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How ‘Nyx’, the goddess of the night

Became ‘Muse’ the advocate of creativity in the garden

I'm drawn to the figures of Greek mythology and their enduring stories. Nyx is a powerful female figure with a black cloak that she spreads across the earth at dusk.

I started by finding a pose that would work for the subject. I made some rough sketches and then searched for references and inspiration with Google images finding a wealth of strong female characters. The first female matador Cristina Sánchez de Pablos, the legendary flamenco dancer Carmen Amaya, and, Joni Mitchell’s evocative black caped skater were all images that were woven into the pose. I mimicked the action of swirling a large cloak, my memories of long-ago ballet instruction helping me to find the foot and hand positions, weight distribution, and momentum of the imaginary cloak.

Nyx started to come together. First the figure...

Then adding the dress, the hair, then the fun stuff of working with a big cloak.

When the MAC, (McMillan Art Centre in Parksville) contacted me to ask if I had a sculpture that might work as a permanent fixture in the MAC’s garden, I decided that a design pivot was needed with the addition of a paintbrush in her upstretched arm and a new name. I usually paint my wire sculptures white to give them more contrast to the background. I added two shades of blues that are reminiscent of the startling turquoise and teal of the Salish Sea during the herring run near my home.

The MAC has created an amazing garden next to the Art Centre complete with recirculating hydroponics, vertical green walls, and a soon-to-come greenhouse. Well worth the visit to learn about maximizing your veggie growth and to say hi to 'Muse'.


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