Figures that transform from one geometric state to another are very interesting and elegant. Escher was of course a master at these elaborate constructions. His Development I (Catalog 300, November 1937) is a great example of the chessboard transforming into lizards. The black and white contrast is exemplary and a testament to his graphic skills. Over the years I have attempted several of these types of transformations. The earliest is in Metanoia (1986) which can be seen on my tessellation art gallery page 2. It's a two color lithograph of Icarus materializing out of a more abstract form overlooking a strange landscape. The design for the recent tessellation uses Icarus in a different symmetry family ( IXD4 <Escher> or P4). The image developed from a chessboard design I called Development II (Figure 1 below). This tracing was used for a guide to creating the ink and watercolor drawing of Rise and Fall (2017). I transferred the tracing to watercolor paper and inked it with sepia color ink. Figure 2 below depicts Rise and Fall.
This image uses my horned lizard motif. I decided to create the design after looking at some of my older reference material . The tessellation is a spiral of the horned lizard that slowly transforms to an abstract figure as it marches towards the center of the design. In all there are 450 copies of the motif in the tessellation. The orange, sienna and yellow contrast to enhance the swirling motion. The design was hand drawn and painted with watercolor and ink. I created it by first drawing a sector on tracing paper and then copying it on a light table. Overall the image is similar in concept to some of MC Escher's developments. The design of the swirling pattern was created from one of the design templates in John Willson's book, "Mosaic and Tessellated Patterns and How to Create Them", Dover 0-486-24376. Figure 1 depicts Development I (2017). Figure 2 depicts a detail from the watercolor.
Michael Wilson has been creating tessellation art for over 30 years and is preparing this blog to share thoughts on the subject.