Happy Christmas – The End is Nigh!
With Tom on the move yesterday and many of our other regulars busy making final preparations for Christmas, it was a quiet evening for our final life drawing session of this year. According to prediction by the Ancient Mayans it may even have been our last session, full stop! They predict a cataclysmic event today. What will it be? As I type I can see the fog rolling down the hill towards the studio. At least I hope it’s fog. Aaaaaaargh! Grayson Perry came up with a phrase, which if we all took on board could save us all a lot of worry and heartache - “Hold your beliefs lightly!” I predict we’ll all be back in the New Year.
Despite it being the end of term nobody brought any toys or games in for us to play with and I left the Muppets Christmas Carol video in the shop, so we had no alternative other than to get on with some life drawing.
Whenever we hold our life sessions I’m always staggered by the ambition shown by the members of the group. At half time Dick clearly displayed his disappointment with how his painting was going. How far should we reasonably expect to get in 75 minutes? Martin Gayford, in his book “Man with a blue scarf” talks about being painted by Lucien Freud. After sitting through an entire evening he expected to see significant progress in his portrait and was clearly disappointed to see that the great master, Freud, had managed to resolve just one eyebrow over the course of the evening. Freud of course had the great luxury of knowing that his models would turn up day after day, week after week in order to help him realize his ambitions. And boy did he reward their faith! His exhibition at the NPG earlier this year was definitely one of the highlights of the past twelve months.
Our sessions, unlike Freud’s, are always time-limited with the deadline never much further than a breath away. I thought it was a difficult pose, admirably held by our model for the evening, Suzi, with many tricky problems to solve, but by the end of the session I thought Dick had produced an admirable piece of work, displaying lively handling and a strong composition. I think much of our Thursday evening work benefits from its unfinishedness, which creates this liveliness and gives the work a real vitality.
It’s Friday morning now and I want to get back to painting, so I’m not going to prattle on any further. Remember we start back on Thursday 3rd January with model Justin, followed by our first Saturday on 5th January with model Julie. Look forward to seeing you all then. I know that Tom would join me in wishing everyone a Happy Christmas with all best wishes for a successful, happy and healthy New Year. Similarly, I’m sure that everyone would join me in wishing Tom and Elaine all the best in their new adventure living by the sea.
by Tony Noble
Paintings and drawings by Fiona, Hadyn, Ian, Roger H, Roger S, Russell, Sandra, Steven, Tony and featured artist Dick