Nestled in the foliage on the corner of First Street and Wenatchee Avenue, a contemplative yet whimsical frog invites our gaze. With a closer look, we see the lotus reflected in his eyes and grasp the meaning of Leo Osborne’s poem about his sculpture, “Lotus Seeker”:
“Flower of life
Flower of peace
Bloom in my mind
Open in my heart”
While the sculpture itself can delight us, an understanding of how it came to be can enrich and expand our experience. Here, in his words, Leo describes the creation of his peace-seeking frog:
“What inspires an artist to create? This is such a huge question; it encompasses the soul of the artist. It is my hope that I might shed light on this and what it is all about to create such a sculpture as ‘Lotus Seeker,’ the large red frog that sits atop its downtown pedestal.
“My heart is touched every spring when the frogs come up from their sleepy haunts to bring life once again to my garden pond. Evenings are graced with a symphonic chorus that can at times be so loud that you can only listen for a short time! The ‘conversations’ that go on in that pond are amazing and it takes one’s mind someplace else for a while. It is such a meditative experience. This becomes to my mind, a very Buddha- like sense of spirituality.
“But, how did ‘Lotus Seeker’ come about?
“You must realize that I LOVE FROGS and they are such an important part of the universe. The notion for this work came to me one day in mid-afternoon while I was working in the garden pond.
“I looked at the pond and on a lily pad sat one of the bigger frogs of the pond and next to him was a newly opened water lily. I stopped and pondered with the frog for a few minutes and as I became him, I saw through my mind’s eye the reflection of that water lily or lotus blossom. That was it! The moment of realization! It was the birthing of the new sculpture.
“Now, this BIG FROG gets lots of attention from children and adults alike. He has such a presence about him and helps each viewer of him ‘smile.’ This is such a grand aspect of art, that it can touch us to the soul; it can inspire us and it can bring us joy and wonder.
“My joy of creating such a work of art is added to when someone is moved by it, in whatever way, when it has touched them, and has made a difference.
“I hope you now have a greater view of the creative process of an artist and how their soul is connected to what they do and to the world in which they live, and that this will give you yet another way to look upon ‘Lotus Seeker.’ ”
Leo is also the inspired creator of “Sunrise,” Visionary,” “Coming Home,” and “Ancient Traveler.” His work is a gift to our community.
Joy Jasinek is a board member of Art on the Avenues. an organization that encoursges anyone to become involved as a volunteer or board member. She can be reached at email@example.com.