Yesterday we started to sketch at Babbacombe, but the rain came on and smudged them. An old lady who insisted on looking at my puddled mess said “Yes, but it would have been lovely”. She was an optimist.
[Image: ‘Oddicombe’, Lincoln Lee, March 1919. Note Oddicombe lies immediately adjacent to Babbacombe – perhaps Lincoln had a chance to sketch unimpeded by the rain later that day, or another. Oddicombe today has a similar structure to the cliff-face as Lincoln captures, but with greater tree-cover above the cliffs. Thanks again to Google Earth.]
M. has in her charge a number of electrifying flower paintings by a local man named Mercer. He handles flowers in a manner altogether original and daring. M. thinks he will one day be hailed as a master; probably when he is dead. He destroys the majority of his paintings as not good enough. All watercolours.
[Image: ‘Torquay’, by Lincoln Lee, c. March 1919. Painting potentially done from Victoria Parade, with its distinctive view up towards the St John the Apostle church, which seems accurately portrayed with its prominent square steeple, and also the boat-ramp into the harbour. Note also the pen sketch posted on 6 March by Lincoln’s sister, Myrtle Lee, ‘Interior of the Blue Bird’. This shows an interior view of the shop with an external view to what appears to be a crane and harbour area, with ascending hills in the background – Lincoln could have sketched his own from outside or near her shop. Research done through Google Earth!].
Yesterday we got a boat and rowed around the coast to a tiny inlet above which nestles a charming little hamlet with the chaste name of Maidencoombe. There we found sunny tea-gardens, and had a light meal at a rustic table. This morning we went to a museum where Tom Mostyn, of whose works you may have seen reproductions, has a studio. He kindly let us in to see his work, and proved a most interesting man, simple and direct.
He discussed his pictures and their difficulties, even making certain experimental alterations for our consideration.
[Image: ‘Low tide, Torquay’, G.L. Lee, March 1919]
Ted Jull appeared on the scene last night, and as “the sparrows” are still a nest-full, we are sharing a room.
Attended a piano recital by Mark Hambourg. I upset J’s gravity by remarking “He can make it whistle”. So he could, by jove!
I am sitting on one of the little beaches at Torquay, and my hand is shaking from skipping of many stones.
My sister’s Art Shop is called “The Blue Bird”. “The Birds” have queer and varied experiences. Today a very tall young ex-soldier came in – wanted to learn painting, felt that he had “something in him”, and would find a vent either in art or poetry – wasn’t sure which – wanted to learn to paint “Futurist” pictures, and was wooing his muse of a non-metrical type, “something like prose” he put it.
An old maid is sitting nearby producing a masterpiece in water – seems afraid to mix any paint with it.
[Image: Myrtle Lee, ‘Interior of the Blue Bird’, c1919]
On Sunday afternoon we had a good tramp in the wind, climbing Belever Tor, whose rocky top commands a splendid view of the surrounding moor. The tops of the tors are composed of huge slabs of stone piled one on another, like rough plates from a giant’s wash-up.
Just polished off a breakfast fit for three kings. One king couldn’t have done it justice.
Saw one of the circular collections of stones wherein the ancient Britons became hostile. Also crossed the stone slab “Clapper Bridge”.