08/05/2004: "Show Me Da Proof!"
This morning was exciting, I got to see the artist proofs of my very first giclee print. They had finished two of them and they looked fantastic. The scan picks up a lot of the original painting's texture and the colors were incredibly rich. I was finally able to take the paintings back to the gallery for pick-up. As soon as they finish with Lupine Slumber I'm going to mail it to the woman in New York who purchased it.
I also got my check today from the Friendly Planet so now I can pay off a couple bills that have been hanging over my head and I'll also be able to order some more art supplies I've been lusting after. I'm going to try some new windsor and Newton finity acrylic paints that are on sale (43% off) from Dick Blick. I'm going to practice up a bit for next years Quick Draw. (John, do you know anything about this brand?).
Last night I watched the South Park episode "All About Mormons". I've seen it before but it still cracked me up. The beliefs of the Mormon Church are no crazier than any other religion I've studied but I'm still looking forward to the release of the book Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and the Mormon Church. I get a lot of visits from missionaries trying to share the truth with me and I'd like to be better prepared to share back the next time around. From Publisher's Weekly:
"The author, raised Mormon but no longer a believer, uses the DNA issue to launch an attack on both bad science and what he perceives as widespread racism in the LDS Church."
Not exactly related but interesting, I read This is Your Brain on God in an old issue of Wired, about how electromagnetic fields in the brain can duplicate an almost religious experience. Michael Persinger also has research suggesting that some historical charismatic religious leaders could have been suffering from temporal lobe epilepsy and suggests that humans may be genetically programmed to believe in god, and that some people are more susceptible on a genetic level, than others. Now if I get turned away at the Pearly Gates I can just blame it on my faulty genes.
Studies like that compiled with other stories like this amazing episode of This American Life called "Testosterone" (episode 220) particularly act two, "Infinite Gent. An interview with Griffin Hansbury, who started life as a woman, but began taking massive testosterone injections seven years ago, and now lives as a man. He explains how testosterone changed his views on nature vs. nurture for good." or studies showing that people with damaged prefrontal cortexes have increased tendancies to act violently as well as an inability to understand consequences or feel remorse, lead me to believe that the notions we have about our own individuality and our personalities etc. are pure fantasy, and that at our core we are essentially a complex stew of hormones and various other brain chemicals ripe for the altering. That's what makes the entire notion of "free will" so ludicrous to me.