Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fibonacci Sequence

Fibonacci Sequence
Sybille Muschik
Mixed media on canvas

We do a lot of camping and hiking throughout the Cariboo/Chilcotin area. In all our favorite places we see endless stands of dead burgundy pine trees which touch me with their fiery beauty and leave me with an impending dread as to the eventual impact not only on the economy of the region but to the land and the waterways.

As a painter, I find it necessary to document and comment on these drastic changes. Several years ago I began the Guardian Series to remind viewers that we must be the guardians and not just the developers of our natural resources.

In my painting The Fibonacci Sequences I begin with the underlying mathematical sequences that inform the structure of pine cones, their spiral patterns hold the ancient secrets rediscovered by Renaissance mathematician Leonardo of Pisa also known as Fibonacci who studied these patterns as mathematical sequences. These patterns inform the way the limbs grow from the core and even the texture of the bark; how a tiny seed released from them can create species like pines. He discovered that nature endlessly weaves these formulas into this elegant expression. Artists and architects then and now often design work based on these principles.

One of my prized possessions is a little wooden abstract sculpture carved and given to me by my son. One day while looking at the trees in my winter garden, I happened to notice my sculpture in the window guarding the sleeping scene which reminded me of the Madonnas illuminated in Gothic cathedrals. This started me on the Guardian series. The statue with its spiral whorls and patterns exemplifies not only the wood’s myriad functional uses, but its beauty.

Now that we are in the midst of the pine beetle infestation, the thought of pines threatened in the overwhelming spiral of global changes, makes these trees more precious to me than ever. In the painting I indicate pines may only be preserved as amber remnants that may be blue from the bacteria spread by the pine beetle, but it is my fervent hope they will prevail just as they have survived countless challenges for millions of years.

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