Thursday, December 11, 2014
Friday, December 5, 2014
The next step was to clean it up and colorized it . Then after it was complete, it was then sized down and printed it out on sticky-back, glossy paper. I adhered it to a flat rock that was decorated with fabric paint. Today, i enjoy all the steps involved in bringing a rock like this into existence. I also trust that this blog isn't read by my grandniece before Christmas you see. this is a surprise because we both know that she loves chameleons.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Many of the rocks I do will at times feature Holiday themes like this one. It reminds me of Edgar Allen Poe's poem called "The Raven" which is one of his most popular.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Monday, October 13, 2014
Well they used to produce this glow film but no longer have it in their catalog. To make a long story short, I bought some of the last sheets available. You can still find some online if you do a deep search and are willing to pay for a roll of the stuff ( upwards towards 300. for a minimum order! ) I took one of the sheets and went into a dark room with my black light keychain. After just playing with it for awhile, I began to discover what fun this can be!
If you watch the video until the end, you will see how easy it is to make silouettes by placing your hand over the film itself and then shining the light on top of it.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
When I tell them that I paint rocks, they begin to chuckle. Not too long ago ( about four years, to be exact ) I would tell people that I work at the C.I.A. and that admission would sometimes send a shiver up their spine, but I quickly reassured them that I was at the main desk when you entered the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, CA
That was then, and this is now. Thankfully, I have seen and met just as many great people who come to visit the Napa Valley from all parts of the globe.
Your Spirit Rocks!™is a token (or souvenir if you will) that hopefully will remind them of the enthusiasm and joy that can be had in this wonderfully idlyllic place. Naturally, like the rocks shown below... the spirit of their visit will continue to glow
Monday, September 15, 2014
The temperature quickly rose above the ninety degree mark and did not let up. Smearing myself with plenty of sunblock and drinking lots of water, I somehow made it through the day, but it was not very pleasant.
Sales were decent though, and I am grateful to all those that found their rock to take home with them. The other artists who displayed their work were all pretty cheerful and upbeat as far as I could tell. All in all it turned out to be a good day.
A woman named Barbara came by with her husband Bill who was a former California Highway Patrolman. They were very nice people who were out exploring the neighborhood and took the time to talk. He ended up purchasing a rock for his wife with the word "Faith" painted on it. She seemed to me to be a living example of it.
Thanks you all for making this late summer day a special one.
"Your Spirit Rocks!"
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
The beach rocks I use are basically Sandstone,and the other rocks I use are called Mexican Pebbles which are very smooth and leave a nice finish.This week's rock is a nice round Sandstone I call a "Spinner Rock" because when I flip it upside down and give it a twirl,it spins for a while on a blue bobble which was adhered to the top of the rock.I don't usually paint my rocks yellow unless I want to have it serve another purpose.In this case, it can be used as a top or just as a beacon to direct oneself to the restroom in the middle of the night!Always make sure the rocks have been "Charged"( i.e. held under a regular lamp for about a minute) before you turn out the light on your nightstand.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Not all the rocks that I paint are like that, however. Many of my designs are simply favorite images that people enjoy such as dragonflies, butterflies, sports logos and the like.It is my hope that you will have these rocks for many years, and that you will pass them on to others when it is time to part with them.Below is an example of one of the meditation rocks that I recently painted.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
I was glad to see many friends and loyal customers as the came by to say hello at the Fairgrounds (and even offer us snacks from the cooking demos)which were happening in the same pavilion as the Your Spirit Rocks!™ display.It was blistering hot outside which is why I was very grateful to have a spot in the somewhat cooler Napa Building.
The next day was the Farmer's Market which was pretty hot as well. My sister sold charm bracelets that she had made and again, we had many people come by to see what was new on the display table.It was hard work setting up and breaking down both days, but it got done. As enjoyable as it was, I am glad that this opportunity presents itself only once a year.
A glow in the dark painting which I treasured, was sold for a hundred dollars. It was hard to let it go, but now I am challenged to make another one.The rock below is a shot of my yellow spinner in a semi-glow state.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
This whole issue of messaging has become an activity of breathless tagging which covers a real longing for connection that is in danger of never being met. I am speaking for myself, but strongly suspect others who are falling into the camp of shallowness and disillusionment because they just are not getting through (both figuratively an literally).The quest for brevity and convenience are important issues when people make a call or text a message,but the expense of these supposedly technological amenities are costing many their own Peace of Mind.It can, and will rob us if we are not paying attention. When was the last time you allowed a conversation to evolve without composing and expressing your next thought. Is it really possible to suspend judgement in order to really hear what is being communicated?
There is a lot of blocking going on here.
My own selfish remarks have pushed some,if not many people away,rather than bringing them closer to me.It then perfectly fitting that my landline go dead and remain uncommunicative. Why call when no one picks up? The answer is obvious when I am the one not really making myself available.Long story short.It is time to lose this phone and meet people face to face without this superficiality and false sense of time urgency.I can now be reached on my IPhone exclusively until further notice.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
"The Spinner". It is like a top when you turn it over and give it a whirl on it's bobble end. When spinning upright, you notice a swirling "Hypno" effect as the rock rotates around and around like a top. The look is especially mesmerizing in the dark under a black light of course.You see only the bobble in this image.See the video below for a preview of what this dandy little rock can do!
Friday, June 13, 2014
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Below is a candid picture of Mother Tabitha who provides good vibes and blessings to everyone who comes to visit. The sisters from her convent make wonderful baked goods that come fresh from the oven.She is a Russian Orthodox nun from a convent which is within walking distance to the Market. This picture was taken at the end of last week's market after she had gathered some beautiful flowers for the church.She then beckoned me over to her booth where she generously let me taste a delicious "Mud Pie Cookie" that had chocolate,walnuts,coconut and other wonderful ingredients.
Goodies like these are just a sample of what you'll find along with fresh fruit,flowers,Crepes and a host of other yummy stuff.Come on down and taste some of the best features offered here on a Saturday morning in Calistoga!
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Saturday, May 10, 2014
We make our own beds,and we sleep in them.
Thanks,Mom. I love you more than words could ever express.
Saturday, April 26, 2014
The other amazing incident occurred about ten minutes later when this young girl turned up at my booth to inspect the rocks.As she surveyed the table she picked up a sample rock I had put on the table in hopes of generating some custom orders for Mother's Day. The picture below is of this little girl who celebrated a birthday party in the neighborhood many years ago, whose image I thought would look nice on what I am now calling an "Heirloom" rock. Well as luck would have it,here was Claudia, who proudly announced that the little girl on the rock was her! She immediately went over to show her mom who just about broke into tears she was so taken.I don't even recall the exact year when it was taken, but when I printed it out and adhered it to the rock I figured that some parent may want a shot like this to memorialize a cherished moment. Claudia was two at the time, and is now a proud eight-year old third grader at Calistoga Elementary.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Since there will be no Chef's Market on Thursday night this year, I thought I might have a chance showcasing my Spirit Rocks on Tuesday mornings there.No such luck.Napa is another world,and tomorrow is another day.The beautiful coy fish pictured below can be seen by visiting the Russian Orthodox Monastery here in Calistoga.Mother Tabitha is a wonderful soul who offers a kind smile and simple blessing to those who stop by to see the fish.She is one of the many sisters that live there. I am filled with joy every time I visit the quiet sanctuary next to a creek which feeds into the Napa River. The Coy are kept in an enclosed pond for everyone to enjoy.
Monday, March 31, 2014
I am inside today painting some rocks that I hope will be more, better or at least different from those I've done in the past. Although figurative images like the ones below are not my forte´ They are a departure from what I've done of late.The bear was said to look a bit "tubular" and I have altered it a little after a friend criticized it. The eagle was not as difficult to paint as I thought it would be.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
I would go out to the ocean and collect only those rocks which felt good in my hand and had a flat smooth surface on which to paint. I figured that they would be best suited as "Meditation Objects" that people would use to focus their attention while meditating.I gave a few of these to friends along with a sheet of affirmations.More and more ideas came to me in the succeeding months.
Three years ago,I approached a woman from my church who ran the Calistoga Farmer's Market.She began renting me a vendors space so that I could begin to SELL these pretty rocks.Sometimes, I entertain the idea of being supported on a "Suggested Donation" basis, but I am afraid that I would be overwhelmed with work,and would go broke fast.
I recall seeing a ceramicist last year who had a booth outside a "Further" concert who seemed to be doing fairly well by providing a current generation of Dead Heads with pendants heralding expressions of "Peace" in different languages.These he had fired out of clay and was accepting donations only.I have no idea if he is still making a living this way,but his sentiment and cause were admirable.I however,need a steady income and the confidence that provides.
Well wouldn't you know, these rocks have begun to sell! I've learned what is a fair asking price for a desired result.Even when custom work is requested,I relish the creative challenge.It is a thrill a minute.Your suggestions have found their way to the market table and my enthusiasm grows.
Bottle stoppers,Magnets,Pendants,Stacked Cairns, Mirrored rocks and other unique items have been produced and have sold well.Many have suggested that I sell online.Although I've resisted this idea, wanting to maintain control of my inventory...the idea has not been dismissed out of hand.I suspect that I am a bit fearful of impending success.Perhaps this fear is unfounded, but the YOUR SPIRIT ROCKS!™ business is still moving at pace comfortable for me.
This blog was created to have you see the latest products and to be a part of the development of what perhaps could be a movement of sorts.You have talked to me about having workshops,and I still would like to pursue this idea.Is this something you would like?
Feel free to join this blog and give me some direction.I would really like to know where to go from here.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Your rock may end up miles away from where it originated.It may be ground into sand or smaller pieces in service to to a slab of concrete or other building material.It may just end up as a paper-weight on your desk or window sill.If the rock is not meant for you, you will know it.Pass it on to someone who notices it for whatever reason.
Like our children, these are products of life longing for itself.These contain an energy that can neither be created or destroyed.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
The rocks below are showcased using plexiglas mirrors, a black light and a photographed in a dark setting.It's always fun to see how best to show off these beautiful art objects.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Thursday, February 6, 2014
That's the good news.Rain on Saturdays during the Farmer's Market make the situation sketchy at best.Tourists will come and visit Calistoga whatever the weather, but the foot traffic always is better when the sun is out.I usually play it by ear, and sign on at the last minute if it is not too wet. Your Spirit Rocks™ don't like the wet weather as it tends to soften the protective acrylic coat I give each rock.
This weeks rock is another heart-shaped rock that I painted with red and green.To some, this rock may look a little too much like a real heart, and for that I apologize if it offends anyone's sensibilities.A Happy St. Valentine's day to all!
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Below is one of my favorite rocks as of late.It is not always easy to find heart-shaped rocks so this one is very special. I still have a few more just in time for Valentine's day, though.