Friday, May 20, 2016

The Rock Poem

This poem was sent to me from my friend, Martha Casselman.It was apparently written by a young person named Celeste (and don't know if it is her niece, grand daughter or whomever) but it is a very endearing poem, nonetheless.Martha appreciates creative excellence wherever she finds it.About a month ago, she hosted a wonderful party for local artists.Some of her friends are accomplished artists, others a just friends who appreciate the arts.We are fortunate to have a person like Martha as part of our community here in Calistoga.

Monday, May 9, 2016

This Week's Rock

Here we have a rock that is what one might call state of the art. It has a "Blingy" holographic disc in the center, and high grade luminous paint around the outside.Being that the rock is painted white with a thin veneer of interference green, one would think that the glowing paint turns all green when set aglow.Nope. It features blue,orange and then green glowing highlights in the pitch darkness (see second pic below). This is the same rock as the one above it!

Something I've added on the other side is what seemingly looks like nothing, except that invisible ink and has been used to create a design that is not viewable except under a black light.Now,how cool is that? See these fabulous rocks on display next time you visit the Farmer's Market.


In Pitch Darkness

Under a Blacklight

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

This Week's Rock

This week's rock is a simple motif featuring a silver butterfly in the middle of a dark blue background. This week I've been experimenting with Gelly pens that come in many colors and styles...glitter, metallic etc. I went ahead and purchased several florescent colors, which are used on this rock to accent the area surrounding the butterfly's blue background. These pens will smear on the surface of the rock if they are not clear-coated with a UV Krylon Spray. However,after that is applied, the results look spectacular under a black light. The symbol of the butterfly is a popular one during the Easter Season, as it represents transformation, freedom and redemption.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Rock that awaits

This Rock is what will greet you on the beach at Russian Gulch. I have fond memories already, of climbing up the rock and sitting on it and looking out at the ocean.It has been a presence there throughout the year.Perhaps it was always there.Perhaps even before the continental shelf was formed.One time, their was a rock found nearby that was shaped like a heart (see below).My friend Tina took a picture of me sitting with this held in my hand happily upon the big rock. The heart rock was left on that spot because it belonged there.

Plain and simple.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Labyrinth

Yesterday, I met with my friend Marnie Cunningham.We worked together at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St.Helena.She is a very warm-hearted person who is known and loved by many people in the town of St. Helena where she lives.Marnie and I have stayed in touch over the years and she has recently moved on from her position as Concierge at the C.I.A.

Well, yesterday we met for coffee and afterwards went down the street to the Episcopal church where a new Labyrinth had been constructed.It was about three in the afternoon when we set out to "walk the path" of this entire maze which lay before us.All in all, it took about 20 minutes(I am guessing, because the experience of time took on a curious point of focus for the both of us)

Then after we had traversed the path to completion, we reflected on what it meant to do this exercise.Interestingly, we both agreed that it felt spiritual and significant in a way that was not easy to articulate.She remarked that it was a good thing that I was wearing my "Spirit Rock" pendant, which I always seem to have on. Not thinking too much about it,I came to realize that I had one very similar one in my car which would be a perfect gift for Marnie.

She accepted it graciously and it now represents a certain spiritual bond that we both can share. I am truly grateful for our time as co-workers, but more importantly, our time spent as friends.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Reflections about the Blarney Stone

Erin go braugh, and Happy St. Patty's day! Being Irish as the day is long, I felt it was appropriate to post a little green Irish rock.We could call it the "Blarney Stone"but that name is already taken. The original Blarney Stone is on the uppermost level of the Blarney castle in County Cork, Ireland. It is said that the "Kissing the Blarney Stone" provides one with the "Gift of Eloquence." It's powers are unquestioned but its story still creates debate.

Once upon a time, visitors had to be held by the ankles and lowered head first over the battlements. Today, the locals are more cautious of the safety of it's visitors. The Stone itself is still set in the wall below the battlements. To kiss it, one has to lean backwards (holding on to an iron railing) from the parapet walk.Some claim that this was the same stone that gushed water when struck by Moses. Some say it was Jacob's Pillow, brought to Ireland by the prophet Jeremiah.Here it became the Lia Fail or "Fatal Stone", used as an oracular throne of Irish kings.

Others say that the stone was brought back to Ireland during the Crusades,and was the deathbed pillow of St. Columba.Legend also says it served as having the prophetic power of royal succession (i.e.the Stone of Destiny)

Below are pictures of the Blarney stone and below that,the little green rock painted to celebrate the feast day of St.Patrick. A four-leafed clover would not be appropriate, even though most people search for these items to bring them good luck.The three-leafed shamrock however, is a symbol of the Blessed Trinity which was explained to be the three manifestations of the one God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).Allegedly by St.Patrick

So, after reading all this, Did you wear your green today, or did you get pinched by a mischievious leprechaun? Remember to wear green and kept my eye out for those pesky leprechauns who may surprise you when your least expect it!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

In like a lamb...

It is only March 3rd, and already we have storms backed up in the Pacific.This is a good thing of course, because our water resources here in California are in much need of replenishing.It has made it difficult for me though because when I go to the beach to collect rocks to paint,their seems to be a river that blocks access to the beach which ironically, usually is dry or easy to cross.Timing is essential when going to this particular beach where I get these rocks because rain or shine, one never knows when the river will be too deep to cross.You can bet though, that by July it will all be dry.

This weeks rock(s) are some I am preparing for Saturday's Market. These are all designs that have come to me in the past with slight variances in design.So,this week you get more than you perhaps expected.I've all three viewing states to give you an idea of what the rocks look like under a blacklight, lights out and in normal lighting.

Friday, February 26, 2016

This week's rock of the week

I have been playing around in Photoshop and have discovered how easy it is to modify images to make them look superior.First, I scan the rock I want to present, then I scan a background (in this case, a silky blue piece of fabric). Then, I twist the fabric and wrap a rubber band around it and place it on the scanner in such a way that it's folds are pointed toward the center.In Photoshop, I put the rock on a separate layer as I use a filter to twirl the fabric in the background.After this is done, I work on adding drop shadows,highlights and a bevel to bring the rock into prominence.Lastly, I use the hue and saturation tool to change the colors on the silky background.You like?

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Rock of the Week

Okay, so I've been lazy about posting the rock of the week. It's not honest when I update the blog every three or four weeks. and then call what I post," The Rock of the Week". Sometimes I don't scan the rocks, or even take a quick pic of them with my Iphone. Like anyone, i like to put my best foot forward, and some weeks go by where I don't have a nice rock to post.Besides this,my work schedule has increased and I've added another Market. Sebastopol on Sundays has proven to be a good market, but I've also had to keep production up without sacrificing quality.I hope that you would agree that my artistic sensibilities are still in tact.Perhaps the rock picture below is a testament to that.It is a composite of images that I put together in Photoshop to showcase an image I would like to see on a poster.