2008 Acrylic on canvas 30 x 40 inches
“Life One” is an original, signed acrylic painting on canvas by artist Michael Arnold. I don’t pretend to know or understand how life formed around us; whether through spontaneous generation, omne vivum ex ovo (everything living from an egg) or intelligent design. My painting, in fact, could be interpreted as all three; I’ll leave that to the viewer to decide. Instead, I’ll talk about how I created “Life One.” First I picked a focal point and began drawing random diagonals through the focal point. Once I had covered the canvas in diagonals, I alternately painted the spaces formed by the diagonals in watered down magenta and green. I chose those two colors because I felt they would recede and make the yellows, oranges and reds pop more once they were painted over them. Then using a white colored pencil I freehand sketched the approximation of the Fibonacci Spiral beginning at the focal point. I then began drawing amorphous shapes following the outline of the spiral. Once the drawing was complete I began painting in two shades of yellows, two shades of oranges and a shade of red. I chose their placement by feel with no real plan of where each color would end up. I built up a half dozen layers of paint through glazes before mixing thicker layers of paint to create the shadows and highlights for the shapes.