January 24, 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill’s death. He was gone before I was born, but being a British cultural icon, (on par with Fish n’ Chips and The Beatles), and through the medium of television—it didn’t take me long to figure out who he was. I can still hear his determined voice, see his grin behind that huge cigar, and those stubby fingers arranged in a V for Victory sign.
Churchill was tough, there’s no doubt about it; to lead a country at a time of war, takes a lot of backbone. But behind that tough exterior was a more complex character, I think. He was an accomplished painter, and writer, receiving the Nobel prize for literature in 1953. He suffered from bouts of depression, a condition he referred to as ‘the black dog’. He also made mistakes, the firebombing of Dresden during the closing months of the war being perhaps the most controversial decision he ever made.
Sir Winston Churchill is illustrated here in one of his a more contemplative moments, in the company of his beloved cat Jock, who was with him at the bitter end. (I used photo reference from one of Churchill’s visits to Canada, a random cat I found on the internet, and an image of Dr. No from James Bond to produce this illustration.)
Media: Ink, white-out pen, and chalk.