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Garrett Centre, London, 1 November 2017

5 Nov 2017

I’ve been visiting the Garrett Centre for Wednesday and Friday evening life drawing meet-ups since the summer of 2013. Sessions had previously taken place in the main hall but a change of circumstances meant a switch of location… and some innovation. Wednesdays now have a model in each of two rooms beneath the hall; one dedicated to short poses, the other to long, trading places at half-time.

I arrived first so was allowed to choose the room in which I would like to begin; I opted to open with short poses. As ever here, I commenced with a 10-minute pose that gave time for latecomers to settle before we got into the really short stuff. Many latecomers joined us. Every seat was taken as we moved on to three poses of 2-minutes, three of 5-minutes, and two of 15-minutes. I mixed new poses with some old favourites.

During the interval, while artists enjoyed their breads with assorted dips, I took photos of the artworks then gathered my clothes and carried them to the next room. This was a quieter space with fewer seats, half of which were destined to remain empty. Just as at other venues where I work: if there’s a choice on offer, the majority prefer short. Five artists were with me nonetheless, so I asked what kind of pose they would like…

Not reclining” was the only stipulation I received. Thus, as the previous model had sat on the floor, that left me the honourable default option of standing – or at least staying upright. In a far corner of the room I’d noticed a high chair, so I decided on a pose akin to the 2-hour one that dominated my Monday evening in Blackheath. Great drawings were the admirable outcome – from both rooms. I like this new format!

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