Where to get Your Spirit Rock...

Visit: Your Spirit Rocks! on Facebook (and) at the Calistoga and Sebastopol Farmer's Markets. We are there every weekend from 9am to 2pm . An assortment of new , One of a kind rocks are there for sale every week!





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.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Changing it up with Decoupage

The Rock below is a custom job I did for someone who wanted to give a special rock to a wedding couple to commemorate their special day. Although I've painted portraits in the past, I felt that because of the size of the rock, that decoupage would be the best solution to get the exact imagery one would want as a keepsake.

The process is fairly simple, although it has to be said that having Adobe Photoshop™ or Affinity image editing programs are necessary for getting the desired results. Now, Get on the computer. but before starting to modify your picture, make sure you have a perfectly flat, dried, painted rock with a color that offers enough contrast to make your image compatible with the rock.

Now, after scanning and/or opening a .jpg or .tiff file, you begin to modify the image accordingly ( i.e. create the shape and physical size of the image you want ) This can best be served by increasing the resolution of the images to 300dpi which will produce a suitable printout. You can give the picture a certain shape, clarity, text addition or flourish to make for visually pleasing output. The physical size of the photo below is approximately 3.5"X 2.5" after all the changes that were made.

The next step is to output the image to your inkjet printer. The paper should be glossy, and preferably sticky-back. The next step is to cut the image out and place it on the Flat, oblong, symmetrical, smooth rock in such a way that leaves a 1/8 " border all the way around the image. When adhering (or gluing E6000™) the picture to the rock, make sure it lies flat and does not buckle. This can be achieved by pressing and holding the picture onto the rock for about a minute. Lastly, when the glue is dry, clear-coat the image with either Triple Thick™ or Duraclear™. This will protect the picture and still retain the high gloss finish. The puff paint and glitter as a border adds a nice finishing touch. Voila! You now have a beautiful commemorative gift rock.


https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=12PzACi2h1pvjmqHHa_1_Ujt6K5ypywXp


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Rock of the Week

Hello fellow patrons, This week's rock is a design that uses a sticker of a mandala. Yes, I do use stickers on my rocks and work around them. Sometimes I will paint right on the sticker to give it a bit of dimension, as the puff paint gives the rock texture when it dries.I've used large rocks to create rocks that you can roll your foot around on, and get a nice massage before you get out of bed in the morning.This rock is painted white to accomadate the high grade phosphorescent paint that I use. It is white during the day and turns blue,purple and green after the lights are out.



Thursday, November 7, 2019

This Week's Rock of the Week

This week's Rock of the Week features a nice round rock ( okay, a little oblong ) that is painted with a Jacquard™ metallic purple and adorned with a mandala sticker ( my eyes could not even think of a painting that small ) and petal flourishes of Tulip™ and Glominex™ glow paint. It is meant to be a meditation stone that can be carried in your pocket, perhaps in a small bag along with an affirmation sheet like the one included in the ornate bag that is available with each purchase of Your Spirit Rock ( and a keychain blacklight to highlight the colors in the dark ). This one will be for sale at the Farmer's Market this Saturday, November the ninth.


Friday, October 18, 2019

New Directions

The Shell lights I decorated below are and example of projects I've explored in past, but because the shells are expensive and not easy to come by, they haven't been forthcoming.I've had to rely on friends or beaches where they can be found to acquire them, and when a bunch of scallop shells made into night lights are created, they go pretty fast. Once painted, I adhere a four color revolving nightlight to the back of each one carefully with E6000™... an industrial strength glue. They are pretty fragile and therefore should be left alone after inserting them into a light socket. The thing that makes for a pleasant feature is that they glow with just enough light so as to not be intrusive when wandering around in the middle of the night. A UV light (which comes with it) adds to its attractiveness, although that aspect can only be witnessed when observed from the front where most of the decoration has been placed. Exploring new and different surfaces with which to paint,keeps me busy.Everyone's suggestions and ideas affords plenty of opportunities for me to consider.