I modeled for another Drawing II class at the University of North Texas last night. I left my full time job at five, drove faster than the speed limit, hurried from my car to class and arrived almost out of breath but on time at 6:00. And after moving as fast as possible to get there on time, my job then is to be as motionless as possible for long stretches. It is sometimes difficult to wind down from the rush to get to class. The whole process seems like such a paradox.
I started thinking about another paradox with modeling for figure drawing classes. The feeling of being nude in front of a large class is amazingly liberating. I couldn't adequately describe it to someone who's never done it. The paradox is in confining myself to one pose for whatever length of time is prescribed. I've sometimes thought that people who are claustrophobic couldn't be models. That urge to move can become almost overwhelming. The human body was made for motion, and being completely motionless is so unnatural (even when it's done in one's natural, nude state). Perhaps that's why I love the short one or two minute gesture poses that most classes start with. I get to be free of clothing, and I get to move with some frequency. And maybe that's also why I really dislike doing those long, clothed portrait sessions (although I sometimes love the resulting artworks); I'm not only confined to clothing but also to one pose. But I do the portrait sessions because I'm a professional and they are a part of the job (and in doing them, I hope to get more figure bookings). I wonder if any scientific studies have been done on the mental makeup of a person who has modeled for art classes for as long as I have.