Friday, March 31, 2006

Wednesday Evening...

... was S'n'B night.

It was a relatively small group of about eight or nine. We had a new face, Heather, who brought along a cross-stitch fairy and a big collection of patterns from 1980s magazines. Some of the clothes looked incredibly dated, others looked surprisingly modern.

I didn't spend much time looking at what people were knitting. A booga bag and the start of a blanket are all I can remember. I took my scarf, but this time I knitted the complex row before I went, so I had three simple rows before I got onto the complex one. I only tinked one row.

We had some very erudite conversations about art. It was generally agreed that much of the modern art world is incredibly pretentious, and also that what is considered "good" is very subject to the vagaries of fashion in the art world.

I found Molly Chicken's blog post about art courses, which was similar to my fellow stitchers' experiences.

I'm reminded of a snippet from a comedy TV show from the eighties: at the time there were a number of late night programs that featured groups of educated guests sitting round a table discussing stuff. The spoof had a group of people sitting round a table discussing art.

Industrialist: I don't know much about art, but I know what I like.
Art Critic: That's funny, because I know a lot about art, but I don't know know what I like.

A year or two ago, in Wales, I saw some lovely pictures in a gallery. I can't remember who painted them - I've tried googling, but obviously I haven't got the search terms right (or maybe he's not on the web). The amazing thing was the way the artist painted water. There was a picture of children pouring water from a bucket, and the falling water sparkled in the sun.

Another picture showed sand under a few inches of clear water. The painting clearly showed a complex pattern of bright and dark patches on the sand under the water. The next time we were at the beach, I really looked at how the sunlight was refracted by the waves and the ripples.

You can see a photo of the same effect here and here.

Anyone who has studied refractive indexes in water should know it - standard school physics - but I'd never really looked at it.

That's art - making you see the world in a new way, not making you feel queasy.

Physics Diversion:
You've probably noticed a straight stick put into water looks like it's bent. The angle of the bend depends on the angle between the stick and the surface of the water. That's because light travels at a different speed in water to its' speed in air. The same basic physics is the reason a lens will concentrate sunlight onto a single spot when held in the right position.

What the painting showed was a very complex pattern, with light of different intensities shining through the water onto the sand. The sand was not smooth, but had a pattern of ripples caused by the action of the waves. The surface of the sea was not even either, but had a pattern of mostly smooth waves. The light was bent by varying amounts and traveled through varying depths of water, but there was a pattern to both. Which led to the very complex pattern of light on the sand.

(The artist wasn't Kurt Jackson.)

Another topic was cvs. I've been reading about resumes and cvs recently: much of what I've said suggests that if you're sending a cv into a 'creative' outlet, you can do something creative, like send in an oragami flowerpot. However, it seems that if you are sending it into a commercial firm, pictures of fishes or fancy bows don't help. What they want is normal cv, albeit laid out with more attention to design then if you are sending it to the local firm of accountants. However, if you are sending it to a typesetter, be prepared for all your mistakes to be highlighted in yellow and discussed in the interview. I'm now feeling slightly paranoid that I'm going to be sent an email with all the errors in this blog highlighted in yellow.

In other news, the youngest person there last night looked very sweet.

Oh, and I'll probably "Flash my Stash" - or part of it - on Saturday.

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