At the Nude Nite warehouse in Tampa, I looked at some figurative art and then stopped when I saw body painter Cat Camp hard at work. She was working on a male and female model, alternating between them so they could each take brakes. Both models already had white bones painted in place. The male model had the number 6365 written on the center of his back with navy anchors jutting out from behind the shield. I asked him about the number when he was on a break. He works for the coast guard and last week a Coast Guard helicopter went down on a mission. He wanted this body painting to honor his fallen guardsmen.Cat outlined the rib bones and then his pelvis.
The female model spoke with me while I sketched. Seated in my artist stool, I had to look up at her. Ribs were painted on her chest with a flaming heart trapped inside. As we spoke, I made sure not to analyze the maze of patterns flowing over her breasts. She posed next for Cat who outlined ribs and accentuated details. Paint had smeared on her chest and Cat groaned. "I didn't touch the paint, I swear." she said. I thought the same. After an hour of being painted, the model's eyes began to tear up. She tilted her head back not wanting the tears to ruin the paint. The male model noticed and asked, "Are you crying?" She silently took a break to wipe her eyes. When she was gone, Cat said, "I've been painting bodies for two days straight, I'm a bit cranky. She's a delicate spirit." Later that night the female model was feeling lively and vivacious again as she posed for photos with guests. "I love seeing my art come alive" said Cat.