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The Beehive, London, 2 July 2015

7 July 2015

You’re very tall and you’re very skinny!

This news was broken to me by a life artist at The Beehive pub in Tottenham during our half-time break on Thursday evening. Beaming genially over his pint, he recounted the impressive diversity of models that had posed there over recent weeks. Now I was present, giving them another variation of the human form.

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It’s why anybody with the right discipline and attitude can be a life model. As I replied to my new friend, “Think what the word ‘model’ brings to mind in our society and you’ll find I don’t tick any of the boxes as an individual; but set me among a broad array of models working at life groups, and I can offer unique challenges for artists.

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An impressive tally of 23 artists had turned up for this session run by Tottenham Art Classes. There was no tuition this evening, so pose times were called by the group’s organiser, Taz. She started me off with three 3-minute standing poses that created a kind of gesture sequence.

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It was a muggy summer’s evening. The air hung heavy, thickened by custard sunshine that oozed through our windows. When Taz asked the artists if they would like to have a large floor fan switched on, she was answered with a resounding, “Yes!” For the first time ever, I was more grateful to have a fan in the room than a heater.

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My poses continued: 5 minutes standing, 5 minutes kneeling, 10 minutes standing. I endured beads of perspiration itching their way down slowly from my hairline, across my brows and around my face to my body. It’s a form of exquisite torment when one is honour-bound not to move.

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A 20-minute seated pose took us up to the break. Artists then decanted to the other bar of the pub while I admired the works they left leaning against their seats. Pencils, oil bars, watercolours and even an iPad had been put to great employment in making art. I thought the iPad work below, produced by Edward Ofosu, was outstanding.

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After the break, I resumed with another 10-minute standing pose, and was then given leave to see out the remaining half an hour on my back. As always, I raised a couple of limbs to make it more interesting and three-dimensional. The red and white sheets upon which I reclined gave the artists extra colour and texture to play with.

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It had been a warm, satisfying two hour’s work, rewarded with enthusiasm and colour and creativity in art. I left smiling.

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From → Art

One Comment
  1. boykog permalink

    Some of the drawings depict not so thin and not so tall man, Steve. Amazing intro of iPod as a tool, but still I would prefer pencil and brush..

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