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Eastbourne House, London, 14 May 2015

18 May 2015

“Can I get you a bowl of food?”, asked Mark during the break. I declined as I’d already eaten a sandwich on the way over, but as I left my posing space and passed the large cooking pot of steaming hot pasta in sauce, I was powerless to resist. I ladled myself a generous helping and put the kettle on for a mug of Earl Grey.

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It was half-time at the Thursday evening life drawing group run by Adrian Dutton. Among the many groups for which I’ve posed, Adrian’s are unique in providing a mini buffet of snacks that often includes helpings of hot food. It’s the ideal accompaniment to a spot of relaxed socialising between periods of art.

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We met on the stairs ahead of the 7pm start. He was leaving as I arrived. In our brief chat he let me know that Mark would be facilitating the group this evening. Five or six artists were already present; this rose to maybe thirty before the end of my first pose.

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Mark called pose timings in a broadly similar arrangement to those favoured by Adrian himself. 10 minutes (while the latecomers arrived) to begin, then dynamic and medium poses: five of 1-minute, followed by 3, 3, 5, 5, 10 and 15 minutes up to the break.

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The break could last for anything up to half an hour but I returned early in a 10-minute pose for those impatient to resume drawing. When everyone was back in their chairs, we finished with two poses of 30-minutes each. It was a mild evening and only for the last pose did I feel the need to accept the offer of a heater.

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Mark looked after me well, and warm applause from artists at the end suggested they felt well catered for too. Works were set out upon the floor and kind words exchanged. As always, the most wonderful compliments are to be found in the art.

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