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Looking fondly back and stepping forward with alacrity

Well, 2011 has certainly brought some interesting aspects into my life and although I might have not created as much artwork as I would have ideally liked, I have got my newly updated website up and running properly this year. All that frantic late night typing, delayed mealtimes, and a numb bum from sitting in front of a computer screen for long and involved hours on end to get it all done has paid off. And I must be doing something right since I have a District Council Councellor, the Accountant of a VERY well known company that you know the name of, as well as  a Lord, no less, with my artwork on their walls this year!  But , its not down to the who does what job aspect, its down to the who is happy with my artwork aspect that I’m more concerned about.  I love the greatly positive feedback I get back from those I know in real life, the ones who tell me during a phone call, or written communication that they have seen my latest pictures, and love them, or noted something I’ve written on my blog and tell me about it.

And this is partly why I’ve started doing the Limited Edition prints, which has been something I’ve wanted to branch out into for a number of years, but now this year I have had the opportunity to do it. They also have taken many long hours taking the original painting from its frame behind its protective glass, photographing the image in high resolution with a steady camera on a clear windless day in good natural light (not that easy in England!) then putting that photographed image through Photoshop to crop it (not as in circles), adjust the brightness and contrast, determine the size, determine how many prints of that edition I’ll do, and set their prices. Go to the printer (as in chap in business, not as in the photo-copying machine on my office desk) with the images so he can put them on his hard drive, and then determine what sort of surface of paper I want the images on. And then determine how I’m going to write the “Certificate of authentication” that goes with them. Phew. And that’s not including me standing over the printer (guy, not machine) to help him decide which print version on his machinery sets off my image to the best possible version it can be. Or re-framing the original painting after I’ve photographed it.

So I suppose I can say that my fan club is growing, slowly.

Helped in some part with the talk I did at Burton on Trent library on International Womens Day in early March to a bunch (is that the collective term?) of interested people (mostly women it must be said) who turned up that wintery night to hear me talk about being an Erotic Artist and the way my art had progressed over the years whilst I’ve been doing it. It was great to chat with them afterwards and hear their positive opinions on the nights entertainment by me and three other women guest speakers. And that lead on to me being featured a couple of times in Burton Mail newspaper, and the odd comment of “I’ve seen you in the paper again, Jackie!” responses of those in that area who know me.  

As the spring unfolded I worked on one of the most complicated pictures I’ve ever done – for David and Martyn, when they asked me to paint a landscape of the Royal Crescent at Bath, with them in the foreground along with their three dogs, and eight other family members (and another dog) featured in various places within the mid-ground and sky of the painting, the whole thing in shades of cream/brown/purple/red/silver/black/white with no blues or greens if I could avoid it (bearing in mind that half of the painting was sky and over a third of it was grass), the whole thing in oils on a block canvas, looking dramatic and depicting a windy day, in a semi traditional, semi abstract, semi surreal, style of painting to hang on strongly patterned traditional wallpaper in a Grade 1 listed Georgian home.  And although it was quite involved to paint for them, with having so many different and important aspects in it, I did it, and loved painting it for them, and they loved it too judging by the happy and smilingly emotional response I got when they viewed it.

So after painting that one, I thought I could paint anything.

My main holiday was in France this year  in the mixed weather of June and I took loads of photos of  the many subjects I saw, ancient stone homes, stormy seas, desolate beaches, sun drenched beaches, rocky shorelines, and visits to the zoo getting up close and personal with the giraffes amongst other exotic creatures. I could paint a dozen paintings just from that trip, particularly of the Loire valley and the stunning  fairy tale castles in their fabulous rock and watery settings.

And talking of watery settings, my good friend the erotic writer Lucy Felthouse asked me to design a cover for the anthology entitled “Seducing the myth“. Leaving me to depict whatever I felt was apt bearing in mind that she was writing her short story about a mermaid, and she knows very well how much I love painting mermaids! I thoroughly enjoyed painting the image for her, and seeing my artwork on a book cover is certainly a high-light of this artistic year.

As for my artwork and where it has been featured, I was delighted to exhibit at Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporiums in both Hoxton and Portobello, enjoying the chance to have my artwork on their London walls, and meet the friendly and welcoming staff there. As well as that I have my art on the walls at Eureka naturist spa in Kent, which is a great place to show my erotic art, since most people going there are interested in the sort of figurative art that I love. As for far away walls, I also have some more artwork soon to be winging its way over to America, so that’s nice to know  more of  my pictures will be hanging  in distant lands as well as closer to home.

I’ve also met and chatted with a few women who have helped my artist business  flow onwards, a high flying business woman I’ve been in discussions with, a woman who runs an erotic lifestyle website where she is more than happy to exhibit my artwork, a most helpful and supportive artist, as well as the possibility, of the chance of, maybe, working with some more women erotic authors, and a woman who has some very interesting walls I’d like to have my artwork on and hope to visit in the near future.   So I’ve made some new friends this year, but also reconnected with some old ones through my art and contacting people in my life to let them know what I do, what I have done, and what I would like to do regarding offering art at affordable prices. And I’m still looking for suitable walls to exhibit that on.


And the new year? Well, I don’t know how it will go, but I would like to paint more pictures in it. My head and heart are full of them, and I am desperate to get started on new ideas and exciting themes.  But, one thing I do know, is how it will start. ….

My writer friend Stuart is full of ideas for a painting he wants me to paint of him – something  “you will be proud of” he has requested and we’ll have a brain-storming session soon over a cup of coffee to discuss his ideas and for me to add to them. I know he will incorporate humour in the work, as that’s hugely important to him.

…..and as well as that I have ended the year by entering a competition, with no idea of how my entry will be received, or how far it will go along in the selection process. I can only enter one painting, and it took me a good couple of hours deciding which one would be the best one.  It may fall out at the first hurdle. It may get further than that. If it does, I’ll have the chance to show it on television, in font of a panel of judges, and if it passes them, it will go to a prestigious gallery in London to be exhibited. How exciting is that! :)  I eagerly watched the first series of “Show me the Monet” this last May and loved some of the artwork on it,  disliked other pieces, as is always the way with art. I  thought at the time that I would love to take part in it, and am doing by entering at this stage for next year. One of three thousand. Where it goes from here, I’ll let you know!  But the piece I’ve chosen is something that is typical of the sort of artwork I love to paint, without any sign of erotic anywhere near it! Well, it is day time mainstream  telly, you know!


So, to all the beautiful ladies, and the handsome gents, to friends old and new, to those who collect my artwork, and those who would like to, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year, a wonderful 2012 filled with happiness, love, laughter, light and the chance to be with those you delight to be around.