How I approach art as a scientist

The last couple of weeks have been quite busy and I have not had much time to sit down with my beadwork. However, I still think about it all the time. Especially about the question of what makes art abstract and how it relates to each person’s experience.

Welcoming the “Orange Pleasure” abstract painting

One day when I was in graduate school, the whole lab was suddenly invited to a small reception at our professor’s office, with wine, cheese and crackers (any graduate student’s dream – oh, the low standards at the time!).  While most of the people would have honestly preferred to stay in the lab and work, attendance to this event sounded borderline mandatory – we had to show our support.  

“Orange Pleasure”
Unfortunately, I don’t remember the artist’s name.

At the reception, our professor graciously accepted the “Orange Pleasure” painting from an artist he met at some event.  He spoke of the gray existence of scientific life in the lab (?!!), and how we could all benefit from a splash of color in our life.  He spoke of the repetitive nature of lab work and how such a painting could fire up our imagination.  How given the abstract nature of the piece, each lab member would see what they want to see in it – maybe signal transduction pathways spreading and rippling through the cells.  I remember standing there and thinking about how far fetched it all was from what we actually worked on.

Planning my new SciArt project – “Muted Potential”

So as you could imagine, it is really important to me that my artwork not only relies on subconscious associations with biological processes, but is deeply rooted in true science. I decided to use the following image of stem cell culture for inspiration.

As I have mentioned before, this project will be a bit different from my previous ones and is in part inspired by Darcy Elise Johnson’s exploration of palimpsest. Darcy and I have collaborated in the past and are planning to do so for this project as well. I started out by gluing dark blue crystals on glass to represent the cell nuclei in each rosette. Then I will be building more layers on top of that.

And now I am moving on to the long and laborious process of creating the individual red and green cells.

My next experiment:

Stay tuned for more work in progress updates!

In the meantime please check out some of my finished works in my Gallery.

Art is my emotional outlet and my oasis.  I use art to express my feelings and work through life issues.  Come join me on this journey of letting go of control and letting the creative process take over.  You will get access to all of the behind the scenes footage and see the major breakthroughs that translate into new artwork.

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