Line Art (1)
Paper and pencil are close by at the telephone. During long calls, you involuntarily draw little funny figures. Or, you are visiting some presentation, blocnote ready. But in stead of notes, all kinds of little lines and squares, rounds and twists show up on the paper thoughtlessly. Without being aware you ever drew them, most curious patterns appear. These little "wonders of creativity" are thrown away carelessly: it's just scrabbling.
Checker board
1. Checker board
The rich "meeting culture" of the 70's (departmental meeting, work consultation, technical meeting, topic deliberation, sectorial consultation...) formed a fruitful substrate. Checkered paper and pencil (later drawing pen) were irresistible. It starts with hatching checks, like a checker board (1). Next time, the "white fields" are hatched also, but in a different orientation (2). Hey look, rush mats! Quite popular those days. (Here in the Gallery is — a copy of — the original, Varia 1 image 0002). Another time, it became a field of daisies (3), or "spacefilling curves" (4).
Rush mats
2. Rush mats
3. Daisies (image 0882)
Spacefilling curves
4. Spacefilling curves (image 0886)
Gradually, I applied myself to it, although it remained a half unconscious activity. And I discovered all kinds of funny things and peculiarities. Repetitions (displace­ment, rotation, mirroring) are the basis most of the time. For me it was a pity to throw away these "scrabbles", and bit by bit a collection of hundreds of line figures established!
Not art with capitals, but attractive enough to look at, time and again. Airy makings, line art. It resembles a little what Douglas Hofstadter (writer of "Gödel, Escher, Bach") calls "Whirly Art" in his book "Metamagical Themas".
One of the funniest aspects of this line art is the unexpected appearance of patterns and structures, that weren't there at the beginning (5).
New patterns
5. New patterns (image 0880)
Here is another example. Start with drawing a small line, diagonal in one check, so 1 x 1. Then adjacent another, 2 x 1. And another, 3 x 1. Also downward, 1 x 2 and 1 x 3 (6a). A curved line shows up. Mirroring it, an "eye" appears (6b).
1x3, 1x2, 1x1, 2x1, 3x1
6a. 1x3, 1x2, 1x1, 2x1, 3x1
6b. "Eye"
Repeating the eye pattern in two directions diagonally yields something akin to a punched ironplate (6c). Or is it lined up bay leaves? Just the whole figure again, but 90° rotated, will produce a kind of circles (but there are only straight lines, not any circle has been drawn) and four-pointed stars, struggling for precedence (6d).
Punched ironplate
6c. Punched ironplate
"Circles" and stars
6d. "Circles" and stars (image 0899)
Line Art 1
6e. Line Art 1 (image 0900)
The whole pattern becomes pretty com­pli­cated, when repeated over itself, but this time displaced without rotating (6e).

The punched ironplate (6c) can also be interpreted as a sheet of rubber with eye-like holes in it. Two of them, one again rotated 90°, can be interwoven. The pattern of 6d changes in a fine braiding (6f).
6f. Braiding (image 0901)
Double braiding
6g. Double braiding (image 0902)
It is possible to make it still more complicated, by interweaving 4 layers (6g), but in my opinion it is one step too far. It has lost its attractiveness. However, if the same picture is drawn as a full pattern in stead of a braid (6h), a very attractive line art picture appears indeed!
Line Art 2
6h. Line Art 2 (image 0903)

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All drawings and figures, copyright © 1978-2010, Zef Damen, The Netherlands.
Personal use only, commercial use prohibited.

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Since 1-February-2005