Ian P. Hudson's Art Design Process

I do paintings in a wide range of sizes, and some are quite large, the square ones ranging up to 1210mm (approx. 48 inches) on a side; and with such specific, intricate patterns it is inappropriate — if not impossible — to just start on a blank picture. Every painting has to be carefully planned.

In many cases, the key points in the design have to be calculated mathematically for the specific dimensions of each painting. To do this, I have written a special computer program, into which I encode the mathematical basis for each class of design. I then provide myself with a variety of controls that allow me to compose each work based on any given mathematical idea. I use this program for three distinct aspects of preparing each painting:

It is important to appreciate that this specially written computer program is a planning tool. It does nothing by itself; also, there is no randomizing element anywhere in the program. Thus my paintings are not in any way “computer generated”. My mathematically inspired art is just that: it is geometrical in character, and inspired by various forms I have come across in pure mathematics, but each work is painted individually by hand, just like the work of any other traditional painter.

The origins of the forms I use are mostly either way back in the work of Euclid (and the Greek geometers whose work he compiled into the Elements), or in the work of the European mathematicians of the 16th to 20th centuries — from men like de Castillon, Roberval, Proctor, James Bernoulli, and indeed some results (such as that behind 21 Squares) date only to the late 20th century (A.J.W.Duijvestijn, 1978).

I repeat: my art is not in any sense “computer art”. Mind you, I am not saying that there is anything wrong with computer art; just that it is something else, and not what I am currently engaged in.

For more about the mathematics, see my bibliography.