“RiverMuse: Life”


“RiverMuse: Life”, oil, 36hx24w

“RiverMuse” Series – part 2

Previously on LidiaStudio…

I created a series of four paintings about the bond between rivers and people. The inspiration for the series was a call to artists from the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History (MAH). The show was called: “El/Rio/The River River Reflections: Celebrating the San Lorenzo”. Kathleen Moody was the curator of the MAH. The exhibit was juried by Phil Linhares, who at the time was the chief curator of the Oakland Museum of Art.

Of Muses and Women

“RiverMuse: Life” was the first painting concept I came up with in the series. As I mentioned in the previous blog, I chose to work with the concept of using the human body as a metaphor for a body of water instead of painting a landscape for the competition. I decided these women would be more “Muse” rather than “Goddess”. “Muse” to me seemed like an inspiration for thought – very liquid. Also, it fit the theme “River Reflections” – to reflect in thought. This is how I interpreted the title of the show.

A Body of Water

The figure for “Life” was taken from a study of a live model. Her hand was placed on her belly in the original drawing. This pose got the ball rolling on the body/river idea, as she was gesturing to where new life grows in the human body. She could be human, muse and river all in one. All of the paintings in the series have a hint of human/river mixing either physical or emotional.

Putting It Together

The reclining figure worked well for the concept. Her loose hair in the foreground became a great place for a RiverMuse to store frogs! I was inspired by our goldfish pond and the blue heron who visits when it’s in town. Yes, it is killing a fish, kind of a circle of life thing. There is a bit of ying and yang in this series. I had a lot of fun with the paint.

Here is a poem I wrote:

“RiverMuse: Life”

The River is she

Roaming with life

On her way to the sea.


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