A MDNW Original Design.

Muse. creativity, inspiration, novels about artists,

muse, inspiration, creativity, synchronicity, novel, suspense novels, Trilogy of Remembrance, The Drawing Lesson, The Fate of Pryde, Night Crossing, art, lNew York Times,

Maggie, the Muse

What is a muse? I cannot answer but, I know I was his first.

I’m Maggie. If you hear Alexander Wainwright speak of his Maggie, in The Trilogy of Remembrance, he speaks of  me—his first love and his first true muse.  I married at a young age when I had just graduated from high school. I had thought of going to university but it seemed wasteful especially since Garth wanted us to marry. He was handsome and from a very good family—all members of the Grantham Club. At the time, it seemed far more than enough of a life. But when I went to the Grantham Club somehow I didn’t fit into such an exclusive place and so, I blamed myself. I didn’t know I was entitled to expect more from life.

Novels, muse, story-telling, art, creativity, teaching art, still life, life drawing, visionary, inspiration, Toronto

My home with Garth in the centre of Toronto

Our house in Rosedale was very impressive. Besides, Garth wanted—no- needed me—to be at home to oversee the household and develop our social life for the benefit of his soon to be stellar career in banking and the law. We were a team. It all seemed so completely perfect!— until I foolishly became bored with the ladies at the Garden Club.

For some reason, I decided I should learn how to draw. At first Garth thought it would be a harmless diversion and he looked upon my efforts with bemusement. I expect he thought I’d make better connections if I had joined the tennis group at the club.

Novels, muse, story-telling, art, creativity, teaching art, still life, life drawing, visionary, inspiration, Toronto,

The trip downtown into a different world.

On the first day of class, I took the streetcar downtown to a tiny studio in a second floor walk-up at the corner of Church and Wellesley. I didn’t tell Garth just where the studio was because it wasn’t in the best area of Toronto.

Novels, muse, story-telling, art, creativity, teaching art, still life, life drawing, visionary, inspiration, Toronto,

The studio

I was late for the first class. I rushed in and found a seat. The teacher—Alexander Wainwright—was tall and very thin. I thought at first he might be mean-minded and very demanding—you know all wrapped up in himself. That was probably because I had a dim view of anyone who called himself a teacher. But soon, I realized he wasn’t like that at all.

At that age, I hadn’t much experience with men except of course for Garth. But that didn’t matter. Alexander was like no other man I’d ever met. I don’t mean just in physical appearance. But when his eyes fell upon me, the strangest feeling came over me. I felt I was immersed in lovely, silky soft, warm water. Then I felt tingly all over. It was quite an experience! Garth never made me feel like that. But it was much more than that! Alex’s words opened me up to a whole new world and swept me away. Even today many years later I can quote him word for word.

Novels, muse, story-telling, art, creativity, teaching art, still life, life drawing, visionary, inspiration, Toronto,

Still life, Chardin

He began our drawing lesson by saying, “You will open your eyes to life and see with clarity. Here, you will experience the passion needed to create. Everything is alive, if only you will look. I will teach you how to breathe your life, motion and energy into all forms—especially the human form. That is where true passion lies.”

I felt as if I had travelled to another, different world where you could be and do anything you liked as long as you believed in your dreams. He inspired and challenged me. I never knew you could live life like that.

But here’s the funny part. As soon as he mentioned drawing the human form, all the other women in the class got up to leave.

One said, “My husband wouldn’t let me draw naked people.”

The teacher said, “Let? You must have your husband’s permission to draw? You mean that in 1987 your husband will let you draw an apple or a flower but not a male or female nude? Astonishing!”

And then we were alone together in the classroom. At first, it seemed warm and stuffy. I wondered if it was the room or the man in it that made me feel that way. My cheeks burned when I said to him. “I want you to teach me then.”

His eyes sparkled.  “First I will show you how to see,” he said. “And then I will teach you how to draw. You must learn how to look at objects. You must feel how the apples, the spoon and the plate affect you and how they interrelate with you and their surroundings. Without that perception, you will not learn how to draw.”

When he reached down and touched my shoulder, a shiver ran through me. I rose awkwardly when he beckoned me from my stool.

“Let me show you,” he said. We stood before a collection of fruit on a table. 

“I will show you, my dear, how to see.” he said. “And then I will teach you how to draw. You must feel how the apples, the spoon and the plate affect you and how they interrelate with you and their surroundings. Without that perception, you will not learn how to draw.”

Novels, muse, story-telling, art, creativity, teaching art, still life, life drawing, visionary, Cezanne, Chardin, inspiration, Toronto,

Still life, Cezanne

I thought his hand grazed my arm and I shivered again. 

I drew for him—stupid awkward stuff. Ripped up sheets lay on the floor.

But when he said, “You do show promise, my dear,” my heart pounded and I grinned like a foolish school girl. 

He said I should come the next day and when I said I had to do work for my husband, he laughed. 

“What about you? What about your desires—your passions? Are they of no importance? Do you even know what lies within you? A whole person is struggling to be born!”

That was the beginning of our love. At least that’s what I thought it was. He told me I was his muse and that, as I later learned, is a much more complicated relationship. In fact, I am not sure that it is at all like love.

I read Daphne’s letter about Alexander, who doesn’t seem to have changed much over the years. Still the same confusion about lover and muse—life and art.

Browse the BOOKSHELVES and get your copy of the novels of The Trilogy of Remembrance right here,

http://amzn.to/ZdOlRi

Mary E Martin on Smashwords

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. Please enjoy and respond!

 

 

 

 

 

Share Button

2 thoughts on “Maggie, the First Muse

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *