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Painting From Life by Anne Brooke

Painting from Life is a story of obsession, like it should be when you are talking of art, since only a work born from an artist who suffered to create it is worthy of that name. But in a almost Dorian Gray's twist, the artist of this short story takes strength from his art while his muse is slowly dying.

The artist (without name since this is a first point of view perspective) is an unhappy married man and a struggling artist; probably the struggle for his art also caused the problem in his marriage, in a way or the other, he never seems able to reach that bliss an artist feels when he knows that he is doing something wonderful, at least at his eyes. And then, during a weekend in a seaside village he is spending with his wife trying to patch their marriage, the artist sees a very old man sitting in a bench in front of the sea; the combination of the interior loneliness of the artist, with the loneliness of the shore out of season, and the loneliness of that old man, all of them push the artist to ask the man to be his model for a day. But the artist already knows that the obsession is started and the positive answer that first paintings received is only an incentive for the artist to ask for more. I believe that, even if it was a flop, in any case the artist would have asked to Peter (this is the name of the old man) for more. In his artistic frenzy, the artist doesn't realize that Peter is dying and that being his model is only heightening his distress and probably fast pacing his decline.

On the other hand the beginning reluctance of Peter slowly dissipates, since he already knows that he has grasped all the life has to offer to him, and what few remains, he can give it to the artist. Peter is not searching for a friend or companionship to fill the void of loneliness, he is already at peace with life, he maybe only wishes to end it as it's without further changes. And so at first, maybe he sees the artist as an intrusion in his life, but then he understands that the man needs him, way more than Peter needs him, and he willingly gifts the artist with all of him, from his body (but only for an artistic purpose) to his remaining life force. From Peter's side it's not love, neither a love for art, it's more maybe a fatherly thing; from the artist's side, I don't know, maybe it's love, but that type of love that borders in obsession and that doesn't allow you to see the thing from a right perspective, everything is distorted to justify what you want to see. For now, Peter and the artist's relationship is perfect, at least from the artist's point of view, the problem will arrive when life will ask his toll on Peter.


Amazon: Painting from Life

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Cover Art by Amanda Kelsey


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 11th, 2009 08:49 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for the review, Elisa - really appreciate that.


May. 11th, 2009 10:17 am (UTC)
You are very welcome Anne, I really liked it. Elisa
May. 11th, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC)
Wow! This looks fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about it!
May. 11th, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC)
It's very good and original, I recommend it. Pity it's so short. Elisa
May. 11th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
I always go by your recs, Elisa. ;-) I find more books from your blog... now if you could only give me the time to read them too, we'd be good to go!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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