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Chaos Versus Order: The Role of Entropy in Portraiture

Date & Time:
11:30:00 - 13:00:00,
Thursday 18 June, 2009


Creativity is an emerging theme of OII research on the implications of technical change. In line with this focus, Jeremy Sutton will provide a unique behind-the-scenes insight into the role of entropy in the process of painting a portrait. Artist, author and digital painting pioneer Jeremy Sutton – a physics graduate from Pembroke College – will show how he harnesses entropy, the tendency of the universe to move towards disorder, to paint his portraits.

Whether his portraits are painted using traditional paint, or using digital paint, he sees himself to be purposely embracing chaos whilst intentionally moving towards selective order. As in past seminars, Jeremy will convey this idea by letting the audience witness how the dynamic tension of chaos versus order, and abstraction versus representation, plays out on the canvas. Experience how Jeremy ‘wrestles and dances between these opposites’.

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  • Name: Jeremy Sutton
  • Affiliation: Artist
  • Role:
  • URL:
  • Bio: While earning his Bachelors degree in Physics from Pembroke College, Oxford University, Jeremy Sutton studied life drawing, sculpture and etching at the Ruskin School for Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford. He subsequently worked in scientific sales and marketing for Oxford Instruments, a job that took him to live in The Hague, The Netherlands, where he studied lithography and life drawing at the Vrije Akademie, and eventually to move to California in 1988. Jeremy, a Corel Painter Master and speaker at numerous conferences, such as SIGGRAPH and Macworld, has authored five books, two video training series, and four DVD tutorials. Based in San Francisco, he teaches workshops, seminars and gives presentations throughout the world, including in the US, Brazil, Israel, Italy, UK and Japan. See to see samples of his artwork and learn more about his classes and resources. His mixed background as a physicist turned artist reflects itself in the many parallels Jeremy draws between the principles and concepts of physics, including that of entropy, and the way he creates his portraits. His choice of combining digital and non-digital paint media, both of which will be used in this talk, reflects his inclusive cross-disciplinary approach to creativity.