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.Â The one I did in the summer was “The Bothy at Calke Abbey”Â 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 andÂ 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.Â A real challenge – just the sort ofÂ painting I love to do – something that had to be put together fromÂ 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 workroomÂ full of rustic earthy smells, and memories of friends and times long gone. I lovedÂ painting it for him, asÂ we alsoÂ spent aÂ few hours walking around the old garden, as he pointed out variousÂ diverse shrubs he’d helped plant, and cultivate, the Latin names tripping off his tongue asÂ easily as the English ones. Â
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 throughÂ 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.Â 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.Â 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 ofÂ 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 stillÂ 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 cornerÂ and returned within a minute with the zip down and a big cheesyÂ 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 commentÂ “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,Â submissives, tran-sexuals,Â Â models, bi women, bi men,Â gay men, lesbians, masseurs, naughty nurses, naturists, life drawing models, erotic artists, erotic photographers, glamour models,Â erotic writers, fetish writers, people who do role playing, and other bohemian typesÂ – whether its been in real life, or through the internet.Â 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 throughÂ their child’s connections at school?Â And which is more acceptable in society? Â 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?