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West Wickham Arts, Hayes, 11 October 2021

14 Oct 2021

It’s always a delicate moment when one expects to be posing naked in front of artists at the local church hall, but instead finds the place still swarming with Brownies. So it was at Hayes Free Church on Monday, where the Brownies were supposed to leave at quarter past seven so West Wickham Arts Association life drawing could start at half-past. It was Brownies’ enrolment evening, however, and they were running late. I guess I could have brought matters to a head simply by walking in and undressing…

Fortunately there was no need. A few gentle representations from the artists was all it took to get the last stragglers out the door while we were still only ten minutes behind schedule. Meanwhile, on the plus side, more and more artists had arrived. The petrol shortage at the pumps meant just five people turned up to draw last week. With tanks filled-up again, I was pleased to see more than twice that number were sitting around me in an arc as I opened with two 10-minute poses (I’d travelled by train myself).

After one standing pose and one seated pose, I stood again for 25 minutes, taking us to a break for tea and biscuits. I feel I’m eating relentlessly these days so resisted the offer to partake but, just like the Brownies, our interval overran and with each passing minute my resolve weakened till eventually I was on the outside of two McVitie’s dark chocolate digestives and a mug of PG Tips. I was then summoned back into position, once more to search for my inner skinny model.

The final pose lasted between 40 and 45 minutes. I sat side-saddle on a sofa and did my customary angular thing with legs and arms. Lots of straight lines, negative space and confounding proportions to grapple with. Everyone seemed in high spirits despite my challenges and starting each half late. The group had only resumed in September for the first time since last March. After 18 months with no sessions at all, a few minor delays must have seemed a trifling inconvenience. It was good to see them back.

From → Art

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