Perhaps you are wondering just whom is speaking to you?
You’ll recall, I’m James Helmsworth, Alexander Wainwright’s art dealer. If you’ve read The Trilogy of Remembrance, you’ll undoubtedly have questions about artists and their muses.
Is it love? More than love? Or something all together different?
I know that Daphne Bersault, whom I think truly loves Alex, was more puzzled than pleased at his unilateral declaration or imposition of the status of muse upon her. That happened when they first met in the dining car on the Orient Express on the way to Venice. Alex was, in fact, desperately in search of his muse.
Daphne felt that Alex—most of the time—had his head in the clouds or was somehow “elsewhere”
Once I heard her say that “he makes love with his art”
Certainly, I can understand, this would not be very satisfying in a romantic relationship I have learned over the years that an artist’s aloofness [because he is keenly observant] is often interpreted as shutting out loved ones and life itself. This is a common misapprehension of the nature of creative genius. But this is not so—certainly not of Alex. Few people are as attuned to the world and the people in it than he is.I knew that Alex had declared to anyone who would listen that Daphne was his muse. But she struggled with the imposition of the status in large and small ways.
One day when I arrived at Alex’s studio, I found the two of them facing each other. Her jaw jut out. His lips drew a tight, straight line. The atmosphere was chilly and awkward. A gulf between them had frozen in time and space. She had some floor plans spread out.
I glanced from one to the other of them. “Listen, I’ll come back another time…”
“Don’t be silly, James.” Daphne said. “Alex and I were just discussing where I should open up my new branch office. I’ve found space in the building right next door.”
I should tell you that Daphne is a business woman of no small talent and drive in the creative side of advertising.
She gave a determined smile. Alex let out the tiniest of sighs and tapped a pencil along the counter.
“It’s an excellent location for the London branch,” she continued.
The clouds shifted over the Thames and a gray, glaring light filled the studio. Alexander turned and, smoothing his hand along his workbench, traced the surface from one end to the other.
His work required solitude and time—and of course, inspiration. I don’t pretend to understand where an artist like Alex finds his muse. But I knew that, now he had found her, he would nonetheless resist any crowding or attempts to “organize” him with every particle of energy he possessed.
The relationship an artist might have with his muse may be far more complicated than originally thought. Was a muse ever jealous of the creative power she inspired? Did she lust for it herself? Did the muse want to control the whole affair and mete out the inspiration to the desperate artist? Definitely, the relationship could take many forms.
Alex had left some of his drawings spread out on the workbench in what appeared to be a casual fashion. Daphne had sorted through them and placed them in several neat piles.
She called to him. “Alex? Come get your coffee. I’ve sorted through your work from this morning.”
Only the almost imperceptible tug at the corner of his lips gave Alex’s distress away. He stepped forward to the bench and examined each drawing! Without further word, he took his coffee and turned to stare out the window. His message could only have been clearer had he locked the drawer and swallowed the key!
But Alex is not the sort of man who expresses anger or frustration readily. At worst, a chilliness creeps over the scene and he retires into himself.
From his actions, I don’t think Daphne realized the degree of his upset. But for me one tiny sigh and tug at the corner of the mouth were comparable to a canon shot across the bow.
The story of Alex and Daphne runs through the Trilogy of Remembrance. Just like life the trilogy has many questions and challenges. But the best answers are, as always, your own.
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 to read them. Alexander Wainwright, Britain’s finest landscape painter and visionary artist, is the star. Think of them as delightful appetizers. Enjoy and respond!
Mary E. Martin is the author of two trilogies: The Osgoode Trilogy, inspired by her many years of law practice; and The Trilogy of Remembrance, set in the glitter and shadows of the art world. Both Trilogies will elevate the reader from the rush and hectic world of today and spin them into realms of yet unimagined intrigue. Be inspired by the newly released and final installment of The Trilogy of Remembrance, Night Crossing. Presently, The Drawing Lesson is a Wattpad Featured novel which you can read in it’s entirety right here Wattpad.com