about and why the artist drew it. Those people who run through so quickly are missing out!

  15. having my cake
    Aug 16, 2007

    I just told Ruf about you wanting to paint my nether regions. He wants to know what colour! As well as: will I need to masturbate? Are you going to paint us all at the same time? Will we all be wanking? Im sorry, you can see where this is going cant you! He wants to know if there’s a chance of an ffffffffffm? Somehow I dont think Im going to get him to your vanilla exhibition next weekend. LMAO

    Someone wise once said, do something you’re scared of every day… One Cake Cunt coming up 🙂 Altho of course no one will know that it is actually mine because in the SATC episode, they were all anonymous. Now that would be a good parlour game. Match the blogger to the picture 🙂

  16. Jackie Adshead
    Aug 17, 2007

    Bittersweet me – As a longstanding and experienced artist, it’s just part of the job exposing my creative soul to the public, thus far, on the whole, they seem to like it!

  17. Jackie Adshead
    Aug 17, 2007

    Sage – yes, they are missing out, and they certainly wouldn’t experience the same sense of enjoyment that you feel at an art gallery.

  18. Jackie Adshead
    Aug 17, 2007

    Having my cake – I’m laffing so much at your comment and have so much to say in reply that I think I’ll do a whole blog post about it later today!!

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