A Tall Glass Of Ice-Cold HorchataWednesday, March 09, 2016
Such is the world we live in that now men (those who need inspiration) cannot have a muse and much less call a woman one.
Those who might object to the term and pronounce it sexist might not understand that the Greek muses were all women. Some say there were three others that there were nine. I am sure that women artists be they dancers, musicians or visual artist can and could seek the inspiration of a man. But these men could certainly not be called muses. That would be a drag.
One of the most important muses of my life has been my Rosemary. She has found flaws in my photographs and questioned my intent. Thanks to her I have (in most cases) been very careful in my framing, lighting and concept.
My granddaughter Rebecca now 18 was my inspiration for most of her life. She is now separated herself from this old man (I hope this is provisional) and I am now depending on her sister Lauren who is 13 for photographic inspiration.
Sometimes inspiration comes with a change of climate and locale. While in Mexico in 1968 blondes with beautiful legs shown off with a miniskirt were a rarity. When I spotted one (Rosemary) I married her.
Now in this incessant rainy and cold Vancouver I long not for the blondes (I will keep my options open for red hair) but for the Latin woman. I long for a throaty voice and a persistent gaze. I long for spoken Spanish so direct as it is impossible to speak it with mouth half closed (as is the case with English).
I have not seen Ivette Hernández now for quite a few years. I long for having a café con leche with her and perhaps discuss Mexican literature or a future shoot in my little Kitsilano studio.
She was my muse and her memory keeps me inspired.
When I stare at this portrait I can smell freshly made tortillas, I can imagine the cinammon in a hot cup of Mexican chocolate, I can savour a mango de Manila from Veracruz, I can see the ochre mountains of Mexico in the dry (very dry!) season and I can imagine Ivette flipping open and closing with that flick of the wrist one of my mother's Spanish fans. I long to sit with her in the portales of Veracruz and slurp a tall glass of ice-cold horchata. That and more is what a muse is. And I am sure that Rosemary would say something like, "You have forgotten to mention the tropical humidity of Orizaba."
My new muse?
My new muse?