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The Old Nun’s Head, London, 7 May 2019

12 May 2019

Artist numbers had been pretty low on my last two visits to The Old Nun’s Head with Nunhead Drawing Group so expectations were correspondingly low for this evening. Among the group organisers there were guesses of 5 attendees, or 6 attendees, plus one optimistic guess of 12. I thought I had erred optimistic in saying 8 but we were all pleasantly surprised to find the final tally was 10. A comfortable crowd for the space.

We opened with the customary warm-up sequence of five 1-minute poses. I assumed we would probably follow these with a five or ten minute pose so I had it in mind to do my shushing pose with one finger to my lips and the other arm extended. When I was asked for a 15-minute pose instead, I stuck with my plan but the extra minutes took a toll on my extended arm. I sat down for half an hour after that.

During the break, everybody disappeared downstairs for drinks while I stayed loyal to the precautionary glass of wine I’d bought earlier. A couple of our artists decided they would remain chatting at the bar, so my prediction of 8 attendees for the session was ultimately correct in a roundabout way. As long as they’ve paid and are happy, it’s all fine by me. For those who came back, we resumed with a 10-minute standing pose.

Up to this point I’d been posing in front of a dormant fireplace whilst the artists sat in a semicircle around me. For our final 30-minute pose of the evening, however, I decided to perch on the mantelpiece and have my legs supported by a chair: one foot down on the base and the other propped upon its back. For added good measure, I draped one arm across the higher knee.

I felt happy with this new closing pose and even more delighted when I saw the way it had been captured on paper. As always, artworks were placed on the floor for general admiration at the end of the evening. If I had to choose a favourite, it was possibly the work below by organiser Annie: a colourful collection of body parts from all the poses, but with special attention to hands. Uniquely exquisite. A highly pleasing session.

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