Vector field

Vector Field

Piece description from the artist

A somewhat abstracted and fanciful painting of a vector field. Of course there is (to my knowledge) no non-abstracted way to paint a vector field. This particular vector field features patterns from liquid crystal physics, along with the general div, grad and curl + cross and dot product definitions, and the non-chiral terms of the Frank elastic free energy for liquid crystals (twist, splay, and bend deformation contributions). The first thing the hubs said when he saw it was “ooooh, nabla!”

A scalar field is simply a space with a quantity assigned to each point. Each set of coordinates pulls up a value for the field in addition to a location in the space. A vector field is populated with vectors. Each set of coordinates pulls up a vector magnitude and direction. Many of the features of nematic liquid crystals are described in terms of where the molecule (or optical or dipolar) axes point on average, how uniformly they point, and how the pointing direction varies in a liquid or solidified material. Vector fields come in handy.

There are also tensor fields. I’d have to really put my painty thinking cap on to tackle a tensor field.

Painted using a series of dripped washes to create a richly colored and textured background. Hints of a grid and obscured vectors were painted on and solvent was used to loosen their forms. Plain paint and gel impasto were used to finish adding the arrows, equations, and the twist blend splay schematics. Another artist suggested including equations. For this painting I think they work. (and I still remember this stuff!)

Other works by Regina Valluzzi

About Regina Valluzzi

Waltham, MA

Dr. Regina Valluzzi has an extensive scientific background in nanotechnology and biophysics. She has been a scientist in the chemical industry, a green chemistry researcher, a research professor at the engineering school at Tufts, a start-up founder engaged in technology commercialization, and a start-up and commercialization consultant.

Even during periods of intense activity as a scientist, Dr. Valluzzi has always held a strong interest in the visual arts and in visual information. While she majored in Materials Science at MIT, she also obtained a second degree in music and a minor in visual studies. Visual arts have managed to permeate her technical work; during her Ph.D in Polymer Science and Engineering at UMass Amherst, she completed a thesis that required advanced electron microscopy, image analysis, and theoretical data modeling. These experiences provided the visual insight and information that now influences much of her artwork.

Dr. Valluzzi’s work has been included in private collections across the US, UK, Germany, Canada, Japan, Netherlands, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Dubai and Malta, and in the corporate collection of "Seyfarth Shaw" Boston law offices around Boston. She has a selection of pieces on loan to the MIT Materials Science and Engineering Department as indoor public art. Her accomplishments include having published thirty articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, having made several scientific patents, having been a subject matter expert for an encyclopedia chapter, and having been invited to speak at science talks across the US, Europe, and Japan.

Her newsletter is a good source of ongoing information:

See Regina's portfolio here

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