Square Foot Show 2018

I’ve done a post about this on my other blog – so I will just link you to that here!

But I know a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are my entries in the Westland Gallery’s Square Foot Show of 2018:

Frog Pond

Frog Pond. Digital Fractal Art HD printed on metal. Single Print. $300.00. Artist Lianne Todd.

I hope you enjoy the above fractal piece.  It is printed in high definition on metal, with a very glossy finish.  I hadn’t tried this kind of print before and I am quite pleased with how it turned out.  It doesn’t have the metallic sheen that changes with the light, like my other metal prints do, but that suits this image really well.  As usual, I only do one print per image, so all pieces are originals in every sense of the word.  I had a lot of fun creating this one, seeing all the different things in it that caused me to name it “Frog Pond”.  Do you see them too?  Please feel free to comment on what you see – I’m curious!

Kitchen Alcove, Il Convente dei Carmine

Kitchen Alcove, Il Convente dei Carmine. Watercolour on Paper. 6.25×6.25″. SOLD. Artist Lianne Todd.

World Views

World Views. Watercolour on Gold Absorbent Ground on Canvas. 12×12″. $300.00. Artist Lianne Todd.

I’ll be at the Art in the Park in Woodstock with some of my other work this Saturday.  More about that tomorrow!

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Feast

I cannot wait to show you this latest piece in person.  Some images conjure up abundance, richness, and decadence, and this is one of those images. There is plenty here for your own imagination to work on, but you won’t be able to properly see it unless you come to my studio!  Lucky for you, my studio is often open, all you need to do is contact me.  But even luckier, there are a whole bunch of studios open on May 5 & 6 in Oxford County, and mine is one of them!  I am at Location #4. 

This image you see here is a mere fraction of the size I have printed it – 24 x 24 inches.  As usual, I only have one print made of each fractal piece, on metal (or sometimes acrylic), so each is an original.  Although, I think this would make a great metal album cover don’t you?

Feast. Digital Fractal Art printed on metal, single edition print. 24×24″. Artist Lianne Todd. $425.00

 

 

An Archetypal Image

I think I have mentioned before how I see many fractals as somewhat archetypal in nature.  We have, in our decorative past, incorporated many motifs that turn out to be quite common in fractal geometry.  The swirls and whorls, the spirals and branches, the radiating patterns… it is like we knew about fractals before we knew about fractals.  But of course we did, didn’t we?  Because fractals are the shapes of nature, and we are a part of nature ourselves, and surrounded by it.  We noticed the regular and irregular natural patterns around us and we appreciated them.  We began to find them beautiful. Then we began to associate them with ideas, and some of them became symbolic.

This particular fractal is one of those ones that seems to be archetypal.  Of course the cross shape, as a symbol, is much more ancient than the Christian religion.  This is more complicated than a simple cross, though.  What other associations does your mind bring to this image?

Symbol.  Digital fractal art on metal.  Single edition print. 16x16". Lianne Todd

Symbol. Digital fractal art on metal. Single edition print. 16×16″. Lianne Todd

I hope you’ll come out to my studio this coming weekend during the Oxford Studio Tour to see this piece and more.

A Farewell to “Wind”

A while back I found out one of my fractal pieces had sold from the Art Gallery of Lambeth.  I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for representing me and for selling this piece.  I didn’t find out which one it was, until recently, and then I was not surprised, as many people at various exhibits have told me it is their favourite.

I was going to find the image on this site and change the caption to say it was sold… and then realized I have never posted it here!  I’ve used the image to advertise some of my shows, but have never quite written the blog post I wanted to write about it.

While “archetypal” comes to mind (and is wrong) to describe this image, I confess I’m at a loss otherwise.   And maybe that is why it took me this long to write about it.  There is just something about it that speaks to people, and while I feel it too, I can’t describe it.  Who needs words when it comes to visual art anyway, right?  But I would love to hear your ideas.

My original title for this was “The Birth of Wind”, but then it just became “Wind”.  I don’t even have an explanation for that!

All I really have to say is, while this image is also one of my favourites and will stay with me for a long time, I am glad someone else is now able to enjoy it on a daily basis.  If you are the buyer, thank you and please let me know as I haven’t been told who you are.

Wind. Digital Fractal Art on metal, single edition print. 20x20". Lianne Todd. SOLD

Wind. Digital Fractal Art on metal, single edition print. 20×20″. Lianne Todd. SOLD

Patterns of humanity

I have mentioned a few times in previous posts about fractal images often being archetypal.  I’m not really sure I was correct in describing them that way, but what I will say is that they often look familiar in a way that transcends their immediate translation into a real object.  For instance, when I first looked at this fractal image, I immediately thought of the Aztecs and the patterns they incorporated into their art forms.  Having now looked at some Aztec art in more depth, I’m not even sure why I thought of them, other than the  feather motif and the colours.  That’s just what immediately came to mind.  And I have other fractal images created (not shown here) which really speak to me of Native American blanket patterns.  Others might look at this piece and be more immediately aware of the hourglass shape.  Maybe you will look at it and see something else entirely.

My point is, from near the beginning of humanity, we have been making patterns, whether or not they were drawn with a stick in the sand, sculpted along the edge of a stone building’s rooftop, painted on a cathedral ceiling, or digitally on a tablet.  Possibly for 60,000 years, we have been making patterns!  And if you look at all the patterns we have been making, you may notice that many of them are self-similar on smaller and smaller scales.  We were making fractals and we didn’t have a name for what was common to them all.  And we didn’t have a concept of the way fractals were involved in the geometry of nature – not consciously, anyway.  Maybe we were consciously inspired by nature, but didn’t recognize that specific aspect of it.  Only for the last 30-40 years have we, thanks to Mandelbrot, come to an awareness of this common denominator.  I like the way fractals connect all of humanity over time, and the way they connect us to nature.   I’m really looking forward to exploring this with future pieces!

Aztec Gold. Watercolour on Gessoed Paper.  20x20".   $625.00.   Lianne Todd

Aztec Gold.
Watercolour on Gessoed Paper.
20×20″.
$625.00.
Lianne Todd

Imagining the Cosmos

As you may know, if you have been reading all of my blog posts, I like to dabble a little in cosmology.  Not that I really know anything about it, but it fascinates me, and I like the kind of abstract thought it stimulates.  I was given a Great Course one Christmas on Dark Matter, Dark Energy, The Dark Side of the Universe, which I’ve enjoyed a great deal.  Dr. Sean Carroll is great at explaining cosmology in a way that I, at least, can understand.  I also read Brian Greene’s The Hidden Reality, a fascinating book.  I subscribe to many Facebook Pages which post news about the latest pieces of knowledge in this field.  The abstract thought appeals to me, and I think I’m pretty good at it, but my math and physics skills are limited to helping out my children when they were doing grade twelve homework.  Which may be nothing to sneeze at, but is less than what is required for particle physics.

One of the things that really strikes me, is that the visual components, be they illustrations or actual data translated into an image, of almost every piece of news in cosmology, are recognizable to me as being fractal in nature.  Perhaps it is because I’ve spent so much time looking at fractals, zooming in, and examining them from every angle, that I notice this.  I am always mystified when no mention of fractals is made, in these cases.  I’ve written a  whole post (and another) about fractal dimensions before, so I won’t go into that here, but that’s another part of the puzzle I like to think about.

I know these two fractals don’t really illustrate anything in particular, but they make me think along the lines of particle physics, and stardust, and the early universe.

"Stardance".  Watercolour on gessoed paper.  20x20".  $625.00 Lianne Todd

“Stardance”. Watercolour on gessoed paper. 20×20″.
$625.00
Lianne Todd

"Particles and Fields". Fractal Digital Art on Metal, single edition print.  20x20".   $325.00 Lianne Todd

“Particles and Fields”.
Fractal Digital Art on Metal, single edition print. 20×20″.
$325.00
Lianne Todd

This past summer, during my exhibit, I was told about a person in the same city (London, Ontario) who, it seemed, had a lot of the same thoughts I was having about the fractal nature of the universe.  She is a software engineer and has been studying fractals for much longer than I have!  Needless to say, her math skills are much better than mine.  I was fortunate to meet her (her name is Lori Gardi) this fall.  She has two websites, the first of which I’m going to direct you to Here, in which she has laid out some of her thoughts in a pretty clear way.  I’ll link you to the more recent one later… I think it’s a good idea to start at the beginning of her thought process. We (artists, software engineers, mathematicians, physicists, philosophers) may not all have the same thought processes or reach the same conclusions in our explorations of fractals and their role in the universe, but all avenues should be explored as long as they can exist within the rules that have been truly established by scientists and mathematicians in the past.  I am, unfortunately, not capable of judging whether anything follows those rules, but others who can, need to at least look at this work with an open mind and decide for themselves. ESPECIALLY if it may help solve any of the mysteries still out there.

Further into the realm of Fantasy

Often, when I’m voyaging through the through the little fractal universes I have generated using the software which I am so thankful exists, I encounter ‘places’ that look like they belong in an illustration for a book I’ve read somewhere along the way. I also encounter characters that look like they belong in those places.  Such was the case for this piece:

The Mage Emerges Digital Art Printed on Metal, single edition 24x24" $425.00 Lianne Todd

The Mage Emerges
Digital Art Printed on Metal, single edition
24×24″
$425.00
Lianne Todd

Butterflies and Moths

Insects, and particularly butterflies and moths, are recurring motifs that I often encounter when I’m creating fractals.  Sometimes, it’s just the simple shape, and other times it seems to be a whole detailed creature.  Sometimes it’s done with what I call the ‘regular’ fractal generator and other times with the flame fractal generator (more on those differences later).  If a mathematical formula iterated over and over by a computer can randomly generate images like these in a matter of minutes or hours, imagine what the physical forces of nature and a few billion years of evolution can do with a periodic table of elements (and, shall I say, an underlying fractal structure?).  Oh wait, you don’t have to imagine.  You can go outside!

 

(All images are watermarked and copyrighted)

Butterfly Hub Digital Art printed on metal, single edition 20x20" $325.00

Butterfly Hub – Artist Lianne Todd
Digital Art printed on metal, single edition
20×20″
$325.00

Detail of Butterfly Hub

Detail of Butterfly Hub

Butterflire - Artist Lianne Todd Digital Art printed on metal, single edition 20x20" $325.00

Butterflire – Artist Lianne Todd
Digital Art printed on metal, single edition
20×20″
$325.00

Detail of Butterflire

Detail of Butterflire

Mother of Moths - Artist Lianne Todd Digital Art printed on metal, single edition 12x12" SOLD

Mother of Moths – Artist Lianne Todd
Digital Art printed on metal, single edition
12×12″
SOLD

Pollinator - Artist Lianne Todd Digital Art printed on metal, single edition 16x16" $225.00

Pollinator – Artist Lianne Todd
Digital Art printed on metal, single edition
16×16″
$225.00

A thumbnail of the raw generated fractal - just to illustrate part of the process.

A thumbnail of the raw generated fractal – just to illustrate part of the process.

Some of the early ones.

Those who have been following my art for a few years may have seen these three before.  They were the only pieces I had allowed the public to see, prior to holding The Fractal Nature of Our Universe exhibit this summer.  I entered them, in 2011, in the Los Alamos MainStreet Science and Math-Based Art Contest.  I wish I had saved what I wrote about each of them then, but while the images are still out there on the web as a result of the contest, the statements I made about each of them are gone.  Perhaps it’s for the best – this way each viewer can interpret the images themselves.  The wonderful thing about fractals is the way they translate pure mathematics into something that appeals to – well, it feels to me anyway – something ancient in our minds.  They are often archetypal.  As such, I think they can bring us all together as humans.  We need something to unify us, don’t we?  So I will leave interpretation out… for while inspired interpretation as an individual is wonderful, sometimes expressing that interpretation divides us from those who would interpret differently.

This was the first fractal piece I ever created – The Way.

The Way Watercolour on Paper, 20x20" Lianne Todd $625.00 framed

The Way
Watercolour on Paper, 20×20″
Lianne Todd
$625.00 framed

Fire Dance and Happy Hill were the second and third pieces I created (but I can’t remember which was second and which was third!)

Fire Dance Watercolour on Paper 20x20" Lianne Todd $625.00, framed

Fire Dance
Watercolour on Paper
20×20″
Lianne Todd
$625.00, framed

Happy Hill Watercolour on Paper 20x20" Lianne Todd $625.00, framed

Happy Hill
Watercolour on Paper
20×20″
Lianne Todd
$625.00, framed

 

Here is what they looked like at the show (on the left):

The Fractal Nature of Our Universe exhibit, East wall.   Lianne Todd artist.

The Fractal Nature of Our Universe exhibit, East wall.
Lianne Todd artist.

 

And here is a detail of The Way:

Detail of The Way Lianne Todd

Detail of The Way
Lianne Todd