Atelier Days

Hellooo helloooooo!! Museworthy friends, I apologize for the terribly long absence! A Verizon FIOS outage kept me off of my beloved blog for a few days. Phone, TV, and Internet were down since last week but thankfully it was all restored over the weekend. Sunday night I felt too tired to post, Monday I worked a long day of modeling and schlepped around town in raw, rainy weather, and today I’m a touch sick with the usual cold/flu season symptoms. Got the old sandpaper throat. Sandpaper throat stinks, doesn’t it? I’m popping Ricola lemon lozenges like candy 😆

Anyway, let’s get caught up. First, an official Happy New Year to you all now that we’re two weeks into 2015. Hugs and kisses all around! For me, the new year kicks off with a month-long modeling assignment at Grand Central Atelier. When I last posed there, in the spring, the school was in their original location in midtown Manhattan. Over the summer they moved into their spacious new digs in Long Island City, Queens. And I do mean spacious. Studios everywhere, skylights, plenty of room for artists, models, casts, supplies, storage, and a lovely gallery.

I am the January model for Jacob Collins’ figure class and we’re off to a splendid start. One pose for the month, every morning Monday – Friday. Grand Central is a rigorous four-year program that concentrates on classical training. In just the past week and a half I’ve seen firsthand the discipline and concentration of these dedicated students. It’s quite impressive.

On my first day before we set up the pose, I was handed a black binder that the students thought would be useful. In it was a compendium of images that represent classical art poses typically employed for academic art training. What a nifty reference. Now experienced art models like myself don’t necessarily need such a book, but I enjoyed looking through it. I instantly recognized David, Ingres, and Prud’Hon among others. This kind of compilation is certainly helpful for a newer model in search of ideas and it serves as a handy anthology of the academy tradition. I photographed some pages in the book to share:

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All art modeling is not the same. I’ve probably stated this a hundred times on the blog! But it’s true. To some degree, yes, a pose is a pose is a pose. But the settings and environments can be vastly different, which means a professional, experienced art model has to take into consideration what the artists are trying to achieve, what they expect, and how long the pose will be. Some artists really need to see and meticulously render the model’s sternocleidomastoid (yeah, Google that!), while others do not. Showing up at Spring Studio for a Wednesday night short pose session, doing active gestures one after another, is a far different gig from what’s happening this month at Grand Central. This is formal training, and the class is a mixture of 2nd year, 3rd year, and even 4th year students. Some are sticking with drawing for the duration, others are beginning to paint grisaille, while others may do painting with color. One thing is constant: the model’s pose. I posted it on Twitter if you’d like to have a look.

Before I go I’d like to share a deeply heartfelt column written by my good friend Daniel Maidman on the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris last week. Daniel, like me, is a free speech absolutist. I think this is worth a read. On the Huffington Post, this is “Guardians”.

6 thoughts on “Atelier Days

  1. John Giesecke says:

    Having managed a life drawing weekly event in Atlanta, I’d add to your list. A good model brings energy to a pose that can inspire best work of every artist.
    One can “read” the pleasure a dedicated professional brings to modeling. They really do inspire in facilitating creativity.
    It is clear from your blog that you do this. Board and uninvolved models are not invited back.
    Thanks for you in sites.

    • artmodel says:

      John,

      Reading your comments have made my day! Thank you so much for expressing appreciation for dedicated art models. And I definitely know all about those bored and uninvolved ones. They’re clearly not in love with our unique profession, like many of us are 🙂

      Thanks again, John!

      Claudia

  2. Bill says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re under the weather — but the GCA gig is really great. Not just that it’s steady work or that you’re posing for Jacob Collins — both of which are really great on their own — but I’m a big believer in the kind of approach that they take to art education. I think that the Bargue approach is highly beneficial — and the GCA (and Collins) are real leaders in this area. I think you’re really going to enjoy working in that environment.

    • artmodel says:

      Bill,

      Yes, it’s going really well so far! GCA is a serious environment and the students’ focus is palpable. They’re working hard and learning a great deal. What a amazing opportunity for them to study under Jacob Collins.

      By the way, I’m feeling better today! A huge health juice packed with immunity-strengthening ingredients might have done the trick.

      Thanks for your comments!

      Claudia

  3. Dave says:

    I’m glad to see from your Twitter feed that the pose looks comfortable. I can’t imagine holding any but the most comfortable pose five days a week for a whole month.

    I wish I could get my hands on that book of poses. I’m always looking at paintings and sculptures and wondering, “How long could I hold that?”

    • artmodel says:

      Dave,

      The pose is pretty comfortable, all things considered. There’s a torso twist, but it’s not extreme. I’ve had just some back soreness so far, but remember we’re only in the second week! We’ll see how I feel on January 30th 😮

      That pose book is excellent, you’d enjoy perusing it. Of course you can always look at classical art on the internet to study the poses.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Claudia

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