Is there such a thing as an “ordinary day”? People use that expression all the time, myself included. But as I grow fonder and fonder of the life I’ve made for myself, of the city that’s been my home for all my 43 years, and of the friends, colleagues, and acquaintances I’ve made along the way, I realize that “ordinary” is a term rarely applicable. Rather, it minimizes and cheapens, and deprives the much-maligned “daily life” of its subtle, unique soul.
Tuesday morning I modeled for a small life drawing class at the New York Film Academy. Never thought my art modeling career would bring me there but, alas, it did. And it was fun. Nothing ordinary about doing nude poses in the “Billy Wilder” room, which, by the way, is next door to the “Jonathan Demme” room. Sure, I did come within an inch of getting accidentally clocked in the head with a tripod on a mad dash for the ladies’ room. But hey, it’s always something, right? An easel in art school, a tripod in film school. In any case, concussion averted.
When that job ended at 12:00, I walked out of the film academy building, crossed the street, inhaled a deep breath of fresh air, and enjoyed a leisurely stroll through Union Square Park. It was a bright, sunny, buzzing New York afternoon. At the northwest corner of the park, I noticed the sitting area resplendent with bright green garden chairs and blue umbrellas. I found the crisp, clean colors and their chromatic effect quite pleasing. So I took a few pictures. This one is not an ordinary scene if you consider the colors, the perspective, the curving flowerbed border edging in the bottom right and the tilted birdhouse in the tree in the upper left:
So I made my way to my 2:00 job, but stopped first for a quick lunch at Loving Hut on Seventh Avenue. There, I had the best veggie burger ever, anywhere, in the annals of veggie burgerdom! It was perfect and delicious. So NOT ordinary. Yum 🙂
Less than hour later, I was posing for the students in Vincent Arcilesi‘s class on the 6th floor at FIT. During the fast pose warm ups, Vincent sat down to sketch the model along with the rest of the class, which he often does. I took an active standing pose and Vincent did what all good artists should do in that instance – captured the gesture. I was standing still of course, but the forward stepping movement and arm/leg extension is strong in Vincent’s quick sketch. Loose, spontaneous, a one-of-a-kind Arcilesi. Not ordinary at all.
Things are only ordinary if we, through own our jaded disinterest, choose to dismiss them as such. But for some of us, a life as a professional artist’s model, working in a big, lively city, where shapes, colors, sounds, encounters and experiences can be found literally everywhere around us, nothing should be regarded as “ordinary”. Every day is unique. Every day is a blessing to be valued and appreciated. Thank you for allowing me to share my “extraordinary” day with you 🙂