Sunday, December 6, 2015


This is a word that I have had to revisit many times throughout my life.A woman at the Farmer's Market remarked last Saturday, "My,but you must have a lot of PATIENCE to do what you do".The truth is that I don't.The work I do affords me an opportunity to learn about this virtue called PATIENCE.

The materials I use, the brushes, the drying time, the integrity of the design all play into it.My business card says "Artist" but that is just a title (and one that is difficult to accept at times)

These are demanding times and many distractions will tug at our quest for Serenity and Peace of mind. Waiting,Focusing,Listening,Appreciating,Remembering and Prayer are all acquired through practice.Hearing how others acquire these skills as practices inspires each of us, if we allow them in. Stilling the mind and getting quiet before that first cup of coffee in the morning is a start.

Being a conscientious driver is another practice that requires a stilling of the mind.Either those around me are going too slow or they are obviously driving too fast if they are on my tail going just above the speed limit.PATIENCE for the most part, is just remembering to be gentle with oneself.This week's rock required a bit of patience on my part. I was in the "Zone" as they say, and it was a joy producing this result.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Frosty Mornings

Today will be cold as my car gets warm before heading over the hill to do the Farmer's Market in Sebastopol.Anyone can have nice time with the folks in Sonoma county they welcome all visitors near and far.The market is usually good, but it is a little unappealing to get up at 6am and leave by 7am to get there.The night before,it is certain that everything is packed and ready to go.The rocks that are packed are the most recent ones that have been painted, so it feels good to have only the best to show.Below are the rocks that are ready to be presented.If you are in the area, come by to say hello.It is always great to talk with my peeps! Just be sure to bundle up before you head out the door.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Spiritual Materialism

Just like many of us in our Western culture, I clamor for more things, I'll admit it.The things that entice me are art supplies.It's important to have a lot of resources to draw from to paint and enhance river rocks. The important thing to remember is that these things are used to put together the most beautiful, visually appealing rocks EVER!

When I began this journey it was all about appreciating the beauty in God's kingdom here on earth (and still is, for that matter). Beauty can be found in the many wonders we enjoy here.Rocks represent many things to me.As a kid, The many rocks I collected on the beach made me feel abundantly rich as I piled them up on top of one another.The weight, the smoothness, the shape, color and texture are intriguing to say the least.

Today, they are also symbols not only of prosperity, solidity, faithfulness and a host of other qualities, but a THING by which one can use for reflecting on these particular traits.

Rocks communicate security and strength to me personally.When I am feeling insecure, I hold a rock in my hand and imagine that God's protection and care are all around me. This has served me well to this day.I pray that I may not be overwhelmed by material things of earth, but to realize the spiritual nature which is at the core of everything in the universe.

Friday, November 6, 2015


It is amazing how after five years, I've still been able to come up with some unique designs on such a small canvas. My largest rock hasn't been larger than eight inches across. Most of them are between two and three inches.I have experimented with both luminescent and florescent paint. The hardest part of the painting is keeping the nozzles on the squeeze bottles from clogging up.Coming up with the designs is not usually my biggest challenge.Pretty soon the Holiday Gift Show will be coming to the Fairgrounds. Unfortunately I won't be able to participate this year because I don't have anyone to cover the Farmer's Market which occurs on the same day.Today I have been working on a whole new batch of rocks which will be showcased at the Market tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Rock of the Week

This week's rock is one that is an experiment using some paint pens that I found in an art store. These are florescent pens that I can use for detail and pointillistic designs. I enjoy the rainbow effect that has been created here and am equally impressed with this rock under a blacklight. It is stunning!

Many times a blacklight has been recommended for people to view the rocks, because florescent paint will not glow in the dark. Phosphorescent paint will.Both are used for a specific effect. Florescent paint is very bright and almost appears radioactive under a blacklight.These painted rocks are best seen that way, mainly because one will still be able to appreciate the overall enhanced color.It is incidental that parts of the rock will continue to glow after the lights ( be they blacklight or incandescent) have been turned off.

The medium I choose is meant to enhance the overall design under three or four completely separate states... Natural light, Black light, Phosphorescent emitted light and blacklight with 3-D glasses.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Eye Flower

I pulled out all the stops when I made this one.Metallic fluorescent colors aren't always as brilliant as you might expect under regular light.I have used a burnt orange and citrine acrylic as the base colors for this rock. I have embellished it with a small mandala and have detailed small areas with phosphorescent paint which augments the color shift under the black light.The image looks much like an eye, even though their was no intention of that when it was painted.Focus is one of the qualities that I intended to engender with this particular stone.When it is held and looked at in the dark. Nothing comes close to the color variations that occur under a black light.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Rock of the Week

This weeks Rock is of a Hindu symbol for "OM" which is the universal sound and diving chant in the practice of Yoga. Although I am not a Yoga practitioner myself, I like the calligraphy of this image and wanted to paint it on a rock.It also can be viewed very nicely in the dark, which can imply serenity and peace.The image is seen a lot nowadays, because many Yoga studios have it posted as an iconic piece.It is no doubt that Yoga is having a positive effect on those who have begun practicing the morning "Asanas" or poses as they begin their day.I salute any form of physical or spiritual program that enhances the quality of one's life, and the lives of those around them.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Assuaging Grief

Today we have learned that the Valley Fire is 35% contained and that in spite of a much needed rain shower, the weekend is stacking up to be a hot one again.The evacuees are still camping out at the fairgrounds and the community has grown more organized by the hour.One must go on... without paying too much mind to what has occurred. The stages of grief are arrived at quickly or slowly depending on how much you have taken in. These volunteers who have given of themselves, are learning important lessons about community and organization.We are all in this together, and we'll ultimately see how this whole tragedy plays out.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Rock of the Week

The rock I have to show this week is of a "Luna Moth". When I first saw this, it resembled some of the most beautiful Lepidoptera one would come across. My friend Ron said that I should look it up on Google and to see if it would be possible to recreate this image on a rock.(the top pic is the result).

When I was a young man at Art school, it seemed that their were many ways to depict an object. One was through form, the other through structure, or even through color. We would know how to paint an apple it was assumed, by painting it either red or green.It would also in all likelihood, have a stem and be approximately three to four inches high. These considerations were not untrue, but only revealed part of a general idea of an apple.Apples can be a deep color of red with yellow highlights and specks of green. Apples can be short and squat, or large and round at the top.

Well, as you might guess, Moths and butterflies have far reaching descriptions regarding their extensive variety of shapes, sizes and colors.This large moth for instance, showed up at the door to my apartment.This is not a luna moth, but another grandiose creature whose identity took me a while to locate.

This creature was fascinating, and if my research is correct, it is a male polythemus (apparently the male have the plumed antennae).It is certainly not a Luna Moth, because the color is wrong, and although this one has a feathery 'plumose' it does not have the long tail or teal green color of a Luna.

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Rock of the Week

This weeks rock is known as "The Spinner".It is a rock that has a clear, plastic half-sphere bobble on the bottom that acts as an axis on which the rock spins. I painted yellow,glowing dots on top which display a cool hypnotic effect when the rock is spun on a level table top. More of these type of rocks are on display at the Farmer's Market in Calistoga.

Friday, August 7, 2015

This Week's Rock

Okay, I admit that this image has been spruced up a bit.The original rock and background were brought into Photoshop. The scan of the rock is in front of an abstract picture that was drawn using colored pencil some time ago. The rock is actually blue,but has been changed to purple to compliment the blue background. I also added a halo around the rock to give it some sort of mystical appeal.The textured frame is also a modification that keeps the whole image prominent.

This week some new rocks have have been painted with a different feel to them. They are not so concentric as rocks from the past. Finding a new direction for these creative pursuits has been challenging both in time and inspiration. Meditation is probably the best solution for this.To take a mini vacations or do something entirely different helps to break up the monotony that sets in at times. This is a strategy that can bring about balance in my life. Excuse me while I breathe.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Rock of the Week

This week's rock is what would be called a signature piece. It's been named "The Ribbon Rock" because the interference acrylic that is used on the rock looks like an interwoven, silky ribbon. The image was brought into Photoshop and given a silver background using commercial tin foil that was scanned, pinched and modified using a standard filter.I also scanned some bubble wrap and created an oval frame to add to this piece.The whole picture will eventually be enlarged and sent to a local printer to create an 18" X 24" Poster.

The Farmer's Market has been busy as usual, and it has been great seeing some of the regulars who come by to visit.It is guaranteed that their will be a fresh batch of Spirit Rocks there for your enjoyment. As of this writing (July 29th), as many as twenty new rocks have been added to the collection. Come check it our!

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Rock of the week

This rock is what I would call a mandala rock;In a way it somewhat represents a sort of Buddhist interpretation of the Wheel of life and what I understand to be the eight-fold path.The middle of the rock has sixteen circles which rotate around an inner circle that definitely looks like a wheel. This was not drawn by myself, it is a sticker which was printed. I covered the whole rock with a thick,clear coat of acrylic to protect the image. the only painting that was done was the rock itself and that which surrounds the medallion.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Moving to 3-D

Painting on Rocks with variations of the color orange will bring images forward, especially if they are on a green or blue background. The fish I am displaying here are really fun to look at with a pair of 3-D glasses. It will be as if the fish is floating on top of the rock. I intentionally added seaweed both in front of; and behind the fish. This enhances the illusion of depth.Goldfish are one of my favorite motifs. They are so graceful and beautiful to watch,particularly when looking at them from above in a coy pond. I may have future images from that perspective.The Russian Orthodox Church here in Calistoga has a wonderful coy pond inside their courtyard.This is where I get my inspiration.

Natural light

Under a blacklight

Sunday, June 7, 2015

This week's Rock of the Week

This week's rock is one I did awhile ago, which features a Chinese symbol which represents Longevity. I like the colors and general size of the rock.Chinese symbols intrique me, as do their calligraphy.I used a sushi roller for the background to the rock because it is made of bamboo, which is used a lot in Asian culture. I also like the midrange colors which are easy on the eyes.I am presently working on another of what I call "Spinner" rocks which I will feature next week.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Answers to the Puzzle

Okay, so you think you've figured out which rocks are the same, eh? Well check the grid below with your picks to see if you got them right.Click on the poster itself to get a better view. The rocks that were lined out were the ones that did not have a match.

I have printed out a large 18"X24" poster of this image, that I will sell as a limited edition print for fifty dollars. If you are interested in purchasing one, contact me through the form also on this page.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mix and Match

This is a puzzle I've created for fun and enjoyment.The object is to match the pairs of rocks that are the same. Granted that they all look different,but I have changed a basic element in all but four of them. I have inverted the colors or have modified them in some way in Photoshop to make them appear different. I will give you a starting hint... row 2, number one and four are the same rock.Okay, now see if you can guess the remaining eight pairs.Check back on my next post to see if you got them all. Now click on the picture itself for a larger view of the rocks.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Enjoying the Spring

This photo was taken with a fish-eye lens by a photographer who happened by my vendors booth(?) at the Saturday morning market. It shows me relaxed and enjoying the day (what a concept, huh?) The thing I enjoy most about where I am situated is that I am pretty much under a tree and protected from the direct sunlight.Even with an umbrella pitched, the sun at midday can be pretty intense.Slathering a lot of sunscreen helps keep the harsh effects of the sun at bay.Thankfully, I am allowed to be in the same spot most weekends throughout the year.Beginning this coming Tuesday, you will find me at the Napa Farmer's Market as well.Come by and say hello!

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Rock of the Week

The Heart is one of the most iconic and easily recognized symbols,ever.People will react differently to it, as they would a cross or a circle. The heart's form is rounded yet comes to a point.It looks to be very similar to the actual shape of the human heart which remains unseen, short of a surgical procedure.The heart's color is usually red which will signify blood,alarm,life force,understanding,presence and meaning.It is an important symbol for this era of technology which is moving increasingly towards expediency and less towards humanity.The rock below was created to have one focus on the gift of compassion and empathy,which is a rare and precious thing in today's world.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

This week's Rock Creation

Lately, I've been scanning my rock creations and bringing them into Photoshop to be modified and then printed out. I have created Icons like the one below to add a whole other dimension to my work. I will be showing a few of these at the Farmer's Market, both in Calistoga and St. Helena which will be opening on May 1st. The work I do requires exploring different backgrounds, colors and filters. I then adhere the output to a piece of wood that is 4"x5" in size. Then after clear-coating the image with acrylic, I will put a hook in the back so that it can be hung nicely in a bathroom or kitchen.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

This week's Rock showcase

These rocks are state of the art.I have been preferring to paint on black rocks because of the high contrast.I will paint on both sides of the rock and use lots of glow paint. These rocks take a lot of time to paint because of their intricacy. Below are some of my most recent creations.They are what I call the Mandala motif. People will use these rocks as meditation devices.They also will look very nice sitting on a night stand, to view in the dark.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Slideshow of Early Rocks

This brief video features a lot of my best rocks over the past four years. They were arranged in such a way that showcased them, even if the final product looks a little grainy. This relaxed format used the Ken Burns effect with a some guitar music in the background. Most of the pictures were taken with my Iphone or scanned on my Umax scanner and modified in Photoshop.If you would like to order something you see,just send me an email or fill out the contact form on this page.I will try to re-create the rock to the best of my ability.The price ranges are from 25. to 50. including shipping.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

This Week's Rock...

 The original Spirit Rock Logo (Heart stone)

Here is another wonderful video I put together for Your Spirit Rocks ! I feature some of my best rocks over the past year or two. This company really knows how to do it well and they have made it so simple to create videos for your collection.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

This Week's Rock

I would like to dedicate this weeks rock to Gary Dahl who passed away on March 23rd. He was 78. Gary was the founder of the "Pet Rock" which was a very popular item in the 1970's. He made over 1.5 million in it's first year out. I never owned one, and many have suggested that the rocks I sell were an extension of his idea. I cannot argue with that.It can be said however that the rocks I paint are more elaborate.The rock you see here is called, "Mandala Starburst". This rock is a Mexican Pebble Rock that was found to be perfectly round in shape naturally! It looks especially vibrant with copper coloring and a fire motif that can be viewed under a black light.

Friday, March 13, 2015

This Week's Rock

I am dedicating this rock to my sister who is married to a Tibetan Buddhist Lama. She has been a great influence on me, both artistically, spiritually and socially.Throughout my life, having grown up in San Francisco, she has groomed me in all things"Bohemian". This is a nice way of saying that we were very cultured, fun-loving hippies. She taught me how to draw by going on field trips to the Japanese Tea garden in Golden Gate Park. She had studied Art at Pratt Institute in New York, and later at the San Francisco Art Institute. Since I've been painting rocks, she has been a great supporter of my creative pursuits. She's now living in Oregon and continues to bring beauty and peace into her life and the lives of others. We stay in touch via Facetime. Below is a mandala rock which can be said was influenced by her artistic ability and Buddhist practice.This rock showcases one of many of the Mandala rocks I have painted.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Rock of the Week

I received a nice email from a collector who purchased a rock just a little while ago. Catherine has brought this rock with her on a trip to Hawaii to a location where their is a small pond. The City of Refuge is on the island of Hawaii and that is where it has been placed. It is a sacred place for the Hawaiians. I am honored to have this creation placed where others may enjoy it.

 Occasionally, I have placed rocks in secret places throughout my journeys. Locally, I will take hikes to a place called Coyote Peak in Bothe State park, not far from my home here in Calistoga. Placing rocks in trees where squirrels hide acorns is a likely spot; Or I will find a group of other rocks to easily nestle one of the Spirit Rocks. It has been a surprise to me as to how well these rocks have weathered being outside. I keep a stone on my balcony which has been outside all year and it still looks great.

Generally, it has been discouraged to place the rocks in damp spots because they have only been sealed with a clear coat of acrylic, and it is not certain yet whether or not this coating will withstand the elements for an extended period of time. I will keep you posted on that one.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Love is in the air

This coming Saturday is Valentines day, and it is also the Farmer's Market dont-cha-know. I have a few heart-shaped rocks ready for your inspection. Come by and see what I've been up to lately. I've enjoyed doing a few commission jobs as you can see. If you have an idea for a painted rock that glows in the dark, come talk to me. I have many ways of working, to get just the design you have in mind. The rock below is for someone I know who misses their pet. What a nice way to commemorate a companion.

See you Saturday !

Friday, January 30, 2015


It has been said that if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life.
This is what is known as a truism. In other words, it contains a grain of truth. The saying compels one to follow ones instinct, and trust not only what feeds your bliss but what others may have to offer about what they think your gift(s) are.

Art has always been an enjoyable exercise for me. As far back as I can recall, drawing and painting images on a variety of surfaces has been appealing because it usually produced a result I could be satisfied with; And surprising to me was that feeling of accomplishment. Later on, through discovery, experience and wisdom the wheat from the chaff began to divide. One could produce imagery that did not take much work to produce, and could render an absolutely stunning result. On the other hand, one could work slavishly and render a comparable result. The whole ordeal of art is about this process of compiling an outcome to produce and income, so as to produce more, better and different outcomes.

The beat goes on...

Painting rocks has rendered some stunning outcomes with a mix of ease and comfort. Some days I am not so lucky. These are the days when I count on both inspiration and perspiration. My academic training has paid off here because, I can do what others have done before me ( i.e. seek inspiring images, new mediums, methods and/or materials) Who would have thought that choosing a variety of surfaces, mediums and materials could be such a pleasing activity to further ones creative process. Below is this weeks rock of the week.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How can I use my rock?

Okay, So you have purchased a Spirit Rock. How can it be of use to me or someone else. I am asked this question from time to time. One of the best uses for a rock is to have it as a talisman. In other words, a meditation device. Many will hold it in their hands as they settle their mind and begin to focus. An affirmation sheet is included with each rock sold.

The other way the rock can be used is as a placeholder, after finishing a chapter in a book. When you put it on a night stand, it makes a comforting night light that softly fades. Children like this effect, especially if they are afraid of the dark.
Usually a little black light can keep them busy, highlighting the colors on the rock before they doze off to sleep.

Another use for the rock is to have it on your window sill or by the door as a way to remind yourself of something before leaving your home for the day. Some will keep one by their computer to refocus their eyes after viewing the monitor for a while. It just is a colorful item to uplift your spirit every time you view it.

If you can think of other ways to use these rocks, I am always open to hearing your suggestions.

Here is this weeks rock

This is a stacked, heart-shaped rock with a metallic mylar heart adhered in the middle with glow in the dark paint droplets surrounding it. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Rock Holder

This is a project I've been working on for some time. I am trying to get it ready for Valentine's day 2015. Basically, it was a flat piece of carbon fiber that I had die-cut into a heart shape with an inverted heart shape cut out of the middle. The next step in the process was bending the whole shape right down the middle at a 90˚ angle, so that it would lie flat on a horizontal surface.

The bending of the shape and the size of the inverted heart was problematic. I tried bending it over a coat hanger, softening it in a low heat oven, taking a heat gun to it, etc. I have finally found a solution that seems to work pretty well.

I have an old flat clothes iron that heats slowly and uniformly ( important ). I take the heart shape and hold it on the edge of the iron until it gets soft enough to bend, and Voila ! I have my rock holder.