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The Prince Regent, Herne Hill, 18 January 2017

20 January 2017

Tense moments with SketchPad Drawing before posing began! Esther and I waited upstairs at The Prince Regent pub in Herne Hill, inwardly assessing artist numbers as they arrived. A modest turnout meant we could cuddle up in duo poses all evening, whereas a full turnout meant solo work in different rooms. Artist after artist after artist streamed in through the doors. It did not look promising for us…

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Of course, for Lisa – group organiser – it was marvellous. This was the first evening of her new term, so a strong opening presence on a cold January night could only augur well for the future. With regret, however, she had no choice but to separate us. Esther stayed in the main room whilst I relocated to the adjoining blue room. We started with two 15-minute poses, then quickened to work of 2, 2, 1, 5, 3 and 2-minutes.

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During the interval that followed, we checked what the artists had made of us. In some of Esther’s poses she was nude; in others she sported a selection of the extraordinary costumes and accessories she’d recently acquired. By contrast, I remained resolutely naked throughout. For the second half, we swapped rooms and settled into 45-minute poses that would take us to a finish. Lisa had me curl in angles on a sofa. Splendid.

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Setting aside my disappointment at not posing with Esther, I would have considered it a great session had I not been so bloody freezing! As this was the first class of 2017, I suspect the radiators hadn’t been on since Christmas. My lone puttering heater kept cutting out during the final pose and I was shivering for the last quarter of an hour. But I love this group… and good art will remain long after the chill has left my bones.

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