I have to admit to being a tad flabbergasted. In fact, I think it's fair to say that my "flabber" has rarely been quite so "gasted," because a "swoosh" just took me completely by surprise (and it's not often you'll hear me say that)!
As you may recall, my current hobby project is to build a mosaic – my interpretation of Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night
I tell you – I've discovered that I can sit and look at this for hours – and every time I look at it I discover something new…
…speaking of which, before we proceed further, take a look at the "swirly part" in the middle of the sky. I'm talking about the lighter blue and white part that starts in the upper left of the image, passes behind the tree (which my wife is convinced is a castle), and then cascades across the middle of the image – sort of reminiscent of a wave crashing on the beach. I personally refer to this as "The Swoosh."
So, my question to you is "What do you think 'The Swoosh' represents?"
Now, while you are contemplating your answer, and because I don’t want you to see the final image in this column just yet, let's remind ourselves of the current state of play, which is that I've finished the base / frame as shown below:
In order to give my version a touch of three-dimensionality / depth, I've used layers of pressed board to represent the mountains and the tree (Click Here
to see a slideshow of my progress thus far).
I've also purchased a small kiln with which to make my own ceramic tiles, and I've started to experiment with different tiling techniques and glazes. The bottom line is that I'm having a wonderful time and learning a lot, which brings me back to "The Swoosh."
A few years ago, a friend and I drove to the southern part of Texas to spend a week sleeping in the day and observing the heavens at night. This was a "Dark-Sky" area where there is almost zero light pollution, so the night sky was absolutely incredible. In particular, the view of our galaxy – the Milky Way – took my breath away:
The thing is that, when I first saw "The Starry Night", I absolutely assumed that "The Swoosh" was intended to represent the Milky Way
. Since then, I've discussed this with several other people, and they've either agreed with me or said that they thought it represented a comet
And then, just a few days ago as I pen these words, I was reading the latest issue of Time Magazine
when I saw a picture that was described as a "Van-Gogh-esque aurora" as shown below:
OMG! I had assumed that the yellowish area just above the top of the hills in The Starry Night was the aurora, but now I've seen this photograph I am a convert. I am now 100% convinced that "The Swoosh" is supposed to be an aurora. (Do you agree? Did you think "The Swoosh" was something else and does this picture change your mind? Or do you still think "The Swoosh" is something else?)
But this has left me in a quandary (which doesn’t go with my shirt and shorts). I understand that van Gogh was essentially creating a study in blue and yellow, and thus he restricted his color palette accordingly. But for myself, I always think of an aurora in terms of neon greens and yellows and purples.
So I'm torn. On the one hand, who am I to second guess the master? On the other hand, it's my $%^% mosaic and I can do what I like. Maybe if I use the colors of my choice to create "The Swoosh," my version will end up being the more valuable (grin).
The great thing is that nothing is fixed in stone (or ceramic in this case) until it's stuck down on the board, so I think I'm going to end up experimenting with a couple of different Swooshes to see which one I like best.
What do you think? Should I stick with van Gogh's interpretation, or should I gird up my loins, pull up my shorts, and stride boldly forth as "van Max"?
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. For example, in addition to blogs by yours truly, microcontroller expert Duane Benson is learning how to use FPGAs to augment (sometimes replace) the MCUs in his robot (and other) projects.