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The Plough and Harrow, London, 4 April 2016

9 April 2016

My second booking for Life Drawing in Leytonstone, at The Plough and Harrow pub, came almost exactly one year after the first. Whereas the first was arranged on the afternoon of the session itself, however, this had been comfortably in the diary for some time. I arrived nice and early to find Jenny – the group’s organiser – well on the way to having chairs, lights, heaters, art materials, tea and biscuits all set out.

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A steady stream of artists arrived right up to our 7:30pm start time. As at my previous visit, one of the regular artists – Bill – was already comfortable in a grand chair when I arrived. Other regulars followed, along with several first-timers. Jenny greeted them all individually, with particular attention given to those who had never drawn here before. It meant we were a little late getting underway.

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There would be three poses in the first half: 10-minutes, 15-minutes and 25-minutes. I decided to stand for the first, kneel for the second and sit on the floor for the third. My standing pose was particularly elongated as I reached up, with one arm hooked above my head; I set my limbs asymmetrically at awkward angles while kneeling; the sitting pose was conventional but still with lots of angles.

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For my single long 50-minute pose after the break, I sat upon a chair and deliberately kept myself compact, with legs and arms folded in to contrast the earlier open-limbed poses. The group worked silently save for Bill’s occasional uncompromising muttered self-criticisms. He’s a character, and showed me a couple of his drawings afterwards. I wasn’t sure about the accuracy of those drips in the kneeling pose!

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Not having had much sleep over the previous evenings and still with a journey home of more than an hour ahead, I regretfully declined to stay on for a drink. It had been good to see Jenny again, having missed spotting her at the Monsterlune fashion show in February, and to hear about her latest art projects. Same time next year, perhaps?

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