Originally published in 1998 as » Daily Drawing Nr. 34

Big mama isn’t quite what comes to mind with this painting … I choose this painting today because I wanted to have something simple and this painting is obliged to Beckmann, too, like yesterday’s painting. Now it is a woman, and she is mature, but it cannot be seen if she is a mother. I guess she is what the Romans called matron (my WordWeb thesaurus/dictionary - highly recommended - says: married woman (usually middle-aged with children) who is staid and dignified).

She certainly is a powerful person, calm and self-reliant. I realize that many of my painted women have rather masculine traits, and she belongs to them. Men on the contrary are often rather soft and feminine, and if it is a couple you can see this very clearly, for example

So may I guess my conscious personality, my ego is a rather soft, feminine person, whereas my unconscious, intuitive anima is strong, resolute, manly? Is this the way to read a painting?

Beckmann painted some of these powerful women, too, for example Columbine of 1950, the year he died (scan by Mark Harden, click for online-blowup, original St.Louis, MO, Museum, 135*100 cm, 53×39″).

You can feel some fear of women in Beckmann’s paintings which is lacking in mine. There is no essential antagonism between the sexes in my paintings, let alone brutality as in Picasso’s.

If interpreted psychologically, female and male forces exist in every soul and should strive to unite, symbolized in the holy wedding. Indeed, some hints to wedding ceremonies can be found, i.e. in 245 and 226 above, the latter being performed by a veritable goddess.

To given an example of Picasso’s women (he has got plenty and very diverse, so this is just to illustrate the argument above): Woman in an armchair (click for online-blowup, original Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf, 1941, 81*65 cm, 32*26″).