Be Creative in Bad Times

Shadows on fig leave

The Corona virus has slowed down life enormously. Most activities have been cancelled or are replaced by digital meetings. The current situation in the Netherlands is close to a lock down: schools are closed, everybody who can work from home is asked to do so, the 1.5 meter rule, social distancing, a healthcare system under pressure, logistic challenges for supermarkets. Nation-wide speeches of the Prime Minister and the King make us aware it is serious business. Daily updates of contamination and death figures have their impact. It makes you realize that you cannot take life for granted.

This Corona crisis gives mixed feelings. On the one hand, the almost complete stand still of the economy will cause a deep recession. On the other hand, people in essential jobs do their utmost best to keep the healthcare system running and robust, to supply the supermarkets, to educate our children etc. A big applause for all of them. Society is being turned upside down. There are no rules (expect of course the measures of the cabinet), so people start to think out of the box. Suddenly, there is creativity everywhere to handle the crisis.

As a retired person my main contribution to the crisis is to stay indoors as much as possible and adhere to the measures of the cabinet. For physical health I do some exercises, yoga, and walking in the woods. For mental health, I do a lot of reading (just finished Grand Hotel Europa door Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, in Dutch). By watching Jeroen Krabbé zoekt Chagall (in Dutch), and Jeroen Krabbé zoekt Gaugain (also in Dutch). I also picked up Creative Photography again by continuing to read Grip op Creativiteit door Bart Siebelink (in Dutch). In bad times art may provide comfort.

One of the things Bart Siebelink says: surprise your viewer, make them puzzle a bit. That inspired me by making two pictures. Our garage is our “orangery” during the winter. Late in the afternoon, the sun shines on these plants. This year the fig started to grow its big leaves quite early. I made a close up of these fresh leaves on which shadows of other plants were projected by the sun (see picture at the top).

The other one, at the bottom, is a crop of withered roses I made some time ago with a macro lens. Here I just focussed on a few petals of one rose. The pink color stands for passion and the petals next to each other give a nice repetition.

With these two pictures I like to contribute with art to provide a bit of comfort. Hope you enjoy and stay healthy.

Petals of withered rose