Asking About Their Grandmothers


A question I have been asked many times is why do I teach drawing from the nude. I give an honest answer, which is "because I like looking at beautiful nude women." The question I do not hear is "how do I define beautiful?" - which is so important. Every one who studies art knows studying from the nude is important because the human figure is the most difficult subject to tackle. For hundreds of years all artists had to know how to paint or sculpt the human figure.     

Today being an artist is a bit different, many great landscape artist cannot paint or draw the human figure. Then there are the abstract artists, some who are quite adept at drawing the human figure while others... well, lets just say not all artists need to know how to paint or draw the human figure. 

Me? I found the nude inspiring, challenging, and rewarding. Drawing from the nude, teaching from the nude, has opened my mind to seeing how the line can do so much more than simply sit on paper.  To have a beautiful lady posing nude in my study is an honor, a privilege and blessing. A blessing because I can express my respect for the gift - the privilege each model gives me to explore such things as the line. That respect and honor I have for my models runs both ways, which creates the beauty I see in each model.

Sexy models don't always come across as beautiful. Many times, to me, they aren't even sexy. And yes painting or drawing the nude is sexual to me. The sexual feeling is as important to me as the respect flowing in the studio. When I lift the paint brush from the Number 10 coffee can and load it with paint the sexual disappears for a while as I concentrate on the gesture of the pose and the other aspects of the scene before me.  I want to convey both the sexuality and the respect that is ever present in the studio. 

Models become friends in my studio. Close friends, but only friends. I've met families of many of my models, had great steak dinners with their families, and thanked dads for the great daughters they have raised. I've even done portraits of these great dads and given them as gifts to my models. Mothers, as well, have sat for me. Sons and daughters of models have visited my studio. I'm at the age now where a few grandkids have visited me asking about their grandmothers. Models are special to me and I thank all of them.