Besides music, I like to create various forms of visual art, much of by creating and/or processing images in various ways with computers. This page displays and describes some of this art.
Water Dragons: An Exploration of Fractal Watershed Forms
The “Water Dragon” images seen below are natural images that I extracted from the outlines of various watersheds, including lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. My initial inspiration for these initially arose from water shed patterns I saw out of airplane windows from time to time, such as this photo taken while flying out of the New York City area:
As one can see, these photos, taken through the thick airplane window, never turned out very well, and so proved not very useful. It eventually dawned on me though that these patterns can be readily obtained today from Google Maps and other digital map sources. And after noticing that one of these resembled patterns resembled a dragon (see Water Dragon I below), the search was on!
I eventually identified many dragon like patterns, and even developed a mythology of sorts around them, just as people often tend to do when the see clouds or other natural patterns. You can read this mythology below.
The dragons seen below were printed on silk, or more accurately, a silk-satin blend. As such, they can be backlit, such as by being hung in a window, or lit from behind, in which case they GLOW spectacularly!
In October 2021 I finally put on an exhibition of these at the MAC Center for the Art in Newport, VT, which you can explore below. All of the water dragon images are all quite faithful to the original, natural outlines of the lakes and reservoirs which gave rise to them, the locations and names of which are also noted below. I panstakingly removed artificial looking human alterations to these patterns though, such as bridges and large docks and similar. In the case of “Croco” (Water Dragon VI) I have also added shoreline in the lower right-hand section where there was originally an open bay. In “Hydron” I also included a few of the nearby waterways that feed into Hydron for effect.
A key aspect of watershed patterns which can be seen in these images are the meandering pathways of streams and rivers that arise from asymmetrical erosion of banks at turning points in the flow. This positive feedback renders straight streams nonlinearly unstable, and causes meanders to continually evolve and oscillate over the long term like slithering serpents.
Another important aspect of watershed patterns visible in these images are the fractal structures of many watersheds, that is, the fern-like self-similarity of watershed flow patterns on different scales, whereby the overall pattern seen on the large scale is also seen on the small scale. this aspect also arises from a positive feedback effect involving erosion – a larger flow erodes more, attracting additional flows to feed into it over time, leading to a coalescence of flows via a fractal branching structure.
These two aspects of watershed structure combine to immensely increase the length of shoreline per unit of water surface area, providing crucial habitat to myriad species.
Pyron: A Fire Dragon (shown above) of the highest rank and the leader of the water dragons, Pyron radiates fractal lightning in all directions, which diffuses to permeate all space and time.
Tryon: Although of lower rank than Pryon, Tryon is also a Fire Dragon whose unique triadic form makes Tyron quite noteworthy.
Nobulon: An ancient dragon of noble lineage, and a former leader of the dragons, nobelon harks back to the days of kings and medieval knights.
Homunculon: An ancient dragon that now spends all of its time profoundly alone in the depths, Homunculon was once a famous high ranking dragon whose original name is forgotten by all except Homunculon.
Crocon: An earthly dragon that vainly aspires to Fire Dragon status but will never attain it, Crocon is constantly attempting to ascend, and is greatly annoyed by insensitive comparisons to alligators and crocodiles.
Siron and Centron: Two ordinary dragons, Siron and Centron became an inseparable pair out of necessity to form a sum greater than its parts, as their enemies inevitably learn the hard way.
Hydron: A lonely creature of the deep, Hydron plies the depths in an unceasing quest for wisdom and an audience with Homunculon.
Pion: A very young dragon, Pion plays whimsically in the sea, drifting to and fro, unconcerned with the worldly ambitions of his older peers, unaware that it will become the leader of dragons millennia from now.
Zebulon: A Fire Dragon in the making, Zebulon is ascendant and is the most favored candidate, including by Zebulon, to succeed Pyron.
Spartacon: A smaller dragon with even smaller appendages, Spartacon is nonetheless a formidable opponent in battle, and a definite charmer to boot.
The dragons with the synthesizers I played at the Exhibit Opening.
These are all water shaped objects I found on the shore of Lake Memphremagog during walks with my wife.
Sinusoidal shaped stand, like the meanders of a river…
One of several water shrines in the exhibit.
Dragons meeting in space, exchanging energy.
Variations on Water Dragon I (“Pyron” the Fire Dragon).
One of my “Sonic Art” pieces. This one was generated from a spectrogram of an improvisation I performed on a vintage Minimoog Synthesizer.
One of the Celtic patterns over a water shrine.
Another of the Celtic Patterns.
Pyramids and Prisms!
One of the “Sacred Shields.”
A collection of eight colorful images.
Two images derived, respectively, from a photo of a sunset, and a photo of the Sun.
Some large prints (16×20) of “Cartesia,” “Chroma Novae #2,” and “Genesis” (an evocation of the formation of a solar system).
Some large prints (16×20) of “Choma Novae #1,” “Mandala #1,” and “Ellipses #1.”
Some large prints (16×20) of “Ellipsis #2,” and “Fireflies.”
The synths, my iMAC, and the Gallery East Wall.
Another Celtic Pattern and a Sacred Shield.
“Datura” (a Jimson weed flower I encountered on a hike) and “Electrifica #1,” of a power line system encountered in Stowe, VT.
“Mothra #1,” a repitiva of a photo of moth.
“Spirit of Hydrogen.” Note the little crown: Hydrogen is the King of the Elements!
Some of my “Humanoid” series pieces, in front of the metal frame that inspired them, along with some digital “bits and bytes” for refreshment!
Slice of pi anyone?
Humanoid #5, one of the best of this series I think!
The humanoid frame from the back.
Another in the “Electrifica” series. Click here.
A foreboding looking humanoid figure I call “Cryalon,” as in “cryogenic” and “cry alone”….
A triptic of distorted humanoid figures, over a very color humanoid figure.
Some mounted prints (print panels) of some of the mandalas and vortices.
Mandala #1 as a mounted print.
Chroma Vortex #1 as a mounted print.
Some additional mothra prints and another (dragon’s eye!) mandala.
The quick pickup sales rack…