Portrait of Robin – A Study in Faces

Portarit of Robin

Portrait of Robin. Pencil on paper. A very beautiful young woman I have had the pleasure to meet. The interesting thing about this pic aside from the subject is what happened when I went in to clean up the photograph made from my phone. Notice the subtle colors and texture of the paper. Serendipitous Photoshopage to be sure.

This is my third “serious” drawing in a month. I have always been drawn to faces. Woman’s faces to be honest. There was always a reason for that. I usually end up drawing women I find amazingly beautiful and of course girl crushes. The magical essence of a women has captivated me my entire life. SO I draw what I like and love.

What better form of self expression than to draw your dreams. In art school I took a couple years of figure drawing. The body is easy. Hands and feet are always hard to capture without mangling the perception. Faces are in fact the hardest thing to draw. And yes I am going to tell you why.

Our brains are essentially very powerful facial recognition systems. When it comes to subtle, yet significant details no computer can match what the human brain can see in the human face. Our face is the most significant part of our identity between Homo Sapiens. Expressions change in very subtle to very dramatic ways. My computer (brain) is tuned to picking out the softer curves and subtle beauty in women. To this day I am never fully satisfied with what I have drawn. I can immediately see the mistakes when the subject or a picture is available to do a comparison.

Eyes too high or too low in the skull. Lips to hard edged. Nose wrong shape. The list of FAIL goes on. But what is more important is that it is not necessarily the intent to make a perfect copy of the subject. So yes her eyes may be a 32nth of an inch to far apart. Our brains will see this almost immediately if we are familiar with the subject. The work of art is flawed in the very first stroke of the pencil.

Or is it?

As an artist my intent is to capture the beauty of the person or subject. While some artists pride themselves on their amazing technical ability to capture a near photographic duplication of their subject. Realists. I am more than happy to make subtle and often accidental changes. This is interpretation. Sometimes it pays to enhance a feature. I love the eyes so I always make them bigger than reality.

When I complete a drawing to my own satisfaction I have put to paper my own vision of the world passed through my eyes, post processed by my brain and executed by my own hands. Every point of interaction is a point of failure or a point of immeasurable success in creating a work of art that is uniquely mine and mine alone.

The Scent of a Woman

Her lips fall from her cheek. Her lips leave delicate caresses moving slowly along her lovers neck. A familiar scent tempts her senses. As her nose grazes the softest parts of her neck and fills with the warmth of her skin and the scent of a woman. She stops to inhale all she can absorb. Her lover deep within her arms. She rests her chin and cheeks withing the comforting cradle between her shoulder and neck.

Laying there almost motionless she waits. Breathing gently, delicately along the depth of her lover’s neck. Just below and slightly behind her ear. Her lover quivers at the soft brushes of warm breath. She takes in slow deep breaths from her lover’s body. The scent is intoxicating. Her eyes close as she takes in the sweet, warm fragrance. A rush flows over her body as she takes breath after breath of her lover.¬† Together they flow within each other only aware of the other. Safe in loving embrace.

Sorry guys this is not for you. I realize men do love women as women do men. And that is all very beautiful too. But there is no comparison for what a woman can share with another woman. Our sense of smell and touch, power of emotion and depth of passion. It is beyond magical.

I sensed this from a very early age. I have never been promiscuous or even that adventurous in reality. Maybe it was fear, maybe it was circumstance, But I always noticed. I always felt it. I remember my first girlfriend well. She would leave her scent on my cloths, the notes she left me and in my mind. I could remember every detail of her and later girlfriends by remembering that fragrance. The way a woman’s skin¬† smells. Fresh from the shower, after a light workout, while she is making love. It is so very intoxication.

No perfumes or man-made scents can compare. There are many wonderful perfumes that enhance a woman’s unique scent. But too much and the effect is lost. I love, Adore and Desire women. I always have. I know more than ever that will never change. I am proud to be an out open lesbian.¬† My life has been blessed by some amazing women as frineds and lovers. Even now I cannot help but study a beautiful woman as she walks by. Not out of lust but out of sheer artistic appreciation. The female form is the most amazing thing to behold. There is beauty in all women.

The way she walks. The way she smiles, laughs, loves and cries. The way she brushes the hair from her face on a windy day. The way she turns and smiles at a passing friend. The way she lights up a room. The way she holds her infant child as she breast feeds. I admit to being an admirer of the superficial. But I love what is inside just as deep. I cannot help what I like. What I adore. None of us can. It is the way we are born. I was born to love and cherish women. And I respectfully do so with great pleasure every day.

Every once in a while that amazing scent is lifted in to the air. When you realize it on the street, in a shop or anywhere…. OMG the memories and the warmth… the desire.

I know many women are horrified at the thought of another women finding her attractive. But you should not be. I do not want to be with every woman I see or meet. Not all women are attractive in that way to me. And so it is for anyone. But there is still this undeniable beauty non-the-less. More often than not I simply enjoy the gift of admiring her beauty. I notice women. I love fashion. I can watch other women for hours on end simply enjoying how each moves or the simple silhouette in the sunlight. I capture women in my mind for inspiration. I only hope I can express my fondness for women in a meaningful and beautiful way in my art and writing.

To all women – thank you for being you. You are beautiful.

Portrait of Kim

A Friend - K.T.

I started drawing again a couple weeks ago after about a 15 year hiatus from drawing. Yeah a few stupid sketches here and there but not really trying. I spent 7 years in Art School that my daddy paid for. Why 7 years? Well to be totally honest my daddy paid for me to get really high for about 4.5 of those years and I was in a 5 year design program. I switched majors to ceramics which I adore in the 5th year. I had had enough of my asshole design teachers. they did not like me and I did not like them either. One of them I did anyway.

So yes I have told dad I was a stoner. I am not proud of it. I don’t regret ever trying drugs. Everyone should get really stoned at least once in their life. I do regret how I wasted so much of my dads hard earned money on pot and an extra 2 years in school. And I do regret not sticking with my art for so long. I had been previously distracted by life’s little curve balls. Well a big one but we will leave it at that.

So back to my art. I was a graphic design and advertising geek. I think I have mentioned that before. I realized a couple years after graduating how much I hated advertising. I got out of are pretty much all together not long after that.

Now I find myself longing to re-ignite the fire that kept me going for so long. Art. I love drawing portraits. I am fascinated by faces. Especially women. I am never going to quit my art again. I love to draw, write and play my guitars. I just need to find a way to make a living at it.

In critique: This is not a stellar drawing. It’s practice. I draw my friends from pictures. The picture was at an angle to start with but still her nose is too long. Cheeks a little to big and her mouth is off. In reality Kim is a beautiful woman I adore. I have never actually met her in real life. I really hope I do some day. She has a heart of gold. I find her striking. Long shiny dark hair and beautiful eyes to match her positive attitude.

Kim if you ever read this I promise I will do better next time.

Gender Identity in the Gay and Lesbian Community

I am so glad to see a video like this done by a lesbian couple on a mainstream LGBT web site like AfterEllen. I think this is a very important topic even outside of the transgender community. Please watch it and see the comments being posted on the website. My comment is also posted after the video.
Lesbian Love: Gender Identity (Episode 12)
by Trish Bendix
This week, Lacey and Jessica discuss how we as women choose to define ourselves within the LGBT community and to the wider world ‚ÄĒ and whether it is a desirable thing to do.

Lesbian Love ep 112 Gender Identity from lacey stone on Vimeo.

This is really a great video for a several reasons. As a femme lesbian I find it frustrating and a challenge at times that people automatically assume I a straight. I don’t fit the¬†stereotypes. I like to be a tomboy some days. I like to be very feminine on other days. It just depends on my mood and if I have not done laundry in a week. I am an amazon, tall and strong but gentle when I want to be. I like motorcycles and fast cars. I also love to get all dressed up in heels and a slinky dress and be pampered at the spa.

Stereotypes really do more harm than good in the entire LGBT community. Gender identity is especially difficult because our society has done everything possible to enforce a gender binary. The rules are changing but in general you are either a boy or a girl and there can be no middle ground. I think this not only applies to the transgender community and the struggles they face, but it also greatly affects the gay and lesbian community just as harshly.

Gender and gender identity is very fluid. And sexuality has nothing to do with your gender identity. The¬†stereotypical butch lesbian fitting in all the male roles. They hyper-femme gay man fitting in to more female¬†stereotypes. Throw in the transsexual male or female and you quickly see all these gender and sexual stereotypes vaporize. Yes a more femme woman can be a lesbian. And they do “fit” into society more because you cannot look at her and say oh she is a lesbian. She is not testing the¬†boundaries¬†of typically conservative society and the stereotypes we have all been taught all our lives as she¬†appears¬†to fit a certain gender binary.

The underlying point your video makes on purpose or not is that many of the stereotypical ideas society has tried to enforce about gender, being masculine or feminine are simply not valid. they are not valid in nature so why should humankind be exempt? There is a spectrum of being masculine or feminine that goes way beyond what society has taught us in the past.  Men do like sports and fast cars and drinking beer with their buds. So do women. This dose not make them gay. And Men love fashion and art and pretty things. But this does not make them gay. A transsexual woman may be very femme and pass through society unquestioned. But this does not mean she likes men. The same is true for TransMen. Stereotypes just do not fit in the LGBT community and in the rest of society to many degrees.

We are all beautifully unique and it is OK to be different. It is OK to live outside the box. Yeah that little tiny colorless box that some people try to fit all of humanity into. You know the one where there is only man and woman and they can only love each other and act like a man or a woman and only do the things that a man or a woman “should” do. It’s all so¬†preposterous.

I live outside that box in a life of full color. And I am very happy to do so. Exploring and evolving your gender or even sexual identity is natural. It is a good and healthy thing. As we mature we hold on to bits a pieces of what we learn and like about being male or female or any number of infinite pieces of both. It is what makes us who we are and makes us such amazing creatures.

Being a Queer Woman

Meh. Where to start?

A new blog. A new life. A new… well pretty much EVERY fricking thing in my life is new since I came out to the world in May 2008. Who, What May 2008? Are you kidding me? What are you 12? What took you so damn long?

Hmm… good question.

When I was in collage way back in the 80s and early 90s. I remember distinctly telling several of my girlfriends I was a lesbian. They always laughed and said “No you aren’t. You can’t be a lesbian.” I always retorted with why the hell not? Needless to say my queerness never really came to life living in the conservative bible belt. In fact I only knew one gay person  in collage. Seems the rest of us were in hiding or Drama Majors. I being the fine arts major could be a little odd but it was still not safe too be gay even in a school of over 16,000 students. In fact I don’t think the school even had any queer resources at the time.

Flash forward to May 2008. I came out to EVERYONE and I was open about it. Basically I could no longer live with myself or rather my other self. The closet was too damn small and maid service was not included.  Forget the very long term relationship that had just ended. I don’t want to get into it because it will just complicate matters now.  Let’s just say I thought we were in love and I am pretty sure we were. But my X being the cold heart person they turned out to be decided otherwise. Love knows no boundaries does it? Apparently it does and I am a single woman for the first time in 20 years.

What is done is done. We move on because we cannot change nor get those years back.

The aftermath of my big coming out was actually pretty amazing. My family was in shock obviously, and I was prepared for rejection. Or at least I think I was. But that is not what happened. In fact quite the opposite. I love my mom and dad so much. My entire family has been a blessing. In fact all my friends are still my friends with exception of a small group of mutual friend I had with my X. People who are willing to lie to your face about things are not your friends.

My life is about truth. Sometimes is is brutal and hard to digest but lies and living with the rotting skeletons in the closet are not what I call living. How can you be happy with all that kind of baggage weighing you down.

So I am a queer woman.

I am in fact very proud of this fact and I am very open about it. I really love woman. All women. Some more than others, yes. But there is something in a woman’s heart and soul that no man can come close too. I’m still trying to figure out what that it is but if I never do I am fine with that. I just feel it and I see it. In fact my mom has it. If mom was gay she would be one of the most sought after gay women on earth I think.

The sorority of women can be an amazing place too be. The way two woman can love each other without being gay is a thing of beauty. The deepness of friendships and the freedom to be whomever you want is something of a wonder in this world. Not all women find that freedom of course and many live in fear of who they are queer or not. But when a woman is free within herself and her world anything is possible. And her beauty shines like the brightest of stars.

Now I am no Elle MacPherson nor Gabrielle Reece. But I am a strong attractive woman. FYI: I will have Gabrielle’s body by next year. I will be 44 years old next year too and damn sure as the sun rises and sets I am going to finally have the bod I have always desired. See all those year in the closet are not healthy. The can make you feel and even look unattractive and the results can be, well, less than desirable on your real body. This cougar will get what she wants.

But as I was saying, I may not be the poster child of femininity and beauty but I think what I have inside more than makes up for that. And I know it radiates out. My inner shine is getting brighter without the burdens of my past containing it. I just need to learn to let myself shine more freely.

The thing that is still  a bit of a mystery to me is how do other women pick up on that inner glow of mine? I mean how do you be a lesbian and set off the almighty gaydar for other woman to scan? Most people think I am straight. I am not going to slap a sign in my forehead to solve this little puzzle either.

I was reading earlier today on a women’s site about Lesbian Fashion. How funny is that? Lesbians have fashion sense?! Of course they do. I have my own look and it is ever evolving, but I can comfortably say it is not the typical lesbo-chic the media seems to portray gay women wearing. Yes I have my typical sterotypesd les fashion  days but not every day. I am probably best described as tomboy-femme most of the time, but I do love to get all dolled up too.

I care what I look like and I am sucker for media driven high fashion. I can’t afford it, but if I could I would strut around in a pair of Christian Louboutin pumps or those to die for boots every day just about. I love my sort skirts and sexy tops. I have a nice rack and I paid damn good money for them so I sure as heck gonna show them off a bit. Slutty teenager I am not but I do have a sexy little tease side of me. But does that mask out the gaydar registration potential?

Good question. How do the lipstick lesbians set off that magical radar? More mysteries for me to uncover in my new life. Maybe I don’t exactly set off the dar yet or fit the typical lesbo jello-mold but I’m gonna work on that just by being myself. I refuse to try and “look” queer just so I can be queer. I think a lot of the younger women do fall into that trap.

So being a very tall, queer Amazon is not a bad thing as I use to imagine. I was always so hung up about being such a tall woman. It really made me very self conscious. I am not any more. It makes me more unique. Shopping for cloths and shoes is a PIA, but I seem to manage that OK. With all the women out there that where shoes larger than size 10, I just don’t understand why there are not more cute shoes in my size. It really chaps my ass sometimes. Clothing is easier and when I get that body I always wanted I will have no problems in the clothing department.

In the end all this stuff adds up to one thing. CONFIDENCE. That is what it is all about anyway. By freeing myself from the closet and accepting who I am as a woman, a tall person and out lesbian, I have given myself something many people seem to lack. The ability too exist peacefully within my own skin and live happily outside of the box. Besides who wants to be “normal” anyway.

I am not normal. I am proud of that. I am comfortable with that. And I am happy with that. I am a queer woman and it is OK.

Normal is an evolutionary dead end. Diversity rules.