Friday, August 24, 2012

The Art of Swimming and Diving

The Art of Diving
encaustic and paper on birch 5x5
Ever wondered what art and swimming have in common? OK, well... maybe its never crossed your mind.. But, We'll take a look at this metaphorically - of course there are water safety rules that you do know, but we'll toss those aside in the name of art (or life) for this discussion. 
So, we find ourselves standing on the edge looking into the water. Sometimes, the water looks inviting with its cool surface welcoming us.  There are other times the water is a bit murky or deep and black.  Sometimes it has a swift current, and sometimes the dive appears to be a loooong drop off a huge cliff.   There are even times when fears petrify us and keep us standing on the edge contemplating.   This results in our never actually getting into the water - ever. 
So, what are we waiting for?  - JUMP, DIVE, LEAP, CANNON BALL, BELLY FLOP, SWAN DIVE- whatever - just do it and get into the water and stop procrastinating.
Sure the water may be brisk and take our breath away, but good things do take our breath away.   Once we are in the water, we may find it still and easy to paddle and glide and we are soooo happy we got in.  However, sometimes - the calm waters get a little turbulent and swift currents crop up.  This is when we start swimming hard and it can begin to be a struggle.  The harder we swim, the harder it gets.  Honestly, swimming against the current will get us nowhere fast.  We tire and most likely get out of the water dripping wet, beaten down, and in a bad mood.  This often results in us throwing up our arms, turning our backs and walking away.  That's really a heartbreaking result when we're talking art here. 
But here is the key...  if we just let the water surround us and let it give us buoyancy, we can float.  Once we float, we can turn away from the struggle and flow with the current.  Once this happens, the struggle with the forces against us ends.  It then becomes a peaceful journey floating on to lands unknown - an adventure in art, or life, or self.  OK... so, what are you waiting for - Jump in and start going with the flow.
 
 And.. if you ever find yourself in a rip current::
  "If you find yourself being pulled out to sea, don’t panic. You are caught in a rip current that you can swim out of. To get out of the rip swim parallel to shore. That is, swim so that the shore is either to your right or your left. Never swim against the current."

Swimming Myths:  True or False
  1. The harder you kick, the faster you'll go
  2. It's never too late to learn good technique
  3. You should always wait a half-hour after eating before hitting the pool
  4. The longer you stay underwater and glide, the better
  5. You sweat while you swim
  6. Only nerdy non-swimmers wear nose clips
See how you did:
  1. False. Kicking accounts for only about one-third of forward propulsion, and in the process, it uses your largest and most oxygen-thirsty muscles. Thus, super-hard leg work doesn't have much payoff and will probably tire you out quickly, slowing you down in the long run.   This plays into the struggling against the current thing.  If you go with the flow -there is no kicking and therefore no tiring.
  2. True.  Learning skills while your body (ART) is developing, and putting in hours and hours of training over the years pays off. But there's no age limit on skill-building in swimming (or ART), and with proper instruction, it's possible to make great leaps in ability no matter how old you are. "A lot of newcomers to the sport catch on fire," (not literally, not to worry) says Scott Rabalais, chair of the U.S. Masters Swimming coaches committee and coach of Crawfish Aquatics in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. "It's really exciting to see."
  3. False. Sorry, unless you've eaten a big meal, you should not have a problem if you dive in before the half-hour mark.  This means... no hesitation - just dive in.
  4. False. Although some elite swimmers stay underwater for as much as half a length, it's not always the wisest choice for us mere mortals. Certainly, the glide gives you the opportunity to capitalize on the power of your pushoff, but after a while you begin to decelerate. Stay underwater too long - especially if you're not streamlined - and you'll end up going slower than you would if you'd started stroking. What's more, having to hold your breath all that time might make swimming the rest of the lap a struggle.  We are striving for no struggles, so get to the surface and start floating, paddling, and swimming in the direction the flow takes you.
  5. True. You may not feel them, but there are rivulets of perspiration rolling down your body as you stroke your way across the pool. The result: You're losing fluid as you practice. Drink up before, during, and after working out.  Sweating is good.  It means that you are working it.  But don't lose focus on yourself.  Keep yourself noursished, be kind to yourself and Drink responsibly. .
  6. False. Unless you're prepared to call 1992 Pan American Games gold medalist Jane Skillman a nerd. Skillman wears a nose clip to avoid allergic reactions to pool chemicals, and other elite-level swimmers wear them to avoid getting water up their noses when learning underwater dolphin kick on the back.  Studio safety is really important.  Don't cut corners, don't wait to get the proper this or that to make your place safe.  This is you we're talking about.

 Dive in, Swim and Go with the Flow.  Happy Friday - hit the button, its Party Time!




31 comments:

  1. Love the technique you have used on this painting, very good. Love it!

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  2. Delightful post, Marji. I love the analogy of diving and art. You've done quite a bit of thinking to come up with this. Your painting of the diving woman is beautiful. And finally, before I had ever heard of a rip tide, I got caught in one off the New Jersey beach. When I tried to go toward the shore I got pushed further out to sea. I instinctively (or God-prompted) began to swim parallel to shore and I got out of the rip tide.

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  3. Great techniques and a beautiful piece. Happy PPF, Annette x

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  4. Great post and I love the diving girl

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  5. beautiful piece, makes me think of the recent Olympics! And interesting to read the myths, I never thought about sweating.

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  6. Great piece and love the post in general. Thanks again for your postcard - did you get my mail? Valerie

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  7. I know nothing about swimming, something I do not do...but I know what I like and I like your painting! HPPF!

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  8. Dive right in! Absolutely! Your post is very relevant to everyone who takes risk to share their creative efforts. I love how the words go with your painting!

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  9. Wonderful post ~ great humor too as well as inspiring and your artwork is very dynamic and well done. ~ (A Creative Harbor)

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  10. What an interesting post. I'm ready to dive in!!

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  11. Great post - definitely ready to dive in, even if it ends up in a big belly flop!!!

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  12. Swimming is a great activity. Very nice artwork, love her dive. Thanks. Happy PPF!

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  13. Your painting is gorgeous and i'm guessing you're also a swimmer? Or at least you know more about swimming than i do. I love how you relate one to the other. And so true... sometimes, we just need to trust and "go with the flow" of things. Thanks for sharing! xox

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  14. Great post! Love your diver.

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  15. awesome post... I look out at the pool from my studio window and thoughts are turning to swimming season as spring has finally arrived in our neck of the woods...
    and the painting this week is spectacular...xx

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  16. Great post. LOVE this piece. Makes me wish I could swim. :))

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  17. LOVE your painting and the analogy of swimming and diving to art!
    Very insightful! And fun...since we just had the Olympics!!
    ♥♥♥
    Happy PPF!!
    Mary
    Mixed-Media Map Art

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  18. This is fabulous. Absolutely fabulous. Wow. I LOVE this.

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  19. Well, I swim so I don't drown and that's about it. :))) I'm freaked out of the ocean that I can't see the bottom of mostly due to too many scary shark movies. Your swimmer looks awesome and I love her movement.

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  20. Beautiful diver, love the red with neutrals! Happy PPF!

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  21. Love the connection you make between swimming and artmaking. So very true. And a beautiful painting to go with it!

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  22. yes love this post. I am going to add you to my fave blogs to visit. Happy PPF

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  23. Fabulous! Wonderful movement implied by the swimmer. I hadn´t considered that relationship between art and swimming. Very interesting.

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  24. Wonderful analogy you've lain out here...and the encaustic is awesome! I scored 100 on the quiz!

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  25. Another great painting, and another inspiring post.

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  26. This is a lovely piece, I feel the elegant dive so well here, great!

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  27. Such a graceful form in your swimmer! Great post about the correlation between art and swimming!

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  28. Great post, and the art reminds me so much of the 20's or 30's. Very pretty

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  29. Love your swimmer and her perfect movement ! Beautiful work!

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  30. Big like on your painting, think she is just beautiful.

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  31. this piece has so much nice energy--captures the whole swimming.art thing perfectly!

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