Tag Archives: pink stones

Work in progress – Steady as a Rock!

August 23, 2010

Quarter Past the Hour

Finally, progress. I began this piece some time ago, and got stuck…. then distracted, producing postcards for the museum.
That aside, I realized I was missing something very important – studio time at the beach. I have had beach time, with family, with friends, with other’s families, with children… and no just “being” alone, creative play time. It is different. I have re-discovered that sometimes I like to be alone, to experiment, to observe, to listen, to “play”, to observe and play w/ the relationships of colors and shapes and allow and accept the guidance of the now.
So, here (above) is a teaser of that piece I was “stuck” on. Started weeks ago, left undisturbed on a public beach, over the past 3 days it has evolved. It may be finished. I will decide this week. This teaser is just a small portion of it.

A full beautiful day, 7-8 hours of uninterrupted time, gathering, building shooting – inspired 3 other peripheral pieces and encountered a visitor… see “Today’s Image” to meet the beautiful visitor!
New works in progress:

Simple Balance - Stable & Grounded

Balancing Act

Balancing Act 2

And reaching a new pinnacle:
Taking wind into consideration, balance is pivotal....

Reaching a New Pinnacle

So three days of just being me, doing what I love. For the rock towers, there are many words, “cairns” = markers along the way. They have been built since the beginning of time, to mark paths, road crossings, give directions, leave a message. The Ojibwe word for them is “Inooksook.” Fun to say – In-nook-sook.
Such simple beauty in these stones. I love finding the “right” ones, fitting them together, finding the balance points, laughing when they fall, failing often, color coordinating them. With such a huge supply, it sometimes takes many journeys to and fro to find the best fits, flat, round, right thickness, color, patterns.
I would LOVE to do these as garden installations or gallery installations! I will probably bring these home… It’s a long haul, and worth it!

I do hope you enjoy these visits to the Studio… And a note to those who have posted comments – I try to respond when I am able. Working in town has cut deeply into my time, and know that your comments, suggestions, inspirations are all read and appreciated!

Stones Speak when we take time to listen –
Now 200 more images to edit! It was a fabulous 2 days! Felt like a 2 week vacation. May your days be filled with JOY and Dancing!
Be back sooner,
~ Betsy

Say Yes!


Saying yes is easy… Yes!

Yes to Joy, Yes to dancing on the beach in sunlight…Yes, to moonlight… How could one possibly say “No” to the moon, the stars, the rain, the wind… and what good would that do anyway?
“How”? We ask… How do I? How can we?
What if the sun asked “How do I shine?” or “How can I possibly shine this morning? I was up all night!” The sun says “yes”, every single day. The moon says “yes” every night.
We don’t always see them, and yet, they are there. Always saying YES!
Thank you Sun, Thank you Moon, for shining your light on countless people over countless days. We count on light, let us not take this for granted.
I am grateful for simple things. Yes!

Have a miraculous day, saying Yes to miracles!

~Betsy Lewis


Love from Lake Superior

Love has no boundaries...

Love has no boundaries...


StarBear interviews Artist, Betsy Lewis

(Bear) What kind of “Art” is this?
It is art from the environment, made with what is/was at hand. It is the “original” art form, people using material in their environment to express an idea, thought or feeling without words. Visual art.

(Bear) Why do you do stuff, art, like this?
It started as a little gift for my sister, 400 miles away and ill, to cheer her up, find a way to tell her how much I love her, a way to deal with her illness from so far away, a way to deal with sadness, loss, not feeling good about feeling sad, then it became more… a way to share the JOY in life… in my life with others. It made me happy. It just grew into something that I had to share with others outside of my immediate family! Why do I do “art?” Love! Joy! Sharing!

(Bear)How many stones are in it?
Over 100 full canvas book bags (each bag weighing about 35 pounds when full) so my best guess-timate is, oh, maybe, a ton and a half. As I worked, each stone, large or small became reminder of all the people I love… people I know, who are in my life, those who have left, those who taught me, loved me and those not yet known. We are all connected. I don’t know how many stones are in it, a lot, and I had a spiritual, loving, encounter with each one. The variety of stones is similar to the people in my life, large, small, rough, smooth, bright, light, dark…. it takes them all fitting together, somehow, to make a whole heart. Each one has it’s own special place in the heart, and it’s own story to tell.

(Bear) Is this like a… a Heart of Stone?
Well, Yes and No.
The “yes” part: In the physical universe, it is made of individually and randomly selected pink pieces of smooth rock…granite, agate, mica, sandstone, and God only knows what else! I’m an artist, not a geologist, Ms. Bear. I only know they are old, beautiful, and have spent eons being washed and tumbled by waves and scrubbed by sand.
The “no” part: The heart is a universal symbol of love. Pink represents the life and lifeblood of all living creatures, past, present, future. Up close, the colors of this heart range from nearly white to deep red and include orange and purple, peach and lavender, light and dark stones. They were there, in the sand, little spirits waiting to be noticed. Many of them said “Take me, take, me!” “Notice me!” “helloooo!” “I want to play, too!” or “Hey! What about me?”
Some said nothing, just resting quietly, pale rocks in pale sand, waiting patiently, subtly. There were some who said, “If you choose me, I will fit wherever I’m needed,” or “I’ll help you build this up.” Each stone has/had a message… and many taught me to worry less, work harder, to feel good, to be silly, and playful. Funny little (or big) Spirits, Ms. Bear, like you and everyone else can be!
When they all were in place I saw that, Love, this heart, cannot be broken… it is made up of so many pieces, always changing, moving, new pieces added, some may be carried off by strangers, or hopefully by children! The rocks say add to this heart, take some with you, we are participatory public art. It is in ongoing flux.

(Bear)How long did it take you to build it?
At first, the better part of 3 weeks… I started July 31st, 2009. Working full-time it might have taken a week to locate, carry, then place and fit all pinkish stones/rocks. I completed it (I thought) on August 17th. After several days, I saw that more rocks were needed to build it up, make it higher, as sand, shifting from high west winds began to bury it. Then later, I had to wait for rain and wind to do their work, erasing footprints.
I am now waiting for a rainy day to photograph it wet. The intensity of the colors increase when the stone is wet. They shine, they become even more brilliant and lively.
Also, I am scheduling friends to help carry an eight-foot ladder through the woods to this beach to shoot a more aerial view.

(Bear) Will it ever be finished?
Probably not…
People are leaving notes written in the sand around it. It’s now becoming a way to communicate “hello, is someone there?” “I love…” for others.
More rocks were added this week… for DIsnowshoe and his wife; for a newly born child: Shaw Mitchell; visiting friends, Jim, and then he added one for his wife, Mary… and so the heart grows! I added some more for special friends and told them there was a piece of love in my heart, just for them. Shall we add a “Bear” stone for you?

((Bear) You would do that… for me?
Of course! All you have to do is ask!

(Bear) How big is this heart?
Over 6 x 6 feet… I am 5 feet tall and it’s bigger than you and me, Bear.

(Bear) How long will the heart last?
Physically? In this form? Who knows? – as long as it does. When Superior’s storms wash sand over it this fall, it may disappear completely. Or maybe the waves will roll all the stones back into the lake and carry them to another beach, or deep into itself, or maybe someone will come along and take them all to build something else.

(Bear) You don’t care if it disappears?
It will not disappear. The energy in those rocks is as old as God. The spirits in those rocks is just as old. The love and care put into joining them together was from…not me, an inspiration, being inspired to make a little I love you to and from God for my sister. I was just the human carrier, laughing at how much joy there was in being a prisoner, yes, a prisoner moving rocks, imagining a chain gang moving rocks. I was/am never alone in a labor of love.
If the rocks go somewhere else, they will carry the spirit of love with them. They will probably disperse in a storm, be gone by Spring. We’ll see when the snow melts won’t we, Bear?

(Bear) How will you make money on this kind of project? People don’t buy disappearing art do they?
Oh, Bear, you are funny! I don’t know if anyone will buy it…. it would take many loads and a big truck to move it… and a lot of friends carrying rocks to get them to the truck! And you can’t drive motorized vehicles on the beach ~ (actually a Bear can’t drive anywhere! LOL) Maybe someone will buy one rock? Maybe someone will buy a photo. I don’t think this heart, in it’s current physical form on the beach is for sale, it may be physically too large, too heavy. One cannot put a price on Spirit, Inspiration, can they? Hey Bear! When you are finished with this interview, would you please call ALL of your friends and mine to see if they would each help carry a few stones off the beach, before winter, so we can deliver this heart to somewhere that needs a little love?

Namaste ~
copyright 2009 Betsy Lewis