Annie Sleeping


Curling up with a good book and a friend purring on her stomach, Annie relaxes with crackers in arms reach. A glass of sparkling wine sets the evening after a day listening to people's problem. Wiggling toes every so often to keep the blood flowing, Annie releases the day's tension. One hand plays with the collar on her cat while the other lets the mystery fall flat over chest. Crackling logs in the fire place increase the weight of her eye lids. Rewards of a days end make for a peaceful painting.

Annie shares these little rewards with me as we work together on a painting of an interior, soon Annie is asleep in my studio as I work to capture her for my painting of my own dream evening. I decorate my imaginary living room around Annie sleeping on my model's stand. Lamps in my studio give me the warm light I need to add the warmth I want in my painting. The quiet in the studio is only interrupted by a deep breath Annie takes every now and then and the sound of metal against glass as I swish my brush in mineral spirits in the glass jar at the far end of my palette. Annie stirs a bit but continues to remain pretty close to the pose I am painting.

I scrape my palette and offer Annie a break, her response is to roll away from me and pull her feet up. I reach for my sketchbook and do a quick study of the pose and snap a picture. Another model may end up taking Annie's place for the resting pose. She stretches, ask for the time, then rises to freshen up in the lady's room. Inspecting the painting on her return, she smiles her approval as she resumes the pose. A request for livelier music to keep her awake is about all she wants - then decides against it when I tell her she is now sleeping in my painting.