Having recently taken up still life drawing as a means of self-discovery I was recently asked if I would consider modelling for the following week’s drawing session. My instant reaction was a resounding and confident ‘yes’. But over the next few days I considered the implications of getting butt naked in front of several strangers. First came the body consciousness issues; will I look good, does my penis look small, will I get an erection on stage, can I hold a pose long enough, will I be cold etc….However on the day all of these insecurities seemed pass by as I removed all my clothes and took to the stage. The first few minutes were physically uncomfortable but as I relaxed time seemingly drifted by leaving the most unimaginable peace and contemplation, it became almost a meditative experience for me.
For the next few hours there was no judgement, everyone is just there to draw or paint the world as they see it but, but the same universal appreciation and insight into the beauty of it all remains whether our strokes are bold and stoic or our lines are impeccably graceful. Tones speak with unparalleled eloquence, unapologetically echoed by colours and punctuated by the smudge of the rubber.
Every sinew, bone, ripple, blemish, hair and bulge becomes important and special because the whole is beautiful, important and special. We may focus on one particular aspect, angle or feature but perceive that what we represent as ourselves, as part of our whole collective being and experience. Those who draw do not see the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ but just simply see. We see ourselves as we truly are
As for the model, time ceases to exist as a linear and uniform concept, we do not look forward to the future or think about how we have been judged by those observing, we simply live in the present pose. Nor are we ashamed of being seen as we truly are; both the artist and the model appreciating one another gifts and talents, both giving one another life; whether through the pencil, the brush, the ink or the body.
Within this brief interval in time and space all is at peace, all is at it should be. There is a kind of naivety that also exists, but only because we know no other way of experiencing who we really are rather than who we think we are.