Picasso, The Early YearsI am currently reading Picasso: The Early Years (1892-1906), by Marilyn McCully. I haven’t had time to dive into it yet. Eh, other creative endeavors, life, etc. In the mean time, I’ll leave you with another response to Picasso.


062009 Sirens
Sirens (2009) Pastel and charcoal on watercolor paper, 18″ x 24″

I was reading The Ultimate Picasso, by Brigitte Leal, et. al. and I had just finished the section on Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, including the studies leading up to it. I was also very moved by the section on the Blue Period, which preceded the one on Les Demoiselles d”Avignon. After drawing an outline in pencil and before applying the pastel, I had to decide on a color scheme. I considered one that was similar to Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (sienna/beige/brick red), but it was ugly. I made one or two more sketches and settled on the above.

Note: I would not recommend using pastel on watercolor paper. It slides off very easily. I had to soften the pastel before applying it like a paste. Fortunately, and I discovered this by accident, if you let the pastel dry a little, it won’t move around as much. After the first day, I found that I could go over the previous day’s work and smooth out the surface and/or the line between two colors. It took me four to five days, two to four hours each day. It really should not have taken so long.

This was in February of 2009.

022810 Sirens II
Sirens II (2010) Pencil on watercolor paper, 18″ x 24″

Eight months later, I was unhappy with the original composition. I didn’t like the fact that I used black charcoal to make outlines and color in the eyes. It felt a little like cheating. So I made a carbon copy, thinking I would do the same version over again. In the zone, I ended up experimenting with the line work.

022810 Sirens II b
Sirens II b (2011) Pencil on watercolor paper, 18″ x 24″

A year later, after watching a biopic on Modigliani, starring Andy Garcia, I realized I could indeed make another version of the original but color in the eyes with a pale blue-gray. I took out both versions, because I keep them stored in the same place, and ended up “editing” the second version by making some of the lines darker, which made it look, you could say, more focused.

I’d now like to make a third version which is like the second but colored in. In my head, it’ll be a cubist water color painting… but I may be getting ahead of myself. I have another book, Picasso and Braque Pioneering Cubism, by William Rubin, which I’d like to get into, before thinking of my own approach to anything “cubist.”