One of my favorite buildings on the Cote d’Azur is the Chateau Grimaldi aka the Picasso Museum in Antibes. You can’t see it from this view but if you were to stand on the large terrace above where the sign is, you’d have a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean.
For 6 months in 1946, Picasso lived and worked here. It’s been renovated since then but in the particular room where he is said to have worked, the ceiling is high, the walls are white and the feeling spacious.
Every time I went there, I would imagine the master painter in front of his canvas. I would stand where I imagine he stood and felt what it would be like to have such an incredible space in which to work.
Woman and Child by the Sea ~ 1902 ~ Pablo Picasso
I bring this up because I recently came across a painting of Picasso’s that got my attention. I’m not generally his biggest fan. He used women as subjects for hundreds of paintings. His relationships were often complex and violent and all of that showed up in his later paintings.
However, this painting done in 1902, his Blue Period, was completed before all that and has an altogether different feel. I took some time to read more about this phase in his life as well as look at other paintings done at this time. I am still searching for my theme.
In doing this research, I saw Picasso as a regular human being who was struggling with his art and with depression. His genius was still under the surface.
I was also transported once again back to France, back to standing in my favorite room in the Chateau Grimaldi and imagining what it would be like to have a large and bright studio such as this. To refresh my memory, I began looking through my photos.
Woman Becoming ~ 8” x 10” Oil on Panel ~ Linda Hough
And I found this; a painting I was working on years ago from a dream image. I had totally forgotten about her. But it is a perfect time to find her again.
By now it’s 1:46 a.m. during the almost full moon. Time to put my computer away and continue my reverie in dreamland. As I lay down to sleep, I immersed myself in the Chateau studio feeling, Picasso’s painting and my own explorations.
I drifted off feeling full of gratitude for life, for beauty and for the infinite possibility we all have, to pull from inspiration, to combine who we are and what we’ve experienced into our own unique expression and to wake up in a world of our own creation.
Next week, I’ll be showing the three paintings I’ve been working on while searching for my theme.