Picasson painting of a woman prostitute with her sister a nun. Painted in blue and blue-green
Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period painting “The Visit” hanging in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg Russia no copyright violation intended

If it’s blue is it suffering?

Once upon a time, I was in lust with an abstract painter. I don’t remember his name. I remember he was very good looking. I remember he spent an afternoon explaining the mysteries of an abstract painting that looked to me like a blob of random colors. I certainly remember how shocked I was to realize this painter experienced the shapes and colors of the world in ways beyond my ability to comprehend.

Blue Period: a new book about Picasso

A new book has been published about Picasso and the suffering he was experiencing during his “Blue Period.” Well yes, he probably saw suffering in the subjects he painted. Privately, I take issue with the automatic assumption he was suffering himself. I suspect painter’s engage with the world differently. I suspect that shape, and color, and light have more of a physical and emotional impact on a painter than the actual outside event. I suspect Picasso was entrapped or entranced with the color blue. He played with it and studied it until he learned what he wanted and moved forward.

Which brings me to Gulley Jimson

My-lord-in-heaven I just remembered Gully Jimson! How could have I forgotten him? I loved my first love because he gave me a copy of “The Horse’s Mouth.” The best novel I’ve read about the internal processes of a visual artist. I have to read this book again-immediately. It’s way out of date so I hope I can get my hands on a copy.

“Why,’ I said, quite surprised by my own eloquence in inventing all this stuff, ‘it happens every day. The old old story. Boys and girls fall in love, that is, they are driven mad and go blind and deaf and see each other not as human animals with comic noses and bandy legs and voices like frogs, but as angels so full of shining goodness that like hollow turnips with candles put into them, they seem miracles of beauty. And the next minute the candles shoot out sparks and burn their eyes. And they seem to each other like devils, full of spite and cruelty. And they will drive each other mad unless they have grown some imagination. Even enough to laugh.”
― Joyce Cary, The Horse’s Mouth