A while ago I wanted an image of powerful, self-contained womanhood, and I scratched around mentally for women I know. Not my former boss – she presents a strong persona, but it’s brittle and overlays a lot of uncertainty. Not my friend C who has become one of the most resilient women I know – she’s too daintily feminine, lovely though she is.
Eventually I remembered the model from a life-drawing class some time in the mid 1990s. She’s remained a personal icon ever since. I felt like a change of mood in my blog, and I thought you might feel the same, so here she is.
She was French, very strong, very compact. Her head was in proportion with her body and she did not in fact have deformed shoulders. (It’s a combination of foreshortening and the angle of the light. Of course it is.) She came in, undressed, sat herself down immediately without settling herself for balance or comfort, and then stayed completely still for an hour.