Summertime and the Arts

July brings us the glory of a summer day spent outside in the most beautiful spot in the country. Our Lake Lure Artists spent a May morning recently at my home on the lake for our traditional yearly event and meeting affectionately called “Mary’s English Garden Party.” We gather to celebrate the season with scones and muffins and coffee and tea and a desire to share stories and plan special events for the coming of summer. We reminisce on past meetings and activities and on the many artist friends who have come and gone. These were people who were part of an amazing group who bonded together by their love of the arts.
Robert Frost’s poem “Rose Peonies” says it well about this time of year…
A saturated meadow, sun shaped and small.
A circle stately wider then the trees around were tall.
Where winds were quite excluded and the air was stifling sweet
with the breath of many flowers.
It was summertime and now it’s here.

It was delightful to again spend time in my garden and remember other gardens I have viewed in the past in England. Some were private and some were open to the public but always a privilege to see some of the world’s best collections. One I expressly recall with fondness is Chartwell, the home of Winston Churchill. It is in the beautiful Kent countryside looking over the weld of Kent. This is the scene that captivated Winston Churchill in the early 1920’s and it was here he purchased Chartwell, the home he was to live in until he died in 1966. It was always a pleasure for me to visit here and see the marvelous collection of oil paintings he had done. Looking at his paintings, you cannot help but receive a strong impression of his zest for life and the happiness and satisfaction he must have gotten during the more than forty years of painting.

In “Painting as a Pastime” Churchill wrote:
“Happy are the painters, for they shall not be lonely.
Light and color, peace and hope, will keep them company
to the end of the day.”
Churchill originally saw painting as therapy for the mind, spirit, and to some extent the body. He used to say “I use painting to rest, to rebuild my troubled spirit, exorcise demons, and raise my morale.”

This summer we hope you will attend the art shows, gallery openings and other activities the Lake Lure Artists are involved in and enjoy their beautiful work in the
Library and in restaurants in the area. We hope to see you at our 2nd and 4th Thursday art meetings also. Call me at 828 625-9781 or email me at for more information.

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