Picasso, perspective and the nude

I was in such foul mood, I was sure visiting the Auckland City Gallery was the last thing I should be doing. 

Don’t drive drunk; don’t shop hungry; don’t visit art galleries angry. 

How would a potentially crowded exhibition sooth, calm, and distract me from my severely negative emotions? I was positive it wouldn’t; couldn’t; and I’d be out of pocket to boot!

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
— Pablo Picasso

I was right about the Gallery being busy. It was the last day of the Body Laid Bare: Masterpieces from the Tate exhibition. I’d had months to see this exhibition but had left it to the last few hours like the dope I can be. But there you go; tack onto that a flash argument I'd had in the morning and boom, I could see myself loosing my shit in the middle of the Gallery if someone happened to piss me off. Yeh, I’m like that. Remember Britomart?

The reason I had dragged my bad mood across town was because I had heard that there were free life drawing sessions on the last day of the exhibition. That’s what I believed had a chance of really fixing what was wrong with my terrible mood. Getting lost in the challenges of drawing the human form would go a long way to mending what I’d broken in myself. 

Anyway, the queues were moving quickly so I paid my $23 and took slight pleasure in having my ticket wrapped about my wrist: joy in small things. Maybe it would be okay. I was wondering where they might be holding the life drawing. I had seen a photograph online with the event information and had it in my head that there might be a dozen or so people drawing in a secluded room so I looked for signs or directions. As the entrance opened up into the atrium, there they were and there were so many people drawing! 

I couldn’t see an easy place to view the model so I decided to view the exhibition first and come back and draw later. At the entrance of the exhibition, there was a roadblock as people clumped to read the placards on the wall. I pushed past them and into the gallery looking for a less congested place to start when I saw her. She was larger than the others and lit so she was glowing as if she was the only painting in the room. I knew the artist immediately and was surprised (though I shouldn’t have been) that there was a Picasso as part of the exhibition.

Picasso’s Nude Woman in Red Chair was utterly captivating. Utterly. I didn’t even care that I was in anyone’s way or that I wasn’t moving to the next painting or that I stood to close to the work: I was transfixed, a roadblock all of my own. 

Painting is a blind man’s profession. He paints not what he sees, but what he feels, what he tells himself about what he has seen.
— Pablo Picasso

Her curves, the colours, the dabs, the confident strokes. How the hand was like a winged brush against her cheek; a profile inside the face sharing the same lips as if in a kiss; the curve of her hips, the orb of her breast. She was Picasso’s lover, Marie-Therese Walton and the passion he had for her was evident in every brush stroke. Just the most beautiful work of art that photographs in books do no justice.

An as.ton.ish.ing piece of art. A masterpiece.

It wasn’t the only masterpiece there but after spending time with Picasso’s nude, Rodin, Dega, Matisse had nothing for me. I went back to her again and again. 

Status check: July

Listening to

Last month’s status check prompted @foxmwoods to leave the following comment:

I am tired of listening to men. I’ve downloaded a bunch of podcasts by women and have been listening to them.
— @foxmwoods

Checking my podcasts I listen to are almost exclusively men. So I went in search of audio content staring women. I didn’t find them that easy to find but then again, I’m not a good looker. I listened to some including Call Your Girlfriend and Death, Sex and Money which were both good but landed fairly squarely on Nerdette as my preferred new podcast presented by women.


Really bad movies! The Zone used to, until very recently, show very bad science fiction/horror movies at 9:30pm on a Friday night. The channel ceased to broadcast last week but that hasn’t stopped those of us who enjoyed the pastime of Tweeting through a terrible movie. Thanks to one of viewers who has managed to keep the band together, we all showed up a little earlier and each pushed PLAY on the YouTube offering The Incredible Melting Man.

By joves it was fun. In many ways, funner than it had been when we shared the channel with the television. Now each of us set our viewing up as we most liked it - mine was on my laptop with headphones in bed and tweeting on my phone. Hashtag bliss!

If you’d like to join in, watch out for @skeeter_nz’s Tweet on #cinemaz at approximately NZT6pm on Friday nights letting us know what movie to find on YouTube. We then meet up again online at 9pm to watch the movie.

Photos of your cats, beverages, socks, bingo cards etc are all welcome during the screening.

I wanted to be an academic but then I realised that academics are hedgehogs and I am a fox
— Malcolm Gladwell


A desperately sporadic reader, I’ve completed two books since we last spoke - as well as listened to one audio book:

I’ve bought three new books this week. I doubt I’ll be able to knock them off in a month given the reading success of the last few weeks, but let’s see how I go:


A new version of thejamjar.com? I love this current template and especially, I love the illustration Andre created for the header. But I think the template isn’t playing as nice as it used to not to mention it's feeling dated. Functionally the template is being a bit weird and seems to be eating comments (sorry Fox), as well as it won’t let me connect my Instagram account to keep you in my photographic loop via the sidebar.

I’ve created a new site but as yet have not got the gumption to switch over to the new site - mostly because I'm not sure that I love it enough. Please bear with me until I draw enough courage to pull up my big girl britches and take the stride forward in the continuing evolution of my long-suffering blog and don't get too much of a fright when you come here one day and everything is... cleaner.

Working on

My fitness. Which is hilarious to me. I am taking one step forward and two steps back. I've spent my entire time in the last couple of months fighting - sometimes winning, sometimes not - my personal need to stop doing anything that I have proved to work. I’m just coming off a two week exercise-less bender where I have pretty much undone any good I had done to myself the previous three months! 

Thinking about

Here’s another knee slapper - I’ve been thinking about the Mt Everest idea of saving $120,000 in the next decade. Gawd I’m shaking my head as I write this and it's based on the scanning of a newspaper article What you need for a comfy retirement earlier this week. Besides the newspaper being one that is taken less and less seriously in this country, what kind of goal is that for me to make when have such a fragile grasp on any goal achievement at the best of times. I’m going to think about it some more but don’t worry, it’s a thought exercise only so all Patreon "contributions" will continue.

Never too late to learn some embarrassingly basic, stupidly obvious things about oneself.
— Alain de Botton


Friendships? Oh no, I’m not fooling anyone. If my friends didn’t maintain our friendships themselves then pft, I’d be lost. Thanks especially to Fox, Craig, Bart and Kelly for always sending me letters, phoning, and instagrammes to keep our long-distance relationships going. 

a position requiring little or no work but giving the holder status or financial benefit.
synonyms: easy job, soft option;
— Learn a new word today