Monday, September 17, 2018

This Week's Rock of the Week

Decoupage is a technique I've been using from time to time. The image of the rose was a drawing/watercolor painting I did last month. The rose was scanned and brought into Photoshop where the color was enhanced and the image was resized to fit on a rock. Then the image was printed out on high-gloss,sticky-back paper. The rendered sticker was then adhered to the rock with E6000 glue and left to dry. The final step after adding embellishments was to clear-coat the entire rock with a coating of Triple Thick. This coating provides UV protection from the sun while keeping the color from fading. It also makes the rock look very shiny.


Friday, September 7, 2018

The Rock of the Week

This week's Rock is a continuation of a popular Mandala motif. As a sporadic meditator, holding a "Spirit Rock" can be useful in bringing about a sense of focus and stillness. The weight, shape, and texture of any rock are valuable features for this purpose. Sometimes, covering the rock with a scented oil may add to an awakening of the senses.

Last week, I went and purchased an aluminum ladder so that I can climb up on my roof to meditate after nightfall. The evenings have been pleasant and not too warm or cool this time of the year. Having a place and time to further this practice is important to me now. My hope is that others will find a way to creatively enhance what they know will bring about peace, joy, and serenity.

Surrounding myself with beauty and appreciation is one of the ways that I hope to achieve this. Anyone can attain these objectives if they follow the calling of their higher purpose. The determination of having a solid work ethic are not always necessary tools when maintaining the quality of beauty in your environment.


Monday, August 27, 2018

This Week's Rock of the Week

It's rare finding a rock that conforms to one's idea of the ideal heart-shaped rock to be painted. If there has been any rock more worthy of an adornment of glitter and paint, it would be the rock seen below. It was found washed ashore at Russian Gulch, where most of Your Spirit Rocks™ are collected. The symbol of the heart is unmistakable in most cultures throughout the world today. It can be seen almost anywhere.

I don't know if it was the graphic artist Milton Glasser that came up with the "I ♥︎ NY" logo, but this became as popular as the smiley face 😀 popularized sometime in the 70's, and in movies like Forrest Gump. The heart symbolizes the best humanity has to offer each other. This is a symbol of altruism, empathy and goodwill. Hearts also denote a feeling a yearning and devotion for that which is loved. Unlike having a 'Heart of stone" which is the title of a song by the Rolling Stones. The heart of stone shown here is a gift, not a condition of forbearance.

The Hearts of stone which I paint are keepsakes for those who treasure the love they have and want to keep in their life. These can be gifted and regifted. Passed on from one generation to the next.

It also has to be said that the rock or its shape doesn't have to mean anything at all.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Rock of the Week

This week's rock is called, "Solar flares" named for the intense summer heat we've been having here in Northern California. The idea that global warming is a myth dreamed up by scientists is preposterous. Global warming is real and our planet needs to wake up to that fact. Greenhouse gas notwithstanding, something has to be done to protect life as we know it.

This rock features a high-grade phosphorescent paint with a hologram in the middle. Gel pens were used to make the dot patterns around the sun


Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Rock of the Week

Below shows a "Sea Urchin" Rock (with a hologram heart) under a UV black light. It is just so much fun creating these items that bring such joy to those who purchase them. Black lights were not included in the gift bag up until recently, because they were hard to come by and expensive. Ace™ Hardware carried a flashlight model that was used to demonstrate what the rocks would look like, but unfortunately, I had to recommend that customers purchase them on their own.

It is my intent to produce rocks that are "Illuminated", which fall in line with my description of each rock. The rock below is a good example of what can expect to see when the lights are dimmed in the room and the UV light is focused on the rock itself.

When it is said that, "Your rock will choose you if you are meant to have one" it is entirely plausible.The ongoing challenge is to assure that everyone gets a one-of-a-kind item they can relish for years to come.


Saturday, July 21, 2018

Staying Current

You probably don't like blogs that start with apologies so you will not hear one from me. Laziness, just plain and simple is the reason you haven't seen any posts for the past couple of weeks. The rocks have been flying off the table at the Farmer's Market like hot cakes (bad analogy... more like "hot rocks" if you consider the temperatures we've been having as of late.) and moving them fast has been my main focus. The overall inventory is not up to par, and even though beach trips have rendered a whole new batch of rocks, they won't all be painted until probably the end of August.

You would be surprised at how fast seventy rocks of assorted sizes are ready for display. This, of course, means, that I will not be leaving my apartment any time soon. All week long, the time spent on painting these precious items is measured only by my attitude... which is generally good except when I mess up upon occasion. An expletive is yelled out and the wet paint is wiped up off my desk. You get the picture. I sold some of my best work these past two Saturdays, and as I was telling a friend recently... " It's like giving up your children to adoptive parents". That may sound extreme, but the truth is that I do get attached to the ones that look great. Thus, below is one that fits nicely into that category.

Enjoy this week's Rock of the Week!


Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Rock of the Week

Greetings! We are back to painting Mandala Rocks with extra vibrancy and enthusiasm. Many have used these rocks for meditation purposes which we wholeheartedly endorse. Meditation is not a practice that many want to claim unless they have made it more or less a daily practice. Admittedly, as an infrequent yet spontaneous meditator, we are still not alone on this journey. When taking the time to actually sit quietly, without distraction is challenging for anyone in today's culture.

Having a rock in your lap will bring you to focus and concentrate. It is an object outside the physical body, yet can belong within the spiritual realm as an entity unto itself. Rocks have weight, texture, size, symmetry and even malleability. Pondering how they came about over millions of years is incredible! Where they end up in time can be just as intriguing a thought to entertain.

We hope that your Spirit Rock will accompany you in good stead along life's journey whether you meditate with it or not.It is hoped that a rock will bring you joy.


Monday, June 25, 2018

The Library Show

The St. Helena Library hosted a show of posters that I've been working on for the past year or two. About half of them are black light reactive, meaning that they take on a whole different look under blacklight. Some even have a 3D quality, especially when viewed with special Chromadepth™ glasses. Many of the posters have glow-in-the-dark paint as well as black light reactive paint, painted on top of the posters themselves. These posters were showcased on the night of the opening in a separate room which was completely dark except for the large blacklights which brought out the rich colors. Describing them here does not do them justice. All in all, the opening went well, and I was very much appreciative of the guests and friends that took the time to visit. Below are some of the images that were featured in the show which will end this coming Friday.


Monday, June 18, 2018

Invisibilia

Hello Everyone,

This past month has been a busy one for me, and my negligence to the updating of this blog is inexcusable. First of all, I would like to thank those people who have purchased their Spirit Rocks at both the Calistoga and Sebastopol Farmer's Markets. Your generous support is very much appreciated. Lately, I've spent the month preparing for a Poster show of rocks I've painted, scanned and have used them as components in assemblages you can see at the St. Helena Public Library through the end of this month. Some of the actual rocks I've used in these posters are showcased in one of the display cases in the library. Please offer me any feedback, for your suggestions allow me to consider ideas for future projects.

Not long ago, I began using invisible ink to hide imagery that I felt would make my work all the more intriguing. The rock you see below features a mandala both on the front and the back. A blacklight is needed to have the mandala on the backside of the rock revealed. The red stand is one of the first plexiglaas™ heart-shaped holders used to showcase rocks in a more prominent manner.



Friday, May 11, 2018

This Week's Rock of the Week

Today, the rocks are now Thermogenic! Yes, They change colors when they go from cold to warm, like the old mood rings.It is exciting to include this new feature for the summer season. The color that was applied is a dark blue which turns to a sort of Robin's egg color when warm and ultimately clear when completely warm. It is a challenge to include as many features on one rock as possible. Phosphorescent paint, Florescent paint, UV reactive sparkle, Holograms, Invisible mandalas and now thermogenic paint. The possibilities are endless, and the fun of creating new designs are continually inspiring... Oh, by the way...Happy Mother's Day everyone!


Saturday, May 5, 2018

This Week's Rock of the Week

Okay, I admit that sometimes I miss a week or two, but I am generally very consistent with keeping this site updated. So this week's rock is a Mexican Pebble type of Rock that was purchased from a quarry, or should I say a landscaper...whatever. The hummingbird motif is one of my favorites. I use an interference acrylic paint to get a nice sheen on the wings. The clear coat also gives it a brilliant shine. The lines you see around the bird itself are done with invisible ink pens. When the rock is done, the last step is to apply these lines. Come by and visit me at the Farmer' Market.The hummingbird rock will be featured, along with an assortment of new designs.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

This Week's Rock of the Week

The Rock below is sort of an experiment.These highly Fluorescent Paints from Glominex™look great under a blacklight. When purchased online, I specified that they be the invisible glowing paint that continues to glow after the lights are out.I quickly learned the difference between Phosphorescent and Fluorescent because the wrong tubes were sent.The paints were not sent back though.In fact, they prompted me to explore other companies that produce these bright colors.However, it is preferable that the rock be embellished with many other components to achieve the quality required.


Monday, April 16, 2018

Purple Days

The Farmer's Market in Sebastopol always proves to be an adventure of one sort or another.It was expected to rain, but thankfully, that did not happen until later on in the day.Right around closing time in fact. The morning was delightful as many people began to arrive as the sun was shining.Even the balloon guy who makes little twisty animals for the kids was there. Normally, we have some very accomplished musicians playing under the gazebo there.Today was no exception except it was only one fellow playing his acoustic guitar. He was quite good and deserved all the attention he was getting.

Many people stopped by to view my gift rocks and observed them under the black light viewer.After awhile a very attractive woman appeared to have a look at the display, and mentioned that she was fond of the color purple and inquired if I had any purple rocks to show her.I did!

The rocks you see below (as well as the night-light shell) is what she ended up purchasing.As we talked it was discovered that she had an accent.Naturally, I tried to turn on the charm by guessing that she was an Aussie.It turned out that she was originally from Wellington, New Zealand and she was with her husband, who FORTUNATLEY was sitting over on a bench nearby... which was a relief.His name was Steven and turned out to be quite the card.I think he was a little used to having people be blown away by the beauty of his attractive wife.

When I introduced myself to "both" of them, he jokingly said that of course, I must mean his wife and her dog.I came back with," I didn't mean to insinuate that you were chopped liver, and someone to be excluded." Thankfully he laughed and we all had a good chuckle.They turned out to be the sweetest couple I have met in a long time.We talked for awhile, and it was learned that he used to work for NASA and she was a former Real Estate agent in New Zealand.The committee inside my head was chattering so loud, I could hardly keep up with the conversation we were having.We talked of the local culture, spirituality and a few other topics I couldn't remember, even if I tried.But after all,It proved to be a blessing to have met their acquaintance.

Monday, April 2, 2018

This Week's Rock of the Week

This Week's Rock of the Week is a stone that is so smooth and trasnsparent that it really has an etheral quality unlike any other stone I've painted on previously. The Crackle finish adds to the character of the rock along with the gold buff which brings out an antique quality.This stone is one I am holding on to as a special gift for a wedding couple I know.


Monday, March 19, 2018

This Week's Rock of the Week

Here is an all-night glowing rock which when hit with a blacklight strobe, will have an interesting animation effect.It never ceases to amaze how a simple object can take on so many different views, just through innate or natural lighting effects. The rock is rather large, uses a lot of paint, both reactive and non-reactive and keeps me company along side my bed at night.


Friday, March 2, 2018

This Week's Rock of the Week

This week's rock features an antelope in motion. The figure itself was drawn on the rock first, then filled in with gold paint.The rock itself was painted black and coated with a crackle finish. The crackle was filled and buffed with gold paint to fill in the cracks to give it an antique look.Lastly, the edges were finished with an indigo blue. The rock type is Mexican Pebble, which is a very smooth stone.It sometimes will take two coats of paint to cover the brush strokes and exposed sides. When dry, the rock is again clear coated with spray Krylon.Although this is not a glow in the dark rock, it still showcases my own ability to do detail.


Friday, February 23, 2018

This Week's Rock of the Week

This Week's Rock features a rock displayed under a black light.It shows a decorative pattern surrounding the common heart symbol that is popular in much of my work.The only thing that is a bit boring about this piece, is the repetitive design.Mandalas have been used for meditation and I can now see why.Mandalas can be mesmerizing, and they are meant to be that way.The idea for Your Spirit Rocks™ from the beginning was to have a physical object that one could hold in their hands during meditation, and use as a focal point.This is the reason every rock sold comes with an affirmation sheet.Rocks that have figurative images like fish, cats, landscapes, etc. are simply decorative rocks, although they too, may be used reflectively.Most Spirit Rocks will glow in the dark, some do not.Every rock is painted with the intention of bringing light-heartedness, peace, and joy to the person who observes it.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Rock of the Week

This weeks rock features a dove in flight. The sandstone was flat without any knicks or blemishes.It was carefully painted using blue, violet and green interference acrylic.The image of the dove is a popular icon symbolizing peace and freedom.The bird itself and the dots surrounding the perimeter of the rock are phosphorescent, producing a glow that can be seen throughout the night after proper activation.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Rock of the Week

The rock you see below is the flip side of the last rock I posted.I like the colorful circles and how it looks under a blacklight.This rock is about the size of a large cantaloupe and is the weight of a little puppy.The glow on the other side is constant throughout the night, where this side has a partial glow effect.These rocks show much better than the simple light and dark pattern featured in last weeks picture.The fluorescent paint is more brilliant than the phosphorescent paint under a blacklight. Both sides offer the viewer the option if one side loses its appeal.


Monday, January 22, 2018

This Week's Rock of the Week

This week, I honestly haven't felt like painting rocks much.In a slump, you might say.When this happens, my modus operandi is to go out and purchase a bunch of new art supplies to get me motivated. This has not happened.Rocks have even been found, prepped and painted with a base coat, so they are ready for some kind of creative juice to render them beautiful.

Last Saturday was cold and even though the sun came out later, there was not much foot traffic.Usually, Calistoga is a destination for people from the city who come to wine country to get away, take to the waters, eat good food, drink fine wine, etc. January is not the month where they are beating a path to your door. My sales reflect this observation.

Your Spirit Rocks are talismans that bring about prosperity and abundance if used correctly.The rock becomes a focal point at which one can direct their attention during meditation.The affirmation sheet that comes with each rock is what I personally recommend as a guide to bring about good fortune.My best thoughts and prayers go along with those who use these positive affirmations to fulfill their dreams for the highest good of all concerned.

The Rock and the picture below are my efforts at bringing peace of mind and creativity back into my life.The rainbow picture was taken at Russian Gulch facing east,away from the beach.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

This Week's Rock(s) of the Week

Actually,as you can see that there are several new rocks shown below.This is an assortment of what is called the "Mandala" Collection of rocks.A recently purchased Epson™ ET 2750 desktop printer,has enabled some fun in the printing of "Mon crests" and other assorted badges.Sticky-back,high gloss paper is used and the images are then cut out and pasted right onto the surface with E6000 glue™,a very strong and effective glue for adhering most anything to hard surfaces like rocks.

After giving them a clear coat of Triple Thick™ which seals the rocks with a high gloss, UV protected layer,it is time to begin adding glow dots and glitter to bring forth a unique design.Occasionally,the use of gel pens for fine details are put to good use.When the design on top of the rock dries, it is time for a spray coat of Krylon acrylic coating.This seals in the gel dots so that they don't spread or get diffused.

Many other products are used for special effects,like the Montana™ brand UV-effect spray varnish.A glow in the dark invisible ink by OpticZ™ can be used for the hidden layer effect.Jacquard interference acrylics are put to good use when painting over primary colors to in effect, give a tertiary color that is seen when holding the rock in the light.Lastly,the drying process can be a bit daunting because the different materials dry at different rates.All materials dry according to the humidity and time of year as well (Winter being slower).Lastly,the finished rocks are placed on a spiked mat for overnight drying.It is hoped that you have found some of these tips useful in producing your own rock creations.Good luck!