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Statuesque

15 Sep

– On posing for Paul Cezanne…
Cezanne rushed foward: ‘You wretch! You have upset the pose! You should sit like an apple. Whoever saw an apple fidgeting?’ Motionless as that fruit may be, Cezanne was sometimes obliged to leave a study of apples unfinished. They had rotted.

— Ambroise Vollard

When artist’s models are asked to assume any pose for longer than a few minutes, it becomes uncomfortable, no matter if it’s the simplest of seated poses. For me, the absolute worst is when I take a pose for a long session – several hours with minimal breaks, and it turns out to be a terrible choice from the start and there’s nothing I can do about it. I usually choose my pose with only a bit of guidance from the artist or teacher. They may ask for a standing, seated, or reclining pose, but the placement of my body is pretty much up to me. If I’m in a group setting, I always try to present an interesting look from a 360 degree vantage point, since most of the time, the model stand is in the center of the room of artists, so everyone has a different viewpoint. If I’m seated on the stand, I’ll put a twist in my torso and maybe cross one leg over the other and put one hand on the floor behind me and place the other on my knee.

As I said before, no matter how comfortable a pose may look, it becomes difficult to maintain after 10 minutes, so I’ve devised ways to move while staying completely still. I will use whatever part of me is balancing the rest of me and lift about 1/8 of an inch to let blood flow and keep from having various bits and pieces falling asleep. I’ll rotate that 1/8 inch from pressure point to pressure point ever so slightly to help with discomfort while appearing to not move. There’s a very famous flute player named James Galway, who has mastered the art of breathing in while blowing out at the same time – he never has to stop playing the flute to catch his breath. Try it sometime – it seems impossible, but he can do it! I want to be the James Galway of the art modeling!

Student body

9 May

I am constantly amazed at what student artists are capable of. This is a recent charcoal drawing of me by a CSN student named Catelyn Lutz. She had about nine hours over a three-day period to complete her piece.

The instructor of this life drawing class is a personal favorite of mine. Anne Hoff is a tiny dynamo in who’s class I first removed my robe for the sake of student art. If you are lucky enough to find yourself under her tutelage, you will learn (and laugh) a lot. Anne will be the first to tell you that I’ve nicknamed her Napoleanne when she gets particularly bossy. This still life is enhanced by a cow skull that somehow wound up in her back yard, and the peacock feather stuffed down its boney snout is just how she rolls.

The sincerest form

29 Nov

I am a versatile model, and I work in many different areas – fashion, print, spokes model, and art modeling. Without question, being an artist’s model is my biggest blessing and my harshest curse.

Very few of the people in my life know that I am an art model, which is a shame, because it is by far my most favorite aspect of my work. I am fascinated by art and artists, and being a live model lets me into the artistic process in a very intimate way. We’ve all had that dream where we’re naked in public. I actually put myself there on purpose. Not only am I naked in public, but every inch of me is being scrutinized… not just by anyone, but by someone trained to see exacting and excruciating detail.

Sadly, movies, TV, and general ignorance have altered public perception about the role and function of artist’s models. I laughed out loud watching an episode of Desperate Housewives where a oiled and tanned male model strode into an art class fully naked without any preamble from the instructor. Anyone who enrolls in a life drawing class expecting to have a “Dear Penthouse Forum” experience will be quite disappointed. Artists and instructors take great care to maintain strict professionalism during the entire process. Just think of me as a potted plant…

Recently, a college art class was asked to paint me while imitating the style of an old master. The instructor is one of my very favorites – Dennis Angel. Here are some pieces from those sessions:

 

Clickety clack, clickey clack….

12 Oct

…. go my fingernails on the keyboard / iPod / smartphone / tablet / notebook, etc, etc, etc.

Am I the only person out there who fondly recalls life before texting, tweets and status updates? Not that I’m completely opposed to our high-tech, online zooniverse, but sometimes it seems so…. removed. I skipped my high school reunion because it’s just easier to keep up on Facebook. Why bother making a phone call when I can just send a text, and when was the last time I held an actual book, magazine, newspaper or snapshot in my hands?

It sort of reminds me of armchair traveling only it’s armchair connecting. My birthday passed with e-cards and Facebook greetings. My only card came from my sweet mother who still lives by paper and a stamp, bless her. The romantic notion of keeping love letters tied with ribbon is a fleeting one. I’m getting married in a month and I’ve never received an actual love letter from my fiance, not one. I could print out pages of emails and texts he’s sent to me proclaiming undying love, but nothing he’s actually taken a pen to and written on. I’m no better – he’s never received a perfume-scented envelope containing my handwritten sweet nothings. Our scrapbook is filled with ink jet instead of ink pen words.

Taking the other side, I’m too lazy to keep up the old-fashioned way with everyone I know (get your minds out of the gutter… not THAT old-fashioned way!). I’m a rarity in that I despise talking on the phone, so texting was made for me, and I send thousands a month. I love email, and I read, reply to and “like” everyone’s status updates on Facebook. I’ve finally come around to LinkedIn, which I’d refused on principle for nearly a year. I wasn’t going to get into one more online network, by golly. Well, I caved over the summer and am haphazardly limping in to my LinkedIn page to see who’s doing what in the business world.

What thinkest thou, good people? Is resistance futile??? Are we all doomed to knowing each other only through some screen or another? I guess at the end of this post, I still feel a lot like I did at the beginning. Ambivalent.

 

 

For far too long…

13 Jun

I have been away from this blog for quite a while! No real excuse, just the same thing we all say… busy, busy, busy.

I had a shoot recently with a photographer from Brooklyn, NY called Dave Rudin. We had met before, but we hadn’t worked together until now. Our shoot location was fantastic, but I swore a blood oath (okay, not quite that dramatic) that I wouldn’t spill the location deets, because photographers are always trying to steal good each others’ cool locations. I will say this, Las Vegas is set right in the middle of some amazing desert. I’m not talking endless sand dunes from the tedious 1980’s film Ishtar (sorry my darling Warren…), I’m talking about beautiful red earth and gorgeous stone canyons. Come for the casinos and cheap buffets, but stay for the natural beauty and relatively few bugs.

The photo I’ve chosen to include may end up being my favorite. This is just a snapshot – Dave shoots only film, and he’s not finished developing. When he asked me if I could pose like this, I was sure I’d end up falling out other side of this hole. It was several feet off the ground and I had to lean way back to get the shot. My head is all that’s keeping me in there, but what a great idea!

Vegas animals will thank you!

1 Mar

Please purchase your very own copy of my OYE magazine poster. I will donate my part of the proceeds to the Las Vegas Humane Society. They’re going fast, so get yours today!!!

http://www.oyemag.com/index.php/melissa-carole/

*** I’ll be glad to sign your poster for you. Just send it to me and I’ll sign it and mail it back to you 🙂 Send me a private tweet for the mailing address http://twitter.com/#!/VegasArtModel

Shameless Plug

31 Jan

Hi all… I am in the running for OYE Magazine’s cover model search, and I need your votes! Please click this link, and you can vote DAILY! http://www.oyemag.com/index.php/melissa-carole/