Studio: international art — 90.1925

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1 cm

u You'd better withdraw that last re-
mark/' said the Critic in an undertone, but
with a smile. 0000

u Yes, by Jove ! " agreed the Young
Artist, with his eyes on the newcomer.
The Lady who accompanied the Old Artist,
and who was introduced as his niece,
might be regarded as an answer sent
straight from Heaven to crude masculine
criticisms of woman, what she wears, and
how she wears it. Possessed of a wedding
ring for perhaps ten years, she might easily
have displayed ten of those trophies had
convention permitted and her inclination
turned that way. The reverence with
which the whole company rose, bowed,
and assumed the attitude which entreats
the acceptance of a chair and the half of
a kingdom with it, was a confession of
man's elementary faith. 000

No doubt she was used to this sort of
thing, for she took a corner of the sofa
quite calmly, waited till her humble pe-
titioners were also seated, and then ad-
dressed them, " I made him bring me
here," she said, indicating her uncle,
" because I wanted to find out why they
put green birds of paradise among mauve
cauliflowers and dark blue tombstones
with yellow flags on top and expect me
to hang them in the windows of my new
cottage in Sussex. Uncle Henry said some
of you could tell me if this was the newest
art, post-experimentalist, or something, and
whether it was just a beginning or what.
You see, I must have some curtains, and
if things are likely to get much worse,
I suppose I'd better settle on the tomb-
stone ones. The next lot may have
ghosts on or something." 0 0

It's not the newest art," pleaded the
Young Artist. " I'm sure of that. Are
they really tombstones i" 0 0

** Well, they might be lamp-posts, or
holly-trees, or policemen, or anything
rather straight and tall," she admitted.
" Whatever they are, they're not nice to
look at. And I wanted a satisfying pattern.
It's so difficult to find one. It's just the
same with the carpets, and rugs, and every-
thing." 0 0 0 0 0


" I wish you'd let me do you some
designs," he said fervently. ** I should
just love to. Your cottage would be an
inspiration." 0000

" That's charming of you"—she laughed
adorably—"but I couldn't afford artist's
fees ; I'm awfully hard up. But if you
will take the designs to Moving and
Settle's and get them to put them on
the market, I'll promise to buy the
curtains." 00000

" Say who sent you and it would be all
right," put in the Plain Man, who was
equally impressed. 0000

** They'd kick me out," said the Young
Artist sadly. " You see, manufacturers
haven't much use for us artists. They
say we cost too much, and, besides, they
won't take what we offer them. So they
do without us and when they want patterns
tell their office boy to shut his eyes and
squirt coloured inks at paper with a pen
filler." 00000

" But couldn't you offer them what
they'd take i " she suggested. He wrin-
kled his brow as at a new idea. " I don't
believe you've ever studied carpets and
curtains like you do canvas, and you don't
really know their capabilities." She shook
her head reprovingly. " Isn't that it i "

The Critic nodded assent. " There's a
lot in that," he agreed. " It's a special
field which wants more exploring. But
if cultivated it ought to yield a rich
crop." 000000

" For artists and manufacturers too,"
said the Old Artist. " If I was younger
I'd try it." 00000

" And / should get the curtains I want,"
said the Lady. 0000

" Well," said the Young Artist, " I'll
promise to learn all about textiles and their
needs if you will convert the manufac-
turer." 00000

u Convert him i " she echoed. 0

" Quite easy," he asserted. " A little
talk from you on cauliflowers, tombstones
and things, and how you dislike them,
and what you really want, and how I am
just the fellow to supply it, or shall be in
a few days, anyhow—the point of view
of. the Lady with the Sussex cottage, in
fact—and the thing's done." 0 0

The Lay Figure.
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