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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

WAR
far away, so we had some more drinks and went
home.
My painting still showed a good deal of French
influence. At the Omega Workshops we thought
and spoke only of modern French Art, Derain,
Picasso, Matisse and others. Under the gloomy in-
fluence of London my colour, which had cheered up
in France considerably, became duller and duller.
J. M. Synge said that he had to live years in Paris
before he could appreciate Ireland. I have found
out that he was quite right. It was only much later,
after ten years in France, that I could see any colour
in London at all. Now I can see, but perhaps not
yet express, colour everywhere, not so brilliant per-
haps, hut more subtle. My painting became more
and more mechanical. Sickert said that I should
not paint from life. cc Make sketches and square
them up, as the old Masters did." I tried this but
failed. Whether this was from laziness or incom-
petence I do not know, anyway I could not paint
at all like that.
I had already acquired quite a good library of
rather an odd sort. Edgar and I visited the Charing
Cross Road nearly every day. He found French
books, including a small book of Jules Laforgue's
poems. It was the first volume of poems that he ever
published and Edgar paid sixpence for it. I sent his
books to France to him later on and regret that I
did not keep this one.
I met one day, Mrs. Ruby Lindsay, whom I had
first seen before the War at a sketch class in Chelsea,
where JHenri and I went sometimes in the evenings
103