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. ๐Ÿ™‚

Underwater Fires

I have so many imagesย queuingย up to be shown here as always but am interrupting that flow with some excitement caused by this morning’s inbox arrival – some underwater adventuring shot in California by Zoe Wiseman.

I loooove these. Wow!!! Thanks Zoe!

I think I may have referred to this shoot already on here, mentioning that it was a fun challenge – my first underwater shoot. Meghan Claire (who features alongside me in most; we were also joined by Carlotta Champagne and Titania) was great at pulling me down, as I have the world’s most buoyant butt, I think. The flowy hair and dreaminess of these, with the bubbles everywhere and upward reflections, and the light daggering and darting down through the water in ripples just makes these so amazing. I think my favourites are the ones in colour, and I also love the chaotic group shots at the end, with limbs and torsos all entwined at different depths and distances from the camera, with magical creatures falling beautifully in the foreground and far away mermaids swimming past alongside…. ๐Ÿ™‚ I so want to try some more!

I’d love to hear your favourites!

Criatura

I’ve been reading an amazing book recently; one I picked up in a hostel in Costa Rica at the very end of my Central America trip last year, then put back on the bookshelf as it was too thick to carry home (my backpack was 100% full of things collected over the course of 2.5 months; souvenirs, textiles and the most beautiful hammock you’ll ever see (and which I haven’t seen in a while, since England is not the ideal hamaca-hanging arena).

I spend an indecent amount of time on amazon.co.uk, buying new CDs most weeks and occasionally treating myself to new books too… and I bounced through ‘recommendations’ a few weeks ago until the same book caught my eye again. And it could get to me without me carrying it!

I will admit that one of the reasons I initially was drawn to this book in San Jose was the cover. I think the most discerning readers always judge a book by its cover… And I have always been drawn to wolves. Here it is:

‘Women who Run with the Wolves: Contacting the power of the wild woman’, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

Unknown to me at the time, this is apparently a real classic, a bit like ‘The Artist’s Way’ and all that other good stuff. I’m learning a lot from it, and it’s also interesting to consider it in the context of my modelling work (tenuous link ahoy!!). My images often portray what I’m told is a very feminine, soft and sensual ‘prettiness’, and this book explores the other side of that womanly coin; the intuition, power, primal animal attributes and wisdom of women. When you’re feeling a bit too simpering and primped, it’s a good slap in the face. Women should be strong, powerful and deeply creative, not overly passive, girlish and naive; they are deeply knowing, instinctive and in touch with the vital, if they let themselves be.

I’m about a third of the way through, but I’m finding the author’s writing style so beautiful and poetic; so mad, funny and academic all at once. So this is a big fat recommendation. She weaves mythological fairy tales and folklore from all over the world with psychoanalysis and explorations of the unconscious, paradigms, roles and archetypes that can help us know what to do and who is who and who has what intention… and how to stay true to yourself. Cool huh?

I love a word which comes up frequently in the book: ‘criatura’ (creature). I think the following shots compliment the theme, being quite different from straightforward ‘pretty’ or ‘perfect’ representations of femininity, so they are well worth an appearance on my blog; they show flesh and bone, the workings of the body, and are real and mysterious at once. I also think they are beautifully lit, which never hurts. ๐Ÿ™‚

By Shane Lewis, shot in Dublin:

On another bookish note, what an amazing idea this is, at a time when libraries here in England are dying/being closed due to cuts and land-line public phones aren’t really very necessary. Apparently these book exchanges are cropping up in rural villages; I imagine my American followers will find this very quaint. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And, I’ve got the guilts about updating this blog, etc., when I still have lots of emails to catch up on. I am getting to them ASAP. Sorry.

Modern Day Dramas!

Hello everyone! Hope you’re all doing well and enjoying the summer (if you’re in this hemisphere) and Olympic showdown, wherever you are! I’ve been watching it on and off – SO inspiring to see people with dedication and talent and determination to work hard be rewarded – it’s not often that happens in our society on such a big scale. Looking forward to the closing ceremony tonight as I absolutely loved the opening one. Let’s hope Icke and co are wrong about the satanic occult/illuminati hocus pocus going on behind the scenes and it’s all good fun… *nervous*! My boyfriend is working at the NBA house, finishing today, so hello to you!

It’s been a whole week since I’ve updated this blog, which is a bit unheard of as loyal followers will know. I’ve just been SO busy and that’s been compounded by computer, internet, browser and phone upheavals all happening at once. I am now thoroughly part of the modern world thanks to my little brother, who has built me a new computer (I now have to get to grips with the concept of ‘clouds’, google chrome, magic servers in the sky… all that stuff. Seriously, it is actual magic to me, I don’t understand any of it). A couple of days ago I was set up with a new computer and phone on the same day and literally felt like I needed a lie down. I had to go and sit outside in the garden for a while and sip tea. This new-fangled technology is making my head spin. I will see how I go for a week or so but I might have to plead surrender and request for myself a good old-fashioned microsoft office installation so that I don’t have to get my head around the idea of my novel floating around cyberspace as a ‘google doc’ when it could just be snuggled safely on my desktop. Apparently it will sync itself to my laptop when I take that around on travel/trips. And don’t get my started on google chrome… I move my mouse to one corner and the entire screen changes before my eyes. I have a virus protection software thing that now talks to me (I am under strict instructions to thank it out loud each time it announces its success; I would have done that anyway of course, much like the conversations I have with my sat nav.) And my mouse is wireless. My brother looked at me pitifully when I told him I was proud of the fact that I don’t have twitter, and actually don’t even know what twitter looks like, as I’ve never seen the website. No FOMO here. That said, once I’m set up with technology I’m pretty good at using it as I’m quite intuitive and technology is obviously made to BE intuitive these days; I just don’t understand how any of it works. And that’s fine really, I think.

OK, anyway, so all in all I am now back on top of communication and able to respond to all sorts of nice emails, etc., which is well, nice! ๐Ÿ™‚

And here are some more shots from Britalicus, made up in Scotland. Love the drama in these!

(Look! There are 4 of me! Magic! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Bedroom Glamour

Sorry for letting that last post run a while, but in between a brilliant trip to Germany’s Black Forest as well as a great little trip to the Manchester/Stockport area, I wanted to allow the news of the new book to take precedence for a while here in my little online space. ๐Ÿ™‚ However, my desktop is BURSTING with new images from various people which I can’t wait to show on here, so… onwards!

It was lovely to hear from Tony Ornstien, a photographer I have worked with quite a few times but hadn’t seen in a while, a few weeks ago and recently I went over to his and his wife Jennifer’s wonderful, mad house (it is crammed with enormous, intriguing art, and built like a ‘train carriage’, which means you walk through a seemingly endless stream of differently-styled rooms all in one direction). I was booked for another dose of photography, since Jennifer requested some new art for their walls. It’s always fun to work with this duo, and Tony wanted to create some natural, intimate, relaxed, elegant bedroom (‘boudoir’, maybe) scenes. This style is intimate, and somehow classical and retro at once, and the atmostphere is vaguely similar to the image I have down the side of my blog here, ‘Bis’ by Pamela Hanson, which I (obviously) love. Liberated and friendly and natural. We found that the trick was to act, move and actually perform the particular movements or mini-narratives, rather than pose stiffly in a scene, and there was a lot of silliness involved.

The final set was the ultimate in multi-tasking at the end of a shoot; clearing up my things and modelling at the same time… ๐Ÿ™‚ I am pleased with many of these (and there are a lot of shots – trying to decide on one or two favourites for my website!) and I hope to visit Tony and Jennifer again sometime soon!

P.S. To the person/bot who keeps trying to spam my old posts with vacuous automated comments about how ‘informative’ and ‘well put together’ my content is, and then suggesting I take a look at their loans website, please kindly fuck off. If you knew how strongly I felt about people who make money through interest, you’d understand how liberally I am deleting your ridiculous attempts to advertise your probably-virus-filled evil website through my ART blog.

The Gypsy’s Jewels

This was 100% a mutual collaboration; I’m swathed in silks, flowing skirts, sparkling beads, heavy pendants, heavy bangles, feathers, intricate masks and jingle jangles (I had no time to be selective and brought sackfuls of clothes/accessory joy, while Holly had laid out all her best adornery on her bed, ready for my arrival; seriously, between us we could host a pretty impressive treasure shop!!!). I stood in the piercing prickles of some beautiful sun-lit reed heads. It was blimmin’ cold, that day, and I was in a massive rush and definitely clock-watching a little bit, having not fully packed for a backpacking trip I was departing for the next morning. This wasn’t the first time I’d modelled for Holly (I think it was the fourth. See Winter Portraits and Gemini). Check out her portfolio on Model Mayhem: Jewelled Earth.

The Trees…

…They called me to go and model for Dave Aharonian, and what an honour it was! We were very excited to be able to make stuff together for his Rainforest Nudes project (see his incredible website if you happen to feel like being blown away). I just adore his technique and finishes; the pure quality of it needs to be seen in physical prints. We had 40 frames available and about 1.5 hours. Luckily everything just ‘clicked’. I hope you like these as much as I do.

Any favourites?!

Also, Dave took these on his iPhone a few mins before we left the house:

ย …And, just to lower the tone a bit, here are some shots of me on the ferry (also iPhone-snapped – there’s just no escaping it, is there?), documenting the perils of long hair in strong winds. In the last one, I was actually being attacked by my own hair. Nice of Dave to help…