My Formline Art Through Various Filters and Lenses

Patterns in experimental formline Robert Davis Hoffmann

Circles and Squares

Just as a person is able to alter camera images through filters, I also create new possibilities by trying different filters through which to perceive and create new formline designs. In addition to filters, the array of camera lenses such as fish-eye, macro, wide-angle, and telescopic, all can give me new ways to imagine design.

When I was young, I remember reading in our Weekly Reader how insects see the world. I was fascinated by the microscopic close-up of the eye of a house fly. Even more intriguing was the illustration showing the multi-faceted image(s) the house fly probably saw.

Years later, I designed and painted a repeating pattern of killer whales and eagles painted into triangular shapes. ( See Turning Formline into Complex Patterns ). That Weekly Reader article stimulated my young imagination, and I began to wonder how all the other creatures must see the world.

Can you guess what the inspiration was in the design below? I tried to imagine what formline would look like through a lens that made the world look watery. This was a fun exercise, and I’ll definitely be painting this one. Perhaps in water colors (ha ha).

Experimental Tlingit Formline Robert Davis Hoffmann

Water World

This design below started with the insect eye, and then I simply designed outward from there. In order to tie the elements together, I realized I needed to use repetition, since the eye began with repeated shapes. I added the spiraling ‘U’ shapes for eyebrow and continued that pattern. I didn’t want the eye to be an isolated shape so I added the streamers pouring out of that ovoid. Hence, “When Bugs Cry” which can be sung to the tune of Prince’s “When Doves Cry

Turning Formline into Complex Patterns

When Bugs Cry

The design below started with the same insect eye idea. I don’t know what I was attempting here. I wanted to incorporate some unusual squared shapes. Maybe I felt a little lazy that day. Not every sketch has to be a masterpiece. That’s not the intent of a Daily Sketch.

Patterns in experimental formline Robert Davis Hoffmann

Circles and Squares


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