Title: The Drawing Lesson: The First in the Trilogy of Remembrance Author: Mary E. Martin
Visual images, light sources, perspective and understanding of the subject are just some important factors or components of a great artist's work. As you view a painting or piece of sculpture you come away with your own interpretation of the piece being presented. When viewing the painting The Hay Wagon those present saw something unique and different in it that even the artist had missed. Alexander Wainwright painted a picture with God in it and a special light that was cast on each side that many saw; yet he did not. Many writers and artists are guided by the strength and spirit of others. His own muse guided him, when his sight was waning and the source of his true ability to see and paint might soon be gone. This brings me to my review of an outstanding novel by Mary E. Martin, "The Drawing Lesson."
At a pre-award party, Alexander Wainwright presents his latest work only to be shot down by his arch nemesis and main source of competition, Rinaldo. Ingrained in his mind that art is beautiful and his landscapes possess a special light or quality that few can see, it is upsetting and frightening to his dealer and our narrator that his vision and perspective changed and his thoughts turn to painting something grotesque, ugly and deformed: Trolls. Alex Wainwright painted over one of his landscapes by placing 23 figures in it that appeared longing to be free, loved and understood. Not only was his vision become dim, but also the light that shined in his paintings even duller presenting both a good and evil forms of human life. Can beauty be found in the ugliness of trolls? Can one man's muse or inspiration take a left hand turn and go in an entirely different direction? Was he so influenced by the thoughts of Rinaldo that he no longer could see his own true light and vision? Trolls are his new inspiration and vision of art has drastically changed as Alex travels to Venice with many others who have experienced life's changes too.
The art comes from within and the light shines hoping to create a message of its own to the viewer. As Alex meets Daphne, The Cummings, Peter's parents, and many others they have one thing in common: finding a way to forgive the past and create a better vision and life in the future. Alex needs to find his way to Peter. Daphne to forgive herself for her lover's suicide and Peter who is trying to understand the harshness of a parent and understand how to deal with it in his writing and his life. Forgiveness is not always something we can allow ourselves to do.
There are many people who go through life blaming others for their failures and misfortunes as Peter's father did. Peter felt unloved and shunned by his father and put aside by Alexander when he felt he needed him the most to complete his novel. When both worlds reunite and their voices are truly heard, yet not understood, Peter lashes out at Alexander for not being there for him and Alexander apologizes but is not forgiven. Peter was Alexander's muse. Trolls are ugly creatures and according to some they are humans as they appear to God. Peter relates that Alexander's landscapes are our vision of the divine and the trolls are God's vision of us. Both the artist and the author connect in different ways and as Peter was Alexander's muse he felt inspired to paint his landscapes having a special light that helped them express their thoughts through their different medias.
As our narrator, Jamie, continues telling of the journey of our great artist author Mary E Martin keeps the reader totally engaged, immersed and on the edge to see what will happen next, just what influence these trolls will have in the final analysis and their final destiny would be. Good vs. Evil seems to be the theme in his paintings as the trolls take on the mind of the painter and flaunt their control over his every stroke as he tries to solve the problem with his art and the disappearance of the light. Then the past comes into our present and the author relates the truth about the artist's first muse and the daughter Celia, he never knew about.
This novel is about more than just drawing lessons, charcoal and painting on a canvas. It is about creating your own world and not concerning yourself with the thoughts and needs of others. In other words, being your own person and who you really are.
The journey began with a painting and an award and led our artist on a quest to find himself, his art and the light that shines from within him and all those that he encountered along the way. As the story concludes and Rinaldo tries to upstage him with his invitation to have them collaborate on a project, author Mary E Martin brings the story full circle and in the artist's a whole new perspective in his work. This is a story of growth, independence, deceit, forgiveness, remembrance and much more. An ending that you will not expect and a final twist that will surprise you, author Mary E. Martin has created her own masterpiece or work of art in this outstanding novel. As we take the journey along with our narrator and the memorable characters that created the pictures, the stories and the images on paper that is part of their own life's drawing lesson. Alexander Wainwright might not have realized it but his art was truly his inspiration and his muse.
I am honored to have reviewed this book and I do hope to read and review the next two in the trilogy.
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About the reviewer
I am an educator, book reviewer, talk show host on Blog Talk Radio and I do online interviews with authors upon request. My book reviews are free and my reviews are honest, detailed and help spotlight … more
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Robert Adams: "A most satisfying read. Two fascinating and intertwined stories."--ow.ly/2lBu8
Simon Barrett: "Mary Martin brings The Drawing Lesson to life. The term 'psychological thriller' comes to mind. We watch as Alex and Rinaldo battle their own demons, both broaching the very edge of insanity."--bloggernews.net/124876