I'm thrilled to have Lisa Olech visiting Tattered Pages today, with a guest post about a real-life experience she used in her latest contemporary romance, Picture Me Naked! Whoo Hoo! If you haven't had the pleasure of reading it yet, you SHOULD! I did and rated her lovely story five fabulous sparkly gold stars! Take it away, Lisa!
Not too long ago, I heard about The
Saturday Life Group that hosted life drawing close by. Twenty or so artists,
nude model, three hours of serious art study, $10 a week. I was so in! As I
said, I’d never attended art school, but I knew that life study was essential
to an artist’s education. Basic. This was Art 101.
So there’d be a naked person in the
room. I’m an ARTIST. I’m an adult. I’m no prude. Just don’t be asking me to strip down, and I’ll be just fine.
I gathered my small sketchpad, my drawing pencils and my favorite charcoals, and
off I went.
Entering the classroom, I was hit
once again with that unique, undeniable smell of ‘art school’. I love that
smell. Oil paint, clay, wet canvas. Other artist began to arrive and set up
their easels. I quickly became aware of the fact that I was way out of my
league. They were setting up huge newsprint pads, had palettes of beautiful
chalks and paints. Gorgeous French travel easels joined the room’s large
industrial metal easels and all were dragged into place surrounding the model’s
dais. There I sat with my little sketch pad feeling most inadequate, kneading
my gum eraser like I knew what I was doing. The other artists were wonderful,
however. Very welcoming and friendly. I began to relax. Things would be fine.
Enter the model. Off came the
clothes. By his haircut and the tattoo on his upper arm, I deduced he was an
ex-Marine. Okay… I’m an artist…I’m an adult… He stuck a pose. After about two
minutes of ‘Oh My God, there’s a naked man in the room,’ I relaxed into the
shear joy of drawing him. He had a great back. Strong arms. Soon bared shoulders
and legs became simple form and shadow. This was a wonderful experience that
was stretching my artistic muscles (pardon the pun). I was totally at ease. My
role as artist gave me a professional distance. I had the same emotional
connection to this man as I would a lovely landscape, a beautiful bowl of fruit
or a stunning vase of flowers. I’m an artist.
Then the buzzer sounded and it was
time for the model to take a break. I was still in the zone concentrating on my
drawing. I was working on trying to highlight the crown of his thigh where the
light from the back windows flooded through. I was oblivious to anything
happening around me until the model came to stand next to me.
Okay…here’s were I explain that most
models, during their break stroll around the room to check out what each artist
is doing. And most models put on a
robe during their breaks to cover up and keep them warm. And MOST models, while
totally free with their bodies and comfortable with their nakedness, are not
card-carrying nudists. Not this guy. He was a nudist, although I never saw his
card! He never robed during class. He wandered through the easels naked and
proud as the day he was born.
Did I mention that I was sitting down?
I’ll give you a minute to get a mental picture… Me sitting…naked man standing
to my right…talking to me…asking me my name. It would have been rude not to
look in his direction, right? Damn! All
I could think of was imagining a wide line painted in caution-tape yellow
across his midsection with my brain screaming “Don’t look below that line!!”
I’m an artist…I’m an adult…I’m an
artist…I’m an adult…
AMAZON, BARNES&NOBLE and THE WILD ROSE PRESS.
Find Lisa on the web at: www.lisaolech.com
Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.