Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Joy Ride in a Paint Box

After leading the Allies to victory in World War II, Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) became an ardent outdoor painter. Never has painting had such an enthusiastic and eloquent champion.

"Painting is a companion with whom one may walk a great part of life's journey."

"When I die and go to heaven, I want to spend the first million years painting – so I can get to the bottom of the subject."

"We must not be too ambitious. We cannot aspire to masterpieces. We may content ourselves with a joy ride in a paint box. And, for this, Audacity is the only ticket."

"Painting is the same kind of problem as unfolding a long, sustained interlocked argument... It is a proposition commanded by a single unity of conception."

"Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse."

"Armed with a paint-box, one cannot be bored, one cannot be left at a loose ends, one cannot 'have several days on one's hands.'"

"Painting is complete as a distraction. I know of nothing which, without exhausting the body, more entirely absorbs the mind. Whatever the worries of the hour or the threats of the future, once the picture has begun to flow along, there is no room for them in the mental screen. They pass out into shadow and darkness. All one’s mental light, such as it is, becomes concentrated on the task. Time stands respectfully aside, and it is only after many hesitations that luncheon knocks gruffly at the door."
Most of these quotes are from Churchill's slim but inspiring book Painting As a Pastime, and many of them can be found on the website Art Quotes


drawntoit said...

Thank you for reminding me of these quotes from Mr Churchill. I am putting him on the list of people I want to meet in the "great beyond"!

Viktoria Berg said...

Great quotes from a man I admire much. I just bought the Kindle version - I suspect this is just what I need to read; after all, Churchill must have had soo much more to stress over than I do! Thanks for the tip and an all-over great blog (I do follow the Friday discussions even though I haven´t had the opportunity read enough to contribute).

frostfyre said...

Great quotes - I'm going to have to find a copy of that book. Thank you sir!

Glenn Tait said...

Churchill is a fascinating individual whose perseverance and insights in his day still impact our world to this day.

One of my favorite Churchill quotes was pasted in the front of my last sketchbook:
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."

patriciahowitt said...

As always from Churchill - brilliant perception, so wonderfully enunciated. Thank you very much for this inspiring post, James! Food for thought, for today and eternity.

Lester Yocum said...

I love this line: "Audacity is the only ticket." Thanks for posting.

Amanda said...

The easel in the first picture is fascinating. It is difficult to see on my screen - is it an oversized pochade?

Haidee-Jo Summers said...

On Sunday I visited Churchill's home in Kent, Chartwell. They have an enormous collection of his own paintings amongst others including a Monet and a beautiful portrait of him drawn by Sargent. It was fascinating to see his studio and the gardens are absolutely glorious.

Cicada said...

Painting as Pastime is one of my favorite books. Thanks for this post.

maancheno no said...

"When I die and go to heaven, I want to spend the first million years painting – so I can get to the bottom of the subject."

But will a million years be enough?!
I love this quote haha!!