Math: Patterns and Shapes
Bonnie Gile Phillips
Salt Lake City, Utah
Whole Wheat on Tuna
Phillips has long left an impression in the Utah art world through her use of unusual techniques and abstract patterns. Her use of watercolors painted onto satin fabric gives her patterns a distinct appearance, defining her work as “Op” art for the optical illusions her style creates.
Karl G. Ackerman
The Blackbird that got into the Garden
oil on canvas
The brightly colored shapes creating the overall pattern are strikingly interrupted by the appearance of black forms scattered throughout the piece. Through the works’ title, we understand the colors to be those of the flowers, grass, and other plants commonly found in blooming gardens. The chaos caused by a single blackbird is shown in the blacks which interrupt the continuity of the pattern.
Anna Campbell Bliss
oil on canvas
Bliss was a famous, Utah artist. Her art explores poetry, math, architecture, science, and nature through big blocks of color and geometric shapes. How many patterns can you find? Can you assign each color a number value and make a math problem?
Crystal Style rug
Traditional Navajo art uses simple geometric shapes and patterns. However, Euro-American traders, who sold the rugs to collectors, influenced Crystal Style rug patterns because the more elaborate patterns were more profitable. What shapes and patterns are in this rug? Make up a story using the visual elements.
- What is a pattern? A pattern is a repeated design or recurring sequence--an ordered pair of numbers, shapes, colors, or other objects arranged according to a rule.
- Math is all about pattern and rhythms so it's no surprise that there is math in art. What patterns can you find in each of these artworks?
- Design a pattern of your own. Think about shapes, color, size, and order in your piece. Does your pattern represent anything?