Important Update...

Visit: Your Spirit Rocks! on Facebook . Our vendors booth is appearing periodically at our local Farmer's Market(s) due to Covid19

Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Rock of the Week

 It's back! It has been a while since we've presented the "Rock of the Week". Now it was time to re-introduce this feature to the blog again. Most who have visited this site are regular customers of mine. They have purchased rocks or have met me just to talk. I am always inspired by the creativity and tips that are shared with other artists, students, parents, and teachers. Initially, the painted rocks were meant to be meditation objects. They have evolved into much more, given that are only just rocks.

 The stones that are displayed on my table are flat, smooth, round. The rocks used are mostly Sandstone or Mexican pebbles. Granted, almost all of them are painted with a base coat of Gesso and then second-coated with metallic acrylic and lastly with a border of dotted puff paint. A final clear coat of resin gives the rock a beautiful shine and protects it from other elements like water, sun, scratches, and breaking. It is understood that this can be a time-consuming endeavor, but well worth the attempt.

Sometimes I like to incorporate decoupage, a technique that involves adhering pictures to the rock. Other techniques involve such components as glitter, nail polish, glow paint, alcohol ink, invisible ink, fiber texture, and other flourishes. Perhaps you can think of some material or method that will make these talismans more attractive and useful. Below is another recent creation...




Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Addicted to Painting Rocks

Yes, this is a good habit... but it's an addiction nonetheless. Will I continue with this activity? It looks that way. Since sheltering in place due to the epidemic, Creativity has really been on the increase. Not only have my painting and drawing skills increased, but an interest in methods and materials has sent me off in otherworldly directions. Speaking of which, a company called "Culture Hustle™" has inspired some explorations using a richer and darker black paint.

The use of these products has been intriguing. Their application has piqued their effectiveness, and now that the virtual wallet has been pulled out, funds are being allocated generously. Black is now the premier pigment for anything that requires deep contrast. Below is the just-completed Owl that will be gracing the display table at this Saturday's market.


This glowing, horned owl has something that looks like a flying saucer over his right shoulder. Actually, it is a moon that follows the curvature of the rock it is painted on, giving it an oblong appearance.



Monday, May 24, 2021

Changes Ahead

 Okay...For the longest time, I've been talking about moving on from painting rocks to some other medium, method, or material. Recently, a text was sent to the manager of the Sebastopol Market with the idea of trying my hand as a quick sketch artist. Perhaps you may have seen one at an amusement park. I have never done this before and am quite nervous about even attempting it. She texted back seeming very enthusiastic about the idea. Her remark was akin to the Nike slogan..." Just do it!" 

Good ideas seem to come in waves, and if one fires me up then that's the one to go after. So, in that vein, another idea came to me. This idea was still within the context of rock painting. It has been relatively easy to mount sticky-back images of celebrities, pets, or loved ones onto a flat rock. Then after encircling the image with gold or glow dots, the rock gets sealed in resin. They come out looking something like this one below.

Who would like something like this to memorialize a pet or friend that has passed on. However, this would mean that the picture would have to fit on a particular rock. No problem. Except that I am stuck in the ennui of collecting, painting, and selling rocks. This has been going on for over ten years!

The last idea two ideas that have floated my boat have been making mobiles, chimes, or producing small framed pictures. Settling on a singular idea is challenging to say the least. I will be attempting one of these ideas in the very near future. Stay tuned as these ideas either catch fire or sizzle out.


Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Rocks at Russian Gulch

 Many people know where to go to get the rocks used to create "Your Spirit Rocks!™". For most of the more studied rocks (i.e. the ones that are larger, perfectly round, and symmetrical) it's just as easy to go to Landscaping yards to find ones that will work best.

  • The rock to the left is an example of that. You usually have to scout around to find a proprietor who will allow you to rummage about the rock bins trying to find one that will work well for your project. They may charge you a couple of dollars depending on how many and how much your purchase weighs. It usually isn't too much for a bag full.
The one here on the right is a finished product that was ready for Valentine's Day. Unfortunately, these larger rocks aren't always what people will purchase for their gardens along with their vegetables at the local Farmer's Market. However, from time to time it turns out to be the exact item someone is looking for to fit a certain spot in their garden.


On the other hand, going to the ocean not only to find rocks but for respite and peace of mind will always be rejuvenating (especially in these times). Watching the waves come in, the seagulls fly about, and the shoreline moving closer and then retreating accordingly to a predictable schedule of tides should not be missed by anyone feeling the so-called "Cabin fever" of staying indoors. Finding the time to take in the beauty of this sanctuary is very important. It feeds the soul. Waves crashing against the rocks will wash away the ennui of everyday living.


The kind of rocks found at the Russian Gulch Beach vary in size and shape. For the most part, they are oval-shaped. Some are longer and thicker than others, some are grainer (if they are sandstone) and will have dimples or slight imperfections. After a while, your eye will be trained to find the ones most suitable for your purposes.

Occasionally, an odd one will appear and make you wonder where on earth did this one find its way onto the beach, and how did it get all those markings? How many centuries old is it? Did it move from a deep place under the ocean's floor? How many tumblings did it take to become as round as it is? These ponderings continue to present a mystery for our inquiring minds.
The many shapes of shells, seaweed, wood, and other items will appear and disappear in every season and during every visit.
















Monday, April 26, 2021

Black 3.0

 Exploring new mediums is one way I stay inspired. Black 3.0 (made by Culture Hustle™ ) is supposed to be the blackest paint on the planet. It's pretty black as the picture below will reveal. It's not cheap either. Compared to other acrylic paints, this is the most expensive paint applied to any special rock project. Another paint purchased was called "Mirror" which is supposed to render a chrome-like finish on whatever smooth surface it adheres to. It is a step-by-step process and if a step is left out, you can rest assured that you won't get the results to be expected. 

Stacked Black Rocks

Like the Black 3.0 paint, the mirror paint was also expensive. The only thing that can be said about buying art supplies, is that they do motivate one to further their creative skills by applying different methods and materials. Nail foils on rocks are another challenge that was explored. So far, none of these mediums have produced any of the results expected. That being said, to return to the tried and true metallic acrylics are always the best bet.



Chromed Mirror Rocks





Friday, April 9, 2021

Materials used in the process

 I suppose I should stop telling people that I post a "Rock of the Week" since I always seem to be lax in putting one up. At least a picture of some sort will accompany this blog. 

    Today, a new type of black paint arrived at my door. It's called "Black 3.0" promising to be the blackest black in the world. Naturally, I wanted to give it a whirl. So far, some test rocks have been painted and they look pretty doggone black.

Using either black or white as a base coat will influence whatever color used to showcase the image that will be painted onto the rock. The surface of the rock has vital importance as well. Is it too rough? too absorbent? too many dimples? Is the rock smooth, flat, and large enough size to accommodate the imagery? All these are considerations that have to be made in the process.

    The brushes used, the amount of paint, the careful approach to detail all matter. Some of the mediums used besides just the acrylic will present challenges of their own. Puff Paint, E6000 glue, Resin, Stickler Glitter, Triple Thick, and Krylon Clear Coat are only a few of the materials used to produce the desired results. At last, the final piece can be a sight to behold. No one can tell me I have better things to do during the Covid crisis.




 

Monday, March 29, 2021

To be inspired

 My friend Tom has many collaborative ideas that he is encouraging me to follow. I like some of them and we talk about what will not only inspire him but both of us. Lately, my inspiration has been waning. Sales have been so so, and if nothing fuels my fire it is likely that I will be putting rock painting on the back burner so to speak. I'm all about selling, marketing, and creating new products. So far, I have sold over a million rocks since I began doing this "Hobby" ten years ago. You read that right...over a million rocks.

People like Tom mean well, but unless they are willing to lift a finger regarding their own helpful suggestions it can be annoying. He is also looking to be inspired to create something new. We bat it back and forth, and if the idea has merit, we pick at it until it is time to go to work on it.

I can't rag on Tom too much though, because this is mostly my stuff. Besides, the guy is eighty-seven and has that many years of project experience as I do. He readily admits that I render my work much better than he does. That being said, I can't wait to see what he creates. We were talking about a handmade "Rock" made using clay with a flat surface like a mini canvas. I like the idea as we discussed the size, material, and properties thereof. 

My hope is that Tom won't get discouraged and lose interest because he is prone to do that. 

Anyway, the rock below has nothing to do with the aforementioned, but I like to keep my fans happy




Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The Rocks of the week...Rockshrooms !

 This particular idea came to me after a fellow vendor supplied me with a bag full of corks that he thought that I may be able use for a craft project. I know that corks have been used to make bulletin boards, trivets, corny figures dressed up in felt, etc. I found that placing a small flat rock on top of the cork inspired me to put together a little amanita mushroom. The look caught on and I have since painted and sold a bunch of them. Naturally, the dots on top of the "Rockshroom" glow in the dark.

A month ago, another vendor who sells mushroom jerky and medicinal mushroom tea traded me a couple of these Rockshrooms™ for a bag of his jerky ( which is delicious by the way ). His girlfriend Carly liked them so much that she made a little terrarium and created a sweet little gnome environment. If I can get her to send the pics on to me, I will be sure to post them. Below is a pic I took which shows you what they look like.






Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Variety is the Spice

 Between cooking for myself and creating new things to sell, my muse is back pushing me forward again. Going through the regular peaks and valleys of the sober life is still challenging, yet adventuresome. Currently, the gift rock business inventory needs a little help so the days have been going by quickly as preparation for the work, addressing my other commitments, and generally, multitasking is what has kept this mojo working. Making coffee drinks, chopping vegetables, mixing sauces, and trying some off-the-wall flavor combinations have kept it all very intriguing.

The mixture of Chipoltle sauce and peanut butter seems like an odd combination, yet it is really yum. Butter in general though has been too much of a go-to item that my stomach is beginning to pay a price. Other creative endeavors have included scallop shell night lights, mushroom rocks, spinner rocks, and the latest... a cupcake candy land UV lamp! Who says that food and rock creations don't go together ?!

Target had a sale on these small desk lamps, so naturally, I purchased two to feed my decorative curiosity. The pictures below show what one looks like both on and in the dark.