“You must search for happiness in your life. Don’t get discouraged. Look ahead with hope.”
– Dina Vierny, art model/ art collector/ art dealer/ owner, Musee Maillol

This is my first post for the new year. I’m still not quite used to writing 2009 on everything I have to date just yet. I don’t think I’m going to start blogging about everything I plan on doing this year or how I hope to achieve some specific goal. You’ll forget about it after you close out of your browser and so will I before the month is out. Instead I’ll just dive right in instead of talking about it.

One interesting thing I’ll note is that Chris St. James reposted one of my blog entries…The Mature Woman. He seemed to like the points I made and added to them. In addition to the model Susan, who posed for this project, he also made mention of Unbearable Lightness who is also a model of maturity. Check out UL’s blog post. I think she and Chris called it a woman in full bloom. Well I can tell you there ain’t nobody on the planet blooming like Unbearable Lightness. She’s so hot … well, never mind. I digress. My point is that its really cool and gratifying to an artist when he or she is recognized for their work. I’m a photographer and I try to produce images that people appreciate. However its also gratifying to be recognized for what I write. It sort of validates one’s work to be recognized so. All vanity aside, don’t you think this is what every artist seeks? To share one’s work and have one’s efforts recognized and appreciated? Granted, there are some who create simply for themselves as an outlet or means of expression who have no desire to show anybody. There are exceptions to every rule. But is it not true that recognition is the greatest desire for an artist?

On a totally different matter, I’ve been tracking the work of Alex, another beautiful model in full bloom, on deviantArt. I’ve talked about her before on here and since then, I’ve made it a point to keep tabs on her work. A very unfortunate event has unfolded between her and another photographer over photo rights. I don’t know the whole story on the matter, but the results were that she had to take down every photo that he took of her from her profile, which were quite a few and very good, I might add. All this took place over a misunderstanding which were not ironed out in a model release. Instead of being embarrassed about the event or demeaning of the photographer, I admire the way Alex chooses to take the high road on the matter. She treats it as a learning experience and then chooses to share this with everyone who will heed her words. Isn’t that extraordinary? I can tell you that I make it a rule that I don’t release the shutter with a model in my viewfinder unless I have a signed model release in my possession. There have been about 3 times that I’ve not abided by that rule and there have been 3 times when not having a release came back to bite me in the ass. Coincidence…? I think maybe so. Make sure everything is spelled out. I am also more than positive that, because Alex chose to take the high road on this issue, deviantArt has seen the light and she’s in the clear with them.

And finally, I finish with another model who has now matured. A week or so ago, The Morning Edition on NPR did an segment on Dina Vierny entitled, “Dina Vierny, Model And Muse For Art’s Masters” by Susan Stamberg. Dina Vierny is most noted for being an art model for sculptor, Aristide Maillol and painter, Henri Matisse. She started as an art model for Maillol, who was 73 at the time, when she was 15 years old. The article goes on to tell the story of how Vierny became the inspiration for Maillol’s for the next 10 years. Later, when she is arrested for helping other artists and intellectuals escape France during the German occupation, it was Maillol who hired a lawyer and got her released. He then helped send her away to live with his friend Matisse to keep her from any further trouble. Well, now Vierny has opened a museum with Maillol’s work. As it turns out, this art model had become an art dealer after being so encouraged by Matisse. In 1996, she opened and now runs Musee Maillol. You have to admit…this is a great story. I found it to be inspirational and was grateful for the lesson in history. I used the last line in her article as my above quote for the day.You can also check out another article in the NY Times on her entitled, “A Sculptor’s Obsession, A Model’s Devotion“, written by Vicki Goldberg.

I thought I’d put up a few more images from my work with Erica. Sweet, huh? Enjoy.