Francoise Gilot: Life with Picasso
The first time I consciously came across Francoise Gilot was when I read a newspaper article in the Sydney Morning Herald in 2011. What caught my eye and made me read the article straight away were the photographs of the then 90 year old lady. Her personality strikes me as elegant, confident and intelligent, her life interesting, Picasso plays the most widely known but not the only part in.
The book was written eleven years after she had left Picasso, she was the only woman to do so. They met in 1943, she was 21 he was 61. The book accompanies the 10 years of their relationship, the birth of their two children and their separation.
For me the book is about two things: Art and Love.
What I found most interesting was the conversations between Gilot and Picasso about art and its creative process. Gilot explains Picasso's approach to designing an artwork, his way of thinking, his intentions and finally the process of creation. She describes in detail his techniques of painting, lithography and sculpture. I only have a very basic knowledge about art, but this book changed how I am looking at art now.
The book is about absolute love, passion, happiness and sadness, exhaustion and desperation. Picasso was a very difficult person to be with and the book shows how Gilot devoted her life to him, how she dealt with his moods, how she could laugh about him and how much she loved him.
Gilot is a fantastic witness of the time and her book is so much more than the story of her relationship to Picasso, it is also a historic document of that time.
Raspberry White Chocolate Cake
Trip to Warragamba Dam
In the German Catholic Church bulletin (don't ask me to explain why I got my hands on this) I read about a daytrip of a group of senior residents to Warragamba dam. It sounded as if they had a lot of fun so I decided its time for our family to go there too. Australia is the driest inhabited continent of the earth so water supply is vital.
After a short drive west towards the Blue Mountains we left the M4 just near Penrith. Then we were driving through beautiful countryside and felt like a million miles away from Sydney. As we reached the grounds of the dam it seemed like an oversized park with picnic areas, given there were only 5 or 6 cars in the parking lot. Unfortunately visitors are not allowed to walk onto the dam wall, so one can only look at the dam from a viewing platform. The sight of the dam and especially the level of the water was still impressive.
Usually when I check the rain radar it never rains over the catchment area, but last summer and this winter have been very wet so the dam has reached full capacity, it even began spilling this April which was big news on TV. The all time low of 32.5% of capacity was recorded in February 2007.
Candle for Magnus