Flower Power

One time when I was posing at Spring Studio, I spent my break strolling around the room looking at the artists’ work. My friend Chuck was there, set up at his table the way he always is; massive rolls of paper strewn about his work area, his painting and drawing materials scattered about. He was finishing up his piece from my last pose, and I stood at his table and observed as he worked. The following dialogue took place, pretty much word for word:

I said, “That looks nice.”. Chuck replied, “Thanks!”. Then I asked, “What is that? Gouache?”. Chuck answered, “No. It’s some sort of opaque watercolor”.

My artist readers just got that joke. In fact, most of my readers probably got it. In the off chance that no one got it, the joke is that gouache IS opaque watercolor. And that whole exchange is just a very Chuck thing. He’s adorable, he’s sweet. And he’s actually a very expressive artist even though he gets his materials mixed up πŸ™‚

I do, however, know another highly expressive artist who is much more aware of the unique medium that is gouache. Her name is Kathi Kirkpatrick, and she possesses not only an original and inventive style, but the talent to go along with it. A regular down at Spring Studios, Kathi always remains loyal to her artistic vision, and every time she is drawing me, I eagerly anticipate seeing the final product, because I know it will be something different, imaginative and inspired. A world apart from what the other artists are doing. Whether through composition, colors, or painting surfaces, Kathi is always conceiving something fresh and distinct. From my point of view as a model, after seeing countless drawings of me that are diagrammed, academic, and oftentimes formal and stiff, it is refreshing to see myself rendered through Kathi’s artistic lens.

Gouache has a great illustrative quality. It’s colors have a matte finish and are therefore richer than those of watercolor. Gouache covers the surface like a true paint, while transparent watercolor is a “wash”.

At the National Academy this summer, while everyone else in the class painted me as I was – propped up pillows and cushions, atop a modeling platform- Kathi placed me on a bed of flowers! With a blue sky behind me. She created a whimsical, colorful fantasy, and I am the flower girl :holds up peace sign:

By Kathi Kirkpatrick, this is Claudia’s Floral Dream, in gouache:

13 thoughts on “Flower Power

  1. doug from canada says:

    Ahhhh, wonderful expressive painting of the beautiful Claudia
    you look so calm and relaxed, nice work

  2. Amanda says:

    That is such a beautiful piece of art! I love the colors she used and the serenity of the painting. Great!

  3. lkwinter says:

    Thanx for elaborating cause I was one of those nons that didn’t get the joke at first. πŸ™‚

    How breathtaking reading your last few posts; can’t thank you enough for sharing your life with us out here art-ignorance land; I’m reading as long as you’re posting. (oh, and of course paintings of you are as beautiful as ever, though I feel safe in saying none are probably quite as beautiful as you are in person…)

  4. exbrun2 says:


    That is a most wonderful painting of you. Such vivid colors in your hair and on your body! You truly possess flower power in this painting.. Gouache definitely does you justice!

    I,on the other hand, am typically rendered as Gauche by most artists. It’s quite awkward, really….

    I guess that’s what I get for being a gangly, spindly, and basically squishy art model…. I probably could benefit from being rendered in Gouache…

    Thanks for sharing the watercolor!


  5. artmodel says:

    Doug, thanks!

    Calm and relaxed indeed. Now if only I were that way in real life! Just kidding . . . sort of πŸ˜†

  6. artmodel says:

    Amanda, thank you too!

    Glad you pointed out the serenity. That’s just what I see when i look at Kathi’s painting. And yes, she does amazing, creative things with color.


  7. artmodel says:


    Love your comments! And I wouldn’t let the gouache joke go without clarification, just in case. Gouache isn’t necessarily familiar to laypeople. Not like oils or pastels. Terrific medium just the same.

    Your compliments are so nice, and you are so generous. Keep on reading, friend, as I will keep on posting. I’m enjoying blogging more than ever.

    As for me being beautiful in person, well that’s in the eye of the beholder I guess. But I will say that you raised an interesting point. As far as art is concerned, I am – or have been told – that I am difficult to “capture”. My features are tricky and artists have struggled with them a lot. They have flown into violent rages about it, and then proceeded to beat the crap out me. (Just kidding!!!!) But seriously, I can be a tough nut to re-create visually. Not my figure, but my face. The photo in my About page looks a lot like me in real life, but the picture quality isn’t so great. I should post a new one.

    Thanks for commenting, sweetheart!


  8. artmodel says:


    Thank you friend. Glad you like Kathi’s painting. The gouache thing is pretty awesome.

    Don’t call yourself spindly! You are a fit, healthy, and excellent art model. You will see yourself rendered in many mediums and many styles over your career. And it will be like a new awakening every time. It’s why we do what we do πŸ™‚


  9. lkwinter says:

    I’ve seen your picture (not the one in your about page yet), the one where you’re surrounded by splattered paint everywhere and the mirror is covered in paint; a primary draw aside from all the other stuff you do here I must say; capturing the essence of art life is genius in those photos. No question about your beauty, and I’m imagining disgruntled artist right about now.

    now i’m off to night-night land,

    I’ll try and stop by again when I can, I happened to have a few extra minutes today; thanks for being such a super sweetheart,

    (saw the cats, haha, cool update)

  10. ColdSilverMoon says:

    Lovely painting, Claudia! I always enjoy seeing artists portray me in a context other than in a studio on a model stand. Like Kathi’s work, it’s always enjoyable to see how I have been absorbed into an artist’s imagination. Thanks for the post. By the way. I noticed a beautiful drawing of you at Spring Street the other day. Very lovely…

  11. artmodel says:


    Thank you! Kathi will be so pleased to read all the positive feedback about her painting. I like what you wrote about the model being “absorbed into an artist’s imagination”. Well said.

    The drawing you saw of me down at Spring Studios was by Jean Marcellino, whose show is currently on display there. I haven’t been down there in a couple of weeks but plan to stop by on the weekend and check it out. You are like the 5th or 6th person to mention that drawing of me! Now I really can’t wait to see it. I think I know which one it is.


  12. bobbywashere says:

    Really like the colours on this painting more than anything. Very rich and diverse and looks like it was painted in spring for some reason. As a colour blind spectator to this it makes a very interesting viewing.

    It’s good to see such a diverse style taken from life drawing in the studio which can at times lead to repetition.


  13. artmodel says:


    Thanks so much! Kathi’s painting has been very well-received. And it was painted in spring/summer, since you were wondering.

    I’m so glad you mentioned about the diverse style, because studio life drawing can indeed get repetitious. A piece like Kathi’s is really refreshing to see for a change. Different and inventive.

    Good to hear from you!


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