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Pablo Picasso Quotations

sun "When you come right down to it all you have is yourself. The sun is a thousand rays in your belly. All the rest is nothing." [Pablo Picasso]

"You know, music, art - these are not just little decorations to make life prettier. They're very deep necessitites which people cannot live without." [Pablo Picasso]

Art is not the application of a canon of beauty but what the instinct and the brain can conceive beyond any canon. When we love a woman we don't start measuring her limbs. [Picasso]

To finish a picture? What nonsense! [Picasso]

"We must pick out what is good for us where we can find it." [Picasso]

"My mother said to me, "If you become a soldier, you'll be a general; if you become a monk you'll end up as the pope." Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.""

No soap motto: "I find." [Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)]

"I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it." [Pablo Picasso]


Picasso Surveys

Pablo Picasso art IN A NUTSHELL
"It takes a long time to become young." [Picasso]

What did he find? And what did he learn?

In later life Picasso visited an exhibition of children's drawings. He observed,
      "When I was their age, I could draw like Raphael, but it took me a lifetime to learn to draw like them."

Take it much further than Picasso: visit a cat's drawings and try to draw like a cat too . . .

  • Watch a cat start painting. Part 1:
  • Watch the cat finish his painting, for it is a painting, isn't it? Part 2.
  • A book: Why Cats Paint: A Theory of Feline Aesthetics.

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." - Pablo Picasso

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. [Picasso]

One must act in painting as in life, directly. [Picasso]


Further Picasso Anecdotes

A poor artist owned a supposed Picasso. He sent it via a friend for the master to authenticate it. Picasso: "It's false."

From a different source the friend brought another and another Picasso-painting. Each time Picasso disowned them. Yet the third time the man said, "But I saw you paint this one with my own eyes."

"I can paint false Picasso as well as anyone," retorted Picasso. Then he bought the first painting for a sum four times as high as the owner had originally hoped it would fetch.

Pablo Picasso painting

Picasso was relaxing on a beach in the south of France when he was accosted by a small boy clutching a blank sheet of paper. The child had evidently been dispatched by his parents to solicit an autographed drawing. After a moment's hesitation, Picasso tore up the paper and drew a few designs on the boy's back instead. He signed his name with a flourish and sent the child back to his parents. Relating the incident at a later date, Picasso remarked thoughtfully,

"I wonder if they'll ever wash him again?"

During World War II Picasso suffered some harassment from the Gestapo in Nazi-occupied Paris. An inquisitive German officer, coming into his apartment, noticed a photograph of Guernica lying on a table. "Did you do that?" he asked Picasso.

"No, you did," said Picasso.


The Wise Painter

Pablo Ruiz Picasso (1881–1973 was a Spanish painter; one of the recognized masters of 20th century art. After his so-called Blue Period (1901-04) and Rose (1905-08), Picasso took part in developing Cubism, and later turned to surrealistic figures. His controversial masterpiece is the large painting Guernica (1937). It is valued just as much as Leonardos painting of the careful donna Mona Lisa.

Guernica shows the dreadful destruction of the Basque capital by German bomb planes.

Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time. [Picasso]

Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone. [Picasso]

Who can draw maps like a monkey? New Art Avenue opens up -
I have seen what could be and asked why not. [Picasso]

The hidden harmony is better than the obvious. [Picasso]

"What is a face, really? Its own photo? Its make-up? Or is it a face as painted by such or such painter? That which is in front? Inside? Behind? And the rest? Doesn't everyone look at himself in his own particular way? Deformations simply do not exist." [Pablo Picasso]

"German memory"

Goals can . . . be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and on which we must vigorously act.

Far too Crass Critics Abounded

The fate of jazz and Picasso art - both are now warmly welcomed. At first called "corky" and persecuted and today studied in prestiguous universities. "A word to the wise will suffice . . ." (American proverb)

To rub it in: For many years art critics called Picasso's refreshing art devilish and - well - insane. The point is that his art just looked rather unnatural in its ways:

Because Picasso was equated with modern art per se, all the extremes of public responses were unloaded upon him, at every stage in his career. When the National Gallery in London orgainzed the first major post-war Picasso show in England, one newspaper . . . damned his art as the work of the devil, dismissed piggy-nosed portraits as the imaginings of a schizophreninc, and declared that such work should not be publicly exhibited in England . . .

Picasso haters . . . saw his talent as something demonic. One American critic called him the "devil incarnate" in 1910; and the "New York Times", generally a restrained and proper paper, gnashed that he was the very devil and that his audacity was breathtaking . . . Not many years later, German critics (and not even the worst) were busy perpetuating the usual equation of visual deconstruction with insanity, viewing Picasso himself as a neurotic . . .: "People are no longer locked away in asylums. Nowadays they found Cubism." [Pap 11,12]

Incidentally, mature Picasso art after his cubistic phases can in some ways (delicate lines etc.) be quite like fresco art from ancient and highly developed Crete (or Thera, from beyond 1600 BC, for example).

Link to art from Ancient Crete


More Picasso Words

"Why should I copy this owl, this sea urchin? Why should I try to imitate nature? I might just as well try to trace a perfect circle. What I have to do is utilize as best I can the ideas which objects suggest to me . . . illuminate them [somewhat]." [Pablo Picasso]

[Also work somewhat] below your means If you can handle three elements, handle only two. If you can handle ten, then handle only five. In that way the ones you do handle, you handle with more ease, more mastery, and you create a feeling of strength in reserve. [Picasso]

(By this Picasso means simplify, among other things. - TK)

Computers . . . give you answers. [With Picasso]

It is . . . probably my delight - to use things as my passions tell me. What a miserable fate for a painter who adores blondes to have to stop himself putting them into a picture because they don't go with the basket of fruit! . . . I put all the things I like into my pictures. The things [items] . . . just have to put up with it. [Picasso]

Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. [Picasso]

Give me a museum and I'll fill it. [Picasso]

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary. [Picasso]

The purpose of Art is to create enthusiasm. [Picasso]

The important thing is to create. [Picasso]

The chief enemy of creativity is 'good taste.' [Picasso]


And then Yourself

What is great may deviate much from the average

ANECDOTE A visitor to Picasso's studio found the artist gazing disconsolately at a painting on the easel. "It's a masterpiece," said the visitor, hoping to cheer him up.

"No, the nose is all wrong," Picasso said. "It throws the whole picture out of perspective."

"Then why not alter the nose?"

"Impossible," replied Picasso. "I can't find it."

Some children and grown-ups tell they cannot draw and paint. I have said something like this to such ones: "If you can hold a pen, pencil, or crayon and let it glide over some paper, you can draw. It is that simple at first."

What such people probably lack is a bit of confidence, maybe encouragement. But one should not make others dependent on encouragements, for the artistic ore needs something better than being approved and regulated by encouragers. Study Picasso's example, and not just his words. He had to resist too.

Confidence can and should be built.

Now, have you considered the strong points of Picasso above? Can you put them into practice to serve yourself? Good. I suggest you get yourself some fit equipment and start making drawings that you yourself are pleased with. Nobody else needs to see them.

Here are a few more things to think of:

Go all the way; little children and new-born monkeys have something in common; but the monkey is the brighter of them the first few years. Don't you want to become more than rudimentary bright, or "monkey" bright? It must be exhiliarating, nay, liberating.

From man to child
further to dame or monkey
next to - say - duckling and rabbit as we go on:

Have we here the way of some animals:
"Become like a little duck (or child) again"?

However, too much of a good thing could be a bad thing,
for example if your child-again diphers get nasty and wet for it.


Pablo Picasso  

Nearly all paintings by Picasso are protected by copyright law. Tip: The book by Warnche contains a sizable amount of colour photos of them. The other books are good for something too.

Editorial Escudo de Oro. Picasso: Picasso Museumn Barcelona. Barcelona: Editorial Escudo de Oro, 1982.

McNeese, Tim. Pablo Picasso. New York: Chelsea House, 2006.

Rodari, Florian. A Weekend with Picasso. New York, Rizzoli, 1991.

Walther, Ingo F. Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973: Genius of the Century. New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 2001.

Warnche, Carsten-Peter. Pablo Picasso 1881-1973. Edited by Ingo Walther. Vols 1-2. Cologne: Benedikt Taschen, 1995.

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