Monday, November 25, 2019

FACE 2019 Trip Report

The 2019 Figurative Art Convention and Expo was an amazing experience, and I am so glad that I went.  However, the final schedule I got just a few days before I was scheduled to leave threatened the entire trip.  I was down for costume modeling for three days, including both open studio sessions.  I was going to extraordinary effort and expense to get to this event in Williamsburg, Virginia, driving all the way from Fort Worth, Texas, and that effort just wasn't worth it to me if I had to remain in a costume the entire time.  I was going to be surrounded by some incredible figurative artists for this event, and to not have the opportunity for any of them to draw me as the real me, without any costumes or clothes, was not something I could fathom.

I did reach out to the person coordinating the models and those open studios, and the schedule was changed.  I would have to leave a day earlier than planned, but she offered me the chance to model for the first day of Daniel Maidman's pre-convention workshop.  Daniel Maidman was an artist I had followed for almost ten years, so I jumped at the chance to work with him.  She also changed one of my open studio nights to nude modeling rather than costumed.

I had everything packed for the trip Thursday morning when I went to work at my regular job.  I left work early to model for an afternoon class at the University of Texas at Arlington.  When that class ended, I drove straight from there to Little Rock, Arkansas, where I got a room for the night.

I left the hotel in Little Rock at just before six AM and drove through the rest of Arkansas, all of Tennessee, and most of Virginia until I reached Williamsburg.  My total miles driven that day was 1,018, which was a personal record for me, especially with no one else traveling with me.  That record wouldn't last long though.

The workshop with Daniel Maidman was a wonderful experience.  Not only is he an incredible artist, he is also a genuinely nice guy.  There were about fifteen students in the workshop, and I wound up doing no less than five different poses throughout the day.  Daniel's first drawing of me is my favorite.  I liked it so much that I wound up buying it after the trip.  I also got photos of me with Daniel Maidman and a photo of the entire class that day.

 I was fitted with a colonial costume for my second day at FACE and was one of two models at an outdoor painting session just prior to the opening ceremony.  Here are a few photos of that outdoor session:

On my third day, I didn't have any modeling scheduled until the evening studio session, so I drove out to Jamestown and saw the site of the original settlement.  There was even an archaeology team out there working while I was there.

I was to model in that costume during the first open studio night. It was as hot in that costume under the studio lights as I had feared.  The session lasted five hours, with breaks for the models every 20 minutes and a longer break for dinner about three-fifths of the way through the night.  All the models were on the same schedule.  There were five of us: a portrait, costumed male and female, and nude male and female.  I did a standing pose so that the artists could see the entire costume.  I wound up taking the heavy coat off during every break.  There were at least 100 people in the studio (which was normally a hotel ballroom), and the energy in the room was almost electric.  Here are some photos from that first studio night:

The second studio night was one of the most amazing experiences of my 35 year modeling career.  I got to model in my pure state rather than in costume, so the energy I had felt in the room the previous night was just heightened.  Joe, the other male model there and the nude male on the first studio night, had taken a seated pose that first session.  Many of the artists drawing and painting him had done portraits.  I wanted to encourage more figurative works, so I chose a standing pose.  Patricia Watwood, an amazing artist from New York, was the faculty person who helped mark and light my pose.  She would also act as mentor for the attendees drawing or painting me.  I was beyond thrilled when she sat down later in the night and did a quick sketch of me.  Here is that sketch:

The studio organizer, at my request, took several photos of me in the pose and texted them to me.  Some of these are suitable for posting on Facebook and Instagram, but some are not.  Since this is my blog and since I believe in the goodness and purity of the nude human form, I am including everything here, along with some shots of the paintings done of that pose.

That last painting was by San Francisco artist Eva Strauss-Rosen, and she surprised me by offering the painting to me as a gift.  She said that she couldn't get it on the plane while the paint was still wet, so I gladly accepted it.  I will be getting it framed soon.

The studio session ended at 11:00 PM.  Once I got dressed and got the check for the modeling work I had done throughout the convention, I bid everyone a fond farewell and went back to my hotel to try to get four hours of sleep.  I got up and was in my car at 4:04 AM (which was 3:04 AM Central time).  I drove a southerly route, through the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana and made a grand total of four stops along the way.  I arrived home in Fort Worth at 11:47 PM CST.  1,391 miles in 20 hours and 43 minutes.  I don't recommend that level of extreme driving, especially after only four hours of sleep, but I was out of vacation time and needed to be at work the next day.

As stated in past blog posts, I started modeling in November 1984.  This trip was my 35th anniversary gift to myself, and it was just an amazing experience.  It was so amazing that I just had to share all of these photos of the event with everyone who visits this blog.  And in addition to the amazing modeling experience, I was able to sell several copies of my novel Life Models at the convention (at least double what I had expected when I planned the trip). 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

FACE 2019

Next month, November 6th to be exact, will mark 35 years since I first modeled for a figure drawing session.  It's still difficult for me to believe that I am old enough to have done anything professionally that long.  And honestly, I am only 53 now since I got such an early start modeling.

To celebrate those 35 years, I will be traveling to Williamsburg, Virginia to model at the Figurative Art Convention and Expo.  FACE 2019 runs from November 10th through the 13th, and on the evenings of the 11th and 12th, they have what they are calling the "world's largest art studio" with up to a dozen models posing on different platforms, some clothed and some nude.  The whole thing sounds like so much fun that I just had to apply to be one of those models.  Yes, I will almost definitely spend more on the trip than I will make at the convention, but I'll also be able to write off as business expenses a lot more than I spend on my taxes thanks to the standard rate of mileage expenses on Schedule C.  All in all, there were just too many reasons for me to do this than there were to skip it.

Check out the FACE 2019 website at:

And check out this promotional video here:

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Life Models

My novel Life Models has been live and for sale in paperback and Kindle editions for about a month now.  I was very pleased that the artist Katy Hamilton allowed me to use her incredible drawing of me as the "author photo" on the back cover of the paperback edition.  The book is available at

And here is the full paperback cover:

Friday, May 24, 2019

New book "Life Models" Cover Reveal

My novel Life Models is finally coming in early July, and I wanted to reveal the cover here in my long neglected art modeling blog.  So here it is...

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Audio Book is On Sale!

It has been awhile since I updated this blog.  I am still modeling, but it seems as if the modeling work has slowed down lately.  I've also switched careers in my full time work, which may make taking more modeling gigs difficult, but I can never give up modeling.

The good news now is that the audio edition of The "Volunteer" is now out.  Danielle, the main character in the novel, takes up modeling for art classes during the story.  Here are the links to purchase the audiobook:




Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Upcoming Audiobook

I am very happy to announce that the audio book edition of The “Volunteer” is now in production.  It is being narrated by the talented voice actor Loral Miller, who sounds like I envisioned Dani’s voice sounding.  We hope to have the audio book live on Amazon and some time in March.  The “Volunteer” continues to be available in paperback and Kindle editions, of course.  In the meantime, here is the cover for the upcoming audio edition…

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Carrie Fisher (from my author blog)

I posted this on my author blog at but I thought I would post it here too...

Like most people my age, I grew up watching the Star Wars movies.  The original was released the summer before I turned eleven years old.  Six years later, I was better able to appreciate that slave girl outfit that Princess Leia was forced to wear by Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi.  She looked stunning, but then again, she had always looked stunning in the Star Wars movies in spite of the strange other-worldly hairstyles.
I never had serious aspirations to act, although I did participate in my high school theater club.  Writing was always my passion and my goal in life.  I started countless novels while finishing only a few, but everything I wrote was part of my education as a writer.  Four years after Return of the Jedi, Carrie Fisher published her first novel, Postcards from the Edge.  I remember picking it up in the bookstore and looking at the author photo, realizing that the person who had played Princess Leia was so much more than that character, and that that person had some of the same dreams that I had.  That she had persevered long enough to finish a novel and see its publication while also continuing an acting career was a great inspiration to me.
I saw Carrie Fisher last year at a Comic Con in Dallas.  The line to get her autograph was ridiculously long, and we had already spent way too much money at the event.  So we didn’t wait in that line.  Now, after her passing, I wish we had.  So long Carrie.  May the force be with you…