From hair braids to baskets to checkerboards we use designs that interlock and interweave. The basket weave unifies not only the materials but also the basket’s design. There are many interweaving patterns. But, they begin simply with an over-under, in-and-out pattern. If we put the over-under pattern on a bias and slant the design to run at an angle with the ground plane (the bottom of the picture or, the bottom of the basket) we can create a sensation of movement (see example 1).
Example 1. Over-under diagram on an angle,
Example 1 provides the template for the painting “Distant Shores” in example 2.
Example 2. “Distant Shores” oil on Dibond, 24×36,
If we angle the entire composition but still use a crisscross pattern with dark shapes interweaving with bright shapes the diagram looks like Example 3.
Example 3. Crossing light and dark shapes. The horizontal light shapes ride on top.
The design outlined in example 3 provides the template for the painting “Sidestrokes” as seen in Example 4.
Example 4. “Sidestrokes” an oil on enamel, 36×36”
Like a band gradually adding more instruments and instrumentation example 5 demonstrates how to aggregate patterns. An ensemble of vertical lines interacting with reversing arcs gives the sensation of fullness and movement but, holds the viewer’s eye within the frame. The patterns are interrupted with empty spaces. Rests appear between the melody of notes.
Example 5. Interrupted aggregated patterns,
Example 5 serves as a diagrammatic explanation for the painting in example 6, “Shore Patterns”
Example 6. “Shore Patterns” an oil on brushed gold Dibond, 36×36”,
Let’s complicate matters even more as in example 7 which presents a diagram of a frieze of changing patterns. Beginning on the left a set of verticals slowly bends to the right to secure that side of the image. Now to the right the pattern reverses and inclines to the left then, it switches into a protruding bow shape before finally encountering the right edge which vertically inclines back upon the design. I warned you; it could get more complicated.
This reversing set of changing patterns has an additional overlaying matrix of small curving shapes (leaves) which are suspended over the design. This helps to build a sensation of illusory space.
Example 7. Diagram with interrupted intervals. Notice how the patterns stop, start and reverse as well as change tempos.
Example 8 “Summer Memory” demonstrates how this apparently discontinuous pattern can evoke a ragged organic unity especially when coupled to alternating color contrasts.
Example 8. “Summer Memory” uses the design sequence seen in example 7 but, now augments that design with sequenced color patterns as well.
I hope you can join me on Saturday evening, November 23rd at the Drawing Room in Cos Cob, Connecticut. They will be exhibiting a collection of my paintings.
Interweaving And interlocking!
A wonderful article extremely useful but I would love to have you make a video of this if possible!
A very much appreciated less
Sheila, thank you. I appreciate your encouragement to video the subject. best, David
Very helpful, David! I particularly like “Shore Patterns”.
Jennifer, thank you for your responses here and via Instagram. I enjoy following your work as well.
Hello David, I enjoy reading your blogs and would love to be able to see a demonstration of your work in process, to better understand the steps….and how long you need in between, for drying before you continue….unfortuneately I cannot attend your workshops unless you decide to give one in Hamburg, Germany…
Vesna, Germany is not out of the question. My son Max Dunlop, daughter in law, and two granddaughters live in Berlin. I just visited with all of them at the opposite end of your country down in Munich. I would love to do a workshop in Germany/Hamberg. Dankeschon, David