Last Friday Ira Flatow’s “Science Friday” on NPR was titled “Where Art and Science Meet.”  The show’s guests were filmmaker Werner Herzog, author Cormac McCarthy and physicist Lawrence Krauss. Their views of the future of human life on this planet were not optimistic, but as Cormac McCarthy says “there’s no reason to be miserable about it.” Herzog states that fleeing this planet is impractical and depending on our ability to survive, human beings may be around for another 3,000, 30,000 or 300,000 years. They advise that its important to enjoy our moment in the sun.

Applying this theme to my work I’m spending time re-examining some of my paintings:

Chickadees and Coffee

Passages

Still Life on the Kansas River

Awakenings

The Chauvet cave drawings, discovered in 1994 in the south of France, carbon dated to 32,000 years ago, is the subject of Werner Herzog’s new 3-D film “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”.  Herzog, McCarthy and Krauss discuss the culture of the people who created these drawings with lots of questions and speculations and no answers. On my treks in the southwest I often sit by pictographs and petroglyphs, dated 500 to 3000 years old. I liken it to time travel. Contemplating ancestral drawings from 32,000 years ago, now that’s some time travel. I look forward to seeing the movie.

“Where Art and Science Meet ” program exposes our own insignificance in a cosmic sense, but Ira and his guests were so articulate, talented and good humored that you’ll forgive them for reminding us.

The link to the podcast is
http://hw.libsyn.com/p/a/f/f/aff953063cfef290/scifri20110408-hr2.mp3?sid=93db4de37ada360d2349aa4cdf9367d1&l_sid=18801&l_eid=&l_mid=2514250

Clara

April 9, 2011

Clara Brooke Marshall

  • Oil on Canvas
  • 14″ x 14″
  • In the collection of N/AM

Clara’s 9 month portrait includes symbols the natural world. She holds the earth in her hands, fingers under the clouds. A small section of prairie with butterfly milkweed sits above the earth. Monarch butterflies capture Clare’s eye as they head toward their overwintering homes in California and Mexico. The Monarch caterpillar, pupa and butterfly milkweed cover her shirt. A few blocks from my home is a beautiful, fanciful, fun butterfly garden outside the Monarch Watch building. My hope is that Clara will become very familiar with it as she grows. At least that is the intention of her two grandmothers. The moon, our closest neighbor in space, rests above the prairie.  The constellations illustrate the time of Clara’s birth.  Great Blue Herons have had a rookery on our farm for years. Clare will be able to join us to watch them circle above the sycamore trees, returning home just before sunset with a full belly. She enjoys water so much that I decided to stand the heron in water and include a water flower among her symbols, the lotus.