As I mentioned, Spain and I have a history. So on this most recent visit, I wasn’t surprised to enjoy the parks, the architecture, the food, or the street life. But what I didn’t expect was the Picasso Museum. Or rather, its particular effect on me.

(Especially because I’ve been to the museum before.)

The Picasso Museum is tucked into the alleys of Barcelona, nearly hidden within a tall, narrow labyrinth of cobbled stone. When I first went 6 years ago, the wait was long, the rooms were crowded, and the art was — honestly — underwhelming. So much so that I only remember a certain room from the Blue Period, and only because it was full of… awkward sexual stuff.

Anyway. This time. This time was different. This time, Picasso reminded me of how to be an artist.


The collection was curated to show his evolution. He’s most famous for his distinct style of simple lines and colors, his distorted geometric interpretations of the world — but it turns out that in his youth, Picasso was quite traditional. Like all artists, he started at the beginning, with drawings, studies, copies. He learned to imitate the techniques of the masters who had come before him. Most importantly, he sketched. Constantly. Everything.

Daily life didn’t bore him. It captured him. And in turn, he captured it. He rendered it. Faithfully at times. Imaginatively at others.

As I walked through his museum, as I followed along with young Pablo’s journey to becoming the Picasso we all know and admire, I was inspired. I was reminded. That my daily life isn’t boring. (Or doesn’t have to be.) That I need to “sketch” more. That I too am on a journey.

Thank you for visiting my museum. There’s more evolution to come.

5 responses to “Soul-searching and sketches”

  1. T. S. Bazelli Avatar

    I think that following this blog is like watching you curate the moments of your life, and there is a natural progression. I’m glad you’ve shared it with us :)

  2. Anthony Lee Collins Avatar

    “Most importantly, he sketched. Constantly. Everything.”

    This is a great approach. When you start out, the best thing you can do is write and write (or sketch and sketch, or play, or whatever). I knew a photographer once whose teacher insisted she shoot some incredible number of rolls of film every single day. Obviously the idea was: more shooting, less thinking. Not that thinking isn’t important, but overthinking is a more common problem early on than not thinking enough.

    So, kind of like NaNo. :)

  3. Shari Avatar

    And thank YOU for giving us a glimpse into all the canvases you fill! :)

  4. Kristan Avatar

    Yes, there’s definitely an automatic part of the brain that needs to turn on for any artist, so that the mechanics fade back and the creativity can come to the forefront.