This blog is a personal journal as I explore all forms of art that take my fancy.
I’ve had very different relationships with each of these artistic endeavours over the course of my life and am now exploring them all in various ways.
Film and TV
I’ve always loved watching movies. Growing up in small-town Australia, my brother and I cycled through a steady diet of the 6 VHS tapes my family owned – Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Last Starfighter, The Lost Boys during every school holiday. I have no idea how we came to own those specific movies, but I must have seen each of them more than a hundred times before I’d left home. They remain some of my all-time favourite movies.
I still love a great movie, though find they are increasingly rare (or maybe I’m just becoming more picky) these days.
I have never been a huge watcher of television programs. The one exception was the X-Files, where I never missed an episode despite the stress of studying for higher degrees during part of its run. In my opinion, it remains one of the best things to have ever been put on television.
With the advent of Netflix, VPNs, and (ahem) the ability to download entire series at once, I have discovered a few other awesome programs and some of my absolute favourite actors (hello John Simm). I’m sure I’ll get to talking about them later in the blog.
I’ve always loved music. I played the flute and studied music performance and theory up until I went to University, and I always keep meaning to go back to playing. I will … one day. And fulfil my bucket list item of learning to play the cello.
As a teenager, I preferentially listened to classical music – not the Top 40 chart hits. And I love to hear an orchestra/ensemble play live – especially in a truly magnificent venue. I have realised over the past several years that TV and film composers are the modern equivalents, and have come to appreciate more and more just how important music is for the large and small screens. This is something I’ve become very interested in – especially as my list of my favourite TV and film scores grows.
I’ve always loved reading. But my English teachers in high school had me firmly believing that I couldn’t write. To this day, I suspect that my teachers saw “Lisa Germany” written at the top of the assignment and automatically assigned a grade of 12/20 – without even reading it.
It was not until about 10 years later when I started teaching a masters program in Astronomy and grading student essays that I realised that I am actually a very good writer … at least for technical, argument-driven writing. Heck – I’m actually a freelance travel writer in my spare time!
But I’m still not sure about writing fiction… Even though I’ve always wanted to write a novel.
Another aspect of writing that I’m exploring – poetry.
I used to write poetry endlessly when I was a kid. And, more recently, I have been writing “haiku” (in many cases, the bastardised western version of it with 5 – 7 – 5 syllables) to capture something that happens during my day or when I’m working through something emotional. I absolutely love the constraint this poetry form places on me! And, although my haiku are not high-art, the briefness of the format allows me to indulge and play with words to express myself each day.
I’ve always wanted to get into poetry more generally, but I’ve struggled (and am still struggling) to find the way in. Robert Frost’s “Road not Taken” is one of my all-time favourite poems as its narrative structure makes it immediately accessible. Once invested, I’m happy to study poems further to uncover deeper interpretations – but I need something to grab onto, to begin with.
I’d really like to appreciate other forms of poetry, so let’s see how I do.
I am an astrophysicist by training. Steeped in the practice of the pure sciences, I have always been much more comfortable with mathematics, logic and a structured approach to everything than anything I deemed “wishy-washy” and “arty-farty”.
That being said – I’ve been a photographer my entire life, so am not completely unartistic in visual mediums. But my photography, again, is very realistic and a reflection of what I actually see. The colours and tones are not “pushed” at all and there is only basic post-processing applied to all of my images.
I dropped art in high school as soon as I could. I have never studied art history. I rarely visit art museums. But just recently I have discovered an interest in learning more and being able to understand more about the art I discover in the world.
This is, in part, inspired by a museum guide in Quito who insistently kept asking me why I liked a particular piece, and wouldn’t accept superficial answers from me. I’ve also recently discovered several artists I enjoy and want to appreciate further. Let’s see where this journey takes me also 🙂