Monday, June 24, 2013

Churchill Pastime Artz

I came across a photograph this morning of Winston Churchill painting. He is seated at the Surf Club, wearing a smock, smoking a huge cigar. It is 1946. I had no idea he painted. I of course became immediately curious and decided this was a subject for further investigation.

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s death and there will be exhibits of his painting and writings and achievements. I have even come across a book he wrote Painting as a Pastime.

 It is out of print and has been since 1964. It was first published in 1950.  Mary Soames wrote a book titled Winston Churchill: His Life As a Painter published in 1990. Mary is a child of Winston and Clementine Churchill. 

Winston Churchill started painting when he was 40 and painted over the next 48 years leaving us over 500 paintings to enjoy. Painting became a retreat from the noisy world of politics and crowds and appointments.

Churchill’s advice to budding young artists was one word. “Audacity”.  The word comes from the Latin audāx meaning daring. Audacity is recklessly bold or daring; fearless with arrogant disregard for conventional thought. I like this word.

The wife of Sir John Lavery showed him that a brush was a weapon to subdue a blank, intimidating canvas by firing paint at it to dazzling effect. He would submit his paintings into shows under pseudonyms such as Mr. Winter, Charles Morin.

This week we will look at Churchill Pastime Artz.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June the Artz

It is here. I am not sure how it got here so quickly but June has arrived. Her name in Latin is Iunius, Old English Juyng, Old French Juing.

  Legend tells that the month of June was named in honor of Juno, goddess of marriage, the sister and wife of the mighty god Jupiter, daughter of Saturn, mother of Mars and Vulcan.

June is the 6th month in the Julian and Georgian calendar. It is one of 4 months with 30 days.

 5 countries, the United States, Romania, Argentina, Denmark and Sweden all celebrate Flag Day during the month of June.

Allied Forces landed in Normandy on June 6 1944.

Trooping the Colors is held the second Saturday of every June. It has been a tradition since 1748 as marking the official birthday of the current British Sovereigns. The first sovereign to receive this military salute was King Edward VII.

Juneteenth also known as Freedom Day is celebrated on June 19.  It is a holiday in the United States. It commemorates the announcement of the abolishment of slavery in Texas in 1865.

Summer Solstice happens and Midsummer is celebrated in Finland and Sweden.

West Virginia became our 35th state June 20 1863.

This week will take a look at June in art with June the Artz.