Part 2: "Your assignment, if you chose to accept it..."
With very little experience, or anything else, under my belt, and the assurances that it would be very easy to strip in front of a room full of people, I headed off to my first assignment. A teacher at a very prestigious art college had asked for a "fuller figured" model for a day class full of rich women. I found myself entering a college that I would never have been able to afford if I had been on the other side of the canvas. It didn't take me long to realise that the cost of the college was not in direct proportion to the cleanliness of the floor.
I found myself on the first floor of the building, looking out through floor to ceiling high glass walls at the houses around the college. Obviously, I thought, there must be another room for the life drawing. The teacher was a very loud excitable woman who reminded me of my first art teacher in school. I introduced myself, but thought it best not to tell her that this was my first modeling job.
"You are modeling for us? Good!!!! Just set up there" she said, pointing to a blank piece of ground in the middle of the glass walled room. Obediently I put down my basket, rolled out my rug, and looked for somewhere to change into my robe. I eventually found the bathroom, changed, and came back out to find that the room had filled up with women setting up easels around my rug. Obviously this glass room was to be the setting for the first public baring of my bod. Oh well, it's the middle of the work day, probably no one at home in all those houses anyway. Even if they are they are probably all watching midday TV. Maybe. Hopefully.
The teacher explained what she wanted, three twenty minute poses. I had been practicing this at home and knew how long a twenty minute pose was, and what positions I could hold and what I couldn't. Fortunately the teacher let me pick my own poses.
Now was the moment of truth....
I spread myself out on the rug and took off my robe....
And it was exactly as I had been told! My embarrassment lasted less then a second as the importance of holding still took over. It wasn't long before I realised that the position I had picked probably wasn't a twenty minute position after all. I tried to relax and stay still but I felt like a military parade - parts of my body kept passing out.
It was with great relief then, that I heard the teacher say "Five minutes more".
Then the first odd thing of the day happened. A man came from nowhere, walked passed me, and disappeared from view on the other side. Of course I could not lift my head to
see - I was going to be professional about this and not break the pose. A few minutes later he appeared again, walked passed, and disappeared on my other side. Hmmmm, odd.
The teachers said the time was up, and I tried to carefully move without showing how much it hurt. Pins and needles! Never have you felt pins and needles until you have modeled. It gets so that you enjoy the feeling.
I looked to see where the man had come from, and where he had gone. The steps from the ground floor were on my left, the bathrooms on my right. Doh!!! The kitchen for
the building was also further around on my left. Everyone in the building had to walk past me to either use the bathroom or make coffee. Of course, having made coffee they would need to use the bathroom more frequently.
As difficult to believe as this may be, this experience actually made modeling nude much easier. I immediately had to see the funny side of the situation, and while thinking I was only modeling for a group of women, I was also seen by several men. This meant that when the time came for modeling for a mixed class nothing was new for me.
Or so I thought.....
To be continued ...
is an Elfwoodian who works both sides of the canvas. She enjoys horse riding, reading, playing music and, of course, painting. If you have any questions about modelling or anything else in this column, you can email her at