“I Feel Pretty”

It seems reasonable to suppose that most people who choose to model for artists begin with a feeling that they are worthwhile to look at.  This is true, but not necessarily in a way that is evident either to the model or to the artists who work with them. 


Rembrandt made marvelous pictures of himself throughout his working
life; Titian did a couple of gorgeous self-portraits when he was in his
90’s.  I started as a model, myself, because people in my drawing
workshop pointed out to me that I should not ask others to do something
for me that I was not glad to do for them.  I started modeling first for
people in my own workshop, and then for colleges in the New York area. 
It was only after I started modeling myself that I recognized that
“good modeling”, rather than being inborn, was a quality that could be
learned, and could be improved through discussion, exercise and
practice—often usefully with other people who would share skills with
each other.  Everyone in such a group would have some experience (we are
looked at from the time of our birth, and we are felt from conception
on); so each of us would have something to contribute to all of us, and
to the work that each of us would like to do.  What was most important
was for each of us to present ourselves at our best, and for the rest of
us to recognize and experience each person’s best, as it appears.  I
need to keep reminding myself to recognize and celebrate this best in
everyone, each time it appears

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