I am sometimes asked where the name “Blue Muse” came from. The “muse” part of the name comes from the way I work. To explain, I should back up a little. I am not passionate about photography generally. I am passionate about creating figure art, and photography has become my favourite medium. Beyond that, I don’t care much for taking pictures. I care about cameras the way a painter cares about brushes. What keeps me so passionate about figure art is a deep-seated drive to understand myself and others, human nature generally, and this drive extends to all aspects of my life.
Years ago I started drawing as a means of self-exploration; out of a need to capture and express the ineffable within myself. When I started drawing others (“real” people, not just drawing from others’ photos), I thought I would be trying to “capture” them the way I had previously tried to capture my self. The problem that quickly became apparent was that, despite my best intentions, I would react in different ways to different models and, clearly, I couldn’t capture much objective about them if I couldn’t tease my “stuff” out of the equation.
At the time that I started working with models (outside of an impersonal art class type of setting), I was in full-on burnout mode. I had just finished my residency, and, thanks, in part, to the financial strain 13 years of university can put on a person, I started working full time and taught night courses on the side. I was still working hard to tie up my dissertation, and studying for my licensing exam all at once. I had gone from chronic 80 hour weeks to well over 100. But whether I had time for it or not the floodway had been opened to this “inter-personal art”. In typical fashion I took it all on at once. At a technical level, my art wasn’t capturing what I wanted it to. I saw the potential in photography and feverishly taught myself how to use my camera (I had no idea, never used one until then), realized I needed to learn editing software at the same time, while I kept working on my drawing and even explored various new mediums. My art sessions (drawing and photo sessions) became complex explorations of myself and the models at once. But the models were key – the inspiration I found from some of them was so compelling, so motivating, that I couldn’t not carry on. Some models were just models, others veritable muses.
Without these muses, I simply would not have prioritized my art. The day I feel like all my shoots are with models, and no muses, I will probably stop and redirect my energy to painting (figure art painting).
The root of the “blue” part of my name, will have to remain a mystery, for now.
Only once before have I instantly recognized a muse at first site (that is, if she were interested in working with me). A few times, I’ve met models and had a good idea that they might be inspiring, but with Olivia the intuition was full blown and instant. I doubted my intuition – I was worried when we started talking that I would be disappointed. But I wasn’t. Within the first minute I realized my intuition was right.
I’ve only done a couple shoots with Olivia, and she’s already inspired me immensely. As a model, she’s all you could ask for. She’s beautiful, creative, collaborates on ideas, she’s reliable, hard working, and has sincere motivation to make art. But more than that, at least for me, there is something about her way of being that stirs up something deep inside that I need to explore. Something about kindness, humility, and having a joy for life. I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to work with her already and hopefully many more to come.