Thursday, September 3, 2015

The "Illusive" Muse

I have been blessed for 15 years to have a place in the fine art world, sitting and collaborating with many talented people,  and I am just as miffed as I have been since day 1.  I've never dared called myself a "Muse".  I would rather the people that choose to use me to inspire them for their individual creativity bestow the honor of that prestigious label upon me.  I am having a wonderful,4 yr, ethereal run recently with an artist I treasure as both a creative equal and a dear friend.  Andre Kohn, a revered painter and successful gallery owner in Scottsdale, AZ, inspired me to think about the role I play in our process as we create collaborative works for his gallery.  He uses the coveted word "Muse" in his "musings" to articulate the contribution of my specific talents he implements into his creative process to create the work he displays and sells.  I am satisfied and inspired when I complete a project with him, but I reflect for days afterword about the praise given.  I wonder if the meaning is "elusive" because I cannot fathom using it to describe my effort.  Then I think about the other word, "Illusive"....I become obsessed.  I look up the difference and am revealed the following:

"Elusive vs. Illusive:
An elusive fairy is one you can't catch, but an illusive one was never really there at all. It was just an illusion!

Anything elusive is hard to get a hold of. It eludes you. Existentialism, love, and small rodents are among things people find elusive. If you can't understand what "nothingness" is, find that special someone, or catch the little mouse who eats your cake at night, then those things are elusive.

Something illusive, on the other hand, is not real, even if it seems to be. The word illusive is used mostly in literature, where we find our favorite illusions. If flickering candlelight is casting scary shadows on the wall, don't worry, those are illusive villains. They aren't really there.

An elusive fairy is one you can't catch, but an illusive one was never really there at all. It was just an illusion!"

There it is!  My clarification in all of Mr. Webster's glory!  I think about it for weeks, months, and wonder how to put it into the written word and , most importantly, embody into my calling.

It has been almost 2 years since I've written.  I needed the time to be still and really think about what it was I wanted to say, the voice in which I wanted to say it in, and how I wanted it to effect the people who were listening.  Sometimes it is good to reflect and to regroup.  I realized the "voice" in which I was speaking in was attention grabbing, yet lacking in a deep impact to the soul.  Wry humor and wit has it's place and some of the things I came up with were vastly entertaining, but I found as I was growing and changing, the scope of my opinions and the spiritual connection to what I do and several artistic endeavors around me were not being represented as fully as they should.

These days I am in the unique position of still being called upon to be the vessel of many people's creativity and to act as an important element in the collaborative process.  I am also blessed to have the opportunity to work with a wise and graceful mentor and team of people who have inspired and impacted me greatly in the direction I am traveling these days.  It is with this guidance that I believe I will be led to my highest potential and reach a level of satisfaction with myself and the way I navigate my career and connect to others.

 Of course, beauty is a desirable asset. One that is so highly coveted by people that they are seeking the secrets to the fountain of youth with rabid gusto. They are pouring over fashion magazines and TMZ, embarking on exhausting health and exercise regimes, and spending millions on surgical procedures. I feel beauty is a legacy, it is a gift that comes to some by happenstance. Good genes, a spark in the eyes, a tilt of the head, a pout of the lip, and even the arch of the back, can hold the gaze and inspire even the most hardened of creative hearts. Something deeper is what holds the attention longer and keeps an artist inspired. I truly believe the difference in people and the individual spirit they possess is what will set apart the "Model" from the "Muse"

I have seen many different souls set out to inspire and conquer the artistic population. Some try it out for a bit and move on to other callings, while  others stay for a long repast and produce a body of work that spreads out like gentle seasons over the years.  There is a beauty to an individual growing and changing over the years.  To put the wisdom and experience they acquire in their journey to good use by marrying this with a mystery or grace is a heady process.  It is very subtle and quiet.  Very often people will misconstrue "impact" with "shock".  You see it over and over in society today.  The raise of a hemline and the lowering of the standards seem to be the norm on TV, in pop culture, and in the world overall these days.  I find I am saddened by the fate of the quality of "mystery" in today's culture.

I cannot say I have the answers or the secrets, but I can say that I see more power in the hint of something to come or the anticipation of a secret that is about to be told.  Sometimes it is just the twinkle of the eye or the sly curve of the mouth.  The success to longevity or a return is to always keep something left to the imagination.  In a profession as "naked" as figure modeling, it is especially challenging.  We leave ourselves so open and vulnerable to the artisans we are called to inspire.  We are all different.  Young and old, large or diminutive, male or female, we are all striving to make an impact or create that one masterpiece.  We are so fortunate that there is a huge need for diversity in the arts, otherwise there would be no need to question or challenge if everything was the same.

Things will always change and there will always be a need to question and create, however, the lasting force of mystery and the idea of the unattainable will be the driving force in the creation of any art form. That is why, when labeled by my artistic peers, I choose to be the "Illusive Muse", rather then the "Elusive Muse".  Weather that comes from a person, a lyric, a thought, or a visual, there will always be the perfect balance of the glorious chase of capturing "beauty".  A merry chase she will put us all through, indeed.  

And with mystery as her greatest champion, how can we all lose?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The birth of SkyArts, Ltd.!

After a 6 month hiatus, I am pleased to be back with a whole new look, voice, and creative direction!

Introducing SkyArts, Ltd.!  This is a new brand/company I have created to umbrella all the wonderful opportunities and experiences I have been able to experience in my 13 years in the art world.  I am happy to excited to embark on a whole new chapter in my artistic travels.  I look forward to documenting and chronicling the journey!

Stay tuned for new blogs featuring my memories and perspective on collaborating with some of the talented artists it has been my good fortune to work with!

I am excited and INSPIRED to share this with you all!

Till next time!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

True Colors

"Professionally it has been a challenging week. Why can't people UNDERSTAND the nature of the work an art model does? It is a TRADITION and a CALLING. The mere fact that I offer you my SOUL, in addition to my body, should alone create an almost 'holy" reverence and respect as we collaborate. I am a vessel for YOUR creativity. Seize the moment of beauty to create something of PASSION or PRESENCE. Do not cheapen the divine by bringing voyeurism, de classe' attitude, and disrespect to the moment. Please DO NOT steal my images, think it is acceptable to have an "open door policy" when I work, and think for ONE MOMENT I am there to "titillate" or be propositioned in the cheapest way imaginable. My work is a testament of WHO I AM. It is my essence and my love. If you cannot understand that, then PLEASE, don't speak to me, let alone book me for your session." - TC
I wrote that today after experiencing an unusually difficult week professionally.  The above mentioned issues all happened within a 48 hr span and one would think that after 10 years in the business, I would be able to move gracefully through all the bullshit and weather the storm.  Lately, I have had experience after experience of seeing situations that have really shown me the true nature of people.  Not all have been good, such as the the ones mentioned above, but some have been surprisingly pleasant and joyful.  Without elaborating on details, I can say that the face of truth in a man's soul cannot be masked.  There are simply people who are just and good and others whose driving force in life is to cheat, manipulate, and bully.  When you get clear and focused on what feels right (and most importantly) what you need to move through life at a healthy, prosperous pace it is easy to walk away from the things that do not serve you.  You simply cannot go back to the old patterns or that way of life that has led you in the dark and confused you for so long.  
Breaking free from chaos is bliss.  There is a serenity that fills you like no other.  We start to accept that we are worthy of peace, love, and grace.  If we allow it in it will not only permeate our space, but our very heart and soul.  When we are illuminated we carry a light within us that we can then pass on to others.  We can lead by example.  I am starting to see daily as I take control of my life that I am slowly, but steadily planting seeds in places that soon will bloom and spring up and become colorful, abundant blossoms.  They then will transform into a beautiful bouquet of truths and suddenly when we take a moment to pause and look back, we see they have become a garden. 
All negative scenarios aside, this is the thought I carry with me as I think of the challenges and then the big picture.  Cyndi Lauper had it right when she said, "I see your true colors shining through.  I see your true colors and that's why I love you. So don't be afraid to let them show. Your true colors are beautiful like a rainbow."
Thank you for the reminder, Miss. Lauper. I concur.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The "Dear Series" - Part 2

"Dear ENTHUSIASTIC, loaded down with determination and your cube cart full of gear, "Plein Air painter guy":  I know I am only a simple figure model and cannot possibly understand the wonders of painting the splendor of the great outdoors (the way the dappled lights fall softly through the trees, the masterful, firey hue of the fading sunset, the lush green of the sprawling hills in the distance). And yet, the biggest mystery to me is DO YOU REALLY THINK WEARING THE MOST GROTESQUE ALBATROSS OF A SUN HAT, ILL-FITTING CARGO SHORTS FROM 1937, A BATTERED SKI VEST, AND PLAID KNEE SOCKS WITH YOUR BIRKINSTOCKS will improve the look and feel of the "masterpiece" you set out to create on your epic sojurn."

"Dear, quiet as a church mouse, passive aggressive, hiding behind my super size easel, visor, and apron, "art enthusiast":  Please note that it is quite agreeable to say "peep" and ask me kindly to move a limb or keep my eyes open during a workshop. Your tactic of colossal grunting/throat clearing/coughing or brush banging against your canvas will not do the trick. It will only make me wonder if your calling was miscalculated and that rather then attend an art class, your time would be better spent deep in the Ozarks playing a washboard or tub in some Holy Roller Country Bear Jamboree."

"Dear, 40ish, "legend in my own mind", narcissistic painter guy:  Sure, you've got skills, but unless you extinguish your COLOSSAL ego, I predict the following: At 50, "Peter Pan" will be living with mom, sporting a Grizzly Adams beard, and still be wearing "fashionable" attire that resembles the flag of a 3rd world nation. Your tired cry of "NO ONE UNDERSTANDS!" will be used to seduce Tweens and MILFS at Starbucks and you will be showing your art at the local PTA art fair. Pack your mid life crisis corvette and head back to Never Neverland where you belong!"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Art of Recapturing the Soul

“Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all” - Whitney Houston

This particular blog has been in development for a long while.  Even as early as a year ago.  I finally felt ready to put the formula on paper and untangle the thoughts, ideas, and experiences that had led me to this point. 

The recent death of singer Whitney Houston this week touched me deeply.  I guess I could have looked at it as a “typical” finale to any “text book” Hollywood story littered with too much money, passion, excess, and substance abuse, but it stuck with me.  I kept thinking about this ethereal, mahogany beauty who had the voice of an angel and all the notoriety Faust himself would envy.  What had gone wrong?  I dug deep and watched old interviews and put pieces together.  The unfortunate demise had come from feelings of insecurity and emotional abuse.  There was a desire to please and to destroy even herself to gain the approval and love of her husband who lashed out due to never reconciling those feelings within himself.  In the end the substance abuse that was originally a couples “activity” became a way to numb and escape the increasing pain of not finding the worth within.   The world lost a great talent and we all MOURNED.    

It brought me back to my own weaknesses and the price I had to pay for making wrong decisions and how about a year ago I nearly lost EVERYTHING.  I started to go over the events in my head and the timeline of loss, pain, recovery, understanding, and reckoning I traveled.  I realized I had survived the worst and that there is REALLY could be truth in the phrase, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!"  So now what? After winning the battle where do you start to move forward?

I started to think about the peace and clarity I now carried with me and how I wanted to use them in a positive way, both personally and in my work.  I realized after almost 10 years in a field of inspiring others artistically I had done some pretty damn good work.  I started to allow myself to feel proud and purposeful in the roll of "Muse".  That maybe there was substance and depth to a world that can appear to some to be so shallow.  I realized a lot of my past programming (that comes from upbringing, self esteem, and the relationships we surround ourselves with) came from a deep lack of belief in my self.  I was able to function, live, and even carve out an impressive reputation in my profession, but I was not ever really able to say I ENJOYED it.  My mind was always spinning like a rat on a treadmill with chaotic statements about failure and rejection.  Surprising, but true.  This type of  toxic thought process can destroy even the strongest individual.  We can set ourselves up for a painful demise down the rabbit hole unless we learn to re-program and uplift ourselves.

I started the process of undoing all this damage by learning to control and abstain from destructive behavior.  This took some time and was really painful.  We become creatures of habit and become addicted to the familiar, however negative the situation is.  Terror of the unknown is a feeling most people carry within.  That is why so many people numb with substance abuse or stay in long term abusive relationships.  We think we can fix a situation and that in turn will FIX us.  I started to think about Whitney Houston again and how her inability to overcome this destroyed her.  

My own journey was not that epic or large, but there were similar parallels.  It made me realize the work I was doing was making a difference and that the chance of ending up losing everything, including a life, had passed.  The only way to go was forward.  I gave myself permission to let go of the past and started working on moving into a place of positivity, self love, and GRACE.

My relationships that held me back didn't seem to fit into this new perspective.  Old habits and people went by the wayside and despite being lonely at first, I realized it got BETTER.  One must have enough faith that the Universe (or whatever your Higher Power is to you) will not leave you empty for long.  The more you grow and change, the more things that fit your new, whole, and harmonious existence will fill you up.  I am AMAZED at the changes that are happening, however subtle or epic, they are working for me in a positive way.  I  have just started, but the results that are manifesting are filling me with awe and wonder.  I am able to sit still and have mastered the art of "letting go" completely.  Communication and expression are flowing freely and I can say honestly that I am doing some of the BEST work of my career.

I am sure there is much more to come, but for now, I am content.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

TMC Original quotes and thoughts 2/14/2012

''Today something occurred that has only happened one other time in my 10 yr career. After a heartfelt lecture and introduction from me to a class about the honor I feel it is to be called as a muse, I patiently explained that cameras, phones going off, open doors, and talking are disrespectful to me as well as their fellow artists. 40 pairs of eyes and nodding heads confirmed to me we could proceed. Mid pose the door opened 3 times, 2 phones went off and were answered, and a peeping Tom entered class. I broke pose, got dressed, apologized and walked out. If you are not mature enough to show some respect, then your damn sure not adult enough to have the privilege of seeing me without my clothes on!'

''After 10 yrs in the business, it STILL shocks me when I run across artists who have COLOSSAL egos and take themselves WAY TO SERIOUSLY. Perhaps when you get over yourself, you will find a masterpiece is lovely to look at and talent is a blessing, but when it is coupled with empathy, humility, and a SENSE OF HUMOR, then you have enough bountiful gifts to last a DOZEN lifetimes.''

"Already SO OVER Lana Del Rey........pretty for sure, but mediocre voice and SNL BOMB, she has sent the overexposure machine on overdrive. I'm discovering the people who think she is "amazing" or hypnotic" are mostly vapid 20 somethings who have all the emotality and passion of a thimble full of water. If you want to be "moved" listen to the mothers of avant garde, Kate Bush or Patti Smith. The only new artist who even comes CLOSE is Florence and the Machine. Enough of this tripe, PLEASE!!!"

"Am I considered ''abnormal'' because I think it accinine that middle aged women ''text'' their daughters rather then ''speak'' to them, get as excited as they due at the newest episode of ''Glee'', and swoon the same way at the pre-pubescent, pasty faced, metro-sexual male cast of ''Twilight''? Sorry folks, give me intellegent CONVERSATION, Fox News, and Sam Elliott any day!"

‎"And when they ask her about the men in her life (and they always ask her about the men in her life), she says, "Well, they were Poets, Mages, and Warriors, and yet, they were priests of nothing, but they were Legends" 

"all of my recent frog kissing endeavers are sadly morphing into a rather vast library of "Fractured Fairytails"......"

"Sometimes the most sobering thing in the world is to be drunk on your own potential and clarity......."

"I have a date this weekend......and he is gainfully employed. Hell has OFFICIALLY frozen over."

‎"Count your blessings, you THICK HEADED SAP!" - what my inner voice reminds me on days I am less then stellar or blue about life. How many people (in the worst economy in 80 years) can say that they made a living today working with the GREAT Bill Perkins sitting still for 3 hrs in a Princess Leia costume...."

‎"**DEAR FB FOLK**- stop "GROUPING, POKING, AND FARMVILLING" ME - Mercury is in retrograde FULL SWING and I have no time for f*ck*&g mindless rubbish....I will burn all your crops, kill all your farm animals, stake all your vampires, and gun down all your thugs in your stupid "Mafia Wars".....and don't send me any damn hearts, flowers, or good tidings on my wall....I will get "Snidely Whiplash" on your ass and tie you to the railroad track alongside "Sweet Nell"....."

"Caffine and yoga will not will be a hemlock and deuling pistol kind of day......with a unibomber twist......"

"I TRULY ABHOR Valentine's Day. Thanks to all the dim-witted souls of my gender for this ''celebratory'' day of bullshit and ballbusting. My heart BLEEDS to the men who love you & show you 364 days of the year, but TODAY no gesture will be appreciated because you will be busy bitching about what he DOES NOT do for you & any words of love from him will drown in your estrogen war-cry of "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY!" - BAH-HEART-BUG!!!!!!"
ur nature painting sojurn?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The "Dear Series" - Part 1

Some musings about the various array of, er, "colorful personalities" I encounter whilst on the job. I fondly dubbed them the "Dear Series":

Dear ''ghetto, badass art kid', please do not assume all models want to ''hang out'' with you at the end of class. Mrs. Robinson advises you to trade your cheeky behavior and saggy drawers in for some old fashioned manners and a sturdy belt. Take that kiddo and a ''coo coo ka choo'' to you!!!!

Dear ''self involved, moronic artist'' - no it is NOT ok to let your cell phone (w/the obnoxious Justin Bieber holiday ring tone) go off incessantly in art class, let alone you answering it at your easel as you noodle away barking orders to your cable guy for 5 min at the top of your voice (much to the chagrin and annoyance of the rest of the 10 people trying to create in the zone) only to finish with ''I'm in art class now I have to call you back!''. And no you CANNOT take my pix w/o asking or paying me!!!

Dear ''crochety, of mature age hobbyist artist''- I know you are newly retired and can devote yourself to your art full time, but I must gently remind you there is no similarity between breakfast sausage and my lower limbs. One belongs on your plate during your morning repast, and the other is attached to the torso I plan on voraciously exiting stage left unless you curb your crabby, frustrated tantrum. Anatomy class is a good solution, otherwise some prozac with a mineral spirit chaser is what I recommend.