A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Eyes on Me (How I Spent a Monday Morning with a Bunch of Amateur Artists)

A few weeks ago, mum-in-law asked if I'd like to sit for her amateur art group out in Cleveland.

I thought, "Hmmm, why not...  more fodder for my blog." It's not everyday that I get to model for anyone. And I get to keep the portraits if I want to! It's a tad like that Rolf Harris tv show I saw twice. Except I don't have to rise to the dizzy heights of celebritydom to be in the running.

"Fun" is not the word I would randomly throw around here. Interesting perhaps... surreal maybe. There's nothing normal about sitting for 2 hours doing not a lot but fidgeting occasionally. Sitting in one position for an hour and a half trying not to move one's head, can be surprisingly hard on the neck and shoulders. Definitely not natural. And well, plus I have neck-shoulder issues... anyway.

Had a lovely chat in the course of the morning with the ladies and gents that wanted to chat about our favourite detective authors and characters. Various people chimed in with jokes about Midsomer Murders' body count and complete lack of realism. Then we inevitably yakked about kids and grandkids ... the cute and embarrassing stuff they do and say.

Overall, I rate it a positive experince, met a group of art-loving friendly folk and got to see mum-in-law at work.

Years of standing in front of young eager minds probably prepared me for this moment... being scrutinized with clinical curiosity.

 Mum-in-law and friend

 The hot seat... literally... I was sweltering...and melting

No... I kept my clothes on. No sense in turning this into a pornographic, horror flick.
Humid day, totally wrong outfit for the weather... 
In desperation, I thought it best to mention that I was simmering. Some kindly soul then took the trouble to turn on the airconditioning.
Just in case you're wondering... I'm looking at the hibiscus bush trying desperately to look pensive. I can assure you the pose is much harder than it looks.

 Sliding specs. Having trouble getting the glasses to stay in one place. Should've probably got them tightened last week.

The Many Faces of Me. Which is the real Julia Lilian?

My personal favourites:

 Mum-in-law took this home to "touch up". Promised to give it to me when she's satisfied. Are artists ever satisfied?

I found Liz's techinique with watercolour very striking.

Often... I reckon, the portrait says a lot more about the artist than the subject.


  1. That looked like fun :D some of those are really rather realistic too.

    You should be a model more. haha

  2. Fun? Fun? Hey... sitting is hard work!
    I have to say that the results were better than I had expected.

    A couple of people dropped broad hints about me going back next week. I wouldn't mind ordinarily but it's quite far away.


Let me know what you think!