Fireworks in the Garden…and some thoughts on Science and Art

Even though I planted them years ago, these flowers in my garden always manage to surprise me when they bloom.

Somehow, I never remember that big, bursting, blue fireworks are going to appear, and I’m always delighted.  This is a big, blue fireworks sort of post…because some ideas in life and writing show up that way, I find.

I’ve been kind of quiet about my current work-in-progress because it’s different than anything else I’ve written. It’s a new genre for me —  upper-MG dystopian — and the draft is happening faster than most.  I think that’s partly because of my excitement for the project, partly because the proposal is already with my editor, and partly because using Scrivener for planning and note-taking along the way makes things move along more quickly.

Anyway, I got to a point this weekend where the characters and the plot and the themes were all pushing me to stop for a little while and think…about science and art and where the two intersect.  Should they intersect?  And when we insist on separating the two, do we lose some of the potential for each?

Since I live with a scientist (my husband’s a meteorologist), I asked him what he thought, and his initial reaction was no…art has no place in the science of forecasting.  But what about those times when two or three meteorologists look at the exact same set of data, the exact same numbers and models, and come to different conclusions about what a storm will do?  Might some of that intuitive stuff be considered art?  (He didn’t like this idea much.)  Eventually, we got to the thought that even though there probably is an artistic element at work, scientists always feel safer discussing the numbers.

And then…I was reading a few more pages of ART AND FEAR by Bayles and Orland (thank you, all of you who recommended that recently!) and there in the middle of a paragraph about artists writing about process is a mention of Watson and Crick, the scientists who discovered the structure of DNA and kept detailed journals of their process.  Just dropped into the middle of a bunch of photographers and painters as if it were a foregone conclusion that scientists are artists, too.  Of course they are.

I am still thinking about all of this.   And have requested this book from my library….

…hoping for more fireworks.

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