Saturday, April 7, 2012

Art or science?

I'll be the first to confess that I'm no artist.  At least not when it comes to using my fingers to make pictures.

My iPad and the very useful Penultimate app let me explore my artistic inclinations, such as they are, without much fuss.

It interests me to observe the similarity in each of these scribble-sketches.  There is a satisfaction I got from the exercise.  The satisfaction that the essence of a Vespa seemed to emerge from my scribbling.  The cowl in the lower left sketch, for instance.

I didn't sketch any particular Vespa, and the Vespa was in my mind, I wasn't sketching it while looking at my Vespa, or any other Vespa or image.

Making these images, just as they are, would not have been possible, it seems to me, if my Vespa was not such a presence in my life.  Washing the machine, running my hands over its lines; taking it apart; putting it back together; looking at it from every conceivable angle;  filling the tires; filling the tank;  riding it for 10,000 wondrous miles.  All these experiences flowed from my fingers onto the iPad screen.  Time after time.  Resulting in remarkably similar images.

This is art.  Not good art.  But art.  It certainly isn't science.

Riding is like that too.  Why is it that I can ride full-throttle along a curving expressway ramp and merge into traffic with confidence?  How do I roll at barely a walk, inching my way in traffic with my feet firmly planted on the floorboard?  How do I swoop around a corner and accelerate down a boulevard like a bird in flight?

Clearly science dictates the mechanics.  Centrifugal force; gasoline exploding in the cylinder; friction between the tires and the road; the grip of the disc brake; gravity tugging at the chassis.

But art is what makes riding both possible, and thoroughly enjoyable.


Unknown said...


Quote: " . . . running my hands over its lines . . "

Vespa, being Italian, I would imagine it felt sensuous

Riding the Wet Coast

Dar said...

Cool pictures you have! I am not much of a sketch artist, but I know exactly what you are talking about when it comes to riding. There is an art to riding and it reveals itself when you are doing sweeping turns through twisties and when you have just hit that heavenly moment of bliss. I think every rider has them over and over again and that is what keeps us hooked. You are almost euphoric and it makes you want to go on riding forever. Now if my drawing could turn out like that I would be happy!

The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.