Denise Goldberg's blog

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Painting as a Pastime

I think I was lucky to stumble across the essay "Painting as a Pastime" written by Winston Churchill in 1948. His focus was on using art as a way to deal with

"worry and mental overstrain by persons who, over prolonged periods, have to bear exceptional responsibilities and discharge duties upon a very large scale".

Churchill's fascination was with oil painting, but I can see how other art forms could create a similar feeling. I have a similar feeling about photography, about focusing on seeing small things in the context of a big picture.

Perhaps I need to try 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.


The whole world is open with all its treasures. The simplest objects have their beauty. Every garden presents innumerable fascinating problems. Every land, every parish, has its own tale to tell. And there are many lands differing from each other in countless ways, and each presenting delicious variants of colour, light, form, and definition. Obviously, then, armed with a paint-box, one cannot be bored, one cannot be left at a loose end, one cannot 'have several days on one's hands.' Good gracious! what there is to admire and how little time there is to see it in! For the first time one begins to envy Methuselah. No doubt he made a very indifferent use of his opportunities.

Winston Churchill, 1948

You can read Churchill's words and see some of his paintings in the Project Gutenberg Canada Ebook by clicking here.

ebook, Painting as a Pastime