Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Gas (well... plasma)

So I stayed up all night Monday reading "Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman".  At some point he starts to talk about his reasons for wanting to learn to draw.

"I wanted to convey an emotion I have about the beauty of the world. It's difficult to describe because it's an emotion. It's analogous to the feeling one has in religion that has to do with a god that controls everything in the whole universe: there's a generality aspect that you feel  when you think about how things that appear so different and behave so differently are all run "behind the scenes" by the same organization, the same physical laws. It's appreciation of the mathematical beauty of nature, of how she works inside; realization that the phenomena we see result from the complexity of the inner workings between atoms; a feeling of how dramatic and wonderful it is. It's a feeling of awe -of scientific awe- which I felt could be communicated through a drawing to someone who had also had this emotion.  It could remind him, for a moment, of this feeling about the glories of the universe."

Every time it's suggested I combine art and physics this is what I want to do.  But how? I don't know if I can make something that can give such a feeling, at least not to me.  The greatest sensation I feel in painting is in the act of doing it.  The discovery and the process of making.  I think it's a similar sense of discover which pulls me to physics.  This feeling might be in the glass, pulling some one into a stranger's twisted reflection, searching for some point of stability, then finally orienting yourself and seeing things as they are.  If I could build a maze into my paintings... Perhaps I could do some physics before making my still life. Figure out what I want something to look like, and figure out a way for the light to bend to my painting. In any case, there are some possibilities to think about.

Feynman did a drawing titled "The Magnetic Field of the Sun".  I like the idea, but it just doesn't feel like me.  As beautiful as astronomical phenomena may be, I think it'll be too easy to unwittingly end up an abstract expressionist.
On the other hand something simple like this can still be beautiful.  And I've always wanted to bring a kind of wonder to the everyday.  It's simple, yet not.
note: same physical laws as previous picture: mini-epic

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