Hungry Artist Free Figure Drawing
If you’ve ever been interested in capturing the physical form, Zeus Quesada and Loma Walker provide a weekly (and free) session for people to develop or hone their figure drawing abilities. The two are both models and co-directors of Models Utilizing Social Environments, or MUSE, an independent art project that is currently embarking on its fourth year of bringing public awareness to the benefits of live modeling.
MUSE’s main objective is to bring models and artists together to create inspiring environments where art is produced as a result of great connections, and the Hungry Artist Figure Drawing Sessions accomplish just that. As professional models, Quesada and Walker recognize modeling as a performance art, which requires an intimate understanding of both classical poses and the needs of the illustrator. Quesada and Walker strive to be static, timeless inspirations for creation that are equally as involved in the live drawing as the artist themselves, creating an interdependency between model and artist. “The models are great, Zeus and Loma do a great job and a great service,” devoted year-and-a-half attendee James Davis says. “I enjoy being a part of [MUSE] and helping them, and they’re helping me at the same time. It’s a symbiosis.”
Positioned at the forefront of Artisan, the group accommodates up to 10 artists on a first come first serve basis. Zeus and Loma alternate between modeling (clothed) and drawing each week, doing four five-minute poses and three 20-minute poses, with about a 10-minute break in between. Though the session is free, donations for the models are accepted, and considering the work they do to produce the events, the tips are well deserved. “[Zeus and I] buy equipment, decide special projects together, share work, modeling, and hosting,” Walker says. They run the whole show, and the attention invested in the sessions is nothing short of assiduous.
The environment is laid back, casual, and assuredly free from judgment. “Nobody is telling you, ‘oh, that’s not good’ or ‘you can’t do it this way’ or ‘you don’t know how to draw.’ None of that is said,” Walker says. “Here, you just enjoy drawing and the company of other people that enjoy drawing, and I think that’s really important.” The active instruction is limited and the learning environment is mostly self-directed. Unlike some live drawing groups, the Hungry Artist Figure Drawing sessions are less formal than others and have a lighter atmosphere, which eliminates much of the stress of sketching next to strangers.
After the sessions, Quesada hopes that artists retain the value of being able to truly see, but not in the traditional sense of the word. “There’s a real difference between the way that our brain perceives the world around us and the way that it perceives it once you take up figure drawing,” Quesada says. As stated on their brochure, “with this new perspective, an artist gains the ability to see the physical world as it is, not as they may have imagined it.”
Sessions last from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Thursday except Christmas week. Painting, sculptures or pastels are not encouraged for the sake of cleanliness and respect for the generosity of Artisan for donating its space to MUSE. Chairs are provided, easels are welcomed and food is not permitted.
Email MUSE_ArtProject@yahoo.com, or call Zeus at 505-699-7380 to receive more information on this event and others, or to inquire about modeling opportunities through MUSE.