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The Star by Hackney Downs, 23 February 2016

25 February 2016

Only upon arriving at The Star by Hackney Downs was I told that this evening’s life drawing was an anniversary event: it was one year since the group was founded. Well, actually it may have been one year and one week, but this was the first session since the true date that co-founders Catherine Hall and Carla Nizzola were both available to celebrate.

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This was my sixth time modelling here, and the busiest I’d seen it. Usually there are around half-a-dozen people drawing, plus Catherine and Carla – all good artists – but tonight there were fully eleven present with the two organisers. To accommodate the extra people, I was meant to be posing in the round rather than facing a semi-circle, but in practice it was something in between; artists settled into a three-quarter circle.

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I was to be modelling upon a high stool, a mid-height chair and a low stool, switching positions on one or more of these throughout. The pose sequence was: 5-minutes, 4, 3, 2-minutes, then three of 1-minute, three of 30-seconds, and two of 10-minutes that brought us to an interval. After our break for refreshments, we resumed with poses of 15-minutes and 10-minutes.

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As is the tradition, works were set out upon the floor at the end for general admiration. Everyone seemed pleased with the evening’s efforts, and I joined most of the artists in staying afterwards for a swift drink. Having posed here just three weeks before, I didn’t expect to be invited back so soon, but it’s always enjoyable modelling for a group that appreciates a particular style of dynamic pose. I’m happy to oblige.

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