Our experience getting painted for New York Bodypainting Day sparked an artistic impulse in our collective breast, so for our latest trip to Central Park we chose a secluded meadow and invited four of our favorite artists to accompany us and sketch us as we lay about in the (almost) altogether.
(Next time we might go all the way — full nudity is apparently legal in New York as long as it’s part of an artistic performance or exhibition, and being drawn or painted would seem to qualify. But this time only one of us was brave enough to go full monty in the grass.)
We had our favorite new books on hand (yet another member came bearing a copy of Dune!), along with miniature danishes and chocolate kuglof from Andre’s on the upper east side. The sun was high and merciless, the grass sere underfoot, the boulders craggy wonders — and yet we felt less like we were in an apocalyptic milieu worthy of a George Miller movie (we’re looking at you, Happy Feet 2!) than like, I don’t know, Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon, minus only the body of water. Which is to say, paradisiacal (if a bit hot).
A handful of people stumbled upon us as the afternoon wore on — several dog lovers giving their canine companions their daily exercise; a family of four who made no eye contact, just walked on through; two cute boys in college sweatshirts, ditto. And then there were the three oldish teens(?), who darted in with super-soakers in hand, sprayed us lustily, cackled, and ran away. We were torn between feeling incensed (and concerned for our not-precisely-waterproof cellphones, not to mention our printed-on-actual-paper books) and feeling refreshed by the brief cooling down. Still, next time, ask first, okay, boys…?
There was also this raccoon:
The art, meanwhile, was all quick sketchwork — but lovely sketchwork with exactly the free, lively, impromptu quality a gathering of nearly naked people in the woods calls for.
Next time: some extended poses. Who knows? Maybe we can even get easels and oils out there and make a proper Dejeuner Sur L’Herbe of it.