The Laws of Nature

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Third Law of Thermodynamics

The Third Law of Thermodynamics
by Katharine A. Cartwright, 2010
watercolor on paper
26" x 20"

Yesterday, I completed the ninth painting in my series "The Laws of Nature," which is a comment on the natural physical constraints upon man's attempt to harness and utilize the energy and materials of the universe.

"The Third Law of Thermodynamics" states: for changes involving only perfect crystalline solids at absolute zero, the change of the total entropy is zero.

Each painting in this series is based upon intuition with no physical references. Therefore, these represent what I see in my mind's eye. Today, I'll begin drafting the tenth painting in this ongoing series.

Happy painting, everyone!


Linda Roth said...

I really appreciate the details in your work-- mechanical mindscapes drawn from imagination. I imagine that making a large series of paintings, using variations of a common theme, is challenging, but also tedious? How long are your work sessions? How long have you been working on this series? How many paintings have you planned for the series? I'm guessing you're working towards having a show?

Linda Starr said...

I'm liking the geometry and bright colors, so much to interest the eye.

RH Carpenter said...

I don't even know why I think your work is beautiful - there is nothing organic about it - and, yet, the colors, the composition that moves my eye around - all of that makes it a work I'd like to see in person and look at for a long time! Beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathy, OH FUN! I like the movement; the curves keep looping my back around the painting. And, I like how the orange sings in contrast to the grayed colors. Mostly, it's fascinating, as is the entire series. I feel the constraint!

Casey Klahn said...

So hard to use orange, and yet you do it with gusto! I cannot imagine this one without orange, and it is as strong as the first ones. Most don't know how hard that is - you are incredibly talented!

-Don said...

Kathy, this is so rich and vibrant that I actually gasped out loud when I saw it for the first time. Outstanding! This is one hard law for me to grasp. I've studied on the law to try to understand your painting from that perspective. I would fail any test about it...

However, I have an observation. I notice the links to what implies a chain. But, those links do not connect to each other. Is this a reference to man's inability to truly control energy?

I agree with Casey about the use of orange. You rocked it!


Mark Sheeky said...

Ah yes, -that- good ol' third law about crystals at absolute zero.

I imagine that this abstract law was one of the hardest to pull off but the strong chromanance contrast really makes this one stand out compared to the others. It seems a little dyanamic for a law that I think is about stability... perhaps the orange is what is constrained in flux and balance. I love those crystal shapes. That's exactly what they are!

Unknown said...

Hi LW - oh, lots of questions! I'll do my best to answer them: I don't find this tedious at all, but then again, I'm used to detailed meticulous work in other areas as well. It's actually exciting! I'm in my studio almost all day at least five days a week. However, part of the time I'm painting and the other part I'm staring and evaluating - making corrective decisions. I began this series last April, about six months ago, but was unable to work on it from June through August. So, all nine paintings have been completed over about four months. I haven't planned the number of paintings for this series, but expect to continue it for at least the next five years. It may morph a little over that time, but I can't predict that now. The last series I did took five years. Yes, I'm working toward a solo show. Right now I'm teaming up with a metal sculptor to write a proposal for a show in a year or two.

Hi Linda - Thank you!

Hi Rhonda - Thank you! I've found that the inorganic can be breathtakingly beautiful.

Hi Peggy - Thank you! Constraint indeed :-)

Hi Casey - Thank you! Orange IS tricky but I've been experimenting for a long, long time. I appreciate your expert eye.

Hi Don - Thank you! Your interpretations are always spot-on. That's a great way to see the unconnected links - and another way is to see them as zeros disguised as links. There are many layers of interpretation. Thanks for taking the time to look for them!

Hi Mark - you nailed it! The constraint of the orange crystals is fundamental to the interpretaion of this law. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Spectacular Kathy! Just magnificent.

hw (hallie) farber said...

This may be my favorite--beautiful. Maybe the third law explains why I was freezing at a hospital as I waited while my husband was undergoing tests--the staff explained that germs can't grow in cold.

Sharmon Davidson said...

This is a beautiful piece, Kathy. I think the composition is very strong; I love the way the eye is led through the piece. Fantastic!

Mary Paquet said...

Kathy, wonderful piece. Ditto to all that has been said. That orange against the grayed colors is a knockout.

Like Don, I tried to understand your artwork as it relates to the third law of thermodynamics and did some reading. All I could conclude is that this painting is a statement about man's limitations. I am probably way off base. However, your ability to conceive and paint this piece is truly remarkable. I love the intersection of your mastery of science and your mastery of art.

Elizabeth Seaver said...

This is just amazing, Katharine--cerebral and yet so concrete at the same time. I guess that is some of what the creative spirit of a painting is about, huh?--taking an idea and making it real.

I can't wait to see what number 10 is like!

Unknown said...

Hi Pam - Thank you!

Hi Hallie - I hope your husband is OK!! Germs can grow almost anywhere ... so I suspect that anything warmer than zero Kelvin is warm enough :-)

Hi Sharmon - Thank you!

Hi Mary - Thank you! Like all artists, it's important for me to paint what best defines my interests and personality.

Hi Elizabeth - Thank you! Number 10 is on the drawing board :-)


irinasztukowski said...

Gosh Katharine this is amazing piece of art: so vibrant, so dynamic! Amazing color combination.

Great job!

I also love your marketing posts. I try to learn a lot about marketing art and share my findings on my blog too :)

I am definitely becoming your follower; so glad I found your blog.

Thank you

Unknown said...

Hi Irina - Thank you!

Dan Kent said...

I can't believe I forgot to comment on this!! This is so beautiful. Love the colors. Love the composition. Excellent!