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Wanstead House, London, 24 May 2017

28 May 2017

This was the last Wednesday evening life drawing class at Wanstead House before their long summer break, so I felt honoured to be booked as the model. It was another sultry evening with the fire door propped open to encourage the circulation of cooler air from outside. Generally the sessions here have a gentle pace, however, which means I can make diverse shapes without any danger of overheating.

Yesterday evening in Nunhead I worked through ten poses in the first half, yet here I was only asked for three. I opened by standing for 15-minutes with one arm over my head, the other arm reaching across my belly, and legs in a natural stride. Next, I sat on the floor for 15-minutes, legs bent horizontally with right foot to left knee, and then for the remaining 30-minutes I sat on a chair that had been draped with sheets.

After a relatively long break of half an hour – their last natter this side of autumn – the group’s organiser, Patrick, showed me the pose he would like for our final 30-minutes: sitting on the floor with upper body rested on a chair. I know from experience that this one is guaranteed to numb the arm that hangs farthest across the chair but it has the potential to result in quite elegant artworks, so I don’t mind too much.

One curiosity regarding the last pose is that this was the third time in as many years it had been requested as the finale of a Wednesday evening session here. One of the artists – Gian – has captured it from the more or less same angle on every occasion, which makes for a fascinating record of progression through time. I cannot think of an equivalent situation with any other group. How many more years, I wonder?


Wanstead House, 24 May 2017

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Wanstead House, 30 March 2016

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Wanstead House, 9 December 2015

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