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The Prince Regent, Herne Hill, 30 September 2015

2 October 2015

The automated announcement at Blackfriars station cut out part way through and an exasperated human voice took its place: “I’m switching those messages off because they all say the same thing – basically the trains are buggered.” This did not bode well for my chances of completing the 11-minute journey to Herne Hill on time.

In half an hour I was due to be posing nude at The Prince Regent pub in Herne Hill for SketchPad Drawing. I phoned Lisa, the group’s organiser, to explain my situation and give the pledge that if needs be I would jump in a cab. I’ve never been late for a life model booking and I didn’t intend to start in these circumstances.

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Fortunately the problem – a broken down train at City Thameslink station – was fixed within ten minutes and services began slowly trickling through. I made it to the venue with four minutes to spare. A noticeable shortage of artists for this normally crowded group suggested I wasn’t the only one to have been caught up in the trouble.

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Loulou Reloulou was my co-model for the evening. She would be wearing strikingly flamboyant costumes in one room while I posed nude in another. We swapped rooms at half-time. In the first half I started off with a 15-minute pose that ran to 20; followed it with a 5-minute pose that ran to 10; and ended with a 25-minute pose bang on time.

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A single pose of 45 minutes occupied the second session. At my previous visit Lisa had been keen to put me in poses that would accentuate my long limbs. Despite her being – in her own words – “two foot shorter” than me, she demonstrated a sprawled, slouched, spread-eagled pose that she wanted me to try. I gave of my best.

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Excellent artworks were produced in both rooms. In the second half I was fascinated by artist Gemma Cook, who worked on four giant sheets of paper, laying each on the floor when she was satisfied with it. I couldn’t see exactly what was going on whilst in pose but, when finally free to look, I was astounded by her superb work.

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I left The Prince Regent a happy man. My journey home was beset by rail engineering rather than train failures, but the important part of the evening had worked out just fine. I’ll always be pleased to travel for this group.

Postscript

As Gemma ran out of time before she could complete her gigantic work, I allowed her to take a photo of the missing left side so she could finish at home. Within three days she very kindly sent me images of the final masterpiece, plus her photo from the night itself, which captured some beautiful Caravaggio-like light. Here they are:

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From → Art

2 Comments
  1. Great blog, makes me want to be there. Amazing artwork too

  2. Wonderful artwork. Great poses.

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