Nude Life Drawing Experiences At A University
There is a wide perception of nudity on my campus at Western Oregon University. Some are okay with it, others are against it. What I had not expected is a big difference in what someone draws in a life drawing course. There are all different kinds of art and different styles of painting and drawing. Over the last few months I have been hired off and on to be a model, sometimes clothed other times au naturel.
The first time I decided to be drawn was in the nude. At first, I was nervous and even shaking more than normal. I suspect that the professor even realized I was nervous and had my other poses sitting down to make me more comfortable. It was easier after a break, because I realized the students were very professional and respected me. I’ve heard stories about how the model and the students do not talk, but I wanted to be different. I engaged the students in conversation during break. I wanted them to understand that nudity doesn’t have to be awkward nor shameful; it can be beautiful and natural. It was interesting to see different perspectives of myself. Some I liked and others I didn’t like as much, showing that maybe I still have a long way to go before I have completely accepted myself in my own skin, since they captured more of my flaws. I do not even know if the artists who drew me with my flaws found it ugly, just that they only drew what they felt inspired to draw. As I went around the room I noticed more and more differences. I noticed the men avoided drawing my penis while the women seemed to not care one way or another. After all it is just another body part, and it is a life drawing course. I thought it would have maybe been just one or two men, but it turned out to be all of them avoiding it.
What is stigmatized about the male penis that even some artists today refuse to draw it?
I have heard various speculations on it. One reason is that the male penis is often viewed as grotesque and something to be ashamed about. Many have heard in the news last October that the Leopold museum covered up naked men because they had received numerous complaints about their advertising and artwork. To avoid an outrage from the public, there would be a red strip that covered the male penis on about 180 works of art while nude women would remain uncovered.
Have we become such a backwards society that even the sight of a penis scares people? I realize that there are many reasons why some individuals have become afraid to even see a penis because for some that means reliving a bad sexual experience they shouldn’t have had to go through.
I hope that through de-sensitizing people to human anatomy, we can achieve a world where any anatomical part is not viewed as ugly or shameful. One of the first steps would be to open up to the artistic viewpoint of the anatomy.
In another nude modeling session, I was a lot more comfortable. I felt confident that the students would act professional, and they did. In fact, it was pretty easy to interact with the artists on my breaks. There seemed to be less reservation among the genders toward drawing the male penis. I was pleasantly surprised since there was not a distinction between men and women drawing anatomical figures. I hope this trend continues. With all my experiences, the nightmare of showing up to school naked wasn’t as horrible as my dreams made it out to be. It was well worth it and I hope to do it again soon, especially for an art class who respects and admires the human figure in all its splendor and glory.
Category: The Oregon Nudist Trail Blogs
About the Author (Author Profile)Logan Green is the leader of YNA OR - Young Naturists America Oregon Chapter.
The only time that I feel like I am "suffering" is when I had chosen a really bad pose, and my muscles are really mad at me. I try to do Yoga then shower before I even go to the modeling gig.
It would be interesting if students in the class was willing to get into the spot light, but yet again, I would even have this small job if they were so in essence I have been thankful for that. However, it would be cool if each student at least did it once for the experience.
Most of the time I just zone out otherwise time would feel more like an eternity, though when I have chosen bad poses it does feel like an eternity. The best advice is to not look at the clock, and if you can't help it, do a pose that forces you to long away.
Tuesdays I have done the most nude modeling at my school and it has been well worth it, though at times my body does something I really do not want it to do, but that is very rare, and I notice is because I've made myself too nervous and self-conscious of my body, but no one really says anything and goes around the business. I just take deep breathes and everything returns back to normal, so it is not like I am allowing it to be there.
Anyways, I've never bee the artist and I like to see how people view me and it is interesting to see all the different artistic styles out there, some I like and others I don't, but overall it has been a good experience.
Interesting thoughts, though I am more used to standing on the other side of the easle as both artist and tutor, I have modelled as I decided that I should know what I ask my models to suffer while I am portraying them. It is very hard work, keeping still while shifting the weight around around your body to aliviate the pain. Im very bad at it. Some people have told me that they go into a trance or meditate, I found my self staring at the clock with every minuite seeming like an hour.
One of my regular models told me that she leaves her ego hanging on the studio door, as she has seen so many unflattereing images of herself, you have to remember that many students are raw beguinners and are struggling to control their pencils, of course there are students of all abilities but some will be pleased if they make an image that is recognisabe as human..
Most people who model for my classes are women and I have found that my student numbers have dropped when I have hired a man, unlike your experiences it is usually women who fail to attend. As for them ignoring the genitles, I quitely say that they are to draw the whole body and then return to see the penis tentatively described.
The life drawing class is a strange enviroment, a group of people enter a room and then one sheds their clothes and the others intensely stare at that person for the duration. Too often the tutor will depersonalise the model, "look at the stomach", rather than "look at her/his stomach" I always introduce the model and having seen (in other groups) the model sitting alone in a corner during the breaks, ensure that we all socialise.
One of the nightmares of organising life groups is the model not turning up, some with a legitimate reason, often with first timers getting an attack of last minute nerves,, then one of the students will take their place, (there is usually someone who will welcome some extra cash) tthough never has that person been willing to model nude. I would love to run a class where all were equally naked, taking turns to draw and model, thus saving the cost of hiring the model.