Patrons

Patrons -those who commission artwork – are the enablers of the professional artist.

Increasingly in the age of instant gratification on the Net we lose sight of the fact that behind many professional images and videos there has been someone, somewhere to finance it happening . This has become obscured by the freedom with which anything now is stolen copied.

Before the web this was self evident. Patrons paid for the services of creatives – not always well – but understood that expenses were necessary or nothing would happen. Throughout history if an artist was not paid, there would be no culture, so princes, popes, etc. would dip into their treasure chests to finance creative projects. Sometimes they paid huge sums to secure the services of the best artists in Europe, like Rubens or Bernini. Others like Vermeer were largely neglected, and had constant money problems. Yet still there was the general understanding they needed to be paid. But still now some do not recognise that artists have bills to pay like everyone else and if they can’t make it pay then the art won’t happen.

I grew up in a creative family and money – or rather the lack of it – was the root of many problems. Our human needs were the same as everyone else, shelter, food, bills to pay and yet art was not considered “real work”, presumably as it didn’t make a profit for any shareholder. Constantly around us our family was met with the same incomprehension. Art was considered a leisure activity, and not expected to earn anything. You’d be right in assuming I was encouraged to do any work but art! 

In my own career I have been paid to contribute to magazines (remember them?), femdom member sites, my own member site (sardax.com 2004-2014) and now mainly working on bespoke portraiture. In all we were reliant on people making a financial contribution. I have been fortunate in mostly having a public (often creative themselves) who understood this. Generally artists do not become professional to earn a fortune. If that happens – fine …but I don’t think many start with that in mind. They soon discover it’s not that easy.

So as a farewell to 2017 this post is a thanks to all patrons who have tried to keep me afloat financially however much they can manage, so I can concentrate on what I do best – doing the artwork. 

This is not a post about my own work but here is a photo of the Last Judgement from the Sistine Chapel for which have to thank not only Michaelangelo, but also Pope Julius II who had the vision to commission it.

(In this post I use the term arts but it could apply equally to any creative endeavour)

 

Portrait of Lady Fyre

This simple portrait of Lady Fyre was gifted as a Christmas present but the brief was from the Lady herself. It shows her reclining on a sofa, holding up a ribbon to play with her own cat, to which is attached a key.
The key to what? Your chastity?
Her enigmatic smile will not reveal.

The subtle use of red crayon on this emphasises Lady Fyre’s flaming red hair, her shoes and the ribbon. Red is unique among all the colours in adding a note of sensuality to a black and white pen drawing.

In a completely different setting, she is seen here in an office setting taking command of a raw new recruit to the company. A natural dominant, Lady Fyre enjoys role-play of the woman in authority.

ladyfyre_office

Portrait of Miss Laura 3

This is the third portrait of Miss Laura
See the others here, and here.
In this Christmas portrait for 2017 she is shown sitting in the hall of her home, waiting for her slave-maid to bring her new pair of shoes for the evening ahead with her ‘alpha’ lover at the door. Is the maid her cuckold, or maybe is it one of the men she is speaking to on her mobile, the essential tool for communicating with her hopelessly love-sick admirers!

Venus in Furs text illustrations

This small gallery shows just six of the twenty text illustrations to be seen in the printed version of my “Venus in Furs”.
They were produced digitally in the style of old-fashioned books where drawings were made to placed within the text and run round by it – so-called “page furniture”.
How many books published as novels today have that level of illustration?
Together with a special title page and end of chapter illustrations this book was designed from the start as a luxury item.

 

vif_titlepagedesign
The frontispiece page

See the dedicated page Venus in Furs book for further information about ordering the book.

Please note there is also an e-book for sale – while it contains the ten full-page illustrations these text illustrations were omitted as it was impossible to wrap the text round them.

Venus in Fur

No, not “Venus in Furs” !

It is  “Venus in Fur” without the ‘s’.

It is not a play of the book. Well it is, indirectly.

This is a stage play – and a film now – about a stage director who is auditioning actresses for his own adaptation of the book “Venus in Furs”, and almost in despair of never finding the right one, allows a final audition to an outwardly trashy actress, who not only surprises him by her amazing acting  as the play progresses , but also completely turns his life around.

Confused yet? I was when I first heard of the play. Like many outside the theatre-going public it was when film director Roman Polanski announced he was going to produce his own adaptation in a French translation, with his wife Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric in the lead roles. I naturally assumed it was a dramatisation of the book itself. In fact there are only two actors in the entire play so when I first read about it and then later saw the stills from the movie I was admittedly cool about it.
After all, how could the whole of Venus in Furs be dramatised on stage with only two actors?

Of course I did not make the distinction.

But people kept asking me what I thought of the film (because of my translation and illustrations I was now thought of as some authority, maybe) so in the end I relented, thinking I had to base an opinion and so I sat grimly through the first few minutes. Rather like the director on stage Thomas Novachek (not the director of the play itself, by the way) who gradually warms to the personality of actress Vanda Jordan, I warmed to the script as I realised that the play’s author David Ives really understood the book itself and I started to enjoy the way the two characters reacted to each other and was thoroughly won over as the film ended.

So when the play finally came to Theatre Royal Haymarket in London I was enthusiastic to see it. In company with Mistress Tess and her admirer, we saw Natalie Dormer as Vanda and David Oakes as Thomas in a production directed by Patrick Marber. I was pleased at last to hear it in English instead of subtitled from the French film and it quite lived up to my expectations. Lots of great comic and insightful moments that really reflected the whole dynamic between Severin and Wanda in the original book.

The Weimar Series

This recent series – made for Japanese magazine “Goddess love” (女神の愛) takes the theme of a drinking-club in 1920’s Germany, at the time of the Weimar Republic, where the main female characters are played by world-famous mistresses. I wanted to show a decadent and raffish atmosphere, but add a sense of nostalgia for a past period of modern history.
This is a club run by females for females, but also for subservient men so long as they are well behaved and paying :- if not, a strict management policy is enforced!


1. In the first scene Domina Liza, dressed in an opulent fur coat, is shown pointing to the illuminated entrance of the club. Her besotted and extremely wealthy slave will be required to take her inside for an exorbitantly expensive evening.


2. Now we see Lady Lola, playfully teasing a waiter who is dressed in a pretty waitress outfit. Her touch is obviously upsetting him so much he is likely to spill his tray at any moment.


3. The scene moves outwards to Mrs Weltsova who is sitting on a stool, sipping her cocktail, her feet being worshipped by an obviously drunk customer who is behaving very indecently .


4. Over comes Princess Aurora in her military-style costume and ejects him swiftly from the premises with a well-directed kick from polished boots. No rowdiness in this club!

In the tradition of these series it moves à la ronde back to the first image where the disgraced customer finds himself  collapsed in a heap and half-conscious beside the entrance.

If you live in Japan you can buy the present issue -No 15 – from Amazon.
Regrettably the magazine cannot be bought overseas.

Portrait of Mistress Liberty

A simple theme :- wrapped warmly in a beautiful white fur coat, Mistress Liberty takes her rubber-encased slave for a walk in the early morning, down through the snow-covered gardens of her palatial estate.

Learn more about Sardax portraiture and commissioning at the main Sardax website

Please remember if you are commissioning for a birthday or anniversary to leave a few months as there is usually a waiting list for commissioned artwork.

 

Portrait of Mistress Nikki Whiplash

A recent post featured a collection of paintings with the theme “Thrones”. This new portrait of Mistress Nikki Whiplash  (who was also featured in the Fairytales series) clearly depicts the same theme. Her footstool – and shoe-cleaner – is the painting’s commissioner himself – ‘Nikki’s BBB’, shackled, humbled and also serving as a lamp to illuminate her beauty. To her side a vast cabinet containing a full range of high-heeled shoes, one of Mistress Nikki’s passions.

Learn more about Sardax portraiture and commissioning at the main Sardax website

Please remember if you are commissioning for a birthday or anniversary to leave a few months as there is usually a waiting list for commissioned artwork.

Portrait of Mistress Chloe 2

The previous portrait of Mistress Chloe of New York was very well received so another was commissioned to illustrate one of Mistress Chloe’s specialities -wrestling her sub with her strong thighs. Here the commissioner is shown looking suitably vanquished as her gloved hand covers his mouth. He never really stood a chance with both hands bound tautly with rope to his member!

Learn more about Sardax portraiture and commissioning at the main Sardax website

Please remember if you are commissioning for a birthday or anniversary to leave a few months as there is usually a waiting list for commissioned artwork.

Thrones

The throne is a recurring motif in much of my art.

One of the first line drawings I made as Sardax was this goddess on a throne. This was actually sold as a limited run of postcards at the Skin Two shop back in the early nineties – if you bought one then you’re lucky ! Throughout the years the depiction of the mistress in her throne has been a useful way of displaying her regality and authority, raised up above her slaves , looking down . In this selection of portraits there are different types-some elaborate, some simple:-

Portrait of Maitresse Renee


Mistress Akella with the ermine


Laylah from Snake portraits