bay area models guild marathon

Model Marathon

While the rest of the world was eating nachos and drinking beer at their Superbowl Parties yesterday I was enjoying the practically deserted freeway which took me to San Francisco for another Urban Sketcher meet-up at Fort Mason, the Bay Area Model Guild Drawing Marathon. I guess a lot of sketchers aren’t Superbowl fans because it was packed with artists and models on stages for poses from 1minute to 10 minute to long poses.

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I brought my acrylic inks and dip pens and dove into the short 1-3min poses in the morning. By afternoon I was ready for the longer 20 min poses, but found that I didn’t do as well with those. Go figure! (Pun there)

The last picture in the slideshow is of my friend Mark Simmons, an illustrator who can draw circles around just about anyone, figuratively speaking. He showed up with a long roll of paper about a yard wide. (I took this pic about 1.5 hours into the morning session!) By the end of the morning alone, as he unrolled the paper, he had filled it with twice as many figures, some in color, that seemed to dance across the paper.

Surprisingly almost all of the models were male, or at least not straight female. But in San Francisco especially one knows to be a bit more fluid in identifying gender or non-conforming gender. The lovely person you see in these sketches is a transexual model Alida, over 6 feet, powerful and exquisitely feminine at the same time, capable of holding strenuous poses and seeming to prefer them.

It’s been a whole week of figure sketching for me – at The Living Room day shelter for women and children, at the Portrait Party at Sebastopol Center for the Arts, and at the Marathon.  Stay tuned for the Portrait party next!


Sketch With Pants On Fire!

Have you become a master at multi-tasking in this wired world?  You have five minutes and you can get five things done with time to spare?  I know I’m at least always trying.  Seems to be the only way to manage this life without getting desperately behind.

So of course at the Bay Area Model’s Guild figure marathon on Sunday my choice was to sketch one and two minute poses, even though there were models who were sitting still for 3 hours. Look how much MORE I was accomplishing! (now there’s an embarrassing revelation about my nature! and me a meditator.  . .)

One minute, two minute, five minute, ten minute and twenty minute poses happening simultaneously and three models to each of four stages. And the best, most active/athletic/expressive poses only last a minute, because who can balance on one foot for longer than that? So I had no choice but to hold my breath and draw. . .whatever part of the body I could get down in a minute.

bamg6I used the uni-ball VISION Elite pen, which bleeds when you run a wet brush over it, which I would do after every pose while the models changed position.

bamg5This young man was so cute!  Must be a mime in his “other” life.  He wore a conductor’s cap and workman’s overalls and had big black expressive eyebrows.

bamg7This one is probably about 25 minutes worth of these quick poses  Just put the pen on paper and draw from one point.

bamg1And then some five or even ten minute poses, which began to seem like such a long time after the one minute ones!

bamg2You may have noticed I was particularly interested in drawing the young men.  There were lots of women as well, but I just loved these “costumes”.

bamg3Now this is a good model, who can make the back of him as interesting as the front.

bamg4No time to sketch hands and somehow I don’t even miss them.

Figure Marathon Continued

Watercolor and w/c crayon

More quick sketches from the Bay Area Model’s Guild Marathon last weekend.  In these 5-10 minute sketches I painted some watercolor wetly onto the surface to get started, then drew into it with w/c crayons.

Here, a second little swipe of color to define the shorts, but taking care not to overdo. . .which is my tendency.

Watercolor wash, Derwent dark wash pencil

The model is taking her clothes off over her head.  I left the ambiguity there, but had to paint in the red bra, which she was wearing.  She also had black and white striped stockings!

And one last sketch (below), I started with the two slashes of watercolor, with some loose idea about joining the two figures, then sketched them in with my Uni-ball pen. The hot slash of color across the woman could refer to her reaction to him or possibly how he sees her!  Definitely some connection here!

The 1000th Blog Post!

I’ve been blogging here since July 2006.  It all started when we were on family vacation and my husband Bob was reading a book about the latest trend in blogging and told me I should start putting my art on a blog.  Sounded preposterous to me.

I mean I’m not the type of person who likes drawing much attention to herself, and I’m not particularly tech savvy.  My husband has dragged me kicking and screaming for the most part into using all the latest electronic gismos for the last 20 some years.

I remember arguing with him that we didn’t need a stupid cordless phone (this was 22 years ago I think), then loving the convenience of it when we had our first baby.  Mind you, I still haven’t exactly bought into cell phones, preferring to be left alone when I am away from the house, but blogging. . . well, I took to that like a fish to water.

And here I am, 1000 posts later, still sharing almost every piece of art I make, here on the Conversations With the Muse blog. I’ve gone through many phases in my relationship to the blogosphere.

Originally I was afraid to let something personal slip out for fear that I would be exposed, like walking out of the restroom with a piece of toilet paper attached to your pants or something. But after a few months when nothing awful happened and people seemed to enjoy any personal revelations about my life, I realized that my only blog operating rules were to share what is most real to me, to do no harm to others, to try to get my “facts” as accurate as possible, but not obsess about that (it’s not a dissertation after all!). . .and most important to visualize the people who might care to look at my blog musings.  This group started out very small and grew over time as I connected with other inspiring bloggers and students.

It’s still a mysterious process each time I send a post OUT, really to the world of my imagination, of which you have become a part. My conversation with the Muse is in fact, my conversation with you.  And so I want to take the opportunity on the auspicious moment of the 1000th blog post to thank you for keeping the conversation going on your side.

And since I almost never have a words-only post, I want to share some of the sketches from last Sunday at the Bay Area Models Guild Marathon in Oakland, CA.  I sketched from 10am-4pm in a frenzied state, so delighted to be there after a break of about a year when I was unable to gt to the quarterly marathons they run.  The marathon is in an enormous room in the Merritt Collage art building with stages where the models pose for varying length of time, 3 to a stage.  I sat by the 10 and 20 minute pose stages but was so drawn to the 1 and 2 minute poses for their whimsy and athleticism that I did mostly quick sketches.

Uni-ball fine pen on wet w/c paper

This pen was a great discovery because it bleeds just a bit on wetted paper for soft lines, but is waterproof and fade proof.

Notice the wolf mask on the model on the left and the jazzy high heals on the model in the middle, fun touches that these models use to spice up the poses.

Pentel Brush pen in Canson Mix Media sketchbook

To be continued. . .