Andrew James Smith
In recent years, aspects of one design I created many decades ago have recaptured my attention. I call it the Protogon. It is an arrangement of regular polygons starting with a triangle and progressing to a theoretically infinite-sided shape (circle), with each sharing a side with its subsequent neighbor. A feature of this pattern is a unique, never before discovered spiral. I have produced numerous prints, paintings, and sculptures employing this design.
The two artworks I am submitting at this time are transfers of digital studies for two 7' x 7' acrylic paintings on linen canvas. The one painted in grays was finished in 2014 as part of a 21' long triptych. The colorful one is in the process of being completed.
As much as we may appreciate complexity, and granted this might cause vertigo, there is comfort in realizing there is truth in this design at its core. I have taken the single shape which I extracted from the Protogon and painted it with opaque yellow. I copied the form, rotated it 120 degrees and painted it with transparent cyan. Where it overlapped the yellow, green resulted. I copied the design again but turned it 120 degrees in the other direction and painted it with transparent magenta. Where it overlapped, brown, purple, or orange resulted. I then cleaned the image by cropping off the outside areas of the lopsided design which did not overlap.
This image is of one study I created for the central piece in a 21' triptych, “Protogon Shift.” I painted an inverted version of it (with a white triangle blending into a black background) using 48 shades of gray, plus black and white. I carefully mixed each value employing a very accurate digital scale using Titanium White (plus a small amount of Sienna to warm it up) and Bone Black. The design is comprised of nearly 5000 line segments and took me several months to paint.