The motif of Alice, the Red Queen and the Cheshire Cat is an early tessellation I created in 1980. It’s a throwback to another artwork I gave away called “The Ubiquitous Smile” and has been lost. I had saved nothing from that original drawing (watercolor) other than the two sketches/scraps below.
I chose to redo this image for one reason; the story involves one of my engineering professors that originally inspired me to do the expansion and morph the image the first time around. This is for Aldo.
Dr. Aldo Giorgini was a gifted mathematician, computer engineer and civil engineering professor at Purdue University where I met him; taking two classes from him - hydraulics and probability and stochastics for civil engineers. I took these classes in 1981 and 1982. Aldo was brilliant and I was not a great student. He graciously met with me and patiently gave me some mathematical pointers on how to expand and distort the Cheshire Cat figure. Aldo was one of the earliest artists that created computer art. Working with FORTRAN and writing his own code. If you are interested in early computer art - and I mean early, circa 1973, there is a great book by Esteban Garcia Bravo, entitled “Cybernethisms, Aldo Giorgini’s Computer Art Legacy”, Purdue University Press, 2015.
So this image is a remake and is a pen and ink, colored pencil and watercolor on Twinrocker paper. The original tessellation from my folio is below as is the pen and ink I discussed with Aldo. Hand scribbles on side are mine. Somewhere I have some handwritten notes with mathematical notation from Aldo on curve fitting but alas I have misplaced them. ( I had them out for inspiration to create this no more than three months ago- go figure! Had them 38 years and just now lost or misplaced them! )
This is a very old motif that goes back to 1980. It was actually my second tessellation motif. It predates the internet, AutoCad and cell phones. My first drawings of tessellations were done before I owned a light table and were traced from a drawing onto frosted mylar to repeat the figures as closely as possible. The original drawing of this image was lost. I worked up a new image and again chose to draw it on frosted mylar but this time I also used a light table to move the figures around the stairs. I used a Black Stabilo pencil to create the drawing.
The figure below is of the original Wizards and Trolls motif on Ingres paper.
Michael Wilson has been creating tessellation art for over 40 years and is preparing this blog to share thoughts on the subject.