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
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
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…