So we were thrilled when we found out that we were both going to be in Southern California at the same time! I was probably the more excited, because my friend had just given birth a few months ago and now I had the opportunity to see her baby.
We agreed to meet at The Huntington and it was beautiful there--the last time I was at the Huntington, they were still building the Conservatory and I don't even remember plans for a Chinese garden! But they were completed and what a treat. The Conservatory actually housed rainforest, cloud, and bog habitat exhibits that won the grand prize in 2007 for American museum exhibits.
Along for the stroll was my friend's mother, whom I always enjoy seeing. We talked about psychology (she was a psychologist before becoming a kindergarten teacher), art, life in general. Wonderful conversation for a lovely afternoon!
When we entered the Chinese garden, or Garden of Flowing Fragrance (its official name), I was delighted to see a scene similar to one I had painted earlier!
That's a maple in the foreground.
In a Chinese garden, multiple views of the garden are framed by doorways such as the moon gate or by ornately carved window frames. It's a kaleidoscope effect, seeing a single garden through various perspectives, which also promotes relaxation and contemplation.
Of course, being the philosophical type, I wondered what framed our view on life or take on certain experiences--and what would happen if we were to shift and look at the same scene for a while, through a different lens.