The Adventures with a Paint Brush

Posted by Freddy on Sep-3-2011

I have always admired Sir Winston Churchill’s writings and I am quite contended to say I have read a considerable quantity of his works. Certain lines of his leave an indelible mark in the heart, that it becomes a part of all that, which are credited with the building up of one’s character. I was going through the book : “Amid these Storms” and decided to share with you all my gracious readers, the way in which Winston Churchill took to painting and what he felt about it.

“To have reached the age of forty without ever handling a brush, to have regarded the painting of pictures as a mystery, and then suddenly to find oneself plunged into the middle of a new interest with paints and palettes and canvases- and not to be discouraged by results- is an astonishing and enriching experience. I hope it may be shared by others.

For to be really happy and to avoid worry and mental over-strain we ought all to have hobbies, and they must all be real. Best of all, and the easiest to take up, are sketching and painting. They came to my rescue late in life, at a most trying time.

When I left admiralty at the end of 1915, I still remained a member of the cabinet and of the War Council. In this position I knew everything and could do nothing. I had vehement convictions and no power to give effect to them; I had enforced leisure at a moment when every fiber of my being was inflamed to action. And then it was, one Sunday in the country that the children’s paint box came to my aid. My first experiments with their toy watercolours led me to secure, next morning, a complete outfit for painting in oils. The next step was to begin. The Palette gleamed with beads of colour; fair and white rose the canvas; the empty brush hung poised, heavy with destiny, irresolute in the air. Very gingerly I mixed a little blue paint with a very small brush, and then with infinite precaution made a mark about as big as a small bean upon the affronted snow white shield. At that moment a motorcar was heard on the drive and from it there stepped none other than the gifted wife of Sir John Lavery, the distinguished portrait painter. “Painting! But what are you hesitating about? Let me have a brush a big one.” Splash into the turpentine, a wallop into the blue and white, frantic flourish on my palette, and then several large, fierce strokes of blue on the absolutely cowering canvas. The Spell was broken. My Sticky ambition rolled away. I seized the largest brush and fell upon my victim with berserk fury. I have never felt any awe of a canvas since.

This beginning with audacity is a very great part of the art of painting. We must not be too ambitious. We cannot aspire to masterpieces. We may content ourselves with a simple joyride in a paint box. And for this, audacity is the only ticket.

Try it, if you have not done so –BEFORE YOU DIE.”

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