Wednesday September 8, 2010·
An unremarkable young woman arrived at our office dressed like a backpacker from one of the countries more recently accepted into the EU. She politely asked for a bit of privacy to remove her cargo pants and all-weather anorak. We went into the next room, rearranged the furniture and fiddled with the lights to transform fluorescent in to flattering.
She emerged a few minutes later sporting a body that would mesmerise Michelangelo and make Goya grin. After helping us reposition the boardroom table and sampling a few Sakatas our model for hire got the party started with a series of one minute poses that would put your local yogi to shame.
Shame was certainly the dominant emotion for me for those first few minutes. Don't get me wrong, nude is my middle name, but drawing her I felt like an armless stenographer with two left feet transcribing a horse race.
The longer poses gave me time to warm up, and I gradually passed through several planes of consciousness into a meditative, creative state. It all started to flow. I sat hunched over my pad of A3 bond paper scribbling wildly and staring intently at a plump pair of perfect 10s - erratically winking to measure her classic proportions. Half an hour later - dishevelled with a face covered in charcoal dust and a vague sense of time and place - I was inspired.
Three more poses, channelling 200,000 years of human culture through a piece of half-burnt wood between my index finger and opposable thumb, I was art.