December 21, 2011
January Art Exhibit at City Center

Opening reception: Friday, January 6, 6:30-8:30 pm

300 Page Street, SF

Stones and Clouds – Photographs, Paintings, Poems by Tova Green
In the City Center Art Lounge, January 1-31

Artist Statement

Watercolor image

Encounter with the Ancient One

Painting or photographing anything is a way of becoming more intimate with it—noticing shapes, forms, colors, the way light is constantly changing. Recently, as I have begun to study Dogen’s Mountains and Waters Sutra, I have paid more attention to stones and clouds, mountains and oceans, and creeks and puddles. I have become curious about their fundamental nature, and about what they teach us about ourselves.

In Mind of Clover Robert Aitken notes: “[All] things that come forth are beings that reveal the Dharma. People are beings, and so are animals and plants, stones and clouds.”

By juxtaposing images of mountains (including stones and sand) and waters (in the form of clouds, oceans, creeks and puddles) I notice the dynamic ways they interact. I am fascinated by the contrast between the constant movement of clouds and the seeming stillness of stones. Dogen said “each abiding in its condition unfolds its full potential.”

In this show I’ve included photographs from California beaches, from the Yellow Mountains in China, and from the coast of Australia.

Some of the paintings depict what I saw in nature. Other paintings arose in response to the Mountains and Waters Sutra, a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye, or to words that I heard in a talk. “Encounter with the Ancient One” emerged after hearing Marcia Lieberman speak about her recent book Being Still: Standing Stones in Wales.

I hope this exhibit invites you to explore your own relationship to stones and clouds, mountains and waters.