Pablo Picasso and Me

Give me a museum and I'll fill it.”
Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973) was a prolific multi-media artist throughout his decades-long pursuit. From his early realist portraits, to his late 1800s symbolist paintings of landscapes in odd hues and into his turn of the century modernist paintings, continuing in his Blue Period and Rose Period, through his short-lived African-influence and cutting edge cubism, enduring through his long years of surrealism and classicism and ending with the unusual mix of art in his latter life, the man never stopped creating. He never stopped stretching and growing and exploring. In the end it has been estimated that the total number of artworks he produced was 50,000, including 1,885 paintings, 1,228 sculptures, 2,880 ceramics, roughly 12,000 drawings, many thousands of prints, and numerous tapestries and rugs according to the Online Picasso Project. He enjoyed his own art and art in general and at the time of his death many of his paintings were still in his possession, keeping all of the art he created that he did not need to sell.

I am no Picasso. But I understand this man’s heart. I am an amateur photographer—it is my art. Recently, at Cinsababe’s prodding, I began a project to organize my “favorite” pictures into a collection to be printed into a coffee table book. She complained that although I had files of pictures on my computer, we never really got to enjoy them, and she thought they should be displayed.

Although I had been hunting wildlife with a camera for years, I began my project in 2004—the year I first purchased a digital camera and the year we set out travelling the country full time in our RV. We had planned our travels to include some of the country’s most amazing views.

Because they were digital, the files were easily accessible. After a few days of culling through the landscapes, flowers, butterflies, birds, moose, and myriad other mountains and mammals, I had 400 favorites. Cinsababe wasn’t happy. This was supposed to be a coffee table book, not a door stop.

My son Joel inserted himself into the discussion explaining that by definition “favorites” limited the number of selections and that perhaps I wasn’t really choosing my absolute favorites. The truth was that I loved every one I had chosen, and I wasn’t finished—I was only through 2006. I admitted to him that the final number could be in the thousands. Fortunately for me my son is a computer network engineer and within a few moments had a solution which included a custom written computer program to display my thousand “favorites” along with my comments on a wall mounted computer monitor. Best of all, as I continue with my art, my new favorites can easily be added to the file. That’s when I remembered dear old Picasso. I have to admit that I have never been an admirer of his art—honestly I have never understood it. But I remembered a recent Trivia question at our local wings joint: “What was Picasso’s answer when asked which of his paintings was his favorite?” His answer? “The next one”. Now that I can understand!

Cowboy Rick Brown of Cowboy Rick’s Corral of Collectibles on Ruby Lane

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