The Jervis McEntee Diaries - October 6, 1885

Diary Entry:

Tuesday, Oct 6, 1885 It has been cloudy and rainy all day. I received a letter from Warren this noon which has depressed and troubled me a great deal. He says they do not like the picture I painted for them but he intends to send me a check for it and asks me to replace it with another. Asks if the price was $600 and says nothing about the frame. I wrote him at once as cheerfully as possible acknowledging that I was surprised and disappointed, that I would not accept the money if I had not been depending upon it and did not feel that I had earned it and assuring him that I would do all in my power to satisfy him & Mrs. Warren in replacing it with another picture. I have kept a copy of the letter which I sent to the office this evening. I have had a fear of something just like this and most heartily wish I were able to refuse all commissions. It is so difficult to paint to the conceptions of other people and there are so many chances of failure. This evening came a letter from Fuller enclosing his check for $200 and saying he had forgotten what the frame was to be, so that there is doubt whether I get paid for the frames. I do not wish them to be dissatisfied on that score and shall leave it to them to do as they please. Fuller only said that Warren was to send me a check and presumed he had but expressed no opinion about the picture so I conclude he does not like it. This is all very disappointing. If I were independent I should refuse the money until I had painted a picture they were satisfied with, but this is one of the disadvantages of my dependent position. I shall get the money and will be able to pay some pressing demands but at a sacrifice I wish I could avoid. We were startled at the announcement in the Freeman this evening of the death of Judge Westbrook suddenly in Troy this morning. He was found dead in his bead presumably from heart disease. Sara had a letter from Janette & Emily, unable to accept her invitation to come here for a visit.

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