“If you look at walls that are stained or made of different kinds of stones and imagine some kind of scene, you begin to see them as creating a setting and you can think you see in them certain picturesque views of mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, broad valleys, and hills of different shapes. You can also find in them battles and rapidly moving figures , strange faces and costumes, as well as an infinite number of things you could reduce to a clear and complete form.

And all that appears confusedly on walls is very like the vibration of bells: you can hear in their ringing all the sounds or words you want to imagine.” – Leonardo da Vinci 1492

“The vision the eye records is always impoverished and uncertain. Imagination fills it out with the treasures of memory and knowledge, with all that is put at its disposal by experience, culture, and history, not to mention what the imagination itself may invent or dream. So the imagination is never at a loss when it comes to making something rich and compelling out of a subject that might almost seem an absence of all life and significance.” – Roger Caillois, The Writing of Stones, 1970

“I address this book about rock books to people who have been denied the advantage of knowing the fate of all men on Earth. Rock books describe a way out of this uncertain world which was used by total populations of Earth in the past. It is just possible we may need the guidance and information thus provided, since men seem to have the ability to transform what was once paradise into an approaching hell…

“If you recall the story, the one-eyed man died trying to climb out of the valley of the blind, to save his one eye. They were going to put it out, to cure him of his wild idea that there was such a thing as sight...

There are mountains of rock books, containing surface engravings as plain as on any coin. That is the real story of blindness-that engraving has never been noticed by any of our antiquarians because they never looked at a mere rock for anything but arrowheads and stone axes.” – Richard S. Shaver, The Ancient Earth – It’s Story in Stone , 1975

“We are at the heart of the world of the visionaries, the surrealists, a supernatural, disturbed world brusquely revealed in an actuality of nature. Today’s masters have not done better, even haunted as they are by the same play of paradox and surprise. Here we have geometry and abstraction decomposing and recomposing the shapes of life, forms pure and of themselves.” – Jurgis Baltrusaitis, Aberrations: An Essay in the Legend of Forms , 1983


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Cindy Bernard, Topography: Wild Horse Picture Jasper #9 (Detail 1). 1995
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Cindy Bernard, Topography: Oregon Moss Agate #3 (Detail 1). 1995
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Cindy Bernard, from Topographies
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Cindy Bernard, Topography: Dry Head Agate #2 (Detail 1). 1995
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Cindy Bernard, Topography: Dry Head Agate #9 (Detail 1). 1995
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Cindy Bernard, Topography: Crazy Lace Agate #4 (Detail 1). 1995