The Evening Institute

Obviously Clive, Yvonne, Mel and other committee members are still available on their personal telephone numbers but it will if you use the above number when evere possible. The new number can be transferred from committee member to committee member thereby giving all the committee the opportunity of answering queries from members and enquiries from new people.

As you know Clive and Yvonne intend to take a less active role as they approach retirement so the new number should also reduce their incoming phone calls and provide a better service to members and new people alike.
In the autumn of 1975, in an effort to improve elementary artistic skills, I went to a local evening institute figure drawing session back which was when plans changed surprisingly unexpectedly. The new and keen students were filling the studio ready and eager to start but no model had arrived. The tutor apologised profusely for the delay but after some fifteen minutes wait, and still no model, he asked if anybody was willing to stand in as our model.

This must be easier than drowning I thought Alan so I volunteered. “Would you mind removing your shirt” he asked as I made myself comfortable on the dais. Despite the inevitable fear I managed to remain reasonably still.

The following week Duncan ‘phoned’ in desperation just as I was about to leave for the class, having been unable to contact the appointed model would I do it again please? This time possibly wearing tight briefs or consider going nude. I hesitatingly agreed and he immediately waived the term’s fee and offered to pay me instead.

I had begun to enjoy the new pastime, a world away from my full time career, I must confess. A female model posed the third week and I was able to join all the other budding artists over coffee where several congratulated me on having saved the first two evenings and asked if I would model regularly. When asked if I minded standing naked I surprised myself by saying it did not trouble me. I was, without realising it, launching into a vacation or leisure pursuit that has continued almost to this day.

Word must have spread quickly among artists, sketchers, evening institutes, sculptors and the such for I was soon receiving many bookings from far and wide in fact during the eighties I was often modelling three or four nights during the week and more at weekends. My wife, although initially fairly uneasy at her husband appearing naked in front of a class or an individual, soon came round to thinking it was rather amusing.

Having occasionally posed outdoors in secluded settings, I have been the ‘focal point’ in large country houses, grubby student common rooms, splendid studios, village halls, private houses, you name it I have experienced the setting. I have stripped out of my normal clothes into a robe in all places from toilets, workshops to broom cupboards.

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