Tuesdays at Tease are a model event

Gabriel Mark paused to take a sip of draft beer and then continued to sketch a live model posing at Tease Restaurant & Bar in downtown Ashland.

He said the drawing session at the restaurant was different than the usual experience of sketching a model in an art studio.

"You can drink beer and carouse with your friends. It feels more metropolitan," Mark said, between trading jokes with artist and sculptor Kevin Christman, who was drawing beside him along with four other artists perched on sketching benches. "It has a different vibe in a bar than in an art studio."

The Tuesday evening sketch session, which lasted from 4 to 7 p.m., kicked off the beginning of sessions that will take place at Tease on the first and third Tuesday of each month.

"This restaurant and bar is trying to present an opportunity and a venue for all forms of art and culture in Ashland," said Tease co-creator Julie O'Dwyer. "Sometimes that means music and sometimes that means art on the walls. The next step is to create art here."

O'Dwyer said selected sketches from the drawing sessions will be displayed on Tease's walls.

Christman, who helped coordinate the event, said he wanted to bring the art-making process out into public view.

"The idea is most of these drawing groups happen in private artists' studios. The public doesn't recognize the presence of artists in the valley. This way, they can see the caliber of artists who are here," he said.

Christman said one difference between sketching in the studio and sketching at Tease is that the model was clothed in the restaurant, while she would be nude in the studio.

For artist Jonnie Dale Lieberman, drawing at Tease with a model who held poses was a welcome change from her usual practice of quickly sketching people she sees in public spots. Like the other artists, she was also able to prop up a large sketchpad on her bench rather than using a small sketchbook.

"Normally if I'm drawing in a restaurant, I don't get to have such a big pad," she said.

Jenay Grice, a student at the Ashland Academy of Art, had already spent six hours drawing before she came to Tease to take part in the sketch session. But she said she still appreciated the opportunity to get out of the studio.

"It's nice to see other artists in the community," she said.

Since Tease's tables are covered in white butcher paper to encourage doodling, O'Dwyer also plans to post images of drawings patrons leave behind on the tables onto the restaurant's Web site.

In addition to sketching sessions, Tease features live music, poker, poetry and movies. For more information, visit www.teaserestaurant.net or call 488-1458.

The Adam Harris Trio is scheduled to perform jazz beginning at 9 p.m. this Friday.

Tease is located at 303 E. Main St., near the intersection of East Main and Second streets.

Staff writer Vickie Aldous can be reached at 479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.

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