Young Mother with Red Hair

by M. A. Dunn

How did it come to this, Michael? How does a twenty-six-year-old wife and mother find herself posing for one of the most famous artists in the world? And oh, how much there is to tell you…but how much to tell, exactly? How the aromas of that place beguiled me, the oil paints, the wine? Me, naked in Vivian’s studio or wandering through his house clad only in an Aran sweater, relentlessly exposed to his penetrating gaze?

I told him so much about myself – nearly everything. And the man behind the canvas, with his white shirt and pale to fading hair, his questions drew me out, drew me in. Did you expect this, Michael? Plan it? Can I begin to share the surprising, disturbing, inspiring wanderings of my innermost thoughts as I sat for him?

I’m trying to make sense of it all as much for myself as for you, Michael. I wonder if you will understand. And I wonder if you will forgive me when I decide just how much to tell you of what happened within the walls of Vivian Young’s Georgian townhouse in Mayfair.

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