I’ve mentioned before a class I took with Penny Sisto in which I learned to combine fabric, applique, embroidery and paints to create a portrait. I finally had an opportunity to begin a second one. When looking for her background, I re-discovered fabric I’ve had at least 15 years. It’s beautiful, gradiating sky-ways, which I have in several different colorways.

I lay my girl down on this particular fabric and was struck by her. Merely by laying upon this fabric, she had evolved from girl to muse, and now will be the first in a series. Because I have her looking back (perhaps at mistakes, or regrets), she will be Melpomene, the Muse of Tragedy. She represents the pain and mistakes of the past that still eat at each of us and make it difficult to move forward. But my muse is moving forward (even if she must take a backward glance) to illustrate that we do move on and that our tragedies are part of what make us beautiful.

Her face is of hand-dyed fabric. Her hair, the remains from a quilt I made (and you know about her background). I have draped hand-painted silk (a sample I completed during my open house this weekend) over her shoulders. The silk is three-dimensional (a technique I’ve never tried before.)

So here is Melpomene, the first of my muses.

Melpomene, looking back.

Melpomene, looking back.