I recently completed two (2) artist demonstrations on my tessellation techniques at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston on February 11th and February 14th. These demonstrations gave me an opportunity to interact with other Escher enthusiasts that had recently visited the exhibit in Gallery 155 ( over 50 of Escher's prints and drawings are on display! ).
I was able to work through several new designs and explain my process over a total of about 5-1/2 hours. One of the new prints I showed was a stone lithograph of a new winged horse motif. MC Escher's print Horsemen (No. 342) is arguably one of his best woodcuts. It combines the iconic and complex Horsemen motif which is a D1gg symmetry family within a masterful three color design as a flattened Moebius strip. The key to the D1gg is the beautiful glide reflection of the motif and the interlocking of the tessellation as it alternates left to right and right to left. Another aspect is it's very pleasing to the eye due to the color contrast. Color choice and contrast are critical to the aesthetics of tessellation. Overall Horsemen is one of my favorite and certainly in the top ten.
My attempts at an interesting D1gg motif go back several years. Most of these attempts I dismissed because they were not that articulated and just not good enough in my view. The Horsemen II and Lizards (2017) are nice but are not that much different than Escher's motifs. I created my first flying horse (Pegasus) tessellation in 2001. Since then I have modified it and made different versions in the C1 symmetry family (see My Tessellation Art Gallery page 2 Pegasus II) however I always wanted a flying horse as a D1gg glide reflection. See Figure 1 below. This new motif is a rare example that successfully accomplishes what I wasn't able to do previously and can be easily drawn as a Moebius strip. Hope you will try your hand at some D1gg's they are an elegant symmetry family and there's a number of great designs and drawings that incorporate them.
A second new motif was shown as a linocut. It was an interlocking sea turtle and fish motif. My inspiration for this design came from a family vacation to Bermuda where we saw sea turtles and many reef fish. Figure 2 and 3 depicts Bermuda and the original drawing.
I also had several activities (see examples) at a table that could be completed at the event or later at home. My goal was to make the demonstration a learning experience and as interactive as possible. See Figures 4, 5 , 6, 7 below.
It was an honor and a wonderful experience! Thanks to everyone that was able to stop by and say Hi!
It was great to be able to explain the fun and challenge of tessellation design at the MFA.
Michael Wilson has been creating tessellation art for over 40 years and is preparing this blog to share thoughts on the subject.