Nov 3, 2008

So this morning I drove 45 minutes to this lovely lovely little town called Coburn to spend three hours sitting for a portrait class held in this old renovated church. Barb knows the artist couple who live in and teach out of this church and they asked both of us to sit for the class, on separate days, as we got "good faces." I thought this seemed like a cool thing to do even tho I did vastly underestimate how much it blows to sit stock still and stare at one spot for 3 hours (with breaks). I thought I'd be able to sit there and read, or at least look at everything around me... or at the very, very least, be able to think about the books I'm working on. But every time I'd think about something else my head would shift and my eyes would fall to the floor and I'd be reminded to resume the pose I'd had before. Well, that happened once, but it was enough to make me realize that you cannot even think, let alone read or look around, whilst pretending to be a statue. At least not the VERY DEEP THOUGHTS yours truly is typically entertaining. So it ended up being kind of torturous but kind of cool just to sit there unmoving, being absolutely focused on the movement of the women drawing in the periphery (it was five women all drawing me with pastels, and the man was teaching them and walking around and commenting) and the sounds of the chalk moving across paper and the heat coming on and off and, now and then, the coffee pot burbling. I think it might have been rather ZEN, tho I'm not exactly sure what that means.

It is also funny to be assessed as an artistic object. The teacher kept coming up and pointing out things about my face. One quote: "Note the drama between the color of the eye and the bright flesh of the cheek." At another point he told one woman that she was drawing me in a Pre-Raphaelite style (at which point I decided I loved her) and corrected her by telling her that I do not have a Pre-Raphaelite look at all, but am instead someone Rubens would have painted -- even telling her that if Rubens had taken one gander at me he would have locked me away until he'd painted me 100 times! Rubens! If I coulda talked at that point, I would totally have pointed out that I am, excuse me, a DELICATE FLOWER. The nerve. They did ask me to come sit for them again as it is "rare to find some one with flesh so luminous" as mine. Which, of course, sounded totally sweet and totally cannibalistic, which is how artists always sound I suppose, the bastards.

Anyway, here is the renovated church, the space we were in, and MAH VISAGE:

Also, the ride to Coburn:

And the coolest, spookiest house ever that is right on the way:

I also posed last week for the lovely Christine Rothgeb, who is half the grad student teaching team for the dark room photography class I'm currently sitting in on. We went into the basement of the Arts Building to the awesomely named "black box theater," where she set up those cool umbrella lights and spent like 90 minutes talking to me while taking 50000 photos. The next day she sent me a contact sheet with like 150 photos she'd taken with the digital camera (she took at least that many with her film camera first) and it was VERY WEIRD to see myself in various mouth-half-open mid-sentence gestures and poses. And I mean I didn't even look vaguely Pre-Raphaelite-ish, so obviously there was something deeply wrong with the camera. Anyway, she does all kinds of cool stuff with said (deceptive) images, and here are two she put on her deviantart page:

And while I'm at it, I think these two images of hers are completely gorgeous:

The end.