Wednesday 4 May 2011

An old man in a hat?

It has recently been suggested – by someone with more insight than outsight – that I identify too closely with Picasso’s painting; « The Old Man in a Hat ».

Though they were too polite to say if it was my age or my hat that lead them to this conclusion.

In fact the title of the painting may actually be something different, and the fact that i chose to name it such probably gives too much away, so my friend is almost certainly right.

The painting - the other day at least - was stuck to a wall in an art gallery in Antibes; which turns out not to be in the Caribbean as I originally thought but nestled in the agglomeration that runs between Cannes and Nice on the French Riviera.
Perhaps I should have concentrated more during the geography lessons at school.

The fact that a neighbour also believed I had been to the West Indies when I returned home on Sunday, confirms that I am not the only person who failed to remain 100 per cent alert in Mr Burton’s classes.

Picasso, I believe, once said something along these lines – “When I was a child I could paint like the great masters, it has taken me a lifetime to learn to paint like a child”.

He also, apparently, said “youth has no age” – which would have been a handy phrase to come back with when my friend questioned my impartiality to the painting; but unfortunately I was ignorant of the man’s mutterings at the time.

So, I suppose, it’s better that I don’t say too much about Picasso’s self-portrait - at least until June when Bitsnbobs will adopt it as motif of the month.

Instead – what about this?

A child gave it to me.

Well, a young woman actually, though strictly speaking not an adult – which is what I think is essential here.

When she gave it to me she said –“here, you can have this and you can make up a story.”


Once upon a time there was a flower which was very much in love with an apple.
Hopelessly in love.
The flower worshiped the ground where the apple lay.
Unfortunately two ducks who lived nearby also liked apples and one night they ate the apple.
The flower was heartbroken.
Shaken to the very core.
The flower started crying and shouting with an inner rage that made her petals tremble.
The ducks were very, very sorry.
The stars, who as you know are the wisest things there are, looked down on the flower and the ducks, and comforted them.
Don’t be angry with each other, peace, look the seeds of the apple remain, plant them and in time there will be a whole apple tree, but it will need love from all of you”
The flower and the ducks understood the wisdom in their words, spoken from a star’s heart, and they all lived happily ever after.


Anonymous said...

maybe its the way the man in the hat feels, more than the twisted part of his face.
He is still beautiful!

your childs story is beautiful and if i was you, frame the picture, place on the wall, might tell a different story everyday.


popps said...

thankyou, i'll do that.
ps whooooo areeee youuuu?

Mary said...

Perhaps the best post of the year thus far.

Loved it.


popps said...

I'm always worried when someone says "best so far".
I start thinking - what was wrong with all the others?

Mary said...

Let me see if I can explain -- this one was special for me in the way all the elements came together beautifully -- theme, structure, and texture. It is the kind of thing I strive for in my own writing but can't always achieve.

I love the use of progressive close-ups of the Picasso while the theme of learning to paint like a child is explored and leads into to the wonderful story inspired by the child's drawings.

As good as it gets, I'd say. I've written over 200 newsletters in the past few years. I gave each one a good effort but looking back I'd say there are less than a dozen that really stand out.


Anonymous said...

me and min think its one of the best too!
very beautiful xxx see you soon

popps said...

Make sure you and min go to the gallery!

Anonymous said...

yes yes =) love you