I almost didn’t recognise you with your clothes on
I still remember the first time I did life drawing. It was unexpected. I naively wandered into my college art room to discover a room full of students cowering behind easels and a naked man with his arm in the air. I vaguely recall dropping and breaking my charcoal several times. Awkward… embarrassing, and life changing.
I no longer drop pastels, or even flinch at the sight of a naked body. It’s an essential part of my creative process now. The fumbling, red faced art student discovered her niche that day. There is something inherently honest about a naked body. Regardless of gender, the openness of form reveals so much. People use clothing to sculpt and express themselves in a multitude of ways. It is a disguise that they get to choose. A naked body cannot pretend to be anything other than what it is.
I admire life models. They are courageous – they expose their vulnerability to me, trusting me to be kind. In return, I celebrate their sensuality. Through a combination of colour, form and line, I allow their curves and peaceful sensuality to flow out onto rolls of brown paper below me. I no longer work with pastels, but they were a critical part of my development. They helped me explore what drives me. I learnt that life drawing is more than what I actually see. It is a relationship I create with my subject where I unleash the colours that lie within.
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