Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Umbrella Pose

      "Where do you get your ideas for poses?" For me, it can be just about anywhere. I use the "umbrella pose" mainly for painting classes or for drawing classes that include the use of color. Since Mike Ananian encourages the use of color in his "Figure Drawing II" classes at UNC-G, I try to use the umbrella pose for those classes. I think the "rainbow" umbrella certainly adds something to this pose.  
     For me, it began in 1965, with an issue of Playboy Magazine that included the feature "Girls of the Riviera." One of the young French (I suppose) models was standing on a beach holding an umbrella. A feminine pose, if you will. One of the things I like to do to add variety to the poses I do for art classes is to do deliberately "feminine" poses from time to time.     

     The best female models I know also mix active, "masculine" poses into their posing repertoire. "Variety is the spice of art," that's my motto - it applies to poses as well as to variety in models for art classes. During my most recent use of the "Umbrella pose" at UNC-G, last spring, the first day I did the pose was a "crit" day, so only about an hour was left after the homework crit for actual drawing. An almost unanimous request came from the students to continue the pose in the next class period. Since I had my digital camera, I asked one of the students to take several photos of the pose to help reconstruct it for the next class meeting. This, and masking tape marks for my position and that of the posing platform on the floor, helped us to duplicate it pretty well the following Wednesday.

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