Went to the Castle all day from 10.30 - 7 while Mr. Gold [the organiser of the art exhibition] tried to hang the exhibition. It did not occur to me that this was almost entirely modern art. Some of the pictures were utterly formless, just shapeless blobs of dirty coloured paint, thrown haphazard on a canvas. Two are “surrealist”, one showing a dreadful tree with hands growing on it, springing from a horrible pit in the ground, the sort of thing one might see in one’s more unpleasant nightmares.
One of several by Ruskin Spear is really lovely, just a little country lane, so live that you expect to see people come out of the cottage in the foreground.
There are several by John Nash, whose brother Paul is also well-known. He prices his works high £65-£75. They are nearly always simple park scenes done on the Suffolk Border, very nice too.
My friend Blair Hughes-Stanton has four little woodcuts, rather like William Blake in style, beautifully done. He only asks about £2 or £2.10 each.
The artist, Blair Hughes-Stanton, was then living not far from Colchester at Stratford St Mary.