AS SOME OF YOU KNOW, I ALEXANDER WAINWRIGHT am a landscape painter, whose life has become deeply confusing of late.
First and foremost, I am fictional character—the protagonist of The Trilogy of Remembrance and the creation of my author, Mary E. Martin.
But because of certain events, I suspect there is an entire universe beyond the pages of The Trilogy of Remembrance. In fact, I am convinced there are many other dimensions in which life may take place. This trilogy may be just one small portion of existence.
You see, lately I’ve learned a few new tricks! I can escape from the pages of these novels and actually meet with other human beings somewhere else just as if I were one of you in your world.
Just read my earlier blog post “The Creative Fire”
and you will meet a fine artist, Walter Paul Bebirian, whom many of you know. I visited him in his studio one day where we talked about his thoughts on Fluctuating Abstractionism.
In addition, I can meet up with characters from other novels. http://maryemartintrilogies.com/blog/page/4/
In that wonderful novel, Sleep Before Evening, by Maggie Ball, I met her protagonist, Marianne Cotton, a brilliant music student, near the carousel in Central Park, where we chatted about creativity.
But most impressive of all, I am learning to travel freely about this wonderful place called Cyberspace, which has an enchanting timeless quality to it. Every recorded event and any thought or hope ever expressed always remains in Cyberspace— timeless. If I stay much longer, past, present and future will lose their meaning.
Examples of my travels? I have visited the masterly painter, Paul Cezanne, whose paintings of Chateau Noir inspired my author, Mary E. Martin, in her choice of the cover of The Fate of Pryde, the second in The Trilogy of Remembrance.
Surprisingly, I found myself in Venice where I met the poet Lord Byron.
And then there was my visit to Anton Chekhov!
Each of those visits has raised very interesting questions.
For example, with Anton Chekhov, how can he know my art when he died well before I was born? How can that same great writer lay claim to being the author of stories I know were written by Ray Bradbury?
With Lord Byron, how could he be certain he met me in Athens last year, when I, to my own knowledge, have only lived in the 20th and 21st century—at least as Alexander Wainwright?
It really makes you wonder if we understand much—or anything at all— about the workings of time and space and even whether one can exist without the other.
But more of my story and my meeting with the famous artist, J. M W. Turner.
In this contemplative mood, on April 4th, 2014, I decided to stroll along the Embankment of the Thames, which is just outside my studio in London.
To my amazement, just as the sun slipped below the skyline, an immense sailing ship appeared from nowhere and glided silently upriver toward me. Although I could feel no breeze upon my cheek, its sun-gilded sails billowed majestically.
Again, to my amazement, no longer was I standing on the Embankment and certainly, I was no longer in the twenty-first century. I cannot say with any confidence what era I was in, but I was on the deck of this magnificent sailing vessel.
But, close up, I had to admit that the equipment and the crew looked anything but magnificent. The words squalid and primitive came to mind as a Dickensian aura overtook the ship. I looked about to see the crew dressed in little better than filthy rags. Greeting me with ghastly, servile grins, each crew member could have been the ancient mariner himself. But one deckhand stood out from all the others and made shivers up and down my spine.
Was he warning me of something? Or was he simply in his own world.
The door to the ship master’s cabin slammed open and there stood—apparently—the captain, resplendent in his spotless uniform. With great formality, he said,
“Mr. Wainwright, sir, our great painter Mr. J.M.H Turner awaits the pleasure of your company.” He then gave a deep bow and ushered me in.
At first, Mr. Turner scarcely looked up at me.
Apparently, Turner was a man of few words and limited patience. He said, “I understand that you wish to use one of my paintings on the cover of the third novel in The Trilogy of Remembrance, Night Crossing. Am I correct, sir?”
I nodded and replied, “But it is not my novel, Mr. Turner, it was written by my creator, Mary E. Martin.”
The man shrugged as if authorship were of no matter.
“I am telling you which of two paintings she may choose.”
He spread out the first painting.
Then he shrugged and smiled. “Because the novel is entitled Night Crossing, this could be appropriate. And yet, it’s a rather obvious and very predictable choice. A boat in stormy waters at night. I wouldn’t use it. It raises no questions in the reader’s mind and states absolutely nothing of any interest.” He sighed deeply. “But then I am no writer.”
He showed me the second painting. “Good God! I see that the Tate Gallery claims ownership of my work,” he muttered. “They were bloody bastards about my work when I was alive!”
But then he brightened. “But this one, I think is far better. Much more subtlety of thought.
It evokes that moment before something happens—possibly something physically or psychologically inexplicable. Even so, because of our sixth sense, we must open ourselves to the signs which surround us and take heed. Are such signs a helpful guide or a dire warning? A troublesome question but that is the feeling I get reading the manuscript and the feeling I wanted to convey in my painting.
I stood before him open mouthed. How could this man who died in the year 1851, possibly know the contents of a novel only now to be published in 2014? I did not ask such a question. Somehow I knew he would be at a loss to explain.
His eyes filling with excitement, Turner continued, “Night Crossing is a marvellous story. It’s about love so strong it transcends life and death. About fathers and sons and cruelty and compassion.It’s about art, life and love and the magic of making something from nothing. And about finding that balance between love and the passion to create.
It’s about that yearning within all of us for what lies beyond.”
Exhausted from his impassioned speech, the great artist sank to his chair. “Mr. Wainwright, you tell your author that, as much as I like the novel, she may only use the second painting for the cover.” He gave a grin and a wink. “And that, sir, is an order!”
I saluted the famous painter and was about to make a comment on the greatness of his work and his influence through the centuries into my time, but then I was back on the Embankment.
What happened next was very dream like. The galleon was no longer on the Thames. The sleekness of twenty first century London had departed. I seemed to be in another time and place—several centuries ago. Then I realized that the scene before me was a painting by Turner the great artist himself. The reality now before me was art.
This Cyberspace is very odd indeed!
Because I am hoping to find other luminaries to visit, perhaps you could suggest some for me to contact. Let’s do a test! You suggest a person for me to meet. Please leave any suggestions in the comment box below.
The first five people to leave a comment in the box below will win a free download of The Drawing Lesson, first in The Trilogy of Remembrance.
Join Alexander Wainwright, Britain’s finest landscape painter and protagonist of The Trilogy of Remembrance. Night Crossing is the third in that trilogy and will be published in 2014.
Although each novel in the trilogy stands alone, you might want to catch up with Alexander and read the first two in the trilogy, The Drawing Lesson and The Fate of Pryde. It’s just a click away!
These stories are developed from the novels of The Trilogy of Remembrance [The Drawing Lesson, The Fate of Pryde and Night Crossing] and are designed to entice you into that world and read them. Alexander Wainwright, Britain’s finest landscape painter and visionary artist, is the star. Think of them as delightful appetizers. Enjoy and respond!