I’ve recently emerged from a tortuous process in which I was trying to locate my artistic voice. As part of that struggle I’ve been involved in many interesting encounters and I thought today would be a good time to update you on what I’ve been up to.
With that being said, here’s a portrait that was painted during my time in Italy late last year, by Tanvi Pathare – “Ruby in Thought”.
This post is dedicated to Pathare and all the women in the world! My words can’t express enough how it feels to be depicted by painters such as her and it’s a blessing to share these experiences with you.
I was holding back with posting this but after receiving congratulatory from a few people who have spotted a painting of me in the 2015 September issue of House & Garden Magazine UK I thought why not! So here I am announcing it and in all honesty it has been such a reward! [Jumps with joy] I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to pose for Phoebe Dickinson and for painting “Ruby Magic” to be recognised within the figurative art world.
Article written by Emily Tobin.
It is like a ritual for most art models who, towards the end of the day posing, spend a brief moment before the start of their evening session, mentally prepare themselves for the session. For me it is like a prayer to our Art Model Gods…Please make this an easy session for me tonight, make the last three hours feel like two! I quickly try to scuff down my cold sandwich. It was my second week when I made my way up the stairs to the studio. I pushed open the door and to my amusement I noticed a man sitting at a small table with his eyes turned towards me. He wore glasses that were perched on an impressive nose. We glared at each other and a small frown appeared on his brow. Simultaneously I closed the door behind me and we greeted each other “Hello…I haven’t seen you here before”. When one personality meets another for the first time, there is a period of mutual examination on the intuitive level of empathy and identification. But it was impossible for me to relate to John in any way. He was a tall thick-set older man with brown hair growing low on his forehead above his quizzical eyes. His small apron matched his long sleeve shirt, both were the colour of a band-aid. He was incompetent and was the target of devastating criticism. After our brief examination I rushed towards the back of the room to put down my bag, coat and half-eaten sandwich. A squirrel finds a treat along its journey across Kensington Park Gardens, quickly bites away, then hoards the rest for later…ahhh something to look forward to! Once the art students finished settling into their spaces, I stood in front of the room ready to pose. The art teacher requested that I take my position in four different ten minute poses before a break, and then the long pose. As I keep still in my pose I started to watch John greedily as he rose from his table and chair; shuffling across the room without adjusting his dark green jogging bottoms which revealed a glimpse of his backside. Is this his moment? To come away from his reality; walking down the bleak concrete stairway of a 1960’s council building located in North London, holding a large, heavy black bag full of all of his art materials, escaping from the prosaic day-to-day life with his mother, a recent widow and now regretful of her relinquishment of her only child? John wanted to become a pilot but he never had the courage like his father, his mother reveals down the phone to one of the members of the church choir.
There was no way of hiding that I took a liking towards John. When my body settled into the long pose I started to concentrate on the sounds that filled the room of the students’ art instruments battling away onto their drawings. The easels and the drawing boards clash against each other creating a rhythm. The wooden floor boards vibrate underneath the students’ feet each time they step back, glancing at their work, checking for any errors. The teacher walks around the studio glancing over at their art work making some suggestions. Then he suddenly walks towards John and points at his drawing. Inevitably it takes John a moment to return from his parallel dimension. “You see, that leg is wrong.” John can usually speak normally enough, but he is not quite back from the realm. Although he put his piece of charcoal down, the drawing still continues drafting in his head. John frowns and scratches his head in thought. The teacher suspects John must feel, at times, when he is most fervent and hopeful about his art, that conducting an ordinary observation is like shouting in the middle of a construction site. My eyes widen, eager to see John’s reaction…“Really?”
“Yes…you see…” The teacher explains then, without a pause, he slowly walks away like a ghost drifting away in the mist. John pushes back his glasses, picks up his piece of charcoal and continues drawing as if the ghost did not scare him at all.
Stay tuned for the next blog entry: “Gin, Cigarettes, Dog Food”.
I know that it has been a while but I’m here to share some great news. I was asked to write a short article for the BBC: Get Creative which is a year long celebration of the arts in Britian. Many of you already know how passionate I am towards my life as an artists’ model and I am very pleased to take part in this series amongst other inspiring British Artists.
All of the support and encouragement has been inspirational towards my life as an artists’ muse.
Thank you and please stay tuned for the next blog entry about a man named John.
Hurray! Another speed life drawing video that I created of me posing for artist Desmond Healy at Hampstead School of Art.
It’s interesting to see how still I was during that pose! Please take a look and let me know what you think.
She hasn’t noticed me staring because she is so engrossed in her sculpting. I can’t help wondering, what is she thinking? I see her, directly in front of me, a warm smile on her face, looking as if she is rising above the mundanity of our day to day life. Sitting motionless in the nude, I am perched on a tall, rotating plank just five feet away from her. I’m so close to her that I can feel her warmth, and her passion for her work draws me in.
I envy her calm satisfaction as the pain from my pose makes me sweat. During the classes I am regularly asked whether I am an artist and I reply “no, not yet” but I have never felt so eager to start; to get my hands dirty and to lose myself in the process. Generally artists arrive at the class with enthusiasm and even excitement for the class. Then throughout the class their grunts and four letter clues tell me that their frustrations are getting the better of them. I have been posing for this sculpting class for the last three weeks and each time Sax walks in it is the same; she finds her place, she locates her piece, she ties her apron and then she is gone, ethereal. Not a single word, not a single gasp of frustration, not a moment of frowns. I found myself reflecting on memories of previous classes in which the artists have already become upset with themselves and each other before we had even begun. They would disagree about my pose or the layout of the easels. I recalled instances in which I heard altercations between the artists. I will never forget the disappearing lady who tried and tried so hard to learn how to draw and kept beating herself up over it and eventually left half way through a class.
As the lecture rotates me I stop recalling memories and as I return to the class my eyes fall back on to Sax who is a picture of serenity. Whilst others become frustrated with themselves and their limitations, Sax is content. Her disposition reminds me that the beautiful things in life must remain beautiful, what we do for leisure should bring us happiness. I slightly turn my head to get a clear vision of her hand moulding the clay. She is still smiling and she still doesn’t notice me staring.