Even I haven’t done one like this before

Even I haven’t done one like this before

I was asked a few weeks ago to do a painting as a gift for a woman I know, who was having a big birthday coming up. She had no idea that the painting was being done for her. I was asked to paint her as “Mother Nature” but a sexy and elegant version with “wild and beautiful” as the basis of it. I was told what her favourite flowers were, and asked to put a specific sky as the background (which was a brightly coloured one that I loved the minute I saw it). The woman lives in Kent, so I knew I wanted to add various aspects that relate to that lovely county. And what I loved the best was the young woman who commissioned it said “I want you to put your own magic in in!” those are the best words for me to hear, she knew my work well enough to know that if she gave me free rein to be creative, I would go with my artistic instincts!

The first thing I did was look for source photos, and of course Kent is known as the Garden of England, so lots of fruit and flowers came up for me to use as inspiration.

From gathering that information I drew out some ideas, and then did a working drawing which worked nicely as a concept, that lead on to me doing a working painting, as I knew with that brightly coloured sky I wanted to check that the flowers of the rest of the painting weren’t lost against it. I had been asked to do a brightly coloured painting so that helped immensely. I used the same bright reds and yellows of the sun as the reds and yellows of the flowers, and the same bright blue of the sky as the basis of the greens (mixed with various pale yellows) as the greenery and grass that surrounded Sarah who was the subject of the painting. And also if she was to be depicted as “Mother Nature” it had to be bright spring greens as the start of life, rather than summer ochre yellows that look less of start of life in nature. It didn’t matter that the flowers in it bloomed at different times of the year from early spring to late summer, that didn’t detract from the painting.

When I was happy that it all looked nicely balanced I drew it out. The painting is 16 x 12 inches on a block canvas, and I painted it in acrylics to get the bright colours, and also painted down the sides of the canvas to carry the painting around the edges.

There are 28 different types of fruit and flowers and fungi in the painting, in alphabetical order they are ..Barley, Blackberries, Bluebells, Cherries, Clematis (hedgerow) – Travellers Joy “Old Mans Beard”, Cobnuts, Crab apples, Fern, For-get-me-nots, Foxgloves , Fungi  (Red)- Amantia Muscaria (Fly Agaric), Fungi (White) – flat fungi on oak tree, Grapes, Hops, Ivy, Lavender, Oak – from fallen oak tree in Kent hurricane 1987, Oak leaves and acorns, Pears, Poppies, Primroses, Rose (Pink ) – “Anne Boleyn”, Rose (Pink heart shaped) – “Princess Alexandra of Kent” hedgerow rose, Rose (Red ) – from Hever, Kent, Rosehips, Strawberries, Vine – sweet heart shaped, Winter anemones.

Some are more obvious than others. I loved using the different colours as the basis of the shades of the body in the picture in the style of that wonderfully clever Renaissance artist Arcimboldo, who’s work I’ve loved for years for the surreal quality of her faces and figures made from fruit and flowers.

As the painting is OF someone I had to make the face look like her, and even though her face is green (of course!!) so long as the tones are correct, it reads as her. I love the fact that she has some of the foliage winding its way around her, and that her hand looks like its part of the oak growing out of the ground. I also love the leaves she has as her earrings, and the way her hair is blowing in the breeze!

I absolutely adored doing this painting, and didn’t want to stop doing it. Its such a clever painting, and one even I hadn’t done before, and I’ve painted lots of strange and wonderful paintings over the years.

So here it is “Sarah as Mother Nature” what do you think of it? And can you spot all the flowers and fruit in it?

The woman who commissioned it loves it, the woman who the painting is for loves it, her husband loves it, and the artist absolutely loves it!!

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.