Context Free and loving it!

Recently, Sarah-Hope gave me a copy of Make, a wonderful geeky-steampunk “how-to” magazine. While I’m not quite up to making my own Incredible Wimshurst Spark Generator, I jumped right in on the article about Context Free Art, a free, downloadable open-source graphics program.

It is so cool! Okay, I enjoy learning code, and so am not intimidated by its Context Free Design Grammar. It reminds me of when I taught at Open Fields School in Vermont, and was assigned to teach computer skills to the younger kids. This was in the early days of Macs, and we learned to make a circle using line code. Context Free has that same sort of “what happens if I type this command?” sense of adventure — and so much more.

You can export finished graphics as PNG files, or as animations. This was my first try, and I’m rather chuffed about it.

This has given me the germ of an idea for a whole new series of prints. How about fractal-Fibonacci growth patterns, transferred to a block and carved, then printed over another pattern? And the other pattern: a leaf? a plant? a topographical map? The exact shape this project will take is yet to emerge, but I’m excited about the possibilities.

In a way, the above video reminds me of the whole process of making prints. I find that the concept of making multiple copies of an image also inspires multiple variations of the image. The endless branching off from a single starting point is one of the things I love about being a printmaker.

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