One of my mental blocks about art is that I am always trying to create a masterpiece.
After all, Picasso said,
Everything you can imagine is real.
So if I can imagine a masterpiece, it is real already.
I just have to paint it.
So I come to the daily practice, reminding myself of another Picasso quote:
I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
It is often discouraging. At times I just want to do something perhaps a few steps more sophisticated than a kindergartner.
Picasso is especially helpful on this topic. He famously said,
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
It takes a long time to become young.
Right. How to regain innate creativity and give it form?
I chose construction paper because it is something we use at a very early age. It is simple and tactile. It forces me to focus on basic colors and basic shapes.
Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.
I already had the supplies. While playing with ideas around Kandinsky’s “13 Rectangles,” I had taken 10 different colors of construction paper and randomly cut them into squares, rectangles and triangles. They’re stored a large plastic envelope, each color divided by a plain sheet of paper.
Today I was trying to think of some very simple art exercises, things I could do in 25 minutes. I thought of choosing seven of these paper shapes at random and then trying to create something from them: a mood, a landscape, an object, a figure in action.
Because Picasso also said,
There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.
I closed my eyes and drew from the envelope. I got two light-blue squares, a red square, a yellow rectangle, a blue rectangle, a purple triangle and a green triangle.
I started working just with movement created by contrast:
Then I tried a figure:
And finally a landscape:
Not very sophisticated, but fun to play with. And at the same time, a discipline.
Picasso also said,
Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.
Day 125’s penny is a 2015, for its sense of childlike renewal.
Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.