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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 two……as 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……

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 (2)

  1. One Woman's Thoughts
    Jan 29, 2011

    Loved your story and paintings.

  2. Jackie Adshead
    Jan 31, 2011

    One Woman's thoughts – Thankyou kindly, I aim to please!

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