Silence and Passion: golden advice

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When I paint, I usually do so in silence.  I love silence.  I usually only listen to music when I begin and there's not too much pressure on me yet; when the strokes are gestured and flowing and relatively instinctual.  I continue this way until I finish with the under painting, though my method is a bit different than traditional under painting. Nonetheless,  I’m surprised how anyone could paint an entire painting with music. Amazed actually.  

Music in the background is extremely distracting from my thoughts because eventually it takes over and I begin to sing and/or dance with it and then I mess up on the painting OR it begins to transform in sound from enjoyable tunes to nail scratches on a chalkboard, wherein I become irritated and mess up on the painting that way. This happens with soft relaxing tunes as well, though I can handle those for several hours before I go crazy.  I'm the same when I write.  I need silence to think and process. I don't like other people's "stuff" in my mind for too long. It’s therapy time for me too in a way.  

I find painting a constant push and pull of “I love how this is going” to “omg, I hate painting”.   Of course I don’t hate painting.  I hate the mirror of seeing how not good enough I am compared to how good enough I keep trying to be.  I think this is a lifetime problem so I don’t dwell on it but use it as a way to keep working on getting better. 

Someone once told me that silence was golden.  I liked silence then but really didn’t get it.  After 20 years of raising kids, I’d like to announce that I understand what “silence is golden” means.  Golden means “fucking amazing”.  When it’s paired up with painting time, I could think of no better way to spend the rest of my life, each and everyday.  My paintings keep me going when nothing else does, even when I’m frustrated by their progression and want to give up, because I really don't.  I just want the painting process to flow, that's all, and I can't control that so there are many life lessons in discipline and commitment here too.  No one can make my paintings but me.  No one.  So I have to step up or quit. That’s pretty awesome and valuable. 

Speaking of valuable… I offered some valuable advice to a fellow artist recently that I’ll share with you.  It can be adapted to most anyone facing fears of being vulnerable “out there”:

"Stockings" from Back It Up collection

"Stockings" from Back It Up collection

I had an artist write me asking advice about dealing with being an erotica artist, the judgment, shame and vulnerability, etc. He mentioned how he had found passion for this type of painting and wanted to do it but he had to hide his paintings at night and work on them secretly.  Yep, I know. Been there, done that. I told him he just had to get used to it and pursue onward.  

Jumping out there and showing an erotic art collection in Savannah was pretty bold and daring but in my gut it felt like the right thing to do because if no one knows I make this art, success isn’t going to knock on my door and success isn't exactly selling paintings.  Success is broad. So I followed that feeling and that’s the kind of stuff you need to do if you wish to succeed at all, in any way, in the erotic arts or any arts I would imagine.  Everyone will judge you. Everyone. Get used to it and move onward. Their opinion doesn’t count because they have secret fetishes they either do behind closed doors or wish they were doing behind closed doors or they haven't had sex so long, they forgot what it was like to exist behind closed doors; so basically, these opinions come from unhappiness, thus they don't count.  Your work and your commitment to it is what counts and eventually that will be noticed because you stuck to it. Most people don't stick to it but I think you only truly stick it out through the hell when it's valuable enough and that's where passion itself is the gold.  Only passion will really get you through and you only discover it's a passion when you sit on the quit seat and would rather eat root vegetables for dinner then give up.

If it’s a passion, the lack of money and reward from the outside shouldn’t discourage the process of being passionate and continuing in such painting genres, or any artistic endeavor.  If it is money or reward from the outside that drives the passion, “stop” because the judgment and tomato throwing gets harsh and you will eventually give up or break apart. (you might not but it's tough out there)  Certainly there are those who value what I paint, specifically the Art Porn collections, but those are few and out of those, buyers are even fewer.  If you want to paint your passion you have to prove it’s worth caring about.  You have to find your voice and that takes time, effort and many failures.  And lots of judgments.  Get used to them and move on. 

How this relates to painting in silence?  It doesn’t intentionally. Though, I could tie it in with how silent painting for me is what meditation is to a mind.  In that silence I have found myself, my voice, my soul and the self-nurture I need that I can't find any other way.  Not a bad tie in to what was simply a stream of consciousness offering today. :)  

painting in progress

painting in progress

Okay, I’m going back to finishing my painting with peacock feathers, which I really am pushing to finish before December’s end.  The feathers have been challenging so I've been taking a lot of breaks and working on other small works to rest my eyes. 

Keep up with my latest on my Instagram.  Currently I’m counting down my 25 Days of Gratitude – because I need a reminder, and I’m sure you could use a gratitude reminder too. We all can. 

When the Leaves Fall, the Trees Show Themselves

In the Midst of Fall

In the Midst of Fall

As I process the past three year journey of painting (which primarily centered itself around Art Porn), reflect on my being a small business owner of an art school for two of those years, as well as life changes revolving my family, I have entered a bit of an overload where everything is fuzzy enough to make me scratch my head: "what now?", really is my question.

I've been drawing neutral tone portraits in charcoal. The black and white drawings settle the information down into a smaller spectrum for me so I can focus on other details than what painting in color allows. It's going back to the basics and reviewing what you thought you knew but now you know better so are your results begin to show it. That's how you can really see improvement.

I haven't been able to focus on art making. I try but other priorities take over and I find it difficult as an artist to do my self appointed job while balancing all that's on my plate to meet the needs of family and general life. 

Keeping disciplined to make art is up there with going to the gym or keeping up with the yoga membership: you must be truly committed and that's the fork in the road. I keep taking the path that leads to making art a priority no matter how derailed I get. It's so damn difficult but I'm not a production machine and I have to remember that.  

Through some personal force to create something fun, I've begun a new sexy painting that might go into my next erotic collection, something I've not had desire to create since the Vegas show ended, or actually, since my last painting "Back It Up" back in June.  That's a depressing thought right there: that's 5 months of no sexual or erotic art making. I've been drawing faces and a cathedral, all in charcoal - shades of grey, black and white. (I'm just following intuition on that one) I felt though, inner pressure to break the colorless eroticless momentum if I even wanted to think about making another erotic art collection for the upcoming year, which I do.

Often there's a rubber band stretching act between the needs of the inner artist and the needs of Tatiana's reality. It has to be sorted before the snap.  Winter couldn't come at a better time to go inward for creativity and answers, new paths and ideas. In these months I produce the most art. Hopefully by spring I'll be pretty in pink with new great work to show from the fall and winter inspirations. 

A happy autumn to you all. I am prepping for hibernation painting and channeling my energy into the right places of thought and creativity.  I can only try my best to make some good art as I move forward. Follow me on Instagram for the latest snippets of art I create. 

Speechless and Zipless

I don't have anything to write about at this time but I feel the need to pop up from the beginnings of my winter hibernation before I am gone too long.  It's autumn and the need to hide out at home painting is a primal one for me. Safe. Stocked. Comfortable.  

The entire Las Vegas experience, along with its tragic events of the mass shooting recently feel like a surreal whirlwind of really heavy emotional shit.  The season is just right in its hibernation seduction.

To break silence and offer something I think you might enjoy, I thought I'd introduce you to one of my favorite albums, Vanessa Daou's "Zipless" (below).  I have always found it very erotic music.

It was first introduced to me in my early twenties by the sexiest and most erotic man I had ever known.  Being I was so young, the time table of experimentation in that "known" department was rather small but he set the stage for my search for eroticism in my life versus sex in my life. Through this early erotic relationship down in South Beach back in the early '90s I got my first dose of mature erotic seductions. Who the hell wanted a halo and wings then?  I wasn't in line.   

A current painting I'm working on - well, still in its drawing stage and I don't have a photo momentarily - was developed in my mind while listening to this album lost in that mental freedom one gets in a zone out mode.  So, since real life leaves me currently speechless because I have so much to process right now (and the holidays haven't really even officially started yet), let's listen to good sexy tunes and forget the real world.  I like the words as well.

The first song sets the mood well for the rest of the album. I've been listening to these tunes for twenty years.  Enjoy. 

Update: The Erotic Museum and my art

the erotic art, the photo album and the response

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I had some unexpected challenges during and after my Vegas trip that almost broke me.  I mentioned the general disappointment I had on various levels on a previous blog post.  Yes, I fly like Superwoman but even us super females get taken down here and there but you push through or give up -- and that seemed part of the journey. There was a huge load of pressure to do two shows within 8 weeks and I had to do it mostly without the help or support I had originally depended on, but then, when I took this idea on it was May 2016, almost a year before delivery. A lot had changed in my life during that time and I wasn't prepared for the unexpected details and the large pressures but bravo, made it. 

Art Porn, Savannah, March 2015 

Art Porn, Savannah, March 2015 

Back It Up, Savannah, June 2017

Back It Up, Savannah, June 2017

Both collections, Las Vegas, July 2017

Both collections, Las Vegas, July 2017

The good news is that it's all been worked out and I've been truly thankful for the hard work of the museum staff, plus, I'm proud of my pushing forward.  The level of education this whole road trip/show/life experience has brought is priceless so, all good and well on the front of dealing with personal fears and surviving them while dealing with professional challenges and conquering those.  I had to make some important choices about why this is worth it. That's my Vegas story in a nutshell, though I do want to share some fun experiences I had, which I'll do on the blog in the coming weeks. 

Inside the museum 

Inside the museum 

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So far the response on the show, the art itself, has continued to be truly uplifting, pardon the pun.   I've received great comments about how fantastic the art is, mostly via personal emails and contact, and a few via social media. Various adjectives are repeated, "beautiful", "sexy", "erotic", and one person called the work "raw".  I'll compile a list.  Everyone is drawn to it from a slightly different perspective, which is awesome because that's what sexuality is, different for everyone. Personally, as the artist, I like to hear those perspectives.  

Important Links :

  • Here's the Erotic Heritage Museum website so you can learn about them and see my feature on their webpage, which I'm very grateful for and thrilled about. I'm in the exhibits section and mentioned on the blog. The director, Victoria Hartmann, Ph. D. is working on creating more educational programming to locals and visitors so I think it's a worthy newsletter signup or bookmark, at least. Their most active social media platform is Twitter @EroticMuseumLV.
  • Here's the link to the Back It Up show in Savannah.  I noticed the link was password protected when I sent out my last email. I thought I removed it so pardon I missed that.  If you didn't make it to that show, view the art online anytime.
  • Here's the link to the Back It Up art itself, and Art Porn if you haven't seen that.
  • Please pass on these art links to anyone you think might enjoy them, buy them or anyone visiting Vegas. The show is up til Sept 30th.
  • Belong to my newsletter?  Sign up for special posts, info and events.

I've been thinking about the next way to go with the sexual art, the 3rd edition of Art Porn.  I have some ideas but they need more time to formulate, which is good: I'm exhausted.

I'll leave you with a chuckle from Las Vegas. :)

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