December 8, 1916 Things to Worry About

Friday December 8, 1916

I had another good day of painting. I started a new canvas of a sketch I did in October just after a wet and heavy snow. The snow stuck to the upper branches of some birch saplings and it made quite a nice pattern. This canvas is a bit smaller – about 32 inches square. I’m not venturing out much, so I think I’ll get this one done over a few days.

Jim MacDonald paid me a visit before he went home. He invited me for dinner on Sunday. Jim lives up in Thornhill, but it’s easy to get there with the TYRR (Toronto York and Radial Railway). I said I’d come up. I hadn’t seen Thoreau in a while and it would be nice to see him. Jim moved up to Thornhill with his family, but still kept space in the Studio here. Work is getting pretty meagre, but Dr. MacCallum convinced him to stay in the Studio (at a reduced rent). There’s not much appetite for art during the War so Jim is having a tough time making ends meet. The last job he got was painting a Mother Goose mural for the toy department at Simpsons. He finished it before the Christmas Parade on Saturday. He’s doing the art work for the Arts and Letters Club but for no charge. That’s the deal he made with Dr. MacCallum, who was just elected President of the Club. He looked at my canvases, and said they were fine pieces, and I should start considering what to put in the Spring Exhibition. It opens in early March and they need to finalize the list by the middle of February. I told him, I wasn’t sure I’d submit after what happened last year, but I’d see how the next few canvases go before I make a any decision.

I sent Jim off around 6. I was thinking about going to an evening show at the Hippodrome (‘The Scoop’ was playing) but I decided to stay in and read instead. It’s risky going out, because if you’re alone people with start calling after you for your name to sign up. I saw the comic in the paper today – ‘Things to Worry About’ – I don’t need that worry tonight.

I haven’t yet checked for my mail at the front so I may go up the Studio later tonight. If I go up, I’ll have a drink with Bill and Curtis, if they’re still there. They’re good for a few drinks and stories. I haven’t met the new tenants in the building, so this evening may be the occasion to do so.

I’ll spend some time tomorrow making Thoreau a gift. I may make a lure or a fly. I brought my material with me from up north. I’ll think more about it tomorrow.

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