• The Spirit of Japanese Beauty and Design

  • A 3-part class on Saturday mornings
    Dates:  October 1, 8, and 22, 2016
    Time:  10:00 am -12 noon

    Teacher:  Victoria Scarlett
    Victoria’s a long time student of Japanese arts, culture, and Buddhism, has visited Japan and lived with Japanese artists for many years, and is a student of ikebana (Japanese flower arranging).  For more about Victoria, click here.

    Location: Tateuchi Community Room in Seattle's Japanese Garden (Washington Park Arboretum).  Click here for directions.

  • Japanese Garden members: $130

    Non-members of the Japanese Garden: $150 (this includes a $20 Annual Pass to the Japanese Garden, allowing access to the Japanese Garden for the 3 sessions of the class + free access for a year)

    SPACES ARE STILL AVAILABLE!  Your space in the workshop will be secured upon receipt of your registration form & check. 

    Click here for registration form

  • Are you longing to connect more deeply to nature and beauty at the time of deepening and fall colors?  This class will appeal to art and garden lovers as well as meditators.  Individuals who are energized by quiet spaces, introspection, and subtlety will especially enjoy this series.  Those with little knowledge of Japanese culture are welcome at the class. For those who are already familiar with Japanese art and aesthetics, this is an opportunity to go deeper through visual meditation and personal reflection to explore more deeply how you personally resonate with Japanese arts and aesthetics.


    When is insufficiency fulfilling? When is irregularity perfect?  Explore paradoxes like these and other compelling ideas in a three-session class investigating the roots of Japanese aesthetics, how they’re expressed in cultural forms, and what they can teach us.  The focus will be on the principles of Taoism, Shintoism, and Buddhism and how they influenced Japanese design sensibilities.  From Wabi and Sabi to the aesthetics of emptiness and asymmetry, we’ll explore a range of traditional Japanese notions of beauty that challenge Western attitudes and ideas.

    We’ll look at how Zen-related arts address the spirit, anchoring us in the present moment and opening us to change and creativity.  Our cultural touchstones will be the imagery and visual culture associated with tea ceremony, stone gardens, and brush painting.  Along the way we’ll look at traditional Japanese art forms like ceramics, flower arranging, and calligraphy—while also drawing inspiration from Japanese poetry.  The aesthetics of food presentation will also inform our explorations.  


    We’ll not only analyze the visual strategies and design found in these cultural expressions, but also seek to locate the emotional, sensual, and intuitive experiences that their aesthetics inspire.  Learn how qualities like simplicity, rusticity, and imperfection can prompt a deeper awareness of the nature of things, and offer a path toward a more serene and enjoyable life.  Explore how harmony with nature, reverence for materials and how we interact with them can be life enhancing.  

    This class in contemplative aesthetics will offer an opportunity during every session for strolling the Japanese Garden (individually or in pairs) and reflecting how you personally resonate with the themes of that day’s class.  This is a great opportunity to contemplate values you might want to incorporate into your life, work, or home.  In essence, we will go “out” to go “in.”  There will also be time for simple sharing afterwards through writing or drawing.

    Click here for a printable map and self-guided tour of the Japanese Garden.