Important Update...

Visit: Your Spirit Rocks! on Facebook . Our vendors booth appears every other week at the local Farmer's Market(s)

Friday, February 16, 2024

Back to my future


Occasionally I like to go out in the woods to hide some rocks. If I find a little spot kind of hidden away, I place a rock there for some youngster to find.Perhaps it will be someone who just wants a little souvenier. In either case, this is a gift that I want to pass on. Hopefully, it will travel to a place where it ends up holding down a stack of important notes, or maybe just a door stop.Either way, it is meant to be passed on. One must probably wonder where all the treasures that they have collected as a youth ended up.

Obviously, if they were real treasures, they would be keepsakes and may travel through the years to new horizons.As a kid,I went to the Y.M.C.A. in our town to an event where we got to fill a large container with objects that young kids would find fascinating.Objects like a spark-plug , a skeleton key, caps, marbles, a quarter, and the like.These items were buried in a time capsule on an island not far from the mainland.

 Eventually, they would be dug up by some future generation to see what children found interesting in those days. I only I wish I could have been there when/if it was to be dug up. 

 A few years back I traveled to the town of my birth to speak with someone at the local paper to see if they had a follow up story on a picture that was posted in their paper at that time. Apparently, they regretfully had not. Below is a picture of that event... 


Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Rave on

   It is already 2024 and if I had any idea that I would still be painting and decorating rocks after thirteen years, I would say you were crazy. It certainly has been a learning experience for me and will hope that I continue to find new inspirations and lessons. 

  Lately, I've been branching out a little by painting these round wooden discs that I got at the Dollar Tree™, which is one of my favorite places to buy odds and ends. I've used the basic black for the primary coat and have been doing a preliminary sketch right on the board. Then i trace over the lines using a metallic gold puff paint. Flourescent green and fuscia are a powerful combination of color. It looks great under a black light ( of course )

  The butterfly theme sort of evolved. I love the sinewy strokes representing the some otherworldly flowers. These flowering plants cannot be found in reality, unless someone knows something that I don't. It was never clear to me as the composition evolved, it just sort of happened.

  We are not featuring the Rock of the Week for now, but it will return as soon as I venture forward with some new designs.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Distraction and creativity

  I've been listening to an audiobook about the creative act. It seems that a lot of people don't think that they are creative. I would contend that they may be confusing being artistic with being creative. We are all creative to some extent, and the ability isn't on a scale of proficiency. The creative act is simply that. One creates when one employs the awareness that they are creating.

  It may be confusing as to how one will manifest their creative expression, but even on the most minute level, creativity allows for choices that are made moment by moment. Yes, demonstrating that blueberry pancake recipe you took from a Betty Crocker cookbook, involves choosing that particular mixing bowl that you mother passed on to you as a vehicle for containing the ingredients.The mere fact that it is porcelain instead of steel may be considered a creative diversion. Artistic, probably not.

  The aforementioned may be a bit of a stretch, but using your power in making choices to render certain outcomes is a creative exercise.Losing track in the process of choice-making is difficult when we assess our behavior as a mistaken attempt.

 The renowned chef, author and T.V. personality Julia Child is a case in point. When she accidentally dropped a dish (or) prematurely added an ingredient out of sequence, she would remark,"... If you can't fix it, feature it ! ".Thus some may conclude that there is no room for mistakes and that spontaneity is always the pitfall of a creative pursuit. Nonsense! Improvisations are all a part of the creative process, of which distractions are inevitable.

Below is a recent attempt at Art Nouveau (done on a wood panel, not on a rock as of yet )

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Conformity and balance

  It is not unusual for me to paint a rock and add a design that intentionally conforms to the shape of the rock.Usually the work can be symmetrical, as the look will retain some semblance of balance.The rocks below were painted with a gold puff paint which doesn't include that regular glow-in-the-dark feature.The strokes are modified with an exacto knife that sweeps to a point, as if applied using a very small brush.The rock is then dried and clear-coated with resin,for a high gloss finish and water-proof protection.

  These stones are pocket size and are intended for use as a meditation device,or what one may call a "Worry Stone" to alleviate anxiety. It can be used to calm the nerves as it is rubbed with your fingers before making a speech or watching a closely contested sports event. Usually any activity which may produce an uncomfortable sense of dread, which is only human when anticipating certain outcomes.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Still having fun

 I know that if I wasn't having fun painting rocks that I just wouldn't do it. Right from the beginning, it's been a creative challenge each time I get out the acrylics and brushes.Aside from the standard glow-in-the-dark feature, I've been devoting some more time adding a dimensionality to the rock.

 Online I found this black paint by Stuart Semple which supposedly is the blackest black. He claims that his most recent iteration (black 4.0) is hands down better than any out there. It's a flat black, that obliterates, or more accurately...disappears objects painted with the same paint, placed in front or behind. 

Black 3.0

 After ordering some, I've tried it on a couple of rocks and was amazed at the results. The bowls or basket rocks as I call them, have an oval black center that is offset slightly thereby giving an illusion of depth. I placed a comical figure with their nose and fingers hanging over the edge to add to this sense of depth perception. Kilroy ( the martian, in this case ) lives on.

 I've used the same technique on smaller rocks with some success, always remembering to use brighter colors to enhance the foreground and the very dark black to draw one's eye in.

 Although you can't experience it here, I have a pair of 3-D glasses that  really make things jump. Stop by my table at the farmer's market to check them out. 

Kilroy the Martian

 A similar style rock under regular light

 The same rock under a black light 

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

A Time for Giving

     Yep, it's that time of the year where the Spirit of giving comes knocking at the door. Notice I say, the Spirit of giving...The notion of "Paying it forward" comes into play here. Either we should give with no strings attached,or not at all. This is just my humble opinion.

    The other thing to consider is that it is best not to give that with which you are not willing to part. Attachment and detachment can be painful.

    A mentor of mine once told me,that to give when it is painful is really the time start giving.Today, it can be just as important to be able to receive as it is to give. Consider the following...

    Receiving validates a connection between you and the person giving, and it should be understood that the person who is receiving a gift, is free to do with that gift whatever they wish. It must be noted,the giver may be attempting to buy something. Perhaps a favor, or some hidden expectation will become just that... an expectation.

Why set oneself up for disappointment. Let go!

    Trust can put one in a vulnerable space for both parties. In both cases, trust your intuition. Balance, Timing and Acceptance also come into play here.

    We have all heard the old saying, "It is better to give, than to receive".It is my contention that giving for it's for the sake of giving is forgiving. 

Below is this weeks " Rock of the week"

This Rock was given to me by a Russian Orthodox nun who visited the deepest lake in the world. Lake Baikal in the southeast region of Siberia was where she picked this up. I found it to be the perfect rock for painting a large rock from what I imagined might be seen on the shore of this lake late in the day. What a wonderful gift!

Monday, November 6, 2023

A Big Thank You

 Being that this is gratitude month, it gives me a warm cozy feeling to express my thanks to everyone who has purchased or recieved a gift rock from Your Spirit Rocks! ™.

 This year marks the 13th year since the merchandising of "Your Spirit Rocks!™". Every Market venue that has accepted crafters from Napa to Healdsburg, have made it possible for people to see and handle these glow-in-the-dark gift rocks.

 Time spent before the public, has been curiously motivating. Children and adults have come by to tell their own stories about either finding a rock or recieving one on a special occasion.Even those who paint their own, offer stories and suggestions that have been inspiring.Many have visited the booth at both the Sebastopol and Calistoga Farmer's Markets. It can be said that sales have been good there year round, and these markets are presently the only two where these specialized rock items can be purchased.

 Mostly, the focus of my creativity has been on a variety of techniques, mediums and subject matter. A lot gets emblazoned onto the meditation stones, pendants, keychains and some other assorted items.If this is your first time visiting the blog, check out the links to previous submissions on the side column ->

 It is my hope that i continue to find joy in any creative pursuit, as much as you find joy in yours.

Below is this week's Rock (star) of the Week...

Monday, October 23, 2023

Rocks Don't Die

That which is spiritual, has suddenly claimed a certain cachet. If you are spiritual, you are non-materialistic and don't put value in things that are of this world. Rocks however, in this sense can be considered immaterial. Usually, they have no apparent value except what are considered to be collectibles. Do rocks have mortality? Questions like these too often fall into the realm of the philosophical.

The surface of many beach and river rocks will usually have a life form of blue green algae, but generally speaking, the only rocks that may have contained life are now fossils. Crystals grow by accumulation. A living cell grows by assimilation. Conciousness is certainly not necessary for a living being within our sense of living, so therfore the lack of consciousness in a rock is not evidence that it is not living.But living like a tree or a plant? Hmmm... I think not.

A rock is part of a process that "digests" material, uses energy to reform the basic building blocks time and again.Thus, the atoms in a rock are just as "alive" as the atoms in our body. In its basic sense, we are just a more complex reformation of atoms than the rock, still within the same overall lifecycles of those atoms.  

Rocks are samples of objects that are time tested. Like what is considered art, it may have no inherant value in the grand scheme of things, other than the value that has been assigned to it,  and ultimately is a product of many things that are often time-tested and remain mysterious.How long does it take for a rock to form or disintegrate? How long does an art piece last?

 I am often asked how long does it take to paint a rock? And my answer always begs to question .. where does the process begin and where does it end? It's so easy to jump from one ponderable topic to the next.What time is involved in creating anything? I suppose it could be said that I am painting a rock right now! You may think I am speaking metaphorically, but I am not.

The short answer. Is ...”Not long"

Below is this week's "Rock of the Week"

Monday, October 16, 2023

Create from Nothing

    This is a surreal short video I made about ten years ago. It is a collage with many strange selfies and many special effects. Admittedly, the Ken Burns™ effect modified much of the content of this production. It can also be considered a creepy montage, just in time for Halloween.

     Credits for the music and sound effects go to IMovie™ and the Andrew Sister's rendition of "Rum and Coca Cola" ... which has absolutely nothing to do with the content of this mashup. Images of people featured in the still photographs are former employees of the Culinary Institute of America's Greystone Campus Store and personal friends.

    Included are stills of celebrites like Keith Richards, Johnny Cash and an actor potraying Edward R. Murrow. Also featured are an image of the world's ugliest dog, a live human oscar statue,  models portraying live portraiture from an annual Mustard Festival, and photos of the Empire gold mine with shots taken around that property. All of this imagery contributes to the idea that we will create from nothing, and that logic is often suspended in the realm of the imaginary.