M.C. Escher’s Lizards are by far the most popular of Escher’s tessellations. It can be seen gracing many multitudes of surfaces, legally or illegally. From tattoos, puzzles, belt buckles, car wraps, flooring or landscaping stones… My initial introduction to tessellations was through redrawing this lizard in its nested shape during a class on crystallography at Carleton U. That was a few decades ago, in 1988. But, as I keep on repeating (no pun), to draw a tessellation or to truly understand the structure behind it are two different things.
Most of us learn the easy/best way. Look at the masters, follow their path and learn all that we can from them. Replicate their artwork. It is a long process, especially without any direction or assistance from a teacher. This is where I’m at right now — copying / learning from the pentagon symmetry system seekers: Reinhardt, Kershner, James, Rice, Stein, Mann, McLoud, and Von Derau. As I did for a while, copying M.C. Escher’s tessellations, decades ago, although I no longer need MCE inspiration to create a tessellation. Continue reading
My Pentagon Challenge is keeping me busy. I am plowing my way through all of the pentagonal tiling types. Quite a few of them are built within either a perfect hexagon, or one that has been distorted beyond recognition. I am finding some interesting rules of symmetry I had not yet encountered. Wrapping my noggin around new concepts. Many of these symmetry types are skew-able, not only scale-able. Also, many of the anchor point for division lines inside hexagons are variable in their location, as long as the variable is kept constant for each pentagonal unit. Continue reading
Another challenge showing up on my desk, compliments of Woodpecker Carving. Hussein posted a beautiful Islamic geometric design, displaying the use of pentagons. But wait I thought, aren’t pentagons impossible to tile using the original seventeen symmetry groups? Or so I thought. I had seen intriguing examples of pentagonal tiles over the years, but I was still obsessed with M.C. Escher type nested shapes – and will always be. Continue reading
This Mountain Biker #tessellation drawing was done before Windows 3.1, before the Mac, before iPads! But after the dinosaurs. 1997. It was the inspiration to do a complete periodic drawing covering the plane, rather than a line group as shown below. Sometimes these drawings take time. Tessellation ideas are a dime a dozen — completed artwork is more rare. Continue reading
Lots of reasons to celebrate!
- A dozen cat tessellations, created between 1988—2018.
- Post #150 on my tessellation blog.
- A new year, 2018, year of the dog. Let’s entertain them. What better way to entertain a dog, than dangle a cat in front of it. Just kidding.
- 10,000 hits on this site, just a few weeks ago.
- My first tessellation ever, was drawn by hand 30 years past, January 1988.
All this talk about sharing space between characters in a tessellation has made me think of the word “symétruc”, which I coined a few years ago in a discussion with Jeff Weeks, American mathematician and KaleidoPaint app programmer. My original intention was for a word better than the French “pavages”, or “dallages”, which to me aludes to floor tiles, patio stones or asphalt pavement, rather than graphic art. Tessellation can be used in French, I’ve since found out. Continue reading
On the theme of ‘multiple sharing’ (as with ‘Mountain Biker’), are you familiar with the work of Raoul Raba in Zoo Mathématique? He has occasional examples. As a concept, there are not too many artists using this idea in their tessellation work. The premise of ‘economy’ is a pleasing one. Continue reading
This tessellation was done using the Pg symmetry system. Two parallel glide reflections with a few lines snaking from one to the other. In the sketch below, the thicker lines delineate the two characters, the guy and the dog. Not that many lines. The thinner lines add details to the shape. If you want to know an easy way to create this type of nested shape, have a look under the Techniques menu, and choose the symmetry group you would like to use. Continue reading
Clocks back one hour tonight. Spring forward — Fall Back. This symmetry design is built using a simple glide reflection all the way along the line. Resting dogs, using their buddy’s butt as a pillow. Continue reading
I will be showing some tessellation prints at the Board Game House in Nanaimo, for the next two months. Hanging of the artwork is October 28, 2017 – the show concludes at the end of December. Come see. Widen your perception of the fine line between art and math. Stretch your imagination with a bit of geometry, symmetry. Humor and funny characters too. Continue reading
The size of the audience for this type of art-form is microscopically small. When you start talking about your tessellation passion, someone inevitably says, “Ah ya you do that stuff”. From decades ago, “oh ya, I remember your drawings”. Other than family and friends putting up with your gushing obsession, you’re lucky to have a handful of patrons. Math teachers, grade school kids, and a few geometry nerds don’t constitute a large client base, lol. Continue reading
Below is the original OmegaBoy sketch, drawn four and a half years ago already. Since I found the KaleidoPaint app, I’ve come up with about one nested shape a week, that’s over 250 tessellations, fully interlocking designs. It must be an obsession! Still much to learn. Never stop learning. Continue reading
These ocean-side tessellation topics are dear to my heart since we moved to the Island, a decade ago already. The weather is wonderful, winter and summer, those year-round hikes — local, beautiful, plentiful, varied. Continue reading