06/12/2014 01:26 pm ET Updated Jun 12, 2014

Meet The Models: Exhibit Explores The People Behind The Paintings : NPR

An artist friend, Virginia Isbell once asked me to pose for a quick pastel sketch in her Paris studio. I was flattered. And amazed to be on that side of a work of art. Never have I been looked at so intently, except by a parent or a lover. I was being fixed, examined, absorbed. And, for all the intensity, there was absolutely nothing personal about it.

I was an object to be replicated. Her eyes went from my face to her sketchpad, my nose, my eyes, mouth, chin — sketched in pastel in 20 minutes. It was fun. But it felt as if something had been taken from me.