Picasso's Blue Period and What That Can Mean To You

By Jeremy Blake on May 28, 2020

Around this time in 1990 I was completing my last painting for my A level in Art.  I was in the village near my school and painting a section of the church.

I heard a lot of laughter as a young couple in their twenties ran into the church yard.  The man saw my easel and let go of his girlfriend’s hand and started to approach me. “Don’t listen to his advice!”, she called ahead.

He then told me the way get a good grade in Art was to use cobalt blue. “Teachers and assessors love blue.  Look, you can make part of the hedge blue, the light is making it blue, see.”

Well I passed, though the sections of cobalt blue around parts of the hedge, didn’t rocket my grades.

Move back further to 1901 and the world’s most famous artist is in his blue period. This was Picasso working with restrictions and challenging himself to create art only using shades of blue.  The themes begin as solemn and dark and then expanded into raising the figures he painted into strong beings.

“Picasso metaphorically allows his subjects to escape their fate and occupy a utopian state of grace.” National Gallery of Art

By 1904 Picasso had emerged from the blue and was pushing boundaries again in 1907 as one of the founders, along with George Braque of Cubism.

Many of you are restricted by having less colours on your palette and less brushes to paint with.  By experimenting with less, you can become more resourceful and create new things and alternative services that serve the time we are in.

Many businesses are having to adapt and create entirely new ways of having a business.  My friend Danny Hoskins at Bedlam Brewery has turned their brewery from one that only sold to pubs, to one that only currently sells direct to consumers.  They made this switch in weeks and are thriving.  Jennifer Patrice, a wedding celebrant, has changed her business to one of pre marriage counselling for her clients and has gained many referrals in the process.  My god daughter Ellen Ayres has changed the way she promotes her beauty business, Ellen Ayes Make Up Artistry. She has made herself the model and her social media channels are offering great tutorials, while putting together beauty product packages to apply from home.

Not every person can thrive and be an ideas person able to see new ways to adapt and grow. The skill is to surround yourself with people who can and start testing.

Testing an idea, and test marketing a new service or product package, is a great way to see what your market and customer base might want.

The most important tip of all, you don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going. People like to support innovation.