Tag Archives: art

Burlesque Meets Mythology: Teaming Up with Moorita Encantada

KD: When the lovely Moorita Encantada approached me with the idea that we collaborate on a ‘burlesque play’ based on one of my stories, I was totally intrigued and more than a little bit intimidated. I had seen her perform and was bowled over by the innovative, edgy quirkiness of her burlesque performances. She had heard me read several times and had read some of my work, and the idea of collaborating with her and creating something totally different was very exciting.

Moorita: This project was born out of a beautiful clash of two types of artistic sensitivity – that of a writer, and that of a performer. I love KD’s writing for the way she uses erotica and sexuality as key to understand the magic and mystery of a human being. I have a similar approach to burlesque and cabaret: it’s a sophisticated tool that can be used to uncover deep human truths while being very accessible and simply hugely entertaining!
Moorita EncantadaHaving met through Erotic Meet and hit it off immediately, we spent quite a bit of time discussing what a “burlesque play” could look like and what it should involve. We asked ourselves what were the foundations of burlesque (e.g. musicality and humour), and how we could best use them in the context of a theatrical play. We also felt that the genre was often banalised by critics and unambitious performers alike. We took it on as an exciting challenge to explore the true potential of burlesque as an art form.
KD: Once I got brave enough to actually put words on the page, I pulled together some ideas in a three act format. Since I’ve never written a play before I’m still scrambling to understand such a different style of writing while imagining a story that will lend itself to burlesque and to the stage. One of the first decisions we made before our official meeting was that most of my existing work was too long or not really what we were had in mind for this project, so we chose a mythological theme and let our imaginations run wild. We had dozens of email conversations over the rough draft that was beginning to take shape, with Moorita shooting ideas back at me and sharing pieces of music she thought might work along with ideas about the costuming the motivation of our characters.  At last we felt  we were ready to meet. We had our first serious brainstorming session a week ago Friday in London at Home House, a private club with a very welcoming, very creative atmosphere. In a long evening over lattes and, later, cocktails, our Coctails Flaming Passion 8 Feb2013 1st meetingplan began to take shape.
Moorita: I loved how, without failure, we were constantly winding each other up creatively and coming up with ideas and solutions that were a step or two ahead of the original concept. If all this happened during the very first meeting, I just can’t wait to see what happens next!
Also, we seem to be just on the same page in terms of artistic boldness, which is great. We are equally out of our comfort zones and just loving the ride! Based on experience, best ideas tend to come from people who are good enough at what they do to allow themselves complete freedom to indulge in wacky experiments. If that’s the winning formula, we’ve already won 🙂
KD: My job is to get the story down and make it exciting for the audience. That’s always a writer’s job. But in a novel, I have only words to get that story  from my imagination to the reader’s. Moorita, however, sees my word pictures as performances, as that combination of dance, music, costumes, drama and comedy that give the audience a multi-dimensional experience. What writer wouldn’t want to see her story brought to life on a stage? And when Moorita and I met for the first time, the ideas she brought for what that performance would look like made the way I pictured our story come to life and move in directions I wouldn’t have thought of without that added dimension of performance.
Moorita: Since KD is an amazing writer, I have no doubts that the script itself will be of top quality. She already enriched the story with amazing ideas taken from her literary practice, experience and education. I just can’t imagine putting this together without her wisdom, vision and passion for the written word.
My challenge will be to make this workable in the context of the stage, with all its limits and opportunities. Obviously, people involved in this project as performers and their individual skills will be crucial, which is why selecting the right cast is one of the most important points on my agenda. Next, we need to put all sorts of things in place – hopefully with help of an experienced theatre director – to pull this very ambitious project off the ground logistically.

KD: Moorita, I have to say at the moment, I’m most looking forward to getting a solid story written and ready to stage. It’s all there in my head, and thanks to our brainstorming session, the vision is so much clearer and more exciting. I can’t wait till our next meeting.

What are you most looking forward to in the process?

1st planning meeting Home HouseMoorita: The launch of the play itself and the way it will open up other, unexplored avenues for cabaret and burlesque. I can visualise the opening night, filled with curiosity and expectation.. I know it will give me a tremendous satisfaction and will be the beginning of possibly the most interesting period of my artistic development
Next challenges are finalising the script, casting the right performers and finding a fabulous venue to host us. The main objective is to produce something that will be innovative and original while being accessible for a wide audience, and very professionally executed. It’s great that just by spreading the word amongst our friends, we are already receiving plenty of support and collaboration offers from artists of different kinds. These partnerships will be important going forward and have to be thought through carefully. We would like for this project to give many talented people an opportunity to showcase their work and benefit from exposure it will give them.
KD: Moorita and I decided that as we work to create our burlesque play we’ll document our creative process on A Hopeful Romantic.  Also because it’s a joint effort and something new, we thought it would be fun to keep it an open experience to share with friends and readers. Journeys are always more fun shared. As for our project, we’ll be giving more details as the process unfolds. But for now I’ll just say we’re taking a story from mythology, bringing it forward in time and twisting and turning it until you won’t believe what you’re seeing … or hearing.

The Sensual Art of Mayo

It’s my pleasure to welcome Kay Jaybee back today to talk about a fabulous artist, Mayo, whose amazing work I was fortunate enough to see displayed at Sh! Hoxton last year. Mayo is an artist, not a writer, so Kay has agreed to do this blog post for her with some images of her fabulous art. A true feast for the eyes.


A huge thank you to KD Grace for inviting me along today, to give you a tempting taster of the works of MayoArt.

The world of erotica has many components, whether it is the written word, photographs, music, film, or beyond. One of the most fundamental forms for the sensual imagination to wrap itself around, or take shape beneath, is the wide umbrella that is art.

From the earliest cave sculptures, such as the renowned Venus of Willendorf (to date, the earliest discovered complete sculpture of a woman from the Paleolithic period), to the curvaceous works of Ruben, and the thousands of paintings and sculptures in between and since, art continues to bring nudity, sexuality, and eroticism to life.

As with erotic stories, different elements and styles appeal to different people. For myself, I prefer my erotic art to be suggestive and sensual. It is therefore with great pride that I have a page devoted to the figure drawings and paintings of Dutch artist Mayo, on my otherwise writing based web site.

Mayo has been creating her works of art -in oils, pastels, pencil and charcoal- for some years. It was her seascapes and portraits that fist caught my attention, and once I’d seen them, I knew I had to try and persuade her to do some artwork for me.

It was after a conversation with Mayo about my books over a few glasses of vino, that she became inspired to try her hand at some sensual illustrations. I think you will agree that they are stunning.


Since Mayo started to glean ideas from my work, she has had 3 exhibitions, and her success is growing all the time. If you’d like to see more of her art, why not pop by my website gallery and have a look at a few more pieces?

Which are my favourite of her erotic pictures I hear you ask? Well, it will be no surprise to anyone who has read any of my books, that I just love this pair of bottoms, entitled Ready (male) …And willing (Female).

They look good here- but in real life- WOW-yummy!!

If you’re interested in purchasing or commissioning work from Mayo, then please just leave a comment below or visit my web site where details of sizes, frame designs, and prices can be found.

If Mayo can make me look this good, what could she do for you!

Huge thanks to KD for letting me share this amazing art work with you today. Xx


Find Mayo’s work here:


Jess Pritchard Tells Us More About Her Art

Some of you may remember that I had three very talented, very lovely artists volunteer to illustrate several scenes from Body Temperature and Rising at my launch party last February. I have had the fabulous Fuschia Ayling and the amazing Shay Briscoe on my site telling us about their lives as artists and what inspires them and sharing some of their work with us. Today, I am joined by the third of those artists, Jess Pritchard. Welcome Jess, and thanks for the interview.


KD: Have you always known you’ve wanted to be artists, Jess? What inspired the choice?

JP: Hahaha, I err, I wanted to be an English teacher… but I hated kids. I started doing art because I wasn’t allowed to watch TV on weeknights when I was young; I just sat in my room on my own. Boredom eventually took over and I started doodling in the back of my maths book etc and it went from there. Pretty boring story really…

KD: Tell us a little bit about yourselves.

JP: My full name is Jessica Christine- Anne Pritchard, I was born and raised in Walsall, Birmingham (shithole, never go) I went to a Catholic school and lived a strict and pathetic life at the hands of my deranged parents until I moved to Kingston last September for Uni, where I met the lovely couple; Fuchsia and Shay.

KD: Why did you choose to make sexuality the central theme in your artwork?

JP: Sexuality is a weird one for me, I shied away from it because my Mother was always so uncomfortably open and often disgusting when she talked about it to me, in an attempt to be nothing like my Mother I never explored it, and in a Catholic school, that is all too acceptable… But I realised what a waste it would be to keep this beautiful erotic-ness to myself and often the things I explore are the things a lot of women can relate to, it makes me feel fucking awesome.

KD:  Where do you get your inspiration?

JP: Daydreaming mostly… Oh how Arty! But yeah, daydreaming… and not being afraid to share stupid insecurities/stories/feelings I have, because those that see my work have never seen them as stupid, which is encouraging. I am a ridiculously honest person, doesn’t help with social circumstances but it makes for really confessional work, which is my favourite…

KD: What’s the hardest thing about being an artist?

JP: Trying to please everyone, and trying to find your place…

KD: Who inspires you, as an artist?

JP: The person I was/am, the people around me. I am also heavily inspired in spite of my Mother. Artists include Anslem Kiefer, Jenny Saville, Tracey Emin, Alphonse Mucha… oh so many!

KD: What’s the best thing about being an artist?

JP: Getting up in the morning and knowing what you’re doing is what you love and knowing there are absolutely no limitations at all… ever.

KD: What are you working on now?

JP: I have a few commissions on at the moment, illustrating a book for a friend of mine, never like to plan too far ahead because projects seem to jump out of nowhere and take over for a while, I’m always kept very busy 🙂

KD: Future plans?

JP: I’ll let you know. Maybe have a shitty art shop in Cornwall and be a batty old lady that wears capes and has rings on each of her fingers and only eats what she grows…

KD: Thank you, Jess! It’s been a total pleasure to have you on my site. And getting a peek at some of your wonderful work is a special treat. Best of luck on your creative journey!

Artist Fuschia Ayling talks Sexuality and Creativity

Fuschia and me at the BTR launch

I’m sure you’ve already seen the pictures of the paintings and heard me rave about the fabulous artists who each volunteered to illustrate a different excerpt of my novel, Body Temperature and Rising, for my launch party a couple of weeks ago. As I’ve gotten to know these very talented young artists and seen a bit more of their work, I knew I had to have them on my site and give my readers the chance to get to know them a little better and have a look at a few images of their wonderful work.

Fuschia’s stunning scene depicting voyeuristic bliss on the fells from BTR

The very talented Fuschia Ayling is my guest today. Fuscia chose the opening scene of Body Temperature and Rising to paint, and on her blog, teased us all with sneak peeks of the work in progress. I’ve been following her blog ever since just to see what she gets up to. Welcome Fuschia! It’s a pleasure to have you on A Hopeful Romantic.

KD: Fuschia, have you always known you’ve wanted to be artists? What inspired the choice?

Fuschia:I have always been driven creatively, ever since I was a very small child – I suppose I was always happiest when I was up to my elbows in paint, mud or playdough. When I was small my father owned a gallery and studio in St. Ives, and his success and talent as an artist – along with my immersion in the Cornish art scene – meant that I was given all the encouragement I needed to continue exploring my interest. As I grew up I continued to enjoy expressing myself visually, but I

‘My Not So Secret Garden’

viewed it more as therapy – there were always things which I couldn’t explain to others, things that I could only really exorcise in my journals. I studied Art and Design at college and then took an extra couple of years to really develop my work and distance myself still further from what seems to be a very Cornish expectation – that as an artist one should paint landscapes and seascapes to order. I am thankful that being an artist is a viable career option – I can basically devote my life to healing what is, unfortunately, a slightly damaged brain.

KD: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

“Bang Bang” is to do with sexual experience and confusion, the way all the things that we experience leave traces, tangled and in some ways unable to be separated. It is also to do with my feelings for my own body, my femininity, my role as a woman – as explored through the use of embroidery.

Fuschia: I am 20 years old, currently studying at Kingston University for a BA in Fine Art. My work is always confessional, often sexual and sometimes a little shocking. My work deals with my own personal experiences and opinions, and in that way it is like an ever growing and expanding diary of my life. I often deal with issues that, although still current, are perhaps best described as scars from childhood. I have been called a feminist artist, although this isn’t a label I particularly identify with, I think my work deals with what could be deemed “Feminine Issues” merely because I am by gender a woman. I enjoy writing, drawing, sewing and painting – I like to mix and match materials and processes.

KD: Why did you choose to make sexuality the central theme in your artwork?

Fuschia:I suppose sexuality is a central theme in my work because it is a central theme in life – sex

‘Open Wide’

is, after all, the reason why we are all here. I am very interested by human nature, especially when it comes to sex, and I think that this interest fuels part of my obsession. Like many people I have issues with my own sexuality, I find that exploring these unspoken things in my work comes naturally to me. I have produced a lot of work in the past about being a rape victim, and I probably will continue to do so in the future, it is something which I kept secret and shamefully hidden for so long that having the freedom to express it, to work through it and to, hopefully, help other people in similar positions to myself is hugely healing to me. I think also that in my work I wanted to make a distinction between sex and rape, because rape is not sex but it is violence and sex is something beautiful – no matter how hard you’re fucking it is always consensual. Sex is wonderful – I want to celebrate that.

KD: Where to you get your inspiration?

Fuschia:I am inspired predominantly by my own history, but also materially – by patterns, colours, chance events. I am really interested in

surface decoration, the little details which make up the skin of an object. I also have a fascination with craft – embroidery, needlework, knitting, upholstery, beading – things which were traditionally a woman’s work, I enjoy bringing a new vitality to them when they are placed in an altogether different context – For me, a cross stitch of a pretty house is impressive, but a cross stitch of a vagina is sheer brilliance.

‘My Cunt is a Crime Scene’

KD: What’s the hardest thing about being an artist?

Fuschia: I think that, for me, the hardest thing about being an artist is also one of the best things – Being self led. On the one hand the freedom is wonderful, the ability to just get up one day and say “Today I shall make a wall-hanging entirely out of cotton wool…” – that is a fabulous feeling when you have total monopoly over your practice. On the other hand, however, is awful days of total creative block, despondency, failure… It is about having the ability to be your own critic, but also to know when to stop beating yourself up over your short-comings.

KD: Who inspires you, as an artist?

Fuschia: In the art world my greatest influence has to be Tracey Emin, I discovered her work aged 14 and have been in love ever since. I admire her ability to let the viewer in but still keep hold of the reigns. For me she is somebody who is very real, very human and also very good at what she does. I also admire Sarah Lucas, Elke Krystufek, Nan Goldin, Annette Messager, Ana Mendieta and Francesco Clemente among others. I have also been inspired greatly by the work of author Mervyn Peake. I would also like to take this oportunity to say a big thank you to Sarah Berry for her ongoing support!

KD: What are you working on now?

Fuschia: I am currently working on a project which is far more feminine in appearance, I have become really interested in floral prints and patterns. I have just completed part of this – a large square painting titled “My Not So Secret Garden”, which was inspired by my unease with the common pornographic pose which involves spreading ones pussy lips with ones fingers, I was interested in the dual meaning of the gesture – whether it was an invitation, a sign of vulnerability in exposing our softness – or whether it could be an aggressive gesture, a blatant display of sexuality as something threatening. By combining the image with soft floral shapes and pastel colours I am trying to play with the connotations the familiar pose has…It is work in progress!

KD: What are you working on now?

Fuschia: I am very excited at the moment about our (The Vagina Atelier) nomination for the Erotic Award’s Erotic Artist of the Year, and the possibilities for making new contacts. I am looking forward to seeing what the future brings…

Fuschia’s blog: http:/www.fuschiaayling.blogspot.com

Thank you, Fuschia for giving us a chance to get to know you a little better and to sample a little bit of you stunning art. It’s been a real pleasure you to have you! I wish you all the best in your creative pursuits.