About the Visuals

Baltic Sea Coast Flower | That on top!
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How it began.
It was cold. Easter 2018 on the Baltic Sea coast of the enchanting Fischland-Darß-Zingst peninsula chain in beautiful Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. On that Easter Sunday everything was covered in deep snow. A very friendly stranger formed an Easter rabbit out of the snow and pasted it to the bark of a big tree next to the sidewalk in such a way that it looked as if the bunny would climb up the stem. Fantastic. Then the splendour thawed and it stayed cold and it stayed beautiful because this is a place in this world which is genuinely beautiful with its beaches, forests and pretty villages. At least for me it could hardly have been better.

One place was particularly picturesque. There people painted and took pictures especially of this bit of landscape. A postcard motif so to speak. An idyll. When I later repainted the cloudy scene from my smartphone at the table in Frankfurt’s lovely Northend onto an original paper cardboard, I suddenly had to laugh out loud: I imagined a person – maybe a vacation guest – in a vacation home covered with reed, lovingly renovated, spacious, tastefully furnished, cuddly warm through crackling firewood, of marzipan-Easter-eggs scented, as s/he shuffled to the window, looked briefly at the sky and annoyingly said: “That on top!” Then I saw myself at the window of a charming apartment in an apartment building over 120-years old in Frankfurt with a view over the roof tops saying tensed “That on top!”. I had to grin and started painting. In retrospect these Das noch!-moments are not so bad.

And here’s the Marina-That on top!- version
This is not a flower! ☺︎ ^_^

Ela! | Zinnia

How it began.
It was a beautiful sunny day in Frankfurt Northend. Last delicate veils of clouds moved to the northeast. I looked at the zinnias and their shadows on the slightly weathered zinc boarding of the roof’s cutout, framed by the old slate of the dormer. A little outside of the zinnia cluster, which was about to transform itself, stood the one undecided. Deep in the flower’s unconscious, it heard itself saying, “Ela!”

Go! Let’s go! Move! All that is “Ela!” (Greek). Observing the situation, I added for her, “Look around you – things are happening. It’s time. You can do this!”

BAM | Knapweed

How it began.
Imagine you are standing in the Redwood National Park surrounded by over 100m high Sequoia trees in a very small space. Or, to put it another way, imagine that you are a dwarf among giants. A dwarf surrounded by a fence. That’s how I imagined the knapweed in a front yard in Frankfurt’s Northend: everything is higher than this flower, plus it is enclosed.

Suddenly the knapweed-flower went “BAM.” For me, these three letters stand for passion or energy that is discharged. Was the flower in love? Did it want to blow the fence? … Your decision 🙂 For sure a being with some willpower. Why the smoke spread in a rather controlled cloud is another story.

Oxytocin Secretion? | Purple Foxglove

How it began.
Even a rather muddy looking Main River in Frankfurt/Germany can turn into sparkles of purples and blues when being in love. For some this sentiment is a bath in miracles: talking purple foxgloves letting go their dots as if being cornucopias. Creating a page in a fairy tale book. The prince´s and princess´s horse from the barn nearby.

For the highly rational among us, being in love presents itself differently: it is all about chemistry in our body starting to rock & roll. An oxytocin secretion? Both approaches – being rather emotional and being rather rational are fine. In the end, everything is beautiful.

…??!! | Bellflower

How it began.
I was walking our dog, Ella, through Frankfurt’s Northend. She sniffed happily and leisurely. It gave me time to take photos. That’s when I saw the bellflower growing up high on its delicate stem. The bellflower was connected with a turquoise plastic clip to the fence of iron bars, surely well meant by the proprietor. I found the scene interesting.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to tell whether it’s better to grow freely without support, some support, or to grow together with some adjustments. Whether it’s better to ask, “Would you hold me??” or to scream, “Set me free!!” This dilemma led to the title.

I’m out | Japanese Shrub Spar

How it began.
A white blossom ball with tiny green and yellow spots. It lay on its curvy stem as if rolled on the asphalt pavement, its “bobbes” (Frankfurt dialect for “backside”), somewhere in the green thicket on the other side of the fence in Frankfurt’s Northend. It made it, I thought to myself, and heard the spar say, “I’m out!” At the same time, as if as an independent echo, it called out, “I’m in!” It’s all a matter of perspective; a matter of space and time.

So now I look at the picture and ask myself with a smile, where am I actually now?

Animated Icon | Daffodil

How it began.
The raindrops on the blades of grass are in this picture the “icons”. Drops are running down the blade. “Are they animated”? wonders the Daffodil, which is fascinated by IT. What impact can IT with the right codes have? And with a little twist looking at the (tear)drops: “What is fake and what is real when it comes to emotions”?

Creating Peripersonal Space | Easter Bell

How it began.
Has this ever happened to you? You’re talking to someone in your office building´s cafeteria whom you don’t know really. You have not yet drunk wine together. As a result, for some people in Germany (and in other countries): keeping distance at least an arm’s length from your nose can’t hurt. It can even be a little more. Analog to your own well-being program, you would like to maintain this distance or more at all costs. Your counterpart, however, has a different preferred social distance: 50cm. This is significantly less than yours. What happens? You take a step back and now the dance will begin: you back, he/she behind; you back again, he/she behind again, … . Slowly your neck starts getting sweaty. You now go to the cafeteria´s coffee machine 10 meters away. He/she also follows after and stands again (only) 50cm next to you. In this moment you hit the brakes and claim you have a sudden appointment.

Person A is asking her/himself: well, why doesn’t he/she give me enough space?
Person B is asking her/himself: why is he/she so dismissive?
It could have been so wonderful ☺︎

Slowly, Slowly | German Easter Bell

How it began.
You stand at the supermarket checkout, your purchases glide for what feels like 10 meters to the cashier, are briefly lifted over the scanner and then end in a 50cm short catch basin, where your desired and paid for goods push into each other without hesitation. Behind you, people line up. The line extends all the way to the bread counter. In pre-Corona days, the distance to the next person, depending on distance preference, was between zero centimeters (heel) and a maximum of one meter (with exceptions) in Frankfurt’s beautiful Northend. For someone who acquired expertise over the years on how to effectively and efficiently store things up, purchases are placed on the belt according to a finely tuned system – in my case: large and heavy first, then smaller and firmer, finally goods with a risk of getting mushy. You feel the frowning looks of the person behind you in the back of your neck, “oh no, not that item on top!” Then you hear the voice of the friendly person behind the cash register saying to you: “slowly, slowly” while you are putting goods swiftly into your shopping bag. Hairs on the back of your neck stand up. You know it’s meant nicely. Still (on some days).
People tick differently, as we all know. Just let us do it without comment: Some in stoic calm linear fashion one item after another without system, the others systemically in no time, although, it looks chaotic to some ☺︎. In the end, the purchases are stowed in the bag, and everyone is happy.

Empathy | Vase with 13 People

How it began.
The metamorphosis of the flowers was completed (see picture “Metamorphosis”). I wondered what it’s like to literally see things from a flower´s perspective, in order to be empathetic. How does it feel to be a human being among 12 other people in a vase? It was also a self-experiment: I found myself in the vessel as well, with my hair parted out of place and found that the idea of sitting outside at the wooden table with a view of the garden and distant water was much more pleasant than squatting close together in the wet confines. I feel the same way in other situations: putting myself into the shoes of others can be disturbing. ☺︎ ^_^

Metamorphosis | Vase with Flowers Turning into Something New

How it began.
There had to be a change. Not only the motif itself, but also the style in which the flowers are painted. Everything else should remain the same. The flowers should change but remain concrete. “Doodling” has always been particularly popular with me during school hours or at university to relax. Doodle came back to me, and I started to work on it.
I didn’t want any change in the temporal space. No flowers wilting and being stuck in some intermediate stage. I wanted the stage of “real” transformation in concrete space (followed by my painting “Empathy”). Thanks to Doodle.

Love you … too | Tulips

How it began.
I had been looking for something that, from my point of view, represents the most unselfish, significant value that people can carry within themselves and the most beautiful and strongest positive feeling: love.
Tulips allow you to look into their innermost depth and in this way create trust. They make a nice metaphor for “love”. I wanted them to carry each other over the clouds because they cannot be head over heels in love due to the lack of heels 😉 The elevation determined the perspective of the painting.

Digital Literacy | Luneburg Heath

How it began.
The same day as in “Reciprocity”: The North German Plain and here the highest point in a cosy 40 degrees heat. Phew! That’s where it gets exhausting. The tiny heath blossoms in the scorching heat don’t turn into oases on the buzzing horizon but they do turn into ones and zeros in my phantasy (and the last time I hallucinated about “ones” as in A`s in other than the German school system was in my school days), Well, that’s the way it is: Some dream of wild-romantic encounters in the heath, others of coding in the digital IT world.
My IT world, however, has very little to do with the professional IT world. Here I already groan when a text is lost, and I don’t know how to recover it. When I want to send an 80-page slide presentation by e-mail but the data volume is clearly exceeded. When I am shot into nirvana in the middle of a virtual meeting. There are many other funny situations – dog bites the power cord – … In the meantime, I resolve many of them easily. In my digital alphabetization I have already reached the letter “O”. Work in Progress ☺︎

Garden Cosmos | Cyber Lead Where are You?

How it began.
It should become a garden buffet for bees. Among all the flower seeds that accumulated in the garden belonging to the “world best” apartment building, in our garden in the lovely Frankfurt Nordend, the “Jewel Basket”, as the Cosmea is also called, grew up most magnificently. Larger and larger, higher and higher, it shot past the other flowers and also past me towards the sky. Not all the blossoms stretched their heads in the same direction: some looked up, some to the side, others down as if they were looking for something. Only what?
Dill-like, the numerous very narrow and long cosmea leaves pushed their way into the garden world. From a distance, they looked like a pale greenish-silver shoal of fish in a virtual world. It moved in sync. A clever team that saw itself as a unit and together delivered a strong online presence. The pink cosmos flowers looked around for their cyber lead. Just there and suddenly transported by the Cosmos to another environment, they called out: Cyber Lead Where are You?

Angel´s Trompet | Fake News!!

How it began.
You couldn’t miss them. And with a little imagination you couldn’t fail to hear them either. A grey-day mood led me to the Bethmannpark in lovely Frankfurt Northend. All the photos of various flowers that I had taken until then for this pictorial statement were out of the question. For me, “Fake News!” wanted to be shouted out from exactly this alkaloid angel´s trumpet: aged and bloated in the wind once again.

I heard relatives and friends asking: how did you come up with that? What makes you so sure? Where did you get the information from? Would you bet a large amount of money on it, an amount of money that would really hurt if you lost it? And you would lose it, if what you claimed to be true turned out to be wrong. Just as we played it as children: “wonna bet?”

And then there was the general idea of “after the election is before the election” all over the world being the same. Asking a lot of questions helps a lot (except: asking the why-question when it concerns personal behaviour – but that’s another story ☺︎

Anemone | No way!

How it began.
“Yuck, there is something missing!”, namely a fifth petal. Given the beauty of this plant my first spontaneous flower message was deliberately absurd when I sketched the Anemone (A.) on the handmade cardboard. This developed into a verbal exchange in my head between this purple good looking flower and a critical and shallow passer-by (P.). Something like this:

P.: “Yuck, something is missing!”
A.: “Don’t get on my nerves.”
V.: “Maybe you can do something about it!”
A.: “No way!”

That’s how I came up with “No way!” And then a whole flood of situations arose in my head, where a charm freed “Nope – no way!” made incredible sense. It was a pleasure. And why in English and not in German? It´s simply shorter ☺︎

Agrimony with Peacock’s Eye | Reciprocity

 How it began.
It was wonderful. We were once again on the road together as we often were. My daughter and I. Like in the past we really enjoyed being in Northern Germany and this time in the Luneburg Heath, where my mother was from and decades later after she passed away returned in an urn. Well, my mother returned to her roots in this urn and rested in a wooded area near the “Totengrund”, a part of the nature reserve my mother loved, and a heathland valley between Wilsede, Sellhorn and Behringen in the nature park.

We hiked in the heath on that very hot summer day: Oberhaverbeck, Wilsede, Totengrund, Wilseder Berg (169.2 m and the highest point on the Northwest German plain) back to Willsede and why not from there to Mom`s/Grandma`s special Heath-Oak – somehow? Slightly dehydrated and clearly annoyed by all the kilometers we hiked, we hit a side path. There we saw them: Peacock butterflies, many, lots and lots in a world of Agrimonies. Completely amazed I started taking photos. Something in my mind clicked and said “reciprocity”. Not a word that slips out of a German mouth with ease but I knew it from my trainings. Reciprocity: without a butterfly no blossom, without a blossom no butterfly. It made sense to me.

Daisy | Trust

 How it began.
First came “Trust” and then “Maybe!?” I had painted them in that order. Back to the beginning: In our garden belonging to the “world best” “ (as far as the tenants are concerned) more than 120 year-old apartment building, in Frankfurt’s lovely Northend at the beginning of Corona, I couldn’t help but see the perhaps 60 daisies scattered on our lawn, looking very cheeky and, how I imagined it, wearing masks. Then I had to think of my first heartbreaker, Harry B. I thought he was sooo cute. Like all five-year-olds, I was usually able to master the classic counting rhyme with the daisies to be plucked. “He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he… uh, where was I? Oh, my goodness, if that was wrong!” And swoop – the next poor daisy – retest so to speak. From there it was of course only a stone’s throw to “Trust, No Trust, Trust”.

Well, and trust is an important topic in interpersonal communication. It’s too bad if we, who are mouth-fixated, can’t see this part of the face. That leaves only the counting rhyme. ☺︎

Echinacea | Maybe!?

 How it began.
“Trust” I had already painted, with it the question of friend or foe was asked by the daisy. Preferably it should be a friend. With this in mind, I wanted to start the search for the perfect mask-wearing flower. For me it was clear that I would be searching for a “lady flower”, one with a strikingly round head. That was what I was looking for. Near the city center, at the Cityring, Scheffeleck corner of Eckenheimer Landstraße in lovely Frankfurt Northend, the Echinaceas stood majestically, and as if they had jointly agreed, all the flowers looked in one direction. Maybe they also wore Prada; they definitely wore the mouth and nose protection – sure enough, with this head.

These Echinaceas were flirtatious. Do they want to take the next step or not? Typically, the answer to this question remained open. The in/decisive flower-woman clarified this with the “exclamation mark-question mark-statement”, unknown in grammar nevertheless extravagant. Only she can do that: to get the result orientation going at the same time as the process orientation in one breath and thus contributing to maximum confusion. And on top, the mouth of our majesty was covered. “Maybe!?” could hardly been played more seductively.

Rose | System Relevant  

How it began.
We didn’t ride our bikes. On this beautiful Corona Sunday in the lovely Frankfurt Northend we went by foot. Everything was blooming. It didn´t make sense while riding the bike to discover a flower to be photographed – again, hit the bicycle brakes and yell: “Wait a minute, PLEASE! I have to take a (another) picture!” Not good for the brakes, not good for the relationship. Walking was indeed the better choice.

So we turned into the modestly imposing Günthersburgallee. The upper part of the avenue spewed out one turn-of-the century building after another at this time. I didn’t know if the numerous rose bushes had about 130 years on their thorns also. Whatever, there were dozens of splendid rose bushes in the front lawns. I especially liked the rich yellow ones. “Hallelujah! This flower is fascinating!” I was already stretching my smartphone towards the rose and ready to take the photo when a bee – definitely a pollinator – flew right onto the wide-open blossom.

At the same time, all over the country, the talk was of those remarkable people who kept the health, education and care systems running. They were applauded. And I applauded them, too. I even sang the “Ode to Joy” with the window open. Today I can still see their system-relevance. I, for example, am nice but not necessarily system relevant, more like, “nice to have” but not “need to have”. That’s all right for me.

Poppy | Alternative Fact?

How it began.
At the fence it stood. It was hazy. A light wind was blowing. I was on my way from the parking lot in Frankfurt Preungesheim to one of my favorite buildings. The building itself was large, blocklike and shadeless towards the main entrance. It sucked like a strong vacuum cleaner with an empty bag. And those who loved the offerings inside the building as much as I did were happy to be sucked in. Art supplies. Many square meters with everything imagination desired. It was almost the feeling of resistance that made me stop at the Corn Poppy.

What was the flower doing at the fence? All alone. This very tall flower on its completely disproportionately long and wafer-thin stem. The Poppy with its vague shadow. And then I asked myself: can a shadow and what I see in it be the alternative to reality? Which reminded me of the birth of the linguistic expression “alternative facts” in January 2017 in Washington; I wanted to illustrate this linguistic twist. Thanks to the corn poppy.

Pansies | WOW

How it began.
In the background were the slate roofs of lovely Frankfurt Northend. Against this setting there stood a magnificent blue-violet pansy in our flower box. Pansies are said to have a face. I claim that if you look closely you will even find a dancing Peter Pan or a fluttering Tinkerbell in each flower. However, in my Pansy Land flowers talked.

The pansy was my first flower that had something to say. It had to be something euphoric that fitted the Pan-Tinkerbell Family. On top of that, what was being said wanted to be represented graphically. A secondary search opened up. WOW is a clever word – a palindrome. It reads from front to back the same as from back to front. Wonderfully clear when it comes to the sequence of letters. For me, WOW can be both an expression of something perceived in joyful surprise or full recognition with a clear positive evaluation according to the motto: Well done! And that needed to be said, didn´t it? ☺︎