Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Critical Sub-Angstrom Measurements

Sometimes we don't realize what is going on in the right side of our brains because it's just not telling. You all know what I mean. We train our left brains, as much as we can, to change negative and self-criticizing words into more hopeful pronouncements. And, we become more successful as we make routine the practice thereof...Ah. Word for the day--the title of this post.

Now, an angstrom is pretty small, but when it comes to being self-critical, our thoughts can be smaller. And meaner.

It was bonnieluria who tipped me into thinking that this is why I haven't finished some recently started paintings. Frozen. Too excited. Concerned about future work.

This got me to thinking and moving toward the studio and, to finishing the portrait of my son, Ell, who is returning at the end of this month from his second year of college. As I wrote the equations on the canvas (and the photography terms on the right side), I could sense how very creative math and science truly are. Even though I could not understand any equation I copied, it felt right, felt good, felt creative. I wish I weren't so afraid of math. I'm still hoping to be less afraid of failure...or of canvasses that seem to defy me. I've titled this painting, His Mind is Full of Good Things, and it is 22" x 28".

We are not our thoughts--for which we can be grateful! Let's be generous to ourselves today...Say, maybe for the rest of the week? Then we can consider extending this freedom to the following weeks.


Leslie Saeta said...

Hi Melinda,
Thanks so much for visiting my blog and for your kind comments. I am really glad to have found you. Lovely art and you must be so excited to have your son returning home soon. My oldest will be heading off to college in the fall ... so sad!

Melinda said...

Hi LSaeta,
Thank you for visiting! My heart goes out to you about your oldest going off to college in the Fall. What a roller coaster ride it all is! But, we wouldn't have it any other way, right?!

A wise woman said that a child's graduation (from high school) is a parent's payday--well earned, well deserved--for the parents and the children. This helped me enjoy the moment a lot more with less worry about the future.

Edgar said...

Sometimes I think that if I didn't have a left brain, I wouldn't have a brain at all. Which is sad, because my left brain is mean to me.

So glad you finished this painting. I'm really enjoying it, since I know the subject fairly well. You've got an amazing talent for portraiture -- ever consider being a painter?!

And, you give great advice. I need to be a little generous to myself this week. My left brain hasn't cut me a break in days.

Melinda said...

Try to be nicer to yourself, Edgar. Really. I know what you mean, of course.

Re: "ever consider being a painter?!", no, actually I'm still hoping to break into rock n' roll...wanna be a Bonnie Raitt or Susan Tedeschi type guitar player. I'll keep playing and practicing with paint. Maybe someday I'll grow up and, what? Go into accounting?! ha.

There is something about the portrait that really says 'Ell' and, if I can figure it out, I'll do more. Would you know anyone who would like to sit for a portrait?

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Wow -- I love this so much. I liked it from the very beginning when you posted it a while ago, but it's become a stunning work, so moving, so original. I love the background, because to me it says you -- brilliantly intelligent, and it's clear from the painting that your son is too. Plus the painting has so much soul!

You are marvellous!!!!!!


r garriott said...

A thoughtful post... and a wonderful portrait of your son. Thank you!

Jeffrey J. Boron said...

Wonderful work Melinda...and as I have said in the past your paintings often elisit a feeling of bold is so easy to get cozy wrapped up in 'the rabbit fur". I enjoy and admire the way you approach your work.

Sometimes I think we have to remember that "it's just paint and canvas...paint and canvas"


Karen said...

Holy cow is an angstrom small! Kind of scary that our thoughts can be so incisive, even smaller than that and can somehow manage to worm their way in...I like your invitation to be kinder to ourselves. We all need that.

Sometimes I think that painting and math or science are not so far apart because ironically I do believe that painting is very logical, and "elegant", as they say in math, when we can let go of all the difficulties and hindrances we bring to it.

Linny D. Vine said...

No matter how you divide it, this adds up to a super painting and that's just a fraction of all the good things that I could say about it!

Melinda said...

Thank you so much, Barbara! It was difficult to go back in and write on the canvas. I struggled with the method. Then, I remembered that math students use chalkboards to work out math problems. Using pastel was my answer and that seems to have worked.

You're too kind! Many virtual hugs to you!

Melinda said...

Hi r garriott,
Thank you for stopping by. I really appreciate your comment.

I admire your work and have linked you in my blog list. I hope you'll visit again!

Melinda said...

Hi Jeffrey!
Oh, you are so right..."just paint and canvas." I'm going to remember that the next time I don't experience "fearlessness", which is more often than not.

Thank you for your generous comment. I think of you as being wonderfully fearless and dedicated as well as talented!

Melinda said...

Hi Karen,
You are certainly a renaissance person! Your observation that math and art are very similar is evident when we get a chance to really study the two subjects or, know someone who is as enthusiastic about math as we are about art.

Yes, please be kind to yourself! Your painting is so good. And, don't you think that when we are generous with ourselves, our work seems more successful?

Melinda said...

Ha! Very clever, Linny! I love your calculations and most heartily agree. Summing up, I am most grateful for your thoughtful words!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

He looks like you, Melinda, but I wonder where he got the red hair from?
What an excellent painting full of meaning, quiet intent and a working mind flourishing in scientific knowledge. He seems to be thinking - "If I press this thingy here what do you think might happen *!FLASH!* - hey, great photo of my foot!
I would have thought you would be glad to get rid of him for a whiles.
Now you know I don't mean any of that - just joshing (not). [It's a sad day when I start to think of a persons feelings and make excuses for myself. What on earth is the world coming to?]
I do like your painting very much and only wish I could create something as meaningful.

Melinda said...

Hi David,
How I wish I had the good looks my son and husband have! You're very kind, but I know where his fine features come from. ;)

Have you ever seen the cartoonist, Gary Larsen? I used to have one of his cartoons that showed a young boy, in full lean, pushing hard against a school's entry door labeled "Pull". The name of the school? "Midvale School for the Gifted." Not that my boy would have ever exhibited such a faux pas...

I really appreciate your generous comments. I didn't know if the internet could communicate the feeling in this. Thank you!

Jala Pfaff said...

Marvelously creative!

Melinda said...

Hi Jala,
Thank you for your generous comment!

loriann signori said...

The portrait of your son is wonderful! I love the creative additions which help tell a story. Great painting...and be kind to your self-

Melinda said...

Hi Loriann,
Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you like the painting. I think I'll punch up the contrast, perhaps go over the pastel writing to make it more readable.

Still working on the kind to self thing. How are you doing?