#81 The Lichenologist's Kaleidoscope Maze

#81 The Lichenologist's Kaleidoscope - It started when I was playing around with a macro lens, peering at lichens growing on the trees around my home. I was amazed at how the antler-like growths looked like malformed bones. The addition of the cheap macro lens' distortions and chromatic aberrations led to a surrealistic psychedelic look. I wondered how I could make it look even crazier and then it came to me: a kaleidoscope.

I took a strip of the image of my lichen, carving it programmatically into a wedge with its acute end measuring (1/13)π radians. Then made a mirror image of it along one long side, doubling the wedge slice size to (2/13)π. I rotated that larger wedge around full circle image creating a mandala. I merged them all, cropping them to a rectangle. I then spent a couple weeks getting lost in the flow and texture patterns, planning in my mind what the maze should took like.

Like all my mazes, the maze pathways are hand drawn. I credit my steady hand to my time as a draftsman way back at the other end of my career. Once it was "line complete", I have a algorithm in my head to meticulously piece the image's 1743 line segments into a perfect maze.

The flaws in the macro lens introduces what I came to think of as angry rainbows. I reproduced them with my digital paint brush making them even more lurid than I saw through the lens.

There are so many faces in this maze, some skeletal, some fully fleshed: goats, wasps, chipmunks, lobsters, demons... all made of lichens spinning on a disk.