Tuesday, January 29, 2013


There is proportion to life that you cannot escape.

You may not know it, but you see it everywhere. The #triptych that I painted shown here is an example of it.

There is a number that expresses this relationship. The shortened version of this number (because it runs on infinitely) is l.618….

There is a mathematical description of what this number is, but for the purposes of this blog post, it is a division into thirds of an experience, whether we see visually the structure of a tree or of a star system, or if we are experience our world in other ways that our senses allow. Things in nature just seem to keep cropping up this way.

The Rule of Thirds appears in nature and in man-made objects and, as it turns out, it assists in guiding our enjoyment of something. The Golden Mean is also a phenomenon in the mind of humans everywhere, and we don’t really know why. Psychologists tend to believe it is our own experiences in life and our subconscious experience that assist in this appeal. It can be that the 1 to 3 ratio is so pervasive in the universe that we naturally acclimate to it as the norm. It being suggested right now that the Golden Mean is shown in the structure of our DNA!

It is found in so many aspects of the “randomness” of the human experience and in the physical world, it is referred to as the “Fingerprint of God”, as it appears to be a message of the intelligence behind every creation.

It is in math (Expressed as Phi)
It is in music (Intentionally by Debussy, unintentionally by Mozart and Beethoven)
It is in drama (Three-act plays)
It is in architecture (The Pyramids in Egypt)

And it is in art. (Leonardo DaVinci’s Last Supper)

It is … magic.

The Golden Mean is part of the vocabulary of design. Along with so many other elements and composition theories, the Golden Mean helps build the strength many of the paintings you enjoy.

Here’s an example: Moving a horizon line to the position of one-third of the canvas can help make the entire composition more appealing than if the horizon line were placed in the exact center.

Paintings are often expressed in triptychs, three separate pieces that, when displayed together, offer a continuance from one to the next, making up one larger image.

You know when you find art you love. Maybe you can articulate it, and maybe you can’t, but it only matters that it is something of value to you. You are being influenced, in measure, by your feelings. It is something deep inside you that connects with the art. Some social psychologists describe this as the human heart attempting to connect with someone or something greater than themselves … in affect, man’s search for God.
The phenomenon is the Golden Mean. The number that expresses it is 1.618 …
Compositions are strengthened by it and your senses are heightened by it. It expresses your longing for connection with something deeply rooted inside you, and maybe it is the GPS of your own spiritual path. When you study closely a painting that grabs you to your core, what you just might be experiencing is your own personal revelation … God is whispering to your heart!
And now you know another possible reason why you love art so much.

1 comment:

  1. I have a painting like this. I'm not sure how it relates to the Golden Mean, but if I were to look at it again now, I'm sure I could find that. There are so many things in my life that I "feel" in threes.

    I remember seeing this particular painting in a gallery I used to frequent many years ago. Every time I went back in, I was drawn to this piece of art. For months I enjoyed viewing it, enjoying the feelings of playfulness, mystery, and magic it inspired in me. It was an original piece, and not inexpensive, but I finally decided to purchase it. I still love it!