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.

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