Memoranda from the recent past:
Most memorable ‘Raft of the Medusa’
Variation on ‘The Last Supper’
My practical application of life drawing techniques is pretty ropey. I’ve heard and seen a lot; but done – there I lack. When instructing others on how to draw me I explain – “Convey my essence, what does the pose feel like? Express that with your charcoal marks!”
Today I observed the communication process again. My typical poses are not often like naturalism, I mean mainly my shorter poses (less than half an hour). They are abstract, geometric, dynamic, concerned with balance and not obviously expressive of an emotion. They are about form. As I shift from angular shape to perpendicular groove, it is my body that tells me which way to go. Or rather it just does it. Today I saw/felt an artist watching me first, before he put pencil to paper. Taking it in – ‘what does it mean?’
I looked at myself: balancing on the sides of my feet, legs crossed, back leaning slightly forward and arms out front about belly level, hands together in an almost begging fashion. My head was tilted up and to the left. I thought: “There is nothing obvious which I am telling you, at least not with your left brain. So best not to analyse too much.” I was right all along. Feel the essence, don’t think about it. Take time to absorb the information given before your eyes, your senses. Then translate to paper. Measure by all means; but let the charcoal interpret the meaning, which in any case never need be clear. Not in linear terms at least. It may strike on another plane.
Next week we have another meeting for new models; this time at Battersea Arts Centre on Wednesday 19th September, 7-9pm.
Also we have life modelling workshops lined up where participants get to try drawing each other as well as us. The emphasis is not on being able to draw, rather on seeing what the model is from the artist’s point of view. These are on Wednesday evenings of 26th September and 3rd October at Battersea Library. This is great preparation for our event on October 20. Do get in touch to book a place, there is a charge of £10. Drawing materials provided.
This Thursday 6th September is a chance to meet the Spirited Bodies team if you would like to model at one of our events. We will be at The Leather Bottle, 538 Garratt Lane, SW17 0NY from 7 – 9pm. The nearest overground station is Earlsfield and the nearest underground station is Tooting Broadway. We will occupy a table and place a ‘Spirited Bodies’ sign on it. You may recognise us from the photos in; https://spiritedbodies.com/2012/08/25/mall-reunion/
When I was catching up with Caron Clarke on Saturday as I modelled for her group in Crystal Palace, she showed me some of her beautiful water colours.
Caron runs weekly long pose sessions with a model usually returning for 2 – 3 weeks, on Saturday afternoons at her studio in Crystal Palace. She will soon be resuming her more experimental weekly classes, now on a Friday evening, from October she expects. She tutors at this class in which she specialises in taking artists/students out of their comfort zone and showing them a new way for which they are ultimately grateful! (See this post from last year; https://spiritedbodies.com/2011/06/15/mountain-of-strength/) NB Caron no longer operates from Antenna Studios but from her new space at Gipsy Hill Workshops – http://www.caronclarkeartistandlifedrawing.com/
We will be answering questions and giving advice to new models at the meeting on Thursday. We are mainly preparing at this stage for the October 20 event at Battersea Arts Centre for which we have a requirement to find models connected with the borough of Wandsworth. In addition we are particularly looking for female models and there will be a women only life modelling preparation workshop coming up.
Men will be taking part in the event too, but we do hear considerably more from male applicants.
Last Monday Lucy, Morimda and I met up again for the first time since Spring 2011; we were at the Private View of an exhibition of work done by Hesketh Hubbard – the organisation of artists who first hosted Spirited Bodies when Morimda originally set it up in Autumn 2010.
Most of the art was figurative and we recognised many of the models in the pictures, some of whom were also there in person.
Lucy took pictures of the artworks and we asked a tipsy artist to take a few snaps of us;
It’s been a hectic couple of weeks; I dropped out of a long pose at The Slade because my Mum was more ill than usual, and I wanted to concentrate more on Spirited Bodies. Not that you can tell from this blog, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes at the moment as we begin postering the borough of Wandsworth and engaging with local communities about life modelling and body image.
We are getting a small amount of funding from Wandsworth Council which ties us to sourcing models from the borough. I am enjoying this challenge more than I expected to. Having a reason to find local people especially women (we still hear from so many more men) brings us back to what it’s all about – reaching out to people who might not otherwise know about us or consider such an activity.
Here are some more artworks – hover over to see the name of the artist and the piece.
I visited the hall where Saturday’s event will take place
The building is only sometimes still a church, mostly it is used as a community space for a choir, a dance school, a creche, amateur dramatics etc. Not a pretty church but a good space. There is an organ and a piano if anyone would like to accompany the service!
Spirited Bodies team is reunited once more! It is a bit like an ethereal organisation; sometimes we needs must disappear. We are now very much on the Earth plane and busy connecting with our excellent group of models to be and also the artists.
This will be our first event entirely run by us. The last one in Telegraph Hill was almost such, but being part of a festival, it was promoted and the space given by the festival. It has been tricky to have time etc to invite as many artists as we possibly could to do the event justice. As you can see the space is large, so there is room. Do get in touch if you would like to come and draw, or just turn up. Last time we fitted into a much smaller space, so it will be beautiful to enjoy extra leg room and more possibilities for moving about to get a different view.
As well we may divide the models into smaller groups some of the time, and space them out around the hall.
Lucy unearthed some gorgeous pictures of artwork created at the Drawing Theatre event at Battersea Arts Centre earlier this year.
Looking forward to the magic!