Artist in Resonance: a consideration of art, science and patterns in nature, with Trudy Myrrh Reagan, premiered on March 11, 2016, at the Pacific Art League in Palo Alto.
I followed Trudy “Myrrh” Reagan with my camera as she created “Artist in Resonance,” her painting on a 45″ plexiglass circle. In these last few months, we worked together to create this short video that explores her love of, and inspiration by, patterns in nature.
A special thank you to composer Kurt Erickson for his wonderful music.
Trudy, known in the art world as “Myrrh”, has a wonderful website that showcases her art and writings.
An excerpt from Trudy Myrrh Reagan’s artist statement:
Myrrh grew up around geologists, married a physicist, and now has a son who is a molecular biologist. This has given her a sense of wonder at the intricacy of the world of atoms and cells on the one hand, and the majesty of the earth’s dynamic surface and the depths of space on the other. Early in her career, she resolved to make this a major theme in her work.
In the 1980s, she gathered around her a few artists who shared her interests together with visual-minded people from the computer world to form a group, YLEM: Artists Using Science and Technology. This became a vehicle for people to share new ideas in science and computer graphics (then an exciting new field). It was also a way for Myrrh to become extremely well-informed, finding new ideas for her paintings! This continued for twenty-eight years.
She found abstractions in scientific images, and this led her into a study of patterns in nature. In them, she discovered underlying mathematics, and patterns of growth and development. To her, it was reassuring that underlying all the turmoil of the visible world are ordering principles that remain constant. Her acute interest in nature’s patterns informs how she paints.
Her studies, and her contacts with researchers through YLEM, led to her series of large round paintings, Essential Mysteries. In it, she explores questions that scientists explore but never finally answer, like how brains can imagine.
Another facet of her work has grown out of her work with people. Through her Quaker congregation she has become involved with people seeking political asylum in the U.S., and with community development projects in El Salvador and Haiti. She ponders war and peace, wealth and poverty, and these have become the subjects of her cartoons and some of her art.