Saturday, July 16, 2011


A good model makes a real contribution to the artist's ultimate success. In general it's the professional model who provides solid performance due to her body awareness, muscle control, stamina, and creativity. The young woman here did an excellent job even tho' she had no previous modeling experience at all. She had approached us saying she wanted to try nude modeling just to see if she could do the job, - perhaps only to be able to say she'd done it.  She spent three hours one evening sans clothing, sitting quietly as we looked intently at all aspects of her. In the end, she dressed, - we praised her, thanked her and paid her. She left saying that it was a great  experience, glad she'd done it, but felt no need for a repeat performance.  Most ordinary people wouldn't have done it at all!  Hats off to her! 

People often ask what it is like to model nude but then almost more often, speculate on the artists' side of the room.  How, they ask, can you sit calmly looking at a "naked" woman (or man) without discomfort and dismay?  The answer of course is that the work is paramount.  As an artist you pay attention to line, form, color, etc. As you work to portray the model accurately, creatively or expressively, you are so involved that there's no room for speculation or fancy thought. Drawing well demands complete concentration!

There is a story I like to tell, which in a funny round-a-bout way, explains the situation.  We had a lovely long-legged young lady posing one evening and when it was break-time she put on her robe and stepped down from the modeling stand.  She and I struck up a mundane conversation, - weather, driving conditions, job stress and such.  In the course of our exchange she mentioned her day job, some sort of retail position, where as she moved about serving customers, she'd constantly banged her hip on a counter edge.  "See," she said, " Look at the bruises!" , pulling  her hem right up to her hip!  I was dismayed!   Here I'd been staring at her bare skin for an hour and now I was taken aback by the sight of her exposed thigh!   It was almost as if she'd pulled up her skirt to show her lace panties!    Context is the operative word here!  

 "Concentration is the secret of strength."   Ralph Waldo Emerson 

"I've known painters who never did any good work ...... instead of painting their models they seduced them."    Renoir

1 comment:

  1. "Concentration is the secret of strength."

    True, indeed, in many things, from drawing to scholarship to boxing.