Notice: The links of products and designs for sale on this site contain cookies in the form of a referral code. The purpose of this is simply to allow me to receive credit for any purchase you may make as a result of having visited my blog first. This does NOT provide me with any information about you or impact the price you pay for any merchandise, but it will increase my commission. If you object to this, simply do not click on any such links. (Links to contest entries and art not stated to be for sale do not contain cookies.) Thank you for your support and understanding.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

"Oh Fractal Tree, Oh Fractal Tree"

“Oh Fractal Tree, Oh Fractal Tree

Thy leaves are so repeating…”

Okaaay... that was bad. It’s September, the mid-point between the nostalgic and/or “plan WAY ahead” vibes of “Christmas in July” and the ramp-up to the coming holiday. It’s hard to express the spirit in the right way when there are so many distracting Halloween displays for candy and decorations.

But here we are, and I’ve been busy with fractals again. I discovered one called a Sierpinski tetrahedron which is like a Sierpinski triangle that escaped Flatland to become a pyramid.

Here’s a video animation displaying how a basic one is constructed.

After getting one set up in my fractal program, I started playing with it, distorting the transforms and shifting them about. When I realized it had taken on the shape of a beautiful, wild evergreen, I changed the color gradient to suit it, including a bit of white that could pass for snow.

But this wasn’t enough. I wanted it to be in a setting that would highlight the wild character I saw in it. And I wanted to do that in a single fractal, without editing different images together.

I'd learned about manipulating something in the fractal program called XAOS (pronounced "chaos"). Each element of the fractal interacts with the others and each part changes the others. The whole thing, after all, is one big mathematical computation, and if you alter the numbers within it or insert additional factors, it changes the final result. Manipulating the XAOS controls how much each part impacts the others. (That's about as simply as I can put it give that I expect this to be read by people who are not using fractal programs.)

At first, I’d hoped to add something of a landscape beneath the tree, but my experience with this art form is still quite limited and those efforts were not fruitful. Then I thought a star would complement the scene and had better luck there. I’ll admit, I’d had hoped to position it directly over the top of the tree to imply a tree topper provided by nature but could not get it to comply. Perhaps that was fortunate as I think it looks better where it ended up. Rather than white, I set the color to a pale, icy pink within the chosen gradient. If you look closely at the swirls of light emanating from the star’s center, you’ll notice the shape that is the tree, and which makes up the tree. Fractals are amazing.

This “Sierpinski Tetrahedron Evergreen” image is available at Zazzle on a collection of various holiday stationery and a few other items. If you'd like to have it available on another item, please contact me.


Thank you for visiting, and I wish you a magnificent autumn!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

For the Love of Fractals

 As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been exploring fractals, patterns composed of repeating and evolving iterations of themselves. Here are some simple examples that may be familiar to you. 

Sierpinski Triangle

Koch Snowflake  A fractal tree

I’d heard them mentioned in various contexts suggesting such things as the potential for them to provide a form for understanding patterns in time. I wanted to understand them better, and as an artist, the most logical way was to learn to create them visually.

There are numerous shareware programs for this available, and I chose to start with Apophysis. Basic tutorials on the program were hard to come by and never comprehensive enough for my curiosity, but I found enough to cobble together a basic understanding and get on with creating my own images. It’s a completely unique creative experience as all are made purely via mathematical formulas programed into the application, and each of these has a number of variables to tweak resulting in infinite possible settings. The artist must become familiar with the type of image produced by particular variations.

That almost sounds simple enough until you consider that different variations do not merely overlay one another when combined (though there are techniques to make that happen). Instead, they merge into a different form. It’s easy for the combinations to result in a blah mess, but hone the numerous variables just right, and a beautiful design crystalizes before your eyes. It makes me think of The Beatles, one of the most popular music groups in modern history. Together, John, Paul, George and Ringo—the right guys and the right time—merged into a synastry that struck a chord with the masses. While each of them went on to further success in their solo careers, none reached the same level as they had together. The sum was not only more than the parts, but a unique entity.

Since the love that connects two people also reflects the idea of patterns resonating to create something unique, something that lights up when combination is just right, it feels appropriate that the first fractal design I share is one I’m publishing on a Valentine. 

"Fractal Love"

Rings filled with hearts, overlapping and extending into eternity, rolling through a rainbow of repetition just as a couple’s many shared moods and experiences are grounded in the form they create by their union.

“Fractal Love” is available on cards and other products at Zazzle. If there’s another product you’d like to have it on, you’re welcome to contact me and request it.


"Fractal Love" iPhone Case     "Fractal Love" Lumbar Pillow     "Fractal Love" Leggings

Wishing everyone Peace, LOVE, and Joy on every day of the year. Thanks for visiting and please come again!

Monday, August 8, 2022

Thinking Ahead to Newton's Birthday (a.k.a. Christmas)

I continue to weather a storm of family caregiving obligations on my trip through life, which leaves insufficient time for art and even less for writing about it. After reading an article on fractals, I became obsessed with them and set about learning to use software for creating them. I hope to share more about that and some examples of my efforts at a later time.

In the meantime, I've posted another Christmas design for sale on Zazzle.

While the term "Newton's Cradle" may not be familiar, most people have seen one as the popular desk toy of metal balls suspended in a frame; when the ball on one end is swung into the others, they all remain stationary with the effect passing through to the one on the opposite end.

It illustrates the conservation of momentum and energy. I am not a physicist and won't be turning this into a science lesson. For those who are curious, I'll refer you to Wikipedia for the basics. I did try to find out why, specifically, this device is named for Sir Isaac Newton, but found nothing more definitive than the discovery of these physical laws being attributed to him. (If anyone has additional detail on the naming of this device, please comment as I'd love to know.)

It also happens that Sir Newton was born on Christmas Day, and what better way to tie these facts together than with a Newton's Cradle made with Christmas ornaments.

"Newton's Christmas Cradle"

Inside the "Newton's Christmas Cradle" card is the simple wish of "Merry Christmas" followed by "(And Happy Birthday Sir Isaac Newton!)". The latter text may be removed, though I imagine it would prompt a smile for any science-oriented recipient.

This design is also available on POSTCARDS.

It's tough out there for many folks these days. Be good to one another and hang in there.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Coming Up...A Quarantined Christmas

It’s been a long time and I’m trying to remember how to do this (I think I've forgotten everything I ever learned about HTML). I’m not yet in a place where I’m ready to resume this blog more regularly, but I needed to share a burst of recent creative activity. I never did chase down a new (preferably free) source of image hosting, but for now I’ll try uploading them to Google Photos.

Anyway, we’ve all been dealing with the global pandemic. For many it’s been fear and inconvenience while others have suffered the loss of livelihoods and loved ones. Everyone is trying to cope in their own way. Hunkered down and trying to keep my family on an even keel, I’ve been sewing masks, experimenting with new recipes, growing vegetables in pots (with only minor success). Though not because of the virus, I also suffered the loss of a close family member earlier this year and have been trudging through the grief process.

With so many distractions, it can be hard to make time for creativity. But sometimes it forces its way out anyway, like the day I started doodling images of the coronavirus while contemplating how different our Christmas will be this year. One idea led to another, and the result is a series of images I decided to place on products for sale on Zazzle. I hope you’ll have look at them, and that they’ll give you a smile.

Until whenever arrives again…

                 Quarantined Christmas card on Zazzle Masked Angel card one Zazzle    Coronavirus Ornament card on Zazzle

      Cartoon Covid necktie on Zazzle     Cartoon Covid ornament on Zazzle     No Covid Allowed sanitizer on Zazzle     Masked Angel wrapping paper on Zazzle

Store links for these and other products with these designs:

Christmas Covid Zazzle products by nharveyart

Remember, there’s ALWAYS a sale on at Zazzle! They display the current code near the top of every page.

Thank you so much for visiting!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Still Alive and Scribbling

In one of my last posts, I said that I'd be focusing my energy on creating enjoyable holidays for my friends and family. Little did I know how long a break I would be taking. Around that time a number of health and family issues forced themselves into the spotlight, demanding my full energy and attention.

I've spent countless hours on the road and in various waiting rooms that devoured the time I might otherwise have spent at my desktop. In order to remain creative, I packed a sketchbook into my bag and took it with me everywhere. Coincidentally, one of my Christmas gifts was a book on a popular "zen" style of doodling, often called "tangles." Since I badly needed to reduce my stress levels during this time, it filled the creative void better than anything else could have.

I'd like to share some of my favorites here:

zentangle zen doodle ink pencil drawing sketch zentangle zen doodle ink pencil drawing sketch zentangle zen doodle ink pencil drawing sketch
zentangle zen doodle ink pencil drawing sketch zentangle zen doodle ink pencil drawing sketch
zentangle zen doodle ink pencil drawing sketch zentangle zen doodle ink pencil drawing sketch
feathers zentangle zen doodle ink pencil drawing sketch

I do wish that some of these had come out neater, but as I mentioned, most were done with a sketchpad on my lap, often with other people crowded near me.

After drawing in this method for a while, I began noticing patterns--sometimes the very same patterns--used in everyday material goods like housewares and clothing. While I haven't made up my mind to incorporate this method into my style as it develops, it's opened my eyes to more possibilities.

While the worst seems to be over for now (I hope!), my distractions have not gone away or diminished enough for me to get back to my previous schedule. However, I will try to begin posting new efforts again. I wish health and peace to all who read this.

Thanks for visiting, and please come again!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Another Giveaway & Woot Entry

Double duty on the blog post once again. First, I've got a $10 gift code to Zazzle up for grabs, good on any purchase of $10 or more. It is valid through December 14, 2014, 11:59 PM, Pacific Time.

Here's all the fine print:

$10.00 discount applies to Zazzle orders with a subtotal (before shipping and taxes) of $10.00 or more when the coupon code is applied at checkout. Offer is valid until 12/14/2014 at 11:59pm PT. This offer does not apply to past purchases and may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or volume discount offers. This promotional offer may not be used on Zazzle gift certificates. Offer valid on only.

First person to email me at (you can click the request box to the right) gets it! I'll be checking my email as often as I can, but I won't be able to monitor it constantly, so it might take me an hour or two to respond if you're the first. I'll update this post once it's been awarded. Good luck!

And on to part two...

The folks at Woot are already craning their necks in search of Cupid and this weekend's derby is to design a "Sweet and/or Sour Valentine." I came up with something I'm calling "The Ultimate Symbol of Love." 

I know what you're thinking..."Eww, the germs!" Well, there's germs in kissing too, isn't there? And if someone gives you a sweet chewed into the shape of a heart, you've got to assume that's on their mind. Or perhaps you'd prefer the idea of it without the actual germs. In that case, please vote for my submission.

Thanks for visiting and please come again!


Update: Though I had plenty of visits to this site, no one who came felt the desire to spend $10 at Zazzle and the code as now expired unclaimed. Perhaps the next time I offer one I'll be rewarded with making someone happy.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

How to Make a Hoodie Pillow

It's a busy time of year for me, one when I put my energy into making the holidays enjoyable for family and friends, so I haven't been doing a great deal art-wise. Instead of a new artwork, this post will fall into the category of "other creative endeavors" as I share a little life-hack I've come up with. I'm not entirely sure it's original, but I did come up with this on my own and have not seen it elsewhere.

I'm not a morning person and loathe dragging myself out of bed at the required hour, often in darkness. Having to trade a warm bed for shivers can make this an excruciating task. Having the clothes I'll change into already warm is a small consolation I can enjoy, and here's how I manage it.

1.  I start the night before with a hooded, half-zip fleece which I usually wear in the morning anyway. Any pullover with a hood should suffice. Spread it out like this:

2.  Next I fold my clothing for the next day into a neat pile that will fit onto the chest area of the fleece. Here I'm using a sweater and a pair of jeans. Socks and underwear would go between these.


3.  Now, bring the arms across the center: 


4.  Next fold the lower half up over the clothes:


5.  Finally, bring the hood down over the center square and tuck the bottom corners into it:


The result is a fleece wrapped pillow. Take it to bed with you... snuggle it, place it beneath your knees or whatever feels comfortable, but keep it beneath the covers and close to you.

When you get up in the morning, your clothing will be as warm as your bed! If you aren't getting dressed immediately, be sure to pull the covers back over them until you do, but don't wait too long because it will all cool down without your body heat to warm it.

Here's another set of pictures using a hooded sweatshirt:

Thanks for visiting and please come again!

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Dragon Hide Journal

The Woot Derby has been changing things up lately. For starters, they're now running TWO derbies per week. The main derby, for shirts, now begins on Monday which now regularly gives artists additional time to work on their submissions after the Thursday theme announcement.

Another change is that the 2nd derby (the one they'll run first after the theme announcement) will be for another product, and for some of these products, many of the restrictions regarding colors, halftones, gradients and photographs have been thrown out the window. For that I'm all "YAY!" because I love artistically editing photos.

This week the product is journals and I'm excited to be entering an edited photograph which I've altered to look like iridescent dragon hide. Here's a view of the full front (right side) and back of the design.

It Breathes Fire No More, artistically edited photo, dragon hide skin iridescent

The title is "It Breathes Fire No More," since, obviously, if his skin is binding a book, he's no longer in need of a breath mint. But as this is merely Photoshop work, no actual dragons were harmed in its creation.

I started with a photograph I'd done some editing on before and had used to create a patten with different colors. (I'm not going to show the original here now, as I'd like to keep the Wooters guessing as to what it might be, but by sometime on Monday when this derby ends, I'll update this post to display the original.)

This time, I first improved the overall lighting by making several copies and adjusting the levels (ctrl-L) to optimize each section, regardless of how bad it made the remainder of the image. I then masked each, and worked on the masks to reveal only the best portion of each layer, combining them into a single image to finish.

Working with a desaturated version, I added layers of color, mostly with a wet media brush and at low opacity, then changed the blending modes of these layers to "color" and "overlay." And voila! Dragon hide.

"It Breathes Fire No More" will be up for voting now through Monday, November 17, 2014, noon Central Time. Winners will be revealed and available for purchase on Monday, November 24th.  I hope you'll click over there to offer your support and check out what I'm sure will be a very interesting selection of art this week!

Thanks for visiting, and please come again!


And here's the original, a close-up shot of a Savoy Cabbage. I saw this and loved the texture, but in working the photo, I ended up inverting so that deeps and highs were reversed. Nature provides such beauty.

Savoy cabbage leaf close-up