A Silent Turmoil

What’s that old saying? When it rains it pours? Isn’t that just like life. Some elevated form of consciousness and emotion has found its way into my head and heart. Well, I’m sensitive anyway. But these days my ultra-soft underbelly feels even softer than usual. Kind of like Jello. The reasons are not a mystery. First, there were my romantic frustrations, then Royalyne died, then just today I received news that another model coordinator – one I absolutely adore – is leaving his position for greener pastures. It’s a big blow and it breaks my heart, but I wish him the best of luck and success in his new job. Pile onto all that a particularly heightened state of feeling the past couple of weeks, during which I’ve been harboring very strong inexplicable attachments toward certain people, an obsessive dependency on my job (which is starting to border on a love/hate thing), and weighty thoughts about my future and larger purpose in life. Yeah, you know. Those nagging “big” thoughts. They suck. They’re such a drag. Like pulling a ball and chain around on your leg all day.

I don’t know what’s going on with me. It’s not the “beast”, thank god. That’s a whole different ballgame. What’s happening now feels like . . . strife. A quiet, simmering strife. Maybe I’m just going through a phase. But I’m ok, friends, don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. I’m one of those people who are confused, fragile, and delicate during individual moments or days, but resilient in the long run.

I worked tonight at Spring Studios, and posing there was a good thing for me. Outwardly, I was my usual warm and vivacious self. But up on the platform, the truth was likely revealed to the ever-perceptive artists who draw there. Remember: art models can’t hide. We can try, but we really can’t. It’s just a hopeful delusion of people like us who willingly expose ourselves. You can’t expect to have the glory, attention, and admiration and then also expect the vulnerabilities and insecurities to sleep through the show. Ain’t gonna happen.

Jordan Mejias, a friend of mine who runs most of the Monday and Tuesday sessions, made two watercolors of me tonight that I thought really captured my moody, whirling inner state. You can see it in the first one especially. A touch of darkness, a touch of disquiet, a touch of something that isn’t calm, isn’t serene, isn’t at peace. A woman grappling.



12 thoughts on “A Silent Turmoil

  1. Jeff says:

    Sorry to hear you’re going through a rough patch. Wish I could offer more than well wishes and a virtual hug.

    The local open studio where I draw was cancelled this week, and man, was I bummed. It ruined my whole evening and carried into the next day. I mention that fact only to point out something you probably know (but it can’t hurt to point out), that doing what you do helps a lot of people and has tremendous value.

    Thank you for sharing the wonderful watercolors. It always brightens my day when you post pictures of your “soft underbelly” and other parts. πŸ™‚

    Good luck.

  2. dougrogers says:

    I’m very fond of backs. The first picture above is gorgeous, obviously very well done technically and as you say, there is something deeper going on. And that shows in the image. Perhaps that’s what makes it even richer and more arresting.

    And it’s probably lack of sleep and stress reactions which is bringing on this mood for you. Even as these things – for the most part – haven’t happened to you directly, the stress still activates in you.

  3. artmodel says:


    What you wrote about your disappointment over the cancelled life class was very touching, and it reassured me of the “value” of my work. Thanks so much for sharing that. I was moved. Gave me a much-needed boost.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the watercolors, and I’m happy to expose my “soft underbelly” (and all my other parts) to you. To the whole World Wide Web apparently! Hey, that’s what blogging is.

    Great to hear from you as always, Jeff. And thanks for your kind concern. I’ll take that “virtual hug”! πŸ™‚


  4. artmodel says:


    Though I’ve suspected it along, I am now fully convinced that you are my blogger “soulmate”. You saw that first watercolor exactly how I saw it, and clearly you understand why I felt the need to post it. Jordan did an incredible job, and there is definitely “something deeper going on”. (I am fond of backs too).

    You’re also right on the money as far as lack of sleep as concerned. I’ve been having that problem lately! How did you sense that, my friend? Plus, the stress triggers are activating inside me. Yes! That’s exactly how it feels; like I’m responding very acutely and emotionally to changes, losses, and events that are part of my world, though not specific to me directly.

    I don’t know if I’m necessarily on the brink of a life-altering revelation, but I will say that your recent post http://dougsamu.wordpress.com/2008/11/23/buddhism-salvation/ is having an enlightening effect on me (sorry for the cliche). I bookmarked it immediately. I’m a little sick of being a “dabbler”, if you know what I mean. I’m 40 years old now, and want to move through life differently than I have in the past. “Attachment” (to people, not things) is, and always has been, a very big deal to me. I’m starting to wonder if it’s been to my detriment? I have a lot of things to sort out. I’m reading your post and trying to understand myself. Oops, I think I’m digressing too much for a comment box!

    Thank you, Doug. Not just for your beautiful comments, but for many other things πŸ™‚


  5. dougrogers says:

    There is something so subtle that reveals “something deeper”. It’s obvious you were feeling something and it shows in a curve, a shoulder, an angle of the face. It’s not a thing that language can name. It’s because Mind and Body aren’t different. Everything shows, and Jordon saw that, and had the skill to somehow catch that. It’s a completely ‘other’ language.

    Be careful with ‘Attachment.” People are some of the very best ‘things’ to be attached to.

  6. redstarcafe says:

    I’m reminded all the time that there is nothing that I can hide from the pack that I live with. If the dogs could draw, I expect they’d shock me with their acute insights. They’re tapped into something that very few humans can share. Although artists do to some extent. It’s a double-edged sword, isn’t it?

  7. dougfromcanada says:

    Claudia, another hug for you, this time from Canada for showing what so many others won’t. Your inner struggles and feminine beauty mesh together to create such timeless life art. I see lots of your personal warmth in those two dwgs, impossible for you to hide that from the world
    it’s cold up here…………

  8. artmodel says:


    A double-edged sword indeed. No question.

    I love what you said about the dogs. Every time I stare into an animal’s eyes, I feel like they are looking right through me. Animals don’t lie, and we can’t lie to them.

    Being “seen” is simultaneously a terrifying and exhilarating experience. Art models better learn how to handle it, or find another line of work. Like you said, the humans who come closest to such penetrating observation are artists. And boy do I know it!

    Thanks for your comments.


  9. artmodel says:


    I am loving these virtual hugs! πŸ™‚ I think I get more of them than real life hugs! Thank you. And thank you for your very sweet comments.

    No, I don’t hide much at all. Never been my strong suit, as it’s not in my nature. I’m just glad that my emotional accessibility isn’t repelling readers from the blog. Actually it seems to do the opposite. I definitely have inner struggles, and I don’t mind sharing them. And if they contribute to the quality of art for which I pose (like Jordan’s drawing) then I couldn’t ask for more.

    Thanks again, friend. Keep warm!


  10. Annelie says:

    Wow, the second one is amazing. (I like the first too, but LOVE the 2nd). How big are these?

  11. Paul says:

    This guy Jordan Mejias is very good. Is there any place I can see more of his stuff? I am not in NYC.

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