Tom was one of the life models at the Hesketh Hubbard Society, which is the life drawing arm of the Mall Galleries. It’s a wonderful place to work. It is so quiet, (considering one is 3 minutes from Trafalgar Square) and you’re always surrounded by the latest exhibition of this collective of art associations, The Federation of British Artists. One week, there might be Landscapes in Oils, the next, Watercolour Wildlife or Acrylic Aeroplanes. And then there’s the social side. Artists may be solitary creatures but they do love to get together and chat over a beer or three. On top of that, there’s a great selection of ‘life’ to draw. You get to chose from four models a night and a range of poses from 15 minutes, to half hour poses, a two hour nude and a two hour portrait. If that doesn’t please, there’s about eighty-odd artists, some of whom are quite distinguished looking, that you can sketch. I generally stuck to the shorter poses.
I modelled there myself for quite a while which is what brought me more seriously to painting in the first place. There was a week when I found I had spent more time being still and posing than I had moving about and I found I felt envious of the artists. Jealousy is a useful emotion. It tells us what we want for ourselves. So, I started to paint and draw more regularly from about 2003.