Between 1900 and 1904 Pablo Picasso painted almost exclusively with the color blue, there was some green and a couple of other colors to accentuate the almost monochromatic paintings but he painted in blue so much it became known as his blue period. It was a hard sell at the time but now those works are lauded over, perhaps not as much as his most famous works such as The Weeping Woman or Girl Before a Mirror which were the first of his paintings I remember being struck by, not because I knew much about art but I liked the vibrant colors and abstract interpretation, technically speaking I found them pretty and declared myself a fan of Picasso. If anyone asked me why I liked Picasso I’d eloquently reply with a deep sense of sophistication “The colors and shapes are all bright and wild.” Which made it hard to understand why I fell in love with his blue period as much as I did when I first stumbled upon it but fall in love I did. I still adore his 1930s works but his blue period holds a special place in my heart. I’m not sure exactly why but I think it’s because it signifies a moment in time in which I realized I liked the artist indiscriminately, because when I saw his Arlequin accoudé for the first time at the Met I was blown away and had no idea it was a work by Picasso until I read the little square of paper next stuck to the wall next to the painting. I guess it taught me that just because you can play your guitar loud doesn’t mean you can’t write the gentlest of melodies. I wrote a poem and named it Nicotine Stained it has absolutely nothing to do with Picasso but I do mention the color blue.


Nicotine stained

Ready to faint

My feet remained

Like an endless pain

Trapped inside

A blue portrait

Or an unlocked gate

For the horses to run away

I can’t be blamed

I’m a devil and a saint

A bad habit

Turned into a character trait

The clock on the oven

Is three hours late

On the completely wrong date

A puddle of rain

Has kids splashing again

The adults watch

And the children play

The parents talk

About the family portrait

Hanging in a new picture frame

They were dressed the same

Wearing all blue

And smiles covering the tales

Told in vein

About going and staying

When it feels right to remain

But I’m ready to faint

I’m whiskey soaked

And nicotine stained