Art is therapy…
All 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=§ion=&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.’
Inside Job by Zooreka
Elephant Valley Midget by LaPurr