23 March 2005

Painting As A Pastime

I just received a fascinating little book by Winston Churchill, titled Painting as a Pastime. To be accurate, it's really an essay in book form (a mere 32 pages of text, followed by 15 pages of reproductions of Sir Winston's artwork). Churchill was an amazing writer - quite possibly the best writer I've ever read (no kidding), and this little volume does not disappoint.

His basic thesis is that activities like painting (and reading) engage and exercise different parts of the brain than we typically use when we work, allowing the work-related part of the brain to rest (which helps prevent burnout, etc). Key quote: "To be really happy and really safe, one ought to have at least two or three hobbies, and they all must be real." So I think I'm going to take up pencil sketching again.

The book is long out of print (I got mine used via Amazon), but there are copies to be had (for like $4 - amazing!). I can't say enough good things about it (and it's probably the shortest book you'll ever love!).

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