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The Cambria, London, 22 October 2014

24 October 2014

Wednesday evening last week I life modelled short poses at The Cambria pub for Camberwell Life Drawing. This week I returned for long poses. The evening started auspiciously: I found the dressing gown I’d carelessly left behind seven days before.

Again I met Tatiana in the upstairs function room, where we would be joined by about 10 artists. The poses would be 15 minutes standing, another 15 minutes standing, 30 minutes sitting on the floor – then a break – and finally 45 minutes seated on a couch.

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There is a certain inevitability about numbness during my long poses; it’s something I really should work on preventing. In the standing poses I tend to apply my bodyweight through one leg and use the other for balance. Ergo I switched weighted legs between the two 15-minutes to share their burden.

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While seated upon the floor I had my right leg fully extended, and my left leg crooked underneath it. Contrary to what might be expected it was the foot of the extended leg that went numb midway through and stayed that way to the end of the half-hour.

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My final pose had both shins crossed as an X, one arm resting its elbow on one knee and its hand on the other; the other arm’s elbow being on the other knee and its hand supporting my chin. I felt a slight tremor in my unsupported leg early on but ultimately it was the hand under my chin that went numb towards the very end.

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Tatiana graciously offered me a moment to stretch halfway through the final long pose. At the end I shook off my numbness, put on my clothes and photographed some great drawings. We then packed away, and half a dozen of us repaired to the bar.

How convenient it is to life model inside a pub. We segued to a fine evening of post-art wine, nibbles and good conversation, in excellent company. Now, after two successive weeks here I can’t reasonably expect to get a new booking any time soon, but I would be a very happy man indeed if the chance came to return some time in the new year.

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