McMenamins Artist Justyn Livingston

Hello from the History Department.

Did you miss Fibonacci Day, on 11/23? Yeah, we did, too.

Below, Justyn Livingston, for whom we named a room in the Art House at Old St. Francis School in Bend, OR, explains her artistic inspiration through the teachings of mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci (ca. 1170–1250). You might already be familiar with Justyn’s art through her beautiful turquoise tilework in the hotel’s soaking pool; she designed the tiles “in the style of a Budapest bathhouse.”

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In the Artist’s Words:

“The One you are looking for is the One who is looking” is a quote attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi. It speaks to the synergy of all of life extending in opposing directions.

Visualizing this synergy led me to explore a contemporary of Saint Francis, mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci. Considered to be the most talented Western mathematician of the Middle Ages, Fibonacci decoded the equation which is nature’s numbering system, a code that appears everywhere in nature: within a cell , a grain of wheat, a hive of bees and all of mankind.

More recently, a mathematician named Benoit Mandelbrot used the Fibonacci code to create fractal geometry. Based on repeating patterns, and varying scales, it creates order from apparent disorder.

The Fibonacci sequence (the Golden Ratio) within the Mandelbrot Set (the large spiral in the painting shown) helps us see order in relative chaos and gives us a glimpse at the infinite continuum.

Painting takes me on a journey in which I get to learn; how to be present, to trust myself to be spontaneous, how not to muscle through.

It usually begins with an impulse or mark, a piece of an old painting or found object, which then begins a dialogue as I respond to that first move. The painting “comes to” on its own. I strive to remain open, to stay with the process, to resist the temptation for immediate resolution. It becomes a cathartic exploration, a softening.

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