On my mark, getting set...

It's the night before my first portrait session with my visionary friend. I'm not really nervous, but I know that I need to be "on" my marks tomorrow and make the most of the opportunity my sitter is graciously giving me. It's a big deal - being in that same space, watching someone watch you, look at you, study you. There's no place to hide (okay, so there might be a bathroom break).

When I was sitting for Clarity for her Breast Portrait Project, I wasn't nervous because I had already modeled back in Mankato State University's life drawing class for an amazing woman named Rea Mingeva who taught me about measurement and proportion and passion and respect while I was on the model stand watching the other students draw. But with Clarity I was sitting for just one person, not a whole class. It's quieter, more intimate - it was just the two of us in her studio. With great big multi-paned windows that let in the most pure white Northern light. She made me a coffee and turned on the space heater and I took my shirt off. And it was O.K. It was beautiful. We had such a nice conversation while she drew my body and I watched her draw me.

It was all right.

So as well as I know my first subject, he's a friend of mine, I think he's not entirely comfortable being "looked at." He's not a model, but he's sitting for me. (And folks, this project is all PG so just sit tight. There will be shirts.) It is a great gift, that he said yes, that he's letting me paint him. So I want to do it well - as I am painting the shapes of his face, I want my brushstrokes to describe the shape of his heart. 

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