What was all the hoo-hah about? Where were you? I remember a lot of people saying how they would love to have a session of short poses and when the great day arrives the turnout to say the least was, and I'll put this delicately, select. It was a great shame so many of you missed it as I for one had a bit of an epiphany, but first let's remind ourselves briefly of the arguments for and against short poses.
For - quick, spontaneous, a chance to warm up, the excitement of racing against the clock, more dynamic poses (this was the argument most vociferously heard), everything just faster and the implication being more exciting.
Against - Superficial, no opportunity to fully engage with problems, more chances of finishing the work, a more conducive atmosphere for deep thought and reflection, a chance to correct mistakes.
My name is Tom and I was a die-hard short pose sceptic. Short poses were (said in an acerbic, dismissive tone), superficial! They were the hiding place of the charlatan and flash harry, no serious artist would even contemplate the notion of short poses, the short pose was for (venomous tone, spat out), amateur's! And there you had it in a nutshell, for me the short pose was for superficial amateur's, but and this is an almighty big but, my prejudice had never really been tested. I was a short pose virgin of sorts having flirted with it, on the ill conceived date or two but never wholeheartedly consummated so I was the worst kind of bigot, an ill informed but convinced know it all. And you know what's coming next, in the great Hollywood tradition, I was shown the error of my ways and have subsequently been born again into the fold of short pose enthusiasts.
My epiphany started when the bell rang and the race began, the energy and focus of the short sprint meant nothing else mattered, pure intuition kicked in. However a word of caution at this point, preparation is the key, having a plan makes all the difference, visualizing outcomes also helps. So I had a plan, I had visualized, stretched and taken deep breaths, God forbid people were spared the spandex but spandex notwithstanding I was a lean, mean painting machine, poised and ready for the race ahead. This is an entirely different experience to the leisurely stroll of the long pose, this is a log flume of a ride, the roller-coaster of the art room, hold on and hope for the best as pure intuition, guile, energy and enthusiasm drag you through from one peak to a trough to a peak once more and at the end you stand breathless and exhilarated, speechless and amazed at your survival, shy smiles are shared and appreciative nods and for awhile you're robbed of the power of speech, you just look and gawp and gasp and sigh, it's over and what a ride it was, how brilliant and amazing was that last pose or was it the one before last how the muscles just popped out and the light caught those edges, it was brilliant we must do it again, I love short poses, wasn't Roger amaaazing!!!
Maybe I've exaggerated a touch, but it was good and just have a look at Sandra's first drawing to see what's possible or Tony's sheet of rapid sketches or Roger S's man on all fours, what a brilliant piece of economic summation, sometimes less really is more, honestly it really is, believe me I'm a Short Poser.
Paintings and drawings by (two images per artist except Tony) Hadyn, Ian, Peter, Roger H, Roger S, Sandra, Sue, Tom and Tony.