Brain Teasers

Before I begin today’s post, I have an update on the Baby Kiwi Leaf picture. I changed the background, added some details in the Mommy leaf and worked a bit on the Baby Leaf too.

Watercolor Sketch - Baby Kiwi - Blue Background

Baby Kiwi – Blue Background

All that remains is to glaze the Mommy leaf so it becomes more integrated.

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I started a new series of watercolor sketches. I envision these as abstract designs based on my knowledge of brain anatomy: shapes and organization of brain parts. Choosing the brain as my muse might seem limiting in the sense that there are perhaps a limited number of ideas that stem from the portrayal of stylized brain parts. I am optimistc though, that this is a rich vein to mine.

In a sense, all paintings embody a dualistic nature: the physical paint arranged by the artist on the canvas and the ideas he or she wants to convey. That is, the presence of  the ‘picture stuff’ and ‘idea stuff’ it creates.  The dualistic nature of an actual brain states that mind and matter are two different things. Descartes proposed this mind/body dualism in the 17th century.  It is an age-old mystery how the physical stuff of the brain gives rise to such things as consciousness and thought. Obviously any artwork requires a brain to observe it and to convert the image into an idea, series of ideas or emotions.

Suffice it to say that I would like my ‘brain’ series to evoke thoughts about thinking.

Here is my first attempt:

Watercolor Sketch - Escaping Ideas

Escaping Ideas
9″x11″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

I used latex rubber to ‘sketch out’ a partial sagittal section of the midbrain – at least that what I had in mind. I continued to complete several semi-circular arcs.

I used permanent mauve and quinacridone purple to create a concentric (bruise-like)  blob; I washed the remainder of the upper part with ultramarine blue (Sennelier) and indathrone blue. The lower portion of the orb contains cadmium orange fringed with cadmium yellow pale. Winsor red fills the pocket between the orange and blue. The final blot of color was chrome green at the intersection of all the other colors.

I call this Escaping Ideas, since the blue color at the top has diffused into the surrounding earth-toned background.

3 thoughts on “Brain Teasers

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