images (1)

9-43_Picasso_Still Life with Bull's Skull

picasso_-_mug_and_fruit_bowl (1)These are all still life abstracts by Picasso

It is the last painting called “Still Life with Pitcher” that I

saw at new year at the Guggenheim in NYC and which bowled me over.It was as if I stood in front of it and saw right into Picasso’s process.

Again ( at the risk of boring myself now) what  I saw was his intuitive mastery in describing the relationship of the elements in the composition..

he saw the relationships between the points and though the tension between them was only implied…Picasso made it visible..he made visible the implied connections..

the thing is he made all the connections visible…he romped round that still life and put them ALL in…then he spent the rest of the time selecting and emphasisng those that were important and setting back those that werent.

The result has a stained glass quality…all the pentimenti (marks that went before) are still there and a part of the whole…this man had serious fun with this work…he painted it “like a man going over the top of a hill singing”

He allowed this work to develop its own being.


I read recently Picasso said”What a sad thing for a painter who loves blondes but denies himself the pleasure of putting them in his pictures, because they don’t go well with the basket of fruit.What misery for a painter who detests apples to have to use them all the time because they harmonise with the table cloth!

I put in my picture everything I like. So much the worse for the things-they just have to get along with one another!


We will do a number of exercises this term learning how to  let our compositions ‘ Develop their own beings”!!

Using still life objects to start with…but then maybe add a few apples and a few blondes!

Star gathering some oddball things…please no pumpkins or boring jugs…find things that have interesting ELEGANT COMPLEX shapes and patterns

have a look on google images for some inspiration…or at the Metropolitan’s ceramics department…or etruscan jewellery

or Jude Rae’s drapery pictures

Emily Wolfe’s still lives (a must)

or Clarice Cliff

go wild…. take yourself down some website rabbit holes and keep on going until you find some stuff that takes your breath away…print them out and we will use them for collage and for inspiration

as the Facebook bloke memorably said (talking about inspiration and ways of thinking)…”move fast…break things”

see you next term starts on the 30th of july




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