I don't know about you but certain models are good luck models, they just seem to bring double happiness and for me, Richard is one of them. I think I've drawn/painted him about four maybe five times and on each occasion I seem to manage OK, that is apart from last night, when finally my luck ran out. Was it our constant companion, the rain to blame. From staccato to kettle drum, it rattled the roof all night long, many soaked survivors arrived with breathless stories of daring do involving canoes, gushing rapids and traffic lights, a mighty flood seemed upon us. Could this be the reason my good fortune and Richard's talismanic status waned, was it wilting in the downpour or was it something else? I scrutinized my options and decided logically it had to be Richard's fault as I had rigourosly followed previous procedures all successful to a degree and yet tonight it was different. Surely without doubt he was the culprit. The evidence began to mount, for example his notorious Vulcan Death Stare terrifying our youngest artist, Kate. Under great duress as his relentless eyes bore into her, she managed to portray her nemesis, Mesmo the Mesmerist, the terror of delicate ladies, the scourge of the weak and feeble-minded and guarantor of the Mesmo Quit Smoking Course. It had to be the staring eyes and yet others strangely coped. Patrick also captured by the laser like beam coped admirably in a sculptural drawing of great authority. Roger H nearby also coped by recording the phenomenon in great detail. Whereas Russell fresh off the bench after a Tevez like absence playing the crazy golf courses of Scarborough seemed to struggle with the one eye, however it's a game of two halves and a long season and he may well score the winner yet. So my conclusion was whilst the eyes were undoubtedly demanding, they were not impossible.
Was it the mouth maybe? Subconsciously possibly, I appear to have created my very own personal tribute to Frank Lampard (Sandra, he plays for Chelsea for heaven's sake, keep up, honestly some people.....) the tight lipped hero of the Nou Camp, meanwhile everyone else seems to have coped well with Richard's distinctive mouth, so it's just me who couldn't get it right.
OK let's move onto the stance, what we professionals call 'the pose', don't be frightened by the jargon, it gets easier. There was something about the angle of the shoulders that looked strange, a certain twist or bend, a kind of double jointed optical illusion sort of thing but again nobody else seems to have spotted it. Barry in his best 'Visualizer'* mode ignored it completely creating a work of fine proportions from a whiplash line. Cathy seemed to capture Richard mid stride, a man on a mission, determination writ large, Fiona in a quirky and strange (in a good way) little piece seems to be capturing a person striding past, it reminds me of those glimpses you get as people race past you on the station platform, faces that seem familiar and yet are not. Haydn has drawn with greater assurance this week as though the solidity of the stance has encouraged a greater confidence in the line. Ivan's drawing is odd, I think it must be that claw like hand and the odd focus on hands and face, for all the world it reminds me of some bleached out early film where no mid tones exist just the black and white, all very odd, eerie and strangely compelling.
Peter has gone for the cheeky bathroom door shot with a very fleshy post shower version of Richard, surprisingly it really works visually in a way that words describing it never would. Roger S is on a hot streak, week after week producing good work, his restless vibrant watercolour method really matched the subject investing the figure with real movement. It's a triumph for the white paper as all good watercolours should be, they should glow and this one does. Sandra very sensibly opted for the reddish background which combined with the proportion and pose added a suggestion of gravitas, like a Roman Senator, Richard listens intently, the light sculpting his statuesque form, (am I being a little too fanciful maybe, I'm not sure). Steven continues to rigorously apply his sight-size method employing his trusty plum bob and mirror at every available opportunity. It's interesting and some of the results are lovely, as a process I'm sure it feels re-assuring but at some point surely the plum bob has to go and you have to fly solo, or am I wrong, a misguided old romantic with his muddle headed ideas about creativity and risk taking, is that all nonsense in this new rational world, I wonder? I took Sandra's advice and opted for hot colours, word has it that in Barnsley, Red is the new Black! Tony gave the old pencil it's weekly run out with a lovely rendition of subtle perspective at it's best, from a low viewpoint the figure gently ascends to reveal Double Luck Richard at his finest. I forgive him, clearly it's my dodgy drawing that's at fault, his presence will continue to grace my pantheon of Good Luck Models. Thank you Richard for a splendid night's modelling, it was lovely to meet your wife, I'll try harder next time.
*Do you remember Visualizer's, they were the people who visualized an idea in a Graphic Design Agency, in a pre-computer age they were the highly prized wizards of the chisel tipped felt pen. To an art bedazzled young naivete like me they were the glamorous gods of the dark arts of advertising, how I envied their neatly stacked array of subtle toned felt tips, ten different greys at least, they could draw anything and make it look fabulous.
Paintings and drawings by Barry, Cathy, Fiona, Hadyn, Ivan, Kate, Patrick, Peter, Roger H, Roger S, Russell, Sandra, Steven, Tom and Tony.