Patrick Liddle - Junior, General Fine Art major

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Materials and Process

  • Compass and Ruler
  • Colored pencils
  • Paper
  1. Drawing

Artist's Narrative

The third pattern I made was actually in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, but I haven't noticed a lot of greens and yellows in the Islamic patterns I've looked at. So I used a compass and the colors of yellow, blue, and a lighter and a darker green. By creating a perpendicular grid and using vertical and horizontal points to use at the base of the compass, I was able to create a rather Celtic-looking pattern. Although the pattern could in theory repeat infinitely, the four circles are self-contained.

What inspired this was a rectangular plate from Iran in the 9th century that was made of gold. In the gold there were many complex, self-contained patterns that contained many circles that branched into other circles. The practicum I developed reminded me of early Celtic work, which has always inspired me.

Teacher's Comment

The design unit that is repeated to form the pattern is created of groups of four tiles with reflection along the horizontal and vertical axes. This larger design unit is seemingly repeated four times. But there is a subtle use of color reversal in the upper two and lower two units, such that through color symmetry there is a rotational relationship defined among the reflections. This play with symmetry and color is typical of Islamic architectural decoration in many countries over time.

more by Patrick || back to other students' practicums

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