The three original, Greek Muses were Mneme (the muse of memory),
Melete (the muse of meditation) and Aoede (the muse of song).
I met James McKenna while I was working at Prince Art & Framing. I remember him asking me if we sold paint that could be used on bodies. Unfortunately we didn't, but he liked the fact that I wasn't shocked by his concept and that I had prior experience painting female bodies. We exchanged information and met up at the Mockbee Building one cold January Sunday afternoon to prepare for the shoot.
This was still the early 2000's so everyone wasn't using digital cameras like they are today. James actually used a traditional 35mm FILM camera. This series wasn't meant to be shown as a brightly lit, high contrast photo like what we see today.
He was going for a more darker, atmospheric feel of them in their spiritual forms.
The location was cold due to it being the middle of January and the inside
of a cave like atmosphere.
The models were very professional and trusting given that they had all just met me and I was painting every inch of their nude bodies in a small space.
Each model took me slightly over an hour sitting inside a bathroom stall (with a heater by our feet) to paint them black head to toe, with a variation of brushes... the .7,.9, 1", 2", 3" and some sponges.
I remember one of the models remarking on the sensations of the heater, brushes, sponges and the cold paint being applied to bare skin.
The matte black on their skin is dry the reflective is wet. Constant touch ups in between sets of shots were needed since their light skin would show through the black after movement.
My girlfriend at the time was a little jealous, but understanding of my passion for my work, but she gave me looks of doubt for days... but this isn't my first rodeo and I always keep it professional. Look, I've been a nude body model myself several times, so I understand and respect what models endure on a regular basis.
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