My sister is older than me and has got me into a lot of interesting situations over the years.
She always seemed to have lots of confidence and be off on some daring escapade!!
She had been life modelling for a few years and suggested in passing I should try it but I never thought it would be something I could do.
After a life time of body issues and a particularly difficult birth of my second child which resulted in P.T.S.D & P.N.D. that required therapy to overcome I decided that I wanted to take control of my body back, that I had no reason not to be proud of my body and the things it had achieved.
So the next time Natasha said 'fancy modelling at Fairkytes on Tuesday?' I said 'OK!'
I was nervous beforehand but felt more at ease upon meeting the group as they were very friendly & welcoming. While still in my clothes I went through a few positions that the teacher Patrick wanted to use that evening then went to a side room to change into my robe. Natasha had told me that I could wear a bikini or just bottoms if I wanted but I thought if I'm going to do it I'm going to go the whole hog!
With classic radio playing in the background I threw off my robe and stood in the first position of the evening.
It's very empowering to realise that it is just a 'normal' body and it doesn't define who you are.
We did various positions for 10-20 minutes each then had a break (during which I put on my robe!) and then a 45 minute lying down pose.
With 2 young children it was a very novel experience to just be still and not have to think of anything other than remaining still.
At the end of the session it was lovely to see the artists work & their impression of me.
Overall I found the whole experience very liberating even though if I gave too much thought to the idea of being naked in a room full of people I don't think I would be able to do it. There is a strength in being afraid of something and doing it anyway.
As someone who over-thinks everything that happens to an extreme degree, I'm trying to learn to embrace the spirit of 'Just throw off the robe' in everyday life.
Fast forward 18 months and my sister and I now host a life drawing group every Tuesday evening (term time) at Fairkytes arts centre in Hornchurch.
We've called ourselves LeNu (literally translated, French for The Nude)
We enjoy bringing new inexperienced models to see for themselves how they can be transformed into a work of art and overcome personal milestones in their life. Our friendly sessions encourage confidence & self belief and can reopen closed doors taking you on a new creative pathway.
We also use a diverse range of experienced life models with their own unique styles to ensure our artists have an interesting & inspiring time with us.
For further details & to keep up to date with our sessions please Like us on Facebook -LeNu Lifedrawing. Instagram or twitter.