Saturday, December 16, 2006

Math and art

I was listening to CBC this morning and listened to an interview with a woman who teaches math and analyses math and how it relates to the arts. She asked a dancer to describe how the steps of a particular movement were created and in it found many similarities to algebraic formulas.

Mathematics are a very left brain function and, to me, something that always horrified me. I never excelled at them and stumbling blocks early in life set me up on a road to fear ever since. The right side functions of language and arts however, came without fear.

The interview about math and the arts made me wonder if there is a difference in the processes of creating dance, theatre and visual art. I can see the same crossover process in theatre when an actor assumes a role and 'becomes' the other person, losing themselves in the role. Perhaps the same happens in a dancer, but having known few, I can't comment. Sailing into 'the zone' when creating art is a common occurance and there is a mathematic element to drawing in perspective, measurement, angles and proportion.

The whole concept of putting something into writing that you do without thinking is becoming a reality for me. I have been asked to write tutorials in art on a number of subjects. It is more difficult than one would imagine. Its like verbalizing how you drink a cup of coffee or how you fall asleep. I do it without thinking. I know the process intimately. I can see it in my mind, I can visualize it effortlessly. But to put it into words is always a challenge. A good one, as it makes me carefully consider the steps and the processes behind the art.

This drawing was done as I waited for a cake to bake today. It is done in my Moleskine in conte crayon. I love the earth tones that the conte produces.

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