Golden Spiral


16 x 20″ image

Golden Spiral is a transparent watercolor painted on a 16 x 20″ watercolor board, framed in a beautiful and massive frame, over 24 x 28″ framed.

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It’s a visual law made famous by Leonardo Fibonacci, who in 1200 A.D. observed the mathematics of an absolute ratio that appears often in nature. In short, anything designed using this ratio pleases the human eye. Used since the Renaissance by artists and architects, they design their work to approximate this ratio of 1:1.618. The Parthenon exhibits the ratio, the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper do as well. It is said that companies like Apple design products based on it, that Twitter created their new profile page with it, and logos all over the world design by it.

So here it is, twice, if you will, underscored by the red and the repeat of the shape below the shell–I can’t call it a shadow, the colors are too vibrant. This shell is one collected by me and beautiful enough to last forever, I think. Maybe the painting of it will celebrate its life for yet a further length of time.

I finished the painting in Southern Pines at the Campbell House, facing towards the bright sunshine filtering in through the garden, so its colors picked up the dramatic flare of the sunlight which I interpreted as prelude to Easter Day. There appear to be three repeats of it above, as well. A math teacher from Sanford reminded me of the Fibonacci spiral as she watched me demonstrate the watercolor medium for the Watercolor Society of North Carolina that day and admired the math she saw in the shell.