Ellen Cooper Class #4 What do you do when the model doesn’t like you?

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Today we get to paint!  No, not more envelopes?  I am starting to hate these little packages!  Please no more five minute poses.  My classmates and I were commiserating about the never-ending five minute envelope poses Ellen was pushing us to draw.  We were praying for longer poses today.

I have always admired models for their bravery and stamina. They are also usually quiet and shy.  Ellen’s model, on the other hand, was very chatty and had suggestions for poses and how long they should be.  (Five minutes was her favorite.)  Ellen, always the diplomat, asked the class if we would like to draw five or twenty minute poses today.  Although it was very clear that the model wanted to do five minute poses again, no one said a thing.  I reluctantly said, “How about twenty minutes?”  Ellen agreed and said we could always go back to the five minute poses if we felt it was necessary.

Because my spot for the day was all the way on the left side next to the door, my view was of the model’s profile, almost from behind her.  After I made my twenty minute pose suggestion, the model looked at her timer, set it, put it down on the floor, and announced to the class, “I am going to blow you away with this one.”  She then pivoted looked right at me, sat down and proceeded to raise both feet over her head.  Holy Moley!!!  I could see her tonsils!  Yikes!  This of course was a completely legitimate pose, but in light of my suggestion that the pose be twenty minutes, obviously she was punishing me.  So, I did what any normal third grader would do.  I looked down mortified, hid behind my easel and started moving the easel with tiny steps closer to my class friend Ginny who was on my right.  Ginny and I looked at each other and giggled inappropriately, but fortunately, silently.  I then felt much better because Ginny recognized and shared my horror and embarrassment.  When will I grow up?   Never!

Can you relate?

Shelli Alford is an artist and author, who enjoys learning from master oil painters from around the world and reviewing their classes, workshops and demonstrations.

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