Armed with my paintbrushes and pencils, I took a deep breath before I knocked on her door. I couldn’t believe my luck – a professional model had agreed to pose for me in exchange for a painting. Which means, I couldn’t just paint or sketch a pose of her, I had to do enough, fast enough, to take a couple home.
How much time can you give me?
I’ve got nothing on this Sunday.
Thank god, I thought.
I felt socially responsible to inform her of my sexuality, lest she wishes to change her mind. To my pleasant surprise, she replied my text message with a “No, I don’t mind. Why? Does it make you paint worse?”
So there I was, an hour late for our appointment, and already breaking into cold sweat. It was after all, my first time painting a living thing nude, live no less. The only other living thing I’ve ever painted live was a bloody sunflower. This was a human being. A living one. She breaths the same air as I do. And fuck, she’s dangerously gorgeous. Someone help me.
So how do you want me?
Ok, so I chuckled at that question. I couldn’t help it.
Erm, odd question I realise, but are you wearing any underwear underneath those boxers?
She was clad in a murky-white tank top and baby-blue boxers. Until that point when I met her, I honestly haven’t the slightest clue how I’d paint or sketch her. I figured I’d know when I see her. And instantly, I knew what I wanted as the first painting when I saw her.
Yup, I am.
Great, do you mind if you pull your boxers down to right below your knees and get on your bed with your back facing me? Don’t lie down, I need you semi-standing up on your knees.
As pornographic as it sounds, it wasn’t. I was being practical about my then state of mind. I could possibly be more relaxed and paint better if I didn’t have a pair of eyes looking at me. And besides that, I noticed she had a great ass.
The first painting took about 4 hours, the longest amongst the 3 pieces I have done. For each stroke I took, my confidence grew (yes I realize this sounds pornographic too). I was so engaged; I didn’t realize that I didn’t stop for a smoke break. I was on a mission to understand her body, my subject, and interpret the contours of her body upon my canvas. For the first time in the last couple of weeks, I felt as though I was painting towards euphoria.
It would’ve been easier to paint from a realism approach, consumers like that anyway. But I decided to revive a technique long lost and under appreciated. If you can guess which grand master painted in this manner before he became famous correctly, I’ll buy you a round of beer.
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- March 19, 2007 / 10:43 am
- The Artist