Coronavirus and the Inspiration of Nature

I have to confess that the coronavirus quarantine, and its succession of unstructured days being confined to the house, has made it challenging to stay motivated and focused as an artist. However, one of the things I’ve found most helpful is the uplifting and comforting power of nature. I’m fortunate in that there are a number of parks and public gardens nearby. Walking around outside, even for an hour or so, really helps my state of mind. What’s more, plants, animals, and water offer many opportunities for inspiration.

Tree with White Flowers

I took this photograph at Rutgers Gardens in New Brunswick. The white flowers really stood out on the misty, overcast day that I was there. I added a distressed texture and enhanced the lighting to play up this contrast.

Tree with White Flowers, (c) JoAnn Telemdschinow, 2020

Spreading Cherry Tree

I was lucky enough to be at Rutgers Gardens when the cherry trees were blooming. This tree, with its masses of colored flowers, seemed magical in the dim light. I tried to capture its dreamlike beauty.

Spreading Cherry Tree, (c) JoAnn Telemdschinow, 2020


The day I took this photo, I had wanted to go to Rutgers Gardens again, but learned that it was closed. I spotted these flowers on one of the islands of the Target parking lot! I loved their vibrant red color. Here I overlaid a worn texture and selectively blurred the image, giving it a soft, dreamlike quality.

Tulips, (c) JoAnn Telemdschinow, 2020

Pond, Bicentennial Park

This is a quiet park tucked in a residential area of East Brunswick. The morning I visited it, there were only a handful of people there, and all I could hear was the rustling of the leaves and the birds chirping in the trees. I came across this vista of a small pond. I liked the view of the pond through the trees, and the reflection of light on the water. I took the photograph, but later used texture and lighting effects to suggest a peaceful, Impressionist painting.

Pond, Centennial Park, (c) JoAnn Telemdschinow, 2020

I hope you’ve been coping with the challenges of life in quarantine. What helps you cope? Please feel free to share your thoughts with me!

Time to Make Art

The Ghost Birds, (c) JoAnn Telemdschinow, 2020

Like many other artists, I have a full time job in the “real world.” I have, for a long time, also accepted that this means that my artmaking has to accommodate the schedule and demands of my job. I do not complain about this fact, but, sometimes, it’s been challenging to give my art the attention it deserves.

Now the Coronavirus has disrupted my work life, as it has that of so many other people.

At first, it’s hard to believe that I now have so much time to work on my art… more than I’ve had for many years! At the same time, it’s also bewildering to suddenly not have the structure of an outside job, and to have to create my own schedule and set my own goals.

I have done my best to keep myself busy. I have been trying out new ideas, such as my photomontages. (See The Ghost Birds above.) It is easier to work on these projects with undivided time and attention, and I’m encouraged by progress that I’ve made. I’ve also been trying to improve my photography skills. This morning, I went out to a local park and took some photos of the blossoming flowers and trees, trying to take shots of things I found interesting. And while not all of them are great photos, I think I’m learning and hopefully bringing fresh things to my work. And I also try to appreciate that I have this opportunity to create art, that I have my good health, and the support of my friends.

Cherry Blossoms, Rutgers Gardens, New Brunswick, (c) JoAnn Telemdschinow, 2020

Like everyone else, I hope that the virus outbreak will go away soon. It’s been a time of anxiety and uncertainty for everyone. I’ve tried to make the best of a totally unexpected and scary situation and make something good of it. Hopefully, we will all come out of it strong and with renewed purpose!