Balancing Act

I’ve just finished packing for my third shoot with a photographer who’s working with me this time in my nearby ancient woodland tomorrow morning, just for an hour. Having amused myself with the curation of some very fanciful outfits (I love it when I’m given free rein with styling, even if there are only so many sets you can get through in such a quick session!), I thought I’d update with some images sent to me which were taken in Vienna.

(I need to get myself back to Vienna again soon – SO much to see and do there!)

As you can imagine, some of these were a bit challenging, but challenges are fun, are they not? 🙂

(Organisation and set design by Roland Pum)

By Peter Eibler:

By Manfred Klejna:

More by Peter Eibler:

Hope you are all having wonderfully balanced weeks.

Europe

Happy Wednesday everyone. A fine day.

Despite technically having a little stretch of days off between modelling trips – I’ve been a busy (tres Oxfordian & cultural) bee with my new book group, poetry workshop, volunteering, piano lessons (and I’ve been asked to play at my brother’s wedding later this year, which is both amazing and terrifying!). I’ll be baking the unbelievably-delicious-n-nutritious ‘glo bars’ again today in time for a couple of friends visiting tomorrow (I REALLY recommend the book as well as the food blog: http://ohsheglows.com/). I’ve also booked my flights for Vienna for next month, which is exciting – along with Venice that will be two new cities I’ve not seen before in just one month. I blimmin’ LOVE living in Europe – all this amazing beauty and culture and history right on our doorstep, all with so much variety and diversity within one continent.

Here are some shots from Thomas Bichler, who was a pleasure to work with in the south of Germany recently.

He wrote about the shoot over on his website here. 🙂

It was such a lovely trip in general, with lots of hiking around to get to the perfect spots; this shoot required a really beautiful walk down to the lake, after amazing views from the top. Plus a few other locations…. Very much looking forward to working with Thomas again in future.

Earth Blood

I’m just about ready-ish for my imminent far-flinging-of-self to outward geographical extremities, from Kuala to koala, with some rice paddies, dragon-formed island cliffs, yoga classes & treehouse bars, ‘old quarters’ and kaleidoscopic underwater creature-greeting in between. I’m getting those last minute heebyjeebies, of course (well, they’ve been creeping up for a while..), but I’m used to that and I know things always tend to work out once you’re there. It’s hard to tear myself away from home, but hard not to! Adventures are calling.

I’ll be back sometime before Christmas (I’m not currently sure exactly when), and am now taking bookings for January. (Also, just to note, I’m keeping a list of photographers who’ve asked me to contact them to let them know when I’m back, in case we can fit something in before the end of the year. Please let me know if you’d like to be added to that list. My email address is ellarosemuse@live.co.uk.)

A final update before I go:

Modelling for the extremely talented 19-year-old woman that is Katie Eleanor was a pleasure. I had a quick jaunt to Hampstead Heath on a recent Saturday, to cavort with papier maché toadstools and have paper cut-out moths stuck to my body, before meeting friends in a Caribbean bar staged in an old shipping container in Shoreditch.

Katie is such an exciting, passionately creative person, and her style and penchant for whimsy and ethereal confusion and myth, stories and (tainted) nature is right up my street.

These were shot on film, then painted by hand afterwards. I think they’re a bit Victorian looking; a grown up flower fairy minus the flowers? I’m excited about following her work and seeing what she does next!

Damsels in Distress: Shalott

Copied from the ever-helpful Wikipedia, this is the story of the Lady of Shalott, the inspiration for a day with Keith Cooper last summer:

According to legend, the Lady of Shalott was forbidden to look directly at reality or the outside world; instead she was doomed to view the world through a mirror, and weave what she saw into tapestry. Her despair was heightened when she saw loving couples entwined in the far distance, and she spent her days and nights aching for a return to normality. One day the Lady saw Sir Lancelot passing on his way in the reflection of the mirror, and dared to look out at Camelot, bringing about a curse. The lady escaped by boat during an autumn storm, inscribing ‘The Lady of Shalott’ on the prow. As she sailed towards Camelot and certain death, she sang a lament. Her frozen body was found shortly afterwards by the knights and ladies of Camelot, one of whom is Lancelot, who prayed to God to have mercy on her soul. The tapestry she wove during her imprisonment was found draped over the side of the boat.

Keith was inspired by paintings such as this one by Waterhouse (which happens to be adorning my nearest radiator by way of magnetism), and had wanted to do this shoot with Ivory Flame and I for a long time, so we arranged a date, boat hire and took a row up and down the river here in Oxford. I absolutely love the results. The colours, reflections and fabrics and range of emotions (there was laughter, tenderness, peacefulness and quite a bit of death), came out so well, I think, and I’m really proud of these.

Help me pick a favourite?! (As always, click and scroll through to see larger.)

Outtake alert:

Holly and I are planning to do our best to visit the current pre-Raphaelite exhibition in London before it finishes this weekend. Who thinks we should turn up to the Tate in our long, white dresses?
We will also be modelling together on Saturday the 9th of February at Eye For An Image Studio in Banbury, Oxfordshire. I think there may be some time available for anyone interested in working with an experienced and creative duo.

Thinkin’ About Your Body

Although modelling is my ‘full time income’, as I usually put it, writing is my long-term dream, and my time is split into two professions, realistically (though the two work very well together). I always write on the days I’m not modelling. This morning, instead of banging out 1000 words of my current work in progress (which is actually going quite well at the moment!), I spent an hour accidentally banging out a poem instead. I have told myself that this can justify the static word count of my novel, since I haven’t let myself do this in a very long time.

Probably needs some changes and polishing (some stanzas in particular definitely need some whipping), but I’m quite pleased with it as a first draft:

Mapping Renewal
2-3 weeks for the lungs.
About a year for the alveoli to regenerate.
Nothing on the surface; forever, deeper.
24 hours for the cornea. Which explains
why I can see you so clearly now.
20 years for the heart. Perhaps four times
in a lifetime. Three if repairs are slow. Scars
can’t muscle. Intestines; 2 or 3 days. Fighting to rid;
stomach acid sears through. Gargle, spit:
taste buds; every ten days. I am not
so enthused by your wanderlust now.
6-8 weeks for an eyelash. Mine
are doe like, defined by black; don’t bat for you.
3-6 years for hair and your indecision.
I bleached mine; I am getting it cut.
The skeleton takes ten years. Osteoclasts.
Osteoblasts. Break down. Build up. I am cast
as beauty. My closet is empty.
Fingernails twice as fast as toenails.
Keratin, circulation, tissue supply.
New skin every two weeks.
Less elastic. Still waterproof.
We won’t touch again. The liver, flushing
away cruel toxins; just five months a round.

The brain ages alone, coughing notes in the dark
through dreams and organs; imagines its own future:
conjures decision; the belief that it can thrive.
*********************************************************************************
And because I thought Mosa (of OnePixArt) might appreciate this kind of thing, here are some images he took of me in LA. I have admired his artwork for a long time, and it was certainly interesting to be let in on his philosophies about women. I think the third is my favourite.

*********************************************************************************

And finally, a song about bodies I’ve been enjoying by Bobby McFerrin… Love this guy. I’ve finally joined the modern age and have all my music on my phone. Well, not all; do you have any idea how much music I own? It’s quite shocking. But anyway, along with some questionable beauties (the most questionable being Take That’s debut album, teach-yourself-spanish, and the Sister Act soundtrack – all choices I personally stand by, however) I treated my studio day attendees on Saturday to such gems as:


Off now for a round two of responding to emails before meeting up with new friends tonight. Excited to see lots of my ‘old’ friends in the next week or so too. You gotta love that about Christmas; everyone gathers. 🙂

Mirrors

Hellooo.

Hope everyone’s having a nice weekend so far! I’ve had some really fun shoots recently, including modelling (dancing/leaping) in a full authentic, beautiful Japanese kimono for a west-meets-east art project (it was sooo heavy; amazing to have worn and the images looked so cool, though they are non-publishable until Jan) and a stock shoot which involved blowing on glass doors, crafting with pipe cleaners, dry-leaf arranging(!), gazing out of windows with mugs of tea, upholstering and lying down on a bed of autumn leaves taking photos of myself with my phone. (Hence:

)

I’ve had such a nice day today so far, indulging in a marathon of recorded Merlins from Saturday nights and also going to hobbycraft with my Mum (yep!) to accompany her sparkly wool buying, and I bought a massive glass-fronted board from a nearby shop which will shortly be smothered with some amazing postcards I have amassed over the last year or so from art galleries and museums all over the world, since my current one is full. I will probably divide them into colour and monochrome and make two boards. I am also going to be asking very nicely for a few prints from some artists/photographers whose work I’ve admired online, since my lists of favourite images over on my Model Mayhem page (quick plug there; it’s recently updated…) are full of some amazing stuff I want to possess for my walls.

….Also, there is more dividing and conquering to announce: I have a new updated website! Well, it’s the same website, but with long awaited newness in the way of THREE new galleries. So with the addition of Pisces, Luxe and Video there are now 15 fully distinct galleries on my website. Take a look!

I already have ‘Elemental‘ for nudes amongst striking landscapes such as rocks formations and earthly arrangments, but now have ‘Pisces‘ for anything to do with water (pisces being the most wonderful astrological sign, obviously…). I really do love modelling in water, by it, near it… it’s so expressive, and makes me extra expressive too maybe… Meanwhile, I already have the ‘Figurative‘ gallery for studio work focusing on body form, abstracts and shapes in monochrome, but now also have ‘Luxe‘ for nude figurative work made in wonderful, glowing colour! I love the connotations of ‘luxury’, which is a mood some of those images suggest to me, but there are also more airy, bright, and whimsical nudes there too. Video is still being created and is self explanatory, including dance work as well as some ‘show reel’ style snippets such as the piece I recently blogged. Will do it soon!

What else…?

Oh yeah, I’ve agreed last minute to step in for a model who’s pulled out of a studio day at Eye for an Image Studio in Banbury on Sat 15th December, so you can book me there in 2-hourly slots to work on some fashion/arty/nude/dance/bridal/whatever you like imagery there if you like – just email me at ellarosemuse@live.co.uk. I think half the day has gone already, but there is still available time and I’d love to hear from you.

And here are some images recently sent to me from Neil Snape made in Paris way back in March. Neil was lovely to work with, and an excellent photographer, letting loose with this ‘raw’ mirror series, and I’m so glad I can now show these extra shots (I blogged a couple earlier, after the shoot: ‘Lionness Lightplay’). I think my favourite is probably the last one. Neil’s hoping to exhibit his work for this series in an exposition sometime next year.

Ourania ascending Mount Wilson

I have some stunning new artwork to share with you this early Friday evening before I go out, courtesy of photographer and digital artist Jeff Wack. Based in LA, Jeff’s work has been used in some major international advertisements and campaigns, and his personal work includes this ‘Sensuous Muse’ project, which depicts a variety of muses and goddesses from various mythologies, more of which can be seen here. With me on this shoot was the delightful Aussie model Anoush Anou, who will be heading to the UK in the early summer time… (photographers take note!). 🙂

The image below is inspired by the painting ‘Ein Wiederfinden’ (A Reunion), by Eduard Veith, along with the stories of Ourania, one of Zeus’ daughters who became known as the goddess of astronomy.

As for the significance of the LA landmark, Jeff tells me that there were some important astronomical discoveries made there long ago. The growing city lights obscured the viewing and the older observatories there have long taken a back seat to the more modern communication towers you see in the scene. The area is prone to bush fires, and in terms of intent, the idea is to play on releasing the past with ties to the present…

So, here I am as Ourania, ascending Mount Wilson.