Saturday, November 13, 2010

Take away

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Chat Saisissant un oiseau 1939

Picasso's ghost is in town in the form of 150 pieces of the artworks he kept for himself, now belonging to the Musée Picasso de Paris. I dragged the kid to Seattle to take in the spectacle at SAM and it was spectacular. I threatened Pearl ahead of time, there was to be no whining, no asking when we could we leave, it was a museum crawl pure and simple, slow and steady, savoring every inch. I think she genuinely enjoyed it, at least she enjoyed the audio device that came with our admission.

When I started working on the Artists Way it suggested I take these art dates. I didn't, time is tight and it's hard to commit myself to such a luxurious activity. Time spent wandering through art filled galleries without husband and child isn't entirely feasible. Add to that a recent bout of anxiety it's amazing I made it at all. Anxiety is my shoes, lined up in the hall begging me to step in and experience a little fear. Thanks to Mark who is good at shaking me out of myself I went and felt okay, better than okay, I felt good.

The show was great, extensive, well paced and fascinating. What I took away from it all was the incredible willingness Picasso had to experiment with different styles and mediums. For some reason I have had it in my head that an artist needs to attach herself to one style and do that alone ad infinitum. Picasso dabbled, he made broad strokes and small scratches, he worked in clay like it was ink on paper, he documented his life and the times he lived in. He made art about love and sex and war and rape and he didn't always finish things but he always kept moving. Making, making no hesitation, no apology, moving forward, always making and this is what has inspired me the most.

My own art making process is in it's infancy and if I am not careful it will stay there. It's so easy to become self conscious, and then nothing is made. I have learned with writing the more I do it the more things emerge and that feels worthwhile, visual art is the same and slowly I am beginning to make things and to learn that nothing is precious or sacred, there are no wrong answers. Moving forward is the goal, making and trying, remaking, moving, moving always forward. Stepping back and watching to see what comes out of me is exciting, as we can do now in retrospect looking at the body of Picasso's work. Eight decades of his process, success and failure aside, the existence of the work is proof of his singular visual voice and the humanity that exists in us all.

Let it out.

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