Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Claire Litton in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Art makes me uncomfortable

So, a guy -- let's call him Mr. Teacher -- at the school where I often pose nude for figure-drawing classes asked if I would be willing to work with him on an art project. He sent me pictures of his sculptures: very tasteful and...bland, the kind of thing that hangs in your dentist's waiting room. He's a faculty member , I thought. It can't be creepy . To start, he asked me to dance around in a circle for 20 minutes. Naked. Apparently he does profile capturing, where you record someone moving and then render them as a 3-D image; it's like motion capture for the movies, only without the little reflective dots glued all over you. About halfway through, I started thinking about a phone call I got a year or so ago.

I was in a documentary film about the 1893 Chicago World's Fair; I played "Little Egypt," America's first belly dancer. The film is okay and the costuming would make a historian weep, but it was fun. So when I got this call from a guy who said he wanted to make a movie about belly dancing, I was interested.

Sponsored
Sponsored

"We have other videos in the series," he told me. "There's a yoga one, too. Usually I interview you for about 30 minutes and then we do a little skit -- very humorous. I write them myself."

On his website, I found descriptions of his oeuvre. There were references to tickling, a few to wrestling (including something called a "scrotum hold"), and a disturbing page full of references to living mannequins. "A set of April photos with her in a sexy red dress, looking as fake as ever," trumpets one caption. I had visions of the video shoot with Mr. Teacher ending up on a website for $29.95: "Nude circle dancing, just as fake as ever!"

When he had enough footage, he asked me to pose the way I do in a standard drawing class. Only instead of using a sketchpad, he brought out a stack of marble slabs, the kind you use to tile your kitchen counter. I appreciate art from natural materials, so he was still getting the benefit of the doubt. "That's good," he said. "Hold it." He dug through his bag and triumphantly pulled out...a drill. "Okay, don't move," he said, and lowered the half-inch bit toward the marble slab. A horrible screeching noise ensued.

Tiring of the drill, he started chipping at the marble with a pair of scissors, then tossed them away and reached for a box of oil pastels. He drew with sweeping arm gestures and then announced, "Done!" Mr. Teacher turned his work dramatically toward me.

It was a stick figure.

"Do you want to see my inspiration?" he said. He showed me a stack of pictures of Paleolithic cave drawings -- elongated figures with short arms that held spears ready to throw. Rather than asking him why on earth he needed a model to draw stick figures, I just nodded, thinking, The sooner this is over, the better .

Eventually, Mr. Teacher asked if I would mind doing some "life-casting." That's when someone wraps part of your body in plaster strips; it's very popular with pregnant bellies. I tried a variety of poses, hoping to find something that would spur his imagination. "I'm looking for something muscular ," he said, then his eyes sank to my chest. "Are those real?"

"Yes," I managed.

"Excellent," he enthused. "Do you have any children?"

"No," I said, reclining uncomfortably.

"That's good. When you don't have kids, you can act like you're single." He began ripping plaster sheets into five-inch strips.

"How long have you and your wife been married?" I asked, hoping to remind him that he wasn't, in fact, single.

"Too long," he said, and began dipping the plaster in a bowl of water. "She doesn't like art. We live very separate lives," he said mournfully, and spread the first clammy sheet over my breast.

Usually, when I'm posing for art classes or the occasional photographer, I'm not even aware of being naked; when I was a child, my mother was certain I was destined for a nudist colony. The artists are friendly and shy and painfully aware of the present situation. I liken it to what happens when an amputee walks in; suddenly, everybody notices that someone in the room is missing something vital. Rather than draw attention to the lack, you ignore it and draw maturity around you like a veil. Everyone has a part to play.

But with Mr. Teacher, I was naked, and reminded of my vulnerability -- the nudity not just of my body, but of my faith in other people.

http://people.tribe.net/safadancer/blog

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Switchfoot BRO-AM Beach Fest, Uptown Rhythm Makers, Cobby Brzeski, Chest Fever, Elvin Bishop

Fests, tributes, and more in Encinitas, Balboa Park, Bankers Hill, Little Italy, Solana Beach
Next Article

Roob Blackwell took up the ukelele and wound up with an EP

Sorry Section’s first release provided a collaborative catharsis

Art makes me uncomfortable

So, a guy -- let's call him Mr. Teacher -- at the school where I often pose nude for figure-drawing classes asked if I would be willing to work with him on an art project. He sent me pictures of his sculptures: very tasteful and...bland, the kind of thing that hangs in your dentist's waiting room. He's a faculty member , I thought. It can't be creepy . To start, he asked me to dance around in a circle for 20 minutes. Naked. Apparently he does profile capturing, where you record someone moving and then render them as a 3-D image; it's like motion capture for the movies, only without the little reflective dots glued all over you. About halfway through, I started thinking about a phone call I got a year or so ago.

I was in a documentary film about the 1893 Chicago World's Fair; I played "Little Egypt," America's first belly dancer. The film is okay and the costuming would make a historian weep, but it was fun. So when I got this call from a guy who said he wanted to make a movie about belly dancing, I was interested.

Sponsored
Sponsored

"We have other videos in the series," he told me. "There's a yoga one, too. Usually I interview you for about 30 minutes and then we do a little skit -- very humorous. I write them myself."

On his website, I found descriptions of his oeuvre. There were references to tickling, a few to wrestling (including something called a "scrotum hold"), and a disturbing page full of references to living mannequins. "A set of April photos with her in a sexy red dress, looking as fake as ever," trumpets one caption. I had visions of the video shoot with Mr. Teacher ending up on a website for $29.95: "Nude circle dancing, just as fake as ever!"

When he had enough footage, he asked me to pose the way I do in a standard drawing class. Only instead of using a sketchpad, he brought out a stack of marble slabs, the kind you use to tile your kitchen counter. I appreciate art from natural materials, so he was still getting the benefit of the doubt. "That's good," he said. "Hold it." He dug through his bag and triumphantly pulled out...a drill. "Okay, don't move," he said, and lowered the half-inch bit toward the marble slab. A horrible screeching noise ensued.

Tiring of the drill, he started chipping at the marble with a pair of scissors, then tossed them away and reached for a box of oil pastels. He drew with sweeping arm gestures and then announced, "Done!" Mr. Teacher turned his work dramatically toward me.

It was a stick figure.

"Do you want to see my inspiration?" he said. He showed me a stack of pictures of Paleolithic cave drawings -- elongated figures with short arms that held spears ready to throw. Rather than asking him why on earth he needed a model to draw stick figures, I just nodded, thinking, The sooner this is over, the better .

Eventually, Mr. Teacher asked if I would mind doing some "life-casting." That's when someone wraps part of your body in plaster strips; it's very popular with pregnant bellies. I tried a variety of poses, hoping to find something that would spur his imagination. "I'm looking for something muscular ," he said, then his eyes sank to my chest. "Are those real?"

"Yes," I managed.

"Excellent," he enthused. "Do you have any children?"

"No," I said, reclining uncomfortably.

"That's good. When you don't have kids, you can act like you're single." He began ripping plaster sheets into five-inch strips.

"How long have you and your wife been married?" I asked, hoping to remind him that he wasn't, in fact, single.

"Too long," he said, and began dipping the plaster in a bowl of water. "She doesn't like art. We live very separate lives," he said mournfully, and spread the first clammy sheet over my breast.

Usually, when I'm posing for art classes or the occasional photographer, I'm not even aware of being naked; when I was a child, my mother was certain I was destined for a nudist colony. The artists are friendly and shy and painfully aware of the present situation. I liken it to what happens when an amputee walks in; suddenly, everybody notices that someone in the room is missing something vital. Rather than draw attention to the lack, you ignore it and draw maturity around you like a veil. Everyone has a part to play.

But with Mr. Teacher, I was naked, and reminded of my vulnerability -- the nudity not just of my body, but of my faith in other people.

http://people.tribe.net/safadancer/blog

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

What is it about the 35 bus?

It carries the OB vibe with it
Next Article

Safe in Encinitas – coast live oaks, Engelmann oaks, Fremont cottonwoods, western sycamores, and Torrey pines

Not as safe – invasive trees, fruit trees, palm trees.
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.