I just returned from an artist potluck party. Well, not exactly a party… not sure what to call it… a gathering sounds good. Some very nice artsy folk down the road from me put together a once a year “gathering” at their place whereby artists and craftspeople can hang out for the day, eat good food, chit chat and do what they do. I’ve been invited before, but this is the first time I actually went.
I generally feel that getting together a group of artists and artisans are like herding cats. Sure, it can be done, but do you really want to? Cats don’t really “gang together”. Well, maybe lions do, but I’m thinking of domestic kitties… the kind that tolerate each other and are nice enough so long as they have a full bowl of kibble. Since the lure of food works for hungry cats, it’s an effective way to assemble a group of artists.
Yeah, I know some artists are very sociable and I am painting with broad strokes here, but that’s the kind of artist I am… social sometimes and more of a dog lover than a cat person. Anyway, off I trooped to the event, looking for a social connection, a good meal and perhaps a spark of inspiration. For me, art is more of a solitary endeavor but I was game so I packed up some supplies and drove over.
After I arrived and made all the necessary pleasantries, I tucked myself in a corner of the property and got down to work. Most of the other guests were having a group spin… weavers and knitters and workers of wool. They all seemed to know each other and were happily chatting so I found a shady spot away from the chorus to explore a new idea that had graced my doorstep recently.
It’s very simple… and familiar. We see it every day, even though we don’t know it by name. Fractal Geometry. It comes down to this: Z=Z squared +C. What that means is simplified repetition of design, or in fractal terms: a self similar pattern. This has got to be the coolest bit of mathematics I have come across and I am on a mission to purposefully blend my art with fractals. I could probably go on about this for awhile, but really, the studio is calling and I have GOT to get in there and put this stuff on some canvas. Here’s a Wiki link if you want some general knowledge on the subject http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal of course, there is TONS more about fractals on the internet, but Wikipedia is a good place to start.
Fractals are a part of nature, it’s the repetitive design we see in trees, ferns, textures, coastlines, blood vessels, musculature… it’s everywhere and it is awesome. They call it the “thumbprint of god” which is poetic and mind expanding. Whatever it is, I’m feeling very dazzled by the beauty of this mathematical concept.
I’ve unwittingly used this concept in some of my other art. The Orange Swirls are loosely fractal in nature, but it’s there nonetheless.
But now I am purposefully exploring with just a little more knowledge. Looking forward to the results, so back to work for me. For now, here’s the sketch I came up with at the Artist’s Gathering: