A new book offers a platform for the figurative art movement to knock down the door of the art world.

The new book: “Evolution Through Art” by Michael Newberry is the capstone of a career making art and advocating for figurative artists.

I was 18 when I made a sincere effort to fall in love with art.

The suburban life of American culture is almost devoid of appreciation for the vast history of art and its meaning. I grew up in an art culture of the postmodern, in which art was confusing at best, and families would walk out of an art museum underwhelmed and snickering contemptuously at the soulless shit entombed there.

The good art, now a hundred years old at least, felt like it came from an ancient era. I felt detached from it and wondered at its meaning. In…


How Michael Newberry rediscovered the role of color in creating the illusion of depth and space.

Michael Newberry — Denouement — 5 ft x 7 ft (1988)

The Grizzly Professor

Edgar Ewing came through the door. The students beheld a tweed suit topped with a grizzly gray mustache and sparkling blue eyes. He moved with the melody of confidence and the whimsy of delight. He set down his case on the table, spread his arms, and smiled at the the classroom of freshman students. “Making art,” he announced “is like making love.”

The students looked at one another with sidelong smiles, most of them inexperienced with one or the other part of the metaphor, and certainly not fathoming the connection between the two. It was the first day of a…


Jen Brown’s recent exhibition of figurative oil paintings gives us a glimpse of the modern world with satire and soul.

Wolff Gallery, Portland Oregon | Sept 6 — Oct 27, 2019

Jen Brown, Allegory of Facebook, 36 in x 54 in

Jen Brown is an art historian, curator, and oil painter who began painting full time in 2013 and has rapidly matured as an artist. Her paintings are constructed with a light source in the center of the painting, giving us the sense that we are peering in on a private moment. And she loves sprinkling her paintings with wit to find comedy in an era of anxiety.

I took a troupe of art friends to Portland to see the paintings, and have coffee with the artist. It coincided with…


How two key experiments invalidate quantum mechanics, and a new theory is ushering in the next paradigm of thought.

In a recent New York Times piece, Dr. Sean Carroll raises the issue that physicists don’t understand quantum mechanics, and aren’t particularly interested in the foundations of quantum theory.

students who demonstrate an interest in the topic are gently but firmly — maybe not so gently — steered away, sometimes with an admonishment to “Shut up and calculate!”

This was true to my experience studying physics in college. I felt a pressing need to understand what I was doing, but the professor had a script that closely followed the prevailing view.

The older professors who were interested in the foundations…


How Spacetime Conservation Predicts an Oscillating Universe

The Oscillating Universe — No Big Bang

Newton’s Law of Universal gravitation, discovered in 1687, was a powerful tool to describe not only the parabolic arc of cannon fire but the elliptical orbits of the planets. Newton’s treatise was hugely explanatory; nearly all known phenomena in the physics of his day could be understood by his conceptual scaffold of gravity and mechanical laws within a clockwork universe.

We long for those days. We look out and see mysteries everywhere: dark matter, dark energy, the big bang, black hole singularities, the neutrino imbalance of the sun, and just about everything quantum. …


How new experiments in plasma physics, and the Parker Solar Probe, might unlock the Sun’s secret source of power.

Beautiful arcs above the solar surface called coronal loops that emit in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV).

Much of the luminous universe — not counting ‘dark’ stuff — is hydrogen, at millions of degrees, and billions of atmospheres, crushed inside stars. Electrons are splitting off atoms and emitting light in the process. This state of matter is called a plasma.

In August of last year, NASA launched the Parker Solar Probe. In a series of ellipsoidal passes, it will fly through the solar corona — the sun’s atmosphere — capturing data. Like a child sticking his finger into a jar, poking something is usually the first step toward unraveling a scientific mystery.

I had the joy of…


How the discovery of dark hydrogen provides a mundane (and profound) resolution to the Dark Matter problem.

Dark matter detection from gravitational lensing. Illustration by Matt Schmidt.

In 1933, Caltech astronomer Fritz Zwicky noticed that the galaxies within the Coma cluster were orbiting one another too quickly. Much too quickly.

In the solar system, the orbit of an object is related to its mass and its velocity. If it is moving too fast, like the asteroid Oumuamua, the orbit becomes hyperbolic and the object leaves the solar system. If it is moving too slowly, it falls into the sun. The same rules apply for stars in a galaxy, and galaxies within a galactic cluster.

Based on the visible luminosity of the Coma galaxies, they should have been…

Brett Holverstott

Writer on topics in science & art; architect in Seattle, WA.

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