Spirited Bodies greets the world enthusiastically!
I want to introduce Spirited Bodies, which is a team of life models who are dedicated to sharing their unique experience with newcomers. Life modeling is an unusual and increasingly popular occupation, as life drawing currently expands in the UK. This type of drawing from the naked human still body, is a vital access point into art and drawing for the complete beginner as well as being great practice for the seasoned artist. It is said that there is nothing quite so difficult to draw as the human form, and it also fascinates us as we each have a body, but rarely see many others unclothed, and particularly which we may study acutely with permission to stare and keep examining.
The model must remain quite still as s/he is captured on paper or canvas. Detailed observations of the body are drawn, as well as more essential qualities relating to a model’s energy and mood.
3 thoughts on “Hello world!”
On Friday 19th November 2010 Morimda, Lucy and Esther brought together 9 women to experience life modeling at The Mall Galleries in London. The 9 new models aged 17 – 52 were drawn and painted by the seasoned and professional artists of the Hesketh Hubbard organisation. This was the first Spirited Bodies event and it was very exciting with a record turn out of artists for their regular life drawing evening. Normally drawing one model at a time, the artists were treated to an awesome 9 models posing simultaneously in a small space.
The new models responded incredibly, adapting suddenly to the fixated attention of the crowd of huddled artists, who were hungrily devouring each second of the poses, as never before had they experienced such an occasion.
It was quite scary for the women to bare themselves for the first time to this audience, but they enjoyed being in a group, and being so appreciated.
Pictures of multiple and varied women proliferated around the gallery, as the new models experimented with different poses in relation to one another. This is an unusual context even for an experienced life model.
Drawing from life gives artists a unique challenge. What is less well recognised is the challenge for the models themselves. The comments of the novice models after the event reminded me of things I too had found difficult when I started modelling – how a comfortable pose can rapidly become an uncomfortable one, the way you have to think about the consequences of staying still in a particular position for a particular amount of time, are you cutting off blood flow, are you putting bone on bone (which can get exquisitely painful – resting ankle bone on ankle bone for instance). We don’t recognise how much we move normally, even if we are doing sedentary things. The complete stillness of modelling is very different from just sitting or lying or sprawling.
Yes, the role of the life model is regularly underestimated, even by the artists themselves, many of whom would not dream of actually modeling. People imagine that since you are doing ‘nothing’, or what appears to be nothing, that it is easy. Nothing could be further from the truth! Both the nudity and the stillness are off putting to the potential model.
One of the purposes of Spirited Bodies is to raise the profile of artists’ models.