Elizabeth Whiteley

Studio Artist
Washington DC

Artworks based on harmoniously related areas and forms interest me. I am exploring the Sacred Cut from ancient geometry. It is a geometric system of proportions constructed using a compass and a straight edge. The compass is positioned at a vertex of a square. An arc is struck from one side of the square to an adjacent side which passes through the center. When arcs are cut from all four corners they meet at the center and the Sacred Cut diagram is complete. A grid of horizontal and vertical lines drawn from the eight points where arcs intersect with the edges of the square can be added. From that visual logic, the quest began for creative artwork with ancient echoes.


Ancient Echoes 13
12 x 12 cm
Silverpoint Drawing Illuminated with 24K Gold on Prepared Fabriano Paper
2020

For my reference drawing I began with selections from a Sacred Cut diagram (described in my statement) for the basic geometric structure. On an overlay, I used the 4 corners of the central square as centers for 4 circles which intersected the original curves. I selected curved segments to form the image. Then I created this drawing using the rare Renaissance technique of metalpoint. For my drafting tools, I used a compass and a straight edge. I inserted a sterling silver wire in the compass in place of a graphite point to create guidelines. Then I drew over the guidelines with a sterling silver stylus. Finally, I added illumination with 24 karat shell gold. The drawing exhibits rotational symmetries.


Ancient Echoes 6
12 x 12 cm
Silverpoint and Goldpoint Drawing Illuminated with 24K Gold on Prepared Fabriano Paper
2020

For my reference drawing I drew a Sacred Cut diagram (described in my statement) for the basic geometric structure. I overlaid transparent copies of the diagram with the second copy turned 45 degrees. I selected arcs. I removed corners to form the octagon. Then I created this drawing using the rare Renaissance technique of metalpoint. For my drafting tools, I used a compass and a straight edge. I inserted a sterling silver wire in the compass in place of a graphite point to create guidelines. I drew over the guidelines with a sterling silver stylus and filled alternate spaces with silverpoint or goldpoint lines. Finally, I added illumination with 24 karat shell gold. The drawing exhibits rotational symmetries.