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The Birds, Leytonstone, 2 November 2021

8 Nov 2021

I’ve modelled for Life Drawing at The Birds several times previously – most recently in July – but this session would be different. For a start, it was week one of a 6-week course. Most intriguingly, however, it was to begin with an anatomy lesson, in which a human model (me) would be examined in detail next to a full-size replica skeleton…

Differences of approach didn’t end there. Organiser and friend, Jennifer Wolf, wanted to highlight skeletal landmarks in the body. After pointing them out on her replica, she painted crosses or lines directly onto my skin to indicate each location. I’ve been cast as a skeleton many times before, but this was new. I then stood for a simple pose.

The anatomy lesson lasted maybe 5-or-so minutes, and we spent around 10-minutes studying the basic upright form and its landmarks. We next went into a few twists and turns: 3 minutes bent over, 4 minutes tilting on a chair, 5 minutes standing with hands on neck, 10 minutes sitting with one knee raised. Landmarks shifted in view.

Time flies. Our intention had been to double the pose-length once more but we found we had just enough left of the first half for another 10-minutes. I decided to go simple again, standing up straight, albeit now with one forearm raised and the other pointing down to the floor. Cometh the break, artists filed downstairs for drinks.

A single pose of 40-minutes occupied the second half. I suspect that, left unchecked, destiny would have dealt me another long standing pose – it’s a curse on us angular models – but I really fancied reclining. I hadn’t been granted a reclining pose all year. All year! But with mercy in her heart, Jennifer allowed me this now.

I put enough of a twist in it to add needless discomfort, so I’m probably my own worst enemy. On the plus side though, in another excellent innovation, I was given a toasty warm electric blanket to lie upon. At the end, kind applause curtailed my drift towards sleep. The artists were great; so many came and embraced the format. Thank you!

From → Art

One Comment
  1. boykog permalink

    Remarkable Steve. You had to strip actually to the bones. One would recognise you even in that attire. Artworks equally impressive.

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