The Muse

carol sternkopf image copy

“Taking Off”

I was invited to create a piece for the fabulous Muse Conference that happens here in Bend, Oregon every year. I did this piece last spring, and now it stares at me every day in my work space. At 30 by 40 inches, it is quite a presence in my peripheral vision!  Wanting to create something outside the more literal way I usually work, I began playing around with photo layers. It seems that the stars really have to line up for it to all work. It’s an odd combination of instinct, and rolling the dice.

I am enormously interested in creating images that beg to tell a story, and I know this can only happen for the viewer if they feel moved enough to fill in the narrative. So, it’s important to move people! As a photographer, I’m susceptible to human emotion playing itself out. Scenarios or a singular facial expression always make me wonder what the larger story is, or better yet – what it could be?

My daughter Ana was the model for this piece.  Like many artists, I’m inspired by love. Ana is a true gift to me. Her entire being is compelling to me as an artist as well as her adoring parent. She has always allowed me to use her authentic presence in my art, which I think is big of her! Imagery I have created of her has always held the story of her deep and gracious soul. If that isn’t a true muse, what is?