Silver Art Jewellery  
 Grounded in Nature   

zengarden quarts stoneThis year my Art Retreat starts on a Sunday with a loosely schedule. I have a few ideas what I want to do and will see how it proceeds through the day.

The recurring start of the day is meditation at 7:00am. Today it was 20 minutes sitting still on a 15 cm high cushion in total silence. The word "gowth" was my reminder back when my mind started wandering. Although the cat paid me a visit, it went well. A habit I have is keeping a notebook ready to write down idea's or inspiration when I am finished.  

I was introduced to meditation by Ruudt Peters on his Art retreat in 2010. This year I have been following lessons with Marjon Bovens who is a meditation teacher here in my village. One of the best personal investments I have done this year. For me the purpose of meditation is to create inner peace and mindfulness, to stay focused.

After breakfast and walking the dog, the second action of the day was creating a sand drawing on the floor of my gallery. Three weeks ago I had used silver sand to connect several pedestals with ceramic work from Petra Lommen. While I tried to even out the sand, I noticed you could draw well in it. Enchanted I must have been playing for an hour before I erased all the patterns and turned it into an even island shape. It was during this play I decided to incorporate sand drawing into my retreat.

Last week, while I was researching the internet on the term sand drawing, I encountered the Japanese dry gardens. Also known as zen-garden (karesansui). Attracted to the philosophy and shapes I read on and learned that there are many patterns used to represent water. They come with beautiful names like "Aranamimon" which means "Stormy Waves" or "Seigaihamon" the name for "Blue Sea Waves". 

zengarden toolsMy drawing of Sunday started by modeling the silver sand into a rectangle beside the window and placing it before the grey panel in the back of the gallery. Like this I can use the rest of the room for the other actions I have this week. Now I had to make tools for creating the ripples. I decided on Styrofoam, easy to cut and use in the light sand.

As a start I wanted to make a very simple drawing with one big quarts stone. Around the stone I made the "Mizumon" water pattern that represents the ripples of a falling stone in the water. I was quite happy with the creation and the discipline it took to create even patterns. Every day I will create a new tool and make a different pattern to better understand what this type of garden means. These dry landscape gardens are sometimes referred to as mental gardens or mindscapes.

I like that name!

zengarden laleipsig

To give an impression of scale: the notebook is an A4 size.

More information about Zengardens: www.zen-garden.org and www.japanesegardening.org.


This is the first day of Helga's Art Residence At Home. Previous posts are:

- Summer Art Residence At Home 2017

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About La Leipsig

The jewellery which is sold under the brand name La Leipsig Jewels is based on Helga van Leipsig's observations of the nature in Limburg, a province in the south of The Netherlands.

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