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Lochaber Hall, London, 12 February 2022

13 Feb 2022

When this booking at Lochaber Hall was offered to me towards the end of January, I was fairly forewarned that “gas fired heating in the hall is broken at the moment“, and therefore the group would “be running the sessions as portrait classes until either the heating is fixed or the weather warms up.” I accepted, saying we could “keep options open, depending on temperatures, for 100% portrait, 100% life, or a mix of both…

Two and a half weeks after agreeing, as I walked to the venue in temperatures barely above freezing, my game-for-anything attitude was more subdued. It came as a huge relief when I walked through the door and was told the heating had been repaired the day before! Lucky me. We could have a full life drawing session in comfort, beginning with six poses of 5 minutes, ten of 1 minute, and the first 45 minutes of a long pose.

I was offered all sorts of options for the long pose but chose to be seated on the floor. With a fan heater on either side and a pile of soft furnishings beneath me, I was cosy enough not to need a stretch break. A mug of tea – my second since arriving – and a few dark chocolate digestives were, nonetheless welcome respite during the interval. Walking around, it was clear that drawings were coming along very nicely.

We resumed with one hour of the session remaining. Settling back into position, I did my best to rediscover the pose. Always slightly trickier than would be imagined, even with masking tape markers as a guide. One relaxes into a new pose but must use all one’s muscles for an act of exact replication. I think we got there, or extremely close, and continued to the end without requiring a further pause.

Ironically considering I turned up expecting to freeze, the only intervention required in the second half was to turn aside one fan heater that was slowly roasting my left shin. All then ended well. The hall’s heating issues meant full life drawing sessions had not been possible here since before Christmas, yet there was no sign of rustiness among the artists. Lots of strong works produced. A welcome return for all.

From → Art

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