Reading recommendation: "Painting as a Pastime" by Winston Churchill

February 01, 2020 8:00 AM | Ksenia Annis (Administrator)

by Cissy Geigerman, WAS-H Senior class member and volunteer

At home, I came across a small book that belonged to my late father-in-law, "Painting as a Pastime" by Winston Churchill. It is a relatively short read and very nice to hear about the joys of painting in his very own voice. I am a relatively new painter. In retirement I was looking for something new to learn. Adult coloring books with complex mandalas were my introduction to color combinations and pattern design. After that, it was a logical transition to watercolors. It has been very rewarding to see that I can still learn and improve with a brand new thing. Here are some paraphrased passages from the book.

On wisdom: "It is a pity to read good books too soon in life. The works remain crossed off the list, never to be re-visited. How many books would a young person really understand?"

On using different thinking muscles: "To have a second language at your disposal even if you know it enough to read it with pleasure is a sensible advantage."

On courage and initiative: "If you are inclined late in life to paint, then be persuaded that the first quality that is needed is Audacity. There is really no time for the deliberate approach. We cannot aspire to be Masters. Audacity is the only ticket. If you try and fail, there is not much harm done. You can always go out and kill some animal, humiliate some rival on the links, or despoil some friend across the green table."

On the pure joy of painting: "Happy are the painters, for they shall not be lonely. Light and colour, peace and hope, will keep them company to the end, or almost to the end, of the day."

Thank you and happy painting!

The book can be found on

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