This will be a repository for the occasional emails that arrive in the site Inbox AND that grant permission to publish them anonymously. All of the entries below are there because the senders allowed them to be used. The privacy of the readers is Priority One.
I have entertained the thought of a guestbook or a forum, but have dismissed the concepts, considering the very low traffic volume. This site exists for the those who are contemplating the idea of becoming life models or who have just begun that great adventure, and who are by definition a microminority of the population.
Google, Bing and Yahoo have catalogued the site, but there is no active promotion. I haven't found a site where prospective or beginning life models hang out. Is there such a place? Who knows?
The above comment about a guestbook is no longer "operative". I decided that folks who would (understandably) hesitate to send an email are more likely to contribute a message via a guestbook entry. The privacy issue involved in email addresses being shared is thus eliminated, but unlike emails, the contents of the book entries are publicly viewable — unless they are naughty and get erased.
The links to the guestbook are on the Index page. Suggestions and critiques are welcome. If you're a long-time model with helpful hints and info for the newcomers to the adventure, we'd like to "hear" from you. Or, if you just want to shout effusive praise about the wisdom and brilliance of the site, feel free to make my day.
A few days ago (July 14), my Inbox showed a message that came from one of the links on the site. It addressed my point that there really is no age limit for ladies and gents contemplating taking up life modeling as an avocation. The gentleman had this to say.
I admit that I did not do any research into this particular point, and I am thus at a loss as to how to respond. Therefore, I'm opening the floor to comments from anyone, model or artist, who has a working knowledge of what artists and classes are seeking in new models in terms of age and skills. Is the gentlemen right as a general rule, or is this barrier a localized thing?
Thanks to anyone who can offer some viewpoints that verify or challenge that observation. Email links are on the index page, this page, and the last page.
From the inbox comes this query.
Thanks for your message. I live in western Massachusetts, specifically in Berkshire County. Despite its reputation as a veritable fountainhead of the arts, there are only two ongoing open studios for life drawing. One is at a college in the county. Several weeks of attending the sessions — before winter and gas prices made the 60-mile round trip impractical — determined that the models (all female) are art students. The drawings on the walls of the art building indicate that the classes also generally use student models.
This weekly session does not advertize itself, and I have thus not identified it. Most of the folks who attend the sessions are art department staff or students. The public can sit in, but they have to find out about the OS indirectly.
The other OS session is in the IS183 Art School in Stockbridge. I have not gone to sessions there, so I cannot speak empirically about their policies. However, from second-hand sources, it would seem that the opportunities for senior models, particularly male, are limited if not nil.
The situation is not likely to improve. Two weekly sessions in a self-professed art hub seem sparse, but that's the way it goes in the Berkshires.
Addendum 20131111: after tweaking the Google search terms, I found another active life group in the town of Sheffield. That makes three. At this rate, we might get up to a half dozen by the end of the decade.
A curious reader submitted this query:
Surprisingly little. Both involve nudity in the presence of other people, but that's the only commonality. Life models are generally averse to being undraped outside of the classrooms and studios or in the presence of other nude people. Nudists for the most part are very uncomfortable with the concept of being the only nude person in a group, especially when it by definition involves being the focus of attention.
The naturist website referred to on other pages has several "groups" for models, artists and photographers. Although the groups have many members, the posting activity is from little to none. Based on the site members who belong to all of them and who have posted in at least one of them, I guesstimate that there are at most a couple of dozen nude models on the site, and the majority seldom discuss it.
A fellow naturist who is also a long-time life model posted on another forum that he tried to hold a training workshop for modeling during a winter festival in one of Florida's largest nudist venues. Despite hundreds of people in attendance, there was only one who was interested in it.
In short, there are nudists and there are life models, and never the twain shall meet.
This interesting question arrived in the Inbox this morning.
To answer that query, I'll quote from the Merriam-Webster definition of "science".
The etymology of "science" does not restrict the word to what are typically thought of as sciences. From the M-W page...
Life modeling is not a science in the sense of physics, chemistry or biology, but it is most assuredly "something... that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge". Becoming a good model, like becoming a good athlete, is a matter of commitment, study and practice. Based on the M-W definition, it is reasonable to call life modeling a science.
Peace and blessings!
An interesting question appeared in the Inbox today.
In the 1960s, I was a nude model. Although I don't actively mount the dais now, I do on occasion spend some time at a nearby nudist resort. So have I merited hell for exposing my undraped corpus undelectable? Not a bit of it.
I'm also a Christian. I long ago made the distinction between Christians and churchians. The latter folks are caught up in the tentacles of cloying, oppressive, Bible-warping religiosity. One of my favorite bon mots is, "Some people are so busy being religious that they have no time to be Christian."
So what does the Holy Bible say about the matter? Actually, nothing.
Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
Anyone who believes that God's most awesome creation, the human body, is sinful is spitting in His face and telling Him that He is the Designer of ugliness and evil. Let's spend a moment on the Biblical facts.
Genesis 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
That certainly does not condemn nudity. So where does the warped perception originate?
Genesis 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
WHY did they suddenly become aware of their nakedness? God didn't bring up the matter. Note that they ignored God's question, and instead tried finger-pointing about why they disobeyed His one simple command.
Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
It's arguable that God slaughtered lambs to make the "coats of skins". Imagine their horror as they watched innocent creatures being put to death to cover their self-imposed shame. That aside, it was not done as a penalty for their being naked, but to give them an appalling example of the dire consequences of their disobedience.
IAC, there are officious religions that deliberately twist those passages and a few others, and preach their piffle about the EEEEE-vill of nudity to their congregations. They are told that unless they are clad in several layers of textiles, and zealously avoid even the merest glimse of an ungarbed human body, Old Scratch will be pitchforking their buns for eternity.
To the poster of the original thread goes this advice: far from being a sin, life drawing is an appreciation of the awesomeness of God's handiwork. Do it without shame or trepidation, from either end of the pencils and Conté crayons.
BTW, one can make a strong case that there is no clothing in heaven.
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