Thursday, 9 December 2010

Peachy!

I've been revisiting my pile of discarded/unfinished work. Some have been destroyed, I've even finished others. When I unwrapped this one I discovered a new love for it. I don't know why I didn't like it or what I thought it needed, it's sweet and dreamy. Hopefully somebody will feel the same and take it home.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Girls, help me out

I really want you to get behind me on this. Before I start, I want to stress that I'm going to be making generalisations. Even I can find exceptions, but I'll be using evidence for my arguments that what I'm saying is largely true, and I'm really asking for feedback on this one.

Current stats on alt.com, this is better than other sites because I think generally women are more involved in alternative sex sites because they have more to offer them..

View Current Broadcasts of: All (83) | Men (72) | Women (2) | Couples (man and woman) (5) | Couples (2 men) (0) | Couples (2 women) (0) | Groups (0) | TS/TV/TG (4)
When I clicked through, the one woman online by that  time had 72 viewers, the man at the top of the list had one, the rest none. I always use that as a very direct illustration. Women don't watch as much porn as men- you knew that, right?

Even here in blogland most people come upon my blog by certain search terms- that's why I use the tags! I exist within a world which already has it's rules and standards and expectations. I can't have things my way. But I really want to tell you how I wish it could be.

The reason women don't search for porn is due to experience. It excludes us, we have to search too hard to find something we'd like, even then we'll have encountered countless gynaecological pop ups in the search for fetish art or classy erotic photos. I know men who feel the same. The woman who likes cheesy gynaecological porn is about as rare as that one woman watching the guy in the cam room. (And that woman is probably a man)

I really absolutely don't want to see an orange hard-faced man having sex with a girl two generations younger just because he has an unusual ability to keep hard during the photo/camera session. And if I see it I turn off the pc and go watch eastenders. I don't need an up close biology lesson or another picture of a girl getting a facial.

There is a problem which leads to a fundamental division I can't do anything about. It's hard to fight my corner, my argument for "erotic art" when it too often comes under a banner which automatically includes everything from basic hustler porn to bizarre and unpleasant hardcore which most people search for because they're looking for revulsion or something to ridicule.

Just as the meek naturist couples often have to share space with oil basted exhibitionists- they feel the same, if they were to try to show people how innocent it is they'd have to take them to a place where they're more likely to see public masturbation than anywhere else in the country and their argument would be instantly invalid.

And that's how I feel. For all this time I've been trying to work out how to reach women. I so want to spend my days telling girls how to take amazingly erotic photos of themselves which they and anyone else they can choose to show will find stunning/ sexy/ empowering. Because I know that women feel that their sexuality has to be hidden. They don't want to be associated with a kind of pornography which is about abuse. Many guys visiting prostitutes don't ask if the girl has been trafficked-  or so many of them wouldn't be, they don't ask for credentials of the girl in the videos they look at.

There's a fantastic article in the guardian about the differences between the viewers of male and female strippers. It's a perfect illustration of the polar extremes.

I want a middle ground so that average women (not swingers, not those responding to the desires of their partner) can enjoy erotic images without being visually assaulted by things that will turn them right off) Scarlet magazine was great- informative, clever, erotic, it's gone. Thank god for Ann Summers and internet sex shops.

Women are never going to find me, if they do they'll be frightened I'm a guy wanting to perv over their photos.

I want a world where women understand that guys will always look at girls and that's no threat, but where we can meet them half way.

I've asolutely nothing against porn, nothing against nudists, nothing against swingers. I just want my audience to reach further than that into the wider public. Somewhere between those and the high art world is everyone else, my target market.

But if it doesn't happen soon I'll give up the commission part of my work, give up social networking and concentrate on my own work which I'll sell through galleries.

Is there any hope? I don't know

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Criticism...

I can take it. Really, I'm good with it. I know my place in the scheme of things and I truly don't think I'm any better than I am.

I often call myself a painter rather than an artist. I think of what I do as a craft rather than art. I didn't paint for all those years because I didn't think I was ever going to be good enough to make a living. A big moment for me was when I did my foundation course and my tutors said that I should say I wasn't interested in money at my degree course interviews because taking fine art at university was tantamount to accepting a life of poverty. I didn't go- eventually the degree I went to was in theology and psychology.

I've always been interested in irrationality, the ways people fool themselves, contradictory and foolish belief systems. I have books on the Elvis faith, UFO religions as well as standard world religions. I'm an avid fortean. I'm interested in the prevailing world view shaped by the culture of entitlement we live in whereby the people in the richest nations of the world feel hard done by and everyone's "dream" is to be a vacuous celebrity.

I hope that explains more why I often try to debunk the porn industry illusions of the internet. It endlessly fascinates me. Reality is only disappointing when people have inflated expectations, and they so often do.

I digress, I went off on that tangent for a reason though. The reason I got back to painting wasn't because I suddenly thought I was great, but because trawling the internet made me realise that there is a market for ok paintings, even bad ones. I'm not aiming high, A lot of what I do is copying peoples' own photos, pets, kids, bottoms, I don't mind.

When I started doing this I aimed for the low/mid range, tried to develop a style that would take maybe ten hours per painting so I could price my work at the low end. They don't always work like that. Kimono took a whole week, I've others that took a couple of hours. I started doing ACEO pieces but really thay take me a couple of hours at least and I can't expect even minimum wage from those. I like doing them though.

I don't just do what the market likes, I'd rather work in tesco than copy swirly trees or quirky vintage girls with birds on their heads. I like them, I don't want to do them. A look on the what's selling page of the art sites would soon show me what to paint. Pretty badly in most cases. But I don't want to. I'll do it if I'm commissioned with money up front, but not by choice.

I'm getting there, I think I've lately become more confident in spending a bit longer on the paintings, I'd like a few that demonstrate what I can do at the best of my ability in between the decorative pieces.Who knows, I might get better. I don't know how good I'd be if I hadn't stopped for 15 years, I don't know how things will develop.

I see a lot of forum posts where people post up their work for a critique only to be given one and being outraged, and people selling work on ETSY hoping for £2000 for something one of my kids could produce with a box of poundland acrylics. I'm fine with people telling me my work could be better, I agree whole heartedly. There's some amazing work out there, work that deserve its price tag in the tens of thousands. I'm not asking for that, often I'm asking for enough money for a night down the pub, sometimes only for enough to buy myself a bottle of pink sparkly wine.

So it's fine, critique away. I'm fairly sure Brian Sewell isn't watching my blog ;)

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Of muses and men

I'm dissatisfied today, it happens.

I was very interested in a forum discussion about muses yesterday. I don't think I can have one in the way it's generally perceived as I generally have no erotic interest in the subjects of my work, but it got me thinking about the difference it would make to what I do if I was involved with a man.

There has only been one man in my life in the time I've been in this specific field of art and I can honestly say he did have an effect on what I did. I enjoyed having a man to think about when I was creating the pictures. In the buying stage and the photographic stage I started to think about what he would find erotic and incorporate it.

It's fun having someone to run scenarios by and see if someone else likes it- someone who would be interested that is. If I was to call up my girlfriends and start describing a secretary bending over a desk or a girl reclining in lacy panties, they'd soon stop picking up the phone. Maybe it's better now I'm just doing what I like.

It'd be great to have someone to stand in front of a mirror with and see what works so I could do sketches for some more boy/girl paintings.

If you see me in the sex shop buying a big blow up man- he's for practise posing with. And to prop up looking out of my bedroom window to deter burglars like some people have them in a car.

That's a brilliant idea! (Brilliant ideas like that are probably why I'm single) ;) If you see this post it's just short of a miracle- I'll think better of it in ten minutes and delete it!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Different for girls

I joined Fetlife. I like it a lot.

It's unexpected, the feeling of those sites. I mentioned before I was on the glorious adultfriendfinder blogging for a while, alt.com too. I even had a paid membership for a while.

And all this whingeing I do, it's absolutely unrelated to those kind of sites. Aside from a couple of notable exceptions, the respect I got on those sites far outweighed that I got on other social networking and.. dare I say... dating sites.

You see, I really want to just be me- say what I want and be as I am in real life. I try but it just doesn't seem possible. I was probably a bit too much "me" on facebook before I was booted off for facebook nipple crime.

I'm just a normal (hmm, maybe not) person with a regular life. Slightly more boring lately. I haven't been painting long, 18 months or so. I'm not great, but I think I'm improving. I'm the art equivalent of a good karaoke singer- not quite laughable but never gonna play the Royal Albert Hall. (Incidentally I'm the karaoke equivalent of one of those Xfactor contestants who seem to be on day release- I'll stick with painting)

The truth is a lot of straight men would rather have a poorly executed painting done by a woman than a great painting done by a man. I've got no problem with that in essence but I don't want to be treated differently. I'd rather lose the business altogether. Which is why I removed myself from some sites and others even say I don't deal with men at all. It makes me really sad, I had no idea when I started that I'd end up in that position.

I'm as uncompetitive in painting as I am in everything else. I like seeing good art done by others, it makes me want to be a better painter. A lot of the time I'm just playing, pushing paint around. Fine art it isn't- I know that.

It's only really on sites like fetlife where I know boundaries are understood. I wonder why that is.

I want to be more honest without it leading to disaster. I sell on Etsy because men don't look on craft sites. In general that is. You see, I did it again. Most of my readers here are men. I like them. Honest. Men here tend to be cerebral and emotionally intelligent enough to just leave the page if they don't like what I'm saying.

It's what happens if I enter into dialogue with men who want paintings done. I stress, this isn't a universal rule and my etsy male customers are always lovely, I'm able to laugh with them and have genuine conversations. This is the part that male artists don't have so they don't know why I feel this way. I know other female painters of nudes get the same treatment, some don't mind, others do.. It's the bit between dialogue and sale. You wouldn't believe how many guys ask for a critique of their naked body or ask for a "date" in this hinterland of transaction.

I'm sorry if you're one of these guys. Please stop reading now.

Do I like looking at naked men?  Lovely muscly gay oiled men? Yes. Boiler repair men with a beer belly? Not so much. Call me shallow but I've seen what men look at left to their own devices- and those girls don't look like me either!!! Not many Susan Boyle lookalikes in the porn industry. I'm more than happy for you to think that I'm a subo doppelganger.

So what am I meant to say at that point? I don't make much money yet, one day I might, who knows?

If I had the knowledge I'd make a poll. Here's all I can think of

1 "wow you look so hot" (lie)

2 "your **** is so big" (sometimes true but indicating interest)

3 "you're not my type, I'm not interested in naked photos of you" (true)

4 "you look alright, if I was your girlfriend/sex partner I'd probably really enjoy seeing you naked" (often true)

5" damn, I don't know what to say. If I express any interest here you will carry on sending me pictures I don't want to see and possibly even start imagining I'm the woman for you. If I say I don't want to see them or you are not attractive to me you will probably not carry on with this transaction" (TRUE)

6 ... avoid the issue.

I can't lie, just can't. I know I'd get more work if I led guys on and pretended to like things I don't. I actually do fancy men. I'm single. I'm female.  But I'm damned if I'm going to flirt for financial gain with men I don't fancy- I'm a painter, not a lap-dancer!

Strop over. Can I just be myself now?

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Any ideas?



I'm totally stuck.

This started as an idea- originally I planned the standing figure to be holding the kneeling girl under the chin. I know what I mean but anyway- it didn't work!

Then I thought it should be a man, holding a crop behind his back. That didn't work either. This is only a sketch so far- I just want suggestions on what to do with the standing figure as it currently makes no sense. Maybe get rid of the standing girl altogether... what do you think??

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Ok, I give in

I admit it. I can paint men. I just don't want to. These are drawings from life class in art college many years ago.  Acrylic on paper, no idea why I can't paint in acrylic now, guess I just got out of the habit.

I can't wait to get myself back into a life class. Because my models aren't professionals I take photos to work from. I can remember what it's like sitting still for all that time and I can't ask someone to do it for free, but just looking at these makes me remember what a different process it is to working from photos.

I just hope this time the models in the life class are female :)

[gallery]

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Bad art..... Guilty!

I've just had the funniest hour of my life. Regretsy is genius, there's no denying it

And.... I'm on it. Oh yes I am.  A few posts down in the art section.  I don't have a photo of the painting so I can't even prove it.

When I'd seen regretsy before I'd actually wondered i they'd come across this most hideous article and they did. I didn't even bother disguising my contempt for it in the description.

It was a year ago, I'd had a really frustrating conversation with someone who told me I was never going to be successful until I started painting big pictures of cocks. Monumental cock pictures were where it's at, apparently. It was just after erotica 09 and I was really fed up with feeling that I had to appear sexually available to sell my work.

As it happens, I am sexually available but not to just anyone! I had one guy on facebook who just wouldn't leave it. No matter how polite I was he was articulate but really offensive and wouldn't accept that I wasn't interested in him and didn't want to answer any more of his questions.  at the same time I was trying to extricate myself from a doomed relationship and part of me just thought I should almost shed my skin, start again, leave the art behind.

Somewhere in my back catalogue I had a photo that had been taken for a laugh and I committed facebook suicide. I painted it on a blank canvas in 45 minutes and posted it up in art groups. The caption said something like "I've had enough, I'm committing facebook suicide- do your worst, report me!"

And they did.

And I bounced back with a better plan and now I don't get the amount of grief I used to. I got my marketing all wrong at the start.

And I still don't like painting men.

It goes back to what I was saying yesterday about what people find erotic. That's just why I did it, it's hilarious!

If I did I'd get myself on as a regretsy regular. I don't know if it's because I've got a funny sense of humour but I love my spot on there. And it sold my revolting painting! And I bought some wine.

Cheers! :D

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Dressing up

I forget sometimes how full my dressing up box is. Wigs, hats, masks, feathers, shoes, lingerie, outfits. I love dressing up, I love dressing other people up. It's definitely time for another photo shoot. I have a few new lacy and shiny things which deserve some attention :)

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Looking at dirty pictures

I don't use other photographers' work or copy other painters but sometimes when I'm working I think I need to change something, it's usually a facial expression or maybe the hands aren't quite right. At those times I put in an image search and I get lost for hours. It's something I tend to do really early in the morning. And I never keep to my brief. One erotic photography site leads to another, sex blogs, sites for women, sites for men, adult forums.

Sometimes I see things I wish I hadn't. I'm amazed the spectrum of sexual preferences out there. How UN"erotic" are some of the things which turn people on. We're a truly astonishing species. I'd love to elaborate- but I'll spare you the details...

Monday, 15 November 2010

sexy purple shoes



They're delicious! I painted them before but I made them pink so I painted them again on a smaller scale.

purple is sexy :)

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Wine O'clock

new painting resting on my tattoo table. I'm still not sure if it's finished. I think I deserve a night off, some wine and a good nights sleep. Cheers :)

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Apologising for the naked ladies everywhere...

[caption id="attachment_190" align="aligncenter" width="254" caption="Erotica 09 Painting by Daniel Stedman"][/caption]

It's so grey and rainy today, I've got all my daylight bulbs illuminating my work area and it's still so dark and grim I ust can't summon up the will to paint so I'm just going to write a bit about my life in the real world. Yesterday the man came to read the meter and put a card through the door saying he'd be back this morning.

Recently I rearranged my house so there's no route through straight to the back door and everyone has to come through my front room, kitchen, and studio to get there. There's no back gate and the meter is just outside the back door so short of hiding everything I'm doing and taking everything off the walls I'm about to deal with anything from confused embarrassment, wide eyed voyeuristic interest and a barrage of questions (see previous posts)

I rarely get a hard time from anyone who actually sees me and what I do in close proximity, the mystery is taken out of it. I'm clearly not painting in the nude, or a man pretending to be a girl so that's half the battle.

But maybe I sometimes do feel a bit apologetic about it. Contractors and salespeople are generally male so I don't get any real hostility or suspicion from these strangers who come into my house but I do have a sinking feeling when I know I'm going to have to say something. I wonder what this one will be like.

As you can see from my post photo today I'm pining because I'm not going to erotica at olympia this year. I'd have known so much better this year what to paint for that particular exhibition and I'm sad not to be going. I'd enjoy it so much more if I did it again. And I've never seen Dita Von Teese live, that would be so amazing. And the shopping, all those goodies I could use in my work. Shoes! Corsets, masks, feathers.... I'm sulking.

 

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Desire

[caption id="attachment_184" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Desire. 20 x 16" Oil on canvas"][/caption]

As you can see, it's still wet so it won't be on sale for a few weeks. Crimson takes ages to dry.  It's one of those paintings I'll have trouble parting with. It might accidentally get framed and hang on my wall for a while.

:)

 

Now for sale here

Monday, 8 November 2010

Girls

I made this up.  Just started drawing straight on the canvas. I went to my photos to reference the position of the second figure's leg.

Why are they both girls? Because I haven't got the first idea what men look like any more. I'd get one round to model but they're always trouble. Girls look good together in paintings.

I'll have to wait a few days til it's dry before I carry on, and I usually mess these ones up in the next layer so thet might be the last you see of it...

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Decluttering

I've been dreaming strange dreams. I woke up really quite traumatised today. For some reason it really made me want to get up at stupid o clock and look through all my half finished paintings and make some hard decisions. Sometimes it makes me laugh to drive around and look for the kind of public bins or skips that people go to to look for free goodies and leave paintings there, just imagining the look on someone's face as they find an unexpected erotic painting.

Some paintings just never work out. I suppose they would if I persevered but if I fall out of love with them too soon I just have to give up. I can think of two I want to keep , I think it's really time to let go of the others. They take up so much space and they just make me feel guilty hanging around pleading with me to finish them.

I've said this a lot of times though- I may now get all my canvases out, look at them and put them away again. I need someone to do it for me so I can't get sentimental!

[gallery]

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Time for some colour

[caption id="attachment_158" align="aligncenter" width="231" caption="Sacrifice 12 x16 oil on board"][/caption]

I don't know when I gave up on colour. I've go all these half finished paintings I really need to get out of the way but my head is full of colour. I've got some ideas and some new paintbrushes, just gotta be brave and escape the grey!

I was going to wear that lip service nun dress to a party in a few weeks but I can't make it so I've given it the attention it deserves by painting it. With those zips it's a bit dangerous to take out...

 

Now for sale here

Saturday, 30 October 2010

getting a bloke in

I don't know why I'm puting off new photo sessions since I got my new camera. I have new props, two fantastic new outfits and still I can't seem to commit to actually geting some new photos taken.

I've been making some sweet decorative little pieces on small canvases which I'll list on etsy soon as they're dry but what I really need is a new studio session. I was thinking yesterday about trying to get men involved again. My photo sessions with men have been unsuccessful, for different reasons. Mainly because I just don't seem to know what to do with them. When I'm posing girls it's easy, I'm projecting myself through them.

It's like lingerie, girls have got endless options, guys look silly in anything but the most basic stuff, or they look great- but gay.  Same with posing them for photos or drawing. I can put them into basic life class poses but giving them the same look I give my girls is just so wrong. Funny, but wrong.

Men in my work are best used as accessories. They come with a partner who I direct around him and what happens to him in the photo session is just perfect for my work. The trouble has been that the couples have been self conscious and not believable. Girls who give me great erotic photos when they're here alone stiffen up with a man there. Strange but true.

I have a friend who does a bit of cage fighting, I thought about going along and taking pics there. Men all angry and sweaty and not wearing much. It might give me a better idea of what to do with men without feminising them and to make them a more active part of the process.

Maybe I should get a naked man of my own instead of borrowing other peoples, but they're so much nicer when you can give them back ;)

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Adult dating for girls

I was in bed last night after waffling on in my previous blog about the illusions which the internet gives men and I remembered this. I had a blog on adultfriendfinder, I found people there  intelligent and respectful but I guess that's because I was only blogging there. I learned so much from being there but it was a limited audience and I gave it up.

I used to feel quite guilty when I exposed the reality of it. More than 30 women to every man, the models used to advertise the site as if pneumatic blondes with perfect glamour model styling need to pay for men to queue up for random encounters. The same as those little chat boxes which pop up on porn sites appearing to be instant messages from predatory models from lads magazines who live just round the corner and want to meet YOU.

It's outrageous that the exploitation of men is allowed in this way. The truth should be at least in some small print. "these women are not actually representative of women on this site but some of them may be cam hookers so get your credit card ready, this screen is as close as you're gonna get!"

So I decided that women should have to suffer the same level of disappointment. Here's an advert I made some time ago for my new website. I reckon in a few months I'll have thousands of women paying £30 a month. But it wouldn't- there would be a public outcry if those lies were told to women. It's no wonder men get so angry. I would too.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Sex, lies and illusions

[caption id="attachment_142" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="http://www.etsy.com/listing/56024574/original-oil-painting-erotic-art"][/caption]

People do ask me what my work is really about, but sometimes they're better off not knowing. These paintings are about me, they're about people I know and mostly about the dark peculiarities of the human condition and sexuality. They're about the theatre of sex, the performances people put on and the lies behind the act.

People do remark that they're obviously painted by a woman, and I know that's true. Men painting these things are often as happy with the illusion as the viewer. Again I must clarify, this is not an anti male rant, in the private world of sex there's equal responsibility, the games are part of the fun and eroticism can be the antithesis of honesty.

It occurred to me while I was reading eroticism and art by Alyce Mahon that the position I find myself in has interesting echoes in art history. She recalls the paintings of Ingres (1780-1867) and his contemporaries who pandered to a fantasy ideal of a world in which women were sexually available and libidinous, and more importantly a world which wasn't readily checkable for factual accuracy. If they were portraying women in Wales, people would have just gone to have a look and returned deflated and disillusioned.

There was a recent resurgence in the popularity of orientalist art. The Tate hels an exhibition in 2008 "british orientalist painting" One of the featured paintings is by a female artist also working under a pseudonym. Henriette Browning's "harem interior" caused some consternation. Alyce Mahon mentions that in 1861 Olivier Merson complained that Browning's paintings showed "silent and bored women... chaste in the muslin of their long dresses" and that "these paintings somewhat disrupt our dreams of the orient"

Shame. The interesting thing is that in this description of the reaction to the disappointing reality that people are basically the same the world over I am reminded of my own experience and that now it's the west which has the capacity to disrupt dreams currently very active in the orient. The most casually offensive messages I get are from the middle east. This isn't because men there are fundamentally any different. It's just that they're believing the advertising of the western porn industry and lack the ability to come and check. There are more than enough men in this country who believe that women on the internet are from a strange and wonderful world where girls just desperately want to see badly taken mobile phone shots of  nondescript body parts. (I know I go on about that a lot- but I get many less photos in my inbox these days so I just thought I'd throw it out there again and repel a few more.)

My work focuses on these illusions. The large scale ones I've already mentioned. And the smaller ones. The reality of being alienated or connected  and the ways sexuality is used in honesty and in lies. My paintings are often lit as if they show a stage performance. Sometimes the subjects are confrontational and direct. Sometimes they're anonymous and turned away, but still aware of the viewer. Sometimes people are more honest in sex than in life, sometimes the opposite. Sometimes people will engage in levels of intimacy in the bedroom but will be unable to communicate with their clothes on. Sometimes women will put on the sexual performance of a lifetime and not see it as absurd that they can't ask their sex partner if they're in an exclusive relationship. Sometimes men are tender and sweet in the bedroom in a way you just wouldn't recognise if you saw them in a pub with their mates. It's a different world, a mystery. And the reality of it can be uncomfortable. The reason my work is "obviously done by a woman" is that I talk about these things with my friends and I'm always amazed by the illusions we weave.  A question I'm often asked by men is why women seem so much more sexually experimental at the start of a relationship and suddenly the more exciting and forbidden acts are birthday treats. That's a common thing to happen. It's part of the game for many people.

I'm fascinated by the dissonance which sex causes in the power balance of relationships. How far women will go to convince themselves their man is different to those others and doesn't look at girls while strangely feeling the need to check their every move by some fairly extreme cyberstalking.  It takes some effort to achieve something erotic within the constraints of modern life, insecurity and domestic normality.

But there's a double bluff in my work, it's deliberately staged, but there's an underlying truth. It actually depicts what women are when there's no men around at all. It's aware of the eventual viewer but it's not contrived to deceive. Some of my best paintings are of phoos taken in moments just before massive laughing fits. Because in my experience with every single one of my models is that girls left alone just don't take themselves all that seriously. And that's why my paintings look obviously done by a woman. Men just don't really know what that world is like because it changes when a (straight) man is present. It's a world as remote to the viewer as Ingres' turkish bath, but it does exist. It's a lot more real in essence than the art copied from pornography or glamour shoots by male photographers, that's for sure. It's just different, that's all. I'm a girl painting girls, because that's what I know and understand.

Ok maybe "understand" was taking it too far ;)

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

What's a girl to do?

Erotic art, it's a minefield. I really want to use social networking and blogging to show people what I do because it's so very difficult to exhibit. If you've been reading before you know the problems I'd faced but it seemed that listing myself as married stopped the overtly sexual approaches.

Yesterday however I got a message from a British man who had seen my work in a group on facebook. "loving it" he said "very sensuous, love the style" So I thought, here's someone actually interested in the art. I said he could friend request me if he liked as I welcome all kinds of feedback and post up lots of my work in progress over there.

He requested me. Then he found my blog and messaged me again. He said "is your work mainly for a female audience then?" And he BLOCKED ME! before I had a chance to reply to his enquiry or accept his request.

I'm shocked. Is it really the case that I have to either be single and friendly and constantly deal with men who think I'm asking to be propositioned in sometimes fairly extreme ways jst because I paint naked women and then get very angry when I'm not interested, or pretend I'm married do this to try and fend off advances and make them angry anyway.  I'm not averse to male attention when it's respectful but I don't like this at all.

If that's the case then I just don't know what to try next. Pretend to be a man? Any suggestions for a name....? Go on, if I've pissed you off, do your worst! I don't mind, as long as it's in public, not in a private message from a coward hiding behind a stock photo of a bodybuilder. Grrrr.

[caption id="attachment_135" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="I'm getting through a lot of blue paint this week!"][/caption]

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Modern day delilah

[caption id="attachment_121" align="alignnone" width="192" caption="modern day delilah"][/caption]

Sometimes I don't know what my paintings will be called until I'm listing them for sale. It has to be something which makes sense. Luckily, when I was listing this on etsy I was singing "modern day delilah" by Kiss in my head and so she was christened.

I often trawl through my itunes playlist to find titles (please don't look at my titles now, the knowledge of what I'm listening to while I'm painting might take awaty any erotic mystique my work has left!)

Modern day Delilah could be a title for my whole body of work. It sums up my feeling about making erotic art in these times and this whole thing of blogging about postmodern sexuality and erotic representation of the female of our amazing species. Both in the photographs I take- which are never seen by anyone except my models- and the paintings which they are created for.

I suppose she represents the contradictions of putting my work up with full awareness that I'm going to appear alongside male oriented pornography and this will always get me in trouble and ultimately be my downfall. The devil in the keywords. But I refuse to be driven out. Like I'd refuse to give up wearing miniskirts if my legs had ever been good enough to be up for the task!

You can look at her, you can buy her and put her on your wall. But you can't tame her.

"Same old ways,

Modern day Delilah"

;)

Monday, 4 October 2010

Time for some new pictures

I'm feeling nostalgic this week. This painting is taken from a set of photographs I took exactly a year ago.

I always think my work isn't particularly allegorical but there's always something that reminds me what was happening in my life, or my state of mind when I imagined the pictures into life.

It's often because of the items of clothing or props I've used. I often search something out and post up an appeal for somebody to come and wear it. When I'm buying a pair of knickers I'm imagining a finished canvas, I've worked out the colours and lighing scheme and how I'm intending to pose the model.

I've got a couple of things, including a purple feather tickler that are demanding to be in a painting. Better get my feelers out for a model who isn't too ticklish :)

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Say you'll haunt me



I'm struggling to work out when my women grew faces and started feeling emotion. They were all faceless performers until recently.  I really can't seem to stop them looking like me. No matter how different the model in my photo is, how I alter the features. At the end, they all feel like they're me. It's most annoying!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Forget everything you know about poledancing.

My blog is turning into more of a catalogue of my feelings about postmodern female sexuality and it's inherent problems than about painting. But it keeps me amused so humour me.

In all likelihood, my reader, I'm about to tell you of a world about which you know nothing. So please suspend disbelief and judgement and hear me out.

Most of my friends are poledancers. And at a stretch, given the fact that I've completed six levels of instruction and am typing this next to a fully installed professional chrome dance pole, I am too. That statement generally makes people either angry, aroused or confused. I hope to change that reaction. Sometimes I can change peoples' perception, often I can't.

Let me first tell you this. I watched nearly 40 pole performances on Saturday night at a competition. Some of those were people just wanting to give it a go, and others were from world renowned performers. In the audience- 80% women, 10% parents, 10% pole husbands (think WAGS) My friend next to me noticed that the young man across from us in the front row looked at the floor when he was in danger of getting an eyeful.

It's just not what you think. Of course there are poledancers who do it for advertising so they can show their wares enough to get men to pay for a private dance. Good on em I say! It's good money and if men are silly enough to pay to play the game nobody's losing on the deal. I've been to strip clubs and seen some very impressive performances from some very athletic and pretty girls so if you're expecting me to berate them, I'm not going to. But it's not what I'm talking about.

I understand why pole fitness as a concept inspires such ridicule. There's a basic misconception and prejudice behind it along with a feeling that we're not being entirely honest about our motivation.

Why have so many suburban women got a dance pole in their kitchen? What place have high heels and photos got in a fitness class? Aren't these women just doing it so they can go home and shake their booty in the old man's face and give him a thrill? These questions stop being relevant when you meet us and see what we actually do. If it turns you on seeing a middle aged woman in hotpants red-faced and bruised with a pole between her legs swearing like she's dropped a brick on her foot... stick around. If not you'll be sorely disappointed!

The scorn that some people pour on the concept amazes me. The steel pole makes things possible that no ordinary woman will do unless she runs away with the circus! It's about strength and style. And it's about music and dressing up. There, I admitted it. We like the shoes. Sometimes we play sexy, sometimes we play it for laughs. But we're not playing with men in mind. As long as I've had my x-pole no man has seen me on it. With the exception of the male student in the class (who happens to be better than me!)

But is it a crime? Does it have to elicit such suspicion? It's a post-feminist conundrum until you realise that we quite like our man looking at us- it isn't an automatic violation!! On a recent television discussion about pole fitness it seemed to be that saying a woman might want to use her skill to turn her man on at home invalidates the whole thing.

To that conclusion I say this. Is it impossible that a woman might just understand that men are visual creatures? that she might like dressing up and dancing? That she's not averse to putting high heels and frills on for bed? That she knows why lap dance clubs are successful and maybe, just maybe.... she's grown up enough and secure enough to think she might just give those strippers a run for their money and put on a show for the man she loves?

If to that you think- "No, women should just lift up their M&S nighties in the dark and leave it to the sex workers to the dirty stuff" or " men would rather pay for it with a woman who's spent ten minutes pretending to like every man in the room til he hands over his twenty quid and she moves on. There's no place for that in a loving relationship" - that's a shame. And you couldn't be more wrong.

Friday, 24 September 2010

So what DO girls like???

It's a question I spend much time pondering. You can try telling me girls aren't so different in their consumption of erotica but until the first website appears for girls to pay to watch men in the act of self-love, I'm not going to listen. When it does, the viewers will still mainly be men interested in looking at straight men for a change, and if it ever happens for real I can imagine just what it will be like. It'll be a humorous female bonding exersise like going to see a male stripper.

So that's how I know we're different. The trouble is, it really does matter to me. I've seen my blog stats, and the fact is that you, my reader, are more than likely a man who came across my blog by searching for "erotic" or "nudity" and you're nor my target market. There lies the problem. I'm trying to sell erotic art to a group of people who aren't looking for it.

BUT I've searched using those terms too. I'm an unusual female so I can't generalise from myself. I do know what I like, I know what my friends like and all I can do is carry on and hope that people find me. Male erotic artists often produce work that's like erotic photography aimed at men. Unnatural looking female, big makeup, big hair, early 20s. Full body pose, come hither look direct to viewer.

Some of the most extreme art I've seen comes from the female artists. Often the men seem to yearn for the 70s glamour model look. I like that too but not in a painting. Most of us do seem to concentrate on the female form in it's ideal proportions. For me that's mostly because all the women I know who agree to be models look like that. And that's how I look so I identify with it. And I think that's the point. Most of my paintings could be anyone. More often than not they end up looking like me if I put a face on them. I guess that's because I try to not have them identifiable so I change the features and my face is what I'm used to looking at. It gets on my nerves because I'd love my paintings to resemble what my own idea of attractiveness is, but it never works out!

I think ideally we like something atmospheric. We're not keen on harsh lighting. I don't think girls ever ask to have sex under a floodlight, so that's just the look that feels sensual to us. I guess the music we choose to make love to is the same thing. I almost disclosed my personal playlist but you're better off not knowing.  Men's magazines- women on the cover. Womens' magazines- women on the cover.  We like looking at girls, for different reasons though.

If it's the male form we're interested in looking at (it happens...) then I think often its a back view or a torso in a pair of jeans that really does it for us. Couples who look like they're having a really intimate hot sex session. Porn is too clinical to appeal to most of us in it's basic form. And porn for women isn't my thing at all. But then I hate ballads, chick flicks and period drama. Yuk.

So maybe I'm painting for an audience of one. Me. And maybe my friends.

Ah well, it keeps me happy ;)




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Thursday, 23 September 2010

Missed opportunities

I'm really sad today thinking about how perfect my old studio was for photographs. It was the lighting from the velux window. Harsh and directional but so perfect for moody atmospheric shots. I was looking thhrough my photo sessions from about five years ago and realised I've been trying to artificially recreate that lighting here.

I was only taking them as photos in their own right then and I just wish I could have a few hours in there to take photos for paintings. I think my tenant might have words to say about it though :)http://www.etsy.com/listing/57096163/aceo-original-small-oil-painting

Saturday, 18 September 2010

mine!!!!!!

I've read a lot about copyright online in forums. All that stuff about altering images a certain amount. Piffle. I've gone to a great effort to create these images and I don't want them copied. They're mine. They are my babies. I thought them up, I got models, I bought underwear and props, I made photos and then I painted them.

They don't need painting again in a different way. They don't need to be tagged on facebook and used as your profile picture without asking me first. Get your own sexy friends and strip them and paint them. You can't have mine, I saw them first!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Do you want to see my.....

NO!  I really don't. Unless you're paying me to paint it. Strangers offer me this delight all the time. I could watch men from Swindon to Timbuktu with  cheap webcams directed zipwards to a disappointing pixellated member all day if I wanted.

How inspiring that would be.

NOT

Thanks anyway :)

Why the pseudonym?

I have two children, boys who are still at school. I became aware that they might not be comfortable with my social networking as a painter of this particular subject matter overlapping with theirs so I decided on a name. Infact I stole it. Joanna was my best friend when I was little. She was a bit of a tearaway frankly and I don't know what became of her. I took the surname from a childhood crush I was unfortunately destined to have a doomed affair with and now I resent the name but I'm stuck with it.

It's not a secret, everyone knows who I am and what I do, I'm not ashamed of it. I just don't want it to appear on my childrens' facebook wall. That's all.

Why paint women if you are a straight woman? Why not men???

Because...... they're just not as nice to paint. I prefer painting smooth dogs to fluffy dogs and light coloured horses rather than black ones. They're easier and more satisfying. I identify with the subject.

And... most importantly, they are less trouble :)

Do you get turned on when you're painting?

This one is the funniest really. It's the one most about wishful thinking other than "do you paint in the nude?" If I wanted to make more money and sell my soul I'd say "oh yeah baby as soon as I pick up that paintbrush I'm a seething naked mass of pure erotic ecstasy" Unfortunately the truth is also funnier to me, so I do like to say that I'm actually in paint spattered track pants and reading glasses squinting and getting angry when things don't go right while listening to bad daytime telly and yelling at the dog for barking at the chinchilla.

The photographs are the most fun.

My models are people I know, the poses are achieved  in really fun nights in with bottles of wine and dressing up gear. It's about making images out of nothing, it's as much about the photographs which are made to give to the model for their own enjoyment (as in "wow I look great") as they are sketches for later paintings.

The colours are made using different sources of light in the staging, the poses are found in movements. I say "go like this" while putting myself into the position I've imagined. It's an organic process which is always new, always exciting and fascinating. What the new model will bring to the process, what the paintings will look like at the end.

There's a lot of wine, a lot of oooh! and aaaah! a lot of laughing, a bit of mischief. But it's not sexy. My friends are lush. Gorgeous sexy women. But I don't fancy them. For my sins, I find men attractive.

So why don't I paint them? That's the next question I'll answer.

Why do you paint erotic art?



This is the question I'm asked the most. Firstly there is an enormous difference between nude art and erotic art at it's extremes. Clearly there is also a crossover point. Maybe I'm generally close to the centre. I have a few pieces of work I'd argue are fit to be seen in public places. Most of my work is sensual and erotic rather than verging on the pornographic.

But why is that what I've chosen to paint? I like it, I like the feeling of it. I'm interested in the change in the way women represent themselves. Being told that I should leave such images in the domain of pornographers and porn stars and go off and paint flowers just makes me more determined than ever to carry on. I like flowers too by the way, I just don't enjoy painting them as much.

The effect on men doesn't occur to me. I have mostly female friends and so the people who see my paintings close up are girls. We just don't see it as dirty. Cheeky maybe, fun, sexy.

It's the colours, the sensuality I like. And the process. Which I'll address in another answer.

Short answer. Because that's what I like.

If the question really is "Why do you paint erotic art when you don't come across as a very erotic person and you're not responding to my flirting or offers of modelling" I'm afraid the answer to that is

"get a grip"

Downsizing

[gallery]

My eldest son needed a bedroom of his own and unfortunately there was only one option. A bed moved in, and I was without a studio.

My work has been on the large side until now,  it's easier and more physically satisfying to work on a larger scale and I'd just gotten used to larger and larger canvases. Without a home they suddenly looked like giants.

I'd been working on portraits and landscapes with a view to doing craft fairs locally and I hadn't really produced any good paintings for a while so I was quite happy experimenting.

Then I discovered the ACEO. What a fabulous invention. My kids are trading card lovers. Tiny little paintings. Perfect. It's not high art but that's not what I'm about and it's just such fun. My etsy page is increasingly full of these miniature paintings and I really love them.

I didn't think I could paint on a smaller scale but I'm getting better, I have a magnifying glass and better reading glasses and an almost imperceptible paintbrush.

What next- erotic art for grown up dolls' houses? Is there any such thing? Let me know if you find anything. The playboy mansion at 1/16 scale with a mini heff? I want one!

Questions, questions...

It's been a while.

Shortly after my last blog post (rant) I just gave up and took time out. I've realised it was partly my fault. I hadn't realised what would happen and this charming naivety led to disaster.

One by one I shall answer all the questions which plague my working life and social networking.  We've established that I don't paint in the nude. That's always the one that made my face wrinkle the most. I frowned even typing it.

Here are other enquiries off the top of my head and I'll take them all on one by one so if I get asked again I can link straight here and get myself a glass of wine instead of vexing myself  trying to find the words.

Here are the questions. The answers may take a while, but check back- they're coming.

1 : Why do you paint erotic art?

2: Do you get turned on while I'm taking the photos or painting?

3: Why paint women if you are a straight woman? Why not men???

4: Why the pseudonym?

5: Do you want to see my.......?

Before I come back with answers I'd like to point out that these questions are mostly asked by strangers. Male strangers. And the strangest thing is how badly they seem to want the answers. There's often an anger behind the question that's very strange to me.  Indignance even.

If you follow me on social networking you'll see I'm now married. If you know me personally, you'll know I'm not.  That's stopped a lot of the cruder approaches. The reason I disappeared was because I couldn't deal with men thinking I was part of the deal and that they were paying for mutual arousal rather than a painting and I'd turned down all commissions because I didn't want to have to pretend. I began to know how prostitutes must feel and I'm notoriously bad at sucking up.

I'm now exclusively on more anonymous art sites and sites mostly visited by women or intelligent men and it's much easier.

Should I have to justify myself? Probably not. But I'd like to get it all out of my system and then just concentrate on the painting.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Do you paint in the nude?

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Let's get that one right out of the way.

The world is divided into two kinds of people. Boys and girls. And if I've ever done anything which compounded this contrast it's what I do now.

Obviously, I have an interest in human, not just female sexuality. My work has always explored themes of exhibitionism, sexuality and fetishism. The advent of the internet in the years between my earlier paintings and my new work has given me access to a whole new world. Not different, just more visible. And with it a wide scope for inspiration.

To some extent I would have to agree that I'm "asking for it" In the same way that girls with short skirts attract attention. I just don't agree that my boundaries should be crossed unless someone's invited.

This comes from conversations I've been having with some very talented strong female artists I know who are only now beginning to find these problems and I want to share my journey with them and anyone else who cares to read.

I chose a very strange path to get here. Not one I regret at all, I wouldn't have done it otherwise. It's the way I do things I guess- throw it with force against a wall and see what sticks.

Last April, I hadn't painted anything but what people asked me to. Labradors and babies mainly. Then an opportunity arose with another painter who was selling classy decorative popart nudes  on a site. He invited me to do some work for it. I started with the thought of male nudes as there is a good market in the gay community and I thought I might find someone fabulous to go dancing with in the process.

But it didn't work out. Very early on I was faced with this fundamental difference. I'm not saying it's universal, it's my experience. It's what I call the "what are we going to do with this" moment.

I stage all my work- it all comes from images I have in my mind that I recreate- some happen by happy accident. Girls are brilliant. They come round with a big bag of shoes and goodies, have a glass of wine or 8 and we laugh a lot. The reason they want to come is to have some lovely photos that they can show to someone/ everyone/ nobody in the manner of Gok Wan's (love him) How to look good naked. Nobody thinks that's pornographic. Well, maybe the odd teenage boy without unfettered access to the internet! Even the fetish shoots I do, or the ones with a darker feel to them end up with us squealing with joy at the pics.

Then there are men. They come with no bag, just an erection and high hopes. No matter what I say, they'll say anything to get here and show me their pride and joy. My previous blog was in a joyous place called adultfriendfinder, if you know it then you know exactly the baptism of fire it is. It was pretty naive of me really, only because I don't handle dating sites marvellously well at the best of times.

Luckily it does have layers of activity and people on there that you wouldn't think exist at first glance and it makes more sense than you think as a way of researching. And it's the best illustration I can produce for why I and my friends have the experiences we do with men.

This is not an anti-male rant, it's an anti-advertising rant and an account of the triumph of hope over experience. If you look at the advertising for these sites you'd be forgiven for thinking that the suburbs are full to he brim of page three lovelies who like nothing better than going dogging with middle aged salesman. Sorry to burst your bubble guys. Ain't happenin. The harsh reality of these places, once the money has changed hands is that the men outnumber women about 30 to 1. You can check the site stats for each country.

And the women that are there are there for various reasons. A very very small fraction are reasonable looking women available for no strings sex with random strangers, many with the encouragement of a partner with cuckold fantasies who want to be there too or hear about it. The good looking young women on there are there to make money, they don't need to do it for free. The vast majority of men on there either have no pic or a close up view of their bits. No hearts and flowers- a short profile that pretty much says "what you see is what you get" and their expectations are to say the least- disproportionate! They send messages that say "u look hot fancy a chat" without reading the female profiles at all.

The webcam rooms are the most telling part of it. Maybe I'll describe that another time.

My place there was in the blog section. What I had thought was that I would find pure exhibitionists who would model for me without needing anything in return. I've known people like that. I made some interesting friends there- there's a subculture of people who understand the reality of it and are disillusioned with the original promises. They know how to make it work for them and when to give up.

What else I found there became a major source of inspiration, and was the part of it I hadn't counted on. The women who could deal with it and had invented a character to exist there. They posted up self taken photos and poetry, jokes, rants. They're the stars there. Their blogs are followed by men and women and there's a very strange phenomenon in the comments that men post after. There can be hundreds. Mostly pure veneration. And cut down to the essence they read like this

upforit44 says.... Pick me!

bigdick4u says.... Pick me!

wantutonight1968 says.... Pick me!

Facebook groups are the same. Photo comments that stretch out into hundreds. Men ignoring the fact that their comment is one of so many and is of a professional model who may or may not have any knowledge that their picture is there.

Women are so unaware of all this. After all, they don't go looking. Why would they.

So there they are, the great hopeful masses trawling with unending hope. And barely veiled hostility. Trying to keep the balance of "Maybe this is it- a real attractive woman who might respond" and "going by experience this is unlikely, it'll probably end with a trip to a paid cam site or a request for an airfare"

And there we are. The few real women, verifiable flesh and blood females who are expressing an interest in nakedness and sensuality. Is it surprising they try their luck with us the same as they would with any woman they believe has posted up a picture of herself as an invitation to look and/or touch? No. I'm not excusing it. It's the massive driving force that squeezes money out of every lonely or unfulfilled man sat by himself with a webcam.

All we can do is say~ sorry for the disappointment but the woman you believe me to be doesn't exist, I'm a painter not a prostitute, and if I ever go looking for a model or a lover, I certainly won't be sat here thinking that a picture of a limp penis and the words "u got msn" are going to find me my prince.

:)