Today I will share with you how I created this 20" x 30" mixed media painting:
Here is the original sketch. The main details are the five golden spirals and the pentagonal symmetry of the center.
Notice in the sketch how there is a large pentagon containing the golden spirals. Each of these spirals is within a golden parallelogram. This is kind of like a golden rectangle, except the angles are not 90 degrees. This all happens because Phi (Fibonacci) is present in all pentagonal forms. This leads to the unique fractal quality of pentagons and pentagrams. A pentagon can be infinitely divided into itself with pentagrams that reduce by the golden ratio. It can also grow infinitely:
I really wanted to layer the five pattern over top of the flower of life's sixfold pattern. I sketched the flower of life and pentagon pattern with pencil then inked my ideas. To make the background I cut out a piece of paper in a circle to so that I could mask the center. I used a splattering technique of red, yellow, and violet watercolors. After they dried I colored the curved triangles with red and violet colored pencils. The lighter white petals with splatters that make up the flower of life is really the paper showing through. Using colored pencils over ink and watercolor was a fun layering technique to use. The next step was to add the bottom layer of watercolor to the center of the mandala. The overlap of the five and six in the center can throw the eye off!
Next I used colored pencils to color the very center of the mandala. I had to shade it just right to get the five sided star that overlaps the six petaled flower to look correct. I really wanted the forms to appear slightly translucent.
A side note: I really like to make animations with my artwork! This is one of the animated gifs that I made with this piece:
If you enjoyed that and have the time here is a video with music that features 11 of my pieces animated. If not, please continue reading how I made this piece.
At this point I didn't know what to do and started to color the flower of life that fills the ends of the spirals. That's when I realized that I wanted to add one more pattern! This new pattern started by dividing the circle in 32 parts. I achieved this by dividing it in 2, then 4, 8, 16, and then 32 parts. Next I drew squares offset by 45 degrees towards the center. Then I divided the circle into quasi squares (concentric circles divided by 32 radial lines) and connected the corners with these spirals that you see.
The next step was to draw the same kind of spirals going the opposite way.
After that I placed one circle into each new quasi square.
This is what is looks like after inking the circles in:
Next I painted all of the circles with colored pencils, blending from red to yellow.
Here is more of it colored with colored pencils:
I colored the dark background behind the spirals and after some other final touches it was complete!
Click here to order the shirt that features this painting.
That's not the end of it though! I made the piece "Alchemical Marriage" as a sister piece to this one. I will be writing a post soon on how I made Alchemical Marriage!
Here is another animation of mine:
I ended up enjoying this piece so much that I also made this blanket from it! If you like my art and would like to go on a magic carpet ride my blanket is now available! It's woven, not printed, and made in the USA from super thick cotton.
What the painting means:
The marriage of five to six. The centerpiece is a five sided star that contains five golden parallelograms that overlaps the seed of life. The seed of life makes up the flower of life and if you connect all the points of the flower of life you get triangles that make up hexagons. This five against six I feel is representative of the merging of heaven and earth. The pattern of division that creates the yellow dots filling the 5 golden spirals are based on a binary pattern of division. Dividing by 2 so to speak. 2 - 4 - 8 - 16 - 32 - There are 32 circles around in each radial row. This is a system of octaves. In music there are 7 tones in a scale and the 8th is the same again - the octave higher is double the frequency, or 1/2 of the frequency is 1 octave lower. So 2 - 4 - 8 - 16 - 32 supports the octave structure of music. The ratio is 1:2 for this. Other intervals (distances between notes) exist other than octaves and these are defined as other simple ratios such as 2:3, 3:4, 4:5, 5:6, 8:9, and more. The ratio 4:5:6 defines a major chord, therefore this painting can be interpreted as the ratios for a musical major chord because 4, 5, and 6 are present and overlapping. As a musician and artist I like to think of my artwork as frozen music, containing musical polyrhythms and intervals (overlapping ratios). After all the word rational comes from the word ratio! Our modern music system does not use these pure ratios as key changes don't sound good. We use what is called equal temperament which makes all the keys evenly out of tune. The wellhead of american music is a blues man, steel guitarists, slide guitarists, singers, or other instrumentalists who hit one of those sweet variably tuned notes.
I hope you enjoyed how this painting relates to music. =) All of this relates to the seven liberal arts that may liberate your mind known as the trivium and quadrivium. The trivium is grammar (input), logic (processing) and rhetoric (output). This is how to learn. We see, hear, read, and perceive. After that we apply logic. Finally the rhetoric stage is telling others what we have learned. To teach is to understand is to learn is to know. The quadrivium is number theory (pure number) geometry (number in space) music (number in time) and astronomy (number in space and time - traditionally referred to as cosmology). These are the lost tools of learning - and how to apply them to number.
Sacred Geometry Artist