Today we were supposed to fly to Pisa and then stay in Lucca, Tuscany for five days. Instead we walked to Keyhaven, saw the Swans flying over head and some Egrets on the river bank. This is one of my favourite places around here and I'm very grateful that it's literally on the doorstep. I never get bored of walking there but it would have been very nice to have dropped off somewhere for a coffee on the way back.
I have been reading the catalogue of Picasso and Paper, the wonderful exhibition at the Royal Academy, London. I hadn't realised that the blue period paintings were inspired by his friend who took his own life. I have a small book "Picasso (Blue and Rose Periods), which is from a series of Collins Fontana Pocket Library of Great Art books. My Mum gave me this one along with three or four others when I was about sixteen. She had bought them in London in 1959 for around 5 shillings each. I remember pouring over them when I was a girl and I was particularly taken with Picasso's Blue and Rose period, Paul Klee and Degas. Each book has pages that fold out and show large details of the paintings. Klee was always my favourite and still is today. In 2002 there was a an Exhibition of Paul Klee's work "The Nature of Creation" at the Hayward Gallery in London. This was the first time I'd seen a large body of Klee's work and the show made a huge impression on me. I was surprised to see that most of his work is quite small, often only 21 x 31 cm or less. I had always imagined them to be so much larger and even though they are small they were still extremely powerful without being in your face as some art can be. I had always thought that a great work of art was extremely large - a prejudice that I still haven't got over. Many of these gems I had seen in my Mum's pocket book and there was my favourite, "Motif from Hammamet", a fantastic watercolour painted in 1914 and only 12.5 x 9.6cm. There is no other artist remotely like Klee and his work is so pure and authentic. This is his appeal to me - the thing that I strive for - authenticity.