How to Sit For a PortraitMay 3, 2012
Sometimes, yours truly gets to do cool things. In case you want to do cool things, too, here’s a step-by-step guide for making said things happen.
Today’s lesson: How to Sit For a Portrait. We’ll cover everything from finding an artist to getting through the session.
Pencils up? Let’s go!
1. Through an amazing stroke of luck, find yourself employed by a top-tier animation studio.
2. Spend 4 or 5 months marveling at your luck, keeping your eyes down and speaking to no one lest you do something to wake up from this wonderful lucid dream.
3. Finally work up the nerve to start talking to people. Start with the dude you always seem to end up riding up 5 floors with in the elevator.
4. Chide self for thinking that the Bo Burnham lyric “…and f*cked her in an elevator…It was wrong on so many levels…” Is the funniest ish in the world.
5. Initiate sarcastic conversation about the peanut butter and jelly sandwich your elevator-mate is holding.
6. Wonder if maybe you shouldn’t be such a fucking bitch and maybe try starting conversations with “Hey, I’m TOE, I’ve seen you around…what’s your name” instead.
7. Take Artist’s lack of response as confirmation that you are a fucking bitch, ignoring any possibility that maybe Artist is shy or distracted or thinking about something, I don’t know, related to his life and not sitting around waiting for you to make some lame joke about sandwich crusts.
8. Wonder why so many kids want the crusts cut off sandwiches. The crusts really don’t taste any different from the rest of the bread.
9. Put the desire to rationalize with beings whose frontal lobes haven’t fully developed on to your list of reasons to not have kids.
10. Repeat awkward elevator rides for a few more months.
11. Finally determine you have a legitimate reason to talk to Artist because Artist is friends with the guy who dresses entirely in Victorian Era clothing and you need to be introduced.
12. Enjoy this new, albeit sometimes quiet collection of friends.
13. Go to a meeting of the Whisky Society at work.
14. Feel awkward there. Probably because you made the same lame jokes instead of just relating to people as human beings.
15. Miss going to Artist’s goodbye party because you have a show that night.
16. Be surprised as f when six months later, you see Artist back at the studio.
17. Assume that when Artist says “Good to see you, we should hang out!” that he’s lying.
18. Have lunch with Artist anyway.
19. Learn that Artist has joined the Whisky Society at work.
20. Wonder if this might be a way back in to getting to sample some amazing amazing bottles.
21. Discover that yes, it is.
22. Attend artist’s birthday party.
23. Sample from too many amazing amazing bottles.
24. When discussing the other portraits in Artist’s home, mention that you did figure modeling in college.
25. Enjoy the fact that because this isn’t super conservative Texas, the creatives in the room understand that yes you were naked, but no, it wasn’t all creepy and/or sexual and that you weren’t causing your brothers to stumble. You were just helping people make art to the tune of a very good hourly rate.
26. The next day, wonder if you remember correctly that you said you’d pose for Artist.
27. See Artist at work. Confirm suspicions.
28. Send an awkward email asking if the third pour of cask strength Laphroaig caused you to say that you’d pose nude.
29. Learn that it didn’t.
31. Wonder if Artist is just following up on said portrait session to be polite.
32. Decide to go along with it anyway.
33. Gain 3 pounds. Of course.
34. When asked, say that yes, white truffle oil pizza and duck confit salad sound just fine even though you’ve never had either.
35. Haul your costume choices upstairs.
36. Discover that you don’t like truffle oil or duck. Try to hide this fact from Artist who loves the shit out of both and got this food as a nice gesture, you cultureless ingrate.
37. Marvel at the amount of preparation Artist goes through before painting. Realize you never knew that many different kinds of brushes existed and that you’ve never seen oil paint except on already-mounted pieces in museums. Wonder if you’re this diligent about your art. Think that it’s neat that this rough and tumble dude can make really pretty things with his hands. Wish there was a way to cut through small talk bullshit and get right to this part of a friendship from the first time you meet in an elevator.
38. Watch Downton Abbey while Artists paints.
39. Wonder why the effing eff you’ve never seen this miracle of television programming before. Seriously, it’s like the producers took all the things you love about life–including Laura Linney–and put them into one fantastic show handcrafted just for you.
40. In between episodes enjoy the sounds of brush on linen and cars on street.
41. Decide that this would make a great one-act play where the audience is forced to watch two actors be very still and to create all the movement and action in dialogue and acting alone.
42. Hope you’re not being vain by wanting to see the final thing.
43. See the final thing.
45. Hope that it’s possible that you sometimes look that lovely.
46. Finally feel confident in a friendship.
47. Ruin that bit of maturity by checking Aritst’s post of the picture to make sure that people are saying that not only is the painting gorgeous, but so is the model.
48. No really, truffle oil tastes like poop. How can anyone disagree??
How do you feel about truffle oil? Painting? Downton Abbey? Let us know in the comments!