- “Beauty Rules,” from a Lord & Taylor ad in the NY Times. I think that beauty knows better than to rule, because in ruling it ceases being beauty.
- “There is a lot of anger in love sometimes.” Garrison Keillor, Liberty: A Novel of Lake Wobegon, p. 181.
- When is an addition a subtraction? When you put clothes on a good-looking person.
When I first started modeling, I did it in
answer to a dare from models and artists in my Hoboken (NJ) drawing
group that I would find it too embarrassing. I shared this worry, but I
also recognized, with others in the group, that it didn’t make sense
for me to expect other people to do something that—because of
embarrassment—I wasn’t willing to do myself. As soon as I opened myself
to public nudity, I found that the sexual arousal I had worried about
was neither as intense nor as frequent as I had feared. I have once
been invited by a married couple to make pictures of their lovemaking.
This was a most holy and most beautiful thing to do. Models should work
to be symbols and ideals, as well as examples of what we want to be, and
what we wish we were, as well as of what we are.
Figure drawing is drawing people as people are; portraiture is drawing this person as this person is. Figure drawing specializes in what is generic, portraiture in what is specific. Portraiture’s excess is caricature, where individualism moves beyond reality by stressing the “unusual.” We think of Titian’s last drawn self portrait, or Rembrandt’s last painted self portrait, or Bach’s, Bist du bei mir ( “If you are with me, I will go gladly to my death”) included in the collection he compiled for his wife, Notebook for Anna Magdalena. For me, a portrait is always a gift, and I am not doing it right unless I am doing it as a gift for the person I am drawing, whether or not the person I am drawing is to end up with the picture.
In the last article, I wrote that “fondness is key.” To some people we are attracted immediately; with others, fondness—even intense fondness—develops, but only over time. Initially, it is respect and openness that is needed if an immediate fondness is not there. Find leads to found leads to fond.
When I model, I like to put as much of me as I can into the artist-model relationship – so I like to put talking and/or singing as part of the mix.
Continue reading Poems to Model With (1)
There are two things that I want to stress in working with models, and I think that both are important. I want to recognize people when I have seen them before, and I want to remember them between sessions where they model.
Continue reading Recognize and Remember
Maybe the only impossibility that is real is repetition. The only reality that is not new is newness. At the same time, “novelty” is not new, because doing something to-be-new is “old hat.”
Continue reading Teaching as Delight (3)
I have worked with many subjects, and with many students, from nursery school into graduate school. As I have studied “teaching people,” I have learned that the “who-being-taught” is always more important than the “what” that is being taught to them; and that the one result to look for, in all of us, at every point in the process, is delight.
Continue reading Teaching as Delight (2)
I got my first assignment as a teacher when I graduated from high school at sixteen years old and was asked by my pastor to prepare a ten-year old girl for her first communion. I was scheduled to enter St. Charles Seminary as a college freshman that fall. Maybe this was in some way a “suitability test,”
Continue reading Teaching as Delight
A colleague wrote: “I am not sure what would motivate someone to participate in a workshop program based on modeling for art as the theme.” To me, the theme is more accurately described as “modeling for these artists.”
Continue reading Modeling for These Artists