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Central Park Café, East Ham, 24 March 2022

27 Mar 2022

It’s rare these days that I respond to a new call-out for life models. My enthusiasm for each job has not waned, but the appetite for chasing every possible opportunity is no longer there. I’m thirsting less and appreciating more, but a call-out for this session at Central Park Café in East Ham really spoke to me. And happily I was accepted.

Best of all, it was only after being accepted that I discovered it would be a fund-raiser for the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. Gladly, I waived my fee for the job to boost their total donation. Hattie, who booked me, said: “we’re also operating a bar and serving some light bites so I’ll make sure you have refreshments!” Perfect. 🙂

The café itself turned out to be a ideal space for life drawing. Lots of room for serving exquisite food and drinks at one end, plus a chilling-out area at the other end offering ample room for me to pose in a circle of 15-20 artists. Oddly, two wooden pallets had been provided as my stage. Not the last word in comfort, but hey. One was plenty!

I spread my trusty white sheet upon the pallet, stuffed a couple of the café’s cushions beneath it, and we began. Short poses first: two of 1-minute, two of 2-minutes, two of 5-minutes. Two poses of 20-minutes took us to our break. I sat for the first, I stood for the second, and I felt at peace throughout.

There was no music to play us along, so audible accompaniment came in the form of soft, friendly chatter between twos and threes of artists around the room. I was asked during the interval, whether I found this distracting. Not at all! I am only there to make interesting shapes; as long as everyone sounds happy, I’m happy too.

It was planned that one single long pose would occupy the second half. I shifted from the round and made angles from the comfort of an armchair against a wall instead. In this position I remained for between 30-40 minutes, at which point it was decided that we could finished with a few more quickies: 2 minutes, 2 minutes and 5 minutes.

By 10pm, we were done. I’d thoroughly enjoyed modelling, the artists also seemed to have enjoyed a nice social evening of life drawing, the food and wine provided by the café had been exceptional, second to none, and Central Park Life Drawing raised a commendable £300 for the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. Fantastic.

To cap it all, after I’d dressed and was saying my farewells, Sophie who runs the café (see also Bread Club) kindly allowed me to take my pick of any opened wine bottles. This typified the kind-hearted hospitality I experienced all evening. I left with a goodly Tuscan white in my bag, and the streets of East Ham never looked more beautiful!

From → Art

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