This is an introduction to a new painting titled Prismatic Crystals.
Prismatic Crystals, Watercolor on Paper, 22 in x 30 in, 2015
The geometric symmetries in this work built up progressively.
Upon further study of the geometric design that underlies the painting, I discovered some interesting parallels with the structural patterns found in seed crystal growth. The twinning crystal formations of Quartz Crystals reveal similar symmetries. The Dauphiné and Brazilian laws describe both the irregular and regular twin boundaries and the crystallographic planes that give quartz crystals their characteristic forms.
I enjoy discovering the universal qualities inherent in geometric designs. The geometric symmetries of the new artwork’s design are found in nature – like this example of crystal formations.
Interestingly, the beauty of these crystals and its geometric properties can be unique to the particular crystal found in nature. The seed crystals are unique in the fashion their structure development follows within these growth patterns.
Some say that there is no “pseudosymmetry” and accordingly call the habit of such twins hexagonal. I disagree: natural crystals – twinned or untwinned – never show symmetry as a whole. Their shape obeys certain mathematical relations, so they all share certain geometrical properties, but only idealized crystals are symmetric. When one calls a mineral “isometric”, for example, she does not mean to say that the mineral in all its occurrences is isometric, but that the structural elements that determine the external shape of the crystals show isometric symmetry. In that sense, a crystal is said to have pseudohexagonal habit when its external shape suggests the presence of an internal hexagonal structure, while, in fact, the crystal lattice possesses a different symmetry. Amir Chossrow Akhavan
I found this observation by Akhavan about the variation amongst an idealized crystal symmetry and its appearance in the internal and the external shapes of the actual crystals fascinating.
I will write more about my new paintings in upcoming posts.