I first presented Thomas with a wee bit of a challenge IMO but he knocked it out of the park...
Can you describe to us the distinct difference between your muses and what they give to you?
Let me ask you, can you describe how you feel when you breathe deep the first burst of a summer morning? Or the inspiration felt when viewing the turbulent sea during a storm? My muses, each one, are the sustenance of my creativity, nurturing my passion. There is Helen, shy, reclusive—an innocent in so many ways and yet it is her innocence, that unblemished purity that inspired me, maybe frightened me a bit. In my social circles, innocence is viewed as being powerless, weak—but I found through Helen that it was her innocence that challenged me to look in the mirror—to understand what it was I wanted…and what I didn’t. Then there’s Sara, bright, alert, curious and aspiring—she wanted to see the world, to be more than what most women of my day aspire towards. And in me, she found the celebrity status that I think she felt would take her there. I became both lover and tutor, but I was not about to hold her back from her ambition. Her drive will take her wherever she wishes, but like most of us, once there, do we discover that it wasn’t all we’d hoped that it might be? My fervent hope is that she is happy. And then there is Grace, some would call her rough, perhaps seasoned, to some she’s nothing but a whore—Grace has a strength that few women possess. It is her attitude that has inspired me most, I think. We’ve been friends for years and she isn’t afraid to kick me in the shin and tell me what she thinks, or pour me a glass of port and listen to me bemoan my critics. Strange that of all of my muses, one tarnished by worldly standards, she held me to even higher.
Paperback: 376 pages
Publisher: Spice; Original edition (June 1, 2010)
They are his inspiration. He is their obsession.
Icon, rebel, unabashed romantic…
With a single look painter Thomas Rodin conveys the ecstasy of creativity—the pleasures awaiting the woman who can fuel his artistry.
What did this master artist see in me?
Genius abided in his soul, rapture in his flesh—I doubted not.
To refuse him…my folly. To surrender…my sensual salvation.
I chafed at the bonds of servitude until he set me free.
I turned my back on all that I knew to follow him and found myself between two men—master and student—one whom I loved with my heart…the other with my body.
I understood, perhaps better than any, his needs.
I stoked the fires of his soul, the spark of his creativity—he made me a legend. But never could I forget his searing touch….
Three transcendent tales of women bewitched by a master of seduction—a slave as much to his art as to his boundless passion.
Passionate, visionary, egotistical, determined, Grace would say –bull-headed
• Thomas, who are your favorite artists and works?
Myself, of course, if you don’t love your own work, who else will? My peers, in the brotherhood, those of us who find the romance in nature that nearly grew extinct in the art world. One must paint with the heart, with the soul—not just based on technique. I don’t know that it would be fair to give specific favorites. My inspiration has never come from other artists, but from nature and my own tenacity.
• What is your favorite place to get inspiration?
Today, I would have to say, my good friend—perhaps my best friend, next to my brother--Grace. She has an uncanny insight to people that I don’t possess. Her profession, I suppose that has afforded her this unusual ability, but it has given her a unique and valuable perspective. She is able to see many sides to the same thing and is far more accepting than I am, and more compassionate as well. Good God, you need only look at how she has befriended me these many years—through thick and thin to have evidence of her heart. Indeed, her name suits her well.
• If you have one, what is your favorite romantic setting?
My first thought was to say in the “arms of a beautiful woman,” but at the risk of sounding too much like the rogue I am often accused of, I will revise my answer. I love nature. Most of my walks include tromping through the woods, hiking large meadows, finding lush exotic waterfalls and serene lakes surrounded by the brilliance of autumn-hued trees. That is how I see a beautiful woman as well! Divinely fashioned-each unique, possessing beauty that cannot be made—it is to be worshipped, celebrated. Every time I lift my brush and set it to canvas I in my most romantic setting.
• What do you consider your personal pros and cons?
Or should we go to your muses for the answer to this one? Well, I’m not sure that I have taken the time to analyze myself in such a way
• What do you love about being an artist?
Being able to paint the world as I see it. Being able to look beyond the color of a sunset and see a woman’s well-kissed lips, or a morning glory blossoming with vivid blue brightness and see the arousal in my lover’s eyes. I do not live in a black and white, boxed in world, where social standards determine how I must live. No, my life is a chaotic wash of color and passion, determined to live and love to the fullest, to use up every ounce of life inside of me.
• What do you consider to be the seven deadly sins?
Did my mother send you? As you may know, my parents always hoped that I would go into the priesthood. I am , as much as any man perhaps, capable of performing one or more—likely more—of the original list, created centuries ago I suspect when Rome was trying to rally the people to do good and follow the church’s teachings. In my view, it is very difficult to enlighten one who does not wish to be enlightened. So, what I consider “deadly” may not be so for another soul and I dare not take up preaching on either virtues (heavens, no!) or sins, as I do not excel in either. Next question, please.
• Do you like to dance and if so, what’s your favorite dance?
I am not what you would call light on my feet, but I would have to say that of all dances, the waltz would be the one preferred. There is something wonderful in holding a woman in your arms and twirling her around a ballroom, it is a lovely foreplay to what rapture awaits for the rest of the evening, don’t you think?
• How and where do you prefer to sleep?
I am a light sleeper and when I do, sleep, which admittedly seems little these days, my preference is in my own bed just off the studio where I can awaken anytime day or night and paint unrestricted. I must confess that quite often I am not alone in my bed!
• Do you read and if so, what is the last book you’ve read?
I am a voracious reader, with eclectic tastes in politics, social concerns, travel, poetry and of course art. The last book I read…let’s see that would be Dante’s Inferno, the seven levels of hell.
• What do you do if you want to unwind from the day?
I rarely retire of an evening without my glass of port.
• What is the one thing in a woman that instantly grabs your attention?
The way she carries herself. How she treats strangers. You can tell a lot about a woman from how she treats those around her.
• Who can wake you up in the middle of the night for…?
I don’t feel that as a gentleman I should answer this! I believe I will leave it at that.
• Tell us your 5 favorite things from your time?
The gardens--music, dancing, libations-every night, if you can manage to ignore the stink of the Thames!
Corsets—the most frustrating of all design inventions, and yet what it does to a woman’s breasts takes my breath away!
Carriages- unhurried, dark, with a gentle sway…need I say more?
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood-comrades, the best of friends, the worst of enemies. We supported one another, we took care of each other, sharing, celebrating, consoling.
Travel-if a man needed to do research or needed time to collect his thoughts, he packed a bag and went to wherever his heart desired. To study the history, the architecture, the society—the world seemed immersed in finding what it could contribute, rather than what it could take.
Wooing the ladies with a small excerpt:
Grace meets Thomas Rodin for the first time~Thomas, we cannot express the pleasure it has been that I could get this one on one with you. Do you want us to go anywhere on the world wide web? Hook us up here: You can learn more about what inspired this book and links to my research at:
I waved to Deidre who was on the dance floor with a handsome gent I’d not seen at the gardens before. We’d met here as I had most of the small circles of women who worked the gardens. We were a close-knit group, watching out for one another. I tapped my foot enjoying the music and watching the dancers. A shiver rushed over my shoulders and I glanced up, looking as you do when you feel you are being watched. Seated on the opposite side of the dancing platform was a man. He was stately dressed in clothing depicting an era gone by, still worn by older aristocratic gentleman, but he appeared much younger. The frock coat he wore was made of rich looking deep green silk brocade with fine bead working on the collar and cuff. I noted a flutter of white lace protruding from the cuffs and the large white cravat at his neck. His hands rested comfortably on the walking cane he had perched between his legs.
I’d not seem him before and surely he was a gent I would remember. He had the face of a poet, that look about him indicting he was an observer of life and people. His hair was a thick mass of unruly waves, indicative of one who cared little about what was proper, but what suited him, I think.
I watched him silently scanning the crowd, his piercing, dark blue-green eyes roving, it seemed, perhaps searching for the character of his next poem. Mesmerized, I stared at him safe in the anonymity of the crowd, until finally he turned and met my gaze.
My breath caught. Surprise was not something that occurred much in my life. Frozen in his silent study of me, I felt naked before him as though he could see right through me. I did not know whether to go to him or to run the other way.
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And of course, THE MASTER AND THE MUSES is available for purchase at all fine bookstores, and in stores 6.01.10.
Because I find Lady Godiva particularly interesting as she rides about town naked on her horse, one should be cautioned that you may do the same after a couple of these! So be aware!
GODIVA CHOCOLATE MARTINI
• 1 1/2 shot Godiva liqueur
• 1 1/2 shot Creme de Cacao
• 1/2 shot Vodka (Vanilla Vodka is recommended)
• 2 1/2 shots Half and Half
Mixing instructions: Mix all ingredients in shaker with ice, shake and pour into chilled cocktail glass
The giveaway - Amanda McIntyre says: Today I will be choosing one person from posted comments to give away a signed copy of THE MASTER AND THE MUSES!
And I, Leontine, will pick a winner for one copy of THE MASTER AND THE MUSES which will be send via Book Depository Store on June 13th 2010, so there you go…two chances to win Thomas’ story!!