The Laws of Nature

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Kepler's First Law and Other Universal Principles



Kepler's First Law
by Katharine A. Cartwright
watercolor on paper
26" x 19"

The orbit of every planet is an ellipse with the Sun at one of the two foci.

Somehow, in the midst of moving, I've managed to complete another painting in my series The Laws of Nature. Painting keeps me sane, even if the results seem a little insane. I think the word is therapeutic. Although I haven't had the chance to return to Kandinsky's book, I continue to ponder his ideas and motivation. Is the act of creating art always therapeutic for the artist? Is this a universal condition? I'll test that notion over the next month since all of my art tools and materials are now in storage until this moving transition is complete. This will be the longest period that I haven't painted and I wonder how it will impact me. Will I resort to thumb-sucking? At least I still have my sketchbook.

What does artmaking do for you?

15 comments:

lilasvb said...

artmaking is a good action for me to express my soul

Tonya Vollertsen said...

I like the new painting! It sort of reminds me of snow flakes for some reason. I wonder if all the snow has had a subliminal impact on your creative thought process.
Maybe you could keep a stack of small watercolor paper and do some of your little 20 minute paintings that you do so well. I love those! Good luck with your move.

L.W.Roth, said...

Nice addition to the group--but my favorite is the one with the most red, it's back a few in your slide show. Kudos to you for your patience and perseverance with this series. Very admirable.

Great question. Self discovery pops to mind--but that's a payoff. I know I don't pick up a brush seeking therapy. I pick up a brush because I love paint, fluid colors that I can manipulate any way I want. (I find my paint rag gorgeous).Then I am fascinated by line, just line. Paint, color and line. Actual subject matter, now that I am thinking about it, has been confining. Though the discipline is good, the tedium of it stresses me out and keeps me from the studio. I like starting a painting best. So much promise before the problems set in.

Mary Paquet said...

Kathy, I signed myself up for notification when a new painting is complete and saw this one a couple days ago. I did not have time to research Keplar's First Law, and I always like to digest the inspiration for your work. Unfortunately, I am not a scientist like you, so I have to "look it up." Now I understand the use of the beautiful ellipses and sun symbols. Gorgeous work!

I would certainly go a bit insane if I didn't have my art. Not willing to test that theory, I took a Koi pan paint set with Japanese waterbrush, the tiniest of Moleskine notebooks, and small sketch pad on my bicycle tour of the USA. Bob appreciated not having a crazy lady on the tandem. Your sketchbook might save you, but I highly recommend adding a few paints and paper to your (in my case mesh) bag of art necessities!

Carolina Moon Arts Studio said...

Hi Kathy, i love this one. It reminds me of a spring bouquet! maybe just wishful thinking. I paint because i must. It is like the air that i breathe! I don't think i could go that long without creating something so definitely i would need to keep a small book and colors handy. Hang in there. before you know it you will be in your studio and totally inspired by just being in beautiful Maine!

PAMO said...

I don't know how you do it Kathy, but you continue to find increasing depth and complexity in your painting. I'm WOWED!

Is art always therapeutic? No, but I believe that even those non therapeutic creative times are essential for artistic development. We find depth by the going through and not by skirting around.

Well, I guess my comment is like a skirt around, but it makes sense to me. Nice to see you post, best wishes for finding all your art supplies. I'm sending you well wishes.

Casey Klahn said...

What thrills me is seeing how your new work is unique and separate from the others, and yet the unity is also solid.

For me, my art making is a form of serendipity. Although I don't like to "resolve" a painting, I do find some kind of life resolve in the process. I liked what Matisse said, once. "I (paint) in self defense."

Studio at the Farm said...

Hello Katharine. I found this painting to be compelling; I think it's the stylized "suns". Sketchbook is good; thumb-sucking not so good!

William Cook said...

Ooooo---artist motivation. It's amorphous--definitionally oozing--always changing. I think of "theraputic" as a corrective measure to regain and maintain good health (mental or otherwise). In that sense, yes, the motivation to use art as therapy always has a place in the ooze. Sublimation, catharsis, transformation and transcendance also come to mind as motivator to artmaking--not to mention pure full blown Yogic meditation to approach profound levels of silence and peace also come to mind--spiritual motivations. Then there are the more mundane self-serving components of the constant morphing quality of artistic motivation--social standing, identity, validation seeking. What about being motivated to make a living through art--manipulating one's fellow man into buying something for a few pennys to pay the bills? What does artmaking do for me? It's a way of life--a fully saturatede thinking process. It permeates everything except possibly dreamless sleep--sort of shut down for repairs mode. Nice cogs. Wm

Robin said...

Your newest painting feels more organic to me, in a mechanical kind of way, it's one of my favorites. My reasons for painting keep changing but mostly it takes me into another place, the creative, safe place, and I love when I am there.

hw (hallie) farber said...

No matter what, you'll continue to create--it's life; not therapy.

Kepler's First Law is a beautiful painting.

Dan Kent said...

I like the word "organic" that Robin used to describe your new painting. It seems to be growing straight towards me.

I truly believe that painting & sketching in the last few years has brought me much greater peace of mind than I would have had. That said, it is not merely therapy. As I have said before, doing this has been like discovering and awakening an essential part of myself.

Would you be upset with this loyal follower if I werre to suggest that the new light font with the dark background, while attractive, is much harder to read? I hope not.

Celeste Bergin said...

I agree with Casey...this new work looks different from your others....but is easily recognizable as yours. Your work is so strong....It looks to have the strength to power an entire city. (which I LOVE). Maybe, in a way, it will be fun for you to lighten up and just sketch during the time you are away from your art supplies. At least I have found that true for myself--that the sketching in a sketchbook is nearly as satisfying as doing the more complex paintings (and I am not sure why that is for me...perhaps it is because I like to draw).

Mark Sheeky said...

It's something to do.

-Don said...

I relate quite strongly to how painting makes you feel. Therapeutic, indeed...

I like how different "Kepler's First Law" looks from the others while still looking like it belongs to the set. It has a nice flow through the composition that keeps my eyes moving and entertained. I'll admit to being a little distracted at first by the uniformity of the 'suns' and the 'pinwheel', but upon further reflection realized how important they are to making the entire composition work. The one thing I miss in this one that was so prevalent in the others is the depth - this one flattens out a little to me. I think this is because all the bright silver and white elements seem to be on the same plane as the lower intensity from the bottom right corner and the left side. With all that said, I feel that it is a successful piece that holds its own quite well. Oh yeah, I also like how this one ties literally to your eggshell series via the mass of planets...

-Don