Friday 14th April 1922
A good nights sleep for a change and a late breakfast. I spend an hour packing all the necessary changes of cloths and my best equipment. I know I have not worked much for the last several months but I have a really good feeling about this weekend. There are going to be lots of people at the party and I can feel the need to be creative.
The drive out of town was pleasant and I found a small pub “The Red Lion” to eat lunch. It was a modern brick construction in an old looking village, apparently the last pub burnt down during the war. It made an interesting composition which did not quite work.
[insert picture], “Transitions”, background is a village scene with Romanticism style, foreground and centre the new pub in Modernistic fashion, a man steps into the pub with a more impressionist feel.
When I finally arrived at Lady Margaret Montague’s home, it was a massive mansion I am not quite sure what I was expecting but she seems to have hundreds of servants at our beck and call. And by the time the Friday soiree was in full swing I reckon there were several hundred guests. Lady Margaret is a 50ish year old dowager with a confident manner, she is a well known sponsor of the arts, philanthropic without being charitable.
As the party atmosphere improves I chat to a few old friends from university and Sand Hurst and start to make a few new contacts for possible future work, invites to more parties etc. There are a lot of possible patrons around and several time I have to avoid offending people. There is in fact a strange mix of types here. There are the artists flittering around like myself, there are the old money unable to understand either group around them, talking the same old rubbish and then there are those with an occult interest (mainly harmless) feigning knowledge they do not possess. I am happier with my next composition:
[insert picture], “The Aspects” background is the manner house drawn in precise detail every crack to its visage, every vine, every window. In the foreground is a mass of people, each one is a caricature of either an artist, a country gentleman or a follower of the occult. Poets are especially lampooned. But rising from these people are strands that gather above the mansion and form three cloud-like figures. The figures obviously represent the three types of guests but there are drawn to show the nobler aspects of each type. The three figures are either dancing or fighting it is hard to tell which.
Later on Margaret’s nephew arrives in quite an ostentatious way. He flies in on what is probably his old plane from the War. He is obviously trying to show off to everyone but almost loses control and ploughs it into the house. His name is William Wilberforce-Montague is patently born to money and is apparently trying to become a writer in the same vein as HG Wells, with little success - he has yet to find his muse. William is one of those people who uses money, a loud voice and wide arm movements to get noticed where his lack of presence cannot. He seems a friendly enough chap though and later on in the evening went out of his way to bring me into an interesting inner social circle which I found quite pleasant.
[insert picture] an accurate rendition of a William, leather jacket, scarf etc. his aircraft flys across in the background. The only additional detail is a propeller hat that makes him look faintly silly.
There are several other people I get introduced to and start to spend time with,
Pandora Duncan is an up and coming sculptress whose works are going to be shown tomorrow. She seems quite pleasant and I have a number of intriguing conversations with her about the nature of art. I get the impression that her family are fairly rich (associated with the white star line?) and not particularly happy with her choice of profession.
Claire Carmichael is a debutant and was obviously attracted to William. Her family are fairly rich based on shrewd investments. There does not seem very much to her. Her interests mirror those of William or at least what he tells her they are. She does appear to have an independent interest in Wagner operas.
Charles Hampton is an outdoorsy sort of person who has just returned from exploring Canada. He obviously travels a lot and is a man born out of his time. He is mooning around after Claire a bit without her noticing but a clever ploy by William (sending flowers in Charles name) gets the two together. It is quite strange that such a pro-active man would have troubles approaching a woman like Claire.
I drew several more doodles during the evening
[insert several pictures] a flower with wings, a indeterminate landscape of hills, a craggy rock face, a burning tree / signpost, a rabbit with a gun.
As a group we have a pleasant evening and can agree about several things. The Germans are to blame and the poets are the lowest of the low. <\lj-cut>