In 1906 Picasso spent an enormous time on two paintings, Portrait of Gertrude Stein (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City) and Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (Museum of Modern Art, New York City). Yesterday I read again about this period in Picasso's life. Gertrude Stein said she sat 90 times for her portrait, then Picasso wiped out the face in the portrait and left for summer vacation in Gósol, Spain. In the autumn Picasso returned to Paris with the finished portrait. Also in 1906 Picasso began a series of nearly 1000 studies preparing his way to Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (completed in July 1907). Methinks I complain too much! It was the intensity and discipline that Picasso poured into these two paintings in the years 1906 & 1907 that transitioned Picasso from a good artist to a great artist. This, 2014, is my year of intensity and discipline. I have complained about the slowness of my transitioning, as witnessed in two recent paintings. I have been substantially altered by the work and time I have poured into Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014 and, earlier this year, into Untitled Diptych-04·15·2014. The focussed, disciplined, and dedicated work of this year, has made me a better painter, and a better artist. It isn't over. I will continue to learn, I will continue to work, but today I am recognizing the profundity of this period in my life and art. Picasso has helped me enormously, not only by his products, which are his paintings and his drawings, but by his example of discipline and belief that the effort of the here and now will bring a proper end.
Notice, please, yesterday's changes in Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014. The man in the left panel is much better.
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