Sympathy for the rare Picasso Shark

So the reading of “Turquoise and Obsidian” went well last night. The turnout was pretty good for a Sunday when all the clocks had been scrambled, and the audience was very responsive. Cast was superb, and I’ll send them a thank-you when I can pull together a conscious thought.

Where the play stands at this point? Pretty well, I think. I expect I’ll get some decent notes, probably have to tweak a few things, but, when it comes to be big global changes, well, I doubt it. There’s a certain point where you have to go: that’s as good as it’s going to get. Move the hell on!

Writers are kind of like sharks: if we don’t keep moving, we die. Or at least we do a decent impression of a dead person who still drinks and smokes and burns holes in ratty recliners.

Though he was kind of reprehensible in the way he treated others, especially women, I’ve always admired Picasso in that he was never afraid to try to new things. So many artists achieve a certain success and freeze, terrified to slip outside of their hits. But, firmly established post-World War II, Picasso, arguably the most famous painter in the world, pulled up his roots and moved his whole family to the south of France so he could study pottery with noted artisans in this one town. So he did pottery, and it was brilliant and still distinctively Picasso. When he got old, he amused himself by repainting famous paintings by other, older masters, seeing them through his style and poking fun at both the canon and himself.

I don’t know if he died with a brush in hand, but there are worse ways to cash out.


About Steve Patterson

Steve Patterson has written over 50 plays, with works staged in Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Austin, Tampa, and other U.S. cities as well as in Canada and New Zealand. His works include: Waiting on Sean Flynn, Next of Kin, Farmhouse, Malaria, Shelter, Altered States of America, The Continuing Adventures of Mr. Grandamnus, Bluer Than Midnight, Bombardment, Dead of Winter, and Delusion of Darkness. In 2006, his bittersweet Lost Wavelengths was a mainstage selection at Portland Center Stage's JAW/West festival, and, in 2008, won the Oregon Book Award (he also was an OBA finalist in 1992 and 2002). In 1997, he won the inaugural Portland Civic Theatre Guild Fellowship for his play Turquoise and Obsidian. View all posts by Steve Patterson

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