there are some people you know, whom you don't get to spend much time with.
they come into your life and you like them and you have an affect on each other, but
you don't ever really hang out. stephen cleary was such a person.
i spoke with stephen a couple weeks ago while he was in the midst of his treatment. we had a brief phone conversation
and then folks arrived to visit with him at the hospital. i have guilt about not being one of those visitors.
my personal solace is that i remember stephen as a strong healthy vibrant man, who was very kind to others and
often smiling. he was one of those models who really knew how to model: you could tell, that stephen
cared. he wasn't on the stand for money, he was well respected for his classic poses. he worked hard to keep his body in shape. he liked to model.
i often remember stephen would smile as he posed.
he and i met in virginia's class. she reminded me today that he would often like to take photos of the drawings.
he'd often ask permission and it'd really make the budding artists feel good about their work. he seemed like a very generous soul.
i look forward to meeting some of his family and other friends. i don't look forward to seeing his lifeless body, at the funeral, because he seemed so full of life. the irony is that as a model, you don't mind letting folks see your body, because that is not really your essence and your core. this couldn't be more true than now.
i think artists often forget that when we paint or sculpt or draw someone, it is not their bodies that we are painting, it's their essence, their spirit that we are capturing. this is why some models resonate with us more than others.
in this case, it was a pleasure to know stephen and share his spirit. this will live on, in many of us.
(drawings to be posted soon. please feel free to send me any drawings that you might have of stephen cleary, and i'll try to post)