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Its far more often than every four years

What do you write about on the extra day of the year, the one that you don’t normally get? Do you write about things you’d normally write about, or something different? MMMmmmm………

Well the first thing I’ll write about is a phone call from a happy customer – Stuart Haywood – who wanted me to photograph him standing by the two paintings I’ve painted for him in this last year.  The one I did in the summer was “The Bothy at Calke Abbey”  in memory of the 17 or so years Stuart worked there as a volunteer gardener, the Bothy being an amazing storeroom of old tools, garden implements and  potting paraphernalia. It was a fascinating picture to paint and draw for him, so many different textures to capture in the watercolour – a cornucopia of peeling plaster, aged brickwork, sagging hessian, rusting metal, hand smoothed wood, ancient glass and terracotta pots piled up. A real challenge – just the sort of painting I love to do – something that had to be put together from half a dozen photos, some implements moved or removed from the picture to make the painting as near as I could make it of Stuarts memory of working there, the old workroom full of rustic earthy smells, and memories of friends and times long gone. I loved painting it for him, as we also spent a few hours walking around the old garden, as he pointed out various diverse shrubs he’d helped plant, and cultivate, the Latin names tripping off his tongue as easily as the English ones.  

And recently finished, the second one is the watercolour I’ve talked a lot of this last month, the summing up of his life at the age of 75 – “Stuart Haywood at 75 baring all”experiences and passions all amalgamated within one painting, another challenging one I relished as well. For this one I had to ask a lot of questions, and pore through his collection of photos to find the suitable ones to incorporate within my painting. Then pull the whole lot together to create the work, that describes all that makes up Stuart, and to equally make it an interesting painting for anyone who doesn’t know him. Good fun, and very satisfying to do, and to know that my client is happy with the artwork to boot. I met Stuart through him wanting to be drawn by an artist, and preferably a female one, since a lot of guys find being with a woman artist far more enjoyable because they are softer in their approach, less demanding, less judgemental than men, from what I understand from the men who have explained it to me in some depth. So, I can understand how pleased Stuart is with the two paintings I’ve done for him, along with the drawings I did originally when he first contacted me.  And that is why he wanted me to go along to his house and take some photos of him standing infront of the two main ones, both in pride of place in his lounge, for all his visitors to see, and him to contentedly view on a daily basis.  He made the comment that he had a gallery of my work hanging on his wall, and I know at some point that he will have some of the other drawings framed and hung as well. He will still have other pieces of art on his walls, I won’t be taking over ALL the wall space, you understand, but I still adore it when I make that sort of connection with someone – that they love my art so much, and what I give to them through it, that they want to fill their walls with it, and love to hear about the other pieces of work I am currently working on – Collectors, and very valued in my life. I want to say a heartfelt Thankyou to you all!


On a more prosaic level yesterday I had to go to one of those shops that usually raises a smile when you mention it – what’s it called? Oh, yes, Cobblers! I’d got a pair of black leather boots, one of which had got a zip stuck, or at least I couldn’t undo it, and enquired how much it would be to have a new one put it? Fifteen quid, he said, and I had a sharp intake of breath, wondering if it was worth it for a pair of boots I was very fond of, or should I just buy another pair. Whilst I was doing the maths on it, the cobbler said “Hang on a minute”, and smiled to his accomplice as he said “Don’t let her see” as he took the sick boot around the corner and returned within a minute with the zip down and a big cheesy grin on his face! “Hhhhhow’dyoudothatttt?” I asked intrigued since I’m quite handy with fixing things, and my fella certainly is, and neither of us had been able to get the bloody zip down. The cobbler explained that the zipper had to be pulled away from the zip for it to come down, and he put a split ring in to show me how easy it was. I nodded and asked him to make the other boot zip the same, and he went back to his work bench saying “People normally ask me to mend boots, not break them!” as he fought with the pliers to takeout the zipper and inserted another split ring making the comment  “I can’t get it to go up as far as it should” as he did it, looked up for my reaction (I was amusingly grinning at him) and he said “Phew, I couldn’t get away with that with some customers, but I’m safe with you I think” and I nodded, and as I paid him for the repair work, I said “I’m an Erotic Artist so there isn’t much you can say that would upset me…” . I left his shop with a smile, and thought as I walked down the road about the many diverse people who I’ve spoken to through my chosen vocation…..


Over the years I’ve spoken to pole dancers (male and female), strippers, burlesque dancers, nudists, swingers, dominants, submissives, tran-sexuals,  models, bi women, bi men, gay men, lesbians, masseurs, naughty nurses, naturists, life drawing models, erotic artists, erotic photographers, glamour models, erotic writers, fetish writers, people who do role playing, and other bohemian types – whether its been in real life, or through the internet.  And all probably less perverted than most more *vanilla people* since they can celebrate their particular interest through being with other similar minded people who find it all quite normal. Infact, I think most people have lots of sexual secrets, its part of being an adult, its just some are more open about it than others. How many people have had hot and steamy affairs with a colleague, or whilst on holiday, or through their child’s connections at school?  And which is more acceptable in society?  So, I think I’m just more accepting of consenting adults play-time than a lot of people, because its just part of life, isn’t it?

What do you think?

6 thoughts on “Its far more often than every four years”

  1. Dear Jackie,
    I look forward to your blogs as they are invariably interesting and well written.Even more so
    when they concern me.
    Today I knew the piece was about me when I noticed the words”peeling plaster”,”sagging
    hessian”and”rustic earthy smells”.
    I thought you would notice at some juncture my decline in the physique stakes but”sagging
    hessian”isa bit much.
    I do know about ancient tools as I own a1936 model which is still giving good service but
    could do with a little”,stiffening of the sinews,”so to speak.
    The adjacent “twin orbs”seem to be hanging lower,if that photo you took of me is anything
    to go by and my thinning locks are in evidence.
    As for “earthy smells”I must change my socks more often.

    Love Stuart

    1. Stuart – I take that as a compliment if you think they’re well written, you being an eloquent wordsmith and liking amusing and cheeky anecdotes.

      And you know that I wouldn’t be so personal to liken your personal hygiene to anything close to your comments, but as always you’ve made me smile with your response!

  2. Sex is definitely just part of life, and the tension between being productive and enjoying yourself is apparent in society’s effort to regulate it over the millenia. But there’s no reason you can’t have both in your real life, as you know! We’ve made enormous strides in recognizing that during my lifetime, though we still have far to go to relegate the term “vanilla” to the spice cabinet where it belongs.

    It is nice to see a photograph of Stuart, enjoying the works you created for him.

  3. Hardin – as always you talk sense over the way society has changed over the last number of years, and a lot of things that were deemed unacceptable when I was a child are far more recognisable as part of life, part of a sex life, and all very normal. Thank goodness!

    I love vanilla, for its delicious taste, its unique and comforting smell, even the colour of its icecream, but I am more than happy that a lot of people in my life are more than vanilla. I think the rest probably are too, its just that I don’t know about it! 🙂

    And I’m pleased you enjoyed seeing Stuart, since I’ve talked about him a lot, I’m sure many wonder what he actually looks like, other than the painting I did of him.

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