Saturday, July 17, 2010


Well! Let me tell you a little bit about Claudia and then send you packing to her blog.

I just started working on my first painting with Claudia - she's a model I've drawn many times at Spring Street and gotten to know over the course of one delightful chat after another at various art events around town.

Modeling, as with so many other practices, involves elements both of talent and skill. Skills can be developed - professionalism, strength, endurance, good body-position memory, a knowledge of the types of poses that work with one's body and are interesting to the life drawing student. Talent is one of those things you are either lucky enough to have, or not. With regard to modeling, these involve creativity, passion, and a face and body that are suited to expressing emotions.

Claudia is a wonderful model: fortunate enough to be talented, and dedicated enough to have become skilled.

Apart from these, though - and this is very important when considering whether to work with a model privately - she is great fun to chat with. You spend a lot of time with a model when you paint or sculpt them, and it's not a bad idea to have an eye, in choosing models, toward people you think you might want to be friends with anyway. Claudia is one of those kinds of people.

But don't take my word for it. Almost uniquely, Claudia also keeps a massive and popular blog chronicling her life in art. She's a brisk and funny writer with insight into her work and excitement about art: all sorts of art, all the phases of making art, the history and gossip of art. Scroll around the blog if you have the time and inclination, and get a sense of what makes Claudia such an excellent person to spend time with:


When I paint, I think of my work with models as "doing justice to," the rather harsh Greek phrasing of the matter. I hope to become good enough to do justice to the marvelous people I paint. I hope that my Claudia painting will do justice to Claudia.

Here's a mediocre drawing of her I did at a workshop not long ago. It's not much of a drawing, but I think it catches a little bit of her electric presence:


  1. Daniel,

    Oh my god, thank you so much for such generous words! I am deeply touched and incredibly flattered!! I am especially moved by "electric presence" :-) Others might replace "electric" with annoying! :lol: Well maybe not. But thank you again, friend. We're going to do wonderful, exciting work together, and have great fun in the process. And I have absolutely no doubt that you will do me justice.


  2. Claudia -

    I'm glad you liked the post! Thank you for taking time to work with me. How on earth would anyone find you annoying? I rather doubt it... And I will try to do the best painting of you I can.


  3. Hey can I ask a stupid question? (particularly stupid coming from an 'art major.')

    If you are doing a painting of Claudia, not in a class but privately, how long is she there? I assume she takes breaks and replicates her position maybe with you directing from what you already have on the canvas, but does she do that over the course of days? Certainly hair can't be made the same.

    And then at some point do you have enough that you are looking more at the painting than at the model and you complete it without her?

    I know there must be vastly varied answers to those questions, but your post made me think about the process and how difficult it must be for her to come back a day later and find the same angles and everything. Just curious.

    I like that drawing a lot.

  4. Ed, this is such a good question I think I'll devote a whole post to it. Which means you can wait forever for the reply. You know I post slowly... But it hadn't occurred to me that, to a reader who is not doing exactly what I'm doing, this isn't perfectly obvious. It's worth spending a little time describing and explaining, so I will. Thanks for pointing out this particular mystery to me - I completely missed it!

    I'm glad you like that drawing; it's definitely in my category of not-technically-perfect-but-it's-got-something-I-like-anyway.

  5. Oh if you thought that was helpful, I'm confused about all kinds of crap! I'll send you a list and you can use it for topic inspiration for years to come.

    I look forward to a post about this though. Thanks!