The Sardax studio is as busy as ever, though as most commissions are currently private there have been few public updates. There are also some interesting pieces forthcoming – including a personal shrine (!) – but they cannot be revealed just yet.
But I like to get out and about and for various reasons meet up to sketch current mistresses who come in and around London. This might be in connection with an upcoming commission, or for one visiting from abroad and rarely here, or simply I find an interest in drawing them.
Unlike my fully commissioned work I do not make a charge for these – they are a pleasure to make – and once a photo has been taken the sketch is given away freely, but they are made entirely at my suggestion and I cannot accept requests to sketch.
As she was so pleased with her portrait as Kinky Alice, Manchester based humiliatrix Princess Aurora hinted to one of her long-time admirers that she would like a similar drawing to go alongside it and this was the resulting piece.
She gave a very free brief, but only requested that the costume should feature a pleated skirt.
In this drawing Princess Aurora takes time to visit her dungeon, where some of her giant-sized prisoners of desire press forward against the solid steel bars for the chance to see her and delicately kiss her fingernails.
Lady Salome, a mistress from Germany, wished for a fantasy-based theme and taking her name as a starting-off point we thought of a head on a silver platter, though that seemed a little gruesome. A skull with tongue licking her feet seemed a better idea. She wears a rather fetishy medieval dress and carries a sword (perhaps of justice?) Behind her a traditional German castle and a small reference to the other Biblical Salome of a crucifix on the railings. In addition to the classic watercolour treatment a very thin layer of red ink was added to the hair and tongue of the skull.
The first portrait of South Florida and New York based Mistress Michelle Lacy was so well received that the commissioner, her favourite “pony pet”, planned a companion piece for Christmas, but this time including himself standing to her left.
As in the first, another mistress rides a buggy in the background at Mistress Michelle’s fantastic open-air play Order of Indomitus
There is a simplistic idea going round in erotica marketing that women respond to words and men to pictures. This sounds true, judging by the the sales of erotic novels to women and videoclips to men, but I think the truth is more complex. From some conversations with dominant women who had taken it upon themselves to tell me what I ought to be doing (bless them), I learnt that they aren’t generally interested in femdom photos or videos simply because it had no “eye candy” for them. Instead of focussing on a good-looking male this media tends to linger on the dominant female actress, which is off-putting for them, and any males in the scene are secondary, certainly not chosen for their looks or acting ability. There are notable exceptions, but as most visual content is produced for men any content designed for women tends to get ignored and women seem to stop even looking for anything appealing. So it was initially surprising for me but on reflection quite logical that for them gay porn was their choice of viewing. I understood this but could not see how I could do anything to affect the disparity.
But these ladies could be persuasive and so, at their instigation, I tried to address this with a few pieces for what has come to be called “The Female Gaze” – that might appeal to this untapped female market and give a few new subscriptions to the member-site I was running at the time (2004-14).
Drawing in this way was an interesting process, like driving on the opposite side of the road – familiar landmarks and same direction but a different focus and view, through guessing what the female might prefer rather than just knowing. This series was one such -“Down Below”
Down Below 1
Down Below 2
Down Below 3
Down Below 4
My friends expressed satisfaction with this series – they particularly liked the suffering eyes – but I felt no immediate desire to continue working this way. I knew my core market was men and straying too far from that would alienate them. I put up a few pieces now and then “for the ladies” such as this -“Moonlight”, but let the matter rest as I felt it was for a female artist to develop it further.
So I was pleased recently to get to know about a new venture called Dreams Made Flesh run by a Canadian lifestyle domme . It is run on the patreon system whereby the contributions fund artists and writers who are developing this field. As you can see it’s not just Female Gaze then but Female Ear too, but I believe it’s not just for women anyway. Men can enjoy this focus equally and if they care anything about what women like (I mean-isn’t that the scene ?) then it is something that should be sponsored.
A few times in the course of my career I have been asked to make posthumous portraits. (for partners or mistresses who have unfortunately passed on)
While the portraits are not in themselves generally difficult, the circumstances surrounding the commission have to be handled sensitively as they can be affected by grief and emotion. An artwork commissioned at an emotional intensity one month can become problematic through onset of depression a few months later. Moreover the feelings of other close relatives have to be considered besides that of the partner – who is usually the commissioner.
One time on receiving his portrait the widower told me touchingly – “It was what she always wanted -but we never got round to it.”
Last year I was approached by S. who wanted to commemorate the relationship with his beloved mistress and partner- Mistress Mariska. He sent me photos of her and I tried my best to draw it as he -and perhaps she -might want it.
He has given his permission now to make this portrait public.
Shortly before Christmas I was fortunate enough to attend a lovely play-party given by Nikki Whiplash, whose portrait I completed recently. My role was however not to play, though I did enjoy myself immensely. During ball-busting events and other intense games with the male guests in the main dungeon, I sat in an adjoining room and sketched four of the stunning mistresses in turn, using a mixture of pencils, pen and red crayon. A messy combination but for working fast it seems to work.
This is the magic of drawing – of art in general – 20 minutes before there was only a blank sheet of paper and a pen. After 20 minutes an image of themselves which they were (visibly) happy to receive and take home*.
The sketch will remain there and can be looked at whenever they want. Unlike an experience which lasts only as long as the activity causing it.
My mission was complete – I enjoyed seeing their smiles and giggles, like some party magician, and I drank up my sherry and indulged in the mince pies provided.
Thank you Nikki for putting on such a lovely party!
*It’s not always successful. Sometimes I just can’t get it right but generally it works out ok