Less rigor more heat

More heat less rigor 2 day pose by Fine Artist Julie Dyer HolmesMore Heat

Greetings from art school (aka rigor central) where we have been working without any heat in our studio.  In fact, we haven’t had heat for over 6 weeks. Who cares? You can always put on another layer, right? Sure, except for our fabulous and amazing nude models.

Take the model  (Pixie) for this 2-day pose, for instance. She held this pose (with breaks every 20 minutes of course), and did not complain once about the cold drafty room we call home. We do have portable space heaters and heating pads. A combination of these two things seem to do the trick.

But still, can you imagine disrobing in a huge, drafty room in a 1920s urban warehouse where there’s no heat? Ya me neither. But I am so grateful that there are amazing, upbeat men and women who are willing to pose nude for us under adverse circumstances.

So  the good news is, there are steps in place (read: repair people) to fix the heat. Wahoo!

Less Rigor

But even if we have a toasty, warm studio, there is still the element of rigor in this class that, frankly, wears me out. What do I mean? If you have a recollection of something new you did, maybe as a kid, that scared the stuffing out of you. For instance, think of the first time you rode your bike without training wheels. Or maybe the first time you went skiing downhill. Were you scared and exhilarated and, at the end of your ‘ride,’ exhausted?

Uh huh…that’s me, people, every single Tuesday and Thursday at art school.

Don’t get me wrong, I am excited with the results I am getting. The painting above is a super strong start in getting the gesture of the pose. It also is the start of showing the impact of light on form. In addition, this painting is a culmination of the many (many, many) color studies I did last year, last summer and this fall.

The other good news is that I see where I need to go now that I have finished this painting. What do I mean? Well, I mean I am going to grab a fleece blanket, curl up in a corner in a fetal position and take a nap. Ha ha – just kidding.

The Road Plan

I am going to make sure I see the range of values in a painting at the beginning. What does this mean? I am probably going to make some color notes of the highlight, the lightest light, the mid light, mid dark, dark light, the shadow, and the dark accent in color. One of my teachers suggested this and I am excited about giving it a try. I think it will be interesting to do this and then use each note as a guide throughout the next painting.

OK back to the title, “More Heat Less Rigor.” Do I really mean more heat? Heck yes! What about less rigor? Well, I guess this is one of those experiences, you know, like running a marathon, maybe? Where in the midst of it all, you think, “I’m never doing this again!” And, then you (and I) feel the rush of the accomplishment. So, it’s a few hours after class and I am done with a challenging painting, feeling good about the accomplishment. And, I am ready and excited about the next painting. Less rigor? Hmmm…maybe not!


This week I am headed up to NYC to the Met on a school field trip. Then more travel and year end holiday adventures afterwards. I may share some of my notes and experiences about my field trip to the Met. But let me know in the comments if you have a preference either way. This probably means I will be away from the glowing screen until after the first of the year. So I hope you have a wonderful holiday with all the people and experiences that mean the most to you!!!!!


  1. Frieshgenet Dabei
    March 8, 2017

    I am so proud of you, this is great and wonderfully done.

    Love you

    • Julie Holmes
      April 9, 2017

      Thanks so much, Friesh! Love you toooo oxoxox 😉


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