Lobster Gut is a narrow passage for small vessels,
between Friendship Long Island and Little Morse Island in Muscongus
Bay, Maine. My paintings seek to capture the complexity of the
narrow, southwest, trending islands and their variety of colors.
The islands have forests of conifer and deciduous trees and small
mowed and unmowed fields. This combination offers colors from pale
yellow to dark green.
The shores of the islands are intricate. One sees stretches of
buff sand, blue-gray mud flats, seaweed beds, tumbled and fractured
and sea washed ledges. The color of the water sheet varies considerably
when viewed from the air. Immediately below are the dark blue-greens,
while closer to the shore, are the light blues tending toward transparency
the shallows. Most surprisingly are the water colors of pink,
violet and mauve seen on the far
side of Friendship Long Island, in the afternoon light.
To depict this complexity, I made a sculpture. Two identical square,
open-ended tubes were made to intersect. The
have a width
to height ratio of 1 to 1.618, a golden rectangle. The horizontal
tube passes through the midpoint of the vertical tube on the diagonal.
The faces of each tube are subdivided into a square and a golden
rectangle. The golden rectangle is further subdivided into a square
and a golden rectangle. This subdivision repeats until eight squares
are depicted spiralling concentrically to a small rectangle, colored
Within the tubes are rectangular rods which have right angle bends
at the midpoint, and span between adjacent walls. The size and
location of the rods correspond exactly to the four smallest squares
on the tubes, which are the eyes of the spirals. Each tube has
two rods which are parallel but of opposite hand. To more fully
sculpture's interior, triangular sections of tube wall have been
omitted in a regular pattern.
The walls of the tubes correspond to the land and to the water.
The rods correspond to the links between land and water. The links
are sand, rocks, seaweed and ledges. The sculpture was integral
to develop the paintings. By viewing the sculpture from
each side, I was able to yield a series of paintings. Additionally,
by photographing the sculpture in bright light, the shadows were
Malcolm Montague Davis