Why I paint

  @FortuneMagazine July 8, 2013: 7:18 AM ET
MOR22 michael moritz

Sir Michael Moritz at work on a hill above the Bolinas Lagoon near San Francisco

(Fortune)

Mel Brooks used to say that filling a blank page with words is hard work. Clearly, Brooks had not encountered a primed canvas propped on an easel. Neither had I until I was about 40.

At my high school, art class was considered the preserve of the dunderheads. I definitely could not draw, and my experience of painting was limited to shelves, walls, and trim (with the Jackson Pollock effect reserved for floorboards). It wasn't until about a dozen years ago, after happening upon an article Winston Churchill had written in the 1920s, "Painting as a Pastime," that I made my first trip to the art store. Churchill describes how, without any prior training or any demonstrable proclivity, he took up painting at age 41. This hobby became an all-consuming passion that (with the exception of World War II, during which he painted only one picture) accompanied him into his dotage. Churchill's article, later transformed into a book, must have stirred some of my latent, midlife longings.

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