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Supplementary Notes

The Golden Section
Doug Craft
Collage and Montage in Golden Ratios February 22 through March 10, 2002

CORE New Art Space

2045 Larimer Street, Denver CO 80205

in honor of Phideas. and more recently.The Golden Ratio Knowledge of the Golden Section. Figure 2 Doug Craft: Supplemental Notes 303-458-8946. And the dimensions of each successively smaller rectangle will be in Φ ratio to the previous larger size. ratio.618. and the crafting of musical instruments and everyday objects. bigdoug@conen.artistsregister. or proportion has been known for a very long time. is a rectangle with a short to long side ratio of 1: 1. and the position of features on the human face follow Φ.." the origin of the logarithmic spiral. This study shows the Φ-ratio sectioning of the GR with short side squares and the diagonals of the original seed GR (GR0) .outside boundary lines) and the diagonal of the first Φ-sectioned GR (GR1). you will be left with another GR. architecture.com/artists/CO1142 1 . The Golden Rectangle (GR). Shamans..618034.net. Φ shows up throughout nature. The major 6th harmony interval in music is in Φ ratio to the octave. Note that the two diagonals intersect at a point called the "Eye of God. seen here in Figure 1: Figure 1 Figure 2 shows a logarithmic spiral superimposed on a coiled GR. art. Le Corbusier's The Modular. It is called phi. Φ. An interesting property of GR's is that if you cut out a square starting from one of the short sides of the GR. Recall the famous drawing by Da Vinci showing man within the circle and the Golden Ratios in the human body. the organizing form in my current work. The Egyptians knew about it and the Greeks learned about it from them. and artists throughout the world and across history have understood and applied Φ to ritual. For example. the architect of the Parthenon and is approximated by the irrational fraction 0. the finger bones are in Φ ratio to each other. You can continue to cut out short side squares for each successively smaller GR and another smaller GR will remain. priests. or 1: (1 + Φ). A series of my collage explore this Φ-ratio "coiling" property of GR's. http://www.

I guess I am eat up with it! Doug Craft: Supplemental Notes 303-458-8946. Fractals also have a property called fractional symmetry.net. Overlapping GR's that share a middle square are in the aspect ratio of 1: (square root of 5). Here we can see that there are a lot of implied lines and shapes within a GR .236. Examples include bird eggs. The sides of the inner Eyes of God GR have a special ratio to the sides of GR0 . All of the abstract images in my collages also contain fractal form elements. The square is the self-similar shape that is repeated in the GR.artistsregister. and spruce trees. Fractals are geometric forms that look the same no matter what the size scale. Figure 3 Figure 4 shows overlapping GR's which I use in a series of collage and mandala square collages in my recent work. bigdoug@conen.) ratio to the original seed GR0 sides. The also irrational square-root of 5 appears often. coastlines and rock fractures have a fractal structure.Logarithmic spirals are natural forms (remember the chambered nautilus?) and many natural forms will fit neatly with a GR. human heads. so GR's qualify as basic fractals. Figure 4 A final note about the GR involves fractals.com/artists/CO1142 2 . for example. So. This property is called self-similarity.. explored in Figure 3. and it is also a huge property of nature and natural forms. Both forms imply and can be derived from the other! The symmetry of GR's means that the coiling can proceed in 4 different ways.and that there are four Eyes of God that are connected by another GR (shaded). both in the calculation of Φ (see below) and when GR forms are combined. http://www. which means that the self-similar units are in non-integer fractional proportion to each other.it has length and width that are in square-root of 5 (1: 2. They are composed of repeating units that combine to make larger and similar units at larger scales. and Φ is a non-integer proportionality ratio.. it would seem that the distinction between a simple "geometric" form like a GR and an organic form like a logarithmic spiral is superficial.

2. http://www. 34. as well as crystals.615384 0.62 for Φ. Ratio Calculation 1÷1 1÷2 2÷3 3÷5 5÷8 8 ÷ 13 13 ÷ 21 21 ÷ 34 Result 1.618181 0.000000 0.6180339. 8. .Deriving and Calculating Φ There are 2 general ways to derive Φ.618055 0. Liber Abaci. the series goes like this: 0. the ratio approximates Φ to 6 decimal places. so let's start there. and from this he surmised the more abstract number sequence. 55.500000 0. If you figure that two decimal places are as much as even the most careful craftsman can measure and cut. and the results in the right column. introduced western civilization to Arabic numerals (replacing Roman numerals). Φ. then the 6th Fibonacci ratio.666666 0.. 1.618033 0. This would just be a logical curiosity about growing things until we start calculating the ratio between adjacent Fibonacci numbers. 3. 1. Fibonacci numbers are related to Φ and can be used to derive the Golden Ratio. bigdoug@conen. and a special sequence of numbers named after him.net. 8 ÷ 13.619047 0. and are observed in the dimensions and branching of all plants. the ratio calculations in the middle column. One approach uses the Fibonacci numbers. Saves a lot of trouble trying to get precise odd fractions of an inch cut by the frame cutter! Doug Craft: Supplemental Notes 303-458-8946.com/artists/CO1142 3 . They increased in a peculiar "additive" way.. Many plants exhibit Fibonacci numbers in branching. Starting with 0 and 1. It turns out that after the fifth Fibonacci number.625000 0. Fibonacci numbers are easier to comprehend. 5. I use frame dimensions of 21" x 13" for coiled GR collages (Figure 1) which are adjacent Fibonacci numbers.617977 0.597 2. This happens because when things grow. and in spiral structures like the arrangement of rows of bracts on pinecones.600000 0.597 ÷ 2. animals.618025 0. Table 1 lists the Fibonacci numbers in the left column. After the 16th Fibonacci number. petals on an artichoke. so that the new growth is "added to" the existing structure (like new offspring are added to the existing population). 21. These numbers turn up all the time in nature. and the other is geometrical and algebraic. the ratio begins to get very close to the algebraic solution for Φ = 0. Fibonacci raised rabbits and observed their population numbers over successive generations.618032 0.584 Result 0. and scales on a pineapple. each successive number is determined by adding the previous two numbers. 13. 89. Starting with 0 and 1 as the first two numbers in the sequence. Table 1 Ratios between adjacent numbers in the Fibonacci series start to approximate the Golden Ratio.618037 0. will do as an approximation of 0. It turns out that this sequence of integers is much more than an arithmetic game.618034 Fibonacci number 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 So. Higher Fibonacci number ratios yield changes in only in the 7th decimal place and beyond.618034 0. they often grow on top of a previous structure.617647 Fibonacci number 55 89 144 233 377 610 987 1. a 13th century mathematician whose book.597 1.artistsregister. Fibonacci Numbers: Fibonacci was the pen name of Leonardo of Pisa.584 Ratio Calculation 34 ÷ 55 55 ÷ 89 89 ÷ 144 144 ÷ 233 233 ÷ 377 377 ÷ 610 610 ÷ 987 987 ÷ 1.

it should be clear that the whole segment AB is the sum of the 2 parts. Take the compass and stick the sharp point at the midpoint of the bottom of the square. bigdoug@conen.net. consider the geometric definition of Φ on a line segment. Figure 6 |<----------------AB------------------>| A C B . Refer to Figure 5. AC. Now draw a big half-circle that intersects the baseline. AB. radius r in figure 5. to the big chunk. | | | |<----------AC--------->|<-----CB----->| To simplify matters (or to confuse the less mathematically gifted)._______________________. Find the midpoint of the bottom side of the square and mark it. call it C.AC = CB and substituting 1 for AB and Φ for AC. Now. Figure 5 Algebraic Method: For the algebraic method (which can be skipped if you are not mathematically inclined). Φ. draw a straight base line across the bottom of a sheet.com/artists/CO1142 4 .Geometric Method: The geometric approach to drawing a GR is fairly simple using a straightedge and compass. For C to be the Golden Section point. Draw a line extending the square and a perpendicular line that meets the point where the big circle intersected the baseline. CB. open the compass until the pencil point touches the upper right hand corner of the square. and we will let AC be phi.artistsregister. With the compass point at the marked midpoint. AC and CB. We want to find the Golden Section. such that the ratio of the big chunk AC to the whole segment AB is the same as the ratio of the small chunk. the point on AB. right? So we can set up an equation that says the same thing: AB = AC + CB and subtracting AC from both sides gives us AB . Draw a fairly large square near the middle of the line segment. we will do some substitutions and let the whole segment AB = 1.Φ = CB Doug Craft: Supplemental Notes 303-458-8946. (AC divided by AB) must equal (CB divided by AC). seen in Figure 6. Make sure the sides are perpendicular and equal. http://www. Basically. we get 1 .______________.

the ratio of the big chunk AC to the whole segment AB.1 ----------------->| A C B .6180339. bigdoug@conen. Figure 7 |<---------------.Φ) for CB...______________. Φ for AC. the extremes are the upper left and lower right terms.. Here we show the line segments with the new substituted terms.Φ) from both sides of the equation gives us the characteristic equation for solving for Φ: φ2 + φ − 1 = 0 The following two values will solve this equation: −1 − 5 2 and −1 + 5 2 We ignore the first solution because it is negative. So now let's substitute 1 for AB..Figure 7 shows how the substitutions have changed the problem. Doug Craft: Supplemental Notes 303-458-8946. Looking at the equation like a box.now we are going to set up an algebraic equation to solve for Φ. So the value of Φ calculates to 0. http://www. has got to be the same as the ratio of the little chunk CB to the big chunk AC.com/artists/CO1142 5 . an irrational non-repeating digit ratio. we need to "multiply the extremes and means" to simplify this equation and solve for Φ.. and (1 ._______________________.artistsregister. and the length of a line segment can't be a negative number. the means are the lower left and upper right terms. Remember our definition: for C to be the Golden Section of segment AB... So now we can set this up as an equation: AC CB = AB AC OK. Multiplying these gives you: φ2 = 1 − φ Subtracting (1 .Φ)-->| With me so far? OK.net. | | | |<---------.Φ -------->|<---(1 . and we get: φ 1 = 1−φ φ We are almost there! Now.

Mineola. San Francisco. Dover Publications. 1987. The Geometry of Art and Life. 1992. Lawlor. Chieveley. 1982. 1946. Godwin. Shambhala. Mineola. Teachers may want to consider Garland as an introduction and Runion's The Golden Section for a more math-oriented approach with problems in each chapter.BIBLIOGRAPHY These books have been helpful in my study of the Golden Proportion and form in nature and art. Palo Alto. György. Gazalé. bigdoug@conen. 1982. Capall Bann Publishing. New York.com/artists/CO1142 6 . Joscelyn.E. The University Press. Sacred Geometry: Philosophy and Practice. Doug Craft: Supplemental Notes 303-458-8946. Cambridge. California. John. The Power of Limits: Proportional Harmonies in Nature. New York. Pennick. Rochester. Dale Seymour Publications. Vermont. New York. Dover Publications. or form-based aesthetics.. Fractals: The Patterns of Chaos. It's easy to understand and gives a lot of good visual examples. Boston. New York. Fascinating Fibonaccis: Mystery and Magic in Numbers. London. Matila. Dover Publications. 1994. The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry. Roger. The Oracle of Geomancy. Thames and Hudson. Thompson. Harmonies of Heaven and Earth: Mysticism in Music from Antiquity to the AvantGarde. 1987. Hambidge. The Divine Proportion: A Study in Mathematical Beauty. Jay. the Golden Proportion. 1979. 1946. Sacred Geometry. Garland is suitable for middle school kids while Runion is high school algebra level. Mineola. The Curves of Life. Princeton. Ghyka. I recommend Garland's Fascinating Fibonaccis to anyone who would like a general overview. Theodore Andrea. Huntley. New Jersey. Math-Oriented Books: Garland. Nigel. England. 1999. Midhat. Dover Publications. Cook. Inner Traditions International. California.artistsregister. On Growth and Form. http://www. Mineola. England. and Architecture. Herz-Fischler. H. Art.net. New York. 1919. Let me know if you have recommendations for other books on the subject of sacred geometry. Dover Publications. Trudy H. Nigel. Gnomon: From Pharaohs to Fractals. Harper and Row Publishers. Robert. Simon and Schuster. Princeton University Press. Natural Form and Sacred Geometry: Briggs. Pennick. 1995. 1970. 1987.. A Mathematical History of the Golden Number. New York. Doczi.. Sir D'Arcy W. Mineola.

Princeton University Press. Florence (ed). 1981. Mineola.com/artists/CO1142 7 . Dover Publications. Cambridge University Press. Princeton. Garth E. bigdoug@conen. Runion. Michael. The Golden Section. London. Shambhala. Kandinsky. http://www. Boston. Mandlebrot. Vermont. W. 1991. 1988. Rochester. 1980. The Golden Verses of Pythagoras and other Pythagorean Fragments. Santa Fe. Philosophy: These books are not specifically about the Golden Ratio. Harvard University Press. and self-similarity. Ken. Wholeness and the Implicate Order. all of his work. The Holographic Universe. 1992. Freeman and Company. Doug Craft: Supplemental Notes 303-458-8946. Princeton University Press. 1990. David. New Mexico. Park Street Press. Hans. 1977. What is Life .Mind and Matter. Firth. New Jersey. 1991. Campbell. Wassily.H. Revised Edition. Massachusetts. Concerning the Spiritual in Art. The Fractal Geometry of Nature. Cambridge. 1959. Bohm.. Eco. Benoit. Umberto. New York. 1977. Erwin. Rupert. Sun Publishing. and Hugh Bredin (translator). The Aesthetics of Thomas Aquinas. physical law. A Brief History of Everything.artistsregister. They have been a huge inspiration and source of insight to me. Talbot.Lauwerier. California. but provide integrative links to the ideas of harmony. Palo Alto. A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Morphic Resonance. New Jersey. Joseph. Schroedinger. Sheldrake. Princeton. Wilbur. New York. Carl. Jung.net. Dale Seymour Publications. Harper Perennial. 1969. Bollingen . Routledge. London (out of print). Mandala Symbolism. Fractals: Endlessly Repeating Geometrical Figures. 1996. New York.

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