A Flaunting Fool

Today was what I call an “all college day”, meaning I worked only college jobs. In this case, NYU and FIT. I try to be mindful that the classes are full of young, less experienced artists. They are not the seasoned experts of Spring Studios, but rather, students still in the early stages of the difficult process of learning to draw. I can’t draw to save my life, so I have nothing but respect and envy for those willing to confront such an undertaking. 20 years old or 40, figure drawing is challenging!

So, careless me, miss art model pro full timer, performing like a showoffy peacock, inflicted some incredibly difficult poses on the FIT evening life drawing class. I feel a little bad. With severely foreshortened legs and arms protruding at them at all angles, I sensed they were struggling mightily. Not that they should be shielded from more advanced work (how are they supposed to learn, after all? You don’t know if you can do anything unless you DO IT. That’s my philosophy). My concern, however, is that it could create frustration, which could then lead to discouragement. That’s something I don’t want to be responsible for. In any case, I think I threw them in into the deep end of the pool, so to speak. What was I thinking?

So to redeem my thoughtless, shameless bravado, my sincere message to all the budding life artists out there is, “YOU CAN DO IT! JUST KEEP PRACTICING!” And if your model is offering contorted pretzels and impossible theatrics, just assume she’s in an odd mood, blowing off steam, had too much coffee, or just came from a yoga class and is feeling extra limber. Don’t take it personally!

2 thoughts on “A Flaunting Fool

  1. doug from canada says:

    Hi Claudia – it’s fun reading thru your blogs and seeing what was going on in your life and mind. I luv the beginners classes, did one last week with a large group where I was the first nude model they had ever done. It’s exciting to see their reactions and nervousness and their work. I understand what you mean about showing off to a group like that, it’s actually part of the fun of a session like that but I always end up taking it easy for them so they can keep up. The artists there are always great.Hope u don’t mind me catching up with old news…
    doug

  2. One of my favorite instructors at the University of Illinois – Chicago makes it easy for me with beginning students and asks for certain types of poses/gestures, giving me enough time for me to figure out several in advance. Always appreciated. But, otherwise, I just pose as the mood strikes me. Almost always with the “trifecta”: negative space, contraposto AND foreshortening at the same time. I try to get the OK to adjust the lighting, so I can include some chiaroscuro. I keep thinking that I must be considered the model from hell, yet I get call backs. Like you, I know the only way for artists to get better is to draw A LOT and to work on the hardest stuff (feet, hands, foreshortening). It always makes me smile when I hear the “foreshortening groans!”

    I’m really not a sadist, but sometimes I wonder…

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