Salvador Dali, Renoir, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Gauguin, Matisse, Cezanne, Picasso and thousands of other famous artists throughout history have one thing in common: They all painted nudes.
From early cave dwellers to present day post-modernists, artists have been fascinated with the complexity of the human form. They try to capture our raw beauty and intricate curves, while at the same time struggle to expose our inner humanity. It's one of the hardest and greatest achievements of an artist once that skill is perfected. And, when properly achieved, artists can even make nudes feel alive.
Artists, being imaginative types are always looking for new avenues for expressing their skills. One way is to find new surfaces or "canvases" to paint.
They've painted on pottery, plates, fences and other building walls with murals, rugs, wood boards, etc. One of the most famous unique canvases is Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.
Obviously, another different type of canvas is the human body itself. Face and body painting is as old as mankind. Many tribal cultures still practice it today with clay and other naturally found coloring agents. Some historians feel, face and body painting was the very first "artwork" that our ancestors created.
Starting in the 1960's and 1970's, there has been a revival in this ancient art form. Many state fairs have face and body painting booths. And what would sports be without rabid fans painting themselves in their favorite teams colors and logos. Even Sports Illustrated magazine has an annual issue with models in body painted bathing suits.
Modern day skinny dippers and nudists are also bringing back total nude body painting. They're opening societies eyes, proudly proclaiming that bare skin is in once again and modern art can be fun to see and create.
July 9th to 15th is the 37th anniversary of Nude Recreation Week. Jay Leno even mentioned this popular week in his opening monologue on Wednesday.
Every year nudist resorts and clubs have a big event to celebrate this time period. This year the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) is sponsoring AANR's Amazing Canvas Nudist Face and Body Painting Event.
The Amazing Canvas is open to amateur and professional artists alike. Everyone is welcome to volunteer to be a canvas. You can be "cheeky" and have a very simple design drawn on your face. Or go Full Monte with an elaborate design over your whole body. It is up to you and the artists. Plus, if you would rather watch artwork being created instead of be a canvas yourself, by all means do so. Most resorts and clubs are also having other fun activities that day, so make sure you call before joining in on the fun.
Many clubs will have local prizes for the best art work and there will also be national cash prizes with a top prize of $500 for the best compositions. Judges will be posting the top works of art online at AANR's website to determine the winners.
Here are a few of the many locations where you can attend. the full list is on AANR's Website.
-Cedar Trails Retreat, Peebles, Ohio,
-DeAnza Springs Resort, Jacumba, California
-Deer Park, Devore, California
-Fraternity Snoqualmie, Issaquah, Wahington
-Hauulover Beach, Bal Harbour, Florida
-Sahnoans at Star Ranch McDade Texas
-Sol Sante, Cobble Hill, British Columbia, Canada
-Sunchasers Travel Club, Ludlow, Massachusetts
-Young Naturists America at Rock Lodge Club Stockholm, New Jersey
The Amazing Canvas is the perfect fun event for first timers. Celebrate Nude Recreation Week in your birthday suit this year and say goodbye to funny tan lines forever.