I went into our studio one day, and somehow the topic of lifedrawing came up. Anyone who has been in an arts program in a school setting can relate to sessions in drawing from the nude. It is the perfect form to challenge and train all artistic sensibilities. There was a collective wish to have a series of our own, and that day we had six people from staff committed. Five, two-hour sessions followed here in our office, with Eleanor, Valerie, Douma, Joanne, Margriet, Paul, and the occasional visiting friend.

At the end of a workday when a lifedrawing session was planned, a few of us eagerly went to the ZOO to move aside chairs and tables to make room for easels and squeeze in a spot for a model. Once started, you could feel the energy and hear the drawing tools moving quickly over smooth paper surfaces. You had to be on the ball because the poses were 30 seconds long. By the end of the two hours we were working on 20 minute poses. Although we were exhausted by then, you couldn’t help but feel exhilarated about the pile of drawings that you were able to produce, and eagerly look at them again to see what you had accomplished.

We were all curious to see each other’s work, but never indulged since by the end of a session we were all eager to get home. So we decided to have a small ‘showing’ of our work for each other and the rest of the staff. Heather helped with curating the exhibit, and buying the wine and goodies to do it properly. There were quite the variety of styles and interpretations of the same person, our very own super model, Christine.

 

Valerie: Using bold, playful, shapes and lines, there is a humourous, exaggerated quality that exemplifies not just what Valerie sees, but what is going on with the figure.

 


Eleanor: There is a strong, sculptural feel to Eleanor’s work, and the simple, dynamic 3-dimensional shapes beg to become larger, Henry Moore-like drawings and, yes, sculptures.

 


Douma: Douma’s simple, ephemeral marks appear hesitant, but gently illustrate what the model is doing. Very few lines give reference to the surrounding space. Douma, go for it!

 


Margriet: Margriet obviously loves lines, anatomy and big volume. Now that is down pat, she needs bigger space, paper, and colour... and an idea.

 

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