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Mall Galleries, London, 31 March 2023

19 Apr 2023

Back at Mall Galleries to sit for the portrait artists of Hesketh Hubbard Art Society, my first objective was accessing their pivotal throne. Again and again, I paced round the perimeter of portraitists who’d assembled tightly into a double arc but I could find no means of ingress. It was a busy night. When finally an oil painter momentarily left his station, I slid carefully betwixt poised paraphernalia and eased into the hotseat.

As always, it was to be a 2-hour pose: 1-hour without a break then fifteen minutes for tea and biscuits, followed by a final hour without a break. Imperceptible to my myopic vision, Esther was at the far end of the gallery fashioning 15/30-minute poses, whilst our friend the legendary Leo @Jigglechick87 held a long pose between us. Cometh the hour’s end, I took stock of works in progress; loved that one below!

In a domestic setting it’s not unknown for me to make a mug of tea last for an hour or more, but here speed was of the essence. I orbited in front of the refreshments table, taking a custard cream, digestive or ginger snap each time to help the hot drink on its way down. Thus sated, I returned for the second hour, which as always seemed to fly faster than the first. And what magnificent works resulted…

Artwork by Richard Gray.

Artwork by Desmond Sloane.

Artwork by Tony Swann.

The disciplines of life modelling and portrait modelling are profoundly different, and in more ways than the obvious. It doesn’t follow at all that just because a person has an aptitude and inclination for life modelling they will be equally willing and able to sit for portraitists. Nonetheless, perhaps inexplicably I’m ever more content to do it and was very happy to sit back while the brilliance of Leo and Esther shone for life.

“Model trifecta of the apocalypse…”

From → Art

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