Art, science and the paradoxes of perception – via The Conversation

The fact that the visual system has to do all this work before we can recognise an object shows us that the objects we perceive are not just “there” in the world. They have to be meticulously created within our neurobiology in order to exist for us. But again, cut open a brain, probe its neurons, and you will find no sea creatures or cosmic storms, only electrochemical activity. Objects, like colours, are tangibly real yet are also untraceable figments of the mind – a contradictory state of affairs. In effect, nothing we perceive through any of our senses is … Continue reading Art, science and the paradoxes of perception – via The Conversation

Assignment 4, self portrait

The task is to draw a self portrait of any size in any medium and to find an interesting perspective, which means it’s the first time I’ve taken a selfie from below jaw level and discovered my nose has a central deviation to the right. It’s a wonder the rest of it is lined up as it should be. This is not the up-nostril shot, this is the warm-up, off-centre, eyeball-shift aspect. Biro to see if I can find some shapes that might work. Another quick sketch – white conte on black gesso. The aim, unlike the one above, is … Continue reading Assignment 4, self portrait

Curiosity, memory, and implicit learning

Curiosity I have never been interested in history of any flavour and so I’ve struggled to find hooks in art and art history on which to hang information pertinent to my own work. In particular, identifying artists who might have influenced what I’m doing and the way I’m doing it leaves me blank. To remedy this, I have followed up recommendations of artists to look at, bought and read books describing developments in art history, and tried almost to manufacture post hoc the required ‘influences’. This article may describe one reason to account for this: because I have almost no … Continue reading Curiosity, memory, and implicit learning

Creativity – a podcast from the British Psychological Society

This is my professional body so I can vouch for its credibility. That said, this podcast is a very quick skim through the cognitive neuropsychology of creativity so it doesn’t cover anything in detail. The main takeaways though are: Experience novelty as much as possible Practice – both being creative by problem solving [and questioning things], and technique. Step away from whatever you’re working on and take some time out. Doing something mundane like washing up or walking that doesn’t involve too much cognitive effort frees up your brain to work on problems under the surface. We all recognise that … Continue reading Creativity – a podcast from the British Psychological Society

Part 4, project 6, exercise 3 – portrait

Task: a portrait from memory or imagination. Not so long ago I would have looked at this with joy and relief. Now, after struggling to make sense of what I see in front of me and realising the advantages that confers in terms of perspectives and all those unevennesses faces have, I’m glaring at the instruction with an expression somewhere between disbelief and horror. Someone I saw in passing? A person I used to know? A character from a book? Strange how that wipes every conceivable memory and drops my imagination through a trapdoor so that I can’t even remember … Continue reading Part 4, project 6, exercise 3 – portrait

Part 4, project 6 – research point #2

Historic and contemporary self portraits. I chose Rembrandt and van Gogh as my historic examples (then read that they were recommended) because of their very different approaches. I particularly liked Rembrandt’s honesty with regard to his image when he was older; the unvarnished truth of it and the lack of glamour. His style is very much about realism, these were the instagrams of the day, the selfies, and many of his clients paying for commissions were likely to require a very positive image of themselves and their surroundings. Van Gogh, an insular man with some enormous troubles, painted fractured images … Continue reading Part 4, project 6 – research point #2