Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Chambered Nautilus
James Aponovich
oil on panel , 6" x 6", 2012

This is a study for a larger, upcoming painting. The shell has been sitting on a shelf in the studio for years and since I normally do not paint seashells, I never paid much attention to it. A few days ago, I took it down off the shelf and really examined it. I must paint this.
The Romanian sculptor Brancusi once said that the egg was the ideal shape (see week # 31). That may be true, but I feel that this shell may be the most beautiful shape. It's asymmetrical form is exquisite, the very embodiment of natural elegance and grace. As a realist, I paint the external surface of objects, but it is how they are composed internally that has always interested me. The shape of this shell is a result of an uneven growth sequence...a very precise uneven growth sequence.


Rectangle of the Whirling Squares
with Logarithmic Spiral

Rectangle of the Whirling Squares! Who says this stuff is boring?
Well, It's just another name for the good old Golden Section Rectangle that I have referred to in the past. But if you look at it, you will see that it is composed of squares, one after another, getting progressively smaller and smaller, dancing their way around....ad infinitum. Start adding squares and it gets larger and larger....it never ends. Progressive growth - same shape.
By drawing diagonals in all the squares and inscribing arcs I come up with a logarithmic spiral, or growth pattern for the chambered nautilus.

Copyright 2012 James Aponovich
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