19 November 2012

Pablo Picasso Month - Day 19

The first part of this quote seems obvious, the second... not so obvious...
The more technique you have, the less you have to worry about it. The more technique there is, the less there is.
~ Pablo Picasso
It seems obvious that once you have mastered your technique – and know you've mastered it – it doesn't get in the way as much as it does when you are still learning. But I think there's more to what he's saying than the obvious. I think this goes back to an earlier quote that I posted... when you've mastered the technique for your art you can take shortcuts or even ignore/break the rules and dependably come up with some spectacular work. It sometimes happens when you're still learning, but it's usually a happy accident at that stage.

Learning how to minimize the effects of mastery without affecting the quality of the work we do is the real challenge. How to make the amazingly difficult, complicated things easy and simple – to clarify the method and the results – that is the step beyond mastery. Mastery can sometimes be achieved reasonably quickly... to go beyond that is a life's work.

The second part of the quote is telling me that when technique is glorified above the rest of the components of the work the results are often not what we would hope. Sometimes the purposely technically perfect ends up being sterile or contrived or trite or even merely consumer goods (think Thomas Kincade... a man whose mastery is obvious and whose work is pretty much meaningless, emotional drivel...).

Why Pablo Picasso Month?

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