Important Update...

Visit: Your Spirit Rocks! on Facebook . Our vendors booth at the local farmer's market is currently closed until further notice. We hope to be back soon !




Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Going within, but not without

This is a great time to be grateful. Time to slow down and smell the roses when you venture outdoors. It's been a month since the time of the virus. Instead of crisis, the focus should be on an opportunity. That's how we grow, anyway. Out on my deck is an aluminum ladder that was purchased a year ago. Weather permitting, the rooftop it leads to is where, as the Coasters might have been inspired to sing, "I go up to where the air is fresh and clean"... up on the roof. This is now the go-to place for prayer and meditation.

Blesssings abound when the time allows for beauty to drop into our hearts. We all can become a good companion to ourselves, even in spite of the boredom, isolation, and monotony. Curiosity can replace depression when a willingness to explore takes hold. Cooking a meal, listening to music, cleaning out a closet will bring a change of perspective.

It is vitally important to affirm ourselves for even making the attempt. Rock painting has reached a saturation point as has been mentioned in previous posts.I have been getting back to drawing, painting and any other creative activity that centers me in the moment. The work you see below are samples of what this peaceful solitude has arisen in me, as of late.







Monday, March 9, 2020

This Month's Rock of the Month

Okay, now we have a "Glider Rock toy". By the way, I have switched the title of the blog from "The Rock of the Week" to "The Rock of the Month". This is not because there are no updates, either. Rocks get painted every week and some are more worthy to be showcased than others. This is a journey, not a destination. It is important to bring rocks that have a new style to the fore in a timely fashion. Rock Art can be hit or miss proposition (no pun intended). Some rocks are painted with fresh new color, texture, coating or adornment. Some of these rocks can even unveil a specific function. Other than using one as a paperweight, they can be fashioned into a spinning top, a massage tool, a refrigerator magnet, a keychain or even a bottle stopper

A craftsperson wants to explore the methods and materials used to create a unique piece. Such is the argument for a "Rock of the Month" as opposed to a weekly one.

A flat rock with four glass beads adhered to the bottom will, perhaps, make for a new gift possibility. These glass beads with holographic stickers glued to the back can have a rainbow effect when seen magnified from the top. This simple addition makes the item visually pleasing and the rock is now a glider that can be slid across a marble top counter or a linoleum floor. If the front side of the rock is left unpainted and is large enough, it can be used as a trivet for hot pans to be supported. The "Spinner rock toy" mentioned in past blogs is now joined with a "Glider Rock Toy" to keep almost any curious kid entertained.



Thursday, February 27, 2020

This Week's Rock of the Week

I enjoyed putting this rock together. It's an image of two small birds that my sister Tara ( my mentor ) painted years ago. The subtlety and use of colors are visually pleasing, and I like how the three flowers complement how this scene is composed. I found that the rock I placed this sticker on, had to be flat so that I could work around it without too much trouble. Pulling out all the stops, liquid crackle, Stickler™ sparkle and interference acrylic were added to enhance it's brilliance.

Friday, February 21, 2020

This Week's Rock of the Week

Okay, so I did not say which week would be the rock of the week, nor did I say which rock ( this has given me an "out" that I hope will explain the lapses in my postings). It has to be said that in the past I have not repeated my designs. This is not true. There are a handful of images that I find sell well at the farmer's market. Namely, dragonflies, the yin-yan symbol, a wolf howling at the moon, and the treble clef. Other than these, I try to have a stable of one-of-a-kind rocks. It is said that your rock will choose you if you are meant to have one of these. I still hold this to be true. It is certainly that way when I am on the beach collecting them. Below is this week's rock which is definitely one of a kind. Will it be repeated? I doubt it.


Friday, February 7, 2020

This Week's Rock of the Week

Okay, so as you can see, I haven't posted for a while. I've been busy with friends, paying bills, going to the doctor, etc. etc. and of course... painting new rocks! This week is a commissioned piece that I did for a friend who has a friend who has a dog. She sent me a picture via email as a .jpg which I can easily modify in my image editing program Affinity™. Then I have to find a rock which is flat enough and large enough to accommodate the image. The image editing software can adjust the resolution, physical size, and integrity of the picture.

Now, it's time for the output. The Epson printer I use is an inkjet that produces lovely pictures on glossy/sticky-back photo paper. The image is then cut to size and fit onto the rock. After peeling the image from its backing, a stronger glue is added to adhere it to the flat side of the painted black rock. Some would call this decoupage.

Now the rock is ready for a clear coat of Triple Thick™ a high gloss finish which is quite viscous upon application. It is better to use one's finger to move the coat around one side of the rock, rather than using a brush. The streaks left will slowly even out, much like water finding its own level. Leaning the rock upright against a board is the best drying method. Ten minutes later, I do the same process on the opposite side of the rock.

Now the rock is ready for the glow/glitter adornment surrounding the picture. I add dots of Tulip™ brand glow paint, and like the E600™ glue used, are a skill that will get better over time. These liquid mediums are quite viscous, and one has to be careful about the blobs, nozzle blockage, smears and misalignment that can occur. This is the most difficult part of rock decorating. Keeping the nozzle of the squeeze bottle clear with a paper clip is essential. Having lots of Q-tips around is another necessary tool. Gingerly squeezing out just the right amount of paint/glue/glitter can be challenging. A whole assortment of accidents can occur which will certainly test one's patience. Lastly, making sure that the dots are the right size and evenly spaced is another practice to refine.

Lastly, I will use an Exacto™ knife to pull the dots out to a point. This method is better than trying to do the same thing with a thin brush. Just because.


Monday, January 20, 2020

The Balance of Nature

Admittedly, I have taken the rocks I've painted from a certain beach along the northern California coastline. I've even stacked rocks (built small desk-size cairns) occasionally, but only in my studio. Every time I have visited the beach, a large expanse of rocks have disappeared and a great number of rocks have reappeared as the variety of tides has brought them closer and further away from the beach and near the trees close by. This has been the case over the past ten years I've visited this place. The seasons have also disrupted the flora and fauna as wind, rain, sun, and surf have had their way with the flourishment of living creatures throughout its ecosystem, of which I too am a part of; however infrequently.

Personally, I don't subscribe to the notion that I've intentionally or unintentionally upset the balance of nature by the action of selecting a few rocks to be used as canvases for the creations that emerge after adding paint to them. Everything that is not physical, is spiritual. I say that, not be glib but because space and time can be limitless (and limited) simultaneously. These are just thoughts that occur to me as I let the rocks dictate the direction and thought process that goes into painting each one.

The following is an article which brought me to some careful consideration about a variety of subjects about the disruption of the ecosystem.

https://www.sciencealert.com/rock-stacking-might-look-amazing-on-instagram-but-there-s-a-dark-side-to-the-magic/amp


Friday, January 10, 2020

Where do we go from here?

It is already the 10th of January and thankfully, no resolutions have been broken. This is mainly because the only resolution was to not make any! Now setting intentions is quite another matter. My hope is that our best intentions don't lead us down a dangerous path. Whether it is our intent to do good or to not, let it be for the highest good for all concerned. The chips will fall where they will.

The rocks below are reminiscent of the kind I've done in the past, but these follow a different geometric pattern. May 2020 be the year that we all go forth and prosper.

Godspeed!


Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Year in Rocks

2019 has been a year of ups and downs. Throughout the year, I have been found (Almost) every weekend at the Farmer's Markets both in Sebastopol and Calistoga. You can count on my presence or ask most, where I am stationed. This was the first year in a long while where my booth has taken a new location. Usually, the spot where Your Spirit Rocks™ can be found is under a tree to keep the sun off of my sensitive Irish skin. Since then, I've purchased a 5'X 5' Canopy which is just a delight. It fits easily into places and allows for enough space for an extra table if needed. Sales have been pretty consistent, but have taken a dip since both the Tubbs and Kincaid fires have displaced a lot of residents on the other side of the hill. These people need to be kept in our best thoughts and prayers.

Special thanks go out to all those folks who have supported me, not only by purchasing a rock but by letting me know how much they appreciate me. I haven't always been the easiest person to be around. Especially when I occasionally fall into what is called a "Blue Funk". You and others have lifted me out of this by coming by and offering blessings of your own. Last Saturday, an Armenian woman dropped by and gave me a whole pizza to share. This and other wonderful gifts have come my way, just by being open and available to receive them ( Yes, by the way, those Affirmation sheets inside each gift bag really work! ). Again, this year has been just fabulous because of people like you. Let me never forget how much

""YOUR SPIRIT ROCKS !!


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

It's what I do

Yep, I've been doing this rock thing for over ten years now and have figured out that I've painted and sold over 50,000 rocks, and this is a conservative estimate! Year in and year out I've been at the Saturday Farmer's Market in Calistoga and up until four years ago, the Sebastopol Farmer's Market. They both are enjoyable and you can say that I've become a fixture at each. That admission has it's ups and downs as you might imagine.But all in all, I count my blessings that I am able to use my talent and do something I love, and love to share with others.

Many people have suggested ways to make my business more successful, and I've tried to keep an open mind about things. Obviously, it would be nice to make a profit each weekend but that has not been the case lately. The local market has been saturated with Your Spirit Rocks™, and now with the Paint and Hide movement in full swing, people are painting their own rocks and discovering the enthusiasm that one gets when first getting started. This is a good thing and yet makes my livelihood a wee bit more difficult. Sometimes this is just something to go through to get to the next phase, whatever that may be.

Your Spirit Rocks™ is more than happy to share information about how to make stunning looking rocks, so don't hesitate to let me know if you would like for me to give you a personal lesson. I do make deals if you have rocks on the ready.By the way, the rock below is a figurative piece, reminiscent of an area of the coast where I get some of my rocks.