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Wanstead House, London, 12 April 2015

17 April 2015

An unseasonably sunny Sunday morning saw me return to pose Wanstead House. It was to be the first session in a new season of organiser Patrick’s Sunday life drawing classes, and only my second visit to the venue at a weekend. The warmth of the day was welcome as it took a while for him to find someone who could unlock the door.

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We were joined by seven artists: one first-timer plus a few familiar faces, including one or two from the Wednesday evening group. Midweek classes are on the top floor but, with the building largely to ourselves, we were able to take advantage of a first-floor room that was flooded with natural light.

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The session called for four poses: three in the first half and one in the second. I began with 10 minutes standing, elbows up, and hands tucked into a curl between my ears and shoulders. It’s a relatively new pose for me that I’ve presented at a few recent groups. It was followed by 10 minutes in a kneel, as if about to start a sprint.

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A simple 40-minute pose sitting on the floor took us to our break. I was feeling utterly at peace with the world yet the artists captured my face in something of a scowl. The hardest posture to hold for any long period is a smiling face. It would be nice, however, if my resting face could settle into a slightly more cheery expression.

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The length of pose after the break is always dependent on how much time we have left after the artists take tea. On this occasion it was nearer a half-hour than 45 minutes. I sat again, this time on a chair with my body turned right and face to the left. When we were done I was free to venture back out into the sunshine.

My bonus on leaving was the nicest words a model can hope to hear at the end of a session, from artist to tutor: “can we have him again, please?

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