Art, at once my heaven and my sin, played me false.
I was an artist. For fifteen years the gods stabbed me with their arrows of progress. For fifteen years I wept and cried to the wanton god of art. For fifteen years my soul was withered like the grass in Autumn. The fifteen years I wandered as a soul in trance. I awoke to find myself little better than a blasted dealer in things I loved of yore.
‘I was an Old Master, born centuries late.’
By his own admission, Blaker lacked the single-mindedness of vision necessary to succeed as an artist. ‘The cause of my failure to “make good” in any single branch of knowledge,’ he wrote in his journal, ‘is that I have too many interests. I was dumped into a generation which did not care a damn for art. I was an Old Master born centuries late. No kid ever had greater equipment. No kid ever faced greater frustration.
‘A blasted dealer in things I loved of yore’
All my “lovely chickens”, my pictures, were just as nothing in time of financial stress. In the past, although I had to part with them, they laid me hundreds, sometimes thousands, per cent in pounds sterling. Much as I hated selling every hen, such was preferable to finding every hen on my hands, sterile. Although fate decreed that I should become nothing but a loathsome dealer in pictures, the decree was worse when I was left with lovely hens who would not lay. Every hen I ever bought I bought because I loved. But I was left with my loves. Truly an ideal state of existence if you don’t have to eat. But no man can live on love.
Blaker’s ‘Discovery of a Lifetime‘
Blaker as Connoisseur
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