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.

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!

Mistress Tess in Furs

As you will have seen in the dedicated page to Venus in Furs , the book is a great favourite of Mistress Tess and this watercolour was intended to be in the style of those paintings – the classic monochrome style which gives such a sense of cool mystery and eroticism.
She specified a cuckolding scene where she would be lying on a silk bed beside her well-endowed black lover, while her Louboutin heels are worshipped by a lowly well-whipped submissive, the commissioner of the painting. Obviously she hardly needs to hold the leash connected to his collar.
On the bed you can also see Mistress Tess’ favourite pink whip produced by Essentia Whips.

This and previous drawings are now on display at the new chambers of Mistress Tess – the Alchemy Rooms.

 

Please see Commissions page for more information on commissioning a portrait.

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. On speaking to other mistresses I learnt how it had affected them:-

Mistress Harpsichord  “Venus in fur genuinely moved me to tears. There was something so powerful about the performance that I struggle to put into words. It was honest, relateable and devastatingly beautiful.”

Lady Lola “I adored Venus in Fur, it came as no surprise as I am a big fan of the movie.Incredible performances and overall tone. Close to the bone on many occasions but all done with a playful dialogue.”

Marti “A teasingly plotted entertainment with plenty of pleasing eye candy for the Dominant Woman.”

 

See the Play Website

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.