Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Seems Like Old Times

Today I did something that I haven't done in quite a long time, hire myself a model for a project. In recent years I have participated in the BAC figure drawing group, and for several semesters I arranged models for the figure drawing class I was teaching at my community college, and a number of times since I moved back to New Jersey I've convinced friends to pose (dressed) for various projects (including a number of figures in the current boardwalk series). But the last time I specifically arranged to hire a model for myself was back in grad school. In my undergrad years back in the 1980's, it was something I did pretty regularly- once for a sculpture project and several times for paintings. It helped that the going rate for nude models at William and Mary was only $7 per hour, or sometimes less. On one occasion a couple of girls posed for me and my good friend Dave (Happy Birthday, Dave!) for a total of $4 per hour between them. (they considered it more of a fun evening out than a money making opportunity)
Actually I attempted to do what I did today a year or so ago, making arrangements with one of the models that sometimes worked for my college class, but she never showed up at the arranged time and had no interest in rescheduling. Never lacking for projects, I put off the problem for a while. But I felt now was as good a time as any to get the sketches I need for some upcoming prints in the boardwalk series. There are a number of good models working for the BAC group right now, one of whom lives very near the Studio and was happy to get some work, so we made arrangements to meet this afternoon.
I got there a little early so I could crank up the heat. She arrived on time and I spent a few minutes explaining the whole idea behind the Floating World series that I'm doing. After that we got to the drawing. These were short pencil drawings, reference sketches for characters that will appear in the next few prints in the series. Most were nude, some were in bathing suits or other coverings. A few examples are above. One odd moment- about halfway through the session the door to my Studio (which was closed for the occasion, for both privacy and to retain heat) opened, and an elderly woman peeked in. She closed the door, then opened it again to tell us that she was just exploring the building and was curious to see what was going on. It's extremely rare that any visitors make it down to the basement, making the odds that it would happen on the one occasion in four years when I had a naked woman standing around in the middle of the room that much more unusual. Otherwise it went well, providing me with good material for some prints. And other than the fact that the going rate for models these days is a lot more than $7 per hour, it was a lot like old times.


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