Important Update...

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

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Falling Forward

 So, rather than Falling Back, let's Spring Forward since it is almost Fall. My oh my, what day is it, anyway? The summer heat hasn't waned yet, and probably won't until November. However, the sky is sorta blue today, so everything is apparently okay, right?  The boogie is still in a mess as my friend Eric used to say, so there are still lifeboats available on the Titanic. Keeping a positive attitude will always render good results. This will always happen in God's time, not ours. Yesterday, I received an email from a deacon at the church I attend that reads: 

A while back I read a story of a visiting pastor who attended a men's breakfast in the middle of a rural farming area of the country.  The group had asked an older farmer, decked out in bib overalls, to say grace for the morning breakfast.

 

"Lord, I hate buttermilk", the farmer began. The visiting pastor opened one eye to glance at the farmer and wonder where this was going.  The farmer loudly proclaimed, "Lord, I hate lard.  " Now the pastor was growing concerned.  Without missing a beat, the farmer continued, "And Lord, you know I don't much care for raw white flour".  The pastor once again opened an eye to glance around the room and saw that he wasn't the only one to feel uncomfortable.  Then the farmer added, "But Lord when you mix them all together and bake them, I do love warm fresh biscuits.  So Lord, when things come up that we don't like, when life gets hard when we don't understand what you're saying to us, help us to just relax and wait until you are done mixing.  It will probably be even better than biscuits Amen."

 

Within that prayer, there is great wisdom for all when it comes to complicated situations like we are experiencing in the world today.  Stay strong, my friends, because our LORD is mixing several things that we don't really care for, but something even better is going to come when HE is done with it. AMEN!


It's easy to default to catastrophe, but it is best to remember that "panic is the nature of the beast".It is always best to pause and breathe before reacting in a way that we may regret.


Your Spirit Rocks™ supports your well-being and good nature by reminding you that:


The light within is producing perfect results in every phase of my life now.


Everything I need is now coming to me easily and effortlessly.


This or something better is now manifesting for me in my life in totally satisfying and harmonious ways for the highest good of all concerned.


So be it, so it is.



Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Applying puff paint

 This is about what is necessary to indulge in rock painting using what is called puff paint. First of all, it can be said that "Painting" with puff paint ( Tulip Glow™, Slick™ Scribbles™, or Glominex™) is more like trying to control the flow and application of products like Elmer's™ glue. It will dry quickly and smear easily. Naturally, when squeezing the product through a nozzle, one must take into consideration that the nozzle will clog and has to be cleared constantly. This is done by using either a paper clip, plastic toothpick, or sewing needle.

The next thing to consider is how to hold and squeeze the container. Squeeze bottles, no matter how large or small must be treated gingerly. Press with the thumb and forefinger like you were gently pinching a cotton ball. If the paint blobs out onto your rock, you may have squeezed it too hard. If it spits out a small blob, you may have hit an air bubble. ALWAYS tap the bottle upside down on a hard surface before starting the process.

Now if you accidentally bump your hand or anything else against the paint, use a q-tip to remove the excess paint you left on the rock by "slowly rolling the tip" over the area you want to remove. This will make it easier to reapply the dot or line you want to put down. Admittedly, the lower the amount of paint left in the bottle will dictate the effectiveness of even your best skills at applying lines and dots to your finished piece. Remember to always keep the nozzle clean with a needle, and keep the paint tamped down towards the opening of the bottle. The final product ( your rock ) will look so cool with texture, color, and glow-in-the-dark features. Good luck and stay with it!




Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Solitute

 It's one thing being alone. It's quite another if you are lonely and feeling isolated. Truthfully, falling into either can cultivate more feelings than mere loneliness. Self-pity, bitterness, resentment, mistrust, paranoia are just some of the boogeymen that can tackle us from behind. Solitude, on the other hand, proposes that we are at one with ourselves. Solid. It can also imply that it is possible that we can be good company to ourselves.

Working alone with the goal of furthering my artistic ability is a way that I foster something that contributes to my integrity. Good music, a warm beverage, the occasional meal, are ways to nurture oneself both creatively and developmentally. This is how I go through my day. If an appointment is on the horizon, things get reprioritized. This is as it should be. Having flexibility has been a lesson in maturity. Feeding one's imagination and desire sometimes will require a break from the ordinary. Calling a friend, going to a museum, or on a hike is an absolute necessity when maintaining positive mental health. This is my hope for everyone as we move through these difficult times of change.

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



Thursday, July 22, 2021

A lucky find

 This shell was found on the beach where I go to collect rocks to paint. It is quite unique and regrettable that a picture wasn't taken before it was made into its new jewelry piece. The shape was intriguing, so I made it resemble an ice cream cone with vanilla and strawberry topping. My next-door neighbor runs an ice cream parlor in town so it became a key chain that was hoped to be the ideal business gift. Perhaps more shells with similar shapes will be found in the future but for now, the cone became the perfect symbol to work with. 







Wednesday, July 7, 2021

When the old becomes new again

 My friend and patron, Senne brought me a rock I had painted years ago. It was an early design that I had proclaimed would not be repeated ( right ). In fact, it was the beginning of a particular way of working that I was not yet aware of upon starting out. Needless to say, things have evolved since then. It is known that I use metallic acrylic and no spraying was applied to achieve the gradient from orange to green and then to blue. I use a higher grade of Phosphorescent paint that gives a superior glow-in-the-dark effect. My final coat is done with resin, which gives it a nice glossy finish and protects it from the elements, and from grimy hands that tend to dull the brilliance of a newly painted rock. In any event, the refurbished rock looks a whole lot better than the original. Naturally, it's been chosen to be "The Rock of the Week".

Front 
Back 


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.