Tuesday, January 24, 2006

This Time, a Senior Nude Model

Model is 60, naked and proud

Artists draw inspiration from human figure, and model is comfortable in her own skin.

By LORI BASHEDA - The Orange County Register

January 24, 2006

It takes a special kind of person to stand naked in front of strangers.

Particularly when those strangers are only a few feet away. And they're staring at you. Lingering over every bulge.

At the very least, you have to be a person at peace with your bulges.

Maura Laura LeBron is such a person. At age 55, when many women are embracing the world of bathing suits with attached skirts, she answered an ad for a nude model.

LeBron is 60 now. A full-figured size 14. And she enthusiastically drops her robe for students in painting, drawing and sculpture college classrooms across Orange County.

She and her husband, Paul, a computer techie, have never been big on clothes. "We're kind of like nudists, but just at home," she says. "But it never occurred to me to go out in public."

Then one day her husband spotted an ad in a nudist magazine. It was perfect. Not only is LeBron a closet nudist, she is a closet artist. She has expressed herself with jewelry, stained glass, abstract paintings. The idea of using her very flesh and blood to make art was thrilling.

"I have cellulite. And my breasts are beginning to go south. But it doesn't freak me out," said LeBron, who came to New York City from Puerto Rico as a teen and still has an accent. "It empowers me. It makes me feel that I am contributing to the art community."

Dropping your drawers, it turns out, can provide a vital service to the artiste.

The nude figure, says Coastline Community College art instructor Lynn Goodin, "nourishes the creativity of any visual artist. It's like a source of inspiration." As soon as you put clothes on a figure, "you have made a statement about personality, placed that individual into a specific time in history."

Elizabeth Knox, a painter who runs a workshop at the Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, put herself through the Parsons School of Design in New York City as a young student by posing.

"To work from life gives you the vital blood for your work," she says. Not to mention the ultimate painting challenge. "The human form is the most complex form in the universe."

Knox says there is a return to figure painting among young artists. And not just those focusing on the fine arts. "Picasso made figures into abstractions over and over and over. The mother of Western art is the figure."

For Knox, painting a nude is "about the psychology of the person and getting to their soul."

On Saturday afternoon in the basement of the Grand Central Art Center, Knox and six other painters tried to get to LeBron's soul.

Wearing a satin paisley robe, LeBron walked around the room chatting with the artists – five men and two women – while they set up their easels and paints. At 1 p.m. she stepped onto a wood platform raised on four plastic milk crates and sat down on a chair draped in red velvet. Knox aimed a spotlight at her, casting a shadow.

"OK," LeBron said, closing her eyes and taking several deep breaths. Then she opened her eyes, gazed off dramatically to the left and let her robe slip away.

"OK, guys, do you like it?" Knox asked. One painter wanted more shadow. Another asked her to place her hands on her thighs.

When the pose was agreed upon, the work began. They painted quickly, the sound of their brushes stroking canvas sometimes louder than a recording of Brazilian music.

LeBron sat motionless, short red hair matching her red lipstick, wearing turquoise earrings, a turquoise ring, an anklet, a toe ring and a single striped flip-flop. Later, she admitted she often uses that time to think about her grocery shopping list.

After 30 minutes, a timer beeped for a five-minute break. LeBron pulled her robe back up around her shoulders and did a quick loop around the room, inspecting and sometimes commenting on the artists' perceptions of her, each so different.

"A photograph is dead," says Bob McNeil, a former illustrator of schoolbooks who lives in Santa Ana and attends the Saturday workshops. "This is alive."

After three hours, LeBron went home. But the paintings of her scattered. They might wind up in a portfolio, on a wall, in a gallery, in the trash.

LeBron has been painted and sketched and sculpted naked hundreds of times. She gets calls for 12-16 hours of modeling a week, making $18-22 an hour.

She is proud that breast cancer didn't stop her. Several weeks after surgery, she arrived for a class bloated and bandaged and feeling anything but feminine. The instructor, knowing what she was going through, had created a stage that looked like a French boudoir; all lace and flowers and everything pink.

"I just broke down and cried," she says. And, sitting naked on a chair, she continued to cry while they painted her. She has pictures of it.

LeBron is one of 32 models on Knox's on-call list. Other instructors have their own lists. Workshop facilitator Debra Marsh said she's had models from 21 to 80 years old (one man walks with a cane). There are more women than men. "The models are artists in themselves in one way or another," Marsh said. "A lot of them are actors and dancers."

LeBron is one of Goodin's favorites. "She's got a little drama," she said. All shapes and sizes are welcome. Short or tall. Plump or bony. Muscular or wrinkled.

"We like variety," Marsh said. Unlike the magazine and advertising industries' obsession with air-brushing out every freckle, curves, folds and rolls are embraced. (Think of the Rubenesque nudes of the Renaissance paintings.) Really the only requirement is that the model must be able to stay still.

"We're always looking for new blood," Knox said. Of course, it takes a special kind of person to stand there naked in front of strangers.

Source: http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/homepage/abox/article_962397.php

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Don't Do This

OK, let's all remember that this does NOT help the cause of naturism, no matter how tempting it might be. Why do I guess that alcohol was involved?

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

Hot tub nudity leads to arrests


January 9, 2006

GURNEE, IL -- Two women face charges after they appeared nude in the hot tub at the Fairfield Inn, 6090 Gurnee Mills Boulevard, police said.

Police were called Jan. 2 by the assistant manager. He said a guest in the pool area with her husband and children complained to him after she saw one of the women take off her clothes and get into the hot tub.

The manager told the woman, Pamela Ries, 36, of Lake Villa to put clothes on or leave the area, police said.

When the manager returned shortly to the pool area, Ries was still naked in the tub and she had been joined by Mary Masterson, 51, of Kenosha who also was naked.

The manager then told the women to dress and he escorted them to the elevator, police reported.

Police confronted the women in their hotel room and where they were initially charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Source: http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/newssun/city/w09naked.htm

Monday, January 09, 2006

More Nude Model Experiences

Swindon Life Model: The Naked Truth

Stripped naked and scrutinised for hours by a room full of strangers. Welcome to the world of the life model...


January 9, 2006

UNITED KINGDOM -- For anybody suffering from a poor body image the idea of standing naked and being scrutinised by a classroom full of school boys would be the ultimate in harrowing nightmares.

But for Rosemarie Orwin this extreme form of therapy has not only proved to be a confidence booster but has turned out to be a nice little earner as well.

Rosemarie, a former manager at WH Smith in Swindon, found she just couldn't bear office work anymore and decided it was time to bare all instead.

So, a year ago, she decided to become a life model:

"I had a friend who used to model at Newbury College," says Rosemarie, "and she said she really enjoyed it and said it was easy.

"I've never had any confidence in my body and thought well it's a bit extreme but I'll give it a go."

Rosemarie's debut class in the buff turned out to be a group of 40 year old art buffs from Oxford:

"It was very nerve racking because I'd never been in front of a group of strangers with my clothes off before. And of course they're standing behind their easels measuring you and pencils are coming out at you.”

"But literally after I'd finished I came out and punched the air with complete euphoria saying 'I did it, I did it'.”

Despite not being the quintessential voluptuous, big breasted muse, since taking her clothes off Rosemarie's career has quite literally taken off.

She now poses for art classes, sketching groups, sculptors and photographers all over the south of England. But even as a seasoned model some classes can still prove to be a bit of a challenge:

"The first boy's school I went to, I didn't realise it was a boy's school and I actually did blush. I went into the room and the first boy came in and than another, and than another and I thought this is obviously a boy's school.

"I thought 'Calm down, just control yourself, you're old enough to be their mother'. Anyway I just calmed myself down and it was fine but I could feel the beads of sweat coming up and it was quite nerve racking."

For life models, stripping off and posing for anything from a few minutes up to an hour without a break, it pays not to get too artistic with your poses:

"You don't know if it's going to be comfortable after 20 minutes and even now I'll choose a pose quite often that I'll think after 20 minutes 'I really shouldn't have done this one'.

"When I first started I was obviously very keen to please everybody and do what they wanted and I would sit in a lot of pain without saying anything and I've almost literally crawled out of the door I've been in so much pain."

And as for trying to keep still, no matter what, for Rosemarie it's all a question of mind over matter:

"Sometimes when you have a really desperate itch and you have to scratch it, you can make yourself believe that it's not itching and it does go away. It's amazing what your mind can do to stop certain bodily functions… shall we say."

But pain, tedium, boredom and chilly drafts aside are the final artistic results flattering?

"Facially, I would say most of the time, it's not flattering. I look quite gruesome, body wise that varies, but I don't take that as a personal thing.”

And you can see why…

Rosemarie's diary is filled to the end of May, she has body painting bookings for a corporate event in Reading, is being turned into a range of ornaments for an international ceramics company and is even perhaps to become a model for a mannequin sculptor.

And just in case there's a chance of Rosemarie having to spend too much time with her clothes on she's organised a series of life drawing workshops in Swindon the first of which, on March 20th, is already booked out…

Rosemarie is sitting pretty in every sense of the word…

"It sounds odd, I know, but I do feel a lot more confident. I don't know why it’s just the way that’s happened."

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/wiltshire/content/articles/2005/03/08/swindon_life_model_feature.shtml

Sunday, January 08, 2006

But It's Not Really All That Sexual!

Nudist resort soaks up publicity
An upcoming issue of Playgirl magazine will mention Caliente as a prime spot to frolic unfettered.
By JAMES THORNER, St. Petersburg Times
January 8, 2006

LAND O'LAKES, FLORIDA - With their swimming pools, nightclubs and spas tucked behind bare-bun-blocking security walls, Pasco County's nudists don't mind basking in free publicity.

This time the publicity comes from the nation's highest circulating magazine featuring nude men.

Playgirl, with circulation of about 500,000, plans to mention Caliente Resort in its March issue. It will list the hedonistic, 100-acre enclave on U.S. 41 as one of the best places to frolic in the nude.

The magazine plucked the idea from a Web site called DailyCandy.com. DailyCandy publicized Caliente in October in an article titled "Travel: Never Say Never" about daring vacation spots.

Marketing clothing optional resorts usually means walking a minefield between seriousness and salaciousness.

When Paris Hilton brought her TV show The Simple Life II to Caliente in 2004, competitor Paradise Lakes resort snickered that Hilton's Valley Girl sarcasm would belittle nudism.

But the segment turned about to be more positive than negative, and it helped put the then-brand-new Caliente on the tourist map.

"We'll always have Paris," joked Mandy Luber, spokeswoman for Caliente.

More publicity followed last month as cable TV station Turner South aired a snippet on Caliente Dec. 28.

Paradise Lakes, 5 miles south of Caliente on U.S. 41, enjoyed top billing in a Wall Street Journal article and a Fox TV news show called The Pulse in 2003.

Nudists tend to downplay the sexual element of mass nakedness, highlighting instead the feelings of freedom from sunning, swimming and socializing in the buff.

Luber figures exposure in Playgirl won't change any of that. A short article and a photo in the magazine is all she expects.

"I didn't worry about it," she said. "I figure they are just listing us as a resort destination."

Source: http://www.sptimes.com/2006/01/08/Pasco/Nudist_resort_soaks_u.shtml

Monday, January 02, 2006

Top Places to Bare All

Outside Magazine

Extreme Nudity
The Top Spots to be in the Buff

By David Friedland

Our picks for ten of the best (and most surprising) places to hike,
snowshoe, fly-fish, snorkel, body-surf, or bird watch in the buff.

Plage de Tarare, Grande-Terre Island, Guadeloupe

Just below Pointe de Chateaux, a sloping, mile-long bluff jutting
east from Grande-Terre, sits the island's only coral reef. Look for
octopuses, barracuda, cuttlefish, and bare bums. Directions:
Guadeloupe Tourist Info, 011-590-820930.

Stanley Hot Springs, Idaho

Located deep in the Selway Bitterroot National Forest, where even
grizzlies are making a comeback, these springs are crowded during
summer. But snowshoe up the narrow five-mile trail in the cold, and
you will likely have to share one of the pools with a moose.
Directions: Kooskia Ranger Station, 208-926-4274

Verde Hot Springs, Arizona

A now-defunct 1930s wilderness health spa at the junction of Tonto
and Coconino National Forests two hours north of Phoenix, Verde's spa
buildings are gone, but the half-dozen tubs ranging from 90- to 104-
degrees are still there. Requires a mile hike in from a forest road.
Directions: azhoffs.home. mindspring.com/verdehotspring.html.

Chapada Dos Guimaraes National Park, Brazil

A national park in name only, this 33-million-acre preserve is pretty
much left alone by the Brazilian park service. Skinny-dipping
traditions that started in the 1970s have held strong, as have common
sightings of jaguars, tapir, and coatis. Directions: Dos Guimaraes
Tourist Agency, 011-55-65-791-1133.

Red Rock Beach, California

Climbing, surfing

The red sandstone walls that separate Red Rock Beach from
the "textile" (i.e., clothing mandatory) Stinson Beach next door have
a series of intermediate, edgy face routes. Or bring a surfboard to
shred the breaks and you'll be spared the inevitable wedgie.
Directions: www.redrockbeach.com/home.html.

Velanio Beach, Skopelos Island, Greece
Hiking, swimming

Designated nude since the ancients walked it, Velanio's not as nudie
as it once was. Bring shoes, at the very least; getting here means a
15-minute hike on a trail that gradually turns from shale to softer
sand. Directions: www.greekisland.co.uk/skopelos/ibeaches.htm.

Indian Creek Canyon, Utah
Hiking, climbing

The entire canyon—located just south of Moab and controlled by the
Bureau of Land Management—is heated like a sauna even in winter,
making it perfect for a December hike (although you'd do well to
watch out for park rangers from nearby Canyonlands National Park,
who'll ticket for nudity). And the climbing? Plan to warm up on
climbs with a 5.10 rating or higher. Directions: Monticello BLM
office, 435-587-1500.

Shelly Beach, New South Wales, Australia

Not the Shelly Beach adjacent to Sydney—this Shelly requires a five-
hour drive north from Sydney, keeping all but the most dedicated
away. And leaving more of the inshore gamefish for you. Directions:
Australia Nudist Federation, 011-61-8-8234-5485.

Virgin Falls, Tennessee

The falls emerge from a cave, shoot over a cliff, and plummet 110
feet before disappearing into another chasm. The six-hour hike to the
site winds past streams, pools, and smaller waterfalls, all perfect
for skinny-dipping. Directions: Bowater Wilderness, 865-376-6185.

Playa Papagayo, Canary Islands

The sand beach at the southeastern tip of Lanzarote Island (otherwise
covered in fields of black lava and cactus) is great for
birdwatching. It draws kestrels, gray herons, falcons, and, for your
life-list, occasional rare purple herons, Egyptian vultures, and
oystercatchers. Directions: Holistic Holidays Resort, 011-34-928-524-

Source: http://outside.away.com/outside/desintations200012/200012exteme_nudity