Monday, June 22, 2009
My friend Sara believes in cosmic connection, I was thinking about it yesterday because of these uncertain times. It's an advantage to believe that everything has a purpose and all things will come right in the end. This "cosmic" connection led to my meeting Sara. We both have sons, adopted from Korea, who are approximately the same age. We discovered that we have in common many other things, among them a connection to Francoise Gilot and Picasso.
Sara was once married to Claude Picasso, the son of FG and P. On myside a thinner connection—I met Francoise when I was a young girl. Francoise liked my watercolors and so invited me to her studio in Paris. I went for tea——imagine a 12 year old budding artist in a real studio, Picasso's paintings mingled with Francoise's. I think I made my career decision that day.
Francoise thought I was a sad girl, similar in temperament to her own youngest daughter. She gave me a print of Aurélia so I wouldn't be lonely and would have a sister spirit. I hang it in my studio to inspire me in my artistic life.
When I was in New Orleans recently, I came across an exhibition of some of Francoise's paintings and prints. The painting in the window of the gallery is one of hers. It was a lovely exhibit and I realized how much she must have struggled to find her own hand as a painter in the midst of such august company (think Braque, Chagall, Cocteau, Matisse and Picasso.) I love too that she drew and painted her children. I have painted mine and done paintings of requested subjects for them—to mixed results. I show no signs of stopping so I imagine it will be a life long process.
Sara is not my only peripheral connection to Francoise. In the game of Cosmic 6 Degrees, Conrad, a life long friend, who I met in Paris some 6 or 7 years after I met Francoise, used to date Joan, who was a White House fellow, and who helped to expedite my son (the one the same age as Sara's) travel to America. Joan also received a Mac Arthur foundation fellowship, went to brainstorm at the Salk Institute, run by Jonas Salk (vaccine inventor), who was married to...Francoise Gilot.
Francoise Gilot still shows worldwide and continues as my muse and inspiration.