The design of a metamorphosis as a tessellation is very challenging. There are limited examples of these types of tessellations. Escher was unquestionably the best and created the art form with lifelike tessellations. I have created some smaller designs with one motif that transforms but is technically not a metamorphosis. While I was working on a new motif a few weeks ago I noticed that the image I was making was similar to a previous bird image. The creation of Development IV began in earnest. I wanted to have at least three forms that changed. This metamorphosis is a combination of three designs; a lizard, a bird, and a frog and seahorse. I began to think about how I could depict the "desert to the sea". So the image began with the horned lizard motif in the desert and transformed into birds and then into frogs and seahorses. I choose to depict a Sargasso Seahorse. The Sargasso Seahorse is one of the strangest looking and best camouflaged creatures in the world. It has long appendages that look exactly like the seaweed in its habitat. Its virtually impossible to distinguish the seahorse from the Sargasso seaweed. Of course my representation is generalized and not as fabulous looking as the real thing.
Development IV was done in ink and watercolor. I'm planning on working on another much larger metamorphosis design that I started a couple of months ago and showed a sneak peek at the demonstration I did at the Museum of Fine Arts.
Try doing a metamorphosis design its very challenging but when you get an image you like very satisfying. Figure 1 below is Development IV. Figure 2 below depicts the original pencil sketch of the tessellation. I made some changes to the design as the drawing progressed to final design.
Michael Wilson has been creating tessellation art for over 30 years and is preparing this blog to share thoughts on the subject.