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“We are not a-mused”

The Muses were the Greek goddesses of poetic inspiration, the adored deities of song, dance, and memory, on whose mercy the creativity, wisdom and insight of all artists and thinkers depended. They may have been originally three in number, but, according to Hesiod and the prevailing tradition he established, most commonly they are depicted as the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne.


It became synonymous with the,usually female, embodiment of inspiration for the likes of Pablo Picasso (Dora Maar), Andy Warhol (Edie Sedgwick) and Robert Mapplethorpe (Patti Smith).I think now it’s more commonly known as the name of a band; Muse being much more accessible than their previous Gothic Plague and Rocket Baby Dolls choices.

But I digress.

Inspiration can come to an artist at any time, any where, for a myriad of reasons. Hard to describe, even harder to conjure when stuck, unsure, or void of ideas. Some artists are very disciplined when creating and will sit down every day to paint or write whether they feel like it or not. Others will just feel a 'pull' at a time not of their choosing, and run with it.

As an artist (that moniker STILL feels weird to me!) my creative approach is spontaneous and 2- pronged: take a photo; edit the photo. Sometimes the inspiration to synthesize the image is immediate, sometimes it can be weeks before the urge takes me. I have tried sitting looking through photos with the goal of making something, or Andy will say to me “Go make art”, but if it ain’t happening, it ain’t happening. When forced, it often leads to feeling frustrated or annoyed when the results are lackluster. And those are not the emotions that I want to anchor to this now cherished outlet.

So I wanted to share a little of the process, a "before and after" if you will, and show you the photo that inspired “Golden”, “Chaos” and “Rage”.

I like the photo. It was taken near my house, a gutter on a powerfully sunny day following yet another snowstorm. There are different textures, the surfaces are both wet and dry, the light on the pine cone is striking, there is movement and stillness. I didn't think too much about it after that as we take a lot of photos. I mean A LOT!

Several weeks after it was taken, I saw in on my screen and it once again tickled me. I vivified the memory of the day that I took the photo with the NLP prompts of “See what you see. Hear what you hear. Feel what you feel.” 

Different things came to me:

It was a warm sunny day hence “Golden”

The road was an absolute mess thus, “Chaos”

Why on Earth do people litter? ignited “Rage”


I can't really explain why inspiration came at that moment. Part of me doesn't want to pursue that or I will analyze it to death and overthink the entire process when I would much rather connect with my feelings and emotions as I explore the creative process. 

So for now, it’s all about “Go with the flow”. I just let it take me wherever it is that I am going. As I experiment with different software and develop my techniques and learn more, I am certain that my process will change and I want to pay attention to that. Perhaps I should keep a creative journal to take notes along the way?

I hijacked Queen Victoria's famous "We are not amused" quote as the title of this blog to reflect my not knowing if I have a muse or not. But I am curious about you, dear reader. Are you aware of when and how inspiration hits? Do you wait for inspiration to strike or do you plant a lightning rod to attract it?

Are you someone who documents your ideas, learnings and processes- whatever the context may be? I'd love to know your thoughts on this!

 Hmmmm, I'm suddenly feeling inspired....





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