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How Does An Artist Find Their Muse?

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A muse provokes an intense force, an all-absorbing depth of thought and creative focus in a person. They are agents of divine inspiration. The concept of the muse originates from Greek mythology in which nine goddesses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, fed mortal beings with ideas in the arts and sciences.

Many authors, poets, painters, photographers, musicians, film directors, fashion designers and philosophers have credited a muse as being the divine spark that brought forth some of the most iconic works created by humanity. Throughout history muses have appeared in masterpieces that after decades, centuries and in some cases millennia, still continue to be celebrated.

The relationship between muse and artist has often been a turbulent and passionate affair, pushing an artist to greatness but also to the edge of their sanity and in cases tragedy. Here are some of my favorite famous muses:

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Ophelia by John Everett Millais, c. 1851 (Image public domain)

Elizabeth Siddal At around the age of 19, Elizabeth Siddal was discovered working in a hat shop in London, by the artist Walter Deverell. He was so taken by her beauty that he hired her as a model and introduced her to his artist friends.

Although many people are not familiar with her name, Elizabeth Siddal is one of the most famous muses in history and a great proportion of the public would probably recognize the paintings that she modeled for and inspired. Her soft features and iconic copper colored hair became the Pre-Raphaelite ideals of feminine beauty and the central focus of a number of masterpieces.

Artists Walter Deverell, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti all used Siddal as their muse. Not only was she one of the most famous models in history but she was also an artist in her own right and was the only woman to exhibit in a Pre-Raphaelite exhibition in 1857.

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Photo of Marilyn Monroe while filming The Seven Year Itch on the streets of New York Published by Corpus Christi Caller

Marilyn Monroe

During her life Marilyn Monroe was the source of inspiration for photographers, film directors and artists. Many photographers fell in love with Monroe's persona and also Norma Jean Mortenson – the woman hidden behind the star. At the time she was one of the most photographed women on the planet. Famous photographers including Cecil Beaton, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bob Henriques, Philippe Halsman, Elliott Erwitt, Bert Stern and Eve Arnold, were all inspired to capture a unique side of the Hollywood actress.

After her tragic death she continued to be a muse. Her image was famously reproduced over and over in Andy Worhol’s silkscreen work A Shot of Marilyn, becoming one of the most recognizable artworks and faces of Pop Art.

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Grace Jones Photo credit: Bruce Baker

Grace Jones

It’s hard to decipher how many creative geniuses and masterpieces Grace Jones has inspired across her incredible career. She is a fashion and cultural icon. As an actress, model and singer, she has been the muse to fashion designers including Issey Miyake, artists Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and her iconic roles in movies such as Conan the Destroyer (1984) and A View To Kill (1985) are etched into the Hollywood history books. She is the epitome of a fierce spirit of rebellion, female empowerment, boldness and sharp elegance.

Being an Artist in NYC

As an artist based in NYC, I am never short of inspiration. In a city always on the move, thousands of intriguing muse-worthy figures pass by me every day. Whether grabbing a morning coffee or jumping on the subway, I am constantly fed by the city’s stream of interesting characters.

Over the years I have drawn a lot of creative inspiration from strong, independent female figures. For those of you that are familiar with my work and my Female Faces series, you will know that I am drawn to women that have unique stories and come from many different cultures and ethnicities. Each of my muses have inspired one of my paintings but collectively, across the body of work, they share a message of unity, a commonality in their needs, emotions, strengths and vulnerabilities. The goal is to represent an empowered global female collective. A force of common ground, universal beauty and equality.

I’m not sure exactly what I am looking for in a model or in a source of inspiration. It is just a moment of magic for me: a face or a character just stands out and piques my curiosity. When this happens, all I think about is getting into my studio and drawing up ideas and putting a pencil, pen, brush to a surface as quickly as possible. It is a curious thing when a wave of intense creativity hits, you can never know exactly when it will come, but when it does, I run with the opportunity in case it disappears as quickly as it came.

More Information About Female Faces

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Liz Metal Print

My Female Faces series has already been exhibited internationally in galleries such as Contemporary Art Projects, Miami USA (2021-2023), Influx Gallery, London UK (2022), Van Gogh Gallery, Madrid Spain (2022), The San Fernando Valley Arts and Cultural Center, CA USA (2022) and M.A.D.S., Milan Italy (2021), as well as a wide variety of international contemporary art festivals and fairs including: Artexpo, NYC USA (2023), Art Basel, Miami USA (2022) and the International Contemporary Art Fair Monaco, Monaco (2022).

A selection of my Female Faces original paintings are for sale in one of New York’s most iconic department stores – Bergdorf Goodman. Online under the section Contemporary Art Projects USA you can see which are still available.

As well as having original works for sale in Bergdorf Goodman and taking unique commissions, I also have limited edition prints to purchase on my website. The metallic prints are made using high quality, sleek aluminum panels that can be mounted directly onto the wall. Each artwork comes with a certificate of authenticity. I offer free shipping within the USA and Canada.

If you have any questions please get in contact directly using the website form, ask questions in the comments or check the FAQ section of my website. For my latest news and updates you can sign up to my monthly newsletter.

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14 de jan.
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