Snail’s Pace

11″ x 17″
Soft Pastels on Uart 600 paper

This critter was my original submission to CALs Interpretations V art show. It’s partner piece is titled Full of Wine. The poem it inspired, by Marta Ferguson, is printed below. Keep reading for notes and links about the painting.

Nature’s Numbers

by Marta Ferguson, 2017

In Fibonacci’s Liber Abaci,
Europe learned India’s math:
the golden spiral’s one-one- two-three,
which forms this snail’s curling shell,
the fingers of its artist’s hand.
This fractal leaf has its math as well.
Branches and veins both spring
from one equation da Vinci failed
to derive but did observe, his neurons
busy with more urgent discoveries,
though had he known his very breath,
his lungs, governed by those numbers,
he may have paused longer to wonder.

“Nature’s Numbers” originally appeared in Interpretations V, Columbia, MO, 2017.

Have you ever been this close to a snail? If so, what details did you notice? If not, what do you notice now? Spend time with these details, cultivate an awareness.

Why paint this snail? The light shining through and on it really grabbed my attention. It’s body and even shell were ever so slightly translucent. And then the cast shadows and highlights gave this view a lot of dimension. My personal theme, little things are big, is at the heart of the reason.


Above is a picture of it in it’s hand-made poplar frame.

I was excited to be part of my favorite show again! The pieces for the previous two years can be found at the following links:

You can watch a video slideshow progression of this piece on my YouTube channel.

Archival prints and cards can be ordered from my InPrnt shop.

See all of 2017’s paintings

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