My Suiseki Galleries
The suiseki in my galleries reflect a variety of aesthetic principles that help, I believe, in demonstrating the quality of what is available in the Western Hemisphere, and the excellent material that may be found with diligent searching.
Below you will find the latest entries to my galleries:
Number One Suiseki
This suiseki is, in one word — spectacular! Its textures are dynamic and very complex. Its undulating and deeply eroded surfaces are the first thing the viewer sees. I like the fact that its obvious shapes reveal more and more of themselves as one studies the textures carefully. Its silhouette suggests a massive, single-peaked mountain suiseki, or yamagata-ishi, which leads the eyes to a complex of couloirs, saddles and dihedrals; its power of suggestion brings many images and memories of times past. As a mountain climber years ago, it is easy for me to see numerous routes I could take to get to its summit. it’s a mountaineers’ dream, if full-sized. It’s amazing how such a hard mineral can look so “soft” and sensual to the eyes. During its cleaning the crevices got deeper and deeper, and numerous, very small, arches revealed themselves from under the dirt.
When I first spotted it, in about 14 inches (35.6 cms.) of water, I almost fainted! I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. I am always impressed by the power of elegant stones as potential suiseki. It’s an emotion beyond description. The two photographs below show the stone in the river, that faithful day towards the end of August, 2008, near the Oregon border.
It sits on a walnut daiza. It measures 26" wide X 12" deep X 9" high (66 X 30 X 22.8 cms.)
This is one of my Classic Suiseki. It was shown recently in the California Suiseki Society’s 15th Anniversary Show, which took place in July 2010 at Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. This distant mountain view suiseki (toyama-yamagata-ishi) is a suggestive mountain scene. The softly defined summit on the left balances well with the large sloping area on the right. The complex surface textures suggest ravines and dry waterfalls. There’s a series of depressions on the summit that represent lakes, and two caves are located just below the summit on the left. The dark and low-keyed colors of the black jade or nephrite mineral adds to the stone’s sense of mystery and depth. The satin-like patina is exquisite. This classic suiseki has softness and balance, yet it exudes power; its smoothly flowing textures and lines belie the toughness of the mineral.
The above photograph doesn't do this suiseki justice. The stone’s base is spectacularly weathered, with smooth, and heavily
textured sections. These sections blend into the base’s smooth ends. The mountain section rises dramatically from the stone’s base with tall, triangular
features. Its smoothness contrasts nicely with the dynamic. The suiseki suggests power and dynamic movements, as well as a visual complexity.
Size - 22.5 X 11 X 6.25 (57.15 X 27.9 X 16.51 cms)
Quality waterfall suiseki are hard to come by. This is an example of a very graceful suiseki. The quartz inclusions waterfalls are what the Japanese call “thin trails waterfalls” or ito-daki. What makes this suiseki powerful is its dramatic peak, just left of center. The dark mineral with excellent patina gives the stone’s overall statement one of excellence. 10 X 8 X 11 (25 X 20 X 28 cms.)
You can see more of the stones I’ve collected in the summers of 2007, 2008 and 2009 in my gallery.
Along with my Galleries I and II , I have added another gallery which I call My Classic Suiseki Gallery . It has images of my classic suiseki collected throughout the years. I believe, as many of you would agree, that we have access to terrific collecting areas in the United States, Europe and Latin America. All it takes is hard work!
I frown on showing off in exhibitions, purchased, and/or imported stones, for all that communicates are the deep pockets of the collectors and the opportunities she/he have had in purchasing material. I am not against purchasing Japanese stones, I own a number of them; the difference is that you won't see their photos on my web site nor will you see them in our Society's exhibitions. This emphasis on the economics of suiseki puts a slant on the art that reflects badly, for it has, from personal experience, intimidated beginning collectors, making them think that to have nice suiseki they must shell out a couple of thousand dollars. This doesn't have to be the case. For example, serious collectors from the East Coast regularly visit Northern California to try their luck collecting.
I am a strong believer in the praxis of the art; how the theories and concepts about the art synthesize with the process of the actual field experience and its evaluative aesthetics. Evaluating a stone in the field is a unique experience that I wish all collectors would have. It is by melding the two that we learn to become better suiseki artists. It's through actual field experience that we become true suiseki artists, and we learn how to appreciate and evaluate classic stones. The Japanese call this experience the kawara dojo, or the "classroom of the riverbank". My web site has been created by a field collector; my book was written from a field collector's perspective.