Unlike most of the  models I work with, Sophia has had a lot of modelling experience, particularly with Life Modelling. However, this was her first time with a photo-shoot situation.  She was brilliant to work with – once we had a chat about her having to “drop her life-modelling guard,” and not be concerned about posing so much, which is the thing to do with Life Modelling in an art studio. That requires different methodology, and a lot of static  stamina, to maintain poses for long periods. Whereas photo modelling is often quick, with impulsive changes.

I love getting snapshot-style pics like this one below, while a model is getting ready (with their prior permission of course). Often the results can be better than the well-worked poses suggested by the photo-artist. An unguarded moment can be brilliant at times, and can tell more of a story. Women just “doing their thing” – there is a rhythm to it that men can never do – the stance of hair preening for example, it seems universal amongst the female gender.

Sophia was the one who inspired me a long time ago to take up Life Modelling myself. She was the first naked model I had ever drawn, at an art shop/studio in Bundaberg (see my drawing of Sophia – below – from that session). It was some years ago, and my first time, and when she removed her robe I thought to myself “Wow, this woman has all the power in this room – she is the Centre of the Universe and we are all mere plebs” – i.e. the artists standing around her, protected by our armour of easels and clothes. From then on, I wanted to try it out – so recently I finally gave it a go (see photo this site, earlier pages). I call Life Modelling  “Art Bungee-Jumping” and would recommend it to anyone – totally liberating and empowering – and then, you get paid! Every Life Drawing artist should give it a try at least once – and see how it is on the other side!

This series was produced during a 6 week stay I had in the Artist-In-Residence flat at the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery (BRAG). This was not long after the 2013 Australia Day flood, when my unit was inundated. I was not able to return for about 4 months, and $20,000 of repairs later. But the Artist Residence was an inspiring place – situated on the floor above the gallery, and overlooking one of the main streets of the CBD. Beautiful light from windows and louvres, and old-world setting (1902). Great for photo-art, and art in general. I thank BRAG so much for their kindness in letting me stay there during the flood crisis. Wonderful people, thank you.



Sophia makes some adjustments – hair up.

Kara -2012

Life Drawing of Sophia – copyright Dennis Mealor 2014.

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