In the Studio Today... Artist's that inspire

Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Aidan with a recycled plastic boa that he helped sew.

Photo of Ryoan-ji Rock Garden in Japan

There are 15 rocks in the sand of white pebbles... but no matter where you sit, you can only see 14 rocks at any one time. They say that when you see the 15th rock, you are enlightened... I say, this is a comment on life's journey... no matter where you are, you can not see the future... so "yield to the present", as the buddhists say.

On Sunday, my son Aidan and I went to the Donna Seager gallery in San Rafael to meet Judith Selby Lang, and participate in the creation of her installation art piece, a replica of the stone garden Ryoan-ji made entirely out of recycled plastic grocery bags (for the sand), and black plastic that had washed up on our favorite dog beach in Pt. Reyes, Kehoe Beach. The Marin Arts Council awarded a grant to Judith to complete this project, and we were invited to go help out.

Aidan and I stayed but a 1/2 hour, as Aidan, now 4, was overly enthusiastic, and kept running up to Judith every time he sewed a short strip of plastic, saying, "I did it!" "Can I do another one?" He then proceeded to get tangled in the fishing wire, and ran a few laps around the gallery before we made a mad dash for the car.

I asked Judith if I could take a 50 ft garland in the works home to complete. Today, I finished the strand, which is made up of at least 100 white grocery bags cut into 4 inch wide strips. At least 3 of my neighbors donated bags to me, dropping them off in my mailbox. It was very relaxing and meditative work, both folding and cutting the bags(kind of like oragami) and then simple, repetitive sewing. Judith works as an art therapist and often does project's with seniors, and I was so excited to learn about her, and find out that we could participate too.

The final project will be on display in San Francisco, at the Civic Center Plaza, from April 14-24th to coincide with the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival.

I hope some of you will make it out there to see Judith's creation. I have thought of going there to paint the scene plein air. It is wonderful when other artist's inspire us to keep doing our own art, and remind us to take simple steps to recycle that will save the earth that we model our own art after.

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