Studio Spirits

Hellooooo Museworthy friends! It seems that I took the entire month of May as a hiatus, which was totally planned of course! <— not really 😆 But I’m back now and will do my best to not use this blog as a sounding board for my life’s aggravations and distresses. Can’t make any promises though. I’ve been attending counseling fairly regularly, but besides that I haven’t been taking very good care of myself unfortunately. Then last week an aggressive assault of seasonal allergies swooped in which was bizarrely debilitating. It’s just pollen dammit! I estimate that I coughed and sneezed at least 80,000 times in five days 🤧

I’d like to pay tribute to a local artist who was among the regular loyal attendees at Minerva’s Drawing Studio for years. Walter Lynn Mosley passed away a few months ago after a valiant battle with cancer. A most lovely gentleman, Walter is sorely missed at the studio. His gentle, polite, kind-hearted demeanor was a welcome presence, and his respect for the models made him a particularly beloved studio regular among us models. Walter lived and breathed art of all subject matter – whether figure drawings and portraits, plein-air and landscape, or still lifes. He continued to create art throughout his final weeks, making sketches of staff and visitors at the hospice. Here  is just a sampling of Walter’s portrait drawings of the studio models. His sensitivity and thoughtfulness clearly shines through.

This is me, by Walter Lynn Mosley:

Donna:

Freddy:

Kuan:

Our tribute to dear, departed artists continues with the recent passing of an art world giant. Renowned portrait painter Everett Raymond Kinstler died on May 26th at the age of 92. Back when I was still a fairly new artist’s model, I was booked for my first ever painting workshop, instructed by Ray Kinstler! It took place over a Saturday-Sunday at the National Academy of Design. I had no modeling-for-a-workshop experience at the time, but it turned out to be a wonderful weekend. Kinstler was not just a charismatic teacher but also a great storyteller and raconteur. Very entertaining and funny man. A dyed-in-the-wool native New Yorker with an engaging personality. I remember taking a seated pose, wearing a colorful kimono, and just before we set the timer Ray approached me to adjust my hand placement. He said he wanted it to look “more natural”. See, I told you I was inexperienced! It bothers me to think that I was once, way back when, a little ‘stiff’ in my posing. But there was Ray Kinstler to set me straight.

Tony Bennett, who was an art student before he became a successful singer, posted this tribute to Raymond Kinstler on Twitter that I thought was worth sharing:

Two artists have passed; one venerable and illustrious, the other of more modest renown and local esteem. And I am privileged to have posed for both of them. This long art modeling career of mine has blessed me with such a glorious scope of experiences, and I’m astounded at times when I think of the multitudes of crossed paths, remembered details, demos and easels, the sounds and sights and settings, the voices and faces and paint-splattered smocks, the artists known, lesser-known, and even the unknowns. And with the recent graduation of the New York Academy of Art’s class of 2019, the soon-to-be “knowns” are embarking on their post-art school journeys. We art models truly are witnesses to the careers and dreams of others. It’s a profession like no other.

Since today is Monday and we haven’t had a Music Monday in ages, I’d like to share a recording by a vocalist I only recently became aware of. I heard this on the jazz radio station WBGO and it absolutely blew me away. She goes by the name Yebba, and she’s an Arkansas native. Stylistically, if you like Adele you’ll like Yebba. Here she accompanies the brilliant pianist James Francies in the unique and expressive “My Day Will Come”. It really got under my skin, and will maybe get under yours as well. Love you all, and I’ll see you soon 🙂

4 thoughts on “Studio Spirits

  1. Bill says:

    Welcome back! It was good of you to feature Mr. Mosley’s art. Sometimes it’s the relatively obscure artist who creates some of the most beautiful work — and it’s all too easy for it to slip by unnoticed. In a very real sense, you’ve helped to rescue this gentleman’s work from this fate.
    One of the few sad aspects of participating in this type of studio environment is that you do lose people. Sometimes you know right away — other times it can take years or even months to hear of their passing — and you’re left to wonder. Even if you don’t know the individual all that well, you do feel a kinship — a real sense of loss — and sometimes we can gain a measure of relief from sharing in the joy of their work.
    Hope you feel better 🙂

    • artmodel says:

      Bill,

      Just recently I had a conversation with Minerva about this very subject. We were talking about Walter and she lamented about how many of her studio visitors have passed away over the years. Sometimes she’s informed by family members and friends, other times she realizes that a particular person hasn’t been by to draw in many many months, only to find out that they died. Like you said, there’s a kinship in these circles.

      I was honored to feature some of Walter’s work here. He was such a lovely man. Thanks for your very thoughtful comments.

      Claudia

  2. Jennifer Knight says:

    Lovely to hear from you again, though sorry to hear the sad news about the artists’ passing. They have left behind some gorgeous pictures. Thinking of you with regard to everything that you have going on at the moment – sending love and hugs from across the Atlantic. Jennifer xx

    • artmodel says:

      Jennifer,

      Always wonderful to hear from you. Your love and cross-Atlantic hugs are much appreciated! Hope things are well with you and that the summer will bring enjoyable travel and leisure for you and the family.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Claudia

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