Paulo Picasso-so

Hello, my name is Paulo Picasso-so. Why? Because my artwork is just so-so.

Normally I’m not inspired to write about art, but my friend Jess wrote a post called, “I was not a prodigy” and it spoke to me – in english, mainly.

But unlike me, she’s actually a great artist and has started her own art collective called hope + easel collective that you should check out on Instagram because Paulo Picasso-so said so…so.

I don’t know how long I’m going to keep this “so-so” bit up, but I’m liking it so-so far.

I remember the first time I created a piece of art. I must’ve been four or five years old. I was sitting at the kitchen table. It was dark out, the blinds were shut, and the light above the table was on.

My mom was on the phone talking to my grandparents. I was sitting there eating a banana (85% sure of this). I also want to say there was an Allen’s Apple Juice Box that I was sipping from, but that might be a detail my mind is making up.

Regardless, I can picture the scene as if I just transported myself back to it.

I also had construction paper, scissors, and glue.

I took the blue construction paper and cut out the shape of a dinosaur. It looked like the love child of Barney and Dudley the Dragon, with a hint of Polkaroo. You know, a round hair, narrow neck, and arching back that flowed down into a wide waistline and posterior.

For the tail, I cut out a rectangular piece with rounded edges – I’m unsure if the tail was also blue or if I went with green.

Anyways, I glued it together and continued eating my banana.

I remember my mom got off the phone and I showed her what I made. She loved it. She told me how good it was. Just non-stop raving about it.

I know what you’re thinking, “That’s how all adults are supposed to react when their child/a kid shows them art/anything.”

And maybe she was over-exaggerating a bit, but I’ll never believe that she was.

I was so proud of that dinosaur. We kept it. We put it in a closet with a bunch of other things, where is stayed for so many years. In fact, it might still be in that closet unless someone got rid of it.

To this day, I could mention that dinosaur to my mom and she’ll still rave about it. I like small things like that. Things that only you and another person know about.

Sure, I’m sharing the story here now, but it’ll still be ours, you know?

That dinosaur was the plateau of my art career.

There’s a saying that goes: “Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach gym.”

I guess the “creative person” version of that would be: “Those who can’t draw, write. Those who can’t write, act. Those who can’t act, act foolish.”

Or something like that, I don’t know. Don’t you dare be offended.

For some reason, I was in Saturday morning art classes around age 7 or 8. I wasn’t even tall enough to turn on the faucet or reach the bottom of the laundry tub where we cleaned our brushes.

I had to will myself off the ground using my elbows on the front of the tub, being careful not to do a somersault into it.

My sister also took art classes, she was clearly the gifted one.

The teacher would put pieces of fruit on the table, tilt the lights a certain way to cast certain shadows, and then tell us to draw them.

I remember having to draw an orange. Just an orange and the shadows that went with it. I didn’t know where to start. How do you draw an orange?

Well, I drew a circle. But I can’t draw a perfect circle, so that was already wrong.

And how do you make it look like an orange, other than colouring it orange?

And then shadows. What?

I was so far out of my element. I don’t know what I was doing there. To my teacher’s credit, she was a very nice lady who made me feel welcome and never treated me like the terrible artist that I was.

My favourite part was definitely the watercolours. Why? Because the watercolour paints looked like hockey pucks and that brought me back to my comfort zone – sports.

In school, whenever we had to draw anything, I’d draw a hockey rink or baseball field if I could get away with it.

However, my default drawing was (and still is) a house.

I draw a big square. Then I draw a rectangular door at the bottom-middle. Then I draw 3 windows – 2 upstairs, 1 downstairs. The windows are a square, divided into four quadrants.

Still with me?

In front of the door is a welcome mat. My house has never had a welcome mat, but the house in my drawings always does.

The roof of the house is a triangle. The chimney is a rectangle with swirls of smoke coming out of it. No matter the season, there was always smoke.

To the right of the house is a tree. I’m very good at drawing trees. The tree looks like a piece of broccoli if broccoli took up bodybuilding and decided to attack the human race.

To the left of the house, in the top corner, is the sun. A circle with lines coming out of it. It was always a warm, radiant day, no matter what the chimney suggested.

Directly above the house would be a cloud. The first half of the cloud would always come out of my hand so effortlessly. And then when I realized I had to close the cloud, I’d panic and it would look uneven.

That’s my default drawing.

A few years ago, I drew that picture at camp and showed it to a kid. I was really proud of it. And what did the kid say? They told me I have no future.

Maybe they’re right.

In Grade 9 we had to take an Art credit. I had to pick one of: Visual Arts, Drama, or Music, and suffer through it. I took Visual Arts because I wanted nothing to do with acting, and Hot Cross Buns on the recorder is the only thing I know how to do musically.

Every time we had an assignment, it was displayed somewhere in the classroom. It wasn’t hard to find my drawing on the wall.

Now that I think of it, there should’ve been a fourth Art option – Script Writing.

Have us write a play, let the drama kids act it out, let the music kids provide the sound, and have the art students construct the set.

BOOM. Just built the curriculum. You’re welcome, Ontario.

I guess we all have our God-given talents, and though it would be nice to be good at everything, none of us are.

I don’t know how to take an idea, or image, in my mind and convey it through a drawing, but I know how to do it with words. That’s my talent. That’s where my instincts are activated.

My instincts aren’t activated when I see an orange sitting on a table. I don’t know how to put that on paper without physically picking it up, placing it on my paper, and calling it abstract.

And that is why you can call me Paulo Picasso-so.

Actually, you could probably call me Paulo Picasso-bad, but I won’t allow it because my picture of a house, and that dinosaur I made when I was little gives me legitimacy…in my mind, at least.

Thanks for reading.

Have a so-so good day.

Are you good at art, or do you struggle drawing circles and straight lines?

About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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39 Responses to Paulo Picasso-so

  1. Jess says:

    So my family had a welcome mat. It read, “WELL BUTTER MY BUTT AND CALL ME A BISCUIT! LOOK WHO’S HERE!”
    Great post as always haha and that’s a pretty advanced class for a 7 year old 😂 I would have been lost too haha

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      IT WAS ADVANCED? Oh God. To be fair I could’ve been a year or 2 older, I don’t know. But the “class” was only for about 6-7 people and was at someone’s house. Depending on our experience, we were to do something different with it.
      And that is a great welcome mat!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. LOL you could totally put an orange on paper by writing about it. I have very little artistic ability too. I used to love drawing volcanoes….the water around an island, the trees at the bottom, the lava already flowing out of the top (even if it wasn’t exploding). Now I just draw hippos. Lots and lots of hippos.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Chichi says:

    I am a member of the society that struggles to draw circles and straight lines! 😀

    It’s sad but I have to take it as it comes. 😛
    Paulo Picasso-so! That is special.

    Also, I didn’t know you were from Ontario. :/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. markbialczak says:

    I am very bad at art, Paul. My drawing past is quite similar to your stories. As is my way with words, as you are aware. Later on in my creative curve, though, I discovered through the crash of my blog and my smart phone another artistic talent that was hiding out inside my brain. I’m pretty good at taking photographs. Who knew? What a happy accident. I love it, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Meg says:

    Circles are the worst. THE WORST.
    Also your house drawing sounds on point : )

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hira says:

    Same pinch brother.. Your default drawing is quite close to what is mine. To this day, if anyone asks me to draw, I start with a house, tree , cloud and sun. I also add mountain ( easy-peasy- just draw triangles in row) and shift the sun to rise from behind. And then add some “V” near the clouds to make it look like birds flying. Tada! When I have more time, I also add a river and a bridge across it. Wow , Arent we good at drawing ? Drawing circle and not making it look like an oval is a serious art 🙂 At science, my fav thing to draw was Amoeba coz it has no particular shape 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Ooo I might have to steal that “V” idea, that’s brilliant! Birds! That’ll add so much to the photo! As for circles, I remember trying to draw them with a compass, never worked.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. bexoxo says:

    My go-to drawing when I was little was a monster. I would scribble (*with pencil) a ball. It would closely resemble a loosely wound ball of yarn. Then I would erase 2 spots and draw in the eye balls- a circle with a small dot inside. Then I would draw 2 stick legs attached to a pair of sneakers. That was it! Some times I would make him look goofy and place the ‘pupils’ in different areas of the circular eyes. Other times I would carve in a couple of dark eye brows (straight lines) to make him look angry. And his name changed every time. 🙂

    As for drawing shadows- that’s just nonsense! I’m certain art teachers only do that to make fun of the non-artistic people. I had to do just that in my college drawing class-I was a business major (damn liberal arts school!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I can picture your monster drawing perfectly! That sounds so cool. It sounds like it could be a villain in an animated film.

      Oh drawing shadows is definitely meant to make us look stupid haha. It’s something you don’t think you can mess up but ohhh yes, you can.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I definitely fall in the “those who can’t draw write” category. But there was a period in my life where I watched Wix every Saturday morning, sitting on my parents’ bed with a sketchbook. So I can draw skinny, preteen fairies quite well!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Barb Knowles says:

    Here is my art story and you can “draw your own conclusions. ” okay so art was mandatory in 7th grade. I hate art because I have always sucked at it and don’t find pleasure doing something I’m bad at and don’t have the skills to improve. We were theoretically learning how to sculpt (is that the word?) and had to bring in a bar of Ivory soap. From that we were supposed to whittle away until it looked like an animal. Mine ended up being a tiny bar of Ivory soap. The teacher held it up for everyone to see and said “This is an example of what not to do.” It was one of those days that I still remember what I was wearing when this humiliation took place. Barb Picasso-not-even-so–so
    Excellent post! Even though now I feel bad. 😁

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      LOL when you first mentioned the ivory soap I thought, if that were me, you would just turn into a smaller piece of ivory soap. And then that’s what happened to you! I really am your blog son. I think I had to sculpt something once but I’ve blocked it out of my memory.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Dutch Lion says:

    You’re a really good writer. We need to get you a paid gig somewhere, someday. I’m not good at art either. My daughter is amazing. I don’t get it. I can relate to your story about the orange. My default drawings were also sports and a house. For me, it was typically a football field with all the logos and stuff. For the house, it was pretty much the same as yours except I don’t think I usually added the smoke from the chimney. I never drew clouds either. I always did the same house. You’d think I would’ve been more creative, right? Sometimes I added a driveway but that was hard because you’re now going more 3-D. Why am I writing this? I don’t know. It’s a so-so comment at best. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ely says:

    Lol!!! Paul! This is like another Chef Paulo specialty! So exciting! I agree that we can’t do it all! Sometimes I get really disappointed in myself because I’m
    So consumed by my cake-art that I drop down on writing- I can’t do that! I need both in my life! Thanks for the inspiration, per the norm! Also,
    You’re mom is an angel! So sweet. You were/are very blessed! Oh and one more thing: fuck oranges. Stupid orange round things. No one wants to draw you ANYWAYS. Pfffftttt. Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Squid says:

    A HOUSE IS MY DEFAULT DRAWING TOO!! But my houses only had 2 windows, evenly spaced on the top floor. Sometimes the door was rectangular, sometimes it was rounded at the top. CLOUDS ARE SO HARD TO GET PERFECT BUT THEY’RE CLOUDS SOOOOOO WHO WANTS PERFECT? (ME BUT SHHHH) I always drew the driveway down to the road, then drew the road with stripes in the middle and everything because straight lines are way easier than clouds, hahahahaha
    I went to a week long art camp for a few summers when I was 8-9-10 or something, and I had the same struggles with still lifes… Thankfully we did collages and origami too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Hmmm…you’re making me rethink now whether I had 3 windows or 2 just like you had them. Next time I draw that picture I’m definitely adding a driveway. Roads with stripes down the middle is what I did too whenever I drew roads! Made me feel smart for including details like that lol


      • Squid says:

        Yes!! “Im gonna draw the whole SCENE, not just a *scoff* house, because I’m not just some punk 9 year old…” sometimes I tried drawing a car on the road too, but that usually failed, haha. It was an otherwise peaceful and lovely scene, as yours seemed to be too. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Answer to Paulo Picasso-so | Multicoloured Cave Popcorn

  14. mcpopcorn says:

    Hey, I’m a new reader here, and I like your blog. I really wanted to answer, too, but it went kind of off-topic, so I published it as a post. You don’t have to read it.
    Have a good day x

    Liked by 1 person

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