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The Artist and the Muse

Both artists and art collectors have their sources of inspiration, muses, and influences when it comes to creating or acquiring pieces for their collections. Creating artwork and collecting artwork both curate a narrative.

Four women artists of the Naples Art District share a glimpse of their muses and influences and the sources that fuel their imagination and work. Each artist has a unique journey, multiple talents, and a story to tell. Learn more about them and their work by visiting their working studios and galleries in the Naples Art District.

Artist Wendy Wagner paints and draws in oil and egg tempera, red chalk, and charcoal and is inspired by the Old Masters. The Old Masters painted and drew people and things of their time, and Wendy continues this thread of art history by portraying the people and world around her. Wendy stated, “I love people as my subject because of their complexity. I really want to show their humanity underneath. Faces tell stories of who we are, where we have been, and a life lived.” Visit Wendy Wagner Art at 5760 Shirley St, #4 to see more of Wendy’s contemporary realism.

Artist Linda Thompson feels a deep connection with the work of Vincent Van Gogh.  She traveled to France and painted in many locations that inspired his paintings. Van Gogh’s bold use of complementary colors can be seen in her vibrant oils.”  Thompson also resonates with Henri Matisse and his still life color palette.  She notes “Picasso visualized his paintings using many shapes which is how I begin each of my paintings.” See Linda’s artistry at Inspirations Artists & Design Gallery located at 5450 B Shirley St.

Artist Anika Savage is also inspired by the colors and brushwork of Vincent van Gogh and the impressionists, and she’s influenced by artists who don’t fit neatly into a category. Anika’s mother fit painting into her busy life and demonstrated that creativity is a necessity. Anika incorporates realistic elements within abstract work with texture through collage, mixed media, and layering. Anika feels, “flow is consistent throughout my work. Drawing the eye through a work of art creates a feeling of movement, rhythm, much like experiencing performance art.”   Her former career as an architect can be seen in her artwork, creating a sense of discovery similar to moving through a natural landscape, an urban environment or a well-designed building. Visit Tapestry Fine Art at 5760 Shirley St, #13 to experience Anika’s work.

Artist Carly Klingbiel’s work spans multiple mediums and has themes of femininity, beauty, and happiness. Carly is inspired by the range and scale of the large installations of artists Liza Lou and Yayoi Kusama. These artists fuel a vision for Carly to create an experience of installing her vertical flower gardens on all surfaces of a room. Interestingly, cake decorating is also a major influence in her work, expressed with textural flowers of colorful acrylics and modeling paste. Carly’s goal is to make people happy with her work and shared, “No one is ever sad when presented with a beautiful cake.” Visit Shirley Street Art Galleria located at 5311 Shirley Street to view Carly’s artwork.

In February, the artists of the Naples Art District will create unique artwork with Pablo Picasso as their muse. To view this Picasso-inspired and other art in a wide array of mediums, visit us on Saturday, February 10, 1-5 pm. You can also find inspiration with over 50 classes offered in our working studios. Please visit for more information.

Cathy Bonacci
Author and Marketing & Events Manager
Naples Art District