As I continue with the notion that water has unique properties to be explored through a creative discovery process, I am following loosely the philosophical trajectory addressed in Thoreau’s Nature, Vibrant Matter and The Enchantment of Modern Life by Jane Bennett.
I decided to go ahead and enroll in some Philosophy lecture courses since it is not my field of study. I have aquired a bit more dexterity with the unique language and history of the field to support my conceptual purposes as an artist. The Orders of Nature by Lawrence Cahoone and his lectures drew me in through his approach, and are readily available through The Great Courses.
Water Series 6, Acrylic, 60 in x 60 in
In this particular painting, I look at the Karman Von Vortex Street and its power in ocean storms.
I am connecting, as Jane Bennett has argued in Thoreau’s Nature, Thoreau’s term of the “Wild” to the impressive and awe-inspiring qualities of nature. Similarly, water is not fully tame. At its peak of power, it is compelling since it is outside of our control.
I wanted to engage with the distinctively not human properties that we associate with water – a “not quite human force that addled and altered human and other bodies.”
I find Bennett’s premise and aim in Vibrant Matter intriguing. It is perhaps close to my reflections on the creative fascination I have with water. It is a compound that can evoke an undefinable intention – “conatus” – by nature.
“The story will highlight the extent to which human being and thinghood overlap, the extent to which the us and the it slip-slide into each other…The hope is that the story will enhance receptivity to the impersonal life that surrounds and infuses us, will generate a more subtle awareness of the complicated web of dissonant connections between bodies and will enable wiser interventions into that ecology.”(Vibrant Matter, Chapter 1)