Friday, August 9, 2019

This Week's Rock of the Week

August reveals summer at its height, and I've been remiss in adding content to this blog. My bad. Art, in general, has taken precedence over the rock painting. Inspiration is essential to the very important pursuit of beauty in all forms. The concept of Beauty is how this spiritual journey began ten years ago. After all, our world is a benevolent place that beckons all of us to follow our bliss, our calling.

You see, I've been over-taken with the beauty witnessed below. She is modeling a piece I created just for her. It is a Sun/Moon pendant which is adorned with glow beads and gold glitter. Yellow is her favorite color, so no opportunity was passed by when it was added. It has been an honor to have her wear this neckpiece, as it has brought out her best qualities which are her sparkling personality and a kind smile.

Enough said.


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

This Week's Rock of the Week

Today was an interesting day. I was listening to a podcast about "Forest Bathing" and thought, I really should be outside. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. It is summertime, it's hot, yet why not enjoy the mornings or late afternoons in a forest before the sun goes down. Bothe Park is just that place for me. The tall redwoods and active creek make for that perfect communion with nature. Then it happened. Wham! I trip on a rock and down I go. You see the day was just divine so I broke into a run along the trail right before I fell. Needless to say, my life has begun to slow down, as my broken rib and sprained wrist heal. Ouch!

It's been said that we teach best what we need to learn ourselves. Well, what a lesson that was. Now I have taken to not just painting rocks, but meditating as they are being painted. It's peaceful at my place. Good music, a pot of coffee and I'm in the zone, usually coming up for air around 4pm in the afternoon. This has been my life for the past six years at least. What started out as a groove has turned into a rut lately. Now I'm reinventing myself as I seek greener pastures. The rock business has been about the same. Some days a grind, some days a groove. A wonderful time was had in Healdsburg however, at the "Art After Dark" event just off the square, last Friday night. Although I was sore from taking that fall, I was still able to put up the canopy, make lots of sales and take Saturday off.

The rock below is a trend started a week or so ago. It reminds me of a Clifford Still painting with the elongated strokes of color. Although I didn't paint with phosphorescent Glominex™ on the rock itself, it's got reactive paint to stun the viewer when observed under the UV blacklight.


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.


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.



Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Marching Forward

This month's rock is called a "Zulu" rock just because it reminds me of an African tribal design. Most of the dots are painted with reactive fluorescent colors in kind of a swirl pattern that continues on the other side. These past couple of months have been very rainy and I have spent a lot of time indoors painting.The selection of rocks has grown, so their will be a lot more to choose from at the Farmer's Market. The booth is not set up on rainy days because it is just messy. When the sun is out, it is very likely you will find me there.Stay tuned next month as I Spring ahead!


Monday, February 18, 2019

February's Rock of the Month

This rock is another "Spinner" Rock which is a combination of a few concepts that have come together to make a rather unique item.

a spinning top using a round, flat, smooth, perfectly circular, glow in the dark painted rock. Along with this, you will need a strobe black light. A large plate with curved edges so the rock won't fall off and a pair of 3D glasses to get the full psychedelic effect.

These items can be purchased online (i.e. an Amazon "Letmy™" UV flashlight and a pair of Chromadepth™ 3D glasses) both accessible and are reasonably priced.

First, you paint your rock like a pin-wheel with fluorescent as well as phosphorescent paint. Create your own kind of hypnotic pattern or draw a template on the rock before painting it. Dot the top of the rock with Tulip™ Glow. You can use whatever UV reactive paint for the rest of the rock, but to get the continual glow with the lights off, you will need Tulip™ Glow.

Now place a small glass bobble like the ones you find in webbed bags in the garden supply aisle of most craft stores. Use an industrial strength glue so the centered glass bead won't come off when it is dry. Let it sit overnight to harden. Lastly, give it a clear coat of Krylon™ to protect your finished product. Now you are set.

Take your Spinner and give it a quick turning motion using your thumb and middle finger until you become proficient at making it spin faster and longer than five seconds. As it moves freely around the plate you can put on your 3D glasses and point your UV flashlight on the spinning rock. All I can say then is... WOW !

The bottom of the rock should look like this...


Click on the following link...

https://youtu.be/HtIK1HbJ1Wo

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Rock of the Month

Decisions, decisions, decisions. These postings have not been occurring in a timely fashion when a new rock concept is showcased so we will be posting on a monthly, rather than on a weekly basis (perhaps not that few and far between). Lately, our interest in rock painting has waned a bit, and the idea of moving in a different direction is starting to come forward. This blog, however, will continue to showcase the unique, one-of-a-kind Spirit rocks as they are produced.

Yet, Something having to do with two-dimensional pieces, using other materials besides rocks as canvases. The medium we use will probably be similar, but that may take a turn as well. Other natural materials have produced interesting discoveries. Block wood, bark, cork and glass are entering the picture. Materials that have not been explored up to this point. As this creative pursuit emerges, the postings will reflect the progress. Stay tuned!

The rock below is something that has been tried in the past, to show how well 3-D effects look on flat rock surfaces. The creature peeking his head over the top is a take-off on "Kilroy", a character that became popular during WWII.


Thursday, January 3, 2019

First Rock of the New Year 2019

This rock is called "The Invisible heart" which is meant to symbolize how we tend to hold back our love to those we would otherwise give it freely. The color here seems rather melancholy, but it is only temporary because it's blue color is how it appears under a blacklight. The dots reveal a teal color which symbolizes serenity, wisdom and patience. Under normal light, you cannot see the heart. It just looks like a white rock with a lot of white dots that give it texture. The white of course, is a sign of purity which is where each heart began it's journey.This rock marks the beginning of a new adventure in my craft and spiritual journey. Our creative force continues to move beyond form. May your Spirit continued to be Rocked in 2019 and beyond!