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The Prince Regent, Herne Hill, 1 March 2017

9 March 2017

It was supposed to be a quiet week for me, with Monday at Mall Galleries being my only booking. Sunday evening offers from Ravensbourne and SketchPad Drawing, however, changed all that – Wednesday 1 March would be a third successive evening of working after my full-time day job. Combined with unaccountably disrupted sleep, I was becoming a physically tired life model. Still, I felt enthused for all three sessions, each one having its own special appeal.

Lisa – organiser of SketchPad Drawing – had asked if there was any theme I fancied. Hmm. “Theme, theme, theme… well, it’s St David’s Day so you could furnish us with daffodils and leeks if you like.” Duly, three small bunches of daffodils awaited when I arrived at The Prince Regent – though it seemed I wouldn’t be having a leek in pose. The ‘us’ in my consideration was whomever Lisa had booked as her other model; this turned out to be Vanessa, who I’d last seen when working there in October.

Vanessa was to start modelling in the main room – entwined in the legs of a table on its side – whilst I would take the floor in an adjacent room. As is the standard format, we would then swap rooms at half-time. Lisa armed me with two bunches of the daffs and asked me to be expressive with my limbs through a sequence of short to medium pose lengths. I began with 10-minutes standing, one arm crooked over my head, and the other crooked across my belly.

I went down on one knee for 5-minutes, then stood on one leg for a further 5-minutes, with the other knee folded tight upon a chest of drawers. Realising that I’d weakened my lower limbs a little, I was tempted to make the next pose easy. Lisa was keen for me to stand in the middle of the room, however, open and expansive for 15-minutes. I readily agreed but could feel my thigh and calf muscles fibrillating throughout. For the final 20-minutes of our first half, I sat on the floor – angular but comfortable.

During the interval I switched to the main room where a single 40-minute pose would bring our session to an end. Lisa asked that I lay upon a sofa – fine by me! At first, I hitched up my knees so I was partly-curled, but instead she asked that I sprawl out, with one foot down on the floor. I duly complied and, with daffodils under each armpit, concluded the session in relative comfort. As ever, a plethora of artists at easels had worked wonders. This remains one of my top 5 favourite venues to model.

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