Art and Physics

At my meeting in San Antonio, I just saw a nice article by Brian Jacobsmeyer on APS’ Physics Central with an interesting take on art mixing with physics. (A subject you know is close to my heart, given The (graphic novel) Project) (The article was the subject of part of the meeting, ao I was paying attention!) It is actually about fluid dynamics and Rayleigh-Taylor mixing, if you want to be specific, and you’ll recognize it in other images in astronomy, and elsewhere. There’s an interesting film associated with it too, which is linked in the article. Here’s an extract to get you started (link at the end):

When artist David Alfaro Siqueiros first discovered his “accidental painting” technique in the 1930s, the simplicity of the process coupled with its elaborate results riveted him. Siqueiros simply poured different color paints onto a wooden panel, allowing the different colors to spread, coalesce, and infiltrate one another.

“When he discovered this process, he wrote a very long letter to his girlfriend,” said Sandra Zetina, an art historian at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. “He wrote very beautifully about this.”

Siqueiros fell in love with the aesthetics, but the underlying science sustained his enthusiasm; he even invited scientists to his workshop to explain the physics behind his painting techniques. The scientists, however, had trouble understanding what…

More here.


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5 Responses to Art and Physics

  1. Mary Cole says:

    Thank you for the link to this article. Interesting stuff!

  2. J. Schmoe says:

    PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE, PULEEEEZE, PLEASE! Take some drawing classes! In no way do I wish to seem like the curmudgeon I am. However, in all the kindest honesty, I am sure you will have a great time learning. I studied physics and art. Drawing my be MORE difficult.

    Please take this in the kind spirt I intend.



  3. Amy says:

    Puh-lease, pleeeeze, please. I disagree wholeheartedly with Mr. Schmoe. Continue doing whatever it is you are already doing. I love watching your process. I have been following your blog for a few years now, and as far as I am concerned, you seem to be doing a fine job teaching yourself.

    When I happen upon one of your carefully rendered slices of the world, it always delivers a moment of much needed pause to my frantic, internet-hopping existence. Thank you for sharing.

    Keep on keeping on.

  4. Clifford says:

    Hi Amy,

    Thanks. I’ve seen this kind of behaviour before. It is another of the many types of Internet trolling I get here. Someone comes along, looks at a few drawings, sees from my writing that i havent had the formal training they went through (and maybe that I have no interest in having it either) and so decides that I need to be “brought down” with a comment they probably think is cutting in some way. All such comments do is tell readers about the character of the commenter, and quite transparently I might add. The bottom line is that Schmoe may have felt he or she needed lessons, and that’s just fine. But then Schmoe resents the fact that I’ve not had any -surely I must need some of they had some?- and that’s just silly and sad. For me, a huge part of the way I learn things is through self-discovery…. That’s how it works for me. Schmoe, you did what works for you and that’s fine, but don’t try to feed me what you felt you needed to eat. I’ll come to the things I need when it is time enough to do so. Also, I just don’t know how someone can be so rude as to assume that looking at a few sample drawings (most of which are incomplete sketches!) of someone gives them full knowledge of that person’s work….and then hide behind the old cowardly trick of commenting anonymously? It’s so lame that it is actually funny, and not so different from the other anonymous troll I had here a couple of weeks ago commenting on the new years post.

    Don’t worry, I’ll carry on doing what I’m doing and get even *more* joy from it (if that were possible!) from just knowing that it makes the Schmoes of this world upset.



  5. Clifford says:

    Hi Mary- glad you liked it. Also note that you (and family) might find the physics central site had a number of interesting things, so worth digging a bit!