After painting my initial “Schooling Fish” from an actual photo, I was fascinated to learn more about this phenomenon and to also see other similar photos. In my research, I discovered “the Fibonacci Numbers”. Wow did that blow my mind! This simple pattern of numbers was discovered by a man born in the 1100’s called Leonardo of Pisa (aka Fibonacci) and the numbers explain a great many biological phenomena including the spiral of a nautilus shell, the unfurling of a fern frond, the arrangement of a pine cone, the seeds in a sunflower and even the ratios of the bones of the human body and structure of our face. The sequence is as follows…can you work out the pattern?

0,\;1,\;1,\;2,\;3,\;5,\;8,\;13,\;21,\;34,\;55,\;89,\;144,\; \ldots\;infinity

Leonardo Da Vinci had a very good grasp (major understatement here) of this concept and the Fibonacci ratios (derived from the above series) were used religiously in his art. Even though we may spend most or all of our lives completely unaware of this mathematical magic, we  likely instinctively recognise and simply see the underlying ratios as beauty or as “pleasing to the eye”. Interestingly, it has been found that a large proportion of models possess faces that conform to the Fibonacci Ratios.

Anyway, I don’t want to go on about this too much, I just wanted to mention Fibonacci because I felt, well, cheated that it wasn’t taught   at school both in Maths and Art.  I was good at Math but I’m sure I would have enjoyed it even more if I had understood the strong numerical connections to nature, art and even architecture.

In discovering this gem of knowledge in my quest for more swirling fish, I decided to paint schooling fish in a Fibonacci Spiral. So here it is, my Fibonacci Fish.


Finally, if your knowledge buds are tempted and you would like to find more about Fibonacci than my little nutshell explanation, there is plenty of information on the internet. However, if you don’t want to get bogged down in algorithms,  I found a great blog that goes into far more detail than me but not so much that you need a degree in Mathematics. Have a look, you’ll see some great examples. You wont regret it!

By the way, once I discovered Fibonacci, I was distracted from my schooling fish knowledge search…I’ll get back to it soon!