Semi-retired artist Fanny Fielding launched her website in 2019 and doesn't know why people won’t take her work seriously.
Despite being described as "Finbarr Saunders from Viz with a Paintbox," her prints have sold all around the world, many to her loyal followers on Facebook.
Based in East Sussex, UK, she currently has original works on display in The West Hill Tavern, Brighton and has just launched a Christmas card Kickstarter that reached its target in under three hours and is open until the middle of October.
Bored Panda got curious about how this woman in her 60s came up with this quirky idea, and you can find an interview with her below!
We asked Fielding about how she got into the art scene.
“I was always keen on art as a child. My only real exposure was British TV shows such as Paint Along With Nancy and Vision On. At first, I could only watch these in black and white because our television was a bit behind the times. We didn't have Bob Ross over here in those days. I studied Fine Art as my degree in London. A lot of concepts were beyond me, but I like to think I passed due to my talents with a paintbrush rather than how I thought back then.
It was an exciting time to be studying in the capital. Punk rock was in full swing and I was enlisted to help design a very famous fanzine of the times. I loved the rough and readiness of the whole scene, though Vivienne Westwood told me I was a bit too square for punk. Never meet your heroes.”
Cock And Balls
Fielding got back into painting seriously only when she semi-retired and, surprisingly, found her niche in quirky and naughty titles no one would expect from an elderly woman!
“I noticed that people always had something to say when I had something like 'Tits' or 'Pussy' in the title. Now I'm no prude. I grew up with Carry On films and fully aware of the British obsession with double entendre. The turning point was when I took some of my paintings into a local coffee shop where they would display work by local artists. At first, Gary who ran the shop was unimpressed, but when I pointed out some of the titles, he became very interested and suggested I concentrate on that. The boy turned out to be an adequate web designer and offered to build me a website as he said he had found the perfect domain name for me.”
Dripping Wet Beaver, Desperate For Wood
The internet loves this kind of humor, so Fielding has plenty of inspirations on social media.
“My followers on Facebook and Instagram engage with my work wonderfully. They will often leave comments that inspire other ideas. Occasionally, I get requests via the contact form of my website, but once or twice, there have been some I refuse to paint. Otherwise, I just hear things in conversation or jokes on the radio that give me an idea. Pictures I have painted of my little pussy cat, however, have usually titled themselves. The boy has introduced me to the Urban Dictionary and will always contact me when he thinks of something that will work.”
Early Morning Swallow In The Bushes
Best Amateur Cream Pie
And although not everyone sees the comedy in the titles, besides truly amazing art, the titles make Fielding stand out from the crowd.
“You would be surprised just how many people don't clock the titles. Sometimes I wonder if I’m too subtle! I have a few patrons that buy my work on face value. The original paintings do not have the titles on them like the prints do. I like to think that people are buying into the project as a whole. As long as they are well-hung and people appreciate my tits and stuff, I don't really mind. I know for a fact that several people who follow my feeds enjoy the works for what they are and will always comment with charming positivity on the aesthetics. My work sells all around the world via the shop in my website so I'm doing something right.”
An Impressive Pair Of Jugs
The artist manages to fit her own family members and life experiences into her artwork.
“I'm currently looking after my sister at her home in Hertfordshire. She tells me, ‘the paintings are nice but I'm not sure about the title.’ I often feature my wonderful stepchildren and grandchildren in my works and they are always delighted to see parts of their lives popping up on my feed. My ex-boyfriend, Frank, was with me for a large part of my life and documenting some of our happiest times is a very cathartic part of the process. The paintings are true. He really could ‘destroy a chocolate box while I was sleeping’ and sadly, when he suddenly moved out, genuinely DID ‘surprise me with his junk in my back passage.’”
Tits Around Fat Balls
We asked Fielding what comes first—painting or title, to which she responded that it’s half and half.
“The camera phone changed how I work completely. I'm always taking photographs of things I find interesting or encounter from day to day. They are wonderful to use or composite together to create pieces. Sometimes the title comes first, so that's not always a bad thing. I paint wherever I can, which is currently a kitchen table as I don't have access to my studio. Each piece can take me a few days, as I will work a couple of hours at a time. My eyes aren't what they used to be.”
Neighbour Fills My Gaping Hole (With Drawers Pulled To One Side)
“In truth, I am a very private person. I wouldn't say shy, but my taste in comedy is much more traditional than you would think. This is something I have discovered from engaging with social media at a later stage of life. It gives one an anonymous voice. I interact with my followers online in a manner I probably would not consider face to face. This isn't always a good thing, but it has worked out well for me and my fan base. I admire a lot of character-based comedy such as Spinal Tap, Alan Partridge, or Count Arthur Strong. I think it's wonderful the talent some people have to live out alter-egos and turn them into entertainment.”
Contented Pussy Full Of Cream
The artist sells her beautifully drawn watercolor paintings, but because of that unexpected twist in the title, people often buy them as a prank and a naughty gift.
“I'm first to admit that I know people sometimes buy my works as a prank for unsuspecting in-laws and wonder just how many are hanging in downstairs toilets waiting for the owner to realize. Covid-19 put a stop to me having a stall at a local arts fair and exhibitions in general for now, which is a shame as I am eager to see a reaction from the general public. Gary tells me that more than once a 'Tits Around Fat Balls' has been returned to his Coffee Lab by a red-faced customer.”
Fraulein Wide Open For Hot German Sausage
Lastly, we asked Fielding what keeps her inspired: “The process of painting itself is very mindful. I often drift off while I'm working and then realize I've spent several minutes sitting examining my bristles. I am a huge fan of pop art, particularly Peter Blake, Jamie Reid, and Andy Warhol and have had an homage project up my sleeve for a few months’ time. Bridget Riley and Cy Twombly are two of my classical favorites. Visiting the original 'Sensation' exhibition in 1997 changed my whole view on modern and conceptual art. I'm a massive fan of all the homegrown new-wave artists that sprang from that, especially Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. Now there's a lady with a sense of humor.
Social media has introduced me to many contemporary personalities with a skewed take on art. Those I admire include Ryan Gander, Mr Bingo, Heath Kane, Rob Lowe (Supermundane), David Bellingham, and Cold War Steve. They use varying degrees of humor in their work and are well worth looking up on Instagram or Twitter.”