Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Wednesday Art and Philosophy

This is what I did today at painting group. It's taken from one of the photos I took at the farm in Robinston where I got Hannah. I had thought I would paint this one in oil, and I still may do it, but today I felt like trying watercolor on a different kind of subject matter. I pushed the perspective, both aerial and linear, including cutting a narrow piece of paper to accentuate the space. My intent was to create the feeling that the goats are pressing in on the viewer, which is what they were doingas I took the picture. I'm pretty happy with my results.

After painting we all had our customary glass of wine and a spirited conversation ensued that covered many areas from vegetarianism to the human mind and spirituality. As usual I was not able to stay on the same plane as my comrades, expanding my thoughts to include the limitless cosmos. The individual plays no roll, or so I believe, in such vastness and the "knowledge" we have is irrelevant on that scale. Why I persist in pointing out that we are nothing in the larger scheme of things but an evolutionary bump in the road is a mystery to me as well as to those I am talking to. We must live in the context of our little lives. Everything is relative, of course, and we are not insignificant within the confines of our universe. Our musings and discoveries are important to us and shape our world. Rather than concentrate on what is at hand, however, I choose to compare us to an ant whose universe consists of his anthill and whose drive to survive, avoid disaster, and live his life as it is ordained by evolution is no diferent from our own. I find comfort in this idea, but others do not. Setting asside human life and making it different (superior) from all other is the hallmark of most thinking. Rather than finding comfort in being just like every other animal, this idea is thought to demean us. This is what I was hearing today. Because we have brains to think it, it makes it so. Our illusion of control over nature makes us haughty and righteous, as if we lived outside of nature, as if we were not subject to the same influences as those species whose talents lie elsewhere. Every species manipulates the environment to foster its own survival, including us. We are at the top of the food chain at this point in history. It stands to reason that somewhere right now the organism that will beat us out is busy evolving. Posted by Picasa