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"3 Graces: Aglaia (radiance)" ~ section 1 of triptych by Alice McMahon

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"3 Graces: Aglaia (radiance)" ~ section 1 of triptych by 

From the “Black Butterfly: The Muse” series.

Grace #1 of 3 The 3 Graces: Aglaia (radiance) Euphrosyne (joy) Thalia (flowering) It was the poet Hesiod who named the Graces in his Theogony: “Then Eurynome, Ocean’s fair daughter, bore to Zeus the three Graces, all fair-cheeked, Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and shapely Thalia; their alluring eyes glance from under their brows, and from their eyelids drips desire that unstrings the limbs.”

From a reference photo by Rolling Stone magazine photographer Baron Wolman. Groupie Karen Seltenrich, San Francisco, Nov. 1968. Image was used in a New York Times article “When we tell you what a Groupie is, will you really understand?”

Charcoal on Mylar film, 20 × 16″

I saw these photos and fell in love with them – Baron was so gracious to allow me to use them. I added the flowers and butterflies, from a pattern on scented drawer liners.

Here is a quote from Baron about the groupies:

“As concert promoter Bill Graham has given me all access to any of the concerts he produced, I spent quite a bit of time backstage with the bands, their roadies and their women. What fascinated me were the lengths to which the women, the groupies, went to prepare themselves for their backstage appearances. Because I also wanted an excuse to photograph them, I suggested to Jann they might make an interesting story. He agreed and Rolling Stone Magazine No. 27 became known as “the groupie issue.” It was widely promoted, read and commented upon, even turned into a book." -Baron Wolman

While the rest of the models I’ve used in the series are in the arts themselves, I was intrigued with the idea of groupies – and their intrigue with rock & roll artists of the late 1960’s. It seems to me they were using their own bodies and persona as an art form to attract their artistic “muses.”

I guess you could consider some of the works in my Black Butterfly series “Cover Tunes.” I believe the borrowed references are vital to the series to relate the idea of inspiration, and its relation to talent and celebrity. These “tunes” well deserve a stylish, honorable replay. Many thanks to the talented people who have loaned their vision of the muse to aid me in illustrating my ideas.

I specialize in figurative charcoal drawing. My work was recently shown and sold at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Current works delve into the realm of symbolism and magic realism.
All of my drawings are meant to be noble representations of individual subjects, and also bring together a wealth of influences, recognition of art history and myth and a contemporary attitude to create images that are of the moment, but hopefully will also remain relevant in the future.

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  • lindybird
    lindybirdover 5 years ago

    Wow—gorgeous, Alice. I am fascinated with this series you’re doing. The butterflies fit perfectly with the ‘muse’ theme. This piece has such a Gibson girl look to it. It’s timeless. By the way, I’m really enjoying my book!

  • I thought that too, she could be from almost any era. Thanks Linda, and I’m thrilled you like the book!

    – Alice McMahon

  • brettisagirl
    brettisagirlover 5 years ago

    that face is amazing. her eyes, her lips and hair.. love !

  • Isn’t she awesome, I’m glad you like her! I think I might have to get you to my studio for a sitting Brett. Do you have any vintage clothes? You sure have “the look” Funny, everyone who visits my studio thinks “Isis” is me when I was young. There is a resemblance, I think.

    – Alice McMahon

  • Vasile Stan
    Vasile Stanover 5 years ago

    Oh, what a smile, what a self-assured look, a bit flirting with the eyes… and it’s all because of you Alice and your fantastic talent. Kudos my friend, another outstanding portrait.

  • Aw thanks Stan, but the look was all Miss Seltenrich, as captured by Baron Wolman. I just wanted to honor that, and share it with you, of course! xx

    – Alice McMahon

  • Rhinovangogh
    Rhinovangoghover 5 years ago

    GAAAAWWWWD! This is absolutely specfreakintaccular!!!! I am speachless. Oh Alice! OMG! WOW!!!!!! J

  • Rhinovangogh
    Rhinovangoghover 5 years ago

    Okay, that settles it! You have to do Sweet sweet Connie! That is what the band said (Grand Funk).“Sweet sweet Connie was doing her act. She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact!” You are unstoppable! J

  • You can be my groupie any day Rhino. LOL! More where these ladies came from.

    – Alice McMahon

  • andrea v
    andrea vover 5 years ago

    Very lovely. Although she is not pretty in the conventional sense, you have brought out her inner feminine beauty. A nastolgic feel that appeals to me, Wonderful.

  • Thank you Andrea. I am very impressed with your work – I’ll be back to comment soon.

    – Alice McMahon

  • Lynda Robinson
    Lynda Robinsonover 5 years ago

    More really beautiful work Alice! You are soooooo talented.

  • PJ Ryan
    PJ Ryanover 5 years ago

    exquisite series .. really beautiful.

  • :) Thanks PJ! Still more to come. I like working in a series, I have more ideas than I need to complete this one!

    – Alice McMahon

  • Tahnja
    Tahnjaover 5 years ago

    That lace is just…sigh….amazing. Gosh woman, one day I’m gonna stand in line and ask for a portrait…..I think you’re talent would place my looks into a whole new realm….LOVE YOU WOMAN!!!!! hehehehe…hugs

  • It would be an honor to draw someone with your looks Tahnja! Thanks for all of your wonderful support! <3

    – Alice McMahon

  • Simon Aberle
    Simon Aberleover 5 years ago

    Great work! I particularly like the fabric and her hair!

  • Thanks Simon. I like to leave a little of the artist’s hand, but great references are key!

    – Alice McMahon

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