Friday Fractal LXXVIII: Aspen Art for the Home

I mentioned in my last post (a few weeks ago) that I was taking a hiatus from blogging to work on my overgrown home remodel. I’d like to say I’m finished: "woohoo! All done, come and see!" but I’m not. I am, however, getting close. Close enough to start thinking about what type of art I’m going to hang on my newly painted walls. Why not fractals?

A few years ago, I would never have considered hanging a fractal on the wall. Sure, maybe if you have a college dorm room with tie-dyed sheets and Jimi Hendrix posters... but in a family home? Then again, a few years ago, my family strongly disagreed on what a home should look like. I was fond of the old, floral Victorian look, while my husband was drawn to ergonomic, steel-laden pieces. Our son took his father’s tastes a step further, loving anything that looked futuristic... think glowing LEDs and strangely shaped furniture. With that eclectic mix, I always assumed fractal art would be like a garish icing on a bewildering cake.

Then a strange thing happened. We discovered order in the chaos. It happened so subtly, we didn’t even realize it. Like any complex pattern, our cohesion of style depended on just a few simple initial conditions. First, and most importantly, we stopped hoarding crap. Encouraged by the FlyLady, we gradually got rid of years worth of clutter. This allowed us to notice the things in our home that we really loved... a black dining table with drop-down leaves, an antique tree carved from jade and a few Japanese scrolls, commercial-grade linoleum floor in the kitchen with a green and white checker-board pattern. Still a bit eclectic, sure... but the items were just the right seeds to inspire everything else.

On top of all of this, we started trying to "go green"... use recycled products, more efficient appliances and lighting, reducing our consumption of disposable goods, and so on. That turned out to be an essential key. We wanted to see technology and nature working together in harmony. Sprinkle in a little inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright and other mid-century designers, and there you have it: a style fit for the 21st century: organic, minimalist, modern, green, and wi-fi friendly. Every space is designed for multi-tasking, yet appears sleek and clean.

And that leads me back to choosing art for the walls. Why not fractals? The design of the house exhibited fractal properties (both in inspiration and execution... see the last post.) Plus, it didn’t hurt that my fractals have looked more like art lately, rather than simply psychedelic swirls. But if I were to include fractal art in the design, then what sort? The answer came to me as I was trying to come up with an Asian-inspired mural for an otherwise plain hallway upstairs. I was leaning towards a grove of bamboo, but couldn’t quite picture it. Then it hit me... why not go local? Rather than trying to paint some grove of bamboo, growing on another continent where I’ll never see, I chose a similar form, with a Rocky Mountain twist: the quaking aspen.

So, aspen became the cornerstone of my design--a few branches in vases here, murals there... and everywhere the stark contrast of black and white, like the bark of an aspen tree, softened with a mossy green, like the undersides of aspen leaves glowing in the Colorado sun. Since I made an aspen-inspired fractal some time ago, choosing the pattern for a fractal accent was a no-brainer. So, I turned back to the Mandelbrot set, where I first found these leaf-shaped forms. Combined with a coloring pattern based on fractal Brownian motion and the colors painted on my kitchen walls, this led to a very elegant fractal art piece:


Aspen in the Mandelbrot Set

This is a small version of what I’m hanging in the kitchen. The actual image measures 18x24 inches at 300 dpi--a suitable poster size. It will be mounted in a black frame with a cream colored matting. If you are interested in purchasing this fractal for your own home, please contact me using the button at the top of the page. I can easily adjust the framing options to match the decor of your home or office.

In the meantime, I have a remodel to finish. Since we’re putting the finishing touches on the kitchen this weekend, I expect to have some before-and-after pictures to share later next week. Also, I hope to soon be at the point where I can spend some of my day writing or blogging, rather than just painting and touching up around the house. I’m a long way from being finished with the whole thing (that will come in July or August, I imagine) but at least, meanwhile, I can go back to my "normal" life. Thanks for your patience!

Fractal made using ChaosPro.


More like this

There’s nothing like spending a month staring at trees. As I hinted recently, my purpose for I was wandering all over the mountains, searching for aspen, was artistic inspiration. But to what end? Well... it all started when I painted my walls. Folks would come and observe my progress. "The color…
Note from your fractalist: Sorry, folks, this one is a day late. I discovered early yesterday that my old website had been hacked. It has been fixed, now, although I plan to eventually remove everything from there, and repost it here somewhere. Just getting the bad scripts out has kept me plenty…
Deep within the pockets of a Mandelbrot set, delicate branches display endless variations. When highlighted with the colors of autumn, (since today is, after all, the Autumnal Equinox,) patterns of exquisite beauty emerge: These patterns can remind us of many forms in nature, including a grove of…
Something about climate change makes people want to argue. Take Greenland, for instance. A few weeks ago, I posted a photo essay about the recent acceleration of melting in the Greenland Ice Sheet. Not only is the entry is still getting comments, but it also spurred a discussion on a political…

Nice to hear that your redecorating is almost done and that you and yours have converged on a common theme

Very pretty fractal as well.

By Chris' Wills (not verified) on 13 Jun 2008 #permalink

Best wishes for your remodeled home. Here changes happened. I live in Athens now.