a studio on the seine
By Baker Street
The artist sits on the patio of his studio, overlooking the magnificent Seine River. He is waiting for a lady friend of his that is modelling for him today. She would arrive shortly. Her name was Clarissa, and she did odd modelling for his paintings. In payment he took her out for dinner every other week. As he sat and waited for her to arrive, he looked out over the scene in front of him.
In front of the studio there was a curb with some trees. Then the black tar road ran across, with the cars and other vehicles chasing each other up and down it, like mad dogs in pursuit of one another. Then there was another pedestrian curb with trees along it, bordered by an iron railing. Beyond the railing lay the serene river flowing by.
The artist knew this scene in front of him well, and had painted it three times before. He had sold two of those paintings at his last exhibition of his work a few months ago. He smiled at the thought. He held one of these exhibits, where he sold his work, about twice a year. It paid for the rent, which was about all. He was fairly well known in artistic circles in the city of Paris, and throughout France, actually.
He was still sitting and looking at the familiar scene in front of him, when Clarissa arrived. They went into the studio, and the artist made her a cup of coffee. She had two sugars. He put the sign on the door that said; ‘Artist Working – Do Not Disturb’. Then he got his pallet, paint and brushes ready. His medium today was oil paint, as Clarissa was posing for a nude. He was quite well known for his nudes, and they sold well.
Clarissa got undressed and took in her position on a low bench in the studio. She lay in the classical naked female posture, with her legs crossed as she lay on the bench, and her breasts protruding proudly to the fore. She was a good-looking young woman, both physically and facially. She had long dark hair, square shoulders, and beautiful, firm and prominent breasts. She was the artist’s favourite model, and that was why he asked her help frequently. With such a beautiful creature in front of him, it was easy to find inspiration to paint.
He took up his tools, and began his work. His hand glided gently over the canvas as the brush-strokes flowed from him. From the street occasional passers-by could catch glimpses of the artist working furiously, but one could never see the girl, as she was hidden behind a dividing wall. In front of the wall were the ramshackle goods and unfinished works of the artists. One could only see him working, painting frantically whatever, or whoever, was hidden from view by the wall.
The business premises bordering the artist’s studio, was a mixture of small goods stores and coffee-shops. They all knew the artist and supported his work. Paintings of his hung in all their establishments. They were proud to be able to tell people that he had painted this or that painting, and why, look; there was his studio just down the drag. And if you looked into his place, you would see him working. But be careful not to disturb him, he does not like being bothered while he works.
“How can I acquire a painting from this man then?” the stranger might ask.
“Why, you would have to wait for the next exhibition,” the natural answer would come.
But now he was busy working ardently at his nude painting. As the beautiful Clarissa lay there naked before him, he painted and sweated, as he worked. His hands wove a pattern of magic on the canvas, like a magician’s wand. There he captured her beauty, her lovely, firm breasts, the curves of her hips, and that secret darkness which lay between. Her long tapered legs, and her flowing dark hair. All this and more the, yes the very spirit of her soul, he captured with his paint on the canvas.
They had started working at nine that morning, and the artist was not finished with his piece of work until three in the afternoon. It had been a long stretch for both of them. Clarissa didn’t stay for a goodbye-cup-of-coffee, but rushed out of the door when the day’s session was done. She was in a hurry to meet friends of hers, as usual. The artist just got time to give her a quick kiss goodbye, before she popped out of the door. He sat down at his coffee counter to relax after his work, with a cigarette and a cup of coffee.
As he sat and drank his coffee and smoked his cigarette, he looked out over the old familiar scene of the river flowing broad, dark and serene outside. A red lorry chased a yellow taxi-cab down the street. Two small boys walked across the curb on the opposite side of the road. Waterfowl where swimming mid-stream, and dashed their heads about in the water, in search of food. He sat and watched as he smoked and drank his coffee.
At six o’ clock in the evening he prepared to close up for the day. The painting of the girl was still on the pallet where he had painted it. It would stay that way for a day or two, until he could do the finishing touches. Then he would frame it, which he did himself, having learnt it in his trade. He cleaned the brushes and trays, and put all his tools away for the day.
Then he drew the blinds, and stepped outside the front door. He locked the door behind him, and walked on down the street of the quiet boulevard. While he walked he whistled an old familiar tune softly to himself, and wondered what sales would be like at his next exhibition. A sparrow darted in the air in front of him, and weaved its way majestically through the trees. Then it flew away over the dark Seine, which flowed alongside the road...