Picasso and You

Do you believe that talent is innate?  That when talented people sit down to write or paint or play music,  it just flows out effortlessly into amazing art?

But when you sit down to write, it’s like wading through treacle in ski boots– and that’s on good days.  So you obviously have no talent, you’re not cut out to be a writer,  you’ll never write anything that’s any good. You might as well go back to your couch.

Let me tell you about Picasso.

Picasso at workIf you visit the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, where I live, you can see his juvenilia and early work such as conventional representational paintings like Ciencia y Caridad, as well as sketches and doodles in the margins of books.

Picasso didn’t suddenly emerge fully formed, like Athena from the head of Zeus, into blue period or cubism, breaking moulds and painting Guernica.

Picasso went to art school. He went all the way through art school and year after year applied himself to learning the craft – the tools and techniques of the art of his time. Until he mastered them.

He went to the Prado museum in Madrid and copied the great works of Goya and Velázquez, stroke by stroke – because that’s what art students did back then. That’s how they learnt the craft.

Picasso didn’t break any moulds until he’d got to the limits of what he could do within them, with all the tools at his disposal.

Talent needs to be nurtured and honed with the long hard discipline of learning the craft and mastering the tools.


Share the Post:

Related Posts

7 Responses

  1. Valerie – I agree. There are times that we will receive something. It will just flow. But, mostly we have to put our time in, going over and over those words before us. The good news is, it will pay off. Thanks for your post.

  2. Hi Valerie!

    Your post/site caught my eye in a few ways. I like your photo w/the sweeping of stars design, and the overall theme/creativity.

    I plan to subscribe. Keep up the good work!

  3. I didn’t know that about Picasso. Yet it goes to show us all that practice is important. We hear about people who just start singing beautifully, most of us have to practice and train, It’s a good reminder to keep at my writing. Thanks

  4. This post reminds me of the legend of Picasso sketching in the park. A bold woman passes by, recognizes him and begs him to sketch her portrait. He agrees to do so. After studying her for a moment, he uses a single pencil stroke to create her portrait and hands the women his work of art.

    She is elated that he captured her essence with one stroke and asks how much she owes him. He says 5000 francs. The woman is stunned and even outraged. She asks how is it possible that it can be so much when it only took him a moment to draw it.

    To which Picasso responded, “No, Madame, it took me my entire life.”

    Don’t know if the story is true or not, but makes a good point!

  5. Oh yes, those pesky ski boots. And it’s not even snowing. How did those get on my feet? Again.

    This is a great message using history and an iconic artist to back it up. Nice. It makes me feel better about big gaping holes in my writing, or how I repeat the same structures over and over. It might not be a bad idea to sit down and copy onto paper a chapter or two of a great work of writing like they did in “the old school” with art students.

    Well, in the new school, at least we have you to keep us thinking, learning and motivated. Nay — encouraged!

    Thanks, Valerie.

    PS. Like I said before, I am beginning to count on your presence in my writing life…

  6. Never give up! That is what his perseverance is still teaching us today. You never know when the breakthrough will occur. Thank you for reminding us of this fact.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *