Charting e

$12,200.00 USD

An original watercolor piece following 2,244 digits of the irrational number, Euler's number (or e) in Isa's June garden palette. 2021.

78" x 47.25", contemporary, gray, bevelled frame.

Original watercolor on watercolor paper, framed.

When Catto's daughter brought home her interest in irrational numbers and mathematical theorems, her excitement was contagious. Her knowledge far outstrips Isa's, but she shared her fascination with transcendental numbers as a middle schooler. It is really fun to think of numbers unfurling in space, marching out beyond imagination and light. Catto also rediscovered e or Euler’s number while reading Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures. In a scene in the celebrated movie, the protagonist Katherine Johnson used Euler’s method to calculate the trajectory of John Glenn’s space capsule on a blackboard. That moment inspired her to plot the numbers of e using a color algorithm – her own take on a color trajectory. She wanted to engage numbers in a new way and found there was an architecture, a different kind of reveal, as she painted row after row of colorful geometric squares that looked like Chiclets. She found cadence in irrationality and a new correspondence with color. This particular palette was pulled from Catto's gardens in June, linking this colorful practice to her home in Woody Creek, CO.