Thursday 21 November 2019

Andrew Marr: painting helped my recovery from stroke

Andrew Marr spent two months in hospital after having a stroke in January 2013
Andrew Marr spent two months in hospital after having a stroke in January 2013

Broadcaster Andrew Marr has said painting played a part in his recovery after he suffered a stroke.

The BBC presenter - who had a stroke in January 2013, spending two months in hospital and undergoing extensive physiotherapy to help him walk - also said he received advice from David Hockney, considered Britain's greatest living artist.

In an interview with the Radio Times magazine in which he talks about Winston Churchill's love of painting, Marr said he does not have the kind of depression Churchill had, adding: "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."

Marr, 56, added: "I was friendly with David Hockney for a few years, 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."

PA Media

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