I went to meeting for one of the art groups I’m in, last night. It was good to see everyone again, the usual start of chit-chat and pleasantries, then on to the meeting, not very exciting stuff, but it needs to be discussed with the group. Items talked over, decisions made, the usual stuff of meetings. Then afterwards, the usual dash for the door for some and the leisurely lean back and the comment of “Do you want a drink?” as the rest head for the bar.
Then the proper chat starts – the “What have you been doing recentlys?” as we catch up with news and gossip. I was sitting next to a guy who is a big friend of Stuart – the chap I drew two life portraits of in December, and funnily enough I’d had lunch with Stuart and his wife earlier on that day, and Stuart had kindly sent a very useful and interesting book about local interest, to me via our mutual friend. So we had a chat about what a nice chap Stuart is, and about the experience of my drawing him, and how odd Stuart had found the thought of it , but felt very comfortable in my company very soon after my starting to draw him. Then we moved on to other topics. And usually it gets around to my erotic art – since no one else in this group does erotic art, and I suppose some of my stories are a little more colourful and interesting than the usual art stories! So I quickly got them laughing with a couple of saucy arty anecdotes, and then started chatting with the younger woman next to me.
I’ve known her for many years as an artist, but am only just starting to know her as a friend. Her fella came to join the social group later on, and he’s someone I’ve known for a number of years too through another connection, so it was easy chat between us….. and as the evening wore on, we chatted and chatted, and were the only three left at the end, and we easily conversed on many varied subjects from vegetarianism (they are, I’m not), to erotic art, getting paid by clients, producing art, making people happy, celebrity and all the problems it brings, painting nature, working as an artist, relationships, finding yourself as an artist and I suppose mostly about life and love and art. And what totally wonderful subjects to discuss! I have felt for a long time that my art is “spiritual” (especially after having many long and deep conversations with my spiritual healer friend) – I don’t mean religious, I mean spiritual – in the way that it is therapeutic to the buyer, brings them happiness and it feeds the soul. I suppose you could argue the fact that all art is like that – but I seem to be able to paint pictures that people can empathise with, probably because of the erotic/sensual subject matter. It was good to explain how much I’ve changed this last year as I’ve focused on my art more, and the pleasure I get from painting. She said she could see how much I had changed within myself as a person and becoming more creative as an artist. And I was touched that she had seen that. We talked about our personal circumstances, and the way we created art from within ourselves, the creative spirit and how hugely important it is within us and forms the whole basis of our lives. It was good to bond with my artist friend, and hear her views on life – because her personal circumstances have changed hugely within the last year, but I can see that she too, is more relaxed within herself, and with the way she communicates with her art with the people she works with.
Time to go, and not because we had finished conversing on this subject but because the bar was closing, so we walked together into the dark night, and said goodnight, but after a couple of steps she came back to me, hugged me and said “I’m SO proud of you, Jackie!” and I hugged her back and said I was proud of her too, and was so touched with her words.