Friday, 5 April 2013

The Secret Behind My Paintings!

The reason I placed the picture of Winston Churchill's studio here was because:

(a) He's my hero and also that of,  Celeste Bergin and John W Jarts. (click to see their blogs)

(b) Churchill inspires me. He had no university education, but, as a young cavalry officer in India, he decided to teach himself. His father's death had left them a bit short of funds, but his American mother doted on him and sent him every book and material he needed. From this he became a journalist and writer of distinction - in fact his fortune came from his writing. He largely taught himself to paint ... and build brick walls! Besides being voted the Greatest Briton Ever!

But Winston is not the secret behind me picking up the basics of painting so quickly, but this man, Will Kemp, is:

Will Kemp self portrait, Oil on canvas
(Copyright Will Kemp)
I bumped into him on YouTube when I was following Churchill's example and looking for sources whereby I might  teach myself to paint. Will seemed to speak my language, "... this is a canvas ... this is a brush ... this is acrylic paint ...etc." 

I followed his free video to paint the "Cherry" and was so happy (and amazed) at how it turned out, that I invested a mere £40 (US$ 60) to learn the basics of painting in acrylics. Hence my third painting, "Rosie Lee." His lessons were clear and easy to follow.  You can find him at

This is sounding like a commercial, so I'll stop right there!

Here's the finished "Rosie Lee." Unfortunately the isolation medium is reflecting light and giving it a bloom.


  1. Oh I love Churchill's paintings too. I clipped out a couple articles on him years ago as inspiration. As for the one you are following... I thought that was a PHOTOGRAPH.. WOW. he IS GOOD. I am sure you will learn lots from him.

  2. Hi John,

    Thank you so much for the tip and the insight on what has inspired you, should say, who inspired you to pick up the brush. I admire all you have mentioned and I will check out the site for Will Kemp dvd.

    All the best to you,

  3. Great website, John. When I ever decide to try acrylics I'm sure I'll have another look at his lessons.

  4. Gorgeous studio area Mr. Churchill had. Love the Kemp self-portrait too. Glad you are finding your way, John. And so beautifully too.

  5. So nice of you to mention me, John. You are so right, I can't get enough of Winston Churchill...and of course, the fact that the greatest man was also painter thrills me all the more.
    Your friend Will Kemp has got you off on the right foot. Looking forward to seeing your next project/painting!

  6. What a great link - Thank you!
    And you are a natural painter. Rosie Lee is wonderful! :0)

  7. Thanks for sharing this with us, John!!! I look forward to seeing your next piece!!!!

  8. Thank you for the mention John. Yes, 'Winnie' is most definitely my greatest hero and he produced some wonderful art. I'm well impressed by your continued progress and "Rosie Lee" is fabulous.

  9. Nice of you to share all this! I am very curious now! Must have a look at this site! The portrait looks GREAT.

  10. WOW this painting is really beautiful JOn! You are improving so much with each piece. I'm keeping track of all the oil paintings I do waiting to get to 100 (the magic number of competency in my mind), I think it would be cool if you did the same with your painntings. :)

  11. Oh, goodie, thanks for sharing! Though I maintain that you bring a LOT of undeniable natural talent to the palette with you :-)