I enjoy creating art that depicts the vivid beauty in moving fluids. I paint abstract interpretations of common fluid dynamics phenomena to better communicate the science involved in daily life. My paintings have been exhibited in the Helen E. Copeland Gallery, Bozeman Public Library and the Montana Science Center in Bozeman.
20”x16” acrylic on canvas Sometimes speculated to be the inspiration for Van Gogh’s painting Starry Night, this beautiful fluid phenomenon happens when two fluid layers flow over each other - like wind over water. On a sunny day with scattered clouds, look to the sky to see if you can spot wavy clouds! We have observed and photographed incredibly beautiful Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds on Jupiter and Saturn too.
16”x20” acrylic on canvas. A splash is technically called a Worthington jet. We see Worthington jets every day wherever a liquid droplet falls into a liquid pool - during rainfall and cooking. During this seemingly uninteresting process, there are several physical and fluid phenomena occurring simultaneously in a game of force balances to produce something we take for granted. Here, the artist depicts the intricate structures that make up a Worthington jet.
Tears of Wine
16”x20” acrylic on canvas Have you noticed these ‘tears’ or ‘legs’ when drinking wine? They result from a complex combination of fluid physics collectively called the Gibbs-Marangoni effect. Where the surface of the wine meets the side of the glass, capillary action makes the wine climb. As it does so, alcohol evaporates faster than water from the rising film. This causes more wine to be drawn up and form droplets that fall back under their own weight.
20”x16” acrylic on canvas I often spot these curious little bugs on pools of still water when I’m fishing. Called water striders, they use the surface tension of water and their hydrophobic legs to ‘walk’ on water. The surface tension of water causes a thin elastic layer on its surface - like an extremely fragile trampoline - which supports the bugs.
16”x12” acrylic on canvas These undulating layers of flow form in a liquid that flows over a solid surface. This phenomenon is called boundary layer flow. The layers start in an orderly march over the surface but quickly transition to a chaotic slurry of turbulence.
3 panel 14”x10” acrylic on canvas Creeping flow, in simple terms, occurs when a fluid moves slowly with uniform and unidirectional velocity. The flow lines of creeping flow, albeit elegant in their original form, are aesthetically perturbed and ‘pardoned’ around objects in its path. Some shapes are less disruptive to the flow than others thus making them more streamlined. Can you identify the most and least streamlined shapes here?
4 panel 10”x20” acrylic on canvas Have you noticed the shape of a mushroom cloud after a volcanic eruption or a nuclear explosion? The Rayleigh–Taylor instability is a striking phenomenon that occurs when two fluids of different densities move through each other. It has been observed and photographed in deep space bodies like nebulae - the result of supernova explosions.
20”x16” acrylic on canvas Sometimes, the effect of a fluid is more evident in the absence of it. Mudcracks are formed when wet, muddy sediment dries up and shrinks. The top layer of mud shrinks from losing water due to evaporation but the mud underneath stays the same size. This causes the formation a polygonal, interconnected network of deep cracks. Although such a sight could depict harsh living conditions, the resulting patterns are still mesmerizing to look at.
16”x20” acrylic on canvas. Viscous liquids are commonly known to be 'sticky' but there's more to it than just the stickiness. It is an inherent property that arises from the molecular interactions in the liquid. Some highly viscous liquids include lava, ketchup and olive oil. Here, the artist depicts the coiling of honey as it falls onto a solid surface.
12”x16” acrylic on canvas. Often seen under a running tap in a kitchen sink, this phenomenon called a hydraulic jump is characteristic in how the liquid changes direction from vertical to horizontal almost instantly to form a thin smooth circular film. What’s interesting is that an abstract concept in astrophysics called a white hole (opposite of a black hole) is sometimes described using this phenomenon as an example.