Sunday, January 6, 2013

Model Behaviour

Nance Thacker © Jan 6/13
I'm looking forward to entering into the world of the artists' model with anticipation and a great deal of fear.
From the age of 30 when I was "discovered" on an errand to a local art school to pick up a schedule for a roommate of mine, to the age of 45, I modelled for studios and art galleries in Victoria B.C., (including Xchanges Gallery where I had my studio) and later in Oakville (most notably for Sheridan College) and Burlington Ontario.
On that fateful day Catherine the great asked, "When you're on your run tomorrow can you pick me up the schedule for the classes at the Banks Street School of Art?"
Why not? I thought.
I was surprised when I stood in front of the registrar wearing my t-shirt and shorts to be asked if I'd like to model. I'd received my B.A. in fine art from McMaster and was very familiar with being on the other side of the easel, but to be there out front?...
I totally surprised myself when without hesitation I responded, "Sure".
And, I had a month to contemplate my decision meaning a time in which to back out of the assignment.
But I didn't and because of that I spent the next 15 years juggling my time as an artists' model amongst my other professions. 30 years ago, appearing fit and strong with good muscle definition, I was a natural, more importantly the moment I disrobed I felt totally natural standing on the podium.

Nance Thacker © Jan 5/13
But 15 years have passed. It will not be the same as it was once was because I am not the same as I was. Can I still do it? I have committed myself to 1 night a week for 4 weeks from 7 - 10 p.m.  a time when I'm usually dozing on the couch before I get the second wind that keeps me up from 10 - 1 working on creative projects. Sleepiness at any time of the day in a cold room with heaters and spotlights blazing down on me is a model's challenge as are: sensations of things crawling on my skin and limbs falling asleep. True, in the past, dozing in a "relaxed" pose - I put it in quotes because no pose, no matter how relaxed it appears, is ever relaxing for the model but we make it look so - happened on occasion but I didn't snore back then. This would be mortifying.

Back in the day people asked me what I did on "fat" days, when I felt fat. "I just stand there looking fat and they draw what they see." It was no big deal to me. But, to be old? I don't really know if I'm ready to see myself rendered as a geezer.

Wish me luck.

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