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Diary, 1918, June 26th.
How strange it seems that with the War which, when it started, was to all my thinking the end of all landscape painting (for me) as far as a livelihood was concerned, yet after four years of it we still live and on the whole I have fewer money cares than I had before the War. To be sure, I make less of an income though not much less, and charge about half as much for my work as I did before 1914, but we are able on these terms to live by it, and without privation I suppose I have got into the swing of picture-making and am fortunate in liking and painting because I like the subjects I do. Not, I hope, doing it because it pays, only it just happens that there is a public who wants the things I like, and who still seems to go for them when painted.
Picture dealers have mostly avoided me till late years. Now I have had more letters from them than ever I had before, though generally our deals have not come off.
One man is continually asking me for subjects which he thinks I can do and so writes that he would take half a dozen of my "Golden sunsets with no dark clouds." I send him some, he returns them all as not suiting his customers, but still wants me to send more painted to his recipe. I write back to say that I sent him representative work and as that does not suit him I can send no other. He ignores this after a waiting spell of a month or so, then writes again repeating his somewhat monotonous request for golden sunsets with no... I have ceased to reply and shortly expect another vain repetition. In this I see that anyway his clients are not in sympathy with my likings, for though a golden sunset is a golden spendour to me, yet it is much more so when the dark clouds are in it. This may be partly morbid on my part, I daresay it is, but it is very much to the front, and a cloudless sky is to me simply uninteresting, and I do not seem to want to paint it, save sometimes to use it as a background for some earthly scene where the earthly part is the real subject of interest.