T.C. Design - Eye on Design

My First Fractal.
A more current fractal.
My first fractal, "Plasma."
2002, "Going Dotty."

Exploring the Fractal -- When Fractals Are A Passion

Fractals have been a passion of mine since the summer of 1998. Having a background in Fine Art, I was captivated by the colors and blends one can achieve with fractals that are almost impossible to achieve with paint and canvas. I was always into realism, and have been drawing portraits ever since childhood; when my grade-school and high-school friends requested pictures of themselves, I usually obliged.

Art classes in high school turned into college art and graphics classes, only increasing my love for creating, and for intense color. I have worked in many mediums, and am partial to Conté Crayons, Pencil, Pastels, Pen and Ink, Colored Pencils, and Acrylic paint. It was in college that I grew to appreciate abstract and nonobjective art, as well as the realism I've always loved. Never had I seen a fractal, though.

Coming across Don Archer's fractal site when I first went digital in '98 was riveting to the point of epiphany. I became addicted, spending hours poring over fractal gallery sites and trying my hand at creating my own. Flarium24 was my fractal tool of choice for the longest time, though I have now used many other fractal generators. In my book, Stephen C. Furguson is still the best at coding fractal programs, having created two of my favorites, VChira and Tierazon. Due to shoulder injuries and Carpal-Tunnel surgeries, I am no longer able to create much art using traditional medium, and at the time I discovered fractals, I had already been creating digital art for several years. Rather than creating paintings on large canvases, I focused on digital illustrations.

There is something I would like to say about fractal purists and the issue of post-processing. It has always seemed silly to me, as an artist before I ever even touched a computer, to draw lines in the cyber-sand regarding the purity of a fractal and who the 'real' fractal artists are. To me, this issue is rather akin to the issue of whether or not digital artists are 'real' artists. I won't say that it doesn't matter whether a fractal has been post-processed or not, just that it doesn't diminish the artist or the artwork if it has. I will say that as I go along I find that I generally use post-processing less frequently, or as profoundly, but it still has its place. My concern is with the art -- does it move you? If so, then I have done my job. Fractals -- beautiful, evocative and compelling as they can be, are one vehicle to that end.

There are some fractals so perfect that they need no post-processing whatsoever, other than perhaps a frame, or some other anchor, to prepare them for the 'gallery walls.'** Other fractals inspire me to make them simply a part of the composition, rather than the entire reason for being.

I also enjoy the presentation process -- taking a finished piece of art, post-processed or not, and 'hanging' it. I do that by literally making a digital frame, or by making the piece part of its environment in some way, whether it is by giving it a complex drop shadow, an echo, cast or refracted light and shape, or any manner of presentational devices that then become a part of the overall composition. Those who are familiar with design and composition know that planning and cropping is as much an art as the creation itself. The entire process is enjoyable, uplifting, and at times almost a spiritual experience for me. Working with color so pure and vibrant that it seems to envelop and bathe me in its glory is an experience like no other.

Ever hear of Mark Rothko? The man is all about color. Not shape, not shadow, not the recognizable features of a face or a landscape, but simply the vibration levels of color. He works with wall-sized canvases, laying on paint, layer after layer, until it is luminescent and glows from within. His expertise is such that when one stands in front of his work, one is bathed in color and is changed by it, in mood and in spirit. That is what I get from fractals that nothing else does for me. Pure color, lifting me up and lightening my spirit. And hopefully, yours, too.

I hope you enjoy browsing my fractal gallery. This gallery, The West Wing, is for newer works. The East Wing is for my older creations. All fractals are noted to indicate whether it has been post-processed or not, so you know what you're looking at -- though, those of you who are immersed in the world of fractals will most likely know at first glance just what is what. Everyone else watch out, it's addictive.

In general, the newest fractals will be on this page, at the top. I do not yet have my fractals separated using any method to my madness -- though I'm getting there. :)

-- Tina

** I do not count this preparation and framing as post-processing, as the original fractal has not been changed.

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