I often use myself as a model for my paintings because I'm cheap and convenient. I also feel like I can be kind of generic-looking, which makes me a good stand-in for a sort of "any girl" character. I typically don't show people the photographs I take of myself, but I like to blog openly about my process, and this image isn't that embarrassing. In a side note, please feel free to admire my majestic orange couch, circa. 1972. My affinity for this piece of furniture borders on the absurd.
When I'm having trouble getting to my studio in a timely manner, and/or trouble focusing when I do get there, I turn to books on tape. I listen to them in my studio, become engrossed in the story, and kind of trick myself into sitting still and focusing on painting. A book on tape can get me to sit still for five straight hours. If I don't finish the tape in one work period, I race back to my studio the next day to find out what happens next. And then I paint. This is especially effective because I don't have a tape player in my car or my house, so I can't sneak the tape away to find out what happens next. Right now I'm into mysteries. The Agatha Christie one on the right was particularly dark and freaky.