Vicki and I would have been wise to use better judgement when we rowed her small boat out to meet a group of young Canadian Navy seamen sun tanning on a float not too far off the shore. We were innocent but curious 15 year-olds . One very handsome young man had little twin devils tattooed one each pectoral muscle. His image eventually faded away, but the little devils are indelibly inked on my mind.
As tattoos have become more and more mainstream (4o % of people between the ages of 26 and 40 have tattoos - Tattoofinder.com) I have been fascinated to watch growing numbers of people who use their bodies as canvas, expressing themselves through ink.
My muse, Hillary, with her arms bared, walked in front of me on her way into a video rental store last summer. Concerned with the possibility that the tattooed may look at the non- tattooed with a similar contempt that they often feel directed towards them, I followed her into the store. I gave her my card assuring her I was a legitimate artist, promising that I would present her in the most positive manner. She was difficult to catch, as muses can be. I was excited to begin the painting, but several months passed before she called.
Hilary is a young woman with a busy life. I took as many photos of her as she had time for but the location and lack of natural light produced very few usable images. We talked about rescheduling but after a couple of months, I started with what I had.
This painting became an example of two muses working together. The muse incarnate, Hilary, and my internal muse who manipulated circumstances to force this painting to manifest. Sometimes, when the work of art you have in your mind does not come together, it could be that if you will allow another to come through it may be very satisfying.
My high energy friend Vicki was destined for stardom and in her adult life is Canada's favorite talk show host Vicki Gabereau.