Of Antiques and Modelling

Normally I reserve this blog for more worky-professional-writey things, but as this last week as totally been made of awesome, I felt the need to share.

While it is no secret that I love being a Professional Geek and a Science Fiction Writer, neither of these pays very well (yet!). So, like most writers I need a job to keep me in tea.  I am pleased to say that I got the job of my dreams (after six stressful years of post secondary education!) in downtown Toronto last Monday.  I started the apartment search almost immediately and my some miracle found some great places right away – and was offered one of them within hours of applying for it!

It’s in a fabulous location and it’s right where I wanted it to be, and the best part is that it’s a part of the city that I’m familliar with, and it’s a real grown-ups apartment; no more student ghetto for me!  I started to search for furniture for the apartment and was meandering by the Iron Bucket Antiques shop in Fergus, Ontario, and spotted the sweetest little writing desk (actually a telephone table) from the 1920s. After some bargaining with the shop owner, I got the table and an organ stool from the 1800s for $100!

The stool might not be totally perfect for sitting on to write, but it looks fabulous with the desk and if I have to do my actual writing sitting on my bed, well, I think I won’t mind.

This means that I now know what colour to stain or paint my furniture (which is sitting in the garage, currently, sanded and ready to go). I am thrilled beyond all words. 

I also spent part of today modelling for local portrait artist Meredith Blackmore. I came in as a last minute session model for a figure drawing class at the Elora Centre For The Arts (my last place of employment – fantastic arts centre, more than fantastic people) several months ago, and enjoyed it so much that I offered to work part time as a model for others. I brought one of my costumes (the Regency gown) and Meredith did a figure study in paint of me in that. I offered to buy it from her, I liked it so much, and we bartered instead.

By Meredith Blackmore

I would model more for free for her in exchange for the painting when it was done. It has been hanging on the wall here for about a month, and today was the first day of these sessions – I probably have another next week.

And I have to say… I really loved it.  I mean, Meredith is  a lovely lady who appreciates my tea habit (even in this ungodly hot weather I still want my warm tea), and wardrobe. But she was a joy to converse with all day, and a really skilled artist.  We discussed her coming to Toronto in the fall to hide out at my apartment and use it as a painting retreat; in the evenings I would model for her in some costumes, and presumably there would be another barter for another painting.

I am really looking forward to that.  I do love doing barter exchanges with artists; I think it’s one of the most rewarding methods of being creative – helping someone else be creative in THEIR way.

I love acting in friend’s films and art modelling and offering edits and brainstorming sessions and being the pin-bitch when friends sew or writing free advertising copy, knowing that when I need help with a costume or someone to spring an idea off of, or help moving or want some baking for a party, my friends will return the favour. And it’s not all about collecting the favours; it’s about the priviledge and honour of being a part of a friend’s creative work, of being selfless and helpful. I get a rush knowing that without me, they might not have finished this or that or had an idea that they like.

And now, I am off to buy stain for my furniture and start packing for my return to the Big Smoke.

JM FreyOf Antiques and Modelling