Florida painter, Everglades, Marco Island, artist Jo-Ann Sanborn


Monday's Muse, by Jo-Ann Sanborn ©2010
Acrylic on Canvas, 20x24

Artist's often search for their particular muse. The word muse comes from Greek Mythology, when certain goddesses, spirits or real people were thought to inspire excellence in music, literature, and song. According to Varro, a Roman Scholar, there are only three. Once borne from the sound of the movement of water, one from the sound of striking the air, and the third by the sound of the human voice.

By classical times there were nine, who embody the arts and inspire creation with the graces of song and stage, tragedy and comedy, music and dance, poetry, history and astronomy. Most people could recognize the muses by the symbols they carried. Calliope, who's domain was epic poetry, for example, carried a tablet, and Euterpe, symbolizing music, carried an aulos.

There's very little in ancient times about a muse for the visual artist, but it is thought that by embodying the attributes of the muses, the artist will benefit and prosper. My muse is the Everglades, a constant source of inspiration with many moods and faces. Sometimes he's in close attendance, and other times very hard to find.

If you'd like to see Greek pottery including the muses, visit the blog of Stapleton Kearns. He's done several posts on Greek Art that are perfect for a mini-lesson.

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