Friday, August 22, 2008

Life coinciding with art

On my way down to Southern California, I decided to call a good friend who lives in Las Vegas. We've known each other since college and she's been there for me during some pretty rough times in my life. A wonderful person, her family has also welcomed me during the holidays for some delicious and fun festivities!

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.

A Buddha in Your Garden, mixed media on canvas, 18" x 36"

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.



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