Pattern and Texture


I rather like this photo especially since it’s not clear what it is on first view. I like the patterns that are formed by the object’s original design which has been overlaid by patterns made by the use of the object.

There are five fan like motifs composed of three “blades” each perforating the metal surface. They appear randomly punched and it takes a minute of reflection to understand this underlying pattern that has been altered by the staining of the metal.

If you haven’t guessed it by now, it is the underside of one of those metal baskets that go in large coffee urns that allow the water to filter through the coffee grounds slowly as the coffee percolates. They are not very common now, but used to be a household necessity if a large group of people were being invited in. Now they are used mostly for catering occasions.

I sometimes feel that there is a very grey area where pattern and texture combine, so that it’s not clear where one begins and the other ends. In this photograph, where the perforations are is definitely patterned, but is it textured too? If one ran their finger over the perforations, one could feel the perforation. The other areas appear smooth even though they are smudged by coffee oils. So texture for me implies some kind of a tactile sensation that is translated into a visual statement.


This one is very tactile and therefore textural for me. I know that if I ran my fingers over the rusty spots, scratches and scrapings that they would be rougher than the painted part. That silvery bit looks sharply bent and reflective like a tin foil pan that has been scrunched up, which it probably is.

This is the back of a garbage truck, but if one did not know that and if the image was painted rather than photographed, it would be a fine abstract impressionist painting.


In contrast, here is one that is purely pattern for me. All the objects seem to be smooth. The pattern is formed by the repetitive circles and then, the reflection in glass repeats those again in a modified form, not symetrically, which adds interest to the image. The remainder of the reflections are surrounding objects.

Now here it is in context, with one of my favorite framers working on a very large framing project and using the yellow air hose to keep those pesky spots of whatever that plague the glass surface when mounting an image and its matting under glass. The other reflected patterns are made from the surrounding collections of framing corners.

If I can’t get to my painting yet, I can still keep my eyes open and think about visual things. So this is one more vicarious trip through vision land to assuage my creative yearnings.


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