I found it really hard to choose pictures for this post as generally the photos behind my work are unseen, I prefer them to be a mystery. I mainly work to commission and I wanted to share a post to help my female customers produce their own amazing images so they really have a piece of artwork to be proud of. Not just that though- I’m happy for other artists to share this with their own potential models and for people to use this advice for their own photos however they like to use them. I’m sure the advice works the same for men, it’s just that I prefer painting girls.
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.
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..
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
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.
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!
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
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.
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
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…