In here lies why I’m not Picasso (or Mattisse, or…)

matisse - gif

Making Picasso’s point visible: In 2010, MoMA curators used X-ray technology to reveal the many iterations behind Henri Matisse’s painting ‘Bathers by a River,’ on which the painter worked for eight years between 1909 and 1917.

Matisse does a drawing, then he recopies it. He recopies it five times, ten times, each time with cleaner lines. He is persuaded that the last one, the most spare, is the best, the purest, the definitive one; and yet, usually it’s the first. When it comes to drawing, nothing is better than the first sketch.

~ Picasso

Despite being both a professional admirer and a personal friend of Matisse’s, he cites the painter’s notoriously methodical creative process as a betrayal of this notion that an artist should honor his or her initial creative intuition.

Read more at Brainpickings: Picasso on Work Ethic, How Creativity Works, and Why Intuitive Ideas Are More Important Than Methodical Technique


  1. Interesting. I had no idea.


  2. I was fascinated by the changing sketches. Really interesting how two such sublime artists view their process so differently. And you may not be Matisse or Picasso (after all you’re not European – or dead for that matter), but I think you could do it. You’ve got the aesthetic pal.. 😉


  3. Reblogged this on velvetmedia and commented:
    Fascinating insight and image


  4. Brilliant!


  5. wow, like a writer who can not stop editing. sometimes you just have to put down the pencil. fascinating. i had no idea.


  6. So fascinating to watch this, David.


  7. Most artists are a bit eccentric…and I say that coming from a family of many artists, including my own daughter. Even I almost majored in art in college, but switched to psychology…probably to try and understand my own eccentricity. 🙂


  8. Interesting how the aesthetic evolves, no? Picasso was always so decisive and larger than life–I have no problem imagining that he found fault with Matisse’s methodology. Just fascinating….


  9. Very good information!!!!! From an astrological point of view, if one were to compare where each artists moon (emotional intensity, change, confidence or lack thereof),Venus (values), mars (what one is willing to fight for, Saturn (self-discipline), Uranus (how one progressively changes, adding new elements into one’s art, or changing style), the mutability (need for constant change and variety), the full analysis of the reasons of an artists expressions become considerably clearer and appreciated through understanding these elements,.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for sharing


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