Nude Poses, the Beats, and William Shatner Reading Rocket Man

Pushing past the black cloth that blocked the room from the street, my friend and I clutched our sketch pads and entered the den of artists. The nude model was on a break and all the chairs were filled, so a kind man found us a low table and placed it right up front, inviting us to sit on the floor in front of all the real artists.

Uh, no.

We found a spot on the bay window in back and stayed as unobtrusive as possible.

The model disrobed, and we got to work. In her first pose, she tucked her legs underneath her and leaned back on her arms. I struggled to try to capture her form; her face and hands were beyond me.

The atmosphere in the room was hushed and serious as the artists worked on their sketches. The organizer played various recordings of poetry readings. I caught snippets of “muscatel” and “Larimer” and felt I was On the Road again with Kerouac.

My friend and I worked quietly throughout the 20-minute pose. When it was time to show each other our work, I wished I could reveal something like this:

Lying Female Nude with Cat by Picasso Lying Female Nude with Cat

But there was no cat.

During the second pose, the model sat cross-legged with her hands in her lap. The mood took a surreal turn as I recognized the words in the next poem: “Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids. In fact it’s cold as hell.” It was William Shatner reciting Elton John’s “Rocket Man.”

The second pose was 20 minutes also, but the time passed much more quickly as I was more focused and pulled into the task.

Aside from some initial awkwardness and feelings of intimidation, I liked this experience of getting out of my comfort zone to try to draw, something I have rarely done since my last junior high school art class.

And that class didn’t feature any nude models.

Our sketches (mine are on the left). Thanks Alicia!

101 things in 1001 days

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

 

#34: Attend an art class. 101 things in 1001 days.

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.
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22 Responses to Nude Poses, the Beats, and William Shatner Reading Rocket Man

  1. Your sketches are much better than mine would be!

    I think I would be more uncomfortable POSING nude than sketching one, but in either case, it makes sense why nude models are part of the “thing.” A person wearing normal street clothes, even a bathing suit, can distract the eye.
    Beverly Diehl recently posted..Popping My Cherry at ToastWritersMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      It is hard for me to imagine a situation in which I could pose nude in front of a group of people. If the fate of the world depended on it, I guess I would at least think about it.

  2. Oh, my goodness! That part where William Shatner was reading Rocket Man cracked me up. I LOVe the concept of 101 things in 1001 days! Great post. Erin
    Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms recently posted..Thank You, Summer—Jimmy Fallon StyleMy Profile

  3. Kerstin says:

    101 things in 1001 days? That is awesome.
    Good for you for stepping out of your comfort zone! What great experiences!
    And I love William Shatner!
    Kerstin recently posted..Memories Captured in JulyMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      I found Shatner’s recitation to be so strange, but it did have an appealing charm to it that he was willing to be so out there. I heard that he performed it at a science fiction awards ceremony.

  4. Shannon says:

    So great. I love your blog – it always takes me somewhere new!
    Shannon recently posted..When Your Kid Has a Really Great TeacherMy Profile

  5. Those are impressive! My sketches would have been stick figures. And I wouldn’t have been able to stop laughing through the class. Especially when William Shatner came on.

    Overall, I probably would’ve been asked to leave. And never come back.
    Kristin @ What She Said recently posted..Closer to GodMy Profile

  6. Wow look at you go! Excellent job, especially for proclaiming to be rusty! What a wonderful zen time, I am jealous!

  7. Alicia says:

    It was lots of fun, although I will be forever grateful that the model was on break when we walked in and needed to find seats!! Wow, that would’ve been awkward!

  8. I was supposed to draw nude models in an art class in college. I was absent… legitimately, although I cannot remember why. I do remember being glad not to have to go!
    Sorta Southern Single Mom recently posted..Summer’s BountyMy Profile

  9. IASoupMama says:

    Wow! Congratulations on taking a step way out of your comfort zone! this sounds like a fabulous experience for you and a really great project.

    You drawings are super and how on earth did you not lose it when The Shat started to rap? I’m have turned into a puddle of giggles…
    IASoupMama recently posted..My Selfish FearMy Profile

  10. Words cannot describe how impressed I am with you trying this!
    I am going to follow your blog, and I can’t wait to see what you do next. Good for you!!
    Dawn Beronilla recently posted..Don’t Worry, I’ll Never Forget.My Profile

  11. I think your sketches are amazing! Don’t think I could have done it so well (Especially with no cat there. If there were a cat there, I could totally do it).

    Fun to have a 101 things list!
    Stacie @ Snaps and Bits recently posted..Irritating Rump SuckersMy Profile

  12. Joe Cereola says:

    William Shatner reciting Elton John’s “Rocket Man” was just too funny. I don’t how you were able to keep a straight face and draw.

  13. jamie says:

    Wow! Those were good. At least way better than mine 😛
    jamie recently posted..A tribute to Nelson MandelaMy Profile

  14. Thanks for giving me a little morning chuckle – and good for you for stepping out of your comfort zone. It isn’t easy.

  15. Leelee says:

    Stopping by from SITS to say hello. I think your sketches are great. Also, I can’t imagine how funny it would be to hear William Shatner reciting Rocket Man.

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