Life in Detail

Friday morning. I walk down tree-lined blocks in my neighborhood toward the train station. Have to catch the 8:14 to Manhattan. Suddenly, from overhead, that distinct harsh screech of a red-tailed hawk; “keeeee-aarr!!”. I look up and there he is. Circling effortlessly above the Duane Reade and Queens rooftops. Good morning you beautiful wild raptor. Seeing me off to work, are you? 🙂

25 minutes later, Penn Station, morning rush hour. A woman begins to struggle getting her stroller with a toddler up the stairs to the C subway platform. I bend down and pick up the front. Together she and I make easy work carrying the stroller for the ascent. “Gracias”, she says to me. “Muchas gracias”.

Downtown, 15 minutes before drawing session starts. At the overpriced hipster coffee shop, a pleasant exchange with the barista about the deliciousness of almond milk. He tells me to “have a great day!”.

At Minerva’s studio, I’m introduced to a man from Naples. A math professor who enjoys drawing in his spare time. He pronounces my name “CLOU – dia”.

Morning session, long pose. Afternoon session, gestures and short poses. I’m the model for both. Bang my shin. Can’t find my favorite hair clip. Feeling flexible. And creative. Finished at 4:00. Man who had been drawing comes over to me, presses a $10 bill into my palm. “Oh gosh, thank you so much!” I say. “No, thank YOU” he replies. “Great poses”. A rare modeling tip.

C train back uptown. Muscly hardhat guy gives up his seat for an elderly lady. My Blackberry beeps out a text message; a modeling gig inquiry for January. Group of tourists consulting a NYC subway map.

Penn Station again. Rush hour again. Homeless trumpeter is playing a plaintive “Silent Night”. His horn reverberates throughout the Eight Avenue concourse. I drop some singles in his instrument case. He nods at me without moving the trumpet mouthpiece from his lips.

Back on the railroad, track 21, the 4:46 back to Queens. Seat at the window. Man, mid-thirties, dark complexion, sits next to me. Takes out a leather bound Bible. Reads Corinthians for the entire ride. I put in my iPod earbuds. Scroll for music. Schubert’s piano Impromptus. Sit back. Finish my box of raisins.

Home in Queens. Jessie the cat rubs lovingly against my legs. Purring … “rrrrrr”. The ball of fur missed me. Can of salmon for her. Glass of wine for me. Day of blessings. Day of grace. Day of reminders, reinforcements, interactions, and taking nothing for granted.

From that day, my one minute gesture poses sketched by Bob Palevitz … in detail:


21 thoughts on “Life in Detail

  1. Add to your day a smile on my face . . .

  2. therese beck says:

    quite impressive, I loved it

  3. Mark says:

    Nice vignette of your day – enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. Bill says:

    I’d like to think that most of your days go like this. OK — that will be my wish for you for 2017 — may most of your workdays go like this. My second wish for you is that you find your hairclip 🙂

    At my stage of the game, I’d prefer Jessie’s day — at least for the Winter. Chase that ray of sunshine around the house for naps in various locations — topped off by a tasty dinner. That’s even better! 🙂

    P.S. Really nice sketches — I’m always jealous of people who can do something with those really short poses. Of course, he did have a great model.

    • artmodel says:


      Jessie the cat lives a good life, no question about it! And I really appreciate your 2017 wish for me. This post pretty accurately represents most of my days I’m happy to say. There are tough ones mixed in but that’s life of course. And you’ll be glad to know that I found my hair clip! it was hiding down at the bottom of my bag.

      Thanks for your comments.


  5. cauartprof says:

    Lovely post Claudia! I spend most of my social media time on Twitter these days (I know you hate Twitter). I keep a tight rein on how I use it (focusing on visual arts issues) to keep it from turning into a political/social cesspool. I DO however continue to get your blog posts through my email feed. You remain amazing! Have a great December.

    • artmodel says:


      I was hoping you’d appear in my comments again! I’ve missed you. Glad you’re still getting your regular dose of Museworthy. And yes, Twitter can easily become a “cesspool” which is unfortunate. But I see that you’re using it in a sensible way. I’m actually on Twitter not as myself, but that I run the account for my church:

      Thank you so much for your kind comments. Hope to hear from you again!


  6. John Giesecke says:

    Makes one miss New York and the wonderful life you have chosen. May continue joy and accomplishment be yours for 2017. Thank you for sharing.

    • artmodel says:


      I am so touched by your comments, thank you. Very thoughtful of you to acknowledge both my city and the life I’ve chosen. I’m grateful for many things.

      Appreciate your good wishes and thanks again!


  7. artmodelandrew says:

    A fun peek into a day in the life of CLOU-dia. Also fun to see that the WordPress snow is back. 🙂

    • artmodel says:


      Yes, winter wonderland is back! I actually forgot that I had it turned on, lol. Glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for commenting.

      CLOU-dia 🙂

  8. What a wonderful post – thank you for writing it all up, Claudia, and in such a charming, loose-limbed style!

    • artmodel says:


      “loose-limbed” was what I was going for! But I still want to practice at it more. Makes for fun reading I think.

      So great to hear from you! Thanks for commenting, and we will talk soon friend.


  9. roberta m says:

    Enjoyed this so much–found myself taking “inventory” of events throughout my day. Awareness and gratitude are such important parts for a fulfilling day.

    • artmodel says:


      I love that this post has had that kind of effect on you! I’ve become quite a conscientious “inventory” taker myself. It allows for greater “awareness and gratitude” as you so correctly put it.

      Thank you for your comments!


  10. Jennifer says:

    A lovely post – thanks for sharing your thoughts on an ordinary but special day 🙂 xx

  11. Derek says:

    You are certainly a great muse always an inspiration to. A lot if artists. You are truly gifted

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