Modern Renaissance Man

One aspect of living in a pandemic is a lot of at-home time, which is fortunately where my studio is located. Also a lot of time for reflection and work on some close at-home artist projects. My principal COVID project is developing a series of artworks based on an aspect of science; Quantum mechanics and particle physics that explains how light bends. This in turn has provided the starting materials for the resulting abstractions, which I have the working title of Quantum Elements – Light, Space & Time.

Where is this leading? Until recently, I have kept my science-nerd side in a separate (hidden?) bucket from my artistic side, it was like I was living in two different worlds that I felt sure would not get along with each other. I’m sure that most who read this have found themselves in similar situations. What I did as a engineer/scientist did not seem to usually relate to those who were artists; not many at an art gallery reception were interested in discussing the lyophilization of a large molecule and how the best way to develop the eutectic point. Any discussions of my day-job was usually meet with a rolling of the eyes and subsequent ‘polite’ conversation. So I quickly learned not to discuss this interesting aspect of one of my careers. Thus by day I am the mad-scientist, and in the evening I would put on my artistic cape and fly into my creative interests.

Thus the recent realization during this pandemic that I am a modern Renaissance Man. Looking up the definition of Renaissance Man, I can see how applicable this is to a person of the arts, science and literature; who is curious, risk-taker (okay this is perhaps not my strongest attribute), creative, and interest in new knowledge and experiences. Wow, I can check all of these boxes. If you are reading this, you are probably aware of my artistic side, and 12 years of writing book reviews, which has morphed into a virtual contemporary art magazine.

Most of those in my artistic world probably do not know that I have a U.S. Patent for a medical device I invented. Actually most of my inventions are trade secrets as these inventions are related to pharmaceutical processing that are better off not being patented (publicly revealed). As a result, I can’t even mention most of these, so take my word, I have provides some very creative ideas to pharmaceutical manufacturing that I have developed over the past 25 years plus. As a science-geek I have had the opportunity to travel the world working on various technical projects or lead scientific workshops.

So with the pandemic I have started tapping into my science-geek side as a source of inspiration as a modern Renaissance Man for my artistic endeavors; most recently the crazy world of Quantum Mechanics. It’s actually a bit of a relief to allow my two worlds come together, while now realizing that all along this issue was not with the outside world, but how comfortable I am in my own skin. I just recall early in my creative development showing artwork and being asked what school I went to for my BFA. When I revealed that I did not have a BFA but an engineering degree (BS), people would just walk away. Really. Rejection of that sort can have a lasting effect when just getting started. Our insecurities can get the best of us at times. Now I am at the point (age?) that I really don’t give a shit; I am who I am and actually now enjoying the idea of being a modern Renaissance Man in all that I do. Cool!

As to the Quantum Element artwork featured in this post, it’s another Experiment/Play option that I started recently, which I discussed in my last post, to see how else I can modify the visual aspects in my investigation of particle physics. The resulting artwork seems to really work best as a vertical, with some very organic things appearing to be going on at the base of the work. Looks really great printed on the Metallic medium. This experimentation is providing me with some more interesting ideas on different methods to investigate this concept. Fun, fun, fun.




Featured artwork, above; LSTa092207-03 (Quantum Elements) copyright 2020 Douglas Stockdale


Exhibition, Portfolio Reviews & Workshops

Updates: February 20th – March 20th 2021; Photographs’s Eye gallery, Escondido, CA, a solo exhibition of my Memory Pods series (lens-based photography). Exhibition reception February 20th, 3-7pm.

January 21 – 24th, 2021; Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP), EXPOSURE WEEKEND, a series of virtual portfolio reviews, and I will be on the team of available portfolio reviewers available that weekend. Sign-ups start December 1st. More information here.

March 2021; Developing Your Creative Photo Book, a workshop that I am leading again in collaboration with Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP). (update) March 13 – 14th, and 20-21st from 9am – noon PST. Four days, two consecutive weekends, a virtual workshop on Zoom, with time between sessions to develop your book dummy. Sign-up here.

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