|Ten Minute Pose|
But as I was sketching, I was also imagining myself trying to strike the same poses....my friend is very large chested and sensuous to draw...I'm thin, with long limbs, and small chested, but soft and lumpy in the tummy and thighs where I once enjoyed owning firm and sinewy muscles. It was quickly clear that this room was inhabited by people who were respectful and true to their craft, and there was no sense of judgment, negative criticism or ogling whatsoever. Still, to stand singularly rigid and alone under bright lights in all your pale varicosed cellulite nakedness closely encircled by seriously intent observers certainly requires you to be comfortable in your own skin! Vanity, insecurity and ego stay outside...and that leaves room only for the pure beauty in everyone. After the class was over, and it seemed to fly by...it always does when you're drawing....I felt re-initiated, exalted, inspired and a little intimidated all at once.
|Twenty Five Minute Pose|
|Fifteen Minute Pose|
I found myself wishing I had pastels this time, but managed to play with both pencil and pen in the longer 25 minute poses. Looking at my work, I realized "I'm hooked. I must keep this up. Each class, each sitting, each pose, is a chance to discover something new". I love the intensity of being "In the NOW"....of drawing from breathing life, of knowing you only have so many minutes to observe and create!! My friend the model gave me a ride after class and gave me some reassuring tips on my own upcoming modelling day.
One more week and I was to be the model myself....and then, the day came...this morning!
Wouldn't you know it, I slept in, and woke up with minutes to spare! I hopped in the shower, shaved, dried off, pulled my long hair into a single ponytail, left off my usual makeup, shoved a toasted bagel down, grabbed some bedding for props and was ready to go. I had planned to get up early and look at videos of various poses beforehand to warm myself up...ack! No rehearsal! After all the rushing, I was the second person to arrive at the studio! Within five minutes of starting time on this dismal cold grey day I thought, wouldn't you figure, my turn to pose and everyone has stayed at home. But then they came, all the same faces from before and even a couple of new ones! I reminded everyone this was my first time life modelling, and was met with only encouragement, enthusiasm and gentle advice. I began with the usual quick one minute poses, timing them in my head by counting one one thousand two etc. With each pose I gained my own rhythm and creativity. It really helped to hear classmates say "good pose" or murmur "great" once I set myself still. The one minute poses can be more dynamic, the best for holding your arms above your head and putting weight on one leg for instance. After a few poses I was keen to try "the archer" next but we then switched to five minute poses so that was out for today! I learned in the longer poses not to lean on any one limb, to balance my weight and to go into a meditative "waking sleep", breathing slowly and focusing at an object anywhere in the room. I also became acutely aware of how every angle and gesture of my body would affect each artist's vantage point. Once settled into the longest pose of half an hour, I found my mind wandering over various thoughts from politics to when to do laundry. My stomach didn't growl, my nose didn't run, I didn't have a coughing fit or a leg cramp or a bad bout of the shakes....all needless fears anyway. I thought the class would go by much more slowly as a model. But it absolutely flew! Afterwards, everyone was keen to show me their work, and that was the real treat....seeing what they perceived, and how they conveyed it through their own eyes, unique styles, and selected mediums. The sketches above are my own...I wish I had a drawing of me to post here today too, but I don't, so instead you can check out this lovely video. Look closely...maybe you are in it! As for me, I can now say I am more comfortable in my own skin, and on my own canvas as well.