“Tamara” -book cover

For many years I have been fascinated by the 1837 poem “Tamara” by Russian author Lermontov – my own amateur translation below – and discussing this one day with long time friend and colleague Irv O. Neil (see his recollections of New York) we came up with the idea of a collaboration as in the 90’s – the “old days” when we both worked for Leg Show magazine (to me the 90’s is only yesterday!)

By his own admission Irv became equally entranced by the poem and worked on top form to create his longest novella yet, drawing on his own memories of 70’s New York and weaving the poem into a story of the seemingly innocent librarian who transforms by night into the seductive persona of Tamara in the poem.

Ebooks have allowed individual writers to publish their own creations in epub or pdf form but too often the last-minute choice of stock photography bearing little if any relation to the content together with indifferent typography does nothing to sell the amazing and inventive writing inside. You can’t tell a book by its cover, sure, but you can go a long way to attracting a roving eye to one out of the many thousands of books on offer. Traditionally publishers spend a lot on getting the cover right and it is justified by the increased sales, but for the most part femdom writing is excluded from mainstream publishing and left to the individual ebook. It’s understandable that authors’ budgets would be too stretched to commission an individual cover for their own books but for once, at least, I wanted to give this great story a great cover, in the style of our old collaborations.

The model is imaginary -maybe a southern Russian or central Asian beauty, dressed in figure-hugging leather and carrying a whip, at the dramatic moment when she surprises the principal character -E.Z. Shepherd -who is at his desk looking for a missing page of research.

Interested to read further? 

Buy the ebook itself from Amazon now –

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09B6DLLBV/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09B6DLLBV

In the deep valley of the Daryal
where the Terek growls in the gloom
high reared a black tower
tight against a black cliff.

In that high and narrow tower
lived Princess Tamara.
Fair as a heavenly angel,
evil as a demon.

And through the midnight mists
a golden light shone forth
to guide the eyes of the traveler
and invite him to his night’s rest.

And the voice of Tamara was heard
a voice of passion and desire.
It cast an irresistible spell,
a power, beyond all understanding.

To the voice of the invisible enchantress
came the warrior, the merchant and the shepherd. 
Gates opened before them
and a dark eunuch ushered them in.

On a bed of downy softness,
sewn with brocade and pearls,
she expected her guests and before her
sparkled two goblets of wine.

Passionate limbs embraced
lips pressed to lips
and strange wild moans
resounded through the whole night.

As if in that desolate tower
a hundred fair youths and girls
had come together for moonlit wedding
Or a great funeral feast.

But as soon as the light of dawn
had spread its rays over the hills
silence and darkness instantly
ruled once more.

Only the Terek in the valley of the Daryal
broke the silence with its thunderous flow
waves crashed against wave
wave against wave.

And with a sob a voiceless body
was hurriedly removed
A white form showed at the window
and a voice was heard…farewell!

©2021 Sardax

Portrait of Ibicella 2

This watercolour of Ibicella was inspired by a painting of Samson and Delilah by the French symbolist artist Gustave Moreau.
Samson lies asleep on the lap of Delilah, who gazes out at the viewer langorously and knowingly, before cutting off his hair.

Ibicella is here shown seated on a throne inspired by the petals of the Ibicella lutea flower, after which she takes her name.
Perhaps it is the end of a bacchanal, and she looks out at us with a similar gaze, her hair circled with ivy leaves, and her slave has collapsed over her knee, drunk from wine and her passionate embrace, his chalice fallen to the ground, but still bound to her by long tendrils which run the length of her palace. He wears a mask reminiscent of a fools’ cap, for he is in the best sense a “fool for love”.
In the background another slave has been holding a tray of wine for the evening’s debauchery.

Ibicella unveiled the painting during a webcam in which she thanked the commissioner and myself .

Ibicella’s website

Portrait of Ibicella 1

Portrait of Mistress Jade 2

A further commission was ordered for Mistress Jade at the time of the previous portrait

Mistress Jade herself was asked how she wished to be depicted in this one.

On a moonlit balcony she stands in a long night-blue dress and holds a whip. Before going out to the garden to whip a slave who is chained to the tree branch, she pauses for a drink presented to her by her favourite slave-girl. Ivy runs round the walls and creeps up a human lamp-holder, totally encased in leather.

Mistress Jade’s website

On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer

The first time I saw the internet was a complete revelation.
One summer’s day around ’96 I was at the seaside home of an erotic writer, who also happened to be a pioneer of the web. He had invited me to see his new Apple Mac – “his wonderful machine” and the astonishing  ‘Internet’.
Through a fug of heavy cigarette smoke I gazed at his magic lantern, at something called a ‘website’!
“Surely they can’t show that ??” I gasped as we looked at some dubious page.
I was reminded of the famous lines of Keats poem, ‘On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer’ :-

Then felt I like some watcher of the skies 
When a new planet swims into his ken; 

I could see that the rules had all changed. We could now write and depict virtually what we wished. Oh, sure, the webhost was in between but they were usually quite liberal, hippy and unintrusive . And kinky art was liberated, as was a lot more. No longer did I need to worry whether my drawings would be published because I could be the publisher. (Though I still always self-censor I don’t know why …for reasons of ‘taste’?)

Censorship had almost always existed in some shape or form until the internet. My earliest published drawings were all made with a dark cloud hanging over them – “will the publisher accept this?” “Can I get away with this? ”
There were in fact no clear guidelines, which would have helped enormously. A lot depended on factors such as which party was in power or whom you were working for and we would all try to make sense of unclear directions. A mainstream magazine had to comply with the news vendor’s policies of what they were comfortable to put on sale. Smaller fetish magazines which allowed greater freedom could only be sold in sex-shops which were regularly raided by the authorities and restocked the next day. The extortionate mark-up on the goods meant they were never seriously out of pocket.
So life continued in a haphazard way.

The point of this rambling is that for the past few years we have seen greater regulation coming in as the Internet has taken over our lives and become much more portable, so the content of the web has become a much great concern. This week I was suspended from Twitter for the image above*, one of a series I drew many years ago for OWK.  My fault, as I should not have been using such a “violent” image for my public icon, which is required to be squeaky-clean. Make of that what you will. But it has made me reflect on how much we take for granted. At my age I can compare this to what came before and take it philosophically – oh well, just going back to the way it was.
I don’t know how it will all play out but I remember clearly how one day pre-internet I tore up some drawings in frustration as I thought I was doomed to only ever get a single page in an obscure magazine that would never reach a wider public or earn me more than a few pennies. It is no exaggeration to say that without this disruptive technology coming along when it did, I might never have continued.

* New twitter account is @sardaxs

Portrait of Mistress Jade

A very classic scene in classic monochrome.
I usually try to avoid a dark dungeon location but occasionally it works well, as in this portrait of Mistress Jade of Boston , U.S.A.
The commissioner of this portrait kneels before his adored mistress and awaits his punishment at her hands. She will start with a very robust face-slapping and then will take the objects on the table for more intense torments.

View Mistress Jade’s site

Portrait of Mistress Celeste 2

A beautiful spring day and a gentle breeze.
Daffodils bloom, sheltered by the endless extent of Hadrian’s wall, a short journey from the chambers of Mistress Celeste in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Her expensive thigh-high boots crush the grass underfoot as she takes aim with her single-tail whip.
Her muscular slave, bound by taut ropes, tenses in anticipation and waits for the first lashing.

First portrait of Mistress Celeste

See Mistress Celeste’s site

The Rocking Horse

 

rockinghorse_final

An abandoned lumber-room at the top of the house.

An enchanted rocking-horse in gleaming leather.

Was this once a man, now destined to wait for Mistress Sakura Strike to come upstairs to play with him?
She gazes up to the moon above, ignoring the groans beneath her and muses on her next adventure.

In the corner of the room, a gentleman puppet in top-hat and tails, who fell for her charms. He danced and dined with her once but now lies discarded in the corner, waiting like the rocking-horse for her occasional visits.

 

Portrait of Mistress Chloe 3

ms_chloe_roses_wp

New York based Mistress Chloe in classic corset, see-through skirt and stockings straddles the commissioner of the painting in an elegant spacious lounge, and looks round at us knowingly.
His role is perhaps a delivery boy (in chastity) who has to deliver roses to her house. The number is significant as the number of years that the commissioner has served her.
On the coffee table by the sofa, a copy of the contact magazine “Dominant Mystique ” of the type used before the Internet.

See her previous two portraits 

(This was the final portrait booked in before 2020. New commissions will be resumed later in the year.)

Namio Harukawa 2

namio_tribute_r

The number of artists who could be classified as a “femdom artist” is quite small,  so when one of us passes it is fitting to mark it in some way.
Namio Harukawa died last month as I reported in the previous post .
So I wished to draw something in memory of him and, much as a composer might take a theme of another late composer, and write his own set of variations on it, I took a representative drawing of his and without copying it, redrew it in my own style. It is important to emphasise that I was not trying to make it look like his art or pretend to make it one of his artworks.
It was simply taking the theme, and re-interpreting it in my own way.

For the model I asked permission to include the likeness of
Ms Ryoko Kitagawa 北川繚子女王様, founder of Kitagawa-pro  films, who was for many years associated with him.

Well, the result was rather strange-quite different from my usual work, but I was pleased with the experiment.
I hope he would be too.

namiovariation
The original Namio Harukawa artwork, which formed the starting point.

Portrait of the Goddess Morning Star

morningstar_r

For this portrait I was given free rein to develop a very weird setting.
The Goddess Morning Star ( exotic Gothic Queen of the Night) blissfully chooses and examines her whips, imagining the torment they will inflict.
In the background her sacrificial victim awaits, bound securely by an…insect, is that ? Some rather invasive huge flowers hover nearby as tendrils from bizarre plants hold him fast.
An excursion into a dark and unsettling fantasy world…