All In A Day’s Work

Studio 2, National Academy of Design, Friday March 19th, 10:25 AM:

So how was your week? πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

The talented artists in Sharon Sprung’s class had to sort out the twists, angles, musculature, anatomy, reflected light and shadows, and challenging foreshortened lengths of this reclining pose. I’m glad I was the one on the platform instead of standing in front of an easel. I couldn’t paint that if my life depended on it! Today was our last day of a two week pose and everything went splendidly. I love this class. It’s one of the best modeling assignments in town, in my opinion.

Don’t be deceived by the picture. I didn’t sleep a wink during the ten days of this pose. You can’t tell from the photo, but my left shoulder was crushed under the weight of my upper body and the back of my deltoid muscle was stretched forward, pulling on the shoulder blade. In other words, bring the pain!! You just can’t sleep during that kind of discomfort. And don’t even get me started on the neck. Sure I’ve done easier poses than this, but I’ve also done much more difficult ones. So no complaints. Life is good, and art modeling is cool.

I’m home now, nursing that sore left shoulder. I’m sure it will be fine by tomorrow. Besides, the weather here in New York is positively gorgeous! Spring is here! πŸ™‚

31 thoughts on “All In A Day’s Work

  1. Vishinsky Designs says:

    You sure do look comfortable, you sure your not sleeping on the job. Anyways the weather is great in Ny isn’t it but the weather man said its gonna go back to being a little bit colder soon. Nice pose keep up the great modeling work.

    • artmodel says:


      Oh no, definitely not sleeping on the job. It’s all an illusion πŸ˜‰

      I hope those weather reports are wrong!

      Thanks for commenting.


  2. kseverny says:

    its good that you enjoy it

  3. Andrew says:

    You make it look so easy πŸ˜‰ It’s amazing how deceptive a “relaxed” pose can be when you have to hold it for 25 minutes at a time without moving.

    • artmodel says:


      I am so thankful for your voice in the comments. Only a fellow model understands and knows to put the word “relaxed” in quotes! The reclined poses are, indeed, deceptive. In many respects a standing pose can be a lot easier.

      Whenever the timer went off for this pose, I came out of it VERY slowly due to the pain and stiffness.


  4. Jeff says:

    Ten days?! Holy cow. Beautiful pose, though, and great lighting. I’m jealous of these artists.

    • artmodel says:


      The lighting in Studio 2 is wonderful. Natural north light. Me, Sharon, and the class monitors tried several reclining poses until we decided on this one. It looked quite beautiful from all sides. Would make a nice sculpture, don’t you think?

      Thanks for commenting.


  5. You certainly earn your money!!

    “Would make a nice sculpture, don’t you think?” John DeAndrea did a body cast, the pose very close to this one (but right arm a little lower, left not under the head, ultra realistic down to the dirt on the soles of her feet.). The statue is in the Denver museum. While I was there some kids came running in laughing and screaming, as kids do. They suddenly stopped when they saw her and were very quiet. One whispered to me “Is she real, is she sleeping?”

    A point to my DeAndrea digress? Of course there is; You’re not sleeping you’re unreal, you are art!!!

    • artmodel says:


      You tell the best stories and anecdotes! I like this one about the DeAndrea at the Denver Museum. And very apropos for this post.

      I’ve never been a big sleeper during modeling. I’m too self-conscious I guess. But I like to think that I’ve often been “art”. I try, that’s for sure πŸ™‚

      Thank you so much!


    • KittyK says:

      Lovely story!

      I can never sleep during poses. I am always so aware of the energy flow, the still but active expression, even in the “relaxed” poses. I actually never relax anywhere near enough to fall asleep.

      • artmodel says:


        I agree totally with everything you said. I have only fallen asleep – I mean really ASLEEP- a couple of times in all my years of modeling, but that’s just because I was very tired! But under normal circumstances I can’t “relax” enough mentally, just like you stated. My eyes may start to close a little that’s about it. That “awareness” is what keeps us on the ball.

        Love your comment, thanks!


  6. D says:

    “Life is good, and art modeling is cool.”

    Hmm, I’d like that on a bumper sticker, please. πŸ˜€

  7. Rog says:

    Based on the quality of this pose. Maybe I should be a figure painter. It is more mathematical anyways.

  8. Ron says:

    You can get that on a bumper sticker: Make your own.

  9. Jennifer says:

    I always seem to end up at the feet end of a pose like this – nightmare πŸ™‚

  10. sara says:

    In grad school I did a little art modeling, enough to realize it was not easy at all. Enoughto forever respect art models after that. I felt likewise hadtaken a longbus trip, evenafter a 2 hour class. My hat is off to you.

    • artmodel says:

      Sara, thanks for that! You have no idea how much it is appreciated πŸ™‚ We do work hard, and it’s important that people understand that.

      Thanks for posting a comment!


      • erin libby says:

        Finding a model, beautiful, ( interesting is OK, too) who is a true pro, is just really hard. I enjoyed being able to paint for a week at Gage Art academy,Seattle, WA., with Geoffry Laurence. His model worked a grueling week. She amazed me at being able to resume the pose precisely after each break ( very short breaks!).
        It made painting her a joy. Besides, she was lovely.
        Congrats on being part of an artistic and vital profession.

        • artmodel says:


          Thanks so much for sharing your story about the excellent model at Gage. Sounds like she really inspired you. I smiled while reading your comment! You elucidated perfectly the value of a good, hardworking model and what an integral part of the artistic process we are. It’s really nice to hear artists express appreciation and recognition for our work, as you did πŸ™‚

          Thanks again for your comments!


  11. John H. says:

    As a long time art model, let me tell you one secret I learned about dealing with stiffness from poses-Motrin. It helps a whole lot. It can remove a small portion of your muscular strength or endurance if your body is new to it, but the payoff is tremendous. After class you will only feel a fraction of the discomfort you’d normally have.


    • artmodel says:


      Thanks for the tip! I seem to recall another art model suggesting Motrin to me once. But I never tried it. In fact, I’ve never taken Motrin in my life if you can believe that. Perhaps I should start, especially if it will preserve my body’s strength in the long term and prolong my art modeling career.

      Thanks for commenting!


  12. I can actually feel the strain you are describing. usually I’m not a fan of reclining poses, because they’re typically the longer poses and the model would pick the most comfortable ( i.e. most boring) disposition. But this pose is good- you’re a great model- all the students and artists who work with you are privileged to have you

    • artmodel says:


      Thanks so much for the kind words! I remember doing that pose all too well. It’s true that when a models have to do a long reclining pose they often choose something so comfortable that it lacks interest.

      Happy New Year!


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