Archive for July, 2010

The Science of Art

July 20, 2010

Its been a while since I have written a post. Finally after moving to Oregon, settling in, organizing my temporary studio I feel like I am back on track. I won’t bore you with the details of our move nor the squeeze it’s been to fit my 900 sq ft studio space into a 10 x 10 room. You can do the math. “Squeeze” is a pretty generous term when it comes to sorting supplies, paintings, frames and still finding room to paint.

But the move went exceptionally well and we feel like we are becoming Oregonians. One of the reasons we moved to Corvallis was its friendly atmosphere, the art community and the miles of cycling paths for my hubby to explore. And then there is the scenic beauty right out our back door: the Cascades, the Coastal Mountains, and the coast which is within easy driving distance.

A popular event here is da Vinci Days. This community festival is where art and science share the limelight. This past weekend locals and visitors got to see wacky kinetic contraptions race cross country over roads, sand dunes, through mud bogs and across the river. Stages were filled with artistic presentations of scientific facts that even a non-science minded person like myself found interesting and entertaining. Music came from every corner of the event. Dancers and aerialists scaled ribbon-like trapezes defying gravity to the awe of the crowds. Sidewalk artists captured attendees on paper, young chalk artists painted the sidewalks, and engineering students displayed solar powered go mobiles that look more like sleek sculptures than transportation devices.

One of the fascinating exhibits was the demonstration booth of a “Camera Obscura.” Leonardo Da Vinci described this phenomenon in his notebooks. At the festival we entered a darkened room and saw projected on a white surface the events that were happening in real time just outside. Absolutely amazing. According to the exhibitor, the camera obscura took off in two directions. One led to the development of photography, while artists like Vermeer, Canaletto, Guardi used the concept to improve their perspective drawing. We spent a good part of the day trying our hand at geocaching with a gps unit on loan from another exhibitors booth. The good news is we didn’t get lost!