Jan 232014
 

PAGE 38

‘Man with a Blue Scarf’

Steve lends me this book everyone’s reading. It’s by art critic Martin Gayford, about his relationship to Lucien Freud during the period when he was sitting for a portrait.

Me and Steve have a good conversation about Man with a Blue Scarf. We talk about the dynamic between artist and model, as Steve potters away at the canvas, our conversation interspersed with Steve’s sharp little looks, sighs and mutterings, the odd oath. We talk like pals in the pub. It stays abstract. Not about us, our dynamic. We agree the artist-model relationship is a sensual one. How could it not be. Martin Gayford was clothed, yet his account describes an intimacy that is quasi-physical – “the little mapping movements of [Freud’s] brush tingle on my face, deliberative”.

Steve covers the historical ground. The tradition of artists and models having sexual relationships. The question of who seduces whom. Emma is trundling away upstairs, we will all eat lunch together shortly. The tone is matey, comfortable. Steve expresses his opinions in an almost derangedly emphatic way. I like him.

How common is it, this thing of artists having sex with their models?



This week’s topic

38. Not quite naked
With mixed groups, underwear was the norm when Quentin Crisp started out; but would you, as a draw-er, be a bit miffed, nowadays, if the model – whichever gender – kept their knickers on? Click on the topic heading to read more and add your thoughts.

And see here for the full list of discussions on life-drawing and Life to be found on my blog.

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Noticeboard

1. Most writers earn less than £600 a year. Only the top 2% make a living at it (‘top’ does not mean ‘best’ writers. It will include David Beckham). See this article (Jan 2014).
I am a writer who pays my bills with life-modelling. As a writer, my reward is my gradually-increasing readership. So please warm the cockles of my heart by subscribing below to my serial (or just email [email protected] saying “subscribe me!”) – and thereby gain discount prices on my books, for sale in my shop here.
2. The first photo of me as a life-model has just appeared on my photographer-collaborator Bel‘s blog. Arty or wot?
3. FREE tutored life-drawing session in Leeds (UK), Saturday February 15th 2014. I’ll be the model. Full details here.

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Artist of the week

Yes I’m using DAVID THOMAS‘s work two pages in a row because it’s lovely. See my previous page (page 37) for Dave’s biographical details – or go to his illustrated erudite blog.

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