Featured artist on cover: Ilie Krasovschi

An Art-based Diary of Lockdown in the Pandemic

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached Romania on February 26, 2020. Ban on public gatherings, school and border closures were instated on March 8. The state of emergency was declared on March 16 and social distancing measures imposed for 60 days, up to May 15, 2020.

The diary is based on the related entries I posted these days on either LinkedIn or Facebook.

Remember. March – May 2020.

Featured artist on cover: Ilie Krasovschi

March 9March 13March 17March 19March 22March 24April 2April 4April 5April 8April 11April 12 April 16 April 21 April 28May 6

COVID-19_Ilie Krasovschi

“If everyone else on the Titanic is running for the lifeboats, you’re going to run too, regardless if the ship’s sinking or not.” – Steven Taylor

Featured artist: Ilie Krasovschi

In 1790, while serving in the Piedmontese army, the French aristocrat Xavier de Maistre was punished for dueling and placed under house arrest for forty-two days. The result was a memorable memoir, his classic Voyage Around My Room (Voyage autour de ma chambre – 1794).

Imprisoned in his room for six weeks, Xavier de Maistre looks at the furniture, engravings, etc., as if they were scenes from a journey in a strange land.

“I have just completed a forty-two-day voyage around my room. The fascinating observations I made and the endless pleasures I experienced along the way made me wish to share my travels with the public, and the certainty of having something useful to offer convinced me to do so. Words cannot describe the satisfaction I feel in my heart when I think of the infinite number of unhappy souls for whom I am providing a sure antidote to boredom and a palliative to their ills. For the pleasure of traveling around one’s room is beyond the reach of man’s restless jealousy: it depends not on one’s material circumstance.

Indeed, is there anyone so wretched, so forlorn as not to have some sort of garret in which to withdraw and hide from the world? For such is all that is required for travel.”

Featured artist: Li Zhi, The Season of the Butterfly, Art Safari 2019, Bucharest · Photography: Madalina Dobraca

Featured artist: Li Zhi, The Season of the Butterfly, Art Safari 2019, Bucharest · Photography: Madalina Dobraca

An all-time contemporary C. S. Lewis (writer of The Chronicles of Narnia) – excerpt from his text written in 1948 on living in an atomic age:

“The first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb, when it comes, find us doing sensible and human things – praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts — not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. [Bombs] may break our bodies (a microbe can do that), but they need not dominate our minds.”

Featured artist: Su Zhe, “Escape”, Art Safari 2019, Bucharest · Photography: Madalina Dobraca

Featured artist: Su Zhe, “Escape”, Art Safari 2019, Bucharest · Photography: Madalina Dobraca

Coping with Anxiety

Grounding is a practice that can help you pull away from overwhelming or negative emotions. It may help distract you from what you’re experiencing and refocus / regain control of your surroundings. You can use grounding techniques to create space from distressing feelings in almost any situation, but they are especially helpful if you are dealing with anxiety.

The 5-4-3-2-1 grounding / coping technique for anxiety appeals to the five basic human senses: sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste.

When distressed, use your senses to list things you notice around you, as follows:

5: FIVE things you can see

4: FOUR things you can touch / feel

3: THREE things you can hear

2: TWO things you can smell

1: ONE thing you can taste

The 5-4-3-2-1 exercise is a very simple and really effective grounding technique for adults and children alike. Try it out when in need (or even practice whenever you feel like it!) or search for other grounding techniques that may better suit you / further help you!

Note: Grounding yourself is great, but never hesitate to seek specialized advice when you are concerned!

Featured Artist: Gheorghe Fikl, “Fragile”, Art Safari 2019, Bucharest

Featured Artist: Gheorghe Fikl, “Fragile”, Art Safari 2019, Bucharest

Featured artist: Jean-Baptiste Monge

We may need to accept the need to feel, in the late hours, a little bit scared – and for a time, very very small. — The Book of Life brought by the School of Life

Featured artist: Jean-Baptiste Monge

“Home life is no more natural to us than a cage is natural to a cockatoo.” George Bernard Shaw

But please, #stayhome!

Laurent Chéhère, Flying Houses

Featured Artist: Laurent Chéhère, Flying Houses

🦋 ‘Just living is not enough’, said the butterfly, ‘one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower’. 🌼 Hans Christian Andersen – born today, April 2 (1805)

Katerina Ryabinina (RU), “H. C. Andersen - Wild Swans”, Lithography, 2020

Featured Artist: Katerina Ryabinina (RU), “H. C. Andersen – Wild Swans”, Lithography, 2020

“Alone” – a poem from 1975 by Maya Angelou, whom we are celebrating today (Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928)

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can’t use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I’ll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
‘Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Radhika Ravindran, “Phenomenal Woman: Maya Angelou”, ink on paper

Featured Artist: Radhika Ravindran, “Phenomenal Woman: Maya Angelou”, ink on paper

I can’t wait to hug you when this is over!

Hugs_Featured Artists (from left to right): Georgiana Chitac, Maria Laura Stroe aka Skinny Bunny, Daniel Balanescu

Featured Artists (from left to right): Georgiana Chitac, Maria Laura Stroe aka Skinny Bunny, Daniel Balanescu

“We are afraid of the enormity of the possible.” · “Ne este teama de imensitatea posibilului.” Emil Cioran, world-renowned Romanian philosopher and essayist, born today (April 8) in 1911

Michael Lassel, Romanian Trompe l’Oeil artist, “Hochzeit des Einhorns” / “The Wedding of the Unicorn”, 2000, oil on canvas

Featured: Michael Lassel, Romanian Trompe l’Oeil artist, “Hochzeit des Einhorns” / “The Wedding of the Unicorn”, 2000, oil on canvas

Healthy and hope-filled Easter to all my friends who are celebrating!

Be safe at home and rest assured that light will find its way – remember that ‘there is a crack, a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in’!

Pay it forward, #supportanartist! Featured: Valeria Moldovan, Romania | Contact for a commissioned artwork: valerie.moldovan@gmail.com (PS: The Westie in the pictures is my Billie, thanks to Valeria!)

Valeria Moldovan_Colaj

William Heath Robinson (1872 – 1944) was a British cartoonist, illustrator and artist, best known for drawings of whimsically elaborate machines to achieve simple objectives. Robinson became so well-known for the madcap contraptions, that a code-breaking device was named after him during WWII.

In 1936 W. Heath Robinson and the author K. R. G. Browne published “How to live in a Flat” – their satirical response to the changing domestic trends of the period.

Isn’t this highly topical today? 😉 #stayhome #besafe

How to live in a flat_W. Heath Robinson_collage

Tristan Tzara, best known internationally as one of the founders and central figures of the anti-establishment Dada movement, was born on this day (April 16) in 1896.

Born in Romania, the avant-garde poet, essayist, performance artist, journalist, playwright, literary and art critic, composer and film director – Tristan Tzara – moved to Paris in 1919, where he lived and worked until his death, in 1963, aged 67.

For these in-doors days, Tzara’s step-by-step tutorial on how “To make a Dadaist Poem” (1920):

“Take a newspaper.

Take some scissors.

Choose from this paper an article the length you want to make your poem.

Cut out the article.

Next carefully cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them all in a bag.

Shake gently.

Next take out each cutting one after the other.

Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.

The poem will resemble you.

And there you are – an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.”

Tristan Tzara by Man Ray

Featured: Tristan Tzara by Man Ray (American visual artist who spent most of his career in Paris and was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements)

“It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility; they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.” Charlotte Brontë, born today (April 21) in 1816.

George Richmond_Charlotte Bronte_National Portrait Gallery_London

Featured Artist: George Richmond (1809–1896), Charlotte Brontë, chalk, 1850. ©National Portrait Gallery, London

“Certain things give you another perspective in life.” José Carreras

Featured artist: Cinta Vidal Agulló

Cinta Vidal_collage

In this series of paintings, Barcelona-based artist Cinta Vidal Agulló defies gravity and architectural etiquette and creates embedded scenes of intersecting perspectives. Painted with acrylic on wood panels, Cinta describes her paintings as “un-gravity constructions”, saying that each piece examines how a person’s internal perspective of life may not match up with the reality around them.

“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” Sigmund Freud, born today (May 6) in 1856

Lido Rico_collage

Featured artist: Lidó Rico, “Brain Inside Out”, Bucharest, Carol Galleries, 2019 ▪ 📷: madalina dobraca, September 2019

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