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Eastbourne House, London, 7 January 2016

23 January 2016

My first life modelling of 2016 saw me return to Bethnal Green for Adrian Dutton. It being a Thursday, this was particularly pleasing as Thursday are his cheese and wine evenings. Only four weeks had passed since I made my first appearance at just such an occasion; this rapid re-booking was to pair me with a new model making his début for Adrian.

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Carlos had life modelled a couple of times before, but never for a group on the scale of this one at Eastbourne House. As we chatted before the start, more and more artists poured into the hall. Whilst not daunted, even I was a little surprised to see we would be posing for a crowd of 40 to 50 people. Carlos chuckled a little nervously but held his composure.

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The two-model format presents possibilities for maximising the space with a model at each end, or to have both models in a duo pose at the centre of the room. With regard to the latter, I had said to Carlos we needn’t do anything he would not feel comfortable with, but he was admirably open-minded. We started in opposite corners, however, for the traditional 10-minute opener.

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Four 2-minute poses followed, and we made the last of these our first duo pose. Two subsequent 5-minute poses were also as a duo: one with me seated on the floor and Carlos kneeling beside me, our hands upon or across one another; the other standing side by side facing opposite directions, arms around each other’s midriffs. 15-minute and 10-minute poses to us to the cheese and wine interlude.

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After the break we recommenced with 10-minute, 2-minute, 1-minute and 30-second poses. The next 15-minutes saw our final duo pose, seated back-to-back on the floor. We finished as we’d begun, at opposite ends of the hall, closing the session with a 20-minute pose. Carlos had done well; he’d shown a professional attitude and been natural in his approach throughout.

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Before heading home, I checked out the evening’s art that had been laid out around the floor. As on my previous Thursday visit, the most eye-catching works were large characterful studies of the upper body that seem to be one artist’s speciality. But it’s a pleasure to pose for the full range of abilities in such a large friendly group. Cheese and wine is icing on the cake.

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