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Cockpit Arts, London, 13 April 2016

16 April 2016

After a good Monday night workout at a long-established venue, Wednesday evening brought the fresh anticipation that comes when modelling for the first time somewhere new. I’d been booked to pose for the life drawing group run by Ceri Ann Littlechild at Cockpit Arts, in central London.

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Cockpit Arts is housed in a large building that accommodates many artists’ studios. I arrived early and was told by two chaps in fluorescent jackets that I should go to the first floor. No-one else was about, all the studios were shut, so I wandered around the warren of corridors till their creaky wooden floorboards led me somewhere promising.

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At the far end I found a large room where Ceri Ann was preparing. It seemed the ideal space: light, airy, plenty of room for all six artists to work at easels, and a simple yet comfortable sofa for me to pose on, with my back to the wall. When all the expected artists were present, to the accompaniment of Ceri Ann’s mellow playlist, we began.

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Three standing poses of 2-minutes, 3-minutes and 5-minutes provided the warm-up. I followed with 10-minutes sitting on the floor with my arms back on the sofa cushions, then two poses of 15-minutes: reclining on the sofa whilst propped on one elbow, and seated on the floor again with my face down on the sofa cushions.

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After a break for red wine – wine! – we resumed with poses of 20 and 25-minutes. For the first one I sat on the sofa cushions with one elbow crooked tightly around a raised knee and my other hand on my head; for the last I sat on the back of the sofa, leaning down onto one of its arms.

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For a relatively modest group, the artists had a wide range of experience and abilities, but everybody was friendly and engaging. Ceri Ann herself offered occasional words of advice but for most of the time we simply let the gentle music wash over us. I couldn’t have hoped for a nicer début. Feedback was upbeat, and I look forward to a return.

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