The Prosperous Dutchman Added£0.99
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(A short story of 4014 words)

The Prosperous Dutchman


by Carmen Nina Walton

An ambitious artist seeks to reconnect with influential figures from his past.

After his fourth year in business William experienced a sense of having arrived at a longed for destination. He didn’t feel certain of anything beyond the hour he was in but considered that he’d survived, even grown, in the competitive and fickle world of art.

He opened his studio not sure and not caring if he could succeed. There didn’t seem to be any other choices open to him that meant anything and he was at a precipice, ready to throw himself off.

The famously difficult first year of fragile trading that saw so many businesses fail, came and went. He ate frugally, bought nothing that wasn’t necessary, worried a lot. Doggedness hauled him to art shops and workspaces, where he introduced himself to people who made decisions about the flow of money. Fear made him gate-crash meetings and network in a manner more aggressive than was natural for him until the months were punctuated by commissions and a growing stream of bookings.

Although he continued to struggle to pay for food and rent he approached his second year slightly ahead with regular work and many of his resources paid for.

When word got round better commissions followed. A few galleries bought his paintings, city views that were stark to the point of abstract, snapped up by trendy urban dwellers and art collectors who reckoned on him being the next big thing.

And he taught, grateful for the flow of money from frustrated painters and pleasure seekers. Business acumen followed. He was an artist who wanted to eat as well as create. An adult who needed more than the air that got him through the experiments of his studying years.

Nonetheless, his survival was an achievement, however much doubt nibbled around its edges…

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