Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Recently I purchased a DVD, a copy of the film La Mystere Picasso, which shows Picasso painting 20 pictures.  I had seen the film long ago at an art museum, probably close to when it was made, and at the time was interested that in some way I and many artists work like Picasso, going over different areas and trying to balance the elements.

This time I watched in rapt fascination as he is so intensely focused and at the same time free.  I can only compare it to what I believe is one of the outcomes of great meditators who have a connection with both a childlike state of being at one with everything and at the same time a clarity of vision which comes only after much self searching and wisdom.  I am sure that anyone who watches this film has a favorite piece out of the group he made.  I think what most impressed me was that he wasn't afraid to begin.  And further he wasn't afraid to destroy.  The piece mutated and grew until finally it "became".  There was some essence at the beginning, but if he'd left things at the stage of a pretty drawing, it would have stagnated.

I have vacillated back and forth between the objective, trying to understand light, shadow and make things look "real" and letting go.  the piece below, "The Mentor" falls into the second category.  Actually I started with a photo of a beach scene and over time things began to evolve.  

Over the years I have read and studied the works, methods and styles of many artists whose work has some special feeling for me.  In the old days I wasn't all that fond of Picasso, as Guernica is to a novice eye a frightening work, and I used to think some of the other compositions downright peculiar.  As time has gone on, I have come to see the roots from which Picasso sprang and some of the influences, and more than that have come to admire the things he said as inspiration.

Since I moved back here I have had an obstacle trying to make things worthy of the new room.  Finally I have just avoided it and let things simmer.  The thought occurs to me that I will never be one of those traditional realist artists.  I am too rooted in Klee, Chagall, Kandinsky, Gaugin, Bonnard, and the mystical feeling I get from certain things.  I must trust myself, much as I see that Picasso trusted himself and the magic followed.

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