Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Your Wednesday Inanity: A Naked Man


The drawing to the left was done during a life drawing class I took when I lived in Glendale. Two years ago this month. The course took place over five or six weeks, with a different model present each session for us to draw. The whole nudity thing was totally new to me and was weird at first, but after ten minutes or so, it stopped being so weird. And it often wasn't pretty either. Five of the six models were chosen, I'm guessing, for their unusual-ness rather than their physical beauty (which was not what I was expecting for some reason; probably I'd seen too many sitcom episodes where one of the characters falls for some hot chick (or hot guy) who turns out to also work as a nude model in art class -- I guess I got to thinking all nude models were good-looking), so the classes never threatened to be titillating. But drawing these people, I wondered what sort of person, especially those in their fifties and sixties, thinks, "I know! I'll be a nude model for those art classes down at the local community college!"? I'm probably being ageist but I thought the older a person got, the less likely they were to do something like this. I guess I'm wrong. Anyway, our second model was a rail-thin, bird-like older woman in her mid-sixties I'd wager. She was stickly and easy to draw, but you couldn't help but wonder: where the hell did she come from? What's driving her to do this? Is she an artist herself? Was she a bohemian in her day? A hippie? When our teacher introduced her, he mentioned she'd done modeling for Disney animators, so I guess she might have done it because she made decent money at it. (Sidenote: Later, when I temped in one of Disney's animation buildings, adjacent to the office I worked in, there was a room where they hosted drawing sessions for the animators that featured nude models. I thought that was really cool -- a job where your employers offered free brush-up life drawing classes on-site. End sidenote.) The guy pictured here was one of the more unusual models. He was an older man, early-sixties I think, and he came up with the oddest poses. I think this one was his "Gandalf", wherein he grabs onto this walking stick (which I think he might have brought himself), plants it a foot or two away from himself, leans over and rests his weight onto it. It was hard to think about the poses as nothing more than just nude poses done solely for the sake of an art class -- I always thought about its real world application and often wondered, "When would someone do that?" And moreso, "When would someone do that naked?" And also his pose made me think of Ian McKellan naked on the set of Lord of the Rings, and that made me uncomfortable because I don't like to think of Gandalf that way. Anyway, I thought I'd post the drawing up here. Despite the strange model, I liked the way this one turned out.

7 comments:

Shannon said...

That's a great drawing, you should draw naked people all the time. The "old guy" looks like he glows in dark. In the picture he doesn't look old. His legs look all muscular, but I guess you didn't draw his man boobs and sagging scrotum. Ewww. I just threw up in my mouth.

Anonymous said...

If your class was always just 2 hrs, how come you never came home for four hrs...?

Fried Pepperoni said...

Also, granted the dude's naked - but why were you the only one who had such a direct view of his manjunk? (Honestly, you couldn't just scoot your chair a bit to the left, eh???)

blankfist said...

Beyond that, why is it that it seems that your perspective is above him, as if you were hovering? I thought I saw a few drool, too. But that may just be me.

blankfist said...

A few drool = a few drool spots... just in case you wanted to decipher my bullshit dribble...

blankfist said...

Yep, upon second expection, you are most certainly hovering over him... what a homo queer butt.

If you were not being queer about it, I think you might've moved to a discreet corner and painted the old man. Possibly you would'nt have positioned yourself over this wrinkled gray man to paint his nasty wrinkled body. Or would you?

Anonymous said...

As a former lifeguard at the YMCA of Glendale, I can verify that there are many creepy men in their 60s who like to hang out in various states of undress in the greater San Gabriel Valley area. In fact, I think I recognize your model. His name is Shavarsh Hagopian, owner of a successful dry cleaning business on Brand Blvd. He's quite chatty and enjoys Fox News. Don't let these "hovering" comments get to you, Crane. At your height, you don't hover - you tower over us all.