Day #095 – Copy of a Richard Feynman Drawing

I’m a big fan of Richard Feynman so I found this article showcasing some of his art very interesting.

Feynman didn’t take up art until he was 44. This is the first drawing he did and it looks quite amateur in the same way that you’d expect from anybody new to drawing. The facial features are drawn as symbols rather than as they would actually be on the face and the proportions and slant of the body are way off. I say this not to criticise the great Feynman but as inspiration to us all: even one of the smartest men who ever lived started at the same level playing field as anybody else new to drawing from life.

This was an interesting quote on his motivation for deciding to learn to draw:

I wanted very much to learn to draw, for a reason that I kept to myself: I wanted to convey an emotion I have about the beauty of the world. It’s difficult to describe because it’s an emotion. It’s analogous to the feeling one has in religion that has to do with a god that controls everything in the universe: there’s a generality aspect that you feel when you think about how things that appear so different and behave so differently are all run ‘behind the scenes’ by the same organization, the same physical laws. It’s an appreciation of the mathematical beauty of nature, of how she works inside; a realization that the phenomena we see result from the complexity of the inner workings between atoms; a feeling of how dramatic and wonderful it is. It’s a feeling of awe — of scientific awe — which I felt could be communicated through a drawing to someone who had also had that emotion. I could remind him, for a moment, of this feeling about the glories of the universe.

The article goes through a bunch of his drawings through the years. After practice Feynman inevitably improves and many of his drawings are quite lovely to look at. This was my favorite from those shown on the article and so I decided to copy it for today’s entry:

My drawing of Richard Feynman's original 1979 Drawing 'Nude from the rear'



Here’s a timeless video of Feynman discussing an argument he often had with his friend who he traded science lessons for art lessons with on alternate weekends:

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