Overworked and Overjoyed

Does a busy, hectic life cause an adrenalin rush? I’m thinking maybe it does. This week is going to be pure, unmitigated madness for me, but honestly I’m  very excited! Here’s the situation: I’m working full days at the New York Academy of Art, plus an evening session at Spring Studio. Tuesday is Mom’s birthday and we’re meeting for dinner at a restaurant in Flatiron. That will be Mom, me, my brother, my sister-in-law, and my aunt. Then Saturday night is the PARTY, the big birthday bash, a gathering of other family, cousins, and close family friends at . . . you guessed it . . . my house! I have to get this place presentable for company. Cleaning, dusting, polishing, straightening up, hiding away all my eyesore crap. The unsightly stack of magazines and papers that I’m unable to throw out? Stashed in a closet. The yoga mat I’ve been tripping over? Also stuffed in the closet. As long as none of my guests open the closet doors everything should be fine. Oh, and did I mention my food shopping list? Yes, friends, I am cooking. Shit, how am I gonna get all this done in time? 😯

I  definitely feel a little overwhelmed, but my Mom’s 75th birthday is such a truly joyous occasion, a profound event that deserves every bit of celebration. My mother is a very loved and adored woman and she’s led a beautiful life. I predict many speeches, toasts, well wishes, storytelling, and champagne sipping 🙂

In the midst of all this party preparation frenzy, I am modeling and making a living. I worked at the National Academy all day on Saturday, and even though my mind was racing a mile a minute about such topics as tablecloths, serving spoons, candles, cleaning supplies, picking up the birthday cake, buying decorations and silk flowers for a centerpiece arrangement, I still performed my art modeling duties and posed pretty well, stressed-out mental state notwithstanding.

Here are some terrific, fun wash sketches by Mary who has drawn me many times in Lisa Dinhofer’s Saturday morning class. These were quick poses and Mary, as always, captured the gestures – the fundamental essence of a figure drawing. The standing one is my favorite. I believe I was thinking about napkins at the time 😆

11 thoughts on “Overworked and Overjoyed

  1. Definitely a pensive, thinking about napkins, pose! Mary does good work!

    Enjoy the week & yo momma’s party! You can tell her, from me, not to worry too much about raising you kids, that the first fifty years is the hardest, -it gets easier after that. 🙂

    By the way, I’ve been chanting that mantra ’bout my children for the last thirty years, somehow the number of years before it gets easier after keeps changing!

    • artmodel says:


      Haha, great wisdom about raising kids!
      Of course my mother has two absolute angels for children and has never experienced one iota of difficulty with them . . . 😆 😆

      Thanks for your comments!


  2. definitely hectic. all for a good cause. I like the middle wash drawing

  3. Joan Branca says:

    I guess it was the title overworked and overjoyed and the figure drawing
    that made me look at your blog. Then when I read about your Mom’s birthday party I could relate as we just had one for my Mom . As I continued to read that the drawings were from a session at Lisa Dinhofer’s I had to respond to this bit of serendipity .
    Tell her I say hello.

    • artmodel says:


      Serendipity indeed! I loved reading your comments. I’m glad that a post title, figure drawing, moms’ birthday parties, and Lisa all came together to bring you to this blog! Will tell her you say hi. And thanks for visiting!


  4. Ray says:

    Wish your mom a Happy Birthday from me. She looks great.

  5. Andrew says:

    The woman standing in contrapposto symbolizes the challenges of maintaining balance in life. The wash violates her contour boundaries, calling attention to her vulnerabilities. The wash also hints at basic facial features, but the artist is careful not to include individually recognizable features as this piece is meant to represent the struggles of any woman. Overall this work of art conveys an empathetic mood in which the viewer can’t help but wondering, “Should she use paper or cloth napkins?”

    Happy Birthday, Claudia’s Mom.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Yes, too much washing otherwise 🙂 Have a great party and a good week, chasing away last week’s blues …

    Love the wash & line sketches btw (and Andrew’s observations!)

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