Last Friday, a beautiful day in Portland, I visited the Japanese Garden with friends. As I sketched in the 'Dry Garden', I overheard two different tour groups. One of the tour guides said that a Zen garden always has the three elements of stone, plants, and water. Here the water was represented by the raked stones that formed concentric circles around the larger stones.
Paints aren't allowed at our Japanese Garden, so that may have been what drew my eye to the more monochromatic and linear stone patterns in the pathways.
On Sunday, I went to our family cabin and saw those same elements of stone, plants, and water repeated in the natural setting.
From my spot on the bank of the river, I could see at least three kinds of stone...
the smooth faced, broken rocks,
worn, rounded rocks,
and rough, gravelly rocks.
The summer is ending and the leaves are especially dry.
I tried something I don't usually do: I attempted a sketch of underwater rocks with six larger stones peeking above the waterline. Clearly, this needs more study next summer.
Stones, plants, and water
Elements of a Zen garden
And also, of here.