The Experiment

This series of four paintings was an experiment.  Not a very scientific one but I did try to control variables and make predictions.  My hypothesis was that since all pigments are different in their molecule size, shape, and hydrophilic and hydrophobic qualities, they would all move differently through the medium of water, and as they interacted with each other, and that their movement would be fractal.  In other words, I expected them to appear, at the end, as if they were something like a cloud, or some other natural item that is already known to be able to be modelled using fractal geometry.  A coastline, for instance.

All four pieces were executed and controlled in the same way (I won’t give away all my secrets!), the only differences being the pigments I used and the order they were used in.  I tried to reduce the effects of gravity by levelling my table but it is kind of obvious there was a tiny bit of gravitational effect.  I changed the orientation of the final products so that when they were hung together, it would be aesthetically pleasing.  Other than that, the results you see here are basically the raw data.

I called them Negative Nebulae, because I looked at all the white space around them and imagined if it was black, and the colours were reversed, they would look a bit like those photos you see from NASA of distant nebulae.  In other words, these would be like the negatives of those photos.

Here they are – what do you think?:

Nebula Negative I Watercolour on Yupo 10x10" Lianne Todd

Nebula Negative I
Watercolour on Yupo
10×10″ (sold)
Lianne Todd

Nebula Negative II Watercolour on Yupo 10x10" Lianne Todd

Nebula Negative II
Watercolour on Yupo
10×10″ $125.00
Lianne Todd

Negative Nebula III Watercolour on Yupo 10x10" Lianne Todd

Negative Nebula III
Watercolour on Yupo
10×10″ (sold)
Lianne Todd

Negative Nebula IV Watercolour on Yupo 10x10" Lianne Todd

Negative Nebula IV
Watercolour on Yupo
10×10″ (sold)
Lianne Todd

Here is what they looked like at the exhibit:

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

Curious to know what they do really look like when you invert the colours?

Non Negative Nebula I (the inversion) Lianne Todd

Non Negative Nebula I
(the inversion)
Lianne Todd

Non Negative Nebula II (the Inversion) Lianne Todd

Non Negative Nebula II
(the Inversion)
Lianne Todd

Non Negative Nebula III (the inversion) Lianne Todd

Non Negative Nebula III
(the inversion)
Lianne Todd

Non Negative Nebula IV (the inversion) Lianne Todd

Non Negative Nebula IV
(the inversion)
Lianne Todd

 

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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
$650.00 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
$650.00, framed

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

Happy Hill
Watercolour on Paper
20×20″
Lianne Todd
$650.00, 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

Phoenix

First of all, thank you to everyone who made it out to see the exhibit at The ARTS Project in London.  It was so nice to see friends, family, and new acquaintances, when I was occasionally there, and share my art with you.  It was also very nice to see some comments in the guest book from very old friends who I hadn’t seen in quite some time! And new friends too!  (You all know who you are!).  If you did get to the show, and didn’t see me or sign the guest book, I would love to know.  Please comment below, or send me an email.

Today I’m going to share one of my very favourite pieces, a metal print called Phoenix, in case you didn’t make it to the show.  I’m choosing it first for two reasons: 1) It isn’t what those who are only a little familiar with fractals might imagine when thinking of fractal art, and 2) It is a prime example of the way a metal print shows off the digital art I have created.

I will let you first refer to this photo from the opening night.  See the piece second from the end on the long wall?  The one that doesn’t look like anything?  That’s Phoenix.  It’s actually quite dark, and from the angle of the camera, the lighting isn’t picking up the image.  That’s one of the things I like.  It’s kind of mysterious.

photo 1

Now, I will show you what happens when you walk by this image as it was lit in the gallery.

Walking Past Phoenix

Walking Past Phoenix

Now that you’ve seen it in action, I will show you a watermarked image I took of it with my camera in the light of day.  I think this would be fantastic in a very brightly lit minimally decorated room, don’t you?  Alternately, it would be wonderful in a very darkly decorated room with a few track lights focused on it.  I hope it captures your imagination the way it does mine.

Phoenix, (c) 2014 Lianne Todd 24x24" original metal print (single edition)

Phoenix, (c) 2014
Lianne Todd
24×24″ original metal print (single edition) $450.00

Publicity!

I made the news today – and while an actual review would have been nice, I will take free advertising without complaint!  This article appeared on the front page of the Today section in The London Free Press, and I am grateful to them!  Nice to be featured with these other excellent artists as well.

I have decided to post my own watermarked photo of the featured painting they chose for the article – it will give you a better idea of the colour.  This is one of the five watercolours on gesso that are in the exhibit, and it’s called Colourfest.  Like the others, it began as a digitally generated fractal, and developed from there.

Colourfest, 20x20", Watercolour on Gessoed Paper.   Lianne Todd

Colourfest, 20×20″, Watercolour on Gessoed Paper. Lianne Todd

Another item of publicity is this video made by The ARTS Project.  It was the end of the day we hung the show, so I hope I am not rambling too much in it.  You can see Colourfest hanging behind me!

Last Night’s Opening

A big thank you to everyone who helped me celebrate the opening of my exhibition last night.

Here are some pictures  (I didn’t remember to take any until the end of the night!):

photo 3 photo 2 photo 1 photo

The Fractal Nature of Our Universe

Tonight is the night!  Yesterday we hung the art and it is all ready for viewing.  My husband helped, and he was wondering where I had been hiding it all.  Here is a sneak peak at some of the titles for you, and a photo of me hanging some of my first ones on the wall of the lovely gallery at The ARTS Project.

“Turbulence & Bubbles”; “Stardance”;  “Nature’s Drapery”;  “Negative Nebulae”;  “Mother of Moths”; “Fried Eggs”;  “The Mage Emerges”…  There are 39 pieces of art in all.

Here I am hanging "Happy Hill"

Here I am hanging “Happy Hill”

The ones  you see in the photo are watercolour paintings on paper.

I would like also, at this time, to acknowledge the excellent digital image printing services of Posterjack, of Toronto.  They are the company which I use to print my digital fractals on metal.  Over the course of three years they have consistently provided wonderful service and attention to quality.  The show consists of 18 paintings, 15 metal prints, and six photographs.  The photographs were printed using high quality archival paper and inks by Highlander Studios, of Woodstock, and I am so pleased with the results!

Some other tools I have employed to make my art are the software which I use to generate the fractals I start with.  I have primarily used Spangfract XTel, and Oxidizer, on my iMac.  These programs provide me with infinite possibilities and I thank them for that!  My frames and many of my other art supplies were purchased at Guthrie’s Art Supplies & Framing, of London – mainly because they also provide excellent service and reasonable prices – and Olga knows me when I walk in.  Richard and Sandra, at The ARTS Project, were very helpful with advice and equipment for hanging yesterday.  Finally, I would like to acknowledge the funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

I hope, if you are able, you will join me tonight as we celebrate the show opening.  7-9 pm!

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