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New Painting – The Brain and Smoking, Part 2 [Secondhand Smoke]

March 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Hi Everyone,

The National Institutes of Health released a press release in May 2011 covering their findings on the impact of secondhand smoke on the brain. The article stated that those exposed to secondhand smoke suffer the same impact as those that do smoke. Being around secondhand smoke regularly could create behavioral patterns in the brain that promote smoking. You can read the press release here: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/may2011/nida-02.htm

With that said, I’m pleased to share with you the follow up painting to
Brain and Smoking, Part 1

It Begins: The Brain and Secondhand Smoke  Part 2
20″ x 24″
Acrylic on stretched canvas

The smoke beginning to build in the brain represents the start of the brain establishing similar patterns with the brain of someone that smokes regularly. As referenced in the above article by the NIH, those that are about secondhand smoke can develop brain patterns that promote smoking.

This piece is the companion to  “Brain and Smoking, Part 1

By seeing the two paintings side-by-side, you can the areas that are highlighted in one profile but not the other. For “Brain and Smoking, Part 1” which is on the right, the white outline remains strong around the mouth which is the smoke fumes are mostly inhaled, in addition to the nose. For “It Begins: The Brain and Secondhand Smoke” the white outline is strong around the nose and not the mouth.


What also connects the works is the smoke. The smoke coming from the profile on the right is being inhaled by the profile painting on the left.

As usual, let me know your thoughts and I look forward to sharing my next brain painting with you!

Check out the others works that make up the brain series so far. The works address: being present, caffeine, memory, alcohol, sleep and music. http://hunterart.blogspot.com/2012/02/brain-series.html

Regards,
Michelle

 Twitter [@artcoholic]

New Brain Painting: Brain Rhythm | 24"x24" | Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

October 4, 2011 Leave a comment
It’s DONE!!! Finally!!!!
I’m very happy to introduce you to the 6th painting in my Brain Series.
(c) Michelle Hunter 2011

Brain Rhythm
24″x24″
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas



This painting came a long way. Things were smooth sailing until I hit the part with the grill. Did not anticipate having to make soooooooo many circles and how long that process was going to take. Let me first take a couple of steps back.

In the Beginning….
The concept, in general, was to paint what parts of the brain are most active when it comes to music. While doing further research, I learned that different parts of the brain become active when doing different musical activities: listening, playing (instrument) and reading.
An object that brought those components together for me was the speaker. What’s music without being able to hear it? Also sheet music is the way to capture the details of a piece so it’s able to be recreated. A speaker and sheet music, along with the brain, were the pieces I wanted to put together in a way that felt right. Given how a speaker is made of layers, having the brain at the center surrounded by wavy sheet music underneath a grill/mesh became the composition.
(c) Michelle Hunter 2011

Brain Rhythm [Detail]


The Brain and Music

The concept in general was to paint what parts of the brain are most active when it comes to music.There are areas both in the outer cortex and inner brain that are connected to our experience of music. For this painting, I focused on the outer area:

Prefrontal Cortex (yellow): When you are listening to music, ever have an experience where something didn’t “sound right”? Perhaps you feel that a beat was missed.

After a few bars of music, you begin expecting a certain pattern to repeat correct?  Thank your prefrontal cortex’s ability to sense when something is off.


Motor Cortex (green): Here controls when you are tapping your foot and bopping your head. It’s an especially important area of the brain if you are a musician as you need the ability to control time movements.


Sensory Cortex (purple): Which string to strum on a guitar, keys on a piano, maneuvering a violin etc requires an acute sense of touch.


Auditory Cortex (blue): This area of the brain becomes alive when we hear music. It holds information pertaining to pitch and tones.

Visual Cortex (pink): Involving sight when reading music and watching performers. If you are like me and are not a musician but catch yourself imagining yourself on stage, the visual cortex helps get your imagination flowing.

Tell me what you think…don’t be shy šŸ™‚

Michelle Hunter
info@hunterart.com
http://www.facebook.com/hunterart
Hunterart Line: 646-504-5034
Twitter: Artcoholic




Work in Progress Shots: Brain and Music, 24" x 24" Acrylic on Canvas

August 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Hello everyone,

It’s been some time since the last painting update but I haven’t been idle. Below I would like you to see progress pics of my upcoming painting on the Brain and Music.

(c) Michelle Hunter
Brain & Music
WIP #3

(c) Michelle Hunter
Brain & Music
WIP #1
(c) Michelle Hunter
Brain & Music
WIP #2

The composition is a speaker where within it is the brain and sheet music.

(c) Michelle Hunter
Brain & Music
WIP #4
(c) Michelle Hunter
Brain & Music
WIP #6
(c) Michelle Hunter
Brain & Music
WIP #5

Within the brain will be sections that are most active when either listening or playing music. Those sections will be highlighted with different colors and explained in the next blog post when the painting is completed.

(c) Michelle Hunter
Brain & Music
WIP #7
(c) Michelle Hunter
Brain & Music
WIP #8
(c) Michelle Hunter
Brain & Music
WIP #9

Around the brain will be sheet music. The notes themselves are pretty random and aren’t from any particular song. The sheet music is wavy which is meant to show the flow of music and help draw the viewer into the painting.

(c) Michelle Hunter
Brain & Music
WIP #10
(c) Michelle Hunter
Brain & Music
WIP #11
(c) Michelle Hunter
Brain & Music
WIP #12

On top of all the elements within the speaker will be the mesh/grill. It’ll cover the entire painting. Lots and lots and lots of little circles.

(c) Michelle Hunter
Brain & Music
WIP #13
(c) Michelle Hunter
Brain & Music
WIP #14
(c) Michelle Hunter
Brain & Music
WIP #15

Because of all those circles, completing the painting has taken longer than expected. But I think it’ll be pretty damn cool once it’s done. Stay tuned!

(c) Michelle Hunter
Brain & Music
WIP #16
(c) Michelle Hunter
Brain & Music
WIP #17
(c) Michelle Hunter
Brain & Music
WIP #18

 
Regards,

Michelle

Visiting the Brain on display at AMNH was so much fun!

July 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Hello everyone,

Those of you in NY may be aware that theĀ American Museum of Natural HistoryĀ is showing a special brain exhibit called “Brain: The Inside Story.” It’s running through August 2011 and I highly recommend it. I was fortunately enough to check it out and it was a ton of fun:
A fun visual representation of howĀ sensitiveĀ different parts of our body are. The larger on this model, the moreĀ sensitive.Ā 

I’m in possession of a Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaain model.


Doing a thorough check of this neuron that send our brains instructions to the rest of our body.

Best of all, a couple of more brain ideas regarding concepts and detailing came to mind. Pun intended. Stay tuned!

Regards,
Michelle

New Painting: Nap time!!

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(c) Michelle Hunter 2011
(you can click on the image for a larger view)
Zzzzzzz (Sleep)
20″ x 20″
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

Now if you know anything about me, other than I’m an artist, you would know that IĀ LOVE sleep. Sleep is awesome and one of the best things in the world. So doing a painting on the brain and sleep was particularily interesting to me.

The Concept
We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping,so this is a topic we all can relate to. Sleep not only feels good for its relaxing nature but it isĀ crucialĀ for brain development and dealing with what we encountered while awake.

Detail: Zzzzzzz (Sleep)
(c) Michelle Hunter 2011

Hippocampus (yellow) – Stores our short term memory. So when we sleep, that information is transfered into our cortex which holds long term memory.

Prefrontal cortex (front of the brain) – Ever been awake for too long? Brain feels heavy and screaming for sleep? If you pay it a little attention, that screaming may feel concentrated at the front of the brain. The prefrontalĀ cortex isĀ sensitiveĀ to sleepĀ deprivation. It is also highly active while dreaming.

ThalamusĀ (middle of green) – In order for our brain to proceed processing information taken in during the day, the brain needs to shut off outside stimuli. That happens thanks to thalamus. If someone doesn’t respond to what you may say or do to them while they are asleep, they are busy processing…so stop bothering them.

PinealĀ glandĀ (back middle of green area) – produces melatonin. When produced, we get sleepy. Light reduces the production of melatonin so if you’re trying to fall asleep but a light is on or TV, good luck.


Hypothalamus (front middle of green) – is what naturally signals us for when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up.

Brainstem (bottom of green) – those wakey wakey signals from the hypothalamus travel through the brainstem to the rest of our body to get us moving (and in some cases, we may just move into another position to fall back asleep).

The Colors
Well I took a picture of my bed with the lights out so I can try to get a sense of how the pillows and sheets looked in the dark. I put some free weights on the pillow to seeĀ howĀ impressions were made as if ones head was laying on the pillow. That resulted in most of the painting being blacks and blues.

Since the focus of the painting is the brain I decided to have the brain fairly ‘bright’ since it’s still very active while all else is calm. The colors used, orange, green, yellow, red were a nice complement to the blacks and blues used for the rest of the painting.


No Face! WHY?
Well of course the painting isn’t about the face; we all sleep so it doesn’t matter who the is person that’s in bed. No need to try to guess who it would be, who they may remind you of or try to critique their face. So, no face. Yet I wanted to show that it is human being in bed, so I show some shoulders and the neck which then fades to the pillow s/he/it is resting on. It then resumes at the brain.

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Check out pictures of this painting while it was forming by visiting this blog post: http://hunterart.blogspot.com/2011/05/wip-brain-painting-no5-on-brain-and.html

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ALL feedback is welcome, there are tons of ways to reach me. Also feel free to share this with others you feel would want to see it.
Thanks for reading!! Until next time….
~Michelle
info@hunterart.com
Hunterart Line: 646-504-5034
Twitter: Artcoholic
GTalk: mkh9781 or uniqueh

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Brain series (so far):
Painting 1: Past, Present, Future or Dreaming
Painting 2: Caffeine Headache
Painting 3: Don’t You Remember?
Painting 4: First Aid

>WIP Brain Painting No.5 on the Brain and Sleep

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Hello!!

This post is to share with you in progress shots of the next painting in the Brain series focusing on the Brain and Sleep. I have plenty of research experience in this area as all of you. In case you didn’t know, we spend about a third of our life sleeping and it’s something we certainly cannot live without.

So what’s happening in our Brain when we dose off? 
Well I’ll get into that when I post the finished painting (which will be soon). Until then here are some shots of the piece in progress. ENJOY!

~Michelle

WIP Brain Painting No.5 on the Brain and Sleep

Hello!!

This post is to share with you in progress shots of the next painting in the Brain series focusing on the Brain and Sleep. I have plenty of research experience in this area as all of you. In case you didn’t know, we spend about a third of our life sleeping and it’s something we certainly cannot live without.

So what’s happening in our Brain when we dose off?
Well I’ll get into that when I post the finished painting (which will be soon). Until then here are some shots of the piece in progress. ENJOY!

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~Michelle