Proud to Be a Nude Artists' Model

FOR DOWNLOAD MORE GALLERY Rosemarie Orwin is one of the most high-profile artists' models working today. She has been featured by the BBC and is in great demand by schools, sculptors, and photographers. Rosemarie has her own website, Modelled Me UK, and her husband, photographer Tony Orwin, has a website featuring images of Rosemarie, dedicated to "a celebration of the female form".

Americans are fascinated with nude art models - there seem to be articles nearly every week attempting to delve into the psyche of a person who would stand completely naked in the middle of a crowd of strangers, to be examined in detail and then represented by an image on paper or canvas. We are a prudish society, where being seen naked is something many people fear more than anything, and seeing someone else naked can somehow be dangerous and immoral.

The human body is the single most beautiful sight in the world, yet we cover it up and hide it away as something to be ashamed of. This is the core tenet of any nudist/naturist philosophy, that we should not be ashamed, that we are all unique yet still very much the same when we are without clothing.

While an artists' model is nude, that person is not necessarily a nudist or a naturist. Conversely, a nudist might not be inclined to be a model. One is a profession and the other is a lifestyle, and while there are differences, they both celebrate the human form in its natural state.

I asked Rosemarie to answer a few questions about her work and how it might link to might be linked to nudism/naturism, and she was kind enough to share some generous answers.

Nudiarist: It seems like most people are more fearful of being seen in the nude than they are of anything else. What events or influences set you on the career course of being a nude life model, and did you have any of your own fears or reservations to overcome?

Rosemarie: A friend of mine had been a life model for a local college in her late teens and she had said that it was good fun and easy work (which it isn't, easy I mean). She had a similar personality to me. Quite quiet and not hugely confident. I thought that if she could do it then so could I. It didn't stop me from being very nervous at the prospect of concerned as to whether I could keep still rather than the nudity aspect.

Nudiarist: Your online portfolio shows you nude in nature and architecture. Have you ever experienced any negative (or positive) reactions from citizens or from law enforcement during any of your outdoor sessions?

Rosemarie: I am always very careful about my photographic location work. I usually try to ensure that work is carried out very early in the mornings or during the week when most people are working. I am a nude model and not an exhibitionist so I would not feel comfortable in a location where there was a strong possibility of public presence. However, having said that, I did undertake some photographic work for a gentleman in Essex who wanted to produce a Charity Air Ambulance Calendar. This meant that there would be a strong possibility of being seen and sure enough, I was observed by the postman, milkman and various other delivery people not to mention dog walkers. I just kept telling myself '' Its for charity. Just act normal! ''

Nudiarist: You obviously spend a lot of time completely nude as your career warrants. Do you ever engage in what would be considered nudist or naturist activities, such as going to a nude beach or resort, or engaging in social nudism with friends or family? Do you consider yourself a naturist as well as a model?

Rosemarie: I have visited a naturist beach on a couple of occasions and we have been on holiday to a hotel that had a section for nude sunbathers, all long before I had even considered nude modelling. However, I don't actively participate in naturist activities. I am definitely not a naturist, not that there is anything wrong with naturism, it's just not a facet of my life.

Nudiarist: In a previous interview you are quoted as being euphoric after your first nude modelling experience. Was the joy from relief, or from a certain self-satisfaction, or both? What specifically do you feel were the causes of your initial apprehensions?

Rosemarie: The euphoria I experienced from my first modelling job was a combination of relief, the fact that I had actually managed to keep still for such a long time and the very fact that I had the nerve to go through with this incredible challenge. As I said before, by nature, I don't have a positive opinion of my body and I am actually a shy person.

Nudiarist: You are a bit of a celebrity for being a nude model. It's very unusual for anyone in this world to become well known for positive nudity - naked people are either on page 3 of your tabloids or in the pornographic industry, or selling something. Do you consider yourself somewhat of a role model for advancing the cause of celebrating the human body for it's beauty and health, and not for sexual objectification?

Rosemarie: I would like to think that I have helped to raise the profile of the artists model. In years passed, the role of the art model was undertaken by students to earn a little pocket money and I do mean a LITTLE pocket money. The role of the life model has never been lucrative and unfortunately within some art groups, the model is still considered as the least significant part of the creative process and so, in some cases, recompense for this work is very poor. My focus and determination has raised my profile both as Rosemarie Orwin "Artists Model" and as Rosemarie Orwin "Supplier of Figurative Art Classes, Courses, Workshops and Residential Figurative Art Weekends" to the point where I can earn a reasonable living - but there are a great many models who are not in such a strong position. Unfortunately, there will always be people who consider anyone who takes their clothes off for 'artistic reasons' or anyone who enjoys drawing from a nude model, must have ulterior motives. I myself, am very proud to be carrying a passport which displays my profession as that of an Artists Model. A role which I consider to be very respectable.

Nudiarist: Nudism/Naturism is partly about body acceptance. You have stated that you once had no confidence in your body. Do you now have true confidence in the way you look, and do you find that you actually feel more pressure now to exercise and keep fit to maintain the body image that you want to project?

Rosemarie: I do still lack confidence in my body but that is on a personal level and not as a model. As I have a website (http://www.modelled.me.uk/) which indicates my morphology and carries images of my body, I do have to keep it in shape with plenty of exercise . This has resulted in me gaining a reputation for my musculature and anatomical detail - although I am NOT a a body builder!! My work in this area is of value to my clients and I know that it has secured many commissions for me. This does not mean, however, that you have to be a particular size or weight to be an artists model!

Nudiarist: In Britain, naturism seems to be a much larger movement than it is in America, where any sort of nudity is considered taboo. From my understanding, it is not illegal to be naked in public in Britain, although it can be a problem if there is a disturbance. What societal factors do you believe are at work in British society that allows a more relaxed attitude toward nudity than in the United States?

Rosemarie: From the UK perception, America has an extreme reputation for pornography where we believe it to be a multi billion dollar industry. It is perhaps this perception that nudity is related or connected to pornography or commercialism that so heavily skews the American perception of nudity. In the UK there is not this perception and hence a far greater acceptance of nudity in general and in the art world in particular.

Nudiarist: Nudist groups in the United States are experiencing an age problem with most participants being 40 years of age or older. The debate is ongoing here as to how to interest younger people in naturism. In your experiences have you found any differences in attitudes of different age groups, and do you see any people in their late teens or early 20s getting into nude modelling?

Rosemarie: The answer to this question is much the same as the previous one. With regard to younger people entering the world of nude modelling., I receive e mails weekly from young people who want to take up nude modelling and are looking for advice on how to do this. With the exception of one model, all the models I have hired for my workshops, have been in their 20's and younger.

Nudiarist: Have you any advice or suggestions for anyone considering a career in nude modelling?

Rosemarie: There are many reasons why someone may want to take up a career in nude modelling and not always for the right reasons. However, dependant on whether they want to work in a specific area, i.e. art modelling, photographic, television opportunities, they should first consider:

a) Their partner/family especially children - this career path can have a huge effect on your partner and children and extended family.My daughter was teased at school and other children were telling her that I was a pornographic model/ prostitute etc. and that her dad was my pimp. That's how bad it can be. We discussed my work with our daughter and told her in no uncertain terms that if my work made her feel uncomfortable or she couldn't cope with the teasing at school then I would stop the work immediately.

b) Financial implications - modelling is not a well paid job especially an art model. Photographic modelling is totally different and carries a much higher price tag.

c) Consider the real reasons why this job has appealed to you - I think some people may feel that it must be quite glamorous. I have been on the T.V. a few times and since then and the magazine articles I have contributed to, I have received lots of e mails from budding art models. It requires hard work, dedication and commitment.

Nudiarist: What do you consider your most pleasant experience as a nude model? The worst?

Rosemarie: I cannot think of any one particular experience as a nude model that was specifically pleasant. I was presented with a bunch of flowers after one session which was incredibly touching and most unexpected. I have also received a round of applause at the end of a session on numerous occasions. Just being appreciated for the hard work is enough and the fact that an artist can sell pieces of their work depicting your body is incredibly exciting. There have been a handful of uncomfortable experiences. Artists taking photographs without permission, very obviously and secretly! but were seen. Students bursting into the room for a laugh, that sort of thing.

Nudiarist: Anything else you want to add?

Rosemarie: My outlook on being a professional artists model is that it is a constant challenge even with groups you model for regularly. You need to produce new poses for artists, something to keep them inspired. Modelling, if undertaken properly is a strenuous and quite tiring activity but enjoyable. When you are modelling properly, your personality will shine through and the artists will pick up on that. Modelling is a three way interaction with the artists and tutor ( a triangle effect). The Model SHOULD be a catalyst. They produce " energy " in their poses directed at the artist , who pass it on through to the canvas.

Nudiarist: Thank you, Rosemarie, for sharing your thoughts with us.

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