Monday, April 22, 2013

Sharing Models

     My second day in Florence I was stumbling about my new surroundings with jetlag in my head and surprisingly I saw a familiar face.  I recognized beyond a doubt a model for at least 2 paintings I’d seen in art magazines here in the States.  At the time, he was living under the front eaves of a church between San Frediano and the Ponte Vecchio.  After I lived in Florence for a year, I added my own painting of Hans to the big photo book he carried of all the artworks he’d sat for.  He’d show up to model with his plastic water bottle full of red wine and a fountain of interesting stories from his life.  I was working with Rebecca Harp in her studio at that time and we painted side by side. This is a common practice as painters can share model fees and use everyone's time to the best advantage.

     I also have a sketch of a fellow art student, a French woman named Lucie, that I know modeled for several artists including Toby Wright from the Florence Academy of Art.  I didn't see his paintings until after I had done my drawing.  You can see that Lucie has a striking profile accented with hoop earrings!  We even chose the same basic pose.
"Lucie" by Toby Wright

"Lucie In Profilo" by Thimgan Hayden
"Lucie In The Mirror" by Toby Wright

  I’m also including a portrait painted by Harry Durdin-Robertson (Ireland) at the same time that I was working on “Her Name Is Allegory” (a painting of mine loosely inspired by the story of Lucretia).

"Alessia" by Harry Durdin-Robertson

"Her Name Is Allegory" by Thimgan Hayden
 It isn’t unusual to see pieces based on the same models by different artists. Some models, like the previously mentioned Hans become legendary in artistic circles. You might find yourself hoping you GET to paint “so-and-so”! 
Thanks to Toby and Harry for letting me use images of their work.

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