Odyssey

My birthday is just nine days away. As I approach – officially – my mid-40s, I can’t help but contemplate how I got here. By “here” I mean a full time artist’s model who works steadily, has been the subject of countless drawings and paintings, is contacted for jobs by prestigious schools and accomplished artists and, of equal value to me, regular folk who manage to make art a part of their lives and desire to work from a model. When I take into consideration the collective blessings of both serendipity and my own life choices, I am humbled beyond words. I am amazed, baffled even, at where my complicated personal journey has brought me.

A couple of weeks ago I was having a conversation in my house with my friend Greg, an artist, sculptor, illustrator, and carpenter. He asked me how I came to be an artist’s model. After a somewhat verbose reply, I told him matter-0f-factly, “Art modeling saved my life”. I gasped internally when I uttered those words. Greg wouldn’t have noticed it. But I have rarely verbalized to another person the redemptive effect art modeling has had on my life.

It has occurred to me that after four years of blogging, I haven’t fully shared with my readers a detailed autobiographical account, replete with all the slings and arrows, fears and gambles, depression, leaps of faith, and perpetual seeking that has brought me to this place in life – the place where a divorced, 40 something New York City girl with a Master’s degree in U.S. History is posing in her nude self for artists throughout the tri-state area. Perhaps I need not tell the entire story. Does it really matter in the whole scheme of things? It would be – or could be – tedious. I guess my approaching birthday has caused me to reflect and ruminate, and has reinforced the profound gratitude I feel toward this life and its people – for Β letting me in, allowing me to fuck up and reclaim myself, and reminding me that joys exist every day, all around us, in myriad forms. For me, this blog is one of them πŸ™‚

The New York Academy of Art, Friday July 13th, 2:38 PM:

23 thoughts on “Odyssey

  1. Happy almost birthday, Claudia! And however you came here, I feel lucky you came along – I hope you keep finding creative ways to live as you like and be who you like.

  2. Bill MacDonald says:

    I think that the perpetual seeking is good, but maybe it’s time to assess and celebrate what you’ve found. It sounds like the time is right.

    Besides, I’m working on your unauthorized biography — and the section from pages 1-583 is still blank πŸ™‚

    • artmodel says:

      Bill,

      I hereby authorize you to write my “unauthorized” biography!

      As for those first 583 pages, if we filled them up that would take us to approximately my 5th birthday πŸ˜†

      Thanks for your comments.

      Claudia

      • Bill MacDonald says:

        I’m sorry, Claudia, I may have to back off. Kim Kardashian is driving me nuts about playing you in the film version — calling me day and night. God that woman is pushy! πŸ™‚

  3. Bruce says:

    I always enjoy hearing life stories, they either confirm my suspicions or deflate my theories, so bring it on! but first, the block prints! It was nice seeing you last week, and as always never had enough time to actually talk

    • artmodel says:

      Bruce,

      I’d be afraid to deflate your theories! That is assuming your theory about me has to do with my irresistible charm, brilliance, and sex appeal πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for your comments, friend. Yes, it was great seeing you last week!

      Claudia

  4. derek says:

    Claudia dear
    happy early birthday to you
    I remember the year 1968 I was 19 back then now I am 63
    I read your blog that has all these chronology you have mentioned.
    I was in college back in England I remember the music to reminisce
    I saw Jimi Hendrix, I saw the Beatles, the Animals, and watching the telly w
    when King and Robert Kennedy were taken so soon. And your lovely mum
    gave you life and here you are many years later turned out to be
    beautiful swan muse. As I said you should write your own story and
    share your insights.
    Peta my daughter who I have talked about send her wish to you.

    Love Derek
    Brisbane , Australia

    • artmodel says:

      derek,

      I can’t thank you enough for your sincere and thoughtful comments. It’s always a pleasure to read your sensitive expressions. You share so openly and generously.

      Thanks to both you and Peta πŸ™‚

      Claudia

  5. LeeAnn Park says:

    Happy birthday. I enjoy your posts. I work as part time model, maybe 3 to 6 times per month with local art groups.

    • artmodel says:

      LeeAnn,

      Thank you and welcome to Museworthy! Wonderful to have yet another artist’s model joining in the conversation. Hope you keep visiting, and modeling!

      Claudia

      • LeeAnn Park says:

        Claudia,
        I liked the vintage photographs you posted in June. I’m wondering how the artmodels and artists connected in those days before telephones and craigslist. I’m not sure I would have ever tried modeling for an art group without e-mail and craigslist.

        I like following your posts.

        LeeAnn

        • artmodel says:

          Thank you LeeAnn. In the days before Craigslist artists and models always found ways to connect – through mutual friends, social circles, or show business venues. Craigslist is not even necessary today. One can always to directly to a reputable art school to make contacts.

          Claudia

  6. Fred says:

    Hey, the new theme or design looks really great – fresh! I am grateful for the inspiration you have given me, both as a model and as a writer. Happy birthday!

    • artmodel says:

      Fred,

      You are the first to comment about the new theme! How appropriate. Just installed it a few hours ago. I agree, it does look fresh. This is actually the revamped version of my original “Dusk” theme.

      Thanks so much for the birthday wishes and kind words. Enjoy your trip upstate, and I’ll see you when you get back. Have fun!

      Claudia

  7. Steve says:

    Hey Claudia, some of the most interesting stories are those of career changes, whether intentional or unintentional. With your Masters, did you have a career path prior to art modeling?

    I like the new layout, very fresh!

    • artmodel says:

      Steve,

      My goal was to teach, and I did for a while. Enjoyed it for the most part, but left my last teaching job a bit disillusioned – school administrators, politics, etc. Now I’m an artist’s model. Talk about career changes!

      So glad you like Museworthy’s new look. “Fresh” seems to be the consensus, and I agree πŸ™‚

      Thanks for your comments!

      Claudia

  8. violinhunter says:

    There’s a book in your head – if only you dare spill your guts. Just find a good angle. As for your tush – well, it’s much prettier than Kim’s. πŸ™‚

    • artmodel says:

      violinhunter,

      I don’t know if I have enough material for a book! But I suppose I’m gathering enough life experience for a memoir when I’m 80!

      Thanks for considering my ass superior to Miss Kim’s πŸ˜‰

      Claudia

  9. gavinpollock says:

    Happy birthday, petal πŸ˜‰
    I’m a month or so behind you, but I haven’t forgotten our 90th birthday modelling date!

  10. gavinpollock says:

    Mine’s the 29th August, which is a bit rubbish as a birthday as it made me the youngest in every school year;(

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