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The Cambria, London, 15 October 2014

21 October 2014

For all the wonderful art there is to create in extraordinary locations, sometimes with multiple models, sometimes with outrageous props, I’m still a purist at heart. I love it when a life drawing session is literally stripped back to its bare minimum: the artists and their creative instruments; the model, naked, alone.

A new opportunity appeared on 7 October for just such work. The call-out came from Tatiana on behalf of Camberwell Life Drawing:

MALE MODEL NEEDED!!
Who would be available to model for me on the 15 and 22nd of October?

[…] the class is from 7pm to 9pm. We usually have the same model for 2 weeks in a row, the first week we do a short poses class (2 to 15min) and the following week a long poses class (15 to 45min).

40 Kemerton Road, Camberwell, SE5 9AR, London (the nearest train station is Loughborough Junction and bus stop for buses 35, 45, 345 is only 7 minutes away from our location.)

Thank you in advance! 🙂

I volunteered for both dates and was in.

As always for a first time modelling at a new venue, I turned up with plenty of time to spare. I was particularly looking forward to this first of the two dates, as the potential for dynamism and variety in the shorter poses appeals to me more than the naturally self-limiting (for the model) longer format.

The Cambria pub would be the venue – a superb traditional old London pub. Tables and chairs had been arranged as an arc in the large upstairs function room, facing a long bright red couch. Lighting and heaters were being rigged as I arrived.

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Tatiana had told me the group usually numbers around 10 artists, with maybe 16 the high-water mark. I think we had 14 this evening, which was pleasing. My picture had been used in the advertising and seemed not have had a negative effect!

Come 7pm I walked in front of the arc of tables, stood before the couch and shed my gown. The first half sequence was to be four 2-minute poses, three of 5-minutes, and three of 10-minutes. After a break we would conclude with three 15-minute poses.

I struck dynamic standing poses for each of the 2-minutes, then one standing pose in between two sitting on floorboards for the 5-minutes, ending in a lotus position. These were the purist poses I love.

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I followed with a 10-minute restful pose on the couch leaning over one arm, and then a 10-minute inverted pose with legs and bottom on the couch, head and arms draped to the floor. The last 10 minutes were standing, hands on hips.

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I needed the interval to let my back recover a little. On resumption I began seated on the couch, with one foot flat on the cushions and my spine rounded into its back – a counterpose to the earlier back-bend down to the floor. 15 minutes standing followed, holding a flower in one hand and extending the other. To conclude, I went 15 minutes laying lengthways on the couch with my arms and legs over either end.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this session. After dressing I joined Tatiana in photographing the artists’ works. There was plenty of quality on show – all of which whetted my appetite for what might be produced when I return for longer poses.

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