Churchills Young and Old
Posted on: Jul 08, 2010
I recently got back from a short trip to England to deliver a couple of special commissions to the home of Randolph and Catherine Churchill. All of my work in England has stemmed from a meeting with Minnie S. Churchill several years back, who was on tour promoting a book about Winston Churchill’s adventures in plein air painting, and on this trip I had the pleasure of painting not one but two Winstons! In many ways the trip marked the closing of a cycle for me, and I’m very grateful for the results.
The first painting is of Randolph’s son John Winston Churchill, great-great-grandson of Sir Winston S. Churchill. “John-John” is a delightful little chap, and he got a big kick out seeing a painting of himself! (When a two and a half year old recognizes himself in his portrait, it’s a good sign that the painting is shaping up okay). He was also surprisingly amiable about “posing”, which involved his sitting through Shrek and Thomas the Tank Engine while I put the finishing touches on his portrait.
The second portrait is of Randolph’s father, Winston S. Churchill (grandson of the famous Prime Minister). Winston had passed on only days before my previous visit to take photos of John-John, and Randolph asked me then if I would be willing to attempt a posthumous portrait of his father.
I don’t particularly enjoy having to paint from photographs, and I particularly don’t enjoy working from photographs that I haven’t taken myself. But from the first mention of this project, I could see that it was meant to happen, and the creation of this painting was remarkably smooth from start to finish. For me, it’s a good demonstration of the fact that when we are alert enough to trustingly follow the path laid before us, we will be given all the help that we need. I wish I could be so all the time!
As an added bonus, Randolph and Catherine asked me to do a painting of their home during my stay. Read about the creation of this painting ›