Especially if you are a novice writer.
Few read this blog. Very few who don’t already know me, and those readers are especially treasured.
Wandering into the side of my brain that is rarely used, WordPress statistics tell me when a breakthrough occurs. Simple numbers.
These viewership numbers are the highest when the post discusses something about which I know a lot. As if a genius is inhabiting my fingers. Like when writing about leaving my adjunct teaching position, and why. Or when writing about art. Blood pulses fast. Same as when a visual composition is going well.
Picasso had a great thought. About a hundred years ago, he was working like hell to reinvent painting. He realized some warmed over Renaissance style did not describe the 20th century. The world was getting smaller. Different cultures were seen everywhere with travel. Some say that he spent nights in a museum dedicated to African art in Paris, in his effort to experience and integrate the strange sculptures and masks being imported from a far away place.
HE reinvented painting by posing that new question, and then answering it himself. Brilliant. He worked harder than anyone else with those answers. Georges Braque followed along for a while; he may have seen the genius of the conversation that Picasso created. In this visual conversation, Picasso was painting about what he knew better than anyone else, answering a question that he himself posed. No wonder he dominated the painting of that century.
Above is a photograph of my late friend Judy Epstein and Picasso. This was in 1947 in the south of France. The long low building behind them is the studio where Picasso did his ceramic work while there. Judy was married to her first husband, a painter, then.
Below is also Judy. This painting is by Ivan Albright, of (can you believe it) Warrenville, Il. Chicago suburbs.
Look at the legs. Judy was in the right place at the right time, several times.