Naked Deliverance

When stresses and anxieties threaten to overwhelm my mental state, art modeling bails me out. Art modeling always bails me out. I don’t think I’ve ever realized it so acutely until these past few months, as the tragic deterioration of once close and loving relationships within my immediate family have come to a head. It’s all taken quite an emotional toll on me, and I’ve avoided venting about it here on the blog. My readers don’t come here for that, nor should they be subjected to such things.

What I can do, instead, is give props to this livelihood of mine, this arduous work that has always been there for me, and I for it. My dance partner for 10+ years, art modeling provides me with a sense of humble purpose – however small and obscure it may be to the loud, busy, urgent, much larger and more complicated world out there beyond the closed door art studios of New York City. It doesn’t fill my bank account. It doesn’t do my body any favors. It doesn’t always operate fairly. But art modeling is still my faithful rescuer. It rescued me eleven years ago from a personal crossroads, and it continues to do so. It is work in which an oft-depressed 47 year old woman can take her clothes off … and be valued. How many occupations can make that claim? With gratitude, I press on …

This is yours truly, captured in watercolor, by my friend the inimitable Jordan Mejias.

IMG_3425

23 thoughts on “Naked Deliverance

  1. artmodelandrew says:

    As usual, I can relate to much of what you have written so eloquently.

  2. It is fascinating and a good thing how this strange activity called life drawing can be so rewarding for both artist and muse.

    • artmodel says:

      artwithnudity,

      It is fascinating. One of the rare arrangements in which the rewards are equally shared among all parties involved. Good stuff!

      Thanks for your comments.

      Claudia

  3. Bill says:

    One of the nice things about living in a complex society is that we might find a nice, relatively obscure little niche that we can burrow into and feel at home. (Then again, when you consider how many people are involved in life drawing, maybe it isn’t so little, eh?) I’m glad that’s worked for you.
    BTW, a tip of the hat to Jordan Mejias for his painting.

    • artmodel says:

      Bill,

      Niches are great. I’m very pro-niche! I will expand on your excellent point by saying the “specialty” aspect of niche pursuits brings a deeper personal connection.

      Thanks for your comments and your compliment of Jordan’s work!

      Claudia

  4. scultore says:

    As always, well said! I too find have found a sense of peace, enlightenment , solace or insight in modelling, a different but similar sense as when creating art from the other side.

    • artmodel says:

      Bruce,

      Of the wonderful descriptive words you used, “enlightenment” and “solace” resonated most with me. So many people who wade into the art modeling world make the same discoveries.

      Thanks for your comments, and good seeing you today! 🙂

      Claudia

  5. grier horner says:

    “Naked Deliverance” delivers its message eloquently. It’s wonderful that you find solace in your work and that you can express yourself so beautifully both in words and body. Great illustration by Jordan Mejias.

    • artmodel says:

      Grier,

      “words and body”, I like that! Expression can come forth in many different ways, and I guess I’m utilizing two pretty effective ones. Really appreciate your generous comments.

      Thank you!

      Claudia

  6. Dave says:

    Couldn’t agree more, Claudia. Unlike you, I only model once in a while, just enough to remind me how much I enjoy it and how much better it makes me feel about life. Thanks for the beautifully written homage to modeling and for posting that excellent drawing. I’ll email you a flattering drawing of me from this week.

    • artmodel says:

      Dave,

      Fellow models always understand this. And I sometimes feel, even with this particular blog post, that I’m not truly and accurately conveying the gratifying effects of art modeling. It’s hard to describe, isn’t it?

      Thanks for your comments, and I got your email! 🙂

      Claudia

      • Yes, Yes, Yes! To both Claudia and Dave. How many occupations are there where you can do something you love and get paid for it? Further, where you get more out of the work that you put into it? And where people are thrilled that you are there and truly appreciate what you are doing, sometimes even applauding your efforts? Where the entire outer world slips away and you are present (totally absorbed) in the moment? Where nothing else matters, all is forgotten and your total focus is on what you are doing at that moment? I believe it provides more benefits than meditation, with the same calming focus and a paycheck!

        I can have the worst day ever during my day job and modeling wipes all of those thoughts completely from my consciousness.

        I’ve said it before. Sometimes I think I should pay THEM to let me model!

        All the Best,

        Ken

        NB – Deliverance without banjo music is the best (excuse my bad movie reference….)

  7. Jim O'Neil says:

    OK youngster! We’ve talked off on on enough over the years here, that I think you know I’m a cranky curmudgeon that, if we were talking face to face might say; “Damnit girl, suck it up it’s life, not stress, deal with it!”, -but that I’d mean ‘hey, exactly what you said in your ‘Naked Deliverance’ but you said it so much nicer!’ Yep, find what works and use it.

    Artmodelandrew said it quite well above.. Your expression of your discomforts and how you handle it through modeling is quite acceptable and a useful plan for others.

    So! If I ever say damnitgirl suck it up! Just what you said is exactly what I mean, & as well, of course, you know I’d never say that to you (though I might think it!). -grin-

    BTW: My son had my granddaughter (now 11) absolutely convinced for many years, that he didn’t know his name is Gareth, and not Damnitboy, until he get into kindergarten. 🙂

    & yes, Jordan Mejias’ was a magnificent capture. First look ‘cept for some of the gradients, I thought it was charcoal or graphite. Now as a watercolor dabbler I’ve got to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure why I see charcoal or graphite stick where he used the brush. Oh well…

    Bottom line; Good on ya, Claudia!

    • artmodel says:

      Jim,

      How I love hearing from the cranky curmudgeon! Especially when you sprinkle your crankiness with touches of positivity 😉

      I don’t know if I’ve gotten any better over the years with the “suck it up” school of life, but hey I’m trying! I appreciate your words of support, friend. What I really need is two weeks on the beach in Hawaii, and maybe a little snorkeling. But I’ll just have to manage with modeling and springtime in the city. My prized lilacs are in fragrant full bloom right now, and they are glorious!

      Good for you for wading into the watercolor world. I love watercolors and have “dabbled’ myself. Very tricky and challenging! Jordan is quite the master.

      Thanks for your comments!

      Claudia

  8. maxnix says:

    Claudia,

    It is too amazing to me how much of the things you speak hit a chord with me. Not able to do posing at any level near what you do, but the gratifying effects of art modeling even at the advanced age of 69, provide a respite from all the trials in many other areas of my life. A rescuer it is, indeed. The satisfaction I get when complemented by an art class or workshop or an artist for the work I do, as well as the satisfaction I get from seeing the work that it inspires from them. I am glad I don’t reside in the city, or I probably would do nothing else, to the chagrin of my wife and college age daughter. That is in respect to the money I need to make. I always think I’ll give it up as I get older and, never having had a defined physique and being a male to boot, I don’t think of myself as “museworthy”. Nevertheless, I find myself in demand, for some undefined reason. Thanks for your blog!
    ~Bruce

    • artmodel says:

      Bruce,

      Beautiful comments, thank you! Many models understand the “rescuer” quality to our work, though they may not express it openly. It’s clear how much you relate to it and understand it. Also clear is your passion for it! Dedicated models make the best models, and the artists/teachers recognize this. Your love and dedication are the “undefined reason” that you’re in demand! And that you’re 69 and working at this with regularity speaks to the authenticity, diversity, and beauty of who artist’s models are.

      Thank you so much for posting this thoughtful passage. I hope you continue to visit this blog and thrive in your modeling!

      Claudia

  9. JustAnotherNakedThought says:

    That watercolor is a simply gorgeous piece of work. Also a lovely post. It’s great when people have that “something” in their lives that gets them through.

    • artmodel says:

      JustAnotherNakedThought,

      Yes, Jordan does really beautiful work. This watercolor is, I think, the best he’s done of me, and he’s done many! And thank you for your comments about this post. I’m glad I was able to communicate the value of art modeling in my life.

      Claudia

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