As a little diversion I am taking an evening course in Life Drawing. This is week 7 of 12 and I have enjoyed every minute of it. The first session was a little uncomfortable when the tutor told us we would be sharing our work. Not having drawn (other than cartoon sketches for my son) since school, the mere idea of drawing let alone showing everyone else my work did make me tremble at the knees. I was soon put at ease by the tutor and have found looking at the drawing of others so inspiring. Also I have to say the group is a pretty generous one so there is always a positive to be found in every piece of work. Then came the interesting experience of a staring at our model, a naked man. In my work as a photographer I regularly see naked women, mainly pregnant, but other than my partner male nudity is a bit of a rarity in my life. (Oh and there was that one awful night at a ‘women only’ social club event where I found myself with a naked male stripper sat on my lap!).
Interestingly the sheer process of having to represent the human form on paper seems somehow to de-sexualize the body, it becomes line and shadow and contour. This perhaps goes some way to explain why I find it easy to photograph people I know (particularly if they are coming to me for a boudoir shoot), once I stand behind the camera the person in front of it becomes the model. Many people have asked me if it is embarrassing and I can honestly say both drawing a naked man and photographing naked women is not about the nudity but entirely about celebrating beauty of the human form.