Archive for the ‘Artist Lifestyle’ Category

Creating In The Time of Covid

May 2, 2020

The Jester, 11 x 14″ acrylic, KGT.

Pandemic. I didn’t even know about that word until February 2020.

The earliest record of a pandemic is from 430 B.C. sweeping through the Mediterranean lands during the Peloponnesian War. After the disease passed through Libya, Ethiopia and Egypt, it entered Athens as the Spartans laid siege. As much as two-thirds of the population died. Deadly disease that crosses borders of countries is nothing new to humans. The Spanish Flu of 1918 began in Kansas and was carried by soldiers during WWI, crossing to Europe and around America.

One of my artistic friends could not dispel feelings of her impending death, though she is not infected. How can we fight our own fears that we can’t shake off? Fear is the enemy of creativity.

Today we have the benefit of hindsight and scientific knowledge about deadly diseases, if that can even somehow help prevent feelings of panic and depression as we ride out self quarantines. “This too shall pass”, is one perspective we can take from history.

Though we are grieving for our former freedoms without restrictions, for our old ways of living, we can push past this. Obstacles are there to jump over. To push through.

WW2 era psychologist and philosopher Eric Fromm said, “Conditions for creativity are to be puzzled; to concentrate; to accept conflict and tension; to be born everyday; to feel a sense of self.”

A sense of self, important to any creative person is key. Why do we create, why make the images or art that may reach deep into our souls? Why splash the paint onto the canvas and become excited as we see the new thing emerge?

Actor John Cleese said, “Creativity is not a talent; it’s a way of operating.” This is so true for me. We may be born with this thing that makes us wired to create, so true. But then we learn how to work. Yes, it’s a discipline, or a love, but will go nowhere if there is not the driving force, the wish to go joyfully into the next day or time of life, and keep making. Moving the thing forward to the end.

Go joyfully to your end, or to the new day. That new day is what we are given and can embrace with that joy of discovery.

Joy is not only a “happy feeling.” It is more like an underlying trust in God, who gives and gives and supports. And Loves me.

This is my own knowing that supports me all my days.


The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable. (Robert Henri)

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