Saturday, March 18, 2017

Nude, With Headphones

Spending time drawing people leads to a regular consideration of what it’s like to model: 

The hot lights toasting your shoulders, the concentration it takes to hold still for 20 minutes (or more), the pain you might feel of your bones on a hard surface, just so the artist can have a good visual.

The models I’ve worked with don’t deny these discomforts, but they keep coming back again­ to sit for me.

Headphones provide all of us a way to retreat, to build a wall of sorts. Whatever’s playing (podcast, rockin’ tunes, guided meditation) takes our minds away from the world we are physically in, whether to provide a distraction or an escape, or to just keep people from talking to us.

Models don’t typically wear headphones when they model. In fact they wear absolutely nothing while working for artists. It can be a vulnerable experience, but also, comfortable. Still. Peaceful. Quiet. Intimate, in a way. No need to say anything. No need to be anyone except their physical selves. 

Standing nude in front of people is to take off the headphones, or take down the wall. It’s to be present. It’s to be with yourself, in a quiet space, while also participating in the artistic process. The only noise is what’s rattling around in your head. It is still.

I've learned that once you do it for long enough, this modeling/drawing exercise, it becomes something of a new normal. How very refreshing.

This art piece, by the way, is entitled Nude, With Headphones, 36"x24", acrylic, charcoal, and collage on canvas. My first experiment in trying to meld my old ways with my newfound interest!

If you are interested in learning more about becoming an art model, please contact me (email address to the right, or find Parsley Art Studio on Facebook). As you may know, I am particularly interested in working with men, age 30 or older, any size, any shape. Consider joining me in the artistic process.