I am a part of the East Bay Figure Painters, a figure painting group I founded with Karen Zullo Sherr and other artists in 2007. We met at a figure drawing class featuring the typical 20 minute poses and found ourselves wanting to work in a figure painting environment that would feature longer poses (longer than 40 minutes), clothed models, and a diversity of ages and body shapes. Such groups existed but were not open to walk-ins.
With this challenge, we hired professional models from the Bay Area Model's Guild and found a location run by a local art collective, the Firehouse North Gallery. Our drawings and paintings all revolve around the figure, but there is a diversity of approaches and media the viewers find engaging. There are no warm-up or gesture poses. The clothed model arrives dressed in everyday clothes, and gets “posed” by one of the painters. Every twenty minutes, the model takes a short break and the artists pause to chat or view each other’s work until the end of the three hour session. Other members take various other duties such as posing the model, changing the music, collecting the model’s fee, and addressing walk-ins.