blackbird.jpg (30437 bytes)

2006-08-27 @ 3:24 p.m.
forest nude with a twist of zen


Well, after a crummy week emotionally (well, except for my brief brush with television weathercasting superstardom, of course), it was finally time for my long awaited Outdoor Nude Model Drawing Session. It was the one that had been postponed from several weeks ago. The one I had missed last year. The one I had been looking so forward to that I had actually turned down a invitation to my cousin’s wedding. Yup that’s me. Family Art first.

I did have to work in the morning, but then it was time to head for the hills. I had the directions but they were for the opposite direction I was coming from, so I was trying to do them backwards. I figured I was golden since the location was up near where Married Guy lived and I know the area pretty well. Wrong. Plus I was also recovering from seeing...yup...Married Guy. Damn-it-all. Of all times to be out driving at that exact location. I was driving one road over from where he lived, because, well, that’s where the event was. And suddenly I see this car pulling up to a stop sign up ahead. Its Married Guy in a big new mc fancy smancy SUV. I looked over at him....him at me. Did he see me? Not sure. He doesn’t know this car, but I got all quivery in my stomach. Still don’t like seeing him.

Got to the top of the hill. Lost. It was all woods and farms. I’m really starting to appreciate cell phones a little more recently. I pulled into a fire station and called the house where the event was taking place. Another artist, a woman, had pulled in next to me. She couldn’t find it either. We finally got there and it was a totally stunning location. It had been described as a meadow at the edge of some woods. I thought it was going to be some big open field with hay stacks or something, but it was just this breathtaking home with startlingly beautiful gardens backed up to some woods.

Only the host, model and one other artist was there. But then again, who could find the damn place. It was like The Secret Garden. So we all stood around talking for a while. There were easels set up out in the yard. Even THAT looked picturesque. Finally some people started to filter in. I think we had about 8-9 eventually.

Did I mention it was the coldest day in August EVER? Poor naked model. Here it is August, right? Shouldn’t it be like 90 degrees and humid? It was last year for this event. And the weather had said it was going to be almost 80 degrees and sunny by mid-afternoon. Nope. It was overcast and in the 60’s, with a breeze coming down from freaking North Pole I think. I had worn shorts and a tank top and even I was cold. They had to bring a heater out from the house and set it up next to the model. Later in the afternoon, it got even chillier and the homeowner brought out three hot water bottles and the model sat against them in a chair plus the heater. August weather. Ya just never know when you live near Canada.

We finally got started. We usually have music playing for drawing, but we didn’t, and actually, in an outside setting, it was kind of cool. It was very peaceful and zen-like. Eight artists standing silently against some woods....creating. It was exactly what I needed after such an unhappy, stressful week. I think it also made my heart happy to see a yard full of plants and flowers and ferns that hadn’t been butchered by some retard. These people love their yard and treat it accordingly. You know...by letting things grow as nature intended. We have a very short growing season here, because of our close proximity to Canada, which is why I want to see every possible moment of greenness I can.

We had the same model as Wednesday, but I really like her. She’s one of the few models that doesn’t look like she’s contemplating suicide and needing to run to the bathroom to barf. She’s wiccan and just found out she’s pregnant. I think she’ll be a really cool mom and she promises to continue to model through her pregnancy. She’s already pretty well rounded (it doesn’t show in my eventual painting. I made her way skinnier than she actually is). But that is a good thing. The baby is due around St. Patrick’s Day.

We finally took a half hour break and I had to desperately pee. I had to go since I had arrived, but I was too shy to ask. I was stunned when I went in the house. It looked like something out of Architectural Digest. Wood everything. Massive stone fireplace. Stickley furniture. I felt like I should go through a Poor Person Decontamination System before I stepped in. Don’t want to get any food stamp person germies on anything. I cautiously walked up the stairs. The entire top floor was the master bedroom. Couldn’t find any light switches. Maybe they were voice activated. Or maybe you sent ESP brain waves to some $15,000 MAC computer somewhere saying ”Lights on”. I don't know how rich people's houses work. I finally found it though. But then there was no lock on the bathroom door. Ack. Double Ack! How can you have a multi-million dollar house and forget to install door locks?

It made me think of that funny “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episode where Larry David goes to a party at some mansion and the bathroom doesn’t have a lock and he wants somebody to watch the door. Unfortunately they get distracted and somebody walks in on him doing something weird with his pants.

I did finally pull open a drawer, which blocked the door. Jesus. I’m so neurotic.

But I did feel strangely compelled to talk aloud to myself while I was in the bathroom. “So this is what its like to be rich. Nice. Uh-huh. I remember this. That bed in that bedroom was sure huge. That wouldn’t even fit in my living room. I wonder if they would let me live under the porch? I could chop wood in the winter. Maybe work in the garden in the summer.” I hope nobody heard me. Heh.

When I went back downstairs everyone was noshing on the expensive cookies put out by the homeowner. She was actually very, very nice. Kinda New Age. Charlemagne had told me how hot he thought she was. Hot in a New Age way. She kind of looked like actress Brooke Adams from the 1970s.

The Professional Artist Guy arrived during the break. He looked so different. He’s always had long hair. His hair was longer than mine. Well, he had just come from a cancer benefit and he had cut his pony-tail off and given it to that organization that makes wigs for kids with cancer. How cool is that? You wouldn’t think of a guy giving his hair to that, would you? And naturally, he still looked cool. See, artists aren’t always self-absorbed pricks!

We finally went back for the final hour pose. It had gotten even chillier. I was freezing. Of course I wasn’t really feeling that great physically. I had been woken up early three times this week by the crazy neighbor squad at my apartment complex. I was only running on about 4.5 hours of sleep yesterday, plus I had stood for the entire three hours at the easel. I usually sit when I draw, so I was really feeling it in my legs and back, because I had to keep bending over to grab paints from my bin. But once again I noticed how peaceful it was....now nine artists, in quiet repose, at the edge of a forest.

Anyways, here is the main piece of artwork I painted at yesterday’s event. And the image (missing some, as usual, due to my scanner) is here, due entirely to the wonderful person who renewed my Super Gold account for me. Thank you so much “R”. You are my favoritest goddess in the entire universe. Thanks too for being there. Enjoy.





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