My third book of self-illustrated funny poems, A Hatful of Dragons, will be releasing in March 2020. I am very excited for this book - it's taken years of effort and is loads of fun, and suitable for poetry lovers of all ages. Here is a quick flipthrough of what the inside looks like:
You can already order the book via your favorite bookstore or online. Learn more here.
Sometimes there can be a surprising amount of math where you least expect it - for example, in these paintings;
If you look closely at the background patterns in these paintings, you will note that each painting has the same 14 ‘tiles’ rearranged differently. What allows these tiles to be rearranged in an almost-endless number of ways is that they rely on unique mathematical properties of the Golden Ratio, ø.
Definition of Golden Ratio:
In Mathematics, two quantities are in the Golden Ratio if their Ratio is the same as the Ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities.
With two quantities, a and b, a > b > 0, the Golden Ratio, ø = a/b when a/b = (a+b)/a
The Golden Ratio is frequently found in patterns in nature, such as spiral arrangements in shells and plants.
ø is an irrational number with a value of (1+SqRt(5))/2 = 1.6180339887....
Note that a/b = (a+b)/a = a/a + b/a = 1 + b/a In other words ø = 1 + 1/ ø
While the Golden Ratio (see Wikipedia) itself is often mentioned in art (e.g. Leonardo Da Vinci used it to compose his paintings), architecture (the Greeks used it to design their buildings), and nature (mathematical basis for naturally occurring patterns), less well-known is the fact ø has some fascinating mathematical properties.
For example starting with ø = 1+ 1/ø (see above), we can derive:
....., 1/(ø^2), 1/ø, 1, ø, ø^2, ø^3, .....
also happens to be a Fibonacci Series, in which the sum of any two consecutive terms generates the next term.
A property that then emerges from this Geometric Fibonacci series is that sums of many different terms in the series can equal the sums of many other terms in the series. E.g.:
ø + ø^2 + ø^3 = 2ø^3 = 1/ø + 3ø^2 = 2ø + 2ø^2 =2 + 4ø etc.
The Swiss architect Le Corbusier, in a quest to design easily-reconfigurable modular buildings, realized that a set of ø-series based modules, i.e. modules whose dimensions were members of the ø series, might allow for building designs with large numbers of permutations and combinations for any given fixed space and fixed set of modules. While Le Corbusier did not succeed in actually creating such modular buildings, his research did bear one fruit: these paintings J.
These paintings incorporate, in their backgrounds, tiling patterns created using ‘tiles’ whose dimensions are based on two INTERLACED ø-series, one series of which is formed by taking the arithmetic mean of consecutive terms of the other series. That is, the elements of one series lie halfway between the elements of the other series, which increases the number of possible ways in which the elements may be combined to add up to other combinations of elements.
All the paintings have the exact same 14 tiles in the background. Every edge of every tile relates to other tile edges in the painting by multiples of golden ratios.
If the Golden Ratio is truly a natural number wired into nature, these tiling patterns should feel naturally aesthetic.
The juxtaposition of a whimsical, illogical form on top of the logical mathematical pattern hopefully creates an anachronism that draws the viewer in to look at the image again and again.
You are invited to the 5th Annual Holiday Show at my studio in Seattle's Pioneer Square. This annual tradition is a great way to come see my art in person and pick up fun holiday gifts. There will be special discounts on prints and specially-priced original pieces.
My studio is located in Pioneer Square in Seattle: 306 S. Washington St. Seattle WA 98104
Holiday Show Dates and Times: Dec 14, 15 weekend and Dec 21, 22 weekend 10 a.m. to 6.p.m. each day
Parking is on the street and in nearby parking lots. (If you have to pay for parking, please ask for parking credit with your purchases). Note that there is Seahawks game on the 22nd so if coming on that day, catch public transport as parking will be very expensive.
For my humorous poetry book releasing in March 2020, 'A Hatful of Dragons: And More Than 13.8 Billion Other Funny Poems', I have been working on various iterations of the covers for the last year. Here is the current finalist for the front:
And here are some variations for the back. I made several different ones so we could accommodate varying amounts of back-cover text (such as blurbs and reviews). We won't actually know how much space we need for the text till very late in the game, so making lots of variations gives the book designer flexibility:
As you can see there is a ton of work that goes into the making of a book that is invisible to the reader.
My Spring 2019 Original Art Catalog is now available, featuring currently available original artwork, with Prices.
I am excited to share the news that Boyds Mills Press has acquired the world rights to my upcoming poetry book titled A Hatful Of Dragons: And 13.8 Billion Other Funny Poems. The book is scheduled to be released in Spring 2020 under their WordSong imprint.
Many thanks to my agent Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio for making this happen!
These days I am not producing much art because I am busy finishing up the manuscript, which I am also illustrating. As you can imagine, writing and illustrating 13.8 billion poems is quite a bit of work! :)
Boyds Mills Press, publishes a wide range of high-quality fiction and nonfiction titles for young readers. Established in 1990, Boyds Mills Press’s picture books, chapter books, novels, and nonfiction focus on excellent storytelling, imaginative illustration, and strong characters. Our exceptionally crafted titles are designed to entertain, inform, and engage children of all ages.
WordSong is the only children’s imprint in the United States specifically dedicated to poetry. WordSong titles capture the vibrant, unexpected, and emotional connections between text and young readers. Some of the well-known poets who publish under the WordSong imprint include Nikki Grimes, J. Patrick Lewis, Jane Yolen, Marilyn Nelson, and Marilyn Singer.