Thursday, 29 November 2012

New Life Drawing

The universe seems to have decided that if I am going to start being creative again I am going to do it properly….in despair and poverty. Granted much of the world’s most powerful and beautiful art and literature has come from depressed garret dwellers but I rather be chipper and be able to afford more than one pair of trousers myself. I can at least get behind emotional traumas being a great source of inspiration and poetic thought processes but I see nothing to gain by having no money. So the last week or so has been experienced with mounting distaste and distress.

This morning my boiler broke while displaying a raw natural talent for impeccable comic timing. My boiler departed from this world while I was in the middle of a shower on the coldest day of the year so far, leaving me with no heating and being sprayed with cold water. I have now been informed this will cost me £2000 to replace. That’s not great this close to Christmas, or indeed anytime of the year. It is even worst coming just days after been informed I’ll need to pay nearly £3000 for the re-damp proofing of my flat. The news of the damp proofing itself had followed hotly on the heels of a bill for re-rendering the front of the building.

Now my chief inspiration for attending life drawing classes will just be because it will be some where guaranteed to be warm. Yes. That is right. I have finally reached the point of this post, more life drawing. On Tuesday night I once more found myself with the mark of a red bee on my hand being ushered into the Bee’s Mouth. This time the small cluttered room was a lot busier, filled with exactly the sort of people you’d expect to see at a life drawing class in a trendy pub in Brighton. Apart from the model, I was the only man in the room and before the model arrived I felt the distinct uncomfortable sensation that everyone thought I was the model and was waiting for me to strip down.

In actual fact the model this week did not seem very keen to strip down himself. Lizzie and I agreed that he was quite visibly self conscious; he would often have an embarrassed smirk playing around his lips while his eyes sifted uncomfortable during poses. He also pulled on a large woollen jumper in between every pose even though there was normally a matter of seconds between the poses. I’m not judging him, if I was naked in a tiny cramped room full of fully dressed young women I would be pretty self conscious too. It just seems like an unusual handicap for a life model….as did his tendency to slowly move through out poses. Looking at my drawings I think you can actually see his discomfort coming through, or perhaps I am just looking for it.

All those quibbles aside he was great to draw, he had a weathered and complex face and an angular body. It was as if someone had hurriedly chipped him out of a slab of granite and then left him to be battered by the elements for thirty years. I must confess I did prefer drawing the model from the week before, a comment I made on the night and mortified Lizzie. I did say it quietly…but hadn’t realised his girlfriend was sat next to me.

The poses are always fast with ten minutes being the maximum you’ll get to scribble something down and I keep hoping for a twenty minute pose. However being forced to work quickly, without care is feeding exactly the sort of freeness I wanted to re-discover. Last week I noticed I was struggling a bit with hands and it has become an issue, I slow down and fret when I get to the ends of the arms and merely through the act of concentrating on what I am drawing I completely foul them up. The low lighting in the room does not help; anything in shadow is largely guess work as my feeble eyes squint and strain. Anyway some drawings and also why not think about coming along to one of the sessions? Also does anyone know how much a health kidney might fetch on the black market these days?


  1. Thanks Captain Dan! I love your plates with the pictures of your life drawings on them a lot. Bees mouth again after Christmas next week!

    1. Thanks Florance. I'm sure I'll be there next week.