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Bridge House, London, 13 February 2017

19 February 2017

Anerley and Penge Life Drawing sessions at Bridge House can be ‘short pose’, meaning nothing longer than 15-minutes, or ‘long pose’, meaning exactly the reverse. At the time of accepting a booking, one doesn’t know which it will be, but for me this evening was to be one of long poses: two of 15-minutes, one of half-an-hour, a break, then 20 and 25-minutes to a close.

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Unintentionally it became something of a workout for my arms. I opened with a pose I’d seen Esther hold for 15-minutes at Mall Galleries just three days before: a pace forward with both arms extended. It was taxing yet achieved. Next, I went down onto my left knee, with my right hand planted on the ground – taking my weight – and my left arm resting across my raised right knee; the right arm suffereth.

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For the 30-minute pose I’d intended to take inspiration from a powerful drawing I had seen in an exhibition at Leigh Community Centre, wherein the model sat with legs slightly apart, knees raised, elbows on knees and head in hands. As it was, however, the previous pose weakened my limbs and joints too much to make it sustainable, so instead I sat self-entwined… and made my right arm ache even more.

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The break, when it came, was most welcome. Afterwards, I first sat upon a footstool with one leg folded beneath my body, then concluded the evening in a standing pose with right hand upon my belly and left hand raised to head height – thereby ensuring my left arm would ache as much as the right. Such trivia aside, it had been another enjoyable evening for a nice group with a good turn-out: 15 artists this time.

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