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A page from Picasso’s sketchbook

Can’t believe I haven’t blogged since Nov. 2019 !!! Been rather busy I suppose.

But had to report on the visit to The RA. I was persuaded by my daughter to go to the RA after pleading that it was  too cold, too tiring , too much to brave the exhausting journey to London. Am I getting old? But now so glad she won. What a sensational insight into the mind of Picasso. My goodness, that man could draw. Was totally blown away by the quantity and quality of the work. I simply must go again before it closes. The variety and profusion of drawings was staggering.

I often say that drawing is at the heart of my own practice but I realise that I don’t draw enough. My pursuit of pushing my painting into a more abstract phase has rather overtaken my erstwhile habit of drawing just for the sake of drawing. I must get back to basics and draw more. At many stages of my life drawing has been a solice, an automatic response to just being here, being alive, being in the moment.

Here are a couple of drawings I made aged four. They show that even at this young age I was drawing exactly what I saw.The figures, unlike many children drawings are surprisingly in proportion. They do not have huge forward- facing heads but are ‘real’. I have to thank my father for preserving these two. But I do remember drawing endlessly as a child so goodness knows how many of these did not survive. As a teenager I found it very strange that not everyone could draw what they saw. It seemed such a natural process to me.

The Wedding picture depicts myself as bridesmaid, the maid of honour, of whom I was terrified, in a red dress, and probably my aunt, who was the bride. The second drawing is my mother just post-pregnant pushing my new baby brother in the pram.

But lately drawing has been crowded out by tapping the keys on this very machine. Dreadful habit but in today’s technological world, unavoidable. Picasso’s lifelong affair with paper and pencil has reminded me of the thing I love more than even painting. Back to drawing for me…..NOW.

Just two of the 300 images at the wonderful Picasso exhibition at the RA. My fingers positively itched for a pencil or any drawing instrument and made me realise I must downgrade my search for abstraction in painting and return to my abiding love of drawing for it’s own sake.


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