Monday, January 30, 2023

Polarized Thinking: The Dangers of Thinking In Black-And-White

It's easy to get caught up in the habit of thinking in extremes. Whether it's politics, race, or simply concepts of right and wrong, we often seek to classify people and events into polar opposites. This way of thinking, known as polarized thinking, can have damaging consequences for both individuals and society as a whole.

One of the main problems with polarized thinking is that it oversimplifies complex issues and reduces them to a binary choice. In reality, life provides room for many shades of gray and for a variety of perspectives. When we limit ourselves to thinking in extremes, we miss out on valuable perspectives and potential solutions to problems.

Another issue with polarized thinking is that it creates division and promotes an "us vs. them" mentality. When we define people based on their political views, race, or beliefs, we limit our ability to understand and empathize with others. This can lead to harmful stereotypes and discrimination, making it harder for different groups to work together to solve problems.

Moreover, polarized thinking can have serious consequences for democracy. As Abraham Lincoln famously stated in the Gettysburg Address, democracy is "the government of the people, by the people, for the people." But, when one opinion of one governing party overshadows all others, we have a dictatorship, not a democracy. A true democracy requires that we listen to the voice of all people, not just those who agree with us. This means embracing differences of opinion and engaging in open and respectful dialogue.

I believe that polarized thinking is a dangerous practice that we must overcome. It oversimplifies complex issues, creates division, and undermines democracy. By embracing dialogue and differences of opinion, we can move towards a more inclusive and democratic society.

(Note: This post was enhanced using ChatGPT A.I. The ideas and topics are mine, but A.I. assisted with the essay structure and some of the support statements. I deleted concepts with which I did not wholly agree and edited certain concepts to ensure they fall in line with my beliefs. While this post was written to share my perspective, it also served as an experiment in using A.I. to enhance writing, which is another topic I would like to address in a future post.)

Image Credit: Serious Business. A Young Lawyer Arguing His First Important Case. Charles Dana Gibson (American illustrator, 1867-1944), 1905 pen and ink on paper illustration for Collier's Weekly; published in the artist's collection Our Neighbors (1905)

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

New Art: Angelic and Kira

I'm continuing to practice using different brushes in Photoshop in order to achieve a more traditional, perhaps painterly, appearance in my digital artwork. Here are two new drawings.

Selected prints are available at INPRNT. INPRNT produces gallery quality art prints. It's a great way to collect high quality art while supporting independent artists. 




 

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Ad Mortem Tenemur

Title: Ad Mortem Tenemur

Medium: Digital Painting

This particular image has stuck with me for many years. I still consider this latest rendering a sketch, as I expect it will continue to evolve. Someday, maybe, it will find its way to oil paints on canvas. Perhaps then it will feel complete.





Friday, October 14, 2022

Digital Irony (and some artwork to go with it)

I have always disliked the process of making digital art while at the same time embracing it. I prefer the feel of pencil on paper and paint on canvas. I like to have a finished product I can touch. Digital work is illusory. Even when printed, it is simply a copy of what exists only in some ethereal digital plain. But here's the crux: digital tools make illustration so much easier. I can "undo" mistakes, reposition segments of the artwork, experiment with textures and colors and simply make them disappear when they aren't pleasing. I don't need to buy costly paints or take the time to set up my palette. And digital is faster. What would take me days to create in acrylics or oils can be rendered in a matter of hours on the computer. In the world of illustration, time truly is money (or at least the greater potential to make money).

With that said, I have been creating digital art a lot lately. The convenience permits me to draw and paint during those fleeting moments I have each day.  I've been experimenting with textures and brushes with the goal of creating digital art that doesn't look digital. Is that irony?

Anyhow, here are some of my latest digital renderings. Some of these are available as stickers (and other things) at klwasden.redbubble.com.









Tuesday, September 27, 2022

T-shirts (and other stuff) Available

I've selected a few pieces of art to make available on Redbubble.com.  I hope you'll check them out. These images will rotate periodically.






Friday, August 12, 2022

The Swan, by Rainer Maria Rilke

I recently undertook a translation of Rainer Maria Rilke's poem, "Der Schwan". My intention was to translate it from English into Spanish, but I had some questions about prior English translations, so I set out to understand the poem in its original German. The problem is, aside from "guten Tag", I know very little German. I began with a literal, word-for-word translation from German into English. I then studied many of the German words and their deeper meanings and tried to understand the essence of Rilke's poem. I also sought input from friends who speak German, and I received some wonderful input and feedback. Helge Moulding offered profound advice, explaining that Rilke "stacked" words in German in order to create new words and deeper meanings, which makes some of the translation difficult. Helge also provided input on some of my original word choices. After considering the input I received, I am posting the translation below. That's not to say that it is complete. I am open to further input and revisions. Thanks to all who provided feedback. (Additional note: I know that Rilke used rhythmic meter in the original poem. I am not skilled enough to both rhyme and capture the soul of the poem, so I instead opted for free-verse.)


The Swan
 by Rainer Maria Rilke
(Translation by K. Wasden)

As he toils at tasks left undone,
his steps are heavy and hindered,
like the graceless gait of the Swan.

And dying–that detachment from
the ground on which we daily stand–
he descends apprehensively

into the water that receives him gently,
as it flows past happily
beneath him, wave after wave,
as he, infinitely calm and certain,
evermore ready and regal,
consents to pass.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Espero Despierto

Espero despierto,

Y cuando la esperanza se apaga, duermo. 

En los sueƱos busco otro anhelo

O al menos escapar.