Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pain and the Recliner

Back at the State University for my third stint as a life model for the Fine Art Studio. I worked with a new instructor. Following some minor scheduling confusion, I made it into class and went right to work.

The instructor started out with gestures which I threw myself into with gusto. It was a good warm up for the artists and for me as well. I was sweating pretty hard by the time we finished with gestures.

The instructor proceeded to put the long, step board to get on the posing platform part way onto the posing platform to form a long, forward-angled plank. He had me take a reclining pose on the plank which should have been an easy pose for me. I, of course, made it painful. I partially bent both of my legs as I twisted my body slightly left, put my left arm up high partially supporting me, and lifted my head so all the students could see my face despite the partial twist of my body.

The instructor mentioned we would take a ten minute break every 40 minutes or so which I thought would be manageable. In the 150 minutes of class, we took one break after the first forty minutes. This was to be the last break of the class. I ended up holding my self-inflicted pose for the better part of 100 minutes straight.

When we did get the one break I took a look at some of the students' work. Some of them were very good and had quite developed drawings after just 40 minutes. These were clearly more advanced students. I was impressed.

The last, 100 minute stretch of the class had me straining to hold the pose. My neck was throbbing from holding up my head. The right side of my abdominal muscles and my right side oblique muscles were also throbbing pretty hard. I was essentially doing an abdominal crunch on the right side of my body and holding it for an extended period of time. It was all complicated by the fact I had a sheet between me and the plank which kept gradually slipping downward with my weight. I had to keep pushing myself back up in tiny increments to maintain my position on the plank. By the end the pain was excruciating. The things I do for art.

I guess I could have called for a break myself but I was sort of hoping the instructor would do it. I guess on the positive side the students got 100 uninterrupted minutes to finish their drawings. Hopefully they appreciated my ability to maintain the pose for so long.

When I left the drawing studio my neck was throbbing intensely from the long effort of holding my head up. I thought riding my motorcycle home would be a bit of a chore as I have a sport bike which requires one to hold one's head up and forward. This actually put my head at the opposite angle of my pose which sort of helped ease the strain on my neck muscles. Small mercies are appreciated.

When I got home I could still feel the pain in my neck, abdominal muscles, and oblique muscles. Hopefully it will clear up because I model again tomorrow at the community college...

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