Wearing blue and rose flowers to the exhibition “The young Picasso: blue and rose periods”

Dress & Jeans Jacket: Yes or No, Bag: H&M, Scarf: a gift

“I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
Pablo Picasso

A few weeks back I visited the exhibition “The young Picasso: blue and rose periods” at the Beyeler museum in Basel. The exhibition wasn’t  only about blue and rose paintings, but showed very well how Picasso, by embracing and applying new techniques, developed his own style. His credo of always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it has worked out well for him and has even led to a new art movement: cubism.

As Easter is a symbol of a new beginning, I’d thought it apt to publish a blogpost about new beginnings and trying out new things this Easter weekend, taking Picasso as a starting point.

Enjoy this cultural spring blogpost full of fresh ideas and flowery photos!

The joy of learning something new

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
Pablo Picasso

In the beautiful garden of the Beyeler museum

As a teacher of young children (age 8-12), I absolutely like the title of the Picasso exhibition: “The Young Picasso: blue and rose periods”. What the exhibition shows, and what I observe on a daily basis, is how wonderful learning new things is. And how rewarding it is. I see children who do not speak a single word of English or French growing, in only a few weeks time, into children being able to proudly communicate some basics, like their name and age in a foreign language. And when that first joy is there, the learning just keeps going and flowing!

Picasso made lots of progress in his younger years too. In a period of just 6 years (1901-1906) he grew from an artist who painted quite traditionally into an artist who kicked off a complete new movement; Cubism.

Blue & Rose

“Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.”
Pablo Picasso

His blue period (1901-1904) was one in which he painted the sad side of life. One of his friends, Charles Casagemas, had committed suicide because of an unanswered love and this hurt Picasso in his soul. He started painting about heartache and hardship, human misery and existential themes in shades of blue.

Do you remember my question, a few blogposts back, why winter-blues are called winter-blues? At the exhibition I noticed that for Picasso blue was the colour associated with sadness and melancholic feelings. In that valuable period in his life, he could really only paint in blue. Could this be a source for that expression?

Why blue for sadness? When I was writing another blogpost (about a flowery summer dress) I discovered that only after WWII pink became associated with girls and blue with boys. Before that it was the reverse. Read what was printed in an American women’s magazine, the Ladies’ Home Journal, in 1918:

“There has been a great diversity of debate on the subject, but the generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger colour, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.”

Might this be a reason why Picasso painted in blue when he felt valuable and started painting in pink and red when he was feeling stronger and more alive again? I am by no means an expert on art, but that doesn’t mean I can have my own humble thoughts about it.

Try out something new

“Go and do the things you can’t. That is how you get to do them.”
Pablo Picasso

Having your own thoughts and following them was something Picasso did all his life. He was not afraid to try out new techniques or even different art forms, like sculpting. He also regularly moved to a different place. Change did him good, helped him progress.

Feeling warm and welcome in the café Parisien at the Beyeler Museum in Basel.

I am not claiming we should all be masters in our fields like Picasso was in his. What I do promote is change though; small changes. I strongly believe that stepping out of your comfort zone does you good. It will spice up your life, broaden your horizon and make you progress!

Stepping out of my comfort zone

“What one does is what counts and not what one had the intention of doing.”
Pablo Picasso

More photos of my dress here, of the bag here and of the jeans jacket here and here.

It’s easier said than done, stepping out of your comfort zone.

Starting this blog was a huge step out of my comfort zone. It is so very different from teaching youngsters a foreign language. And having this idea of inspiring others through a blog is not the same as actual doing it. It took me 2 years of building up the courage to start  blogging. It is often pretty personal, you should come up with fresh ideas regularly and you expose yourself and your ideas to a big, unknown world. Scary stuff!

Well, after nearly 100 blogposts (incredible, right?) I can tell you this:

My blogging has lead to an improvement of my writing skills, a better understanding of my passions in life, a better knowledge of many different subjects (such as art, communication, holiday destinations, use of language and myself), a more creative view in general and a better knowledge of what I like fashion-wise and why.

It has also provided me with lots of new contacts and has given my self-confidence a boost, since I receive so many positive (personal) reactions on my blogposts. They go from thank you notes for travel tips and restaurant reviews to compliments about my outfits and even (these are the ones that make me most happy) messages to tell me that one of my blogposts was the trigger for a positive change in readers’ lives.

Little did I know that all that would be the results of me enjoying doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

How about you?

“Action is the foundational key to all success.”
Pablo Picasso

How about you? Are you staying warm and welcome in your comfort zone or are you mastering new things in life by stepping out of it now and then?

Bird Cages above the square near the Beyeler museum restaurant (great for lunch!). Ready to fly out?

Thank you, as always, for reading my blog. I would be very happy to have something to read myself as well, so please tell me your reaction on Picasso’s wise words and how you apply changes in your life. You can share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.




The Picasso exhibition can be visited till the 26th of May 2019. Basel is a great city for a short or longer weekend trip; it has got a lovely old town, the Alsace and Black Forest are around the corner, as is an airport with regular flights to many European destinations.


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  1. That would be a fabulous exhibition! Have you ever been to the Kröller Moller museum Lieske? And what a funny story about the pink and blue! I would dat that blue is the stronger color. Enjoy your Easter weekend(or vacation, as you are a teacher?)

    1. I love the Kröller Möller museum and its surroundings a lot. It’s always a feast visiting it. Enjoy your extremely sunny and warm Easter weekend too Nancy. Love, Lieske

  2. Dear Lieske, alwaysa pleasure to read your blog! I also went to this exhibition and totally agree on not forgetting to welcome new things in our life, be it travelling, reading talking etc.
    on my way to Zürich on Wednesday I talked to a buddhist from Bhutan. His way if looking at the world, really was an eye opener and helped me a lot as I am going through a sad period.
    Keep going Lieske!!!!

    1. Thank you for your reaction Zouzou, especially for sharing your buddhist story with us. It’s amazing how unexpected meetings, conversations and people can help us in times of sadness. Thinking of you. Love, Lieske

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