Michael Bailey’s Patterns of Nature’
“I’m always experimenting with various types of mediums. Today, I want to show you one of my favorites (although most mediums are my favorite when I’m working with them). India Ink Clay Board is a layered construction with a masonite under board, with a white clay coating, and an India ink top surface”
This is a group of drawings on clay board I call ‘Patterns of Nature’
My favorite thing to do is draw lots of lines.
It was a happy discovery as I watched the finest sharp tool I could find cut away the India ink exposing the white clay in the form of intricate lines and details. In some ways, it’s like drawing, and in other ways it’s like carving with a sharp point. They’re a little reminisced of scrimshaw.
All the small lines seem to create little worlds.
My drawings appear microscopic at times, as though we’re seeing patterns at a level of detail impossible for our eyes to see. Then other times it seems we’re looking into an overview of the magnitude of space. All reminding me that there are worlds within worlds.
At some point I saw from my art that the constants in nature continually repeat. And with a little tweak, a change in the pattern, something else is born, something very different but still the same. These repeated patterns in nature are everywhere and the commonality is endless. For instance, look at the roots of a tree, then consider a view from outer space of tributaries that branch off of rivers, or think about the design of the circulatory system and how it branches off into similar patterns.
Nature is always reinventing itself from the same dynamic constant of universal creative energy. Maybe that’s how we’re designed and how we create as well.
When I draw, I never have any plans on where I am going.
The clay board drawing on the far right above is titled “Water Flows, Birds Fly” which shows the intricate flow of water. If you’ve ever stared into a stream and realized how the stream moves around the rocks, there are currents involved, and the currents are patterns of nature. If you were to look at a bird feather, see all the intricate lines and then go into a microscope, looking at certain elements, you would start to see similar lines that repeat themselves. Birds catch the air currents in their movements and those flight movements form patterns in the sky.
As I draw, I noticed mountains appearing and rocks appearing and light appearing and worlds I’ve never seen before coming into existence. One of my paintings is called “Worlds Within Worlds.” It seems as though the closer one looks into my drawings the viewer may see many worlds within the same piece of art.
From a distance, my art may look one way, but when you’re up close, you begin to see many worlds you haven’t seen before. Even I see new worlds I haven’t seen before as I draw them.