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The Cambria, London, 14 October 2015

19 October 2015

The night air outside was milder than I expected. On the platform at Loughborough Junction, I greedily devoured a large tray of chicken fried rice with sweet and sour sauce, bought from the Wang Fa takeaway just outside the station. I felt warm and satiated inside. My train arrived on time and my journey was smooth. It had been a good evening.

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The occasion was a return visit to The Cambria for two hours’ worth of short poses. Artist numbers were down slightly on previous visits, with just nine here to draw, but the ambiance was engaging and relaxed. As always, it was a pleasure to work with Tatiana, organiser of Camberwell Life Drawing – one of London’s long-established model-run life drawing groups.

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I began with three dynamic standing poses of 2-minutes each, followed by a further two of 5-minutes. For the next 5 minutes I dropped to a kneel, then tried a 10-minute inversion draped over the front of a sofa. This was immediately counter-posed with a forward-folding 10-minute seated pose. Finally, 15-minutes standing with elbows up took us to our interval.

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After the break I settled down for 10 minutes squatting like a frog upon the sofa, then held 15 minutes in casual standing stance, and closed with 15 minutes sitting on the floor, my limbs intertwined. I hoped these would offer sufficient angular variety to keep the artists suitably challenged, and incorporate enough restful balance to maintain my comfort throughout.

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It’s quite the usual thing to join some of the group afterwards for a drink downstairs in the main bar, yet tonight everybody seemed to need an early night. Instead, while we packed away, I chatted with Tatiana variously about our shared enthusiasm for travel and the London life art scene. I would be back for long poses next week and perhaps would partake of a large red wine then; for now, a fill of Chinese food would suffice.

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More than ever before I feel appreciative for everything that participation in the arts has brought me. Not only the internal satisfaction and outward self-expression that comes of life modelling, but also the joy of being in company with creative people. Whether it be from the simple sharing of common interests or the profound pleasure of realising a deep-seated connection, there has been – and is now – so much to cherish.

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