Yesterday the model for Bling Lady, L., came to see her piece and brought her sister and neice with her. L had emailed me that she had teased them that they would all be modeling for me as well. I wrote her back that I would be fine with that. One thing led to another, and they actually came over here expecting to model. The neice said she'd told L. she had to feed her a breakfast of mimosas for it to happen! That didn't happen, apparently, but despite that, they were ready to model - though giggly-nervous and unsure about it.
I'd never worked with three people at a time before, so I didn't have any expectations or vision of how it might work. I needn't have worried! These women are so incredibly full of life! We spent the whole time laughing and goofing off (and, by the way, getting some amazing pictures)!
They laughed a lot and joked about what they were doing and whether to tell their husband/dad and stuff like that. It took a little bit of time for them to get comfortable posing, though I noticed that they were completely comfortable with each other, naked or not. Mother-daughter and sister-sister relationships can be so fraught with tension and things unsaid and judgments and all that crap. I didn't see one iota of that present here. All I saw was comfort and love and pleasure in each other's company. I felt so happy being with them, I felt like I was being given an incredible gift to witness such ease and joy.
When we looked at the pictures afterwards, they certainly weren't the shots I normally take that are about the graceful curves and shadows and inward awareness. I love those pictures. These I love too! These women are athletes and are so comfortable in their bodies. The three of them wrapped themselves up in the tulle, hugged each other, grinned like crazy, laughed, posed absurdly, threw a volleyball back and forth, swirled around in scarves. L. had just competed in the Philadelphia Marathon - at age 65 - she's my hero! - and had placed well in her age group so she posed wearing her medal and running hat and the "potato skin" they put on the runners to keep them warm at the end of the race. The sister and neice posed holding sports equipment in a way that had all of us laughing for 5 minutes at the ridiculousness of it. I'm definitely going to paint that one! BIG!
The other one I plan to paint has the neice sitting in my red chair with her aunt and mom behind her, all of them laughing and doing "show hands", naked. It's such a goofy picture, so full of good humor and ease and silliness. I want to paint it absurdly large - 10'x10' perhaps. I picture it in the next Smithsonian Portrait Competition.
I'm thrilled to have worked with these woman and for their joie de vivre. Amazing!!
I'm so blessed to have such fantastic models. Thank you, Universe, for bringing the perfect people to me at the perfect time. I feel so led in the work I'm doing. One thing after another happens that is the perfect next step. Such blessings!