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Garrett Centre, London, 30 August 2019

1 Sep 2019

Friday evening long-pose life drawing at the Garrett Centre always opens with a few short warm-up poses. I stood for 5-minutes, then went into a low push-up position for another 5-minutes, stood again – more dramatically – for 5-minutes, and lastly sat on the floor for 8-minutes. All in the round for a near-full house of artists.

The long pose itself would take up the rest of the first hour (perhaps 35-minutes) plus the whole of the second half (one hour or so). When Tom – who hosts these sessions on behalf of Adrian Dutton life drawing – and I asked the artists which style of pose they would prefer, the consensus was for me to be sitting upright on a stool. Fine.

Complacently I picked a pose I’ve used many times in the past but that wasn’t perfect for such a long duration. A tad too uncomfortable, but entirely my own fault. Tom used masking tape to mark the position of my right foot on the ground. I then had the bright idea that he could also mark edges of my shadow to help me re-find position.

I probably wasn’t much more than ten or fifteen minutes into the pose when the initial points of discomfort made themselves felt. Not hideous pain nor even numbness, but prolonged discomfort can be irksome. Upon completing the first half without a stretch break, I then promptly self-medicated with a large glass of wine at the interval.

I took two stretch breaks during the second half, dividing it into thirds. For the second third, I somehow managed to get relatively comfortable so I let that one last longest. I am rarely self-conscious in pose, but it can feel odd to stand naked and be stretching my limbs or shaking joints – I never keep it going as much as my body would want.

And so to the end. Applause was very generous, and my little aches soon faded as I wandered around admiring the fine artworks created. Compliments were exchanged with artists and slowly the room began to clear. Some were headed to a nearby pub, but I was going home to rest, content with having pushed myself far enough.

From → Art

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