I have always been a mover. I sit in church but my leg is bouncing or I am tapping my foot with the music. I sit at the computer to work and I move this way or that as I do my work. Even in the car, a passing driver is likely to see me playing drums or piano on the steering wheel. I like to move.
Then came last week when I pondered aloud and shared all those voices in my head with you readers, the voices that were talking about posing nude for artists. I don’t think a single one of those voices took into account my desire to be in motion. I am sure I didn’t take my desire to be in motion into account when I told Ben I was in and would be there Sunday as the model for the sketching group.
Needless to say the voice in my head that said do this was right in that there is nothing wrong with the human body – male or female – that requires it to be covered up. What I, and none of the voices, took into consideration was the stillness.
I have grown up on video – taking it over my kids, my parents taking it of me as a child (okay, so that was a moving picture, not video), video my wedding although I have no clue where that is now. Even my artist daughter did not say any thing about my not being able to hold still before saying it was great I thought I could do this. Actually, she didn’t say anything other that it was great.
My male children voiced concerns from the 19 year old (#5) asking who would want to look at my body at my age to the 15 year old (#6) calling it gross that his mother was going to pose naked. The two girls (#3 & #4) could care less. The oldest (#1) generally supported the other two boys. #2 is at college so couldn’t partake in the verbal “beat down on Mom.” Now, after reading Kelly Diels’s take on negative compliments and pick up artists, I think my boys are in for a new lessons this week on women and on people in general.
I planned out my weekend so I knew that the only thing that would keep me from showing up on Sunday from 1-4 pm was really bad weather. Sunday was beautiful here where I live. I went to Mass at 8:30 am as that was when the choir #1 and #3 sing in was performing. I came home and went out for a quick five mile run, showered, didn’t dry my hair – a new thing the past week or so, and headed to Ithaca.
I opted for garage parking as the snow had left the street parking to be a bit narrow. Could have managed it but the garage was much easier and should it snow while I was busy, I wouldn’t have to clean off my car. I strolled down the Commons – an area in Ithaca, if you are unfamiliar with it, where the street has been closed and paved over and which you can see through the link to a web cam if I did everything correctly and found the store that had been mentioned in the email from Ben. I went in and starting looking around. I will definitely be back to the store as I found some amazing things there.
The sketching group/class – I don’t know what they are called – meets upstairs. I went up with Ben and thought that I should have brought my camera in to photo the area but I left it in the car for some odd reason, maybe nerves. Several times prior to getting started, I was thankful to those supportive voices in my head that kept telling me to take a deep breath.
The group started with several – I couldn’t tell you how many – one minute poses. This may be common sense to people who model regularly but I was stretching back in my mind to remember the various poses I had seen on Ben’s blog.
Then, there were two minute poses. I also tried to keep track of where I was facing. How many times would you want to be the person who got to draw my back or, for that matter, my ass?
The five minute poses were okay – sort of in between short and long. The final five minute pose I did was hard as I was tired and it involved one arm being above my head. The one and two minute poses were a little easier and were like a really long yoga or stretching session for after a hard run.
There were also ten, fifteen and twenty minute poses. This is where the staying still was difficult for me. I came to the conclusion I needed to find a focal point – just like in labor. For a lot of them, I would concentrate on someone’s shoes. In my mind I would make up stories to go with those shoes. Big Little Wolf, if you are ready this, there was a pair of black shoes that I think you would have loved. I even, eventually, told the woman – most likely a college student – I was in lust with her shoes. This was all fine and dandy until the music would have hysterical lyrics. Listening to Ben Folds and some of his songs while trying to stay still is really hard.
All in all, I learned a bit about myself yesterday. I can stay still if necessary. I am not good at it but I can do it. I also realized I may say I am shy but I think I really like my body – or most of it. I did not feel self-conscious but once and that was when I could see the stretch marks I have recently earned from losing weight. I had at least one young female tell me I had a beautiful body. Of course, she has posed before and I am sure she is young enough that I have more than one child older than she is.