Thursday, April 9, 2015

Big Doorway grows a little, and the universe expands!

The art life has been interrupted by the work in the studio and the furniture moving and organization and the painting of the walls and the reorganization, and now finally I get to work on art.  

Here's Big Doorway, now with added dark blue serpentine threads, straight from India, curling around like vines.  There will be more of these, and beads in the openings.  And I'm introducing a thread of iridescence to the archway itself. There will be a lot more to this archway, not solid, but some kind of tracery, not sure yet.  It's good to be back.

And, since I like to exercise other brain functions, too, I've been studying yet another book on math!  

this one claims to teach the reader how to study math, but in fact, though she sprinkles math terms through the text, it's really about how to think constructively and lay down memory stores for future use, all very good stuff.  It's a great antidote to the intuitive leaping I do a lot of, provides a grounding that itself suggests other ideas.

Of course,  she casually talks about the quadratic formula, as if we all knew what that was, I googled on it, and next found quadratic equations, which were quite a revelation. Math was not a strong subject in my schooling, so I do like to find out stuff like this. Most of what I know I learned as an adult just because I was interested.

However, plunging into math on the internet led me very soon to my favorite of all, Leonardo of Pisa, aka The Other Leonardo, aka Fibonacci, whose sequence is not only easy to grasp, but is huge in its implications.  You start, some people with zero, some with one, and go one, two, add two to one, three, add three to two, five, add five to three, eight, and so on ad infinitum or until you are tired. 

This wonderful concept can be shown as a series of ever increasing boxes, and if you scribe an arc joining the corners of the boxes, you find you have a spiral.  Same spiral as the growth pattern of pinecones, sunflowers, the Milky Way, in fact the universe itself.  Tell me that doesn't excite you!   and go here  to see what I mean.

And the reason it's important in an art blog is that Fibonacci was also really examining the ancient concept of the golden section, known by several other names.  If he had been able to stretch out his calculations -- he lived in the 12th century, limited computation then -- he would have arrived at the magical golden ratio: one to one point six.  This is the proportion of many natural phenomena. The human body incorporates a lot of it.  Early architecture did, too.  And it's somehow pleasing to us even if we don't know why.

When I teach drawing I always like to give out 3x5 and 5x8 index cards for people to practice setting up drawings, using the whole surface, treating the edge of the card as the edge of the drawing. Then I point out the ratio.  Yes, it's from the Fibonacci sequence, see back there a bit at the numbers.  The cards are in the one to one point six ratio. Divide 5 by 3 and divide 8 by 5 and you'll see. Doesn't matter what orientation the piece is in, the ratio still works.

Whenever I make a piece of art, I check afterwards to see how close it is to the golden ratio, because I can be pretty sure that it will be harmonic and pleasing the nearer it is.

Just sayin!  blogistas who love zentangles might enjoy trying this out on index cards, too.

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