Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Spirit of Stones


Silence is intensified into a stone:
broken circles are closed:
--Pablo Neruda, Stones from the River

The Shiva Lingam rock is the sacred stone from India and gathered once a year from the Narmada River, one of 7 sacred places of pilgrimage in India. They are naturally formed gray and tan stones with reddish markings. Since the beginning of time, men have been collecting stones with the inherent belief that many of them were vessels that hold life force energy.
The message of the lingam stone is UNITY - balancing light and dark, and uniting all aspects of self and accepting the differences in others. I have a small collection of lingam stones in the bowl above.

The stone was there before the wind,
before the man, before the dawn:
its first movement was the first
music of the river.
--- Pablo Neruda, Stones of the River

Bill Dan balances rocks on top of other rocks without any glue or adhesives. He is an artist who defies gravity with his vertical sculptures. He has been creating these rock towers for 15 years along the San Francisco shoreline. He teaches workshops and tells his students when their sculptures fall over, "Nothing is permanent. Just go along with nature."

Nina Judin is an artist who makes one of a kind books as art. She made this book using stones for the covers. THE SKIN OF STONES is an artist's book about the silent life of stones and hidden things. You can find more of her wonderful hand made books at her website and blog here.


Fiona Watson, a Scotland artist, works with real stones. She also does etchings. Her beginnings in science led to her love of nature based art works. You can find her flickr.com stream of her photos of stones and other nature based objects here. You can find her flickr.com stream of artwork here. And you can find her wonderful website here.


Sometimes I sleep, I go back
to the beginning, falling back in midair,
wafted along by my natural state
as the sleepyhead of nature
and in dreams I drift on,
waking at the feet of great stones. --Pablo Neruda

53 comments:

ALeks said...

Wonderfully beautiful!!
And my word verification is glina what means clay in my language,how spiritual!! I love this!

Teri said...

Donna--I love these stones. I have never seen these tan and reddish ones with the markings on them but they are something I wish I could find around here. I am enjoying your posts immensely. It is always so good to learn or see something that I have never seen or known before. Thanks for all the effort you put into it. Much appreciated.

Lisa said...

your piece is pure delight..so stunning!
what wonderful gifts from nature...the lingam stones are so beautiful. thanks for sharing such a lovely and inspirational post. I'm off to explore the links.

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Dear Donna,

Another wonderful, informative and masterful post!

I have always had a love affair with stone, rocks and pebbles. This Monday I returned to my cove just north of Santa Cruz where I not only gathered large pebbles for stacking and placing in the garden, but I found a perfectly heart shaped stone, my third at his place.

Now I am going to back to click on the links and see what you have selected for me to discover.

Thank you for sharing.

Warmest regards,
Egmont

Stan Kurth said...

Your piece: Beautiful as always.

Those balanced stones are remarkable. I must say that after reading this post I'm feeling somewhat stoned.

Noela Mills said...

Thanks for the definitions in your previous post, Donna. They really resonate with me.

mano said...

I love these wonderful post!!! so many artists who love stones and works with them.
And it's so funny: yesterday evening I posted photos of my pebbles and fossils on my blog and this morning I found your great images. thank you, Donna!

lyle baxter said...

what is that power that draws us to stones? your post is lovely. thanks so much for sharing your love of stones. lyle

Kathy said...

You've created a wonderful feast for the eyes and spirit. I have a graduate degree in geology, and was a geology professor for many years while also functioning as a professional artist. Your post satisfies both sides of my interests. Thank you!

ArtPropelled said...

I recently heard of lingams and was absolutely bowled over. Aren't they beautiful? .... and you have a bowl of them! They look like ceramic rocks. So intriguing. Love your Spirit of Stones piece! Enjoyed Nina Judin's link too.

dosfishes said...

What a beautiful post. The Shiva Lingham stones are something I have never seen before and the poetry of Neruda wafting through it all.

Thanks so much for sharing.

sukipoet said...

your posts are always so thoughtful and thought provoking. thank you for all the wonderful links which i will follow soon. beautiful stone collections and i adore the balanced sculptures.

Poetic Artist said...

I could stay and look all day.
I have never seen those stones from India. They are beautiful. How did you ever get such a wonderful collection..I am a soul searcher for rocks..A lesson I learned from my Dad. Thank you for this post.
Katelen

paula said...

yes those stones are truly beautiful, i'd never heard or seen!
i'm liking that little vertical area on your piece with the asian symbols the most, very delicate and intense.
all these works are fascinating, thanks for sharing these artists!

La Dolce Vita said...

a beautiful post Donna, I love reading Neruda and thanks for the Judin link I will have to check it out. Fiona Watsons work is a favorite and have you looked at Carolyn Saxby's work? she has some stone prints on Tyvek that are so beautiful... same name on blogspot I think!!

Art said...

I love Pablo Neruda, and you know I just came from the island of St. Maarten where sometimes I found the beaches had similar stackings of stones, done by some unseen person and towering up fragiley...interesting to find the tendency repeated in other places

LOVE STITCHING RED said...

Thank you so much for your comments on my pebble work. I have several sketchbooks full of work on pebbles and rocks plus design boards from studying textiles. I'm so glad to discover your beautiful blog

Carolyn Saxby

Kim Hambric said...

Thank you for sharing these wonderful artists (and your own artwork with us. A wonderful post, as usual.

Ian Foster said...

Stone, the most eternal and unchanging material in our everyday lives, it has a very powerful influence on me and probably most other people . Thank you for this.

jbkrost said...

Your work is quite peaceful and I find quite a bit of comfort in it. Along with the rest of your post
jb

Jason said...

Those lingam stones are beautiful. Did you pick them up in India...? Often I would find interesting stones along Japanese beaches. Their beauty was very simple.

Marie said...

Another great post!
I too am a collector of stones. I have containers of these small and elegant "messages from the universe". In my garden, they share their energy with fledgling new plants. (Better than 'Miracle Grow"!

merci33 said...

I just came by to walk through the beauty of your home once again (I love your art of placement so very much) and I find all of these glorious stones, balanced stones...reminding me of Andy Goldsworthy of course, bowls of stones, the linghams are stunning in their patterns and poems of stones...
such a magnificent post.
Thank you so...so...much for sharing the stone people.

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

What a wonderful post Donna. I love everything about it, your photos, the quotes, the stories...but especially your Lingam Stones. Is it possible to have stone envy?? I really love your stones! I can imagine there cool solidness being incredibly peaceful to hold.Thankyou for sharing!

Nina said...

Donna, thank you for sharing your visions and attention on stones - your blog is an oase online :) I hope you find the inspiration and time to continue your wonderful postings, I will return for more soul food shortly. Thank you also for including my work!

Coffee Messiah said...

Inspiring, all around, There's a song about Stones that I've been trying to reclaim, but the CD is hard to find. I'll have to share the song once I find it again.

Cheers!

Max the Lobster said...

wonderful stones, i have a link on my blog to Adrian Gray a stone balancer here in the UK, i always find it amazing that they aren't stuck! wonderful work.

Deborah said...

As usual, you offer much to look at and think about. I still collect stones although I haven't seen any like yours. They look so inviting to touch.

teresa stieben said...

Stone, the body of earth, the heart of all being. I often wondered why humans love to collect stones. Is it the soft coolness they emit, do we feel the heart beat that calls to our soul, or is it the color and shape that attracts the eye. Your page is a visual treat, thank you.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

What a rich post Donna. I always feel I have been given a beautiful gift when I visit your blog. Thank you.

Sharmon Davidson said...

What a wonderful post! what wonderful spirits are the stones, ancient and strong...

Sandra said...

This was such a nice post to wake up with. I'm fond of shiva stones and Neruda! So thank you! It all sat me back on track today.

Don said...

These are sooo beautiful. Thanks for the post.

Thea Schrack said...

Donna,

I want to thank you for the quote from "The Unknown Craftsman", I just got it from the library and look forward to reading it. Constantly struggling with the idea of beauty, "Is Beauty Enough"?

Mary Buek said...

There's that wonderful touch of blue again in your collage above. Love it. And I know I will look at rocks, stones, nature with new eyes, especially now that spring is ready to appear.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

First I visit and see your art, second I look at the other images and then read what you have written...at least three visits before I can react with a few simple thank yous....your spirit is one of the best parts of each visit!

Amelia said...

you always have such wonderfully inspiring and interesting works and artists here. That gravity defying artist, really is defying gravity in his work - amazing. And I am intrigued by the books as an artist's book lover too. will pop over. Sometimes I feel the urge to change the nature of what I am doing with my art-work - maybe I should given that nothing is permanent, and just go with an inner flow.

Amelia.x

herhimnbryn said...

Thankyou Donna. Such beautiful stones. I wonder at the stories of stones. The rivers that have shaped them, the breezes that have arresed them...all the time the stones wait....

herhimnbryn said...

That should have been caressed!

neva gagliano said...

wouldn't it be staggering to be walking along and come across one of bill dan's structures? they are so whimsical, like come-alive creators dancing!
thanks for all the "perks": for the love of stones, and getting to blurb!
for you, stone woman:

"LET US LOOK FOR SECRET THINGS
SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD,
ON THE BLUE SHORE OF SILENCE
OR WHERE THE STORM HAS PASSED,
RAMPAGING LIKE A TRAIN."

i'm copying this from a collage i did with stones and this quote in 2006..didn't credit the quote, but they must be our muse neruda!

Tonya Vollertsen said...

A feast for the spirit, absolutely! Love visiting here.

Laura Hegfield said...

Each work of art...the simple stones and those created from nature is an awakening to the oneness of spirit you wrote about at the beginning of this post...beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I'm so glad I stopped by this morning.

Pam said...

You know Donna, when I visit here, I get too excited to read your posts properly."Layers" is like Christmas morning as a child. Can something be too wonderful? I shall be back when I've calmed down. Only with this can I relate to when one says to a little over-excited dog "Sit"!Stay!. I'm trying!! How wonderful that there are people on the planet that make us run around in circles of happiness.xxxxx

Uschi said...

stones are the slowest beings I know,
patient and often taking a back seat
but consciously holding one in your hand you can feel the influence it may have on you:
calming, cooling......
such beauties!

Sophie Munns said...

What a wondrous post to visit late tonight when I should be in bed... it was worth it!
S

alteredbits said...

i have read this post four times in the past few days. i LOVE your newest piece and adore your stories and photos of stones. those are gorgeous! like you, i collect round stones and anything i can find that is unique in shape and colour. love the neruda quotes -- he is one of my all time favorite writers, too.

grrl + dog said...

I think I have to come back to savour

each of these artists.

Being and Andy Goldsworthy fan for ages these new faces are so eagerly anticpated.

thanks for the info on lingam stones too, I was ignorant of them assuming they were simply phallic things. So much more I see.

Seth said...

Such a fascinating story behind the Shiva Lingam rocks. Thanks for sharing. And I look forward to clicking through to all the wonderful links you provided.

oneartistjournal said...

Magnificent rocks with fascinating stories and spirit.

Karin Bartimole said...

you and these artists each pay homage to stone so poetically and perfectly... you've created a quiet peaceful space for me. thank you

Bob Towery said...

Fascinating post. Gorgeous rocks, and images of them. Funny how "rocks can be in your blood." My grandparents were serious "rock hounds." I sort of collect them too. What can someone possess or hold in their hand that is older than a rock?

mansuetude said...

so beautiful, so much balance
and its you really isn't it


i love Neruda's poetry.

thank you.

SKIZO said...

WOW