Authors: Ruth Clampett
Work of Art ~ The Collection
Copyright © 2015 by Ruth Clampett All Rights Reserved.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either products of the author's imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from the author or publisher.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
Cover Design: Jada d'Lee
Cover Photograph: David Johnston Photography
Cover Model for the Collection: Casey Carbone
Hand Model: Christopher Raub
Cover Model for books I ~ III Michael Senich
Cover Model for book III Patricia Ashley
Editors: Angela Borda, Janine Savage of Write Divas and Janell Parque
Interior formatting: Books I ~ III Robert Reid of 52 Novels
The Collection ~ Christine Borgford of Perfectly Publishable
Table of Contents
To the artists . . .
Thank you for for bravely
Showing us what you see
When you close your eyes
I see the world differently
Because of you
Chapter One / The Artist Emerges
We are living in a storm where a hundred contradictory elements collide; debris from the past, scraps from the present, scenes of the future: swirling, combining, separating, under the imperious wind of destiny.
~Adolphe Retté, La Plume 1898
et the hell away from me, Dylan. I’m not going to kiss that faux-art collector’s ass!”
I look up just in time to see the blur of a man charge into our exhibit pavilion. In his fury, he slams the wall I’m facing with his fist, and I jump up as the row of paintings quiver and settle askew.
The second man, who I assume to be Dylan, is right on his heels, and he glances at me, rolling his eyes as he follows the raging artist into our private viewing room.
Not wanting to miss the drama, I jump up and position myself at the edge of the entrance, just as my boss, Adam, slowly stands and addresses the two men.
Adam has a regal air accentuated by his black turtleneck and tailored wool slacks. His silver shock of hair contrasts with his tan rugged face. Something in the way he carries himself makes him a formidable presence.
He steeples his fingers and turns to his left to study the large abstract painting of wide black slashes across a crimson field. A sudden hush falls over the room.
“Max, Dylan, the show’s just begun and you’re already at war.” He pauses and then smiles at Dylan. “I warned you not to have him at the show. Maxfield doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and there are plenty of fools here who think they know art.”
Dylan’s dark eyes narrow in frustration as he grumbles, “We can’t exhibit at the most important art show of the year and
have our star artist here. Collectors want to meet the artists before they invest.”
“Invest! Fuck, I hate that word!” the artist curses as he throws his head back. “This is about someone buying a work of art to make it part of their life. There should be passion about a relationship with their art. Investing is for buying goddamn real estate or government bonds!”
Although I still haven’t seen the artist’s face clearly, I notice the muscles ripple across his back as he crosses his arms across his chest. He’s tall, over six feet, with strong broad shoulders and a tangle of hair so dark it’s almost black.
He turns back to Adam. “So Dylan serves me up on a platter to this tiny, irritating woman with her face pulled so tight it’s about to snap. She kept scraping her fake fingernails up and down my arms and going on about how she loves my work, while I’m trying to keep my breakfast down.
“As if that isn’t brain-numbing enough, her flaming yippy designer whips open a leather bag and starts pulling out fabric swatches.”