A while back I decided to take a figure drawing class at Moorpark College with the idea that I would have a model to work from all day long every Friday for 18 weeks. Great practice. The problem turned out to be that I had to stick with the teachers agenda which did not make me at all happy and I was not allowed to audit the class since there were SO MANY students in the class and a waiting list of kids who wanted in. So I bit the bullet and decided to play along. Couldn’t hurt.
The first day of class, I noticed that there was a large population of young men in the class. The teacher had us take turns to introduce ourselves and to tell why we were taking the class. Though no one would outright admit it, it was obvious that it appeared many considered it an easy elective. I put two and two together and figured that many of the young men were also there for the “figure” part of the class description and the fact that the figure would be slightly NAKED. I’m sure illusions of grandeur inhabited the crevices of their testosterone riddled brains
Imagine my amusement when, the next week, the first model arrived and was the following full figured woman of about 50 years old named Ludmilla.
Ludmilla is a very professional model who also models at the Art Institute for us. She has been at it for 25 years. After that long, you lose ALL inhibitions. Every young man in the class became adeptly aware of every crack and crevice she had to offer. The stage was surroundable and you never knew when she was going to strike a bent-over-pose with you as the lucky recipient from behind. It was often quite an anatomy lesson and one found oneself channeling Georgia O’Keefe. I personally love drawing or painting Ludmilla more than just about any model. There are wonderful curves to work with. I don’t think my sentiments were shared by the young men.
The very next week, we had a new model to work with. This time it was a very buff male. I almost felt sorry for the boys. Ludmilla and Clay were the only two models we had the entire term. I think some of the boys in the class were scarred for life. I’m willing to bet they didn’t sign up for Figure Drawing II.