Friday, December 15, 2017

Better Holders

The picture below is of a Rock Holder design I created a while ago that features an updated version showing the thickness of the piece. The second photo is an assortment of the same item custom produced from a template designed to die-cut plexiglass.This was an expensive undertaking, but one that upgrades my whole display and really showcases the best rocks offered for sale.




Exploring new directions

My sister and I visited the "After Dark" exhibit at the Exploratorium on the waterfront in San Francisco last week.After finding a parking place and getting through the line, we began viewing the exhibits. It was my intent to see the LED lighted sculptures, as well as any glow in the dark items that may be featured.We found an exhibit about Scorpions that showed how they glowed in the dark because of the luminosity of their exoskeletons.The backlight I had brought with me so impressed the exhibitor that she wanted to know how she could acquire one.They are called "Letmy™ UV Blacklight" and can be found on Amazon for around ten bucks.

Later, it occurred to me that there were far too many things to see in one evening so we departed after about two hours.The picture taken is of the sculpture outside the facility


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Buttons have arrived !

These are smaller than the last ones I had printed a few years ago, but they are still glowing buttons and fun things to wear around during the holidays. The message, "Your Spirit Rocks!" has always been a year-round greeting.Although it is intentionally a double entendre, it is also the name of my business.These buttons will be available at the Farmer's Market for a buck.Get em' while they're hot!


Friday, November 17, 2017

Your Spirit Rock Buttons !


The picture here is one of my favorite rocks.It will be featured on a button that is being made to encourage this art form.

The rock you see is almost perfectly round, and was found that way before it was decorated.The heart image is an iconic symbol that has come to mean many different things.Naturally,it is a symbol for love,connection,caring,sharing and friendship.

The button being produced has this symbol along with text which reads,"Your Spirit Rocks!"which is a movement/trend that is spreading as people paint and hide a variety of different rocks to be found.That's right.These rocks can be kept,re-hid or posted online

Calistoga Rocks or Napa Rocks on Facebook™ is where one can VIEW these findings.*Your Spirit specifically,is the enthusiasm you bring.


Disclaimer:

*The name"Your Spirit Rocks!"is not affiliated with the popular retreat and meditation center in Fairfax,California


"Your Spirit Rocks!"occupies a vendor's booth at the Farmer's Market on Saturdays in Calistoga and Sundays in Sebastopol, which is a business not associated with the aforementioned Facebook™ pages, yet supports the concept whole-heartedly

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Bobble Rock

Not to be confused with "Bottle Rock" this rock is simply decorated with bobbles.You know, the kind that you get in the craft store or garden supply shops.First, you paint the rock, let it dry and then begin the process of gluing bobbles onto the rock.I like to use E6000™ industrial strength glue because it sets up in about 5 minutes.To prepare the bobbles, I paint on their backs or glue craft paper or a dot of glow paint on the back of each bobble. When dry, I glue them all around the rock in a seemingly uniform pattern.Voila! a bobble rock in place for your desk or nightstand.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Shell Horizon

This poster was created using many scanned objects and images brought into Adobe Photoshop™ for modification, arrangement on layers, color-correction, resizing, etc. The overall composition is meant to show natural elements (scallop shells,grape leaves,dragonflies, butterflies) in a visually pleasing setting.When the poster is printed, it will be adorned with glitter, phosphorescent and fluorescent paint for ultimately a 3D effect using Chromadepth™ glasses.Click on the picture itself for a larger view.


Monday, October 30, 2017

This Week's Rock of the Week


Well wouldn't you know that tomorrow is Halloween and I haven't hid this pumpkin rock yet. I plan to hide it somewhere near the Golden Haven Spa, which is next door to my place (By the way,if you live in Calistoga you already know where that is).That is the only clue I am giving.If you find it or any other rocks I hide, they are yours to keep.Here's wishing all you Rock Stars a very Happy and Safe Halloween.

Your Pal,
Christopher

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Rock of the Week

This week's rock is a mash-up using a product that has made the process of decorating a rock a lot easier.Appliques were purchased at the Dollar Store and glued onto a rock.The result was stunning.The detail of the sticker shows beautifully after painting the surface with glow paint.The view under a blacklight gives the rock an otherworldly effect.The rock was taken to a Market last Friday.It was purchased by a woman who later emailed that a corner of the applique had come loose and was wondering how to get it to adhere to the rock again.It was suggested to use E6000, an industrial strength glue that had been used to reinforce the sticker to the rock in the beginning.It was not clear if that process was attempted because a request was made to have the rock returned.Instead, a complete refund has been offered and is pending.It is still questionable whether or not these applique rocks are ready for prime time.


Friday, October 6, 2017

The Full Moon

This week's rock is side two of the rock that was featured last time. It features the full moon reflecting upon an imaginary lake. I painted this as I would a traditional landscape with the dark colors offering enough contrast to make the piece strong. The shape and surface of this rock are amazingly smooth. It was challenging to find a rock like this at the landscaping businesses I go to look for oversize, perfectly round rocks. This rock has gotten me back into painting more figurative work, which hasn't been attempted for quite awhile.Practise makes perfect


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

More Landscapes

The image below is of some coastal trees that are trying to conform to the shape of the rock. I like the sunsets I am able to paint without having to deplete the beautiful turquoise blue color used above it. It seems to work pretty well, considering how late in the day this was supposed to be.This view is reminiscent of many of the views along the Pacific Coast Highway. Generally, you will find Cyprus trees, Eucalyptus, Madrone and a whole assortment of other trees, including Oaks and Redwoods. The cliffs are steep and the ocean's horizon line is mesmerizing.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Mountain Landscape

This Rock took a lot of time to paint. It is a rather large piece with good symmetry. Initially I painted the road at the bottom of the rock as one that is heading into a forest with pine trees all around. Then came the next layer of trees,fading off in the distance. A pale purple color depicts that aspect.Large,snow-capped mountains are at the top of the rock with a backdrop showing a sunset and star filled sky.This looks cool under a blacklight ( even if their is too much purple in this picture), yet the same image looks kind of so/so in regular light.



The purple color from the black light does not overpower the painting in real life.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Large Rocks for more creative space

It is difficult at times to find the best rock for a particular project. Many large rocks have slight flaws or holes in them that taxes rather than enhances my creative ability.Below are some samples of recent projects that have worked out well, because the rocks have been in good shape in the beginning. Mexican Pebbles are my favorite stones, but they only seem to be hand size before they become a little too misshapen for my purposes.This isn't to say that there may be some perfectly symmetrical ones out there. I am more inclined to stick with Sandstone or Tufa stone to accomplish the desired result


Monday, August 21, 2017

The Hidden Sun

This week's rock is a particularly round one that I painted black and indigo, to showcase the Total Solar Eclipse which was only going to be a partial eclipse where I live in Calistoga.The day began with a large cup of coffee to prepare me for a hike up the Oat Hill Mine Trail.I left home around 8 am and reached a high point above the Napa Valley around 8:45 am dripping with sweat and out of breath.No one else was around as I nestled myself lying flat on my back between two rocks that propped me up on a slight incline facing east. The sky was completely overcast and socked in with a fog that ultimately lasted way past noon.

My friend Eric texted me from Baker City,Oregon where lots of people were waiting in excited anticipation.I waited for something significant, but it just seemed to get a little colder and a slight bit darker.Gradually, I left this spot to head back down the mountain. Before proceeding down I left a little commemoration of the event wedged between the rocks for someone to find before the next Total eclipse occurs in this area.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This Week's Rock of the Week

I have continued to paint rocks using a tried and true method of rendering a more traditional, figurative image... in this case, a wave off the coast of an island at sunset.As an afterthought, I further finessed this rock by painting a small surfer tucked in the curl of the wave.He doesnt appear in this image, however.

This rock has allowed me to experiment with the qualities of both reactive (florescent), and phosphorescent paint. The image takes on a more brilliant appearance under a blacklight,which showcases the sunset as well as the foam cascading over the breaking wave.More of these types of rocks will be showing up as I move away from just the mandala or concentric type of motifs.This is the type of work I used to do in college, which has a much more illustrative style, that I had put on the "Back burner" for awhile.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

This Week's Rock of the Week

This week's rock is a common motif of mine. I call it the starburst effect. Taking glow paint and having it emerge as if shooting out from the center of the rock.

Focusing on the center is the the challenge here.It is so easy to lose the symmetry of the overall design.

Usually, I place a hologram sticker in the center, and carefully place dots around the outside. Then with a sharp point, each dot is drawn towards the center.

When the paint is dry, I will add small dots on top of the droplets already in place, and voila. There you have it!

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Rock of the Week

Lotsa Dots !

Admittedly, I don't always have a clue what will appear on the face of a rock when I sit down to paint and decorate it.When adding the dots I have to keep the nozzle of the bottle clear because it can gum up pretty quickly.Keeping a sewing needle close by is important in this process.

The other thing is to watch out for air bubbles, because they will cause the paint to spit.The paint has the consistency of Elmer's glue and has to be "guided" more than "painted". Using tools like toothpicks, q-tips and rubber-tipped brushes are not uncommon to excel at this craft.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Rock of the Week

This weeks rock features a motif representing a colorful sea urhin with a glass bobble in the center. I have done many rocks like this one in the past, yet they are still intriquing how easy it is to return to a centered focal point and to build around it.

Initially, painting mandalas on rocks with dots was something that got me started in the beginning. The build is challenging, especially when trying to keep the dots seperate from one another before drying.

How easy it is to accidentally bump into wet puff paint when you are not paying attention.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

This Week's Rock of the Week

The rock you see here is an odd shaped stone found on the beach at Russian Gulch. The smooth yet triangular shape lent itself to a different sort of treatment than other stones it's size.The percieved center point of the design was placed off to one side which compliments the fan splay emanating to the outer edge. Many colors were added using felt markers along with the glow paint for luminosity.

The aqua background proved to be the best color to contrast the many colors you see here. This rock had been scanned and brought into Photoshop™ to bump up the colors and enhance the luminous quality.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Rock of the Week

The rock this week is of an imaginary Napa landscape with an oak tree and some hills in the background. It has been a long time since my landscape painting skills have been called to task.The rock itself is as big as my hand and the shape of a soft shark fin.The acrylics used were reactive green and orange. Also used were a deep royal blue and some florescent red and yellow. The whole experience took about three hours or more to complete.It can be viewed under a black light with incredible results.The rock does not glow on it's own however.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Rock of the Week

This week's rock is a palm-sized stone that was painted with the Americana Acrylics™ and the glow in the dark Tulip™ squeeze bottle paint.The whole process usually takes about 15 mins to a half hour to complete (after each drying phase)

It is always best to clear-coat the finished piece with either a Krylon™ spray or some other high-gloss or medium varnish like the Golden™ or Liquitex™ brand coating.

This design was my own sinewy strand motif that is supposed to portray an underwater or plant like symbolism.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Poster Project

Okay.So this week's rock of the week is not to be seen. Instead, the image below is a poster I have put together in the traditional 18"X 24" format.I will be painting on top of the printed poster in fluorescent colors to create a 3D effect under a black light. I have done this with other pictures in the past, and have been putting together a body of work to reflect that.

The 3D images have to be viewed using these special glasses called "Chromadepth".A friend, Martha Casselman has offered me her home to show off all the posters when completed.She is a local patron who has been a contributor to the art scene here for some time. So far, I have four completed pieces.

Monday, June 12, 2017

A Teeny Heart

This week's rock is called " A Teeny Heart" because of the size of the little iconic heart in the center of the highly decorated rock. It was difficult keeping all the paint from bumping up against the other blobs that appear all over this rock.People will tell me how patient I must be to paint these rocks.I can assure you that I am anything but! It seems that I am constantly landing my elbow or the side of my hand in the wet paint and thereby smearing it to smithereens (?)! It is pleasing that the rock has turned out as well as it has.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Shells in the dark

My friends Jennifer and Matt have been very generous in supplying me with an assortment of Scallop Shells. My friend Bill has been requesting to purchase these almost as fast as I can make them! Between the supply and demand, my little rock business has taken on a whole new direction... painted shells !

I wanted to take this one step further than just painting them in such a way as to have them glow in the dark or burst in color (like the one below) under a black light.These shells could also be functional. Aha! glue a night light to the back of the shell !

This idea was exciting to say the least, but then I thought about replacing the regular night light bulb with a black light bulb.Unfortunately, Christmas tree lights and outdoor lights did not come in that pure purple color that illuminates the florescent paint so nicely.Perhaps they will in the future, but not now.

When the night light shell is turned on, it becomes translucent from the back, thereby reducing the brightness of your traditional night light.These lights are not motion activated, they must be turned on and off with the little switch at the bottom. Like anything that is in development, these items hopefully will continue be something that "Your Spirit Rocks!" will be able to offer.Please keep in mind that the image below is being showcased by having a separate black light shining on the shell from the FRONT. Yes, we have to have truth in advertising, even if this is just a blog

Thursday, May 25, 2017

This Week's Rock of the Week

My experiments in 3D art forms have been fun an challenging. This design is one that I have drawn in sketch pads for some time,and have found it very intriguing. The spiral is an ancient symbol for gathering and centering.The spiral can also serve anyone who wants an image with which to focus, prior to achieving a meditative state. It has also been effective for the amusement of youngsters and magicians.

Whether you are a meditator or not, viewing a spiral can have a mesmerizing effect. Comic books used to sell and item that was called a "Hypno-coin".This playful come-on had many a youngster sending their entire allowance to get a hold of one of these devices. My rock design is just a spiral made to look dimensional.Under a blacklight it takes on a beautiful color and can be quite stunning.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

This Week's Rock of the Week

I have had this rock on display since this past Fall and it is one of my better designs. This was a study of an Iris that came out looking a little bit like a stained glass window, especially under a blacklight. The rock itself is rather large and yet symmetrical and smooth.This past week I freshened it up a bit and went back over the colors and puff paint that I use. I hope you like the result. i will have it back on the table this next weekend. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A Fun Project

It has been around twenty years since I first got familiar Photoshop. Lately, I have been exploring the idea of doing another series of posters like the ones that had been prepared for a library show back in 2010.

I have learned a few things since then. First, I have learned not to be in a big rush to get a show up. Secondly, this is a whole different direction for me so easy does it. The process includes taking rocks, sketches and other images.All of this involves painting, scanning images, composition and modification in Photoshop, sending the prepared file to the printer, and then picking up the print.

A little further down the road it involves getting a suitable frame and eventually showing the final piece. Below is something I call,"The Space between Worlds".I sent the file off today to the printer in Santa Rosa.

Click on the image to see a larger view

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Very Pleased and Grateful

Today i put together a slide show which showcases my best work over the past six months.I am very happy with the direction and motivation that the variety of mediums and methods that have made this work so enjoyable.Everyone has been very complimentary about this pursuit of mine. Over the past seven years, these rocks have allowed me to indulge in an activity that has never bored me. Granted, it can be tedious and tiring at times, but the feeling of accomplishment and gratification has been continuous.Click on the link below to see the slideshow (Music by Stevan Pasero "Prayer to the Rainforest")...

Your Spirit Rocks on Facebook

Friday, April 21, 2017

This Week's Rock of the Week

So much has been happening. This past week the St. Helena Library featured a Rock painting session for people to paint and hide rocks near the library. Several kids ( both young and old ) participated and left some of the rocks seen below for others to enjoy.New rock painting groups are forming on Facebook all the time.

This is wonderful how kids and families enjoy this sort of activity and local groups are forming to support this effort. One of these groups started in the city of Napa and now has several thousand members on their Facebook page Naparocks The Facebook page for Calistoga Rocks is still growing and welcomes new members.

Anyway, this weeks Rock is an Owl rock, painted for a dear friend who left it as a memorial for their loved one at a sacred place in Hawaii. I was so happy to paint this rock and have it brought for this person to see before their passing (see the last image in the series below )


Friday, April 7, 2017

This Week's Rock(s) of the Week

Happy Easter! today I have put together a group of rocks that have inspired me in different ways. Naturally, the butterfly is a symbol of resurrection which is fitting for the holiday.The rock on top is of a vortex.The three rings of dots form an entry into another realm; Another way of seeing things...a higher realm.

The rocks on the right and left are what I call "Diamond Daisies" as both are in the shape of a diamond (Baseball Diamonds for Spring?) as well having as a daisy in the middle to symbolize a common Spring flower.

Springtime has been a little slow arriving, with a few stops and starts (i.e. The frequent storms that have been revisiting us) but the anticipation of new life bursting forth is what was intended to be communicated with these stones.


Monday, March 27, 2017

This Week's Rock of the Week

The color is white, and all the glow paint is white.However, when the lights are out and the black light is turned on, a whole other color profile appears.The second slide is what it looks like under a black light, and the third slide is what the rock looks like in complete darkness.It is exciting to observe these transitions while building the design for the rock that is featured here.A new product has emerged on the scene which comes in a Montana spray can, which is called UV Effects. This product goes on clear, but when exposed to a black light, the spray painted area appears blue. If you are a graffiti artist who wishes to remain anonymous, this product is for you.In other words, you won't be able to see you markings against a building until you put a black light beam on the results. Good luck with your tagging exploits.It looks like this can of UV Effects will bring about some creative challenges moving forward.Artistry comes with practise.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

This Week's Rock of the Week

Okay, so I've been somewhat slack on getting these rocks online, but it's not because I haven't been busy.This past week has been tumultuous.My studio and apartment have been painted, rugs and linoleum replaced. Wow! what an ordeal when you have to move a quarter of a century worth of stuff from one room to the other.Whew! Anyway, because of this, rock painting has been scaled back to a minimum.The good news is that I have a pretty cool one to show.It is my hope that you enjoy it.It's called "Blue Star" for obvious reasons.The center is a foil star that was added and the outside is blue interference paint.This rock is a keeper and will sit on my nightstand until someone makes me an offer I can't refuse !

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Marching on through winter

Next Monday I am having my humble abode painted. This has presented a bit of a stall with the contractor who has other apartments to complete before he gets to mine.

We are still expecting rain here in the northbay and this has put a damper on projects like sprucing up an apartment that has acquired 20+ years of rugged use.

February has been the wettest month on record said the reporter on the car radio this morning.Today however,is beautiful and sunny.It is the beginning of March,and somehow this past winter not been the most joyous season for a lot of people.Several wish that they could go hibernate in a cave somewhere,sometime after Halloween; Happily re-emerging around St. Patrick's Day! Spring and Fall are favored because of the usually moderate temperatures and longer days.

Visiting the beach has been hampered by large waves and severe weather.Russian Gulch is blocked by a river (which is usually a creek) because of the accumulated rainfall.It will probably be the middle May before it will be safe to wade across a lower level stream to get to the beach.Once there,the crashing waves and abundance of vitality makes this a sacred place to visit.Try this for a way of rejuvenating your drooping spirit.

If you so choose... a landscaping company on River Road sells smooth Mexican Pebbles to use for rock painting upon returning home after a cold and wet winter day at the beach.Pictured above is the inlet from the Ocean to the creek that has been mentioned in this post.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Love comes alive in February

It's only the second of February as I write this, and already I am sensing a powerful shift emerging. This Spring is going to be unlike any other! The wet weather has been a long time coming and the rivers,lakes and streams are fresh and alive with unlimited potential.Go out and welcome the water splashing down over the many rocks that are collecting their energetic force.If you are reading this and haven't taken the time to go outside, then this is the time to do it.The lush green that can be found in the forests close by will beckon you to come explore.

Walking through Bothe State Park is one of my favorite activities, most any time of the year, but during this time hiking may seem a bit foreboding.Grey days and seemingly barren trees only fool us into thinking that winter is going to last forever.Hold on though, because Spring will burst forth gloriously! Do the right thing and get your butt outside in NATURE, I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

I like February also because of Valentine's Day.That day is such a wonderful gift for all of us to be reminded that Love is the Divine force of the universe.Love is the operative word here,because on some level it is available to all, if we have the desire to share it.So, get with it!

It is my hope that whoever is reading this will be motivated to Love, and not just hope that it will happen sometime soon. The time is now, and like hope, Love also springs eternal.Now go for what you know!

Below is the rock of the week (or in this instance, the rock of the month)


Monday, January 23, 2017

A few dazzlers... and keepers

These rocks were painted and decorated awhile back. I keep them next to my bed at night because they bring me comfort and serenity.When the lights are out they maintain their glow far into the night.They may even provide me with some of the most pleasant dreams imaginable. Basically, they start out as painted black rocks that are perfectly symmetrical. Then the gold dots and glow paint are added around a center that includes a hologram or piece of mylar that makes the rock stand out.