Wednesday, October 20, 2010
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.