Buried Treasure and Perception

Li Po, Quiet Night Thoughts, translation by Arthur Cooper
Li Po, translation by Arthur Cooper

Seth Apter's annual buried treasure is here. And I'm returning to a post I did on Jan 31, 2009 while I was living in Japan. At the time, I was working as an ESL Teacher and fitting art in when I could. I picked up Keri Smith's projects which I could do anywhere, anytime.

Buried Treasure
Keri Smith's 100 ideas/100 days: Challenge No. 5: Rewrite a poem that I respond to. I chose Li Po's "Quiet Night Thoughts" poem. I love his poetry and first discovered Li Po when I read an Ezra Pound translation.

For this challenge, I went to a cafe. A 25 minute walk got me to Cour Plus.

There sign board lists the cakes available for the day. Chestnut cake, Apple tart a la mode, or Kabocha pumpkin cheesecake.

I spent the afternoon with tea and cake and writing the poem below inspired by Li Po's Quiet Night Thoughts.

The sun's rays gently wake me from my dream.
The sounds outside my window remind me how far away I am from you.
I close my eyes once more and dream of home.

art journal page,  visual perception, gallery juana
art journal page,  visual perception

This past week I studied vision and perception in Cousera's Understanding the Brain course. Dr. Mason is adept at teaching such detailed and dense material in a way that is easy to comprehend and enjoyable to learn. I can tell she loves what she teaches.

It so happens that the journal prompt for ayalj was "eyes" which fit perfectly with what I was studying. I am amazed at how intricate the process of seeing and then understanding what we see is and it all happens in less than a second. The colors enter our eyes and travel a maze where they are translated, processed and as they travel to the back of our brain to become sight.

The journal page is a collage of some of the parts that make up the maze in our vision. "The visual areas of the brain are at the back of the brain. Visual information can guide actions within one-fifth of a second, but it takes about half a second for us to see an object consciously." (The Human Brain Book, by Rita Carter)
Below is a video with some fun visual illusions.

Joining sunday sketches and a year in the life of an art journal


  1. only one comment - WOW! thanks so much for this post - it's so helpful as a prompt to do art. I'm inspired by music so often my work will have a reference to a song or lyric.

  2. Lin, thanks! I agree that music is definitely a jumping off point for inspired art.

  3. Lovely poetry and artwork!
    Thank you for the inspiring prompt to rewrite a poem!

    Wonderful Buried Treasure!
    All the best,
    Mixed-Media Map Art

  4. As someone who studied the brain in grad school, I love what you did and your interpretation of the prompt. I also like the visual prompts you shared about reaction times. Great buried treasure brought back to life!

  5. I like your poem and especially your collage of the brain! Very creative buried treasure!

  6. Wonderful collage and your interpretation of the poem is quite lovely- thank you so much for sharing this Buried treasure!

  7. amazing!
    poetry is lovely too.

  8. love your poetry and the visual perception! wonderful collage!
    and the video is hilarious! the cat, oh my... and the end with the changing skulls, incredible!
    i totally enjoyed your post, thank you so much!

  9. Wonderful collage and lovely words. Happy SS.

  10. Love your very creative collage and intriquing video ~ fun for SS ~ xoxo

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  11. Such an interesting post, Juana. A buried treasure indeed. The left brain, right brain connection has always fascinated me and this post shares another aspect of our brain perceiving what we see. Quite a amazing!

    Wonderful poem and art!

    The video was amazing too...loved the cat's reaction. :)

  12. Thanks everyone for visiting! I'll be visiting your blogs through the week.

    Elizabeth, so cool that you studied the brain in grad school!

    Joanna, the cat and skulls were amazing, weren't they!

    Serena, glad to know someone else shares the same fascination!


  13. Hi, Juana! So nice to catch up with you after our travels! We go back a few days ago after a wonderful time with family and days out & about. :o) Your art work for this is truly beautiful... it has such heart, and really conveys the quality of vision and remembrance. LOVELY! Fun with the video--sweet kitty! Happy Day ((HUGS))

  14. Juana---so cool! Thanks for playing along at A year in the Life of an Art Journal, as well! :)


Post a Comment

I very much appreciate your visit and comments.

Popular Posts