Saturday, February 11, 2012

Remembrance, The Lasting Perfume


Memories of a bloom 2 watercolor on Yupo 5x7"

Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume.  ~Jean de Boufflers

I saw these stalks with dried out flower pods, petals, leaves still attached while on a walk couple of years ago in Colorado.  This painting is the second in the series capturing the memories of that cold crisp morning. I used the same techniques in this painting as in the earlier one.  My plan is to  change or add  one color to each of the painting to give each painting its uniqueness as well as making it a part of the series. They are small paintings but take time to complete since each layer has to dry completely before I lay the next one. You may check out the first painting here

Talking about memories I recently came across an article highlighting the fact that memories are not fixed but flexible and can be manipulated very easily: "....memories are surprisingly vulnerable and highly dynamic. In the lab they can be flicked on or dimmed with a simple dose of drugs. “For a hundred years, people thought memory was wired into the brain,” Nader says. “Instead, we find it can be rewired—you can add false information to it, make it stronger, make it weaker, and possibly even make it disappear.” Nader and Brunet are not the only ones to make this observation. One of the scietinsts, Nader further wonders:  "What actually happens when we recall the past? Does the very act of remembering undo what happened? Does a memory have to go through the consolidation process again? " 

A little further the article points out a fascinating point: "While neuroscientists were skeptical of Nader’s findings, cognitive scientists were immediately fascinated that memory might be constantly revamped. It certainly seemed to explain their observations: The home run you hit in Little League? Your first kiss? As you replay these memories, you reawaken and reconsolidate them hundreds of times. Each time, you replace the original with a slightly modified version. Eventually you are not really remembering what happened; you are remembering your story about it. “Reconsolidation suggests that when you use a memory, the one you had originally is no longer valid or maybe no longer accessible,” LeDoux says. “If you take it to the extreme, your memory is only as good as your last memory. The fewer times you use it, the more pristine it is. The more you use it, the more you change it.” We’ve all had the experience of repeating a dramatic story so many times that the events seem dead, as if they came from a novel rather than real life."

So I wonder, how much do I change my memory when I sketch and paint things I encounter?   

14 comments:

Heera said...

I like a romanticized version from my memory myself especially with art. Reality could be drab and uninteresting while art is fluid and evolving.

Meera Rao said...

Thanks for your thoughts :) I know your art and reality are very special !

AK said...

Lovely painting and an equally interesting write-up.

Kathy Staicer said...

It is so delicate. Very nice Meera.

Meera Rao said...

AK, Thank you! Memory is a subject that I never tire reading about!

Meera Rao said...

Thanks Kathy! Those dried out stalks and blooms were indeed very fragile and I am happy you could see that!

padmaja said...

Very sensitive work Meera, seeing life in dried stalks and blooms is a virtue!
At a given point of time, anyone's treasure is all but pleasant memories, arent they!

Meera Rao said...

Padmaja, thank you! yes, memories when pleasant can sustain us and is indeed a treasure :)

Edgeworth Johnstone said...

I love it lightly paited and the yellow, redy tints.

Meera Rao said...

Thank you :) I wanted to show the dried up stalks on a bright fall day ! So glad you like it :)

Irina said...

I like its almost transparent effect, adding light and air to the painting.

Meera Rao said...

Irina Thank you! I was hoping for that effect and am glad you think I got it :)

Lisa Graham Art said...

Meera this is beautiful...I love the subtle natural colors.

Thanks for your very kind comments lately! It was great of you to stop by.

See you again soon!

Meera Rao said...

Thanks Lisa :) We artists all need each other for inspiration, no?

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