Sunday, 4 May 2008

Mathematics and Art (part 1)

I started drawing recently (yesterday in fact) with Justin. It is a skill I have never had much confidence in doing, there is very little in the way of drawing that I can say that I have been pleased with. This is going to stop though. I think I need to be more patient and understand that it can take time. I have come to the conclusion that my impatience is in part to blame.

You may be asking what place this has on a blog about maths, and you'd be right to ask. The reason that I am posting about this is that whilst drawing I found myself thinking about mathematics and how it could be used to describe the processes and the image.

We started by discussing the nature of parallel and perpendicular and the effect that they have upon form. Gradient and juxtaposition. Two concepts which also came out in thinking about shadow and light.

It seems to me that I perceive that which is different, but I also perceive in context. I see a parallelogram when the black lines are juxtaposed with the white paper, in an isometric context however I may perceive a rectangle.

As I sketched the container I attended to the curvature particularly. The way in which I thought of the top of the base intersected closely with graphs. "It stops at this point" I thought, "this is a stationary point". I noted this as it was a moment of unforced mathematical behaviour. I was not trying to think about how mathematics related to what I was doing, it happened because it was related.

When we began considering the container Justin began by asking me to sketch it 10 times for a minute each time. After this I sketched it twice, each time for 10 minutes. I finally sketched it for 30 minutes. At each stage I noticed more detail, more shadow, more light. I am currently reading Researching Your Own Practice: The Discipline of Noticing by John Mason and the drawing seemed to serve as a fitting analogy to thinking about teaching. We attend to that which we set ourselves to notice, and it is through reflection and consideration that the finer details reveal themselves.


J-Roq said...

Check out these drawings from Richard Feynman (the nobel-winning physicist who also developed a visual notation for representing sub-atomic interactions):

ATM Member said...

Looks good man. Cheers for the commentation. I will also check out the Leger guy.