Yesterday my mother asked me to paint a portrait of Bob Dylan. I worked from a picture from her big Dylan book which is fascinating to flick through even if you’re not the biggest fan. The section about his various lovers is especially enthralling. I’m sure most ladies have dreamed of being the artist’s/musician’s muse at some point, therefore, I learned with great interest the source of inspiration for one of my favourite Dylan songs – Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands – was his wife Sara Lownds. It is both a baffling and beautiful song all at once with the magnificent lyrics honouring this mysterious woman – ‘And your saintlike face and ghostlike soul’. He uses frequent religious imagery creating something of a Gypsy – Madonna type character ( I think of Titian’s painting of that name here, below) – ‘And your silver cross and your voice like chimes, Oh who could they think could bury you?’
It was inevitable therefore that I would dig out some pictures of this woman...surely if she can inspire that kind of poetry, she must be something.