Lens-Artists Challenge #110 – Creativity in the Time of Covid



“Creativity doesn’t wait for that perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones.”

Bruce Garrabrandt

Last week Amy patterned her Under the Sun challenge after the novel “Under the Tuscan Sun“. This week we’re playing on the words of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s highly acclaimed “Love in the Time of Cholera“.  Knowing that generations past have managed to emerge from pandemics, with far less knowledge of science and pharmacology,  offers hope that one day we too will view Covid 19 as a distant memory.  In the meanwhile, many of us have found ways to cope with those restrictions through our efforts to maintain our creativity. This week it’s time to focus on those efforts.

birdlike seashell


“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.”

Maya Angelou

Many bloggers, including yours truly, have been fortunate to travel extensively, learning about other cultures and seeing the world’s wonders. We’ve used our focus on photography and blogging to share those travel experiences with others. Now that we have for the most part been confined closer to home, we’ve been challenged to find other ways to channel our creative energies.



“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

Albert Einstein

We may no longer be able to visit places like the Great Wall of China, or the rose walls of Petra, or the temples of Angkor Wat, but we have learned that there are other wonders in and around our homes that are worthy of creative exploration. As an example, some weeks ago a good friend shared with me her amazing collection of seashells, all gathered from the beach here on Kiawah Island. Having lived here 20+ years and never seen the likes of them, I must admit I became a bit obsessed with photographing them.



“To practice any art, no matter how well or how badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.”

Kurt Vonnegut

Perhaps more interestingly, my friend – who is a wonderful artist – has decided to make them the subject of a series of beautiful oil paintings. You can see her first result on her blog Jane Iwan Studio  which features the shell in the image below. I visited with Jane earlier this week both to satisfy my own creative interest in these beautiful shells and to see how she is coming along with her paintings of them.



“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.”

Paulo Coelho

As Jane told me, the shells are primarily whelks, which she learned from consulting the book “Seashells of the World”. Not surprisingly, she is already working on her second painting along with writing her second novel. (Her first, Refugee of the Heart”  is available on Amazon and is a fictional story drawn from her time living in Hong Kong.) Obviously her creativity gene is alive and well and hasn’t been challenged by geographic restrictions. Her second painting, shown in process in her studio, is featured in my opening image. It captures the shell(s) in the image below.

Accreted whelk and shells


“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.”

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

As for me, blogging is a way to address two of my favorite creative outlets, photography and writing. Both through my own efforts and those of the bloggers I follow I am able to experience the world – both the wide outside world and my own place within in – from a creative perspective. This year in order to protect those efforts, I focused some of my lockdown time on a blog-to-book project, printing all of my posts since starting Travels and Trifles in 2012. I highly recommend the exercise if you are interested in preserving your own work for the future.



To be creative means to be in love with life.”


Sincere thanks to my friend Jane for sharing her studio, her artistic passion, her beautiful seashells, and her works in progress with me. Her generosity has been a wonderful subject for my own creative energies this week. So how about you? We’d love you to share with us the ways you’ve fueled and satisfied your creative energies these past few months as the pandemic has restricted our ability to move freely. We look forward to seeing the focus and results of your creativity.

Thanks also to Amy for her beautiful post hosting last week’s Under The Sun challenge and to those of you who, as always, responded with wonderfully creative posts. 

Have you seen these?

  • Priscilla of sillagrace explores the impact of recent changes in her own life under the sun
  • Tish Farrell tells a compelling tale about her years in Africa, Beneath a Tropic Sun
  • Jude gives us a peek at the changing landscapes of the UK’s southwest in Cornwall in Colors
  • We welcome Mesca of HIP Photography who brings us a bit of sunny color for the week

Finally, are you interested in learning more about about the team behind the Lens-Artists Challenge?  If so, we invite you to visit TCHistorygal.net where you’ll find our recent interview with Marsha Ingrao of Always Write. It was great working with Marsha and being a part of her Artists’ Interview series. We thank her sincerely for her efforts on our behalf. 

We hope you’ll join us next week for Patti’s challenge #111. Until then, as always take care and stay safe.

263 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #110 – Creativity in the Time of Covid

  1. What a very thoughtful and beautiful post, Tina. You inspire us to expand our horizon and leave the comfort zone in so many aspects. Sublime photography and thank you for the tip about printing the blog posts – I’ll give it a thought.

    • Thanks so much Dina, it seems we are all sharing similar frustrations these days. Glad this one caught your eye. The books have given me great peace of mind knowing my work won’t ever be lost!

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  4. this is a beautiful post Tina!!! I love theses shots of the creative shell sculptures….and of course Jane’s artsy studio. Her work is so brilliant n so meaningful.Ans YES i have been very thankful through the years to be a fly on your lens….i have enjoyed every journey!!! This summer i have been taking advantage of my isolated time cleaning out 30 years of life in our New England home hoping for a sale. What a journey this has been….not sure where all of the STUFF came from…..I look forward to seeing u this fall for some golf back on the island !!

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  12. A delightful choice of images for this challenge, Tina. What a beautiful collection of shells! Looking for seashells was always my favorite part of going on holiday to the coast when I was a child (that and riding on the donkeys.) Thank you for introducing us to your friend’s amazing talent and creativity.

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  25. Your friend’s work is fantastic and I love the idea of you putting your blogs to books. Are you using a program of spending hours cutting and pasting. As for me I don’t think I have done anything creative in this time of lockdown so I may or may not come up with something to join in with.

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