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Ocean Sprouts

37.5" x 32"



  • The green color of a leaf is the color of life. Likewise, yellow leaves are associated with the end of life or the passage of time.

  • Each little leaf is a retort, filled with sun and water, a tiny lab where the green molecules of life are produced through a complex chain of transformations.

  • Every living thing is born of the boundless ocean.

  • According to one Mesopotamian myth, life starts not only in the ocean, but in the blending of ocean salt water with fresh water from the world's rivers.

The leaf – like a multicolored butterfly emerging from a dull chrysalis – undergoes metamorphosis. Houses and whole cities sprout from it, animals wander across its fields, bridges are constructed to connect its parts, and by floating down along the current of the river-stem one can reach the ocean.

Finally, we can fathom the painting's structure, as conceived by the artist. It looks like this 1,000-year-old leaf fell from the branches of the great World Tree. The World Tree is that symbol of the universe found in the myths of peoples around the world. The painting's overall greenish-brown or "wood" color has a purpose!

Within a tree, the vital currents of each leaf converge in the current flowing along its trunk. All great things start with small things, and this is true of a confluence of little streams creating one powerful flow that is the River of Life.

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