A5: Art & Tessellation

Have you ever heard of an Art Car? Well, I am bound and determined to turn my little ’94 Nisson truck into an art car. Since I moved from the desert dryness of Arizona to the north coast of San Diego, my little vehicle has gone through major degradation in the salty, moist air. Just like the other art project I write about today, this one was born out of a series of inspirations.

The first is my black and white checkered driveway. I painted this driveway and my neighbor pleaded with me not to park my truck on it. She thought it would distract from the great curb appeal of my driveway. So, I told her I was just going to paint the truck to match the drive. And so the project was inspired. As with my other make-a-(green) plan projects, I wanted to incorporate materials I already had on hand. The black and white paint was a start and my other neighbor gave me some sandpaper and primer paint for a rusty fender, my starting place.
What is with the Tessellation you might be asking? Well, the plan has morphed. Although I still want to paint the doors and bed of the truck in black and white, the fenders and front will be a tessellated pattern of pennies.

A tessellation or tiling of the plane is a collection of plane figures that fills the plane with no overlaps and no gaps.

Coincidentally, or not, I have been collecting images of fractals in nature, with fractals being a kind of tessellation. I just wrote a letter to my mother filled with many of these images.

I find the precision of these fractals just beautiful. The truth is, my sense of myself as an artist is not based on schooling or of technical skill. I am also not particularly precise or methodical or fussy as a true tessellating project would demand. I am enthusiastic and daring. This is how I free myself, by simply charging in and doing it. And art is communication. Eventually I will barely drive this truck and I may even plant the bed with vegetables and greens. I could make it my big fat raised bed in my drive and a great conversation piece. Oh yeah, the pennies represent the high cost of vehicular transportation.

This morning I checked my email and Chile Chews asked if I was signed on to the Rethink It Challenge and I would say this project qualifies as repurposing.