Saturday, July 13, 2019

This Week's Rock of the Week

It is July 13th, a Saturday, which means it is dedicated to rock sales at the Farmer's Market here in Calistoga. Tomorrow I attend the market in Sebastopol for the same reason. I have done this year-round for quite some time now. There is always something new to show and some new information that can be garnered to further the craft of Painted Rocks.

A friend named Donna came by and told me about a paper-marbling class to be held at the Nimbus art center in St. Helena next Saturday. It may be time to take a break from the market to go check this out. Acrylic pouring and paper marbling are two styles I would like to learn more about. This artistic pursuit is calling me to explore other methods and materials.

This past week, a rock was donated to the Aids walk. It was a rock with the Hindu symbol for peace on it. You may notice many yoga practitioners wearing this symbol. It seemed appropriate enough for the occasion. It gives me a lot of joy to be able to contribute something to a worthy cause like this.

Next Friday I will be a vendor at the "Art after Dark" event in Healdsburg. It looks to be a fun time can be had from 6pm to 9pm on the Square there. If you are going, please stop by to say hello. Lastly, the rock of the week (below) is one I enjoyed making as it is NOT something that looks similar to rocks that have been painted in the past. Please leave a comment, as it is nice to receive feedback for my work. Until next time, be well.



Friday, July 5, 2019

This Week in Spirit Rocks

It is the day after Independence Day 2019, and it has been a very enjoyable start to the month. As usual I am preparing myself for the Markets this weekend. However Yesterday, I was privileged to ride in a motorized cable car that brought myself and the Farmers Market staff down Lincoln Avenue in the annual Calistoga Fourth of July Parade. We were honored as the non-profit business of the year, and got to ride along with Calistoga's mayor, Chris Canning.This was the most fun I've had in quite awhile. Being part of the Farmers Market here has changed my life. If it weren't for this wonderful community of people, I don't know where I would be. The pictures below feature Christy, Karen and myself on the Cable Car.You can come by every Saturday year round to enjoy good music, food and local fellowship in a happy and safe environment ( We are right next to the police station, a block off of Lincoln Avenue, the main road in town. Please stop by!



Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Rocks in process

As you can see, I use different colors for different rocks. The paint I use is metallic acrylic. No two rocks are the same,even if I ultimately try to repeat colors and designs.The rock itself dictates it's own requirements. For instance, Sandstone is more porous than Granite with it's tooth (surface texture) able to absorb the acrylic paint better on the first coat. The paint on the rocks below only required one coat as it is quite thick. However, if you look closely, you can see that on some rocks, another color has adorned the edges.

The shape of the rock is another thing to consider. Craggy or obtusely-shaped rocks may require more than one coat of paint, as nooks and crannies are easily missed on the first application. Once the rock is given a solid color, it is sometimes fun to make it "two-toned" for more visual interest

.Using a complimentary color, this can be easily done by using an older,splayed brush and quickly flicking it up and down around the sides of the rock to cover only the edge. Then, using another slightly wet brush, simply diffuse the new color into the other by dampening it over the primary color. This process is better seen than explained.The two-tone effect should look almost airbrushed. So when we build and decorate these rocks,the surface will be ready for puff paint,glitter or whatever else used to add bling and texture. more to come...


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Rock of the Week

Decoupage!

This pasted image rock was done some time ago and features a .jpg image of a vaudeville dancer. The photo was easily re-sized in Adobe Photoshop™ and printed out on glossy sticky back paper.

After adhering it to the carefully selected rock ( which was very smooth, flat and shaped perfectly for this image )Trimming it to the size and shape of the rock is fairly easy, even if you are a novice using a pair of scissors. Lastly, I proceed to clear-coat the pic and add a glowing element around the border.

The nice thing about this process is that any digitized image can be modified, printed, and made available to be showcased on a flat rock. Pictures of family, friends, dogs, cats or anyone you may want to memorialize. The rock will look very nice on a desk or nightstand. Decoupage is the name given to artwork that adds pasted imagery to the surface. The addition of acrylic paints, dots, and design work enhance this process.


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.