The politician Winston Churchill
was an excellent amateur painter
Watercolors and oil paintings painted by Winston Churchill are being auctioned today at Sothebys and Christies. Not only because of the famous name: they touch with their subjects and convince with their quality.
By the age of 40, Churchill had been demoted and lost his responsibilities as First Lord of the Admiralty. The failure of England’s military action in Gallipoli was blamed on him.
In this difficult personal situation, he observed his sister-in-law making a watercolor in the garden in Kent, England. She urged him to give it a try, too.
If not now, when: audacity wins out
Churchill had not attended an art academy and felt “Two years of drawing classes, three years working on wood sculptures, five years working on plaster sculptures, that’s only for young people.”
He said as an autodidact he had taken the audacity to just try it.
He deliberately took time off to go on painting vacations in more difficult situations. Marrakech was a favorite destination for these trips.
He also spent the winter of 1935-1936 painting in Marrakech at the famous La Mamounia Hotel. The bar Le Churchill is still named after him there.
To his wife Chemistry he wrote on December 30, 1935: “This is a wonderful place, and the hotel one of the best I have ever used. I haven an excellent bedroom and bathroom with a large balcony twelfths feet deep, looking out on a truly remarkable panorama over the tops of orange trees and olives and the houses and rampart of the native Marrakech, and like a great all to the westward the snow-cold range of the Atlas Mountains.
The light at dawn and sunset upon the snows, event at sixty mile distance, is good as any snowscape I have ever seen.”(Financial Times)
Later, Winston Churchill once remarked “If it weren’t for painting, I couldn’t bear the strain of things.”
We have all already taken the first step
There is probably hardly anyone who had a paint box with watercolors in school lessons, daycare or kindergarten.
The vast majority enjoyed it and why not use the time at home creatively and repeat the joy of childhood. The white sheet, the consideration of which colors to start with, the first brush stroke across the white paper.
A comparatively small investment and if it is fun, the step to professional watercolor pencils is usually not far.
There should be no shortage of motives in Lockdown either, and if you’re now asking who should I do this for, that one is easily answered:
Simply for yourself
The pencil boxes alone make you want to follow your own creativity and just give it a try. Don’t be put off by high artistic standards, but follow your heart and let colors speak.
The watercolor pencils with a block are also a nice, because surprising gift for friends.
If you then whip out your sketchbook and pens at sunrise on your next trip, you’re guaranteed to make a grand entrance among all those clicking cell phone cameras.
If you do not want to attract so much attention – give the pens as a gift and prove style this way.