Susan McBurney

Retired Network Administrator
MAA Member
Western Springs, IL

The computer serves as an invaluable tool for graphic designers and can add new dimensions of precision, repeatability and experimentation to the artists’ toolkit. Coming from a math and computer science background, I am especially interested in how characteristics of the computer can be exploited to create new designs. I am also fascinated by the beauty and complexity revealed when simple building blocks and algorithms combine to produce complex and elegant artwork.

Equal Areas
12" x 12"
Digital Print

This artwork was inspired by two pages from Leonardo DaVinci's notebooks. While these magnificent books are legendary for their beauty of illustration and depth of subject matter, his purely geometric diagrams have been dismissed by some as intellectual doodling. Closer inspection reveals that at least some of them highlight the equality of different-shaped areas. "Equal Areas" builds upon that concept to also include relative areas of similar figures. In particular, those areas of a certain color in the border design are equal to the same-colored areas in the central figure. All light yellow areas in the borders add up to the all the yellow areas in the center, etc. Note that in some cases the shapes of the same colors are different, yet they are still equal in area.