Laid bare

How long have you been an art model?

I started modeling in the nude for paintings and drawings when I moved to Summit County in November of 2013.

Were you embarrassed to pose nude?

The first session I agreed to do was a little awkward at first. I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t even have a robe to wear. I made a special trip to Target to get one. I just kept reminding myself why I chose to take the plunge in the first place—which was to gain confidence in myself and be comfortable in my skin.

Do you get cold?

My first session was in the dead of winter, but Nancy Branca, the instructor, made sure I was comfortable the entire time. She had pillows and blankets and even a small space heater for me. It was a very small, intimate gathering of four older ladies, and the instructor and me

Is it hard to sit still?

On average I have to sit still for 30 minutes for one pose. It depends on what the class wants to do—whether it’s a bunch of short poses, which are about 15 minutes, or longer ones. I only find it hard to sit still if I put myself into a challenging pose, and by that I mean my arm might start falling asleep from deciding to hold it up a certain way. The poses where you get to lay down are super easy to stay in for longer time.

What do you think about while you are posing?

I try to focus on a certain point in the room just to keep myself still, but sometimes my thoughts wander to how the students’ drawings are turning out, or things that happened during the day. I like when the instructor plays music because then I can sing along in my head.

Is it interesting to see the final pieces?

I love, love, love seeing the paintings and drawings after they are done. It’s so cool to see how everyone draws in their own way or uses different mediums like charcoal instead of pencil, or chalk even. Plus everyone has a different angle since the room is set up with all the easels in a circle and the model poses in the middle. I still have a sketch one of the ladies gave me from my first session. I was in awe at how she managed to draw my foot so realistically—and in just 15 minutes.

Hayley Michelle Krantz, 24, is a recent graduate of the EMT program at Colorado Mountain College (CMC) and now works as an obstetrical surgical technician. The pastel at left depicts Krantz and is by Nancy Branca, who teaches drawing, painting, art appreciation, watercolor, and pastels at CMC, as well as figure painting classes at the Breckenridge Arts District.

Photo of pastel portrait: Nancy Branca