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Common House, London, 2 September 2019

5 Sep 2019

This was to be the first of two consecutive evenings duo life modelling with Esther for Jolly Sketcher groups in north London. On the Tuesday we would be upstairs at The Bull in Highgate, but for this Monday we convened at the serene setting of Common House in Muswell Hill; surely the most pristine, tranquil venue for life drawing.

The groups’ organiser, artist and fellow model, Tanja Hassel had booked us for these sessions way back in mid-April. Such advance planning mirrors her attention to detail in every aspect: from marketing to music, from cordless lighting to cash-free payment. We started with three 5-minute poses, two of 10-minutes and one of 20-minutes.

Rather than practice our poses, we now take an organic approach in which one of us will whisper a preference for standing, sitting or reclining and the other responds with some form of complimentary entwining. It makes sessions more exciting and intuitive but the responder mustn’t rush or they risk settling into achy positions… like I did.

After a break, we finished with poses of 20 and 25 minutes. For the latter, Esther was reclining and I semi-reclined, propped upon one elbow; a classic example of knowing what would look better as a pose and allowing that to take precedence over personal comfort. So I had an achy left arm for almost half an hour – but, hey, it looked good.

I think some of the artists may have found the challenge more exhausting than we did. So many limbs and lines! Yet they did very well and I felt everyone managed to create something special from the occasion. Esther and I walked away largely unscathed but mindful of a need for greater care when selecting an hour-long pose the next day.

From → Art

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