AMC Sundays at LARA – III

Art Model Collective are thrilled to announce that will are starting a collaboration with LARA, bringing you your favourite and well-missed Sunday sessions at London Atelier Of Representational Arts in Clapham North.

Both AMC models, Carla and Manko, have been posing at LARA for many years, but so far – only individually, in weeks-long sustained extended nude poses, usually in classic contrapposto…. that is, up til now!

This collaboration has been brewing for some time, and finally, our dynamic duo of hard-working full-time models are set to bring their own style, sparkle, vitality and glamour to the sober academic environment of the atelier.

LARA is a well-resourced and highly professional atelier, established in 2008 in response to the rarity of rigorous, representational art education. It follows a highly-structured and systematic curriculum which emerged around the seventeenth century and later became the most common method of training painters. In its full-time and part-time courses, LARA teaches a methodical sight-size discipline in life drawing, painting and sculpture.

However this Autumn, AMC invite you to enter the well-equipped studio in Clapham North for a more relaxed approach to life drawing. Let’s take the inspiration from the environment of this excellent classical drawing atelier and see what artistic cocktail of inspiration our models can whip up at these relaxed, informal 3 hour Sunday afternoon sessions! It will be a truly unique blend of your beloved AMC events set in an academic environment.

Carla and Manko will host tributes to our favourite artists, posing together in a combination of short and long, clothed and nude poses, set to specially curated soundtrack.

These sessions will be untutored and open to every level of skill. 

Quick drawing is a great way to practise capturing the essence of a pose, without getting distracted by unnecessary detail. If an artist can capture the pose’s gesture and model’s basic body type in just a few well-judged lines, then they have mastered the block-in, the cornerstone on which any good drawing rests.

The drop-in sessions take place in the same figure room as the full-time course and therefore benefit from the excellent studio facilities. LARA studio has a range of different lighting options, from soft artificial light to harder spotlights of different colour temperatures, all at studio quality specifications.

LARA provide chairs and drawing boards for all and, additionally, there are easels available on a first-come, first-served basis.

We will have a selection of paper and free materials courtesy of GreatArt. Artists are encouraged to experiment with different media – varied charcoals, pastels, pencils, pens and even chunky markers. (You are welcome to use wet materials like inks and watercolours, but please bring your own).

Advance tickets are on sale via EventBrite, and the spaces are limited.

Psychology of drawing: AMC workshop with Frank Gambino

Art Model Collective return to Underdog Gallery for Tuesday evening’s multi-model life drawing session.

This time we will have a guest artist, the brilliant charcoal master Frank Gambino, to share his measuring and sketching techniques, as well as discuss the psychology of drawing.

We will have long nude poses with Carla and Manko, so join us and Frank to immerse yourself in a long luxurious relaxed drawing or painting session!

All levels welcome!
Bar, table spaces and some easels.
Free paper and art materials courtesy of GreatArt

Tickets: £15 in advance or £20 cash on the door.

Euan Uglow-inspired multimodel life drawing

As a theme for one of our summer life drawing sessions, we thought we should embrace the heat and get completely naked for a change.

This time we are inspired by a figurative British artist, Euan Uglow (1932–2000).

Predominantly a painter of the human figure, Uglow always worked directly from life. His method was meticulous, involving a great deal of measuring and correction to create images that are not hyper real, but appear almost sculptural.

The measuring process was laborious and time-consuming to the point that Uglow himself joked that he began painting one model when she was engaged, was still painting when she got married and did not finish painting until she was divorced!

However, don’t worry! Art Model Collective will not bore you with academic set-ups lasting half a lifetime. You will get expressive dynamic nude poses of 10-30 mins, allowing you to focus on the measurement in Uglow’s style… or just to draw in your own favourite style as usual.

His paintings have a simplicity that seems to grow in character thanks to the nature of the poses. This time expect a very low key, yet visually accurate set-up with a variety of poses that will remind you why Uglow is a painter particularly admired by painters and art students alike.

£15 admission on the door.

Bar, evocative soundtrack, like-minded group of creatives, at Underdog Gallery – a perfect location just a few minute walk from London Bridge station.

We’ll have free art materials courtesy of GreatArt sponsorship for spontaneously visiting artists, but as always, please bring your favourite tools.

Chairs and drawing boards provided, some easels and table spaces available.

All levels welcome.

——————
In case you wish to take up the challenge of Euan Uglow’s tribute, let’s look more into his method of working.

“Uglow preferred that his canvas be a square, a golden rectangle, or a rectangle of exact root value.

He then carried out careful measurements at every stage of painting, a method Coldstream had imparted to him and which is identified with the painters of the Euston Road School. 

Standing before the subject to be painted, Uglow registered measurements by means of a metal instrument of his own design (derived from a modified music stand); with one eye closed and with the arm of the instrument against his cheek, keeping the calibrations at a constant distance from the eye, the artist could take the measure of an object or interval to compare against other objects or intervals he saw before him. 

Such empirical measurements enable an artist to paint what the eye sees without the use of conventional perspective. 

The surfaces of Uglow’s paintings carry many small horizontal and vertical markings, where he recorded these coordinates so that they could be verified against reality.”

AMC: 360° pose drawing with animator Aaron Jacob Jones

Due to a popular demand, we are bringing you another opportunity to animate your drawings with a supervision and guidance by a pro animator!

We at Art Model Collective love to hear artists’ feedback and input. One of our regulars, extremely talented illustrator and animator Aaron Jacob Jones, suggested trying to bring a pose to life with animation, and of course we are happy to oblige!

Carla will set up one single pose in the centre of the gallery on a rotating platform, and work with Aaron to help you animate your life drawings during this 2.5 hour session.

We’re going to spin Carla 360 degrees and give everyone 8 different angles of the same pose. Aaron will guide you through the technicalities of this challenge, suggesting to capture each angle as consistently as you can, using the same materials, colours and scale.

At the end of the session, Aaron will explain how to turn your 8 drawings into a spinning animation, using a website, a mobile app or even Photoshop. Even the simplest sketches will blend together to create the illusion of spinning movement.

The exercise will enhance your understanding of how to capture the structure of the figure in 3D, and seeing your artwork animated is always a quirky delight.

Bar, soundtrack, tutoring, like-minded group of creatives, at a perfect location just a few minute walk from London Bridge station.

Admission: £15 on the door

We’ll have some free art materials for spontaneously visiting artists, but as always, please bring your favourite tools.

Chairs and drawing boards provided, some easels and table spaces available.

All levels welcome.

Infinity War: dynamic mega-model session at Orbital Comics!

Following on from our previous ’blockbuster’ sessions at Orbital Comics, Art Model Collective return to celebrate the release of Avengers: Infinity War – the epic culmination of the marvel cinematic universe series arc.

Manko & Carla, accompanied by the cream of the cos-play scene, will channel their inner superhero for a senses-shattering life-drawing extravaganza of cosmic proportions!

Join us for some dynamic costumed life drawing, as Orbital becomes the scene of a sensational superhero slug-fest, featuring multi-model poses in different locations around the store.

Basic materials and refreshments provided.

Entry: £15
Get your tickets from Orbital Comics store!

 

RIOT GRRRL! multimodel life drawing session

Finally! A much anticipated multi-model life drawing theme with a riotous soundtrack!
Art Model Collective celebrates the Riot Grrrls in music.

February 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, in which *some* women got to vote for the first time in the UK.
To celebrate this key step in the process towards female emancipation and universal suffrage, we are hailing the irrepressible female spirit with a Riot Grrrl life drawing session!

Riot grrrl is an underground subculture movement originating in the early 1990s, organised to end ageism, homophobia, racism, sexism and, especially, physical and emotional violence against women and girls, through music, DIY ethic, zines, art, political action, and activism.

Our models will embrace each other in pure feminist consciousness and punk style as much as the original Rior Grrrls embraced their guitars, voice, and grassroots politics.

All levels welcome
Hosted by Jason Atomic
Admission on the door: £15
(As usual, we welcome other life models who have worked with AMC before to come and draw free of charge)

We’ll have some free art materials for spontaneously visiting artists, but as always, please bring your favourite tools.

Chairs and drawing boards provided, some easels and table spaces available.

Please join us for a drink afterwards! We’re a friendly bunch of like-minded creatives and enjoy chatting, brainstorming, getting feedback and swapping ideas!

Interview with AMC founder Carla Tofano

Carla by Archie Wardlaw at London Fine Arts

Carla by Archie Wardlaw at London Fine Arts

How did you get into life modelling?

My first step into modelling was an accident. I am a journalist and had the wonderful opportunity of building a great career in my country doing tv, radio, magazines and newspapers and covering news about arts and entertainment on all these media platforms. When I moved to UK, I couldn’t speak any English at all, and of course had to start my professional life from scratch. I did some work in customer services with the only aim to build some confidence with the language and to improve my English but I honestly was very bad at all that: I was loved by customers and hated by managers, because of my lack of efficiency with numbers and other practical, systematic things. Then I met Anna Rosa Paladino, a Venezuelan girl with my same educational and cultural background – she was also Italian Venezuelan – who was working as life model in Florence, and I realised that she was doing something that I would love to do. I was always very body conscious and I thought I was extremely shy about my own nudity, but the fist time I stood nude in front of a group of artists I felt as if I had always been an art model.

What led you to Art Model Collective?

Manko and I first meet through another multi-model project that we created with male model Andrew Crayford. We worked together creating amazing sessions with a very theatrical input but slowly the creative collaboration between the three of us stopped being fluid and positive. Manko and I then realised we had a natural mutual trust and camaraderie. Even if the original team didn’t survive we felt we should keep exploring our professional relationship in order to bring to life all the sessions that had started to form in the river of creativity born of our newly connected, creative minds.

So, the start of Art Model Collective was also the loss of our previous project. We created life from death which is probably one of the reasons why Art Model Collective is such a powerful, independent and fearless project. Manko and I have created a collective of models in order to run weekly sessions with interactive body compositions and a great plurality of models and ideas. We wanted to offer inspiration to London’s art scene and, in return we get the satisfaction of doing something worthy, beautiful and inspiring – and nothing has stopped us from doing it.

Manko is not just my lovely sister from another mister, she is also the force that keeps me believing and doing my best every day, in order to create what we can only desire and dream of. She is not just extremely beautiful, she is also elegant of mind and heart. She is creative, unstoppable and incredibly efficient.

Manko and Carla

Is it weird being naked? What was your first time like?

It isn’t weird but it’s special. We live in a world where nudity has many good and bad connotations and as a life model I am not beyond all that. I just have found an acceptance of my corporality that make my feel strong and precious when I am uncovered. I am always ready to unclothe my mind and my heart every time my body is unclothed. Not everyone is ready for that, which makes me feel respect for myself.

My first time was in Lavender Hill Studios and I remember everything in a very blurry dreamy way. The light coming through the windows during that summers day sunset was orange, and in the background the music of Cesaria Evora was playing… Her voice made me feel loved, protected.

Carla: "Real day, real me, real mess"

Carla: “Real day, real me, real mess…” After a long day at Richmond Art School

What goes on in your head when you’re standing naked?

I am always connected with my desires. When I stand, lie or sit naked I flow freely into my very personal, intimate and deep world of fantasies and wishes. Being in silence and challenging my body to it’s limits, also gives me the precious opportunity to just live in the present, which is something we rarely experience in the modern world. I am blessed with a job that offers to me the opportunity to do long hours of daily meditation and self discovery. Every day of modelling is a day of introspection for me. I now need these minutes and hours as much as i need my voice and my capacity of discernment.

Carla Tofano and Manko at LimeWharf by Toby Deveson

Carla Tofano and Manko at LimeWharf. Photo by Toby Deveson

Is life modelling easy? What’s your preparation process for this job?

I honestly never do any preparation at all. I like the risk of been in the moment and just being ready to test my limits and discover what I am capable of when the circumstances arrive. I should do some work out or yoga (because the stronger you are, the longer you can hold the poses) but honestly, I don’t have time. I don’t do any kind of exercise apart from walking like crazy – in heels – around London to get to my sessions on time. Modelling every day for many hours is my every day, very tough physical training. It can be very painful and demanding but I am never scared of the challenge, which may be the reason why I always push my body to the limit.

Carla by James Rose

Carla by James Rose

What about the metaphysical aspect of a model becoming a muse?

Just the word “muse” makes my blush! I adore the idea of being more than an empty subject for someone creating art from observation, but I prefer not to consider myself a muse. To call myself one sounds too pretentious to me. Also, I don’t need or want to become too conscious of my potential influence on the creative process of the artists I work with… Being too aware of it could ruin the magic of somehow just being magical…somehow!

What other artists, model, muses do you admire? Do you have inspiration /favourites?

I love the story of artists and models like Gala (Dali’s wife) and Lizzy Sidall who, apart from being painted and drawn extensively by the artists of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, was also a poet, artist and Rosetti’s wife. I also admire the work of Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Modigliani and Alphonse Mucha. They were figurative artists who were more interested in creating their own aesthetic language than copying reality. I love also Sorolla’s portraits and, as mentioned above, most of the artists from the Pre Raphaelite movement.

High levels of expression and communication are my goals as an artist’s model. I have discretely cried, danced and laughed during some of my modelling sessions and I am not ashamed of that. I am not a mannequin but a woman that’s alive –  exuberantly alive – and proud of it!

Art Model Collective Preraphaelite life drawing

Art Model Collective PreRaphaelite tribute life drawing session at Underdog Gallery

Tell us about your most memorable life-modelling gig. It can be the funniest, the weirdest, the most inspirational, the best paid, the creepiest, etc?

I did a session for people in extreme conditions – homeless and drug addicts – and the experience was very motivational. I realised that concentration is very hard when you don’t have any security in life. They were very distracted on the long poses but they managed to do amazing drawings with the quick ones. I am still amazed about that session and the whole importance of art as remedy to heal the heart and soul.

Has life modelling changed you and how you see yourself?

Life modelling has, in many ways taken me on a path of self discovery. I have truly embraced the real me since I started accepting my body, and connecting with my inner silence and imagination every single day of my life. I accept now things about myself that I always wanted to avoid. I love now things about me that I used to hate. Life modelling or art modelling has been an opportunity to keep exploring my potential as a communicator, the difference being that I now speak through my body.

I have always loved the power of words but having learnt to live without them, I respect them even more.

What would be your dream modelling job?

Modelling with Art Model Collective in the best museums of London and around the world would be wonderful. I would particularly love to do a session in the Victoria & Albert, my absolute favourite museum ever! A world tour with Art Model Collective next summer would be amazing too: New York, Florence, Venice, Tokyo! All these cities are in my life drawing dreams!

You have had so many beautiful sessions with Art Model Collective… Do you have a favourite? Would it be possible for you to pick just one?

It is difficult to choose just one session when almost each one has come from our vivid imagination to reality, with so much love and desire. They all come to life as visually strong pieces of tableaux vivant thanks to our efforts to bring to life even the most abstract of ideas.

But for many sentimental reason i am sure we all have favourite AMC sessions and I am not the exception. I have to confess that I loved every single second of our Modigliani first session at Underdog -we are going to revisit this theme to celebrate the wonderful retrospective of Amadeo Modigliani currently been exhibited at TATE Modern- and when I see the images of what we did that night my heart jumps with excitement and sinks with melancholy at the same time. That session had a very poetic atmosphere and it was planned in a way that made complete sense considering Amadeo’s passion for capturing a soulful portrait of his subjects, and his remarkable ability to create lying nudes of beautiful female models that are in many ways are as sensual as they are revolutionary. That session to me also means the beginning of a more confident me, in territories not exactly related to posing, and the beginning of a photographic romance between Art Model Collective and Toby Deveson, who is also the love of my life.

Carla as a Modigliani model. Photo by Toby Deveson

Carla as a Modigliani model. Photo by Toby Deveson

Your presence online is solid and looks very beautifully curated , do you see a possible progression of the project online? Virtual sessions perhaps?

I am not going to say no, but for now I am happy knowing that Art Model Collective stands for the force of the art, made out of an exceptionally alive instant of pure life. That’s why we work beautifully connected around the idea of creating realities that can relate to the extraordinary, without missing the impulse of that inevitable down-to-earth real human breath. That human breath and heart beat that is at the end what we mainly offer as inspiration in each one of our highly passionate and physically demanding life drawing events. It is the powerful energy that fulfils a room of people working together towards a similar aim that makes the experience almost mystical and quite addictive. In a very digitally oriented world, doing what we do feels very significant and pertinent.

Carla at Orbital Comics in TG Latex. Photo by Drucilla Burrell

Carla at Orbital Comics in TG Latex. Photo by Drucilla Burrell