On natures time
Recently, I teamed up with photographer Troy Moth to paint the body of a model for a nature series he did. I was asked to design and paint the models body in full, based on an inuit myth of a woman who falls from a boat and then inhabits the sea. Troy had an idea in mind and I decided to freestyle the design based on some passed drawings I’ve done. I also found some great tribal images which added inspiration.
After finding the smoothest body paint I could, I headed up to Troys beautiful barnyard studio. It’s a lovely studio very close to the ocean, with raw wood and big high ceilings. The feeling of a warm afternoon and a simple beauty surrounded me.
The model is a close friend of mine, and she is so beautiful, and I felt lucky that I was able to experience such an intimate space with her. There was a vulnerability present because of her nudity, and my artwork being expressed freestyle. I felt responsible to create something really good for both her and Troy, who’s artwork is stunning. We turned on some Sigor Ros and then began.
I used water based paints which were very forgiving, they could be wiped away easily. They also dried quickly and left no cakey feeling. I was able to use my brushes which gave me a lot of control and made the tactile experience richer for me. Time started by moving slowly as we settled into the process. She was taking in the environment, the art on her body and the music. I was also enjoying the music and the freedom I felt. Whenever I asked Andy (model) to lift an arm or shift her body, she did with grace. Her background in ballet was evident in both her form and her gentle yet strong movements.
Occasionally Troy would take a photo, and when he did I felt the unity of artists working together. I continued the outlines and the painting, and a couple of hours breezed by. Soon, I felt the pressure of the sun setting, as the timing for finishing Andy’s body painting was important. The original plan with the shoot was to head outside to the forest at dusk, in order to get the lighting that troy imagined. However the painting process took longer than expected.When her body had transformed into the nature goddess that she became, the sun had already set. Apparently she was meant to be a night creature.
We headed outside into the trees, stumbling slightly as we found our way. Troy set up his lights and Andy braved the cool air with her fierce beauty. I watched in awe as they found the pictures in her face, her body, and with his talent and vision. She looked wild and alive.
The series has yet to be developed into photographs. Until then, we took a few of our own and here they are: