Monday, December 20, 2010

A Picasso Page

by Carla Sonheim

Steve, Wes and I went to the Picasso exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum a couple of weeks ago. I loved it, and am going back before the exhibit ends in January.

Wes (who is 15) had some pretty interesting comments. My favorite:

He wasn't afraid to be ugly.

A few days later I went to the Seattle Public Library and found a book of Picasso's sketchbook drawings (from the late 60's, I think). I copied one of his drawings in my own sketchbook:

I was having an "off" day, and it's not very accurate to Picasso's drawing (sigh).

I decided to paint it using gouache (which I am trying to teach myself). What did I have to lose?

I do like how it came out (sort of). But creating this particular sketchbook page gave me so much more than a little painting! It was also:

  • an opportunity for me to practice contour line drawing
  • an opportunity to take the time to REALLY LOOK at Picasso's sketch, allowing me to enjoy the drawing more
  • an opportunity to practice painting with gouache
  • a homage to my two "Picasso days"
  • a tangible working-through of Picasso's "not afraid to be ugly" life lesson

When I return to the exhibit in a few weeks I plan to bring my sketchbook and draw some of his paintings. (I didn't bring it when Wes was there; he gets embarrassed by such things!) I will remind myself constantly that my drawing ability at that moment is not the point; the point is to practice, to document, and to learn how to be "ugly."

(And if I get a nice little drawing out of it... BONUS!!)


  1. Several of us in this area are going to do the sketchbook challenge with you. Can't wait to start. I already do Creative Tuesday with Mr. Tea and Toast but only every two week. Blessings of Christmas to you and your family.

  2. Thank you, Carla! This is a lovely reminder. I love the exercise in your Drawing Lab in which you get a stack of books and start drawing from them.


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