Patterns and shapes

Every Xtra-Dimensions Art Piece Starts With a Beautiful Photograph…

… that is missing something! In my earlier post, I spoke of the fluidity and movement, the changing reflections and patterns, that are missing from static, flat pictures of the water surface of Lake Tahoe. Other images from our world are similarly “flattened”, stripped of their dimensionality, and frozen in a framed photograph on the wall. Think of the depth of a forest scene, with leaves and tree trunks in the foreground on top of more leaves and more trees in the distance. Or the movement of a school of fish swirling in a ball or streaming across a coral reef.

It’s all in the pattern –

As described before, the Xtra-Dimensional process presents the image as a group of overlapping components, at different levels, that together create the complete picture. The first consideration is what pattern is appropriate for the scene. For photos taken from my kayak in Lake Tahoe, I want to convey the fluidity of the undulating water surface, how changing reflections obscure or reveal what lies below the surface. For this purpose, it’s the pattern itself, not the outline of the individual components, that is important.

I start with a very regular arrangement of squares, where each color represents a different layer (for example, red above blue above green above purple):

Simple pattern-1.jpg

This pattern is repeated across the piece and because it is regular, you don’t notice any particular part:

Simple pattern-2.jpg

At this point, it doesn’t seem to have much to do with a water surface, does it? But when the pattern is “warped”, it immediately takes on the appropriate fluidity and feeling of movement:

Simple pattern-3.jpg

– and the shape of the components!

Although the outline of the components is dictated by the pattern, they still need a 3-dimensional shape. What I found works best for a lake scene is a simple faceted shape, created by creasing the back of the piece from corner to corner with an inkless ball-point pen. These facets can be seen in a detail of “Tahoe Emeralds” that also shows the 4 x 4 layer pattern described above:

Tahoe Emeralds detail.jpg

When mounted, these facets not only generate movement with reflections that change with lighting and viewpoint, but they create yet another fluid pattern across the piece. The image below shows the same 25” x 15” detail of “Reflected Rocks” under different lighting conditions.

Reflected Rocks segment.jpg

In future blogs, I’ll describe how different patterns and different component shapes are designed for other scenes.

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