The power of a single view and a creative meditation on that view isn’t new, but that idea has been tossing around in my head for months. I thought I wanted to explore gardens and the possibility of design influence using Ando Hiroshige’s 100 views of Edo. Several of my favorites are included here.
I have long known that gardening intensifies the power of observation–just as learning how to draw does. So what could a sustained observation and the recording of one finite area yield creatively? If I just observed what’s right outside my window–a place that I have gardened in for more than 10 years–what would I learn?
For me, it’s an intriguing idea, that a small garden area that I believe I know intimately still has something more to teach me–not so much about gardening, but about creativity and how to see.
So next Monday and every Monday for the next year after that that I am able (I do travel a bit) I will record and post an observation (view) of my side garden which is much less expansive or exotic than Edo–or is it?
My garden is only 11 feet wide an approximately 45 feet long–and it is my favorite and often most neglected of my outdoor spaces. It is south facing and is bordered by my house on one side and my neighbor’s unruly and unkempt yard on the other. At each narrow end is a vaguely Moorish iron arbor–both left over from a flower show garden and there is a central path of slate recycled from a neighbor. It is, as all of my gardens seem to be, a hodge podge of leftovers and survivors.
I realize that this might be extremely uninteresting to anyone else, but the posting of the observations will insure that I follow through for a year and that I don’t get distracted by the next shiny thing as is often the case. Since this is the 21st century, I will include some images made by looking through a screen, but the observations will also include words and drawings or maybe even something else I haven’t even thought about yet–I really want to see where this leads me creatively so my only rules are those that I’ve stated–and I’m open to those morphing into something else and taking me down a new path–in fact, I hope they will.