Elizabeth F.

This was a very inspiring exercise, and had me thinking all week. For the idea of going LARGE...a high-school teacher of mine said to me once that he would like to give me a bucket of paint, a large brush, and a blank wall, and see what I could do. I had always worked small, tight, and doubtfully. He wanted to break me of that. My existing method, though, has since earned me a living as a scientific illustrator (teeny-tiny dots can build a portrait of an organism), see below:

...but such an approach does not let me go large. 3 x 3 inches is what's required for a book.

So I liked Jane's idea of combining (or not) the obsessive small with the very large. And the idea of beans really stuck with me.

Initially, I thought of making a nautilus made entirely of tiny beans. I have recently been re-reading Ann Morrow Lindberg's "Gift from the Sea," and visited this week a Boston Harbor Island, and so the nautical theme resonated. I thought about making a tiny mosaic of tiny legumes. Beautiful, black, orange, arranged regularly in a cosmic spiral.

But as I said in a previous entry, we humans have recently managed to visit Pluto, some 3 billion kilometers away! Having seen the first photos from Pluto, I decided to make a planet and go large.

Here is a planet, with its light and dark sides. The beans (lentils) fall into its valleys, much as water would (Pluto's mountains, it appears, are made of ice). I toggled together large papers, crumpled them up, stomped on them, and saw what watersheds they would make. How "godly." Water is precious to us and to all living beings. The lentils fell into place, as water would. Is it art? Is Pluto? Are we?

As far as I can tell, it is amazing that our species has traveled that far. May we travel that far within, and attain some semblance of peace and wisdom.