Monday, 25 June 2007

Getting turned on to drawing

The recent comments by Honoranddesire and Hornmaleuk have made me consider what people suspect happens between an artist and a model during an art session, especially when its an erotic art session. Its always the thought and question, underneath the surface isn't it? What happens when you're drawing a naked person, and you fancy them? Part of me, like most artists, considers that its a professional working relationship, like doctors, when you just happen to work with naked people, and you're trying to do a job........ but, there is the other side, when you get to know the model a bit more, and they become a personality, a friend, and then maybe a lover. But, drawing is using a different part of the brain, and I need to concentrate, arrange the composition, lighting, decide which medium I'm going to use, get my easel up, set up some rock music to paint to, make sure the model is comfortable with the pose, and is warm enough, and doesn't have a spot light shining in their eyes, isn't going to get cramp in five minutes time, whist listening with half an ear to their problems, and trying to organise them into the pose without seeming heartless to their concerns, and I'm not wearing my best clothes, I'm in old jeans and a comfortable tee shirt, so that if I spill paint down me, it won't matter. But if I'm getting ready for sex, I'd dress differently, take more care, and wear something slightly provocative in a revealing or clingy way, something that makes me feel hot, would feel calmer and would be looking for signs and giving signs, in my conversation, or gestures, or demeanour. So perhaps the model is ready for sex, because they have an empty mind, and are sitting there stark naked, but the artist isn't ready for sex because their mind is full of ideas and organising things. Mmmmm..... that's a really interesting thought.

I think we have a special relationship with our models, and they understand that too. And I've definitely had some interesting times and some very non vanilla moments whilst drawing naked models! I think as figure artists we're open to people, and the models are open to the artist, so its a potent mix to start with. Plus I also think that models are a particular type of person too - who like being naked infront of fully clothed people, who are exhibitionists (unless they are just desperate for the money and can overcome their inhibitions for financial reasons), and want to be viewed and stared at and have their sexual fantasies at the same time, so perhaps the poor artist doesn't stand a chance! (smile).

I know at the end of a drawing session I'm mentally whacked, because I've been concentrating so hard, the model is happily chatting away, and I've gone quiet, whilst I'm packing my art materials and easel away, so perhaps that's when there's a shift in the relationship, instead of the artist being in control of the model and the situation, the model is fresh and lively, mentally alert, and can take over and start to control what happens next.........

4 comments:

HonorAndDesire said...

Krikey, Jackie, you write so clearly and concisely! . . . And about a very intricate, complicated subject too!
I think many people -- artists and non-artists
alike -- will be very interested by what you've written here, and they'll come away educated and
intrigued at the same time!
Your words got me thinking about what I seem to always be wrestling with: honor and desire! I've been a figure artist for years and years, have drawn nude people literally hundreds of times, usually with no sensual or even interpersonal feeling at all. It really is a different part of the brain at work while we're creating art. And it is always -- and rightly should be -- a professional work relationship between artist and model (honor). But then models are people, often warm and fascinating as individuals, often with quite-creative or even romantic minds themselves, so, as that relationship goes on, session after session, practical situations can indeed blend with that wonderful feeling of longing (to which artists seem especially vulnerable!), to sometimes blossom into beautiful moments of tenderness and caring (desire).
One only has to glance at art biographies to see how many artists and models have discovered the joys of each other -- just as many artists have, with other artists! (smile)
So thank you for writing all this and writing it so well. I've often felt less-than-honorable for having any human longing at all, as if it were a weakness, as if it made me less of an artist. And, I know all too well that *acting* on those feelings -- or even actively thinking about *how* to act on those feelings -- may still create wrenching inner conflict or even a sublime torture to one's very soul (something else to which artists are not exactly immune!) and can even ruin a good artist's focus and skills. But as I read your entry here, remembering my own fantasies and moments of gentle longing has led me to want to examine them more gently and maybe absolve them just a bit -- really I should just cherish and enjoy them! Especially if they're based on real human caring. Pure Love is never wrong.

Jackie Adshead said...

Honoranddesire - I think you should cherish your experiences as an artist, if you can; I do mine (even the weird ones!). Perhaps it's all part of improving our art.

Cherrie said...

I had wondered what goes through an artist's mind as she contemplates the beauty of the nude model she is drawing. How does she keep herself on task? The answer, as you reveal, is that sometimes she doesn't!

hornymaleuk said...

While interested to read the fascinating discussion between the artists, I'd like to say that I pose for Jackie because I like her, it's good fun, and because it is a sexy experience. I didn't adopt the name of hornymaleuk for nothing!!