Saturday, 8 March 2014

Time to Visit the Penguin Collection

Penguin published some weird and wonderful books during their time from 1935 to 1970.  I thought I would share one of the surprises I came across not long ago.

It's Winston Churchill. I suppose English readers would know he loved art but I didn't so I enjoyed this little book of his.

It is called Painting As A Pastime and the author is no other than Winston S. Churchill.  It is number 2169 of the original series and quite a bit of his work is featured inside it.   Although it was originally published in 1932 Penguin published it in 1964.

On the back of the book is a picture of him with a big cigar in his mouth stating:

I do not presume to explain how to paint, but only how to get enjoyment.
Buy a paint-box and have a try. 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.  Splash into the turpentine, wallop into the blue and white, frantic flourish on the palette...and then several large, fierce strokes and slashes of blue on the absolutely cowering canvas...I have never felt any awe of a canvas since.

When I get to heaven I mean to spend a considerable portion of my first million years in painting. 

The book isn't so much about art itself as it is about the joy one can get out of it by enjoying a bit of amateur painting.  It is a hobby that one can embrace at any level and whether you're excellent at it or just starting out and feeling wobbly you will certainly enjoy it. It is more about the process than the result.
I found it to be quite an uplifting little book. 

I hope you enjoy the old illustrations from the book:

Applies to Century of Books Challenge 1932.


  1. Lovely! I've seen photos of Winston painting in his garden with a cigar clamped between his teeth. He obviously enjoyed it.

    1. I guess so! I was very surprised to come across this book. Have a good long weekend.

  2. I've also seen those pictures of him, but I don't think I've ever seen any of his work - I like the ones you've shown above. Though I used to love art classes in school, I haven't picked up a brush in years. I do think that's what draws me to embroidery, the colors and the feeling of creating something (even if it's following a pattern).

    1. I also love colours. There are so many colours with embroidery thread. I have some art supplies, I just never get around to using them. Maybe I should see what I can do.

  3. For visitors to the visit Chartwell - his home which is now preserved. In Kent -just south of London

  4. Thank you for the information. I imagine it would be quite interesting with everything he did in his life. Thanks.


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