Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Scaling Down a notch

I do enjoy painting rocks, but at my age, I need to get out a little more often than I do. Today I went for a run around the track at RLS Junior High in St. Helena. The heat was unbearable but I ran 10 laps ( I really should say that I walked 5 and jogged 5 with numerous water breaks in between ) but it felt good. More about that later. Last Saturday, I brought out my little 5X5 Canopy enclosed to make a dark room which I call the "Night Gallery".Unfortunately, even with a fan inside, it still baked. Besides which, not that many people noticed or cared to walk inside.

Upon taking it down later, it occurred to me that I have far too much stuff to pack and unpack, so in the future, I will be bringing less inventory and using the small canopy as an open-air solution ( no need to put all the UV lights up when I have a hand-held model ). Lastly, I've been taking more time with my creations, so you will see the quality of the painted rocks improve considerably. However, you will not see as many on display. The rock below is a custom job that was done for a special friend who is partial to black cats. See you on Saturday!


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Rocksober Fest

This past Saturday was spent at a music event in Boonville. The town can be found after driving a long and winding road towards Fort Bragg in Mendocino County. I arrived on Friday afternoon around 3pm and the festival crew directed me to the area where I would set up. My canopy and vendor's site ready by 4pm when as the show's manager/creator appeared there to greet me. This man has a large, demanding style, yet is fairly amenable when it comes to suggestions. That is if the suggestions make sense to him.

The voice and instruction style he has can be grating after a while, especially when that information is generally uninteresting and goes on ad infinitum. After other people began arriving, it became clear who was directing the show. One of the first things noticed was that no one of his performers from the two previous Fests was scheduled to be on this year's bill. Hmmmmm.Why was that? Anyway, we all followed his lead and the booths and logistical questions became clear.

I barely got much sleep Friday night due to the hard ground ( in spite of an air mattress ) and the ambient sounds that continued until dawn. There were coyotes, dogs, crows and other assorted creatures making a cacophony of sounds throughout the night. It was rough. Most of the set-up work was done save for a few extra chores.

Thankfully, I was offered some sympathy and a finely brewed cup of coffee in the morning by our aforementioned director, who actually can be a good-hearted guy. We moved picnic tables, garbage cans, and soft drinks as we coordinated the viewing area for the attendees. By noon, people slowly began to arrive. Even a few painted rock customers from the past!

Shows like these are gearing up to be a healthy, family-friendly event. A work in progress you might say. In effect, they do not draw wild, drug-induced fans intent on disrupting what otherwise may be a fun, stable weekend soiree. However, advertising this as a clean and sober event is not meant to be prohibitive in any way to those who are respectful of this idea. All in all, the future possibility of gatherings like these have great potential. Below is a picture of this week's rocks. I sometimes think that this would be the best rock to put on my desk. What do you think?


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Rock of the Week

This week's rock is a new experiment (as you may have guessed). The art of acrylic pouring has captured my interest and the spontaneous results of the flow can be intriguing. Most of the time the use of a stick or string can move the paint in directions that look more predictable. The color combinations are tricky because when the paint is mixed with the Deco Art™ pouring medium, it can lighten and thin the color slightly and dry in a different hue than what might be expected. However, I am generally pleased with some of my first attempts.


Saturday, May 18, 2019

Coffee with Robert

Today is Saturday and the rains came down around 10:30am here in Calistoga. The Farmer's Market looked really iffy, so Robert Redus and I decided to pack it in and go have coffee at the Calistoga Roastery©

We are both artists and vendors who support ourselves in this venue. His merchandise is Silver plated jewelry ( earrings, bracelets and such) hand-crafted from antique silver trays. The "Your Spirit Rocks™" booth features the hand-painted gift rocks. We both had a lot to share with one another.

Robert is quite a businessman and has demonstrated how to keep a log of sales and more importantly, how to break it down so that there is no wasted time and money. Thereby, turning a profit. This has been an education in progress. We talked a lot about the intricacies of the business and what to say and do when we set up our booths every Saturday to sell our wares. Today was not the day to do that. This weekend may be a "wash" in that regard.

We discussed why we do what we do, and how we support ourselves. We also mentioned our philosophy and business strategies... what works, and what doesn't. All in all, it was time well spent with a friend. Shown below is a direction of current interest. The Paintings that are showcased in the dark have been exciting. The glow factor has been a valuable component that is essential. Below are examples of that.These are called the "Fire Dancers"


Monday, May 6, 2019

Pure Fascination

Your Spirit Rocks™ can be said to be the gatekeepers of one's destiny. Some are used as talismans and have been around since the beginning of time. These foundation stones are the decorated veterans who have been availed to a higher purpose. Yet they are just rocks, some with more mineral value than others, yet still just rocks.

Every time you go to the coast there are always some there, Rocks and artists will find each other to form a bond through various mediums and design elements. If an artist stopped painting rocks, for instance, it is likely you would still find many combing over rivers and beaches to find their muse.

For many, art has become a means of survival. Especially these days, but it hasn't always been that way. Menial labor has robbed so many of a divine calling, most certainly those who follow an austerity necessary to focus on creative excellence.

Distraction and quests for security and financial independence can occupy one's time for decades. Cultivating an art form, on the other hand, can provide education, activity, and purpose that can be shared with a lot of different people. Expressing oneself on small surfaces such as flat stone has and will foster a spiritual connection that lasts. This has been a necessary component for personal growth.

Taking the time to observe the natural beauty of trees, rocks, and shells, for instance, is how peace gets seeded and grows. No one really wants to be confined, when beauty beckons one to places like a forest, river or beach. If one is confined, it's still enlightening to harken back to a simpler time through evocative imagery reflected by everything that has served to communicate. Art is like that.

Light and love become watchwords that are attributed to the pursuit of beauty. Think for a moment, of time alone when experiencing a captivating joy. Was it not the direct result of feeling the wonderment of life expressing itself in a natural way? Now is the time to continue your creative pursuit of such beauty. There is no higher aspiration in my opinion.

This weeks rock is one that will glow throughout the night when activated by any light. Colors are also apparent even without an accompanying black light.


Thursday, April 25, 2019

Today's Rock

I call this one the "Bobby Dazzler" which was an Australian television series which ended in 1978. That was also a term which Australians use to denote "Bling". It can remind one of a fancy mafia pinky ring, or perhaps the ornate star nebula viewed through the ceiling of an Arabic mosque (yea, right). Truth be told, it is not too different from many of the meditation series of rocks that have been sold over the past few years.

As pretty as this rock appears under the blacklight, this design has gotten pretty boring to me and does not seem to tax my creative reservoir. In other words, these puppies can get cranked out fairly quickly. This does not take away from how much these rocks are valued, however. I would not be making them if it were not enjoyable to produce lots of them.

Most of the time during the day is spent coming up with new, relevant imagery, techniques, and mediums. Gift cards and small framed pieces have captured my interest lately, which will be posted here in the future. I sometimes find it puzzling to acknowledge that perhaps "multitasking" (i.e. distraction) can be considered part of the creative process.What do you think?


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Second Thoughts

As much as a 5'X5'canopy may breathe new life into the Your Spirit Rocks!™ vendor's site, it has brought a few problems as well. The enclosure in effect is a "Night Gallery" as one might view it from the inside. Outside, it may be mistaken for something else not mentioned here. This is a spot where people can step inside to view what the rocks and other pieces will look like in the dark, under a blacklight. However, it takes almost an hour to put the thing up with its side panels and velcro strips. Secondly, it gets very hot inside as the morning moves into noontime. A swamp cooler will be necessary for the summer when temperatures exceed 90˚. Lastly, it is difficult to manage the vendor's table in front while at the same time staying with customers inside the gallery itself. All these considerations undoubtedly will work themselves out in time. This project has showcased the best rocks in ways one might not otherwise be able to experience in the day time.

Small Framed pieces and gift cards are on the horizon for what people will have the opportunity to purchase when the Summer Market begins. Although it can be said that most of the rock designs have not been repeated, many request similar figurative pieces like cats, horses, doves and the like. Today will be spent producing more of those types of rocks.

Below is where to go in the hope of making everyone's Spirit Rock!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Between a Rock and a Good Place

Today we've ordered some blank black note cards while hoping we can expand the product line. We have tried bottle stoppers, refrigerator magnets, Stacked Rocks ( Cairns ), Spinning Rocks, Keychains, Bottle bells, Pendants,18"X24" Posters, Spinner Rocks, Decoupage memorial Rocks. We've also added keychain black lights and 3D viewing specs to enhance the whole Your Spirit Rocks!™ experience.

You can view many of the rocks that have been produced over the years by clicking on the following link:

Illuminated Glow Rocks

These Illuminated Rocks have been brought into existence since 2010. To date, well over 10,000 rocks have been sold.It can be said that all these rocks are one-of-a-kind. For the most part, they are. There are only a handful of designs that have been repeated, and every rock is hand-painted and decorated. The colors are delicately painted with a rich coat of acrylic. The Every rock is then UV protected with a high gloss clear-coat. The line work and dotting are done with puff paint. Many rocks are also adorned with holograms, glitter or even Thermogenic paint whose color will change hue as it warms.

Now that a dark room viewing gallery has appeared on sunny days, the general public will have the opportunity to view the rocks under a black light. In the future, more small framed canvases and gift cards will begin to appear for display in the walk-in night gallery. The small painting below is called "A way out" depicting a small bald-headed man emerging from a vibrant colored cave. You like? Stay tuned!


Friday, March 22, 2019

The Tail end of the Winter Rocks

Today is the 22nd of March, and Spring was in full force yesterday with sunshine, and today it's raining. Heck, what can one expect? It seems like it refuses to stop, even after the water table throughout the state has reached full capacity and then some. Now we'll probably have three years of drought. In any event, The rock below is fitting only because we will all be fish if this rain keeps up.

Yet who's complaining? Me! Besides, there won't be rocks sold at the Farmer's Market when my old canopy is about to collapse and I only get to showcase the new canopy in good weather. This canopy is only 5'X 5' yet is a perfect fit as what can be described as a "Rave Cave". Actually, it will be a blacklight gallery, of not only some of the best rock I have but some cool posters as well. The posters will be sold on a commission basis because it takes time to make the colors reactive by painting over them. The plan is also to get a swamp cooler for the summer months because it is sure to bake inside. There is just a fan in there now.

3D glasses will be sold for viewing these products and my hope is that you give this venture a peek.I truly think it will be worth it.