Colors laid out. Brushes ready. The model's stand arranged the way I need it for the painting in mind. The weather, perfect. Sunlight will be dancing through the trees outside my studio and the geraniums on my windowsill, landing on the pale skin of my model in the late afternoon. I see the colors in my mind - the pale grey color of the models skin where the shadows dance and the warm pale peach colors of the skin lit by the sun. I am ahead of myself though. Just preparing for the rush I get when the model takes the pose. The painting is so clear in my head, my heart beats a bit stronger. I check everything for the tenth time. It's the way it is with me.
Fifty years and nothing is any different, if any thing it's more nerve racking. Even when I am using models I've worked with for years. Maybe using models I have work with for years is so nerve racking because they know what I am capable of and failing them would be so much harder to explain, and to deal with. I never have to explain myself to a still-life or landscape. Failing with a nude after doing so many is very scary.
What goes through my head doing a nude is so different from what people think goes through an artists head. The ladies who pose for me are beautiful and I love looking at them, but my goal of creating a work of art kicks in as soon as the model is in the pose. How to translate the beauty before to my canvas is the challenge and the fun. How to do it in my style, with my sense of color? How to make the viewer respect the model as I do while painting them? I am challenged with inviting viewers into my studio to see and feel what I am seeing and feeling. Challenged with creating a work of art from the nude that a parent can share with their children. Some day Jordan will say to Josephine, "That's me," looking at a painting of mine. I hope all my models experience such a moment.