Category: About Modeling for Life Drawing
“It’s good to be me.” Sarah Skinner
Today is February 1, 2010, a number of years after I and some friends finished writing this book, and 22 years after it was copyrighted and published. My wife, Beth, and I have re-examined it carefully over the past months to see if there were places where I might need to update it. A lot has happened, in fields related to art, to modeling and to publishing over the last twenty years,
Life Drawing is often defended as allowable because it offers such good practice to artists in achieving something difficult. Life drawing appears to “need” defense and excuses because our society feels discomfort, and even guilt, at the nakedness (including especially the open sexual character) of the models. Drawing people does offer good practice, and it is very difficult to do well; apples, tables, mountains, oceans, horses, and ideas share the same qualifications. The defense doesn’t work.
Standards for appropriate relationships between artists and models are usually expected to follow the first approach described above: models and artists are advised to maintain a “professional” distance from each other, for fear that they might allow a personal attraction which develops to become, suddenly and uncontrollably, a sexual one. There are cases, even well-known ones, of times when this has happened – but spelling out the possibility shows that it needs no more care in this relationship than it does in any other.
This website is the online development of a 1988 self-published book/pamphlet by Hugh Kilmer entitled Modeling for Life Drawing.
The work was first written in 1973, by a group of models and artists working together in Hoboken. The first version was lost by the community group that had agreed to print it. In 1977, I rewrote it from memory, and have used it since that time as a rough set of guidelines for models and their artists.
Before the spoken word there was the language of symbols. Men and women have dedicated their lives to the study of symbols, and they continue to fascinate and beguile us. Art is the language of symbols, and figurative art may be interpreted as the most sophisticated symbol making, as it proved primitive society’s consciousness of itself. Primitive peoples used the most splendid model to make their images: their own enigmatic and complex bodies.
The archetype of the model has occupied a significant spot throughout the history of picture making.
Many thanks to models, artists, and teachers who have worked with me, and who have provided information and inspiration for this booklet. I particularly thank Jenny McNamara, who has worked with me for almost twenty years, Diane Elliot, the first model who made me recognize that modeling is a profession. Sue Riccobon through whom I learned to match model with material, David Thomas, Don Isenberg, Chelsea Leger (director of ARTLINE), who has reviewed this booklet and co-sponsors my work shops.
Beth Kilmer by Hugh Kilmer
Fran by Norm Kennedy
Nancy Zola by Jenny McNamara
Norm Kennedy by Jada West
Composite by Lori Perbeck
Theresa Sinko by Hugh Kilmer
Hugh Kilmer by Lisa Moran
Anthony Gottardis by Jada West
Nancy Zola by Nancy Zola
Basics; Who Should Model
Practical Considerations; … Continued