**PICASSO 14 x18 Inches Mixed Media Limited Edition Print
Growing up, my main artistic influences came from Disney movies, and comic books...the perfect realm for a kid still discovering his creativity and imagination. It wasn't until my first year at the Emily Carr Institute that my awareness of the history of Art became much broader and my spectrum of influences became more colourful. From early cave paintings to the Renaissance, to Modern Art and all of its small movements (Minimalism, Surrealism, Dadaism, Conceptualism, etc.), there was so much to be derived from Art History in terms of scope and variety. The Modern Art movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, however, were the ones that had the most profound affect on me. Because there was evidence of traditionalism blended with innovation, I saw both the sophistication of the past and the adventurous creativity in the artists of those various movements and how their work had the ability to move visual art's possibilities and potential forward. The concept of the old sensibly merged with the new is an ideal very close to my heart because I believe it's important to value the past and learning how to reflect and build upon its lessons and virtues, in order to move towards future achievements that will be comprised of both substance and a hunger to push forward confidently. Of the numerous artists I studied during that period, the one I really grew to appreciate was Pablo Picasso. By virtue of study, and later by closer observation of his work of his work while visiting Barcelona, I came to understand and admire the confidence and range he had in his work.
Even though PICASSO was largely recognized as an innovator (along with Georges Braque) for pioneering Cubism, and most of his famous works from sculptures, to drawings, to prints and to paintings represented the exploration and reinvention of that aesthetic, what impressed me most was the subtlety displayed in his lesser known works. From his earliest academic paintings, to his blue and rose periods, I was enchanted by the way he captured and represented figures in an organic way, combining both a practiced finesse with a confident style that was both loose and expressive but thoughtfully arranged. Even when he fragmented a lot of his images with a cubist approach, I always enjoyed his works that retained a synthetic quality, with his use of value, colour and texture, while warping his subjects simultaneously. His life was a long one, his career was a successful one, but his relationships were turbulent as he moved from muse to muse, period to period, and project to project in a prolific fever.
With this latest portrait project, I thought it was finally time to take a crack at a PICASSO portrait of my own. As it turns out, PICASSO proved to be as enjoyable a character to capture on paper, as his work as been to see up close and his life has been to read about. I'm certain I will return to PICASSO again to draw and/or paint, as I will other fascinating and influential artists, but somehow I know that this portrait in particular will remain significant to me as time rolls on. PICASSO was one of the first modern artists whose work captured my imagination, and I'm glad he is the first one I chose to do a portrait of. It's very simple, but I think the bare essence of the man and the artist is represented here in a plaintive state...while behind those eyes, you can sense his restless brain is stirring.