paint like a child…

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25/09/2010 by Sarah Ritchie

Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973): “All children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.” And, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael but a lifetime to paint like a child.

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For most of the 1990s I was a member of an Auckland water ski club. Not that I had an interest in waterskiing, but rather that I was married to it (like an in-law you inherit by default).

One thing I always marvelled at were the young skiiers. The ones that flitted over the surface of the water like a Pondskater (insect). The ones that seemingly had no fear. And then there was adult-me…concern for body-safety and pride gripping my being with every pass over the wake. I never did do very well as a waterskiier!

I wonder what Picasso had in mind when he spoke (or wrote) those words. Was he thinking about a child’s “no fear” attitude or – perhaps – about their uninhibited expression of creativity (or maybe both)?

Children do not care what others think of their paintings or constructions or imaginations. At what age do our fears – or the protocols of society – convince us to lose the artist inside? When do we have to stop dreaming big (or different)? At what price are we forced to “grow up”?

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