Maddy Gray - Sophomore, Photography major

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Materials and Process

  • Compass
  • Ruler
  • Colored pencils
  1. For this pattern I started with a hexagon-based grid: First, using the compass I drew a circle and then picked a point on the circle to construct another circle of the same diameter.
  2. Continuing, I drew circles wherever there was a point of intersection.
  3. When I had enough circles to fill my paper, I began to connect the center points to create hexagons. However, I chose not to create an entire grid of hexagons, but rather offset them.

Artist's Narrative

As I started to color the pattern, I tried to simultaneously uphold and deny the idea of a hexagon. I wanted that shape to exist as the basic form but I did not want the hexagon shape to overwhelm the pattern and become the focal point. Instead I tried to create a pattern that adheres to the concept of infinity.

By using blocks of color that are all relatively the same size, the eye wanders through and over the pattern finding different shapes and relationships. There is not a certain area that becomes noticeably more important than any other. However, I did notice that slight variations in color do grab my attention occasionally.

Using colored pencils I would sometimes draw darker than other times, which created a difference in value that the eye picks up on. For this pattern I think my inspiration came primarily from the forms themselves. I wanted to create a piece that worked as a whole while still consisting of many unique, individual designs.

Teacher's Comment

This pattern is deceptively simple in its construction of intersecting circles. Complexity is achieved not only by the selective use of color, but also by the filling in or leaving blank the shapes revealed by the overlapping outlines of the circles. Each circular area is composed of six triangular elements (the triangles are concave). Some of these groups are colored in alternately with black, creating a rotational center of order three; others have all six elements filled in alternately with dark blue or light blue, creating local symmetries of rotation order six. This algorithmic use of color isolates and defines a pattern of triangular and hexagonal compositions.

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