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Seamlessly Mirroring Famous Paintings Results in the Unfortunate Term, "Kaleidoscopizing"

Creating mandalas continues to fascinate me, and I have made many over the past couple of months using the layer/rotate/flip/mode-blend technique. Imagine the egg on my face when I noticed the Kaleidoscope filter in Gimp for the first time about two days ago. Instant mandalas. Crisp and clear, preserving max detail because the filter just seamlessly mirrors wedges of the original image; no layering and consequent blurring/mixing takes place. What's more, the filter offers many controls over the output, many values to manipulate and really fine-tune the results. Of all these options, the ability to Zoom in and out of the pattern while Rotating mirrors is monumentally useful.

I have some complicated feelings around this filter, through. It's just too damn easy, for one thing. Sure, you have a lot of control over the process, but it's still just one "ok" to produce a result. My gut tells me that's not nearly enough work/interpretation/decision-making to make a piece that feels worthwhile and reflective (no pun intended) of who you are and what you're trying to do.

I'm certainly not dismissing it, though. It's a lot of fun, and I think it will be a useful tool for creating elements as opposed to a finished piece.

Here are some early experiments. The title image is based on "Nighthawks," by Edward Hopper.


- Starry Night, Van Gogh

- The Birth of Venus, Boticelli

- The Garden of Earthly Delights, Bosch

Bosch is perfect for this because his work is so detailed. His paintings' general composition is helpful, too; small groups of figures spread out fairly evenly.

I haven't tried this yet on any of my own photos. So that will be interesting.

Life is very rich.

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