One of M.C. Escher’s works.

Patterns are fun.  Repeating images provide visual harmony, and seeing the entire picture–noticing how perfectly placed each element is, and stepping back to see how everything comes together–can be quite the pleasant experience of visual delight and revelation.

I recall my first year of Fine Arts, we had one plate (or project) that was entitled “Modular Design”.  We had to come up with four designs, and apply these onto a grid by assigning each design as a variable and applying them to an equation, in order to find out where each design goes on the grid.  The wrong calculation will give you–well, a less than harmonious picture.  I recall erasing quite a lot.  😛

But Mathematics isn’t every creative’s waterloo.  In fact, there are quite a number of artists that reference Science and Math.  One in particular–M.C. Escher, has works that most of us have probably seen in Math or Visual Perception class.  In doing a bit of research on tesselations for the upcoming pattern screen printing workshop, I became re-acquainted with his work, having first seen his impossible images in class.  Looking through his tessellations though, it felt like I had made some wonderful discovery on a rainy Saturday.

Whimsical patterns

Whimsical and wonderful, one couldn’t help but marvel at the symmetry of his patterns.  All this before computers!  Imagine that.

Looking closer to home, we see beautiful patterns in many of our cultural objects–from banig patterns to hand-woven fabrics.  We’ll post about those next.

For now, enjoy these videos we dug up on M.C. Escher’s work.  They’re really quite trippy.  The artworks above are from his website here.