“For the artist, communication with nature remains the most essential condition. The artist is human, himself nature; part of nature within natural space.” Paul Klee
“Nature paints the best part of the picture.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
All living things create patterns. Some patterns we can see and others are invisible to the naked eye. Snowflakes, butterflies, thumbprints, plants and crystals are all secretly structured. Patterns are found in plants and foliage and in animals. Patterns are also constantly being created by simple physical laws. There are patterns in the sand dunes created by blowing winds. There is a pattern in the vortex of a whirlpool and in the formation of an ice crystal. The universe is scaled with patterns, seen and unseen. There is power in pattern. Today scientists, mathematicians, biologists, designers and artists attempt to learn from and imitate nature’s patterns. Unlock the secret connections between the seen and the unseen.
Find the patterns that connect every living thing!
Activity 1 Pattern Discovery Thumbprint
Starting with your own thumbprint, discover your uniqueness. Take a pad of ink and carefully press your thumb firmly onto the pad. Lift your thumb and press onto a clean sheet of paper. Enlarge your print on a copy machine. Locate the center of the print. Look at the three samples and determine your pattern. Check out family members and friends!
Find you identity pattern!
Activity 2 Nature Pattern Sleuth
Look around you. What patterns can you find? Take a look around your house, your school, your library, your block, your zoo. In each trip, draw, rub or photograph patterns and label the patterns that you find. Look closely for interesting repetitions of shapes and forms. Take along your digital camera and sketchbook to record what you discover. Make a pattern grid of your drawn, rubbed and digitally recorded patterns by organizing same size images pasted on a larger poster board. Use your descriptive words to describe the effect of the nature patterns. Where would you use these patterns? On a book cover, a bedspread, wallpaper, carpet, building façade, for a garden plan?
Activity 3 Make A Snowflake
Get some paper and a pair of scissors. Check out the following link and cut away. Fill your windows with lacy snowflakes of every pattern.
Let it snow!
Let it snow!
Let it snow!
Activity 4 research architects and designers who design with nature patterns
Many artists and architects look to nature to design structure and pattern. The geometry in nature provides many opportunities to initiate a kaleidescope of shapes. Look at a few of these nature investigators. See what they see in nature's beauty. What pattern would you like to follow? Choose one and create a composition.What geometry will you use to organize it?
Louis Sullivan Andy Goldsworthy
Activity 5 make a nature pattern
Nature is full of patterns at all different scales.
Snowflakes are repetitive forms.
List three patterns that you see beside your computer. Then list six patterns you can study looking outside of a window.
How do artists and designers use pattern?
Pattern cannot be used to enrich the visual experience of an object or environment.
- Ned Kahn: Fog/Water/Fire/Light/Wind/Sand
- Nature Patterns Theme Park
- Grand Canyon
- Snowflakes by Snowflake Bentley
- Guide to Snowcrystal Shapes and Patterns
- Write Your Name With Butterfly Patterns
- Fractal Patterns in Nature
- Making Patterns
- Doon Come Sit Stay
- Fresh Water Snails
- Nautilus Shells
- Five Snowflake Patterns
- Printing From Nature
- Anatomy of a BEE hive!
- Secret Worlds: The Universe Within
- Smith / Gill Architects
- Nano Animation
- Prairie Lines Photographs by William Harper
- Jennifer Angus Insect Patterns and More!
- Patterns in Nature You Tube by Amy Klamb
- Peter Pierobon Furniture Designs
- Murmurations (flocks of starlings)
- Sea Things By Rae Eames
- Fractal Patterns of Drought on Land
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