I love looking for photos of artists and their pets. I keep a Pinterest board for all the artists I study and these are my favorite kind of photos to pin.
In 1912 Picasso’s relationship with Ferdinande Olivier ended. In 1913, his father died. In 1916, he was asked to design the costumes and stage sets for a new ballet called Parade. The following year he met ballerina Olga Kokhlova and fell in love. They married in 1918. He went on to do sets and costumes for three other ballets.
Olga and Picasso moved into an apartment that occupied two floors. They had servants and a chauffeur and Picasso became a part of a different social circle than he was used to. He traveled to Florence and Rome where he experienced a lot of the art. This time is often called his “return to order.” He borrowed elements from ancient and Renaissance art and combined them with his own proportions and simplified forms for his Neoclassical period.
In 1921, Olga and Picasso’s son Paulo was born and this mother/child relationship was a recurring theme for Picasso.
Picasso knew many of the Surrealists and Breton declared Picasso one of them. In 1927 (while still married to Olga) Picasso met Marie-Therese Walter and even though she was less than half his age, he fell for her. She inspired a new wave of creativity and became the subject of a whole series. To summarize his Surrealism period, Picasso said “I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.”
When I think of Picasso I think of Julia Cameron’s description of “crazymakers” in The Artist’s Way:
"Crazymakers are those personalities that create storm centers. They are often charismatic, frequently charming, highly inventive, and powerfully persuasive. ... Crazymakers like drama. If they can swing it, they are a star. Everyone around them functions as supporting cast, picking up their cues, their entrances and exits, from the crazymaker’s (crazy) whims."
It took awhile but I finally got through all his wives, mistresses, muses, etc. Picasso had two wives and four children with three women. These are the 8 major relationships in his life but there’s more than this. Some of these were public relationships and some hidden. All were depicted in his work.
And then here's how all this research played out in the studio this week. I wanted to do something with bulls or minotaurs but never got beyond these sketches. I decided to take a digital collage from last week and translate it to paint. I really enjoyed that because the composition is all worked out and so then the piece becomes completely about mixing color which I really enjoy. I also pulled out a a large unfinished piece inspired by Alice Neel because the colors were so similar. It got me thinking but I didn't come up with a plan for finishing.
I'm liking the series I've got going so far. I might do one more but then I need to move on to the activity book for Picasso.