The cover painting is a Japanese classic, and we were impressed with the economy and emotion in it. I can’t remember which of us came up with the idea to set it off with that bright orange. I do recall thinking we wanted the orange to be the orange of a Buddhist monk’s robe. And the circle thing on the labels is meant to suggest the common “zen circle” figure of ensō (which–wait for it–is just a simple manifestation of sumi-e…whereas the cover art is a sophisticated manifestation of same).
The etchings (or drawings, maybe) by Jan Wandelaar are the exact opposite of sumi-e–intensely detailed, with humor in the depiction of Clara the rhino in the background. The contrast was appealing, but something about the intense detail makes them match up with the cover art emotionally. And tonally, the material was similar as well. Finally…the record deals with both the fleeting nature of time (and capturing moments, as one does in watercolor painting or meditation) and the hard physical reality of our bodily selves and the world in which we live. – Tim Midyett