Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Home Spun comic strip #542

Home Spun comic strip #542

According to my personal art historian (Marina), M.C. Escher didn't think he was really good at math, even though he was able to do intricate engravings of mathematical figures and concepts. He had a lot of mathematician friends who were always excited about his work, but when they started giving dissertations about it, his response was that he didn't understand any of that, he just wanted to see if he could make the designs work. It wasn't really math to him, it was a challenge. His art is still used in math textbooks today.

Several years ago, we had the opportunity to see an exhibit of Escher's work at the Bruce Museum. Up until that visit, it had never occurred to me that many of his works were done in woodcut. I've done woodcuts. It would take me weeks to complete a small 4x4 block. I was amazed at the intricate detail he carved into his pieces. He must have had incredible patience! He would make a certain amount of prints from a block and then put a hole in the wood so the master block could no longer be used. As an artist who used to practice the impermanent art of face painting, I can understand that. It's good to be able to enjoy your art and then let it go.

If you want to explore Escher's artwork, check out the official website.


Home School Dad said...

My son is so like that. He complains about being no good math it is so obvious that he sees life through math colored glasses. The other day I accidentally dropped a box containing 600 phonics cards. There were 7-8 different decks color coded and numbered. My son was quickly deputized to help me put all the decks back in order. He absolutely loved it. Half way through the task he said this is the best day of my life I get to sort cards. The thing was he wasn't being sarcastic! I have so many examples of his using math skills without realizing it.

appleleaf said...

Thanks, I love stories like that! They warm our homeschooling, thinking-outside-the-box hearts, don't they? I can't really say any of us here are particularly good at the pattern based type of math but do find it intriguing.

Stephanie said...

It breaks my heart when my son says "I suck at math," when he's constantly building stuff and solving difficult problems in video games. There's so much more to math than arithmetic!

Jessica said...

I used to be like that. My parents usually would make the comment that they weren't good at it either so it would make sense that I wasn't. I wish they had never said it. I make a real effort not to say negative things about math or my own abilities or even their own abilities. It can be debilitating later on and I always thought I wasn't good at it. It took until my college years to realize I am not 'bad' at it, I just need to see it differently.

Inner Elder said...

Marina also showed me (a Math major) how to do soduko. It's logic, which is what I have always loved about Math. Love, Grandma

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