Photography Focus : JMR Photography

Three years ago today, I had my very first professional photography session.  I always obtain artist approval before I publish these blogs. In this case, since James – from JMR Photography – has passed AND he was intensely private, I will let this blog go without any commentary. It just seems a shame though,  for the beautiful photos that he worked so hard to create,  to just sit on my hard drive.

Photos are in order below, from July 2014 – December 2014. It’s very interesting to me, looking back, to see how my modeling style and “look” changed. Without this incredible experience, I would have never found my niche in art modeling.

ALL PHOTOS ON THIS BLOG ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED.

~ July 2014 ~

~August 2014~

~September 2014~

~ October 2014 ~

~ December 2014 ~

RIP James. You were an amazing photographer, confidant, and friend.

 

 

 

Photography Focus : Joe Lewis Fine Arts

I am beyond excited to share the images below, because many of them have not been shared publicly yet, for website restrictions. Now that I have completed all of my artist “Thank you” blogs (for use of their incredible work on my website) I am excited to unveil this breathtaking photography session of never before seen images. NOTE: ALL PHOTOS BELOW COPYRIGHT JOE LEWIS FINE ARTS – NOT FOR COPY OR DISTRIBUTION.

All photos are incredibly beautifully shot and lit, and Joe Lewis from Joe Lewis Fine Arts did a phenomenal job capturing me and making me look so amazing in them.I consider myself a life model at this point in time, and my focus is on posing for artists who use the medium of painting or drawing, not photography.I started out as a photography model however, and that is how Joe found me.I used to have an account on Model Mayhem and Joe messaged me through that website.Finding paint and charcoal to be more forgiving at my age, I basically shooed him off in my messages back, but in a polite way.Joe is also an artist, and he happened to by chance show up at Maitland Art Center one day while I was posing for a gesture pose session. “Full disclosure … we spoke before on Model Mayhem …” Joe confessed when we met. I immediately felt bad, as I had many bad (but a few good) experiences when I used to use that website to book photography sessions – and I apologized to him if I was rude with my messages back to him. Thankfully, he claims I was not. Since I struggle with keeping in shape at times, I figured after Joe saw me in person at the drawing session, he’d never want to shoot with me. Thankfully, I was wrong. He said I would be perfect for the type of shoot he wanted to do. I kept in contact with Joe, and he again attended another life drawing figure session at Maitland Art Center. In the meantime, as photography shoots I’ve found can either go really well or very poorly, depending on the shape I’m in, I was committed to training intensely for our shoot. The images below were a bit unsettling the first time I viewed them, but now I see they are the most “body builder” type of poses I did at the session. I was strong, solid … powerful.

Our shoot took place on Sunday February 26, 2017. Joe found one amazing location – a secret alley which served as a stunning backdrop with paintings and various textured walls – and the second location was nondescript. How Joe created such stunning images from that second location – considering how basic it was at our shoot – is still something I marvel at.

I was in the best shape yet of my life for my shoot with Joe. I have had other “fitness” type of shoots, but I just wasn’t ready for the time of the shoot, and the photos – despite the photographers incredible talent – suffered as a result. This shoot will serve as a time capsule in my life. I’m fortunate to have met such a talented photographer and equally fortunate that he has approved the sharing of these images on my website.This shoot was unlike any other shoots, as I treated it like a life modeling session. Instead of 2, 5 or 10 minute gesture poses, I held each of the poses very briefly – until I heard that shutter click.  This was incredibly freeing, as I have often wondered what some of my poses look like, and with life modeling sessions, the outcome of the pose is determined by the artists talent level and the time allotted to capture that brief moment in time. The pose below I doubt I could hold for 5 minutes, but in just a few seconds, it’s a pretty intense, strong pose. With a camera, things are more exact on film or digital. This can be a good or bad thing.It was also incredibly exhausting, because during our 2 hour shoot, there was pretty much continual movement, sans a car ride to the 2nd venue, and some brief water/restroom breaks. In the past, I have pretty much had guidance on how to pose, how to look, express with my face, etc. In this session however, except for maybe a “Do that again … the lighting was really cool … “ from Joe (so he could capture the pose below, for example … and I believe he also requested the body builder poses above … ) I did not take any direction. It’s ironic to me that life modeling FINALLY gave me the ability to pose as a photography model – and feel comfortable while doing it.I’m incredibly proud of this work, because of the many 5am workouts it took to get in this shape, the pretty strict eating plan I was on at the time, and most of all – I am proud of the fact that this shoot has made me finally accept my body.We all have our flaws and things we do not like about ourselves, and I am not going to go on about what things I like and do not like about my body, but I am proud that Joe used scant amounts of Photoshop on these images. This was a figure session, it was not a beauty/glamour shoot, and you can see that in my skin from the photos. At first, it was a bit surprising, but then I realized I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. With so many models being Photoshopped to the hilt in magazines and online, I am here with all my flaws … and they are beautiful. I am not perfect, and that is perfectly fine. Joe is an incredible photographer. I cannot recommend him enough. If I can get into this shape again – which I plan to do – I would not hesitate to shoot with him again. He’s also a true professional, and – truth be told – a bit of my cheerleader as some images came back and I wasn’t sure at first if I liked them. Joe pointed out things I did not see before. He let me see the images with new eyes. He opened my mind to focus my eyes on things I had not clearly viewed before in the images.

You can find out more about Joe and contact him here, through his Facebook page. 🙂

Below – my all time FAV image from our shoot …

Artist Focus : Sarah Grace

Today’s blog features the art of Sarah Grace. I do not know Sarah well at all. I’ve never actually met her in person, or spoke to her in person. I met her through finding her incredible drawings of me on a FB drawing group. We’ve only exchanged a few PM’s back and forth, but I can tell you that while I don’t know Sarah that well, we share a lot in common. I can also tell you she is a very open, honest, and straight forward person.

The artwork below is from that session where I found her on Facebook. It was from a Sunday Crealdé School of Art Open Studio. This was a gesture pose session.

The drawing below was my favorite from that session, and I love the incredible detail she put into her anatomical drawing.

Below are more from that session. Sarah’s drawings read very romantic to me. Very flowly …. delicate … beautiful.

I think this is another one from that same session. There was almost just enough time at the end to put in a glimpse of my face. It was a 20 minute pose. The body proportions and details are spot on.

Once I PM’d Sarah to ask her for use of sharing her artwork, she provided me with other drawings from a prior session at Crealdé …. another open studio session. This was the fateful session where I had the bright idea to incorporate an exercise ball and misjudged the size of the stage and slid off, onto the floor and just barely missing some artists.  Sarah fortunately did not capture that part, but she did capture the remainder of that session. The drawing on the left I was holding the ball.

 

I think this was the last 20 minute pose of that session. Sarah did an excellent job of capturing me at the end, halfway to the fetal position.

As Sarah wins the award for the most mystery artist of all those I have profiled on here, I do not have any website or contact info for her here. I will circle back though if that changes. In the meantime, I am happy to share the beauty of her work. Thank you again Sarah for letting me share it. 🙂

Artist Focus : Daphne Storm

I met Daphne Storm while posing for the Sunday Crealdé School of Art Open Studio. Daphne is the moderator for the sessions. She is also without a doubt the youngest of the artists I have featured on my blog. With this point in mind, it’s exciting to share her work here, because if she’s this good at her young age now …. I can’t wait to see her artwork develop as the years go by.

I first became aware of Daphne as I saw her drawings after the session at Crealdé School of Art’s Sunday Open Studio where I posed as an Olympic rhythmic gymnast. Even though the poses were quick, she captured the ribbon each time. You can feel the movement in her drawings from that session below.

I gave up on the ribbon prop after the quick gestures. Below I have ropes tied to the stage (left) and no props for a compression pose on the right. I love the detail of the compression pose, and this is the drawing I have of Daphne’s featured in one of the website headers.

The drawing below was from another Crealdé School of Art Sunday Open Studio session. I posed as the Holly Golightly character from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Love the detail of the pearls here.

Here is another from the Holly Golightly session. I love the flow and softness in this drawing.

For my last session at Crealdé School of Art’s Sunday Open Studio session, I was a cowgirl … complete with cowboy hat, rope, and “horse”. Daphne is using a different drawing technique here and the gestures seem to come alive with movement.

Below are some longer hold poses from that session. My favorite of this group is the middle drawing, where I am turned to the side with my hat tipped.

The drawing below was one of my last poses during the cowgirl session, and I love that Daphne made the most of this drawing, despite her restricted view here. I love how the shading is loose, but the lines are perfectly defined, combining together in a beautiful image of softness. This is my favorite of all of her drawings.

As far as I know, Daphne doesn’t have a website or any way to contact her for commissions at this point in time, but I am sure that will change. In the meantime, Daphne is finishing college while always honing her craft to become the best artist that she can be.

 

Artist Focus : Andre Grosvenor

I met artist Andre Grosvenor during the very early stages of my life modeling adventure. It was my fifth modeling session, and my very first Open Studio session, held on a Monday night at Crealdé School of Art. Before this session, I had only posed undraped for one artist at a time. Technically the second session was in front of a teacher too, but there was only one artist in the class, so that kind of counted as one artist. This open studio was pivotal for me, because I finally could see if I really could pose undraped in front of a large group of artists. Would I be comfortable? Would I be able to hold the pose for the entire session?  I counted 14 artists there that night, and the session was incredibly memorable. At the end of the session, Andre called me over and asked me to sign his incredible drawing of me. I gasped “Oh my … you made me so … beautiful!” – without skipping a beat, Andre reassured me with “Nah, that’s all you. You went up there with all this confidence … I just drew what I saw.” I happily signed his drawing and took a photo of the image below, with his permission to share.  Andre’s feedback, along with the vibe I got in the room that night made me realize, “I CAN do this. ”

I had the privilege of having Andre at a few other random sessions over the next few months. I think the drawings below were from Winter Garden Art Association‘s Wednesday night Open Studio sessions. Andre captured the movement of these gestures so beautifully.

The bottom drawing was one of my longer poses that same night. His proportions are spot on accurate.

Andre has always been so incredibly supportive of me at sessions, giving me accolades at the end. He has does this each and every time I see him and this surprises me every single time. He even did it with seeing me when he arrived very late to a session. He had to work and had so little time to draw, but that didn’t stop him from making an effort to come talk to me at the end and compliment my ability. Professional, concise, glowing feedback. Andre always makes me drive home feeling like I was appreciated for my efforts that particular night.

Andre’s shining ability is the fact that he is always, 24/7 positive.  His social media posts reflect how happy he is with his life … just ecstatic to be out there creating. He is one of the few artists I know that has the ultimate honor of getting to engrave his fantastic artwork in a person’s skin. As a tattoo artist, it has to be incredible to have clients so happy with his work, they will walk around with it for the rest of their lives. Andre is also super busy too. He works non-stop and also travels all the time to tattoo conventions to share his talent on a grander scale. It probably might embarrass him, but he’s also drop dead handsome too, with a killer smile.  That kindness and positive attitude,  and his love and gratefulness of life just shines out of him when he beams at you, with that fantastic smile.

I don’t have any tattoo’s …. yet. One day, I’ll probably get a Bowie one. Andre will get that honor, because of his amazing talent.

Whether you’re in the market for new ink, want first time ink, or just want to check out Andre’s incredible art – follow him on his Instagram.

Artist Focus : Heidi Savage

I met artist Heidi Savage while modeling for Don Sondag’s portrait painting class at Crealdé School of Art. The session was a total of three sessions, spread out over 3 weeks, for 3 hours each session. When I saw Heidi’s work after just the first week, I was in awe. Even though her painting below is only in the initial gray tones drawing phase, it already had great likeness.

Below is Heidi’s painting at the end of the three weeks. Lovely accents of color to showcase the light and dark areas. I especially love how she detailed the light in my hair highlights and the light accents on my face.

To me, Heidi possesses something that no other artist has. She seems to constantly change her painting/drawing style. The drawing below is a standing long pose I did at a Crealdé Monday Night Open Studio session. I was holding onto ropes for support, but Heidi did not include them in her drawing. The effect is this kind of cool feminine power pose with my fist raised up like that. That is one of the neat things about modeling … each artist can take a pose/setting and totally create a different energy and feel to the moment in time. Heidi captured the tension in my face of the hold. My favorite part of the drawing is my spot on accurate torso, which she drew beautifully.

The drawing below was from a three-hour long pose session at the Wednesday night Creative Night at HENAO Contemporary Center. I rented an elk horn hat for this session, and the way Heidi captured it – along with my stoic expression –  is just an incredibly powerful drawing. I seriously had my mouth open when I looked at this drawing at the end of the session. I just stared at it for a few moments. The pops of color seriously blow me away. There was a blue spotlight light (à la Steven Assael)  shining on my right side, and Heidi picked up that light so beautifully here.

The drawing below was from another long pose, open studio session at Crealdé. The moderator tied a beautiful scarf in my hair. The end result is that I look a bit like Frida. 🙂 This is Heidi’s best likeness of me and is my favorite from the times I’ve been fortunate to model for her at a session.

I do not believe Heidi has a website or any contact information I can share. I am sure that will change soon though as she continues to be a creative force in the Orlando art community. You can, however,  meet Heidi in person by attending one of her Friday Open Studio sessions at Crealdé, which runs from 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm, and meets in Studio 1A. Heidi is easy to spot. She will be the artist who constantly has this amazingly peaceful, beautiful, serene expression on her face. It’s a joy to be the recipient of her Zen attitude coming out on the paper/canvas. If you meet her, tell her I say Hi. 🙂

Artist Focus : Hugo Giraud Jr.

Today’s blog features the artwork of Hugo Giraud Jr.  I have only had the pleasure of meeting Hugo one time, during an Open Studio session at Crealdé School of Art. For this particular life modeling session, I decided to emulate a marionette by hanging black string from an exposed beam in the ceiling, then  looping the string ends around my wrists for the puppet effect. The first 2 minute poses are directly below.

Hugo teaches drawing at Full Sail University, and it was really fortunate for me that for this particular session, I had the presence of an incredible illustrator there to capture the session with incredible flow and motion.

You can pretty much see me moving in the drawings below. Note the pose hold times that Hugo wrote in the drawings below.

After the standing series, I let my marionette collapse into this pose for the first 10 minute pose.

Then I stood up again for this challenging 20 minute pose…

The detail in my expression below is really incredible. This was the last pose for the session.

In addition to his teaching, Hugo has also just launched a cool new business called Pin Cats that he started with fellow artist Audrey Zindler. Any concept you can come up with, Hugo and Audrey will create the logo and create it into a beautiful, quality pin. Check out Pin Cats here.

You can also follow Hugo’s animation adventures on his Instagram account here.

Artist Focus : Daphne Hammond

I discovered artist Daphne Hammond one day while posing for a long pose at Crealdé School of Art. Out of all the artists I have had the pleasure of posing for thus far, Daphne hands down wins the award for drawing me with the most accurate musculature.  The drawing below was from that first session I became aware of her, and I was amazed by the definition she captured in my back.  I also noticed how my scoliosis – something I never think about when posing – was on display. Somehow Daphne made it beautiful. Notice how one shoulder is higher than the other? I did have a slight twist going on in the pose as well, but when I stand perfectly straight, one arm does hang quite a bit lower than the other one. It’s slight, but Daphne caught it right away.

For the drawing below, I found a pose on the Internet that I wanted to duplicate for the session. It looks like an easy laying pose, but my legs were twisted a certain way in the front, and my hands were also intertwined and placed uniquely. This was another long pose, open studio night at Crealdé, and Daphne was so helpful in helping me get back into the pose after each break. I wanted to have it accurate, and – using my cell phone to refer back to the reference photo – Daphne made sure I was positioned correctly each time.

The standing pose below was from another long pose, open studio night at Crealdé, and is my favorite of all her drawings of me. The level of accurate detail is amazing to me. Daphne herself is much like her artwork … direct, open, concise, and honest. There is no guessing, no mystery, Daphne is just a straight shooter. She also is very warm, caring and giving in her nature. Her kindness recently in handing down some cherished family kimono’s really touched my heart. I have already used one of them at a session, and want to include both in a future photography session. They are beautiful and Daphne found a great home for them with me. <3

The last drawing below was from a long pose, open studio night at Maitland Art Center.  I think the way Daphne captures my sacrum is my favorite part to her drawings. I jokingly referred to it as my butt triangle / fat pad, and Daphne said she likes to think of that area on women as a butterfly. I rather like that comparison. 🙂

Daphne does not have a website or display her artwork anywhere that I know of.  She seems to be just living her life and focusing on other things than showcasing her art. I have tagged her in Facebook posts when I post her drawings, and every time I do, her friends come out in droves with the likes and praise, seemingly shocked. She jokingly said she was too lazy to take pictures and post the art, but I think it’s more-so a testament to how humble she really is. But as long as she’s at a session, I will continue to take photos of her artwork, and – with her permission – continue to tag her in my posts. Art is meant to be seen and shared. Especially when one possesses the amazingly detailed level of talent that Daphne has.

Artist Focus : Orit Reuben

If all art models were to be honest, they would admit that there are some artists out there that are on their bucket list of artist they would love to model for. Orit Reuben is my white whale. 🙂

I first became aware of Orit’s beautiful pastel drawings when I was just starting out pursing art modeling, while perusing the Facebook gallery of veteran art model. Orit’s drawings are a frenzy of beautiful colors that somehow mix to complete stunning images that capture light and shadows in a way that is uniquely her own. It’s impossible to just view her drawings and feel nothing. Somehow Orit is able to put a life and soul into all of her artwork, whether it be the balmy breeze you can feel while viewing one of her Florida landscape paintings, or the emotions the model was feeling while sitting for a life study session, or even the feeling of the setting she has captured in one of her room drawings.

Orit is a member of The Florida Painters and I first saw her in person at one of their shows at Crealdé School of Art . Since I had already become aware of Orit through social media, I already knew how beautiful she is. Orit has these big, beautiful, haunting eyes and an exotic beauty not many women possess. I was a bit star-struck when I saw her. I wanted to approach her and introduce myself, but I felt very odd about going up to someone I never met and telling them I already knew who they were. I ended up chickening out and leaving the event. I was dazzled by a figure piece Orit had in the show, and was kicking myself for not going up to her.

Many months later, I was walking into Crealdé School of Art for an Open Studio session and I noticed a thin woman, with dark curls, getting out of her car, and gathering her drawing pad from the back seat. It was Orit! I was excited to finally get to meet her, and I could not wait to see how she captured me. I always try to give 100% at each session, but that session, I felt a bit like a peacock. I tried to shine as bright as I could. I wanted her to think I was a good model. The pastel drawing below was created from that first session.  Bingo. Likeness from the first sitting!

I didn’t talk to Orit a lot at that session. I carefully played it cool, by slowly making  my way around to her easel, at the end of class. I was blown away by the likeness I saw, and Orit graciously granted me permission to take a photo of her drawing, as well as feature the drawing here on my website.

I had the pleasure of posing again for Orit when she attended a few more Open Studios at Crealdé. I quickly learned that Orit is incredibly friendly, thoughtful  (bringing candy for Halloween to an Open Studio session on October 31st),  and is very down to earth.

For the drawing below, she chose to create a figure drawing.  I love the commanding power she emotes through this drawing.

The drawing below is a more raw image. The use of light and shadow appears effortless, as your eye accurately finds the details in my face: my high cheekbones, the defined chin, even the way the light hits my forehead … it’s all so methodically detailed yet feels so effortless. Beautifully stunning.

You can find out more about Orit and view more of her work by viewing her website. You can even purchase accent pillows, throws and blouses featuring Orit’s work here. Needless to say, posing for Orit was a great honor and it was all I hoped it would be. 🙂

Artist Focus : Shiniko R. Floyd

I met Shiniko R. Floyd while posing for the Richmond Road Painters group. Niko has a sweet, shy smile, and easygoing nature. To use an old/outdated term – but it fits- Niko is one cool cat. 🙂 He is instantly likeable, not only for how low-key friendly he is, but also for his detailed, beautiful artwork.

The drawing below was from my very first session posing for the Richmond Road Painters. It was a long, standing pose. I was amazed that Niko was able to capture my likeness from the very first drawing! I remember he was so happy that a standing pose was chosen that night, as he revealed that he loves to draw backs…

The next session for the group, was a clothed session and I think it was at this session that Niko confessed that he loved to draw my face. I’ve heard my face is either fun to draw, or hard to draw. I guess Niko falls into the former category.

The drawing below is amazingly photographic in nature … such incredible detail! And this was only from a 2.5 hour session! 

The drawing below is my all time favorite of his work. He has my body dimensions spot on, but I especially love how he captured my messy braid. It’s so soft and feminine. 

For the drawing below, Niko told me that he measured my body, and the middle point of my body is actually my derrière – not my waist. Through life modeling, I am learning cool things about my body that I never knew.

The drawing below I love so much, but was actually taken back by how realistic it is when I walked over to Niko’s easel after the session. I used the word “graphic” to describe it.

The pose below in reality was just me sitting in a chair, but through Niko’s eyes, I was in a forest, with a fairy floating in front of me. For the toe – I originally had it down. Niko asked me to raise it for a brief moment, and he then captured this fun finishing detail on the drawing. I am drawn to my daydreaming expression here. I love that reflective, deep in thoughts look….

I will sometimes also see Niko at Crealdé School of Art during their Open Studio sessions. The two drawings below were from a session where I decided to be a marionette, by fashioning string around my wrists for my poses. I love how these gesture drawings totally capture the pose movements so well …

While the top drawings capture flow, the longer gestures below let Niko capture more of my musculature in detail…

Each portrait that Niko creates of me renders more and more spot on likeness…

The drawings below were from another Crealdé School of Art session, and this time, I decided to emulate the character Holly Golightly from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Niko totally nailed my likeness at this session. I can tell the right and left side of my face in the drawings, because the right side has more collagen (drawing directly below, one on the bottom) while the left side has less collagen – and I consider that my “best” side (drawing directly below, top right)….

I finished the session wearing a sleep mask – like Holly does in the movie in one scene – but I didn’t have time to get a stuffed animal orange cat to put on my back to make it exact. 🙂 Yet again, Niko nails the details. Look at my obliques! I also love how for the top and below drawings, Niko added color and highlights that make the drawings “pop”. 

Unfortunately Niko isn’t on social media to follow and doesn’t have a website at this time. Hopefully in the future he will adopt one of those mediums so that his artwork can be enjoyed on a larger scale, as it should be.

For now, I am happy to just get this small selection of his work out there that he created of me. If Niko does add some type of contact info, I will circle back and update this blog with that info.