We love to practice in the private art studio off of Mulholland Dr. Perched above the bustling canyons, with high views of the city sprawl and prickly DTLA, the tall windows flood the space with balmy LA light.
Jonny, the model for the session, had an extensive experience in posing at Pasadena Art center, Otis, and many other private and public venues. It showed. Because of his posing experience and being able to listen to art instruction for hours, he's become a practicing artist himself. Maybe that's what it takes to overcome the fear of joining an art class: being the nude fly on the wall. "Come pose nude for us and we'll offer to you an easel station spot for free on our next workshop", we'll put that on the sandwich board.
Drawing or painting a nude figure from life is always an uplifting experience. The initial confronting feeling of standing in front of nudity when you are fully clothed is always unsettling, specially when the figure is a stranger or when you are the stranger to figure drawing. But the uneasiness fades away quickly. There is an awareness of humanity when you're in a room with haves and have-nots of a different kind, and that dissolves the initial nervous anticipation. Nudity uncloaks all social etiquette rules and creates a more human sense of oneness. Drawing or painting a nude figure brings out the best in us. If only we would treat each other the same way when we're all clothed.
In the end, there is a sense of exaltation in the air, always. It's wonderful. And then, there is the art.
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