Michelle As Muse for “Just Sayin’…” Watercolor Series

The muse for my “Just Sayin’…” series is my twin sister Michelle.

Muse…I Can Do this

I thought I’d write about my “muse” for my “Just Sayin’…” series after seeing a contest on Professional Artist Magazine.  They’re asking artists to enter images of their muse with a story.  Hmmm, I have a muse; I can do this. 🙂

Michelle On Telephone

Family As Muse

I have used my family as muse for several of my paintings.  My “Just Sayin’…” series is the most recent example of my family as muse.  My “Still Life with Toy Pony” series is another example of inspiration from family.  The elements of the still life took on the character of my sisters.

Looking for a Symbol of Today’s Culture

About a year and a half ago, I had been working on still life paintings and thought it was time for something new.  I wanted the new series to reflect contemporary life and today’s culture in some way.  This was a problem rolling around in the back of my head waiting for a solution.

Home visiting Mom and Sisters

During this waiting time, I happened to take a trip home to visit with my mother and sisters.  One particular evening, I was listening to opera with my Mom.  I went into the kitchen to get something.  There, sitting on a barstool was my twin sister Michelle, with her hands to her ears talking on her cell phone.  The left hand held the cell phone to her left ear; the right hand was near her right ear as if to mute the background sound.

Aha!  My Muse!

I Can't Hear You

My brain went “AHA!”  I had my moment; I had my muse!  Here was the gesture of our times:  Cell phone at ear!

Photo with My Cell Phone

I quickly took out my cell phone and took photos of my muse on her cell phone.  Naturally, the photos were not the best in composition.  Ah!  But the inspiration!  Just perfect!

Series of Drawings

When I returned home, I began a series of drawings and watercolor studies inspired by the photos of my muse on the cell phone.  In each drawing, I develop my own scenarios in my head about who she is and what she is doing.  For example, I embellished one drawing with a fruit bowl and flower painting in the background.  When I am satisfied with a drawing, I enlarge it and create a watercolor painting.

Hang Up & Pet Me

Another Sister and Her Cat

During the period when I was creating these drawings, I happened to be talking to another sister Dorothy.  We were both on cell phones, of course.  I could hear one of her cats in the background meowing and trying to join in on the conversation.  Another inspiring moment!  My next drawing included a cat looking at my muse talking the cell phone.

Family as Inspiration

I think its not surprising that I use family as muse and inspiration.  My family is the people I’m closest to and I love the most.  Plus, we’re fun and amazing, but that’s another story!

Thank you and please feel free to share!

Just Sayin'... V8b



12 thoughts on “Michelle As Muse for “Just Sayin’…” Watercolor Series”

    1. Hi Ruth, I rarely, almost never, show my model or the photo inspiration. And yet it is fun to see the original that sparked my flights of fancy. Thank you for the compliment and comment!

    1. Hi Sandra, I’ve been working on my story telling. I don’t usually have such a strong “aha” moment. I knew it was a good idea, just had no inkling of where it would go! Thanks for visiting and thanks for the comment.

  1. What a terrific story! I didn’t realize you had a twin. She is every bit as lovely as you.
    Your art is wonderful and the story of how you developed it makes it even better.
    Thank you for sharing. I just love this!!!

    1. Thank you Pam and thanks for the compliment. My twin is a creative too. Come to think of it, we were all brought up with a love for the arts, though I don’t have my Mom’s passion for opera.

      As I mentioned briefly to Sandra, I’ve been working on my story telling. I’m finally beginning to realize the power of a good story. It takes work though, doesn’t it?

      1. I agree Peggy that telling stories takes work. But as you say, there is power in the story. Of course your art tells a story and the power lives there too.
        I personally connect better when I know the story behind the event or the art. For me, and probably for all of us, framing the story into something others can relate to makes it even better.
        Hope that makes sense! Haha! I’ve worked all day and my brain is mush. Happy Easter!

        1. Hi Pam, I can relate to brain as mush; I’ve been working on my portfolio. It’s all that formatting and thinking. Funny something so obvious as story telling is easy to miss. Is it a sign of maturity that I’m interested in talking about something other than technical stuff. Oh, that brain mush!

          I do hope you have a Happy Easter. Did you do anything fun over at Biker Rags? Thanks!

    1. Hi Mary, Thank you! Yes, I think the same gesture is prevalent in coffee shops, street corners and grocery stores! Funny how it took seeing my sister with hands to ears to spark my imagination. I’m glad you enjoyed the story and thank you for the comment!

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