I Always Wanted to be a Supermodel by Deb Joelle

stk-fgr3Art has always been about the doing of art, more than the viewing of art for me. When I was little, I used to play for hours with paperclips, coloured notecards, scissors, yarn, etc. and try and make “something.” I also was big on drawing. For all my interest and practice, I was pretty average, but once I learned to read, that didn’t bother me much.

However, an interesting thing happened to me in high school. Instead of being the person holding the charcoal, I became the model posing for the artist. One day, our P.E. teacher asked us if someone would volunteer to skip P.E. for three whole weeks and go pose for the drawing class. My hand shot up so fast, I nearly pulled my arm out of my socket. Turns out, I needn’t have hurried. Not one other classmate was interested. And we were getting out of field hockey! I began to wonder what I was in for, but it was too late.

As it turned out, what I was in for was long periods of sitting still while people stared at me and quietly drew on paper I couldn’t see. It turned into a remarkably relaxing period in my day. It was challenging too, holding a pose, sometimes awkward. And if you’re wondering the same thing all my drama friends asked me, no, I was not nude. I wore my P.E. clothes.

The really cool thing was that the art class displayed these drawings in the theatre during the production of one of the plays that I was in. So there I was onstage, and then during intermission, everyone could go out into the hall and see me as a supermodel. And the drawings were good, and recognizable, and very cool!

What I didn’t know at the time was that modeling for artists was actually my lifelong destiny. In my twenties and thirties, I modeled for the painter, Leo Wayman. The only painting of his with me in it that I know of online can be seen here (I don’t have permission to post it, so you’ll have to click on the link). I posed as Mother Nature for a series of paintings of the four seasons. This one is called Snow.

Now, as you all know, I’m married to the photographer, Victor Anthony. At any time of day, including sometimes when I’m sleeping, I can be called upon to lend a hand,


my legs,


a shoulder,


or just to prop something up for him.


I love it. It’s like I’m a visual artist myself, without actually having to be a visual person!

12 Replies to “I Always Wanted to be a Supermodel by Deb Joelle”

  1. “One day, our P.E. teacher asked us if someone would volunteer to skip P.E. for three whole weeks and go pose for the drawing class. My hand shot up so fast, I nearly pulled my arm out of my socket.” This made me laugh out loud. I felt the same way about gym. I would do ANYTHING to get out of it.

    You make a stunning Mother Nature. And you have amazing gams!

  2. I can’t even read a word. I’m too overcome with jealousy over those legs!
    Fantastic photos. You’ve got a talented hubby.

  3. Sexy legs, Joelle! Victor is talented, and you’re a lovely subject to photograph. A winning combination (in more ways than just those, I’m sure)!

  4. Oh wow, oh wow…posing for artists AND getting out of gym. You lucky thing, you! That sounds like fun…

    (My poor husband is conditioned to *avoid* taking pix of me for fear I’ll complain I don’t look good in them. I must change this!!)

  5. Gorgeous photos, gorgeous model, hilarious story about gym (and I would be SO there, too.)

    I once helped out my art-teacher friend of mine by posing for her elementary school students. It was Halloween time and I dressed like a witch. she probably asked me because I already had the hat… And it IS hard to hold still! Even for grade school kids who aren’t terribly precise in their renderings.

  6. Your talents are limitless and constantly amaze me. Seriously, Joelle. You’re a Deb who can make butter and put “model” on her resume too. How I’d love to hang out with you!

  7. Thanks everyone. It’s a lot of fun modeling for him, but it ain’t all glamour! Haha. For example, if the light is good, and he’s got his coat on, he couldn’t care less how cold I am! Ahhh…but we all must suffer for our art. Thanks for your comments. You all made me laugh!

  8. I love Victor’s photos and you are a fab model, very envious of those legs! And I kind of want that BE photo for my study, cool advice.

    Seems to me like you were the only smart kid in your PE class, sitting still versus hockey! I know which I’d prefer!

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