Forever Inspired

Beautiful muses have inspired artists for virtually as long as art has existed.

For all I know art was borne in the first place as a result of the great feminine beauty that has inspired artists for ages. After all, amazing goddesses have graced artists’ canvases and have been depicted in epic artworks for eternity.

The Muses in Greek mythology, poetry, and literature are the goddesses of the inspiration of literature, science, and the arts. They were considered the source of knowledge, both orally and visually, for centuries in the ancient culture contained in poetic lyrics and myths. (source:

Wikipedia goes on to identify the nine muses as Clio (history), Thalia (comedy and pastoral poetry), Erato (love poetry), Euterpe (flutes and lyric poetry), Polyhymnia (sacred poetry), Calliope (epic poetry), Terpsichore (dance), Urania (astronomy), Melpomene (tragedy) – all daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Although writers similarly disagree concerning the number of muses, some say that there are three, and others suggest that there are nine; all note them as female. I believe, however, that today’s muses number in the millions, and I have no doubt that many reading this post even know a couple. I am privileged and honored to know a few who have inspired my art.


One of my most celebrated and often painted muses is model Lynsey.
Here are a few examples of my art featuring her…
Nirvana  |  Eclipse  |  Backdraft  |  Repose  |  Brooklyn  |  Lynsey
Waiting  |  Spring  |  Catching Wind

Over the years, I’ve worked with literally dozens of models, photographing them in the name of art as a reference for my paintings. In the end, though, only a handful of them actually become muses for my creations on canvas or metal. To me, a muse is far more than a beautiful naked figure. Virtually anyone can disrobe for a photograph. Model-related websites now make the availability of models just a click away and number in the millions. A muse, a real muse, on the other hand, inspires. And great muses, while plentiful, are still rare.


The always-inspiring Liz Ashley has inspired several of my paintings.

Real muses bring beauty, confidence, and that “something special” to the experience, and that is reflected in the finished art. They can be short or tall, big or small, young or old, but in the end, what really matters is their ability to stand out as special. And it isn’t always obvious at first.

I remember a chat with an artist friend years ago. We were discussing what makes a great muse. Sometimes, you can tell just by looking at a model that she will inspire art. Other times, you never know until you have them in the studio. I’ve worked with models who, on the surface, would be considered “average,” for lack of a better word. But when the clothes come off, and the camera is clicking shots, they seem to come alive. I’ve also worked with models who are absolutely stunning in person but didn’t have that “something special,” so I have lots of pics, but no paintings ever resulted from our time together in the studio. The model/muse and the art experience have to sync for me to create something epic. Fortunately, that happens more often than not, and my body of work is a reflection of that.


 The beautiful Jessica has inspired my art, including SYRAH and FLASHBACK
and I have no doubt that she will inspire more paintings.

Sometimes, I’m blessed to work with a young model (like Jessica above), and I get the experience of working with them again years later. It’s always amazing to watch them blossom into beautiful women who know their strengths and realize the power in their beauty. It may sound cliche, but I believe great power comes with great beauty. It’s in realizing that one is really empowered. After all, the original Greek goddess Thalia (muse of comedy and pastoral poetry) never succeeded at being Melpomene (muse of tragedy). The real power is knowing thyself.

To the beautiful muses who inspired my vision and guided my hands, I extend my heartfelt appreciation. Without you, there would be no art.

— A.D. Cook, artist

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I suppose it’s appropriate that he lives in Las Vegas because A.D. Cook is a big fat cheater. He sees beauty in women as a talent worthy of respect and admiration so his paintings have a head start over other artists. He doesn’t just paint beautiful women, he takes their beauty and adds his own talent as an artist to it to create amazing and monumental works of art. It’s this shameless cheating that makes A.D.’s works some of the most beautiful things in the world, and it’s really not fair. At least it’s some small consolation that his paintings could never be more beautiful than a real woman, not close up anyway.

Rats, actually they are.

— DBell — creator of

• • • • •

All photos above are copyright © A.D. Cook – Model Releases on file.

Check out my MODEL DIRECTORY for a complete listing of my models/muses >

Visit my Model Mayhem profile to see more of my photography and art. ModelMayhem/531

Consider commissioning me for your next original painting.

• • • • •


— More Posts From This Author —

Happy New Year 2024!
A.D. Cook


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