The image I am sharing today is a nod to Tsukioka Yoshitoshi. Yoshitoshi is one of the great Ukiyo-E artists who lived from 1839 to 1892. If you have glanced at Japanese art, and especially Ukioyo-E you have undoubtedly seen some of his work.
Of his work, my favorite come from a series classified as muzan-e (cruel pictures) by the name of “28 famous murders”. In this set one particular image caught my eye and struck me as amusing. It is the 12th in the series, is titled “Inada Kyūzō Shinsuke: woman suspended from rope”, and features a woman being murdered by Shinsuke while she is hanging in shibari.
At this time I feel like I should note that my amusement was not at this woman’s murder or the savagery of its method (though it is a compelling image), but lies in the fact that today shibari (or rope bondage) is a very popular fetish when historically it was used as a brutal form of torture.
Psychologically it makes sense for a ton of reasons ranging from risk taking to the physical confusion between pleasure and pain that BDSM practitioners know well.
Nevertheless, the image struck me so I felt compelled to do an homage to it as part of my series of honoring Ukiyo-e. That series by the way is not complete, but has seemed to burn itself out lately and I am working on other projects.
All of that is why I gave the piece the title, “Is it still sexy?”. A tongue in cheek question for the whole BDSM scene.
Prints are available in a variety of formats at my Fine Art America store.
Today I am posting another drawing that I did with brush pens. This one was kind of in response to some friends and family that were picking at me because so much of my subject matter is dark.
If you like dark things you know the words.
“Why don’t you draw anything pretty? Like flowers.”
And eventually one gets tired of trying to explain that they find beauty in all things, dark or light. Or that I just draw what strikes me. One does not control their muse, one merely follows her…enslaved by her song.
Anyway, I amused myself by thinking up a way to draw something pretty that would irk them. Because I am a petulant child.
That idea turned out to be a faery masturbating in a flower patch.
“Tinkering Her Bell” was a lot of fun to draw. It’s social media response was way more positive than I expected and only offended one person (who I barely knew and decided wasn’t worthy of keys of the kingdom because of their prudish mindset. No one needs that kind of negativity).
I wish I had used watercolor paper instead of the bristol this is drawn on… but it was before I realized how much better blending down worked on watercolor paper with these pens. But the image is watercolor brush pens on bristol. I would sell it if it was wanted, but haven’t really considered it because it was just a fun drawing. 9×12
Today I want to talk a little bit about what is probably the best (skill wise) painting I have done. It is a piece of erotica entitled “Helga S”.
Helga came from my desire to do something intensely erotic without being graphic. After a bit of thought, it occurred to me that the best way to capture that was through a woman’s face in the throws of passion.
Wanting to make the image anonymous, so as not to embarrass anyone who had the poor taste to sleep with me, I did a web search and found what I considered to be a excellent model (which is how I find almost all of my models, although most of them are an amalgamation of several rather than an individual), and started playing with the sketch.
Helga is not the woman’s name and while there is some resemblance, this follows my common theme of not being directly representational. I only focused on capturing her being lost in rapture.
The name is corny, and even cornier when you realize that Helga S is a play on words for hellgasm. Sorry I really am that much of a dork.
This piece is a 20×24 Oil on canvas board. I would love to sell it to you but I gave it to a good friend who I don’t see enough anymore.