MY JOURNEY TO BOTH SIDES OF THE EASEL
The corona virus has affected us all deeply
After hundreds of Studio Sessions beginning in high school, then while in art college, then at area art centers I began to befriend some of the models and soon felt that I had worthwhile experience and knowledge to offer by becoming an art model myself. I began to practice poses and started to understand the effort involved in holding difficult poses. As I felt almost ready to approach a Moderator about it, the pandemic hit and everything closed. I wandered the internet, finding local on-line challenges from nearby art venues.
Then I was fortunate enough to find a group of artists that held daily zoom Studio Sessions.
During weekdays the subject was Still Life, and on weekends the Figure. It was truly wonderful to be speaking and interacting with other artists after months of isolation. I continued to practice my poses and one weekend the scheduled model cancelled. I offered and was the art model for the zoom studio that day, using my home studio, chair and props to accomplish 3 hours of artistic poses. The entire experience was exhilarating for me, while the most memorable moment came at the end when the artists clapped. It was something I only saw happen 2 or 3 times in all the Studio Sessions I had attended and it made me feel so good.
During that Session I did what I described as one "romantic pose" and the Moderator felt that was a good idea. The next day my arm and leg muscles hurt from holding the long poses, but that only motivated me to do more. In the following months I developed a number of romantic poses as I worked out, exercised and practiced in earnest for my next opportunity to model.
I remember getting my 2 vaccine shots, and the great feeling of relief that accompanied them. As the days and weeks went by my life slowly began returning to normal, and about one month later area art centers began to offer limited openings. I registered for the limited number of Studio Sessions at one of the Centers. I was really looking forward to using skills I had developed during isolation, and it was great to be with other artists in-person again - however, the model had confused the days and could not make it as scheduled. I offered and was soon on the model platform (wearing only a required mask) posing in the romantic positions I had been practicing. I learned a lot from the earlier first Session and when the Moderator & class suggested my pose was too hard I assured them that I had been practicing and was confident I could hold it, which I did. It was a cold, rainy and windy day and several windows were open in the spacious upstairs studio. My poses were more difficult this time, and sometimes a challenge to hold, but I accomplished all I wanted to and received compliments from the artists at the end. The Moderator asked for my contact info, and I have already increased my work out while developing a new theme of poses to add to my repertoire. Again, I do not know when the opportunity to be an art model will present itself, but I find the experience exhilarating and will be ready. I feel that as an artist I have much to offer - and much to learn.