The artist’s model reclines. Fully clothed, he fusses with the line of his shirt, the trouser length, his tie. A stray thread worries him. He pulls at it.
“Comfortable?” she enquires.
His face is fully exposed to the woman sketching him, she who will paint him and capture his face… torso… legs… on canvas. He shivers.
“Warm enough?” she asks, solicitous concern underlying her enquiry.
“Very. Thanks,” he responds.
She turns away from the sketch and mixes some basic background colours to tone the white expanse. Reaching for more, she flicks the brush. A spot falls on her bare foot.
Did I get a booster shot of feminism while listening to the amazing trio of Jean Kittson, Tara Moss and Kate Holden talking in a session titled The Woman of Many Parts: misogyny, menopause and being human at the Byron Bay Writers Festival last week? Maybe.
I actually wrote this before but put it to one side while searching the internet for an appropriate image, mainly because i haven’t had the opportunity to photograph a nude female painting a fully dressed male model. Maybe such scenarios haven’t been conceptualised for visual consumption on the internet yet… Maybe I didn’t have the patience to trawl through a wide repository of possible images based on various search terms… one seemingly as hopeless as another at eliminating the nude-woman-as-artist’s-subject-matter cliché. Then I thought who needs images? Aren’t these words my paint and the keyboard my brushstrokes, or charcoal, pencil, ink, or whatever medium you like to think artists sketch and outline and shade and colour-in with… For all we know one of us could be naked while typing and/or reading this <surreptitiously checks to see if webcam light is on…>
How powerful is the imagination?! <AJC>