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The Conservatoire, Blackheath, 14 November 2016

16 November 2016

Upon arriving at The Conservatoire in Blackheath for the last of three autumnal Monday bookings, my attention turned directly to the final pose. I would be reclining on a broad, low, white-painted box, but the question was: could it be turned onto its side so I would be raised even higher with limbs dangling down? Together with tutor Victoria Rance, I stared doubtfully at the object. We would give the matter some more thought after a few short poses to get us started.

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The first one was a request. For a private project, one artist needed to draw a figure clutching its stomach and crumpling in pain; I duly obliged for 5-minutes. This went down well, so I followed with another dynamic 5-minute standing pose, in stride with hands on head. After 10-minutes sitting twisted on a high stool it was time for me to get into the long pose… and we opted to play it safe. The box would remain flat with me lying curled upon it, foetal-like.

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I had two large layers of thick foam to lay on, plus my white sheet, but any pose that lasts more than one and a half hours will inevitably become uncomfortable. This time the pressure eventually told on my lower shoulder so, despite a break mid-pose, I felt relieved when our work was done – sad too, as this concluded my Monday evenings here in 2016. On Victoria’s recommendation, however, I will start anew later this week with the Thursday life painting group here. Thank you, Victoria!

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