Summer and Downtown Drawing

Helloooo friends! Looks like I’ve done it again by letting the blog lapse for too long. Well at least I left you with beautiful dragonflies 🙂 Since that post I’ve turned one year older. My birthday was on July 22nd and it came and went without much fanfare, which is fine. My sweet cat Jessie is suffering with asthma, poor thing. So I’ve been tending to her and giving her bronchodilators. This stiflingly hot and humid weather isn’t helping matters. Art modeling was slow in July but the jobs I did have were quite enjoyable; summer art programs for young people, a few private group sessions, and good old Spring Studio which never goes on hiatus. Now I enter the perennial art modeling dead zone that is August. As of now I believe I have a grand total of six gigs booked for the entire month, most of which are at .. Spring Studio. It’s long been my favorite venue in which to pose. Love that place.

So here’s a quickie of me created at the inimitable, one-of-a-kind underground life drawing space that is Spring Studio in the SoHo section of Manhattan. A sketch in pencil and wash by my friend Jordan Mejias. I liked this a lot when I saw it in his art pad, and Jordan was his usual “Eh, it’s okay” self. That’s Jordan. That’s many artists in fact. But over the years I’ve learned that we models often appreciate qualities in drawings that artists sometimes miss. Not always, just sometimes. Remember, WE were holding the pose. We felt it, we breathed into it, we became it in muscle and flesh and bone. So when we glance upon its capture that looks like it felt, we get it. So artists, if the model is taken with your drawing, consider it a compliment, truly. Here, Jordan got down the essential basics in five minutes. Lines and shapes, then a splash of color. Abstract, simple, and totally me … bending forward while sitting cross-legged. This is art modeling. It’s what we do 🙂

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16 thoughts on “Summer and Downtown Drawing

  1. Bill says:

    He did a really nice job — especially for a 5-minute sketch. I’m always amazed at what some people can do that quickly.

    Poses like that drive me absolutely nuts. You probably don’t notice it (because you’re in the pose), but there is this breathtakingly sublime thing that happens to the outside line that runs from the model’s shoulder down to the rear end. During a long pose I swear that I almost wear a hole in the paper trying to capture anything that even comes close to the beauty of that line.

    Drives me nuts. In a good way 🙂 Have fun this August. Take an air-conditioned building to lunch.

    • artmodel says:

      Bill,

      Degas was pretty good at capturing that line you describe. He came to mind as I was reading your comment. All those nude women toweling off after the bath! Hey, the guy was good 🙂
      Wear holes in your papers if you must, that the artistic process, right?

      Glad you liked Jordan’s drawing. Thanks for your comments!

      Claudia

  2. Jennifer says:

    Really enjoyed this post – took me right back to my life-drawing session at Spring Studio (five years ago now!) and I could picture you there:) I’s such a fantastic resource for artists and models. Hope August doesn’t drag too much before it all starts up again in September for another busy art year.

    • artmodel says:

      Jennifer,

      I can’t believe it’s been five years already! Wow, time flies. It’s a wonderful thing that you were able to attend a life drawing session at Spring Studio. It’s such a beloved place here among models and models, deservedly so. Great that you were able to fit it in during your visit to NYC, and have lunch with me and Fred!

      Hope your summer is going splendidly. Thanks for commenting!

      Claudia

  3. Alexis says:

    Liked the drawing a lot, and your observations from a model’s point of view definitely resonated (I’m a model).

    • artmodel says:

      Thanks Alexis! We models definitely have a unique point of view about these things. I’m sure you’re seeing some terrific drawings of yourself in your work.

      Good to hear from you!

      Claudia

  4. Derek says:

    Welcome back my dear
    and happy belated birthday to you, I see you are very busy with your work. I se the illustration made by your artist friend here. Looks very nice I assume he does mostly watercolor mediums for his works. Out of all the places that you work how has the Spring Studios treated you there compare to the other places you have woked in. how are you getting alomg with your present employer ?

    Here in Australia its hot and exotic of course I don’t go to the beach since I have health issues but sometimes I would catch a landscpe to photograph for painintns that I am planning. Congrats to you and your artist friend. Keep on doing what you love. I am going to spend time with my grandchildren and possibly go to the films.

    • artmodel says:

      Derek,

      Yes, Jordan works primarily in watercolor but he also does some acrylics, another water-based medium. To answer your question, Spring Studio is my favorite place to pose in the entire city. It’s proprietor, Minerva Durham, is an amazing person in so many ways. A superb artist herself, attentive to the needs of both models and artists, creative, enthusiastic, organizes art shows and parties at the studio. Great lady. I’m honored to know her and work for her 🙂

      Your summer plans sound terrific! It doesn’t get much better than spending time with grandchildren. Is it very hot in Australia now? I always thought the seasons were reversed in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

      Thanks for your comments and the birthday wishes!

      Claudia

  5. Dave says:

    That’s an excellent quick rendering of a nice pose. I’m going to try that pose myself at my next gig which, alas, isn’t until August 25–it is a slow month, indeed.

    Dave

    • artmodel says:

      Dave,

      I hope you try the pose! I should clarify that I was leaning forward onto a solid bench. Jordan left it out of his drawing and did the figure alone, so it looks like I’m doing it with no support. But my elbows were resting on a surface. It could probably be done for five minutes even without support, if the model’s lower back can handle it!

      Slow August for both of us, indeed. The way I look at it, it means more time for sunbathing!

      Thanks for commenting. Hope you’re well 🙂

      Claudia

  6. pfelelep says:

    as artist AND model, I am really touched by your post. Thanks you for sharing 🙂

  7. Fred Hatt says:

    That’s a great pose and Jordan has such a light touch – it’s you!

  8. Brian says:

    Happy belated Birthday Claudia…sorry I missed it. Life has been incredibly hectic…and passing much too quickly!

    • artmodel says:

      Brian,

      Never too late to hear from you! Thanks so much for checking in, and for the birthday wishes. As for life passing too quickly … indeed. :sigh:

      Claudia

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