"Love glory more than money, art more than glory and nature more than art"
The Brushstrokes Trilogy
Brushstrokes is an historical fiction novel based in France in 1868 about the celebrated portrait artist and teacher Charles Carolus-Duran. It describes the artistic social scene in Paris during the Second Empire and his close friendship with Edouard Manet and several other prominent artists, writers and composers.
On July 19, 1870 war is declared with Prussia and the effects are felt by all the main characters in the book. Napoleon III heads his army to fight the Prussians leaving Eugenie as Regent of France. Charles turns down an offer by Whistler to evacuate Marie to England in favour of moving her to Lille to be close to his parents and sister in Belgium, unknowingly putting her in great danger as the Prussian army enters France via Belgium and establishes an internment camp in Lille. Charles remains in Paris and continues working until the Siege of Paris forces everything to a halt. Many French artists flee to London and across Europe to avoid the war. Charles is central in a plot to protect the works of art in Paris and he, Edouard Manet, Gustav Courbet and Claude Monet devise a plan to ensure the safety of Paris’s art treasures. This finally leads to Charles joining the National Guard to protect the Louvre from the Communards who are bent on destroying centuries of art treasure.
is the final book in the Brushstrokes Trilogy following the story of celebrated French portrait artist Carolus Duran and highlights the life of his daughter.
As Marie-Ann embarks on one of the greatest adventures of her life to-date, she must navigate the social norms and rules of late-18th century Europe, dodging etiquette and risking her safety — and her family — to live the life of adventure that all Croizettes are drawn to.
Embedded in the history of the time and loosely based on the lives of Marie-Ann and her actor husband Georges Feydeau, this is a tale of love, loss, espionage... and women thriving in adversity.
"I paint what I see not what others like to see"