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BLOG: Not Half Bad Representing PICASSO by Lead Author - Frankie Picasso

It was a Tuesday morning when I received the call. The voice on the other asked “ Are you Frankie Picasso”? I said, “Yes I am, how can I help you?” The woman on the other end of the line said her name was Madison and she worked for an AD Agency whose client was HP Toners and Inks. They had come up with a crazy ad campaign looking for Canadian's with famous Painters last names, like Monet, Pollack, Vermeer, Van Gogh and yes, PICASSO!!! She asked me to hold on a moment and brought her boss Andrew on the line. He told me that what they wanted to do is have each of these folks paint one or two of their namesakes Famous paintings. Are you kidding me? How cool an idea is that! It’s exactly the kind of idea I would have come up with…smile.

I felt it only fair to tell him in full disclosure that I am a painter, an artist with my own artwork on Fine Art America’s website. He said he knew that already, but perhaps I could paint it with my left hand. You see, the idea of the Ad Campaign was “ Even though it says it’s a Picasso, doesn’t mean it is one” meaning the quality isn’t the same. No kidding..hahhaaa. I said, “DONE”! I was in.

As it turned out, I was picked up and taken to a hip art gallery called TWIST in a gentrified neighborhood, in the west end of downtown Toronto, a place I knew in my twenties tobe the hangout for prostitutes and drug addicts.

The gallery was perfect and after hanging around for a few hours, they finally said,”Frankie you are up!” Milling about were photographers, videographers, a make-up artist and hair dresser. There was even a ‘wardrobe’ lady who had me change into an old grey shirt that looked like an undergarment you would wear before heading out into the Great White North. She then put a stiffly painting lab coat on top of that and sent me on my way. Time4:45pm Saturday afternoon. I was supposed to start at 2:00pm. Now, staring me in the face was a huge blank canvas 6 ft x 4 ft.

The picture they wanted me to paint was Picasso’s The Mirror. I am 5’1” and could barely reach the top. I also suffer with chronic pain and standing, bending and reaching were adding to my distress. How would I pull this off in a few hours? As I began my painting, the videographer is right beside me, cheering me on. The crew had to be out of the studio by 6, GONE and have the place clean. They were losing light and I had the biggest painting in front of me I have ever done, and they were packing away the paint I desperately needed. I didn’t need the handicap of my left hand on this one, time was handicap enough.

Now I KNOW I am a fast painter. I can usually paint an 18 x 34 “ canvas in 4 hours, but FEET? 6 feet? Not a chance.. Well, my friends, I surprised myself and everyone else. I finished that painting in 1 hour and half and while sweat was dripping down my entire body, I have to say, it wasn’t half bad considering it was supposed to be bad.  Andrew told me that because of my radio background and comfort in the media, he chose me to

represent the campaign at the Art GALLERY Reveal for their Client and other notables at a cocktail party in two weeks time. This ‘art show’ was being held in the very trendy, DISTILLERY District in downtown Toronto.

My big Picasso, was now framed and held center stage in ARTA Gallery and my smaller Picasso, The FACE looked great on the wall. Food, cocktails, videos, and a selfie with the client made my night. Even the Gallery director loved my painting and wanted to keep it up for a while. It was fun and exciting and an honor to represent PICASSO! Oh, What happened to the painting? I know that the client wanted to keep them around for a bit to see what else could be done with them all, but when I agreed to paint it, I asked that it be auctioned off for Charity. I KNOW that will happen eventually,

just not when…smile.

Hey Look for it on EBAY.. You might just own your own Picasso.

( frankie paints custom pet paintings at or visit her page at

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