Archive for the ‘bw’ Category


June 20, 2008

Final Obama pattern (I think). You may have noticed that I’ve used this same pattern for three days now, which technically goes against my rules, but I’ve spent so much time on it that I am justifying the rule-bending. And really, since it’s actually a big pattern made up of many, many small patterns, I’m feeling pretty good about my digression. 

Henry preferred the b/w version, so I’m back to that one. I like the color version too, but agree that this makes a stronger image.



May 25, 2008

I did the sketch for this one weeks ago, before I went to NY. I think it was right after I got back from seeing Uncle Jerry and trying to figure out whether his medication cocktail had the right mix.

pharma blue

pharma reversed


May 24, 2008

Back in the office, for the first time since getting home from NYC, and now I’m trying to get caught up. I have quite a few patterns to finish and post today. The shows, the city, the museums–all gave me plenty of fodder for new ideas. I was offline for a couple of days, which was kind of nice–I took notes, gathered ideas and made sketches, and now I’m organizing and expanding my sketches into post-able patterns.

These funny little shapes were loosely inspired by a Japanese stencil I saw at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum.


swirlies reversed

swirlies 2

Here’s a picture of the Japanese stencil, plus a little info about it:

In use since the eighth century, kata-gami, or Japanese printing stencils, are laminated sheets of paper pasted together with a sticky resin made from persimmon juice. As the intricate designs are cut, the patterns are held in place with thin silk threads or even human hair. The stencil is then placed on a length of silk or fine cotton, and the color is pressed through onto the fabric. Many of the designs derive from nature, including water and wind currents, plant forms, animals, and birds.

Did you get that? These intricate little designs were cut into paper glued with persimmon juice, and they held the patterns in place with silk thread and human hair. THEN they printed on fabric by pressing the color through the stencil. Imagine showing today’s automated fabric printing techniques to the artist who made this stencil….

I drew my little swirly designs from what I remembered so maybe now that I’ve found the actual stencil reference I’ll try a design using more straight lines. The kata-gami was done in about 1780, but it looks modern.


April 29, 2008

Henry helped me with this cityscape today. As usual, he had some very specific ideas about how it should look. I used one of the tiny pens that I got Ted for Christmas, and was fairly pleased with how the thin little lines scanned.


March 18, 2008

More of my feathery little balls and stalks.

fireworks flowers

flower fireworks

fireworks flowers 2 color



March 10, 2008

shells and fans


March 8, 2008

I’m still stuck on modern mandelas.

carb mandala


March 5, 2008


b/w twigs

twigs reversed


February 29, 2008

A couple of urban mandalas. A pocket park, for those of you who aren’t married to an urban planner, is a little park (often as small as one residential lot) nestled in the middle of an urban area.

urban mandala

pocket park


February 28, 2008

swirlicon mandala


February 27, 2008

fruit mandala

fruit mandala 2 color


February 26, 2008

zinnia mandala

zinnia mandala reversed


February 25, 2008

The Oliver Sacks article got me thinking about historic patterns, and I started drawing more of my circular designs. Then my spouse walked by and said, “Holy mandala,” which got me thinking about consciously drawing modern mandalas. Here’s an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry for mandala:

“Mandala has become a generic term for any plan, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically, a microcosm of the Universe from the human perspective….The psychoanalyst Carl Jung saw the mandala as “a representation of the unconscious self.” …In the West, mandala is also used to refer to the “personal world” in which one lives, the various elements of the mandala or the activities and interests in which one engages, the most important being at the centre of the mandala and the least important at the periphery. Depicting one’s personal mandala in pictorial form can give one a good indication of the state of one’s spiritual life.”

I’ve always drawn circular patterns, ever since I was a little kid. My About page has some examples of circles done for various projects over the years.

Here’s a modern nature-inspired mandala. Is it meaningful that the center is empty, if that’s supposed to be the most important element? I’ll have to try to imbue my next set of mandalas with more conscious meaning.

petal mandala


February 23, 2008

Fig 8s

Fig 8s 2 color

Fig 8s reversed


February 22, 2008

Still have the genetic fixation.


alleles reversed

alleles deconstructed


February 21, 2008

I’m liking black and white right now.


gears deconstructed


February 11, 2008

Here’s a first draft of one I’m working on. DNA meets CPU.



February 3, 2008

This pattern is a remake of an illustration I did in college, for the cover of the alt monthly newspaper. The story was called “The Puzzling Problem of Pet Overpopulation” and was written by Liesl Schillinger, who is now a writer for the New York Times Book Review. Oh, the talent that came out of Stillwater, Oklahoma.

I haven’t quite worked out the best way to treat this pattern. But I think it has potential.



January 25, 2008

Today is my mother-in-law’s birthday. Happy b-day, Martha! Here’s a little abstract pattern of the day:


swirlicons b/w