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Wanstead House, London, 6 December 2017

6 Dec 2017

I thought you said male models are always late, Patrick,” queried one of the artists at Wanstead House as I walked into the top-floor room ten-minutes early. “No,” retorted Patrick, the life drawing class’s organiser, “just some younger male models at Sunday morning sessions.” It seems the next generation must have trouble getting the bed off their backs after a Saturday night. This Wednesday evening, however, all was well.

Patrick asked me to start with two poses of 10-minutes followed by two of 20-minutes. All four poses I chose were more suited to 10-minute work, so consequently the latter pair – standing with one arm up and the other reaching out, then on the floor, propped on one hand and an elbow – both became rather achy midway through. I decided that after the interval I would make myself comfortable.

Happily, this group always seems to luxuriate in its tea break, so I had plenty of time to recover. The final pose would see me sitting on a well padded chair for 35-minutes. This was ideal. Patrick did some drawing, and offered advice to his seven artists. I do like his approach – he carefully studies the pose from the vantage point of each artist before offering comments on their work – never in haste, always considered.

At the end of the session I was pleased to receive compliments for remaining “so still“. It might be assumed this is the minimum requirement of a life model, but the standard evidently varies, just like the ability to climb out of bed in time for a morning session at the weekend. Punctuality and stillness are the basics – commitment, imagination and character are then what make the difference. I am still… and I’m still learning.

From → Art

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