From Model to Muse


It takes awhile for me to become comfortable with a model. Posing nude takes courage, especially the first time for most young ladies. Models usually begin working for me by posing for figure studies, nude figure studies. Besides honing my drawing skills these first sessions are my way of learning something about the person posing for me and for them to learn just who I am. Sometimes there is no bonding, no exchange of ideas, no friendly stories. When there is bonding, a step into friendship, a model becomes a muse, a person who inspires.

Models fit into concepts the artist develops before deciding on the type of figure they need. A muse inspires an artist to create a concept around them.

Kim has inspired hundreds of my paintings and drawings over the 21 years we have worked together. Her creative poses have challenged my skills of observation and how I handle a drawing. Kim is one of my muses, aiding me with concepts of multiple figures. Her grace, her understanding of how her body is seen by others at any one moment is an asset for any artist. She can move from one pose to another and interact with the first pose perfectly, even though there is no one to work off. All seven figures in "The Wedding  Planners" are Kim. Kim sees what I see before any paint is laid out on my palette. Years of working together has us thinking as one. Her jet black hair and dark brown eyes make her perfect for charcoal, a medium I am not crazy  about. To really do justice to Kim I took up charcoal after ten years of using other mediums for drawing. This is what a good muse can bring to a studio. There was the time she came to work with her hair dyed blonde. I tried to hide my disappointment but we knew each other so well by then she knew I was faking enthusiasm. Kim used to help me with caring for my brother, cooking him meals and just sitting and talking with him.

When I find a model I can really bond with I hold onto them as long as possible. Jordan, another of my muses, has adopted me as her daughter Josephine's grandpa. Afraid to attempt a painting of a baby for many years, Josephine proved to be too cute, so I threw my fears aside and did, I think, a fine painting of Jordan holding my little Josephine. Jordan, like Kim, has inspired many paintings. Our friendship has grown over the years, Jordan, besides inspiring me, is now my gallery manager. Our conversations during our painting sessions has educated me in the ways of big business and Jordan in the ways of Art. Jordan is the girl-next-door in many of my paintings.