Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An evening of drawing the figure

About 6 months ago I found this lovely blog called Le Tramizal which I instantly loved.  Catherine is originally from, well, all over the world, but her last place of residence was NYC.  She has been part-time in France for something like 15 years, but in 2005 she moved permanently to a little village in the Lot, about 1 hour from our house.  She is an illustrator for children's books and an amazing artist.  She holds watercolor workshops in the summer and watercolor classes (which I'm hoping to take) one day a week and on Monday nights she holds an evening of drawing the figure, it's not a class, but an open studio for people to come and draw, it's 8 euros for 3 hours.  Bruce was very interested in attending, since he loves to draw the figure and so before we moved here I contacted her and then promised that we'd be in touch once we were settled.  

Last week I emailed her to let her know that Bruce wanted to come on Monday night.  Then Bruce said to me "why don't you come too and why don't you model".  WHAT?  Me?  I've never been a model before, let alone for a figure drawing class, with people I don't know, possibly naked!  He thought it would be cool and so I decided what the heck...life's short, I'm comfortable with my body, I'm in France and the french think the body is beautiful and these people are artists and draw the human form all the time, so I contacted Catherine and she booked me as the model.  I'll even get paid 40 euros.  

So, last night we headed up to her little village.  Like I said, it's only 1 hour from us, which is nothing and when you are driving from one little village to another, down 1 lane roads, seeing beautiful scenery it doesn't matter how long it takes.  We arrived a bit early so we could talk a bit.  She's wonderful and place(s) are amazing.  2 homes, one is her main cottage that she rents out during the summer, it's beautiful and quaint and the location can't be beat.  The second home is her "summer" home, where she stays when her main house is rented.  And then there is her barn/studio which is so beautiful, we forgot our camera, which is a bummer because it's such a great space.  Next time.

I decided to start with my bathing suit on, since I had never modeled before and wanted to get a bit comfortable with being in front of people.  I started with short poses - 2 minutes then 5 minutes, then 10 minutes.  It was great...I was so comfortable that off came the top.  The people who were there are artists and have seen many naked people before and they are there to draw, not stare and my husband was there, drawing me...kinda sexy.  After about 1 1/2 hours of doing short poses (longest 15 minutes) we took a break and I did 3 longer poses, a couple 20 minute poses and one 15 minutes pose at the end.  All I can say is that it was a hell of a workout,  towards the end it got hard to hold poses for 20 minutes, but I didn't move.  It was empowering and I loved it and I'd definitely do it again.  Here are some of the longer poses Bruce drew of me.


peaches said...

Hey, Catherine here!

I didn't get a chance to look at your drawings last night, Bruce. They're very nice and I'm pleased to claim credit for getting you back into drawing the figure again.

It was a nice evening and you were a terrific model, Alisa. (Apologies for misspelling your name in the past.)

Next time you need to bring your hounds and stay for supper and spend the night and we can do a walk the next morning. There are beautiful routes around here. I can invite some of my other friends too. There are all sorts of creative people in our area.

Catherine X

Michelle said...

What a great experience for you both.

I love seeing the little message telling me you have a new post and seeing what new adventure you've been having.

I must check out the blog you linked to. I love finding interesting, creative new people to read. You all inspire me and offer hope that one day I will make my France fantasy come true.

Our Juicy Life said...

Catherine - next time we will bring the gang and hang out...the only problem is that I have french class on Tuesday and Friday from 9-12, might have to do it when we are on break again (right now we are on break for Vacances de Toussaint) and our next break is December 20-January 5 (for Vacances de Noel).

Our Juicy Life said...

Michelle - yes, please check out Catherines blog, she made it happen too and her place is amazing and her life incredible. She's also a really nice person too.

Barbara said...

Alica & Bruce, this is cool !!
It's one of those experiences that you may not live very often in your life.
I would be not exactly throwing off my clothes either ! Like yourself Alicia; taking it slow & getting into the ambiance.

Yes, there is sensuality there ;)

Thanks for stopping by, and your meme was very fun !

La Framéricaine said...

Chers tous les deux,

Je suis ravie de voir vos dessins superbes et d'entendre les histoires des cours de dessin!

Tout ça fait vraiement la France, non? Je vois Bonnard et Vuillard dans tous les coins.

Felicitations d'avoir fait la connaissance de Catherine et des autre etudiants, le voyage chez elle, et l'aventure du mannequin et d'artiste.

C'est très émouvante ce que vous avez fait et j'ai des larmes aux yeux.


Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

gorgeous, baby!

Our Juicy Life said...

Barbara - sorry you missed my tag, but glad Leesa took it over. So interesting to see how people comment.

LF - geesh...we've only been here 1 month, go easy on the french will ya. some of these words we have never heard before but it was a good lesson. the night was amazing, in an old barn, bob dylan playing in the background, free a a bird, i loved it.

JNRR - i was reading LF's post and then yours came up on my email and I just cracked up. I love how you just cut to the chase. You'd really like Catherine, she's wonderful, maybe one day we all can get together.

Megan said...

Sounds like a fun experience. And an hour drive is nothing. I drive that just coming home from work and it is a lot less fun! Just highway and traffic jams.

French for a While said...

Did you wake up early? What a night for Obama and America.

Randal Graves said...

Sexifying up the blog, artistically, is always a good thing. That said, anyone who models has an iron will.

peaches said...

Hey Alisa, Have just added a few of my sketches of you to my blog. Have a looksee.