Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Remembering Andrew Marr on Winston Churchill: Blood, Sweat and Oil Paint, BBC Four

Andrew Marr on Churchill - Blood, Sweat and Oil Paint from Storm HD on Vimeo.

Andrew Marr looks at the role that painting played in Winston Churchill's life as a form of therapy, and relates it to his own process of recovery from a stroke.
Director: David Barrie

Andrew Marr on Winston Churchill: Blood, Sweat and Oil Paint, BBC Four, review: 'touchingly heartfelt'
Churchill’s paintings represented a kind of hidden autobiography, which meant that television had found something new to say about him, says James Walton
4 out of 5 stars
By James Walton10:00PM BST 17 Aug 2015

Now, if the quote wasn’t appearing in a review of Andrew Marr on Winston Churchill: Blood, Sweat and Oil Paint (BBC Four), I suspect it might have taken you a while to guess who once said, “If it weren’t for painting, I couldn’t live.” And, as the programme made clear, this wasn’t one of Churchill’s rhetorical flourishes, but a simple, even faintly puzzled statement of fact.

Churchill didn’t take up his brushes until middle age, but that still left him around 50 years in which to produce more than 500 works. Initially, when Marr claimed that, far from being a mere hobby, Churchill’s paintings represented a kind of hidden autobiography, it seemed like another piece of TV hype. By the end, it appeared almost indisputable. It also meant that, possibly for the first time in living memory, television had found something new to say about the man.

Marr constructed his case not just carefully, but chronologically. One early painting we saw was of a shattered Belgian village on the Western Front in 1916 where Churchill had, perhaps surprisingly, gone to lick his wounds after the failure of the Dardanelles campaign. (As Marr pointed out, it’s among the stranger coincidences of history that, at the time, another amateur painter and future war leader, in the shape of Adolf Hitler, was only 10 miles away.) And from there, Marr both argued and demonstrated, Churchill continued to use art as a means of battling his susceptibility to depression.

Marr also spoke about how he too has found painting a useful tool to recover after his stoke. To begin with, this comparison of himself to Churchill felt distinctly hubristic but, again (even if he did overdo it a bit), it made increasing sense, adding a touchingly heartfelt quality to his central thesis.

Andrew Marr on how art saved Winston Churchill’s life
The broadcaster investigates how only a love of painting kept suicide at bay for Britain’s wartime leader
Monday, 17th August 2015 at 3:42 pm

Andrew Marr knows about the healing power of painting better than anyone. More than two years have passed since the BBC presenter suffered a stroke, during a vigorous bout of high-intensity exercise, and he credits pencil, paintbrush and easel with aiding his physical and mental recovery.

He’s therefore ideally placed to explain why he believes painting saved the life of Britain’s most famous politician: that Winston Churchill, who famously suffered from bouts of severe depression, would have killed himself had he not been able to seek solace in his paint palette.

Throughout his life Churchill was tormented by the mental anguish he called his “black dog”. And in the years before becoming Prime Minister and leading the country to victory in the Second World War, Churchill suffered a series of political setbacks, including criticism for the disastrous Gallipoli expedition, which led to his resignation from the cabinet in 1915, and his “wilderness years” in the 1930s when he was out of power.

“I think Churchill was semi-suicidal at the time of his decline and that painting saved him,” Marr says. “It brought him back to sanity. Even when you’re under pressure in other areas of your life, to paint even half-competently you can only think about colour, line and shape. You’re thinking in a completely different way, pouring your entire self into it. And that is what Churchill found, that his personal crises would fall away once he was painting. And I think painting saved his life, candidly, so that he was still around to lead the country in 1940.”

The immersive nature of painting has helped Marr to face difficulties and demons in his own life, too. “I don’t have the kind of depression that Churchill had,” he says. “But recovery from something like a stroke is always difficult, and you get ups and downs. The most I would say is that painting has helped me through the downs and produced more of the ups than there would otherwise have been, which to me is a very important part of life.

“I certainly find that if I’m feeling down or gloomy or harried, if I paint for a few hours I feel better. I find it very difficult, but the nature of the difficulty is in itself a kind of therapy. The fact that I’m concentrating so hard, and things aren’t working, but then there are serendipitous moments when it goes well, all of that is good for me, mentally.”

Aside from the emotional impact of such a traumatic event, Marr’s stroke also took a physical toll, leaving him with impaired mobility on his left side. He says that, in his recovery, art has been “not as important as physiotherapy, but more important than beer”. Nevertheless, he has been forced to change his painting style.

“I don’t want to exaggerate my disability, but a natural thing to do would be to hold a small canvas in my left hand and crouch over and draw very minutely with my right,” he says. “I can’t do that since my stroke because my left hand won’t hold the canvas firmly enough.

“I’m now painting more abstract paintings, too. I always used to paint outside, with a canvas, and paint what was in front of me. But I simply can’t do that any more. I can’t carry the stuff, I can’t put up the easel, and if I do get it up the wind blows it over and I’m stuffed. I have to find a place inside where the situation is controlled and calm [he has a small studio], but that means, of course, that I’m not painting what’s in front of me, I’m painting what’s in my head, and that’s a completely different kettle of fish.”

Marr has entered earlier paintings in exhibitions, but says he has been advised by art expert friends that his abstracts aren’t yet ready to be shown publicly. Churchill, who was initially too shy to exhibit under his own name, sought advice from major 20th-century British painters such as Walter Sickert and William Nicholson, and Marr reveals that he too has had tuition.

“I was friendly with David Hockney for a few years,” he says, “and if you ask him about specific painting problems he is incredibly generous. I remember asking him how he does that particularly cold white sky that is so characteristic of the British winter. And he explained exactly how to do it, the oil paints to buy, the brushes. He definitely improved my painting.”

Marr insists that he is not an artist, merely “someone who paints and draws”, but what about Churchill? The former prime minister’s most famous painting, The Goldfish Pool at Chartwell, his family home in Kent, sold for £1.8 million last year. Was it really any good?

“I think if his paintings weren’t by Churchill, they wouldn’t be collected,” says Marr. “If they’d been done by Sidney Nobody down the road, we’d think that some of them are a damn good piece of Sunday painting. He is certainly not unskilled, but he is a pretty good, second-rate impressionist – and that’s meant to be praise.” 

Andrew Marr on Churchill is on Monday 17th August at 9.00pm on BBC4


Sunday, 18 March 2018

Bobby from Boston / Bobby Garnett Vintage Store.

Bobby From Boston: A Documentary from Lea Winkler on Vimeo.

Bobby Garnett began collecting vintage clothing as a teenager, selling out of his home in Dorchester and later, out of his prep school dorm room in Maine.  After establishing his reputation as a true lover and connoisseur of vintage, he went on to open Awo, a leather shop in 1969, Muddy River Trading Company in Brookline, MA in 1971, Uptown Strutters Ball in Provincetown in 1970, and in 1980, Strutters located in Boston’s North End, South End, and on Newbury Street.

Bobby From Boston has evolved from a personal collection, to a showroom, to an internationally recognized source of premium men's and women's vintage clothing.
The founder, Bobby Garnett passed away in 2016. His daughter Jessica, along with her faithful employees keeps Bobby’s legacy going strong. Every detail in the carefully curated space celebrates Bobby’s passion and the shop continues to be a primary resource for the movie industry as well as major fashion labels such as Ralph Lauren, Jcrew, Tom Ford, LL Bean, Abercrombie, and Tommy Hilfiger.
We hope too see you soon! Nothing made Bobby happier than waving to folks from his antique quilt-draped Mission style rocker, telling them the full story behind any piece of clothing and belting out the lyrics to the retro funk and soul music that always provided the perfect hunting soundtrack.

450 Harrison Avenue Suite 19
Boston, Massachusetts 02118
617- 423-9299

Bobby from Boston’s Legacy Continues
Bobby Garnett's daughter Jessica runs her late father's South End store.
by ABBY BIELAGUS · 1/17/2017, 9:53 a.m.

Many of us knew that he had been sick for a long time, but when news came of Bobby Garnett’s death, a collective gasp could be heard around the city.

Garnett was a beloved figure in this town, and not only because of the well-curated vintage clothing and accessories he brought to our shelves, but also because of his constant smile and endless ability to chat with strangers. Those whose regular weekend routine included visits to Garnett’s South End store, Bobby from Boston, wondered what would become of his extensive collection. Thankfully, on this front, we can now exhale, because Bobby’s daughter Jessica Garnett Carrion has agreed to carry on his legacy.

It wasn’t a decision that came easily. After all, she grew up being awoken morning after morning in the dark hours to scour flea markets with her dad.

“His whole life revolved around this business, so I wanted to do my own thing. At one time I wanted to be a chef! But working here and going to the shows and meeting people, it’s growing on me,” Carrion says.

Not that she’s a stranger to the world her father inhabited. She’s been working at the store since 1998, and before that she has memories “as a kid of always running around the stores on Newbury Street and in Allston.” Carrion even spent time in Montreal, when her father had a store there. “I went for a month and worked there. I even learned some French,” she says.

Now that she’s at the helm, Carrion wants to respect her father’s vision, but implement some of her own ideas as well. “I’ve been trying to figure out how to keep the store the same as it was, with his ideas, but also with my ideas now too,” she says.

One big change she made was to close the smaller space adjacent to the main room where the women’s clothing was previously displayed. A furniture store will occupy that space in the coming months. But this doesn’t mean Bobby’s will no longer carry women’s vintage—quite the opposite: Carrion has dedicated the back of the store, a space originally used for storage, to women’s apparel and accessories. She took down a wall and moved around some cases, and the result is a store that’s more open and filled with light.

“Women would walk in and say ‘Oh, it’s just a men’s store,’ and walk out. I see people come in now and they walk straight back to the women’s section. They can see from the front of the store to the back. They can take everything in at once,” Carrion says.

She also has plans to make the store easier to shop by rotating stock seasonally. And someday, she wants to start designing.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

JEEVES Short Trip to Lisbon wearing a BOOKSTER Hacking Jacket.

In these times of “travel light”, just carrying a small cabin suitcase, we often chose to pack just one jacket with one extra matching trousers. It is the several shirts, waistcoats and accessories which will make the difference to succeed in wearing various outfits.
To guarantee a solid, elegant, robust and dashing basis for my journey I took with me one BOOKSTER Hacking Jacket. This great piece of TWEED belongs to their ‘ready-to-wear’ collection.
The details and  perfect finishing touches can be observed in the photographs, but I like to emphasize that BOOKSTER takes great care in the junctions, in considering matching checks, which guarantees a  variated and harmonious TWEED ‘landscape’.
Great quality and comfort, timeless style and solidity, totally transcending “fashion”.


Model:  Hacking Jacket
Cloth: Thistle Tweed
Cloth Weight:  550gms / 22oz
Weight Category: Medium Weight
Cloth Pattern: Check
Cloth Colour: Green Gold Mix with Purple/Wine Windowpane Over Check
Lining: Purple Viscose Twill Lining
Buttons: Dark Horn
Style: 3 Button Front
Lapel: Notch Lapel with Collar Tab Feature
Outside Pockets: 3 Extra Slant Flap Pockets and Welted Breast Bocket
Inside Pockets: 2 Inside Breast Pocket with Security Pocket Right, Pen Pocket and Card Pocket left
Cuff: 4 Button Real Cuff
Vents: Twin Vents
Trim: Purple Undrcollar

Customer Service: +44 (0)113 887 8424
Email: info@bookster.co.uk


Bookster was established by Peter and Michelle King in Herefordshire in 2007 and was borne out of selling vintage clothing in the 1970s which, over time, became renowned for specialising in Tweed.

This specialisation was due to a continued frustration that tweed clothing was only available in a limited number of small sizes. With a growing customer base of demand for Tweed garments (in a variety of shapes and sizes) they decided that the best way to serve their clients was to actually start making Tweed jackets in custom sizes.

Thus Bookster Tailoring was established to introduce The Bookster Original made to order Tweed Jacket. Popularity for the product rapidly grew and soon demand had seen the product range widen significantly, whilst maintaining the Bookster Tweed Jacket as its core focus.

In 2014 Bookster Tailoring was acquired by new owners, with a rich tailoring heritage stretching back over 100 years, and subsequently the company’s headquarters moving to Leeds, a famous heartland for tailoring and cloth production.

The acquisition has only strengthened Bookster’s client offering in terms of product range, customisation options, selection of cloth, fit, tailoring quality and customer service. Today Bookster, still specialising in Tweed, has a customer base of satisfied clients who appreciate the quintessentially British style of a Bookster garment, its’ premium quality and perfect fit.


Our mission is to help our clients embrace British tailoring style to create unique clothing of timeless elegance.


We want to become the world’s leading online tailoring service specialising in British cloths and styles.


Be a pleasure to work with - Customers like you are at the heart of what we do and our future relies on your continued business. Our team of friendly, knowledgeable staff are always on hand to talk you through the choices. We can advise on every aspect of the style and cloth. You can even meet with us in Leeds or London for a full fitting and consultation. We want to make custom made clothing as easy and pleasurable as possible for you to order.

Be inspiring - We share your passion for clothing and can help you embrace your creativity. Our comprehensive choice of cloths, styles and cuts allow you to create your own style and express your personality. We constantly review our product range and continue to source the finest fabrics from around the world. We can even help you design your own cloth so your clothing can truly be unique.

Be excellent - To become the world’s leading online tailor, we have to continually build on our foundation of quality products and service excellence. We only use the finest fabrics and our product quality is guaranteed. We strive to maintain the same level of excellence throughout every area of our business.

Be exclusive - Bookster are often considered best in class when it comes to Tweed tailoring. We balance premium quality with value for money. Our prices may not be the lowest, but the quality, variety and experience we provide, combined with the customisation options we offer, make our clothing the best value. We understand the demands of the modern day and have established an online ordering system that does not compromise traditional tailoring heritage. The ability to order high quality, custom made garments and suits through our website sets us apart from the industry.

Be adventurous - We are not scared to push the boundaries and we encourage our customers to embrace their adventurous side letting their clothing reflect their personality.