The Beauty of Fractals

A Nony GirlAll my life I’ve been looking for art I could really appreciate – remember those ‘Art Appreciation’ classes?  For twenty years I tried to express myself creatively by quilting (see My Quilts), and I was a passionate quilter – I especially loved all the different designs on fabrics!  But as lovely as I found quilts to be, it wasn’t art that I wanted to put on the wall – and I only had so many beds to put a quilt on.

Then, out of the blue, I discovered a new passion for art from watching an awesome science/mathematics documentary called “Fractals: Hunting The Hidden Dimension” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s65DSz78jW4).    It just blew me away (I thought it was going to be about space)!  Turns out fractals is a branch of geometry (math, ugh!); I don’t understand the math part, but OMG it makes beautiful art!  It kind of reminds me of the psychedelic 60s, paisley or a child’s kaleidoscope, except much more sophisticated (see examples at end of blog).

The way I understand it, a fractal is a shape that is made up of shapes similar to the original shape, repeating itself in smaller versions as you zoom in closer, but not necessarily exact replicas.  I haven’t been this excited mathematically since learning about the Fibonacci Sequence  🙂 (hey, it’s used in quilting, believe it or not!).

Then I found another fascinating documentary about fractals: The Color of Infinity with Arthur C Clarke (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lk6QU94xAb8).  I can’t believe I’ve missed this all of my life!  But actually I hadn’t, I just didn’t recognize it all around me.  There are so many examples of fractals in nature: snowflakes, ferns, cauliflower and broccoli, tree branches, a nautilus – even lightning (I love lightning!).

But as much as I loved nature, it was fractal art I was now interested in.  I went searching for fractal designs and found DeviantART.com (http://browse.deviantart.com/?qh=&section=&global=1&q=fractal); I’ve fallen in love with the fractal art section!!!  Colorful, monochromatic, simple, complex, abstract, bold, ethereal, surreal, intricate, amorphous, three dimensional, futuristic – there aren’t enough adjectives to describe them all!  And some even remind me of galaxies and nebulae (mmmmmm space!).

I was like a kid in a candy store: this is my favorite, no wait, this is my favorite, no wait…   I’ve found hundreds of images of fractal art that I love, and there are tens of thousands more on this website!  I wondered: how do they do make them?  Then I found a short tutorial video on fractals that really made it all clear (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl6fpGOLoi8)!  The way I understand it, you create “art” by zooming in or out and manipulating a section of a fractal – all made possible with computers.  And anyone can do it (REALLY?)!  I think what I find most intriguing about fractals is that they are created using mathematical formulas and computer software programs – and you don’t have to know complex math to make beautiful art (YES! Thank you!).

  After seeing so much fascinating and beautiful artwork created from fractals, I am inspired to give it a try (although for me, sometimes trying something new is like contemplating cliff-diving).  And it all came about because of math – a much hated subject for me.  Who’d a thunk it!  Although to be fair, quilting also employs math (simple geometry).  But I’ve found my quilting skills to be rather limited, whereas fractals seem infinite! 😉

I’ve posted just a small sample of some of my favorite fractal artwork that I’ve found so far.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!  (There are so many other styles that I haven’t included – they’re not all spirals or froufrou – so I hope you go to DeviantArt’s website to find a style you like.  And when you find one, check out the artist’s gallery.  Really, there is a fractal for everyone – just check out the very last artwork here! ) 

To search fractals on deviantart.com: along left-hand side under ‘Category,’ click on ‘Digital Art,’ then click on ‘Fractal Art,’ then above that choose ‘More’ under  ‘Popular 24 Hours,’ and click on ‘Popular All Time.’

 

Buttons and Bows by Mignon

Entwining Colors by Lapurr

Inside Job by Zooreka

Julian Floral Pearl by Wolfepaw

Shirria by Mignon

Elephant Valley Midget by LaPurr

Sorry Lost Carved Fractal by Roz Raynor Rix

Phoenix by Pinka109

Biogenesis by Abysimus

Twilight in Elephant Valley by LaPurr

Starlight and Dreams by LoonyL

The Spiral Factor by Deloulark

Garden Trellis by WizerKizer

Lemons by FractAlchemist

Gift for Cecan86 by KattVinge

Fractal Explorer by SpiritMountain

Young Love’s Bouquet by Fractek

Fractal 95 by Iplywittree

— by George13

Rococo For Coco by Pinka109

Glamour Rich by Atabeyli

Julian Lights by Wolfepaw

St Patrick’s Day by Natafka

Joyous by ShadowedDancer

Watercolorbrot by Fractek

Fractal Art CXXVIII by UnicornGraphics

H R Giger Gigers Twist Apophysis by Andrew Ostin

Star Gem by NMSmith

Gift for Imaginum by KattVinge

Julian Pearls by Wolfepaw

Suzaku’s Womb by Snow Valkyrie

February Marbles by KattVinge

March Strange 14 by KattVinge

Tech Apo 11 by KattVinge

37 comments on “The Beauty of Fractals

  1. Iplywittrees says:

    Wow… I just googled myself and found my fractal here. Thanks for that. 🙂 Got me to smile. ~Iplywittrees

  2. Kathy says:

    love these fractals. I’d like to use one for a project. Are they copywrited, and how to do get information on contacts?

    • Hi! I got these images from deviantart.com. If for instance you liked the first image “Buttons and Bows” by Mignon, you would type in the URL: http://www.mignon.deviantart.com to reach the relevant page from which the image came from. Mignon is the screen name of the artist who created that design (real name Lulu from Australia). You would have to contact her for permission, etc. So whichever image you like, check the artist’s screen name (which I have included under each image) and type that into the URL before deviantart.com (don’t forget the period after the name). Good luck. Lucy

      ________________________________

      • enricogiampi says:

        I think for each one of them could be a different adventure, a different “journey” just using fantasy 😉

  3. Fox says:

    I love all these fractals.. so very beautiful. I wish I was better at math.. I’d try my hand at making some.

    • Like me, you don’t have to know math! These programs, at least the one I used – Tierazon – has preset equations that you just click on, and then adjust and experiment with the image. After you get comfortable the program, you just keep tweeking it! There are also some tutorials available – you can google the tutorial of the program you use and deviantart.com has some tutorials..

      Better still, this is where I learned to make fractals: http://fractalarts.com/ASF/index.html (Amazing Seattle Fractals), so give it a try!

  4. enricogiampi says:

    I definitly love fractal dreams 😉

  5. I loved your article about fractals. They are amazing, aren’t they? Thank you so much for using a few of my fractals as examples of” beautiful fractal art”! I’m, let me know honored to included with these phenomenal fractalists! I’m delighted you have discovered it. If you need help, let me know.

  6. Hi,Great post! I’m so glad you’ve discovered fractals. Your post reminded me of how excited I felt when I first got into this wonderful art form. There are many fractal software programs out there, though. Apophysis is another worth having a look at, and if you like three-dimensionality, have a look at some of the amazing 3D fractal work being done, with programs like Incendia and Mandelbulb 3D. Mark Brady is one of my favourites. Have a look at his Facebook portfolio. Just incredible!

    http://www.facebook.com/mark.j.brady.1/photos

    Mandelmorphosis is a community for people who enjoy 3D fractal art.

    http://www.facebook.com/Mandelmorph?ref=ts&fref=ts

    And if you’re curious, you can see some of my work at Fractallicous.com.

    Happy fractalling!

    Pam

  7. Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing them!

  8. Diann says:

    These are gorgeous! They remind me of looking through a kaleidoscope when I was a child and imagining that I could be in that world of images and how enchanting it would be! I also saw a show about fractals , I think on PBS within the last year and a half or so, maybe one of the shows you mentioned above. These are fascinating!

  9. bella says:

    Love all this fractals!!!!!!!

  10. Awesome post! Although I am into the math behind fractals, I love how accessible they are to the not-mathematically-inclined. Everyone can appreciate their beauty!

  11. Dawn Marie says:

    So beautiful, glorious even. Thank you so much..

  12. Emma. says:

    Thank you! I have always wanted to know and intended to find out about fractals and you have made it very easy for me. I too am math challenged but was VERY excited by 1.618:1.

  13. Mary Joan says:

    All so lovely…..I could just stare and imagine another world…just like those in kaleidoscopes I enjoyed as a child. I have a few grown-up ones now….and view them whenever I need a break from reality. Thank you for sharing these beautiful fractals!

  14. Dianna Gourley says:

    I am a fan. These are beautiful

  15. My god I love fractal art.This stuff makes my eyes happy.

  16. Vicki France says:

    I would love to try to make some myself, can you point me in a direction to learn? Thank you.

    • Of course! My first lessons came from Amazing Seattle Fractals using Tierazon at http://fractalarts.com/ASF/ . From there you can go to deviant.com. and type in fractal tutorial in their search engine to find a variety of tutorials for different fractal software. Of course you type that into Google as well. Good luck!

  17. I am so glad to have found your blog – I came via Pinterest. These are so beautiful, I am happy just to look at them – I am a minor crafter, just getting into zentangles and these are kind of inspiring for that work! Your quilts are absolutely amazing, I’m not surprised you moved on to these fractals at all. I had a quick browse through a bit of your blog and I hope your life is going well/better. Are you creating your own fractal patterns? [Excuse me if I missed a relevant post. I’m following now though, so shall keep up] Best wishes, Pauline

  18. Morgan says:

    These are amazing 🙂 I simply had to use one. Each one is so unique..it is a universe of beauty, inspiration and imagination unto itself 🙂 Thats for a great post!

  19. funktifyd says:

    Hi there,

    I love your blog post about Fractals. I’m in a similar head space after I discovered in app on my iPhone called FRAX. I’ve been creating some pretty cool fractals and then putting them on Duvet Covers, shower curtains, playing cards and much more. My website is currently under construction but you can see images of my work on my Facebook page “funktifyd creations” and my fractal board on Pinterest. (Which is where I found you from:)). Thanks for posting and continuing the Fractal vibe:)

  20. Nico Baaijens (NL) says:

    Impressive…!

  21. […] Source: The Beauty of Fractals […]

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