Important Update...

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

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.


Wednesday, October 4, 2023

This too shall pass...

 What a week it's been. First of all, my car is in the shop  ( don't ask ) I also had a basal cell carcinoma removed from my nose (they got it all , thank God) and I am now religiously putting sun screen on before leaving my home to ride my bike...which are my wheels for now. For these and other reasons, my presence has not been felt at the Farmer's Markets for the past two weeks. The good news is that I am getting a lot of other things done during the day.

Basically, all I talk about on this blog is my rock creations and sales. Perhaps I should take the business all online, but then I wouldn't have the enjoyment I experience when attending my favorite markets on the weekends. Besides, too much time is already spent on the computer.

I painted a lot of rocks during this sabbatical and have come up with some real nice ones. Check out the ones below. They all qualify as the "Rocks of the Week" because I can't decide on just one. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Going to Market

 Travelling from Calistoga to Sebastopol on Sunday morning is a peaceful meditative drive. Arriving at the Farmer's market around 8:15am I'm usually ready to hit the ground running. Unpacking and setting up my vendor's booth is an enjoyable activity. Seeing other vendors and determining where to set up the booth has been at times a hassle, but remaining flexible is an important asset. The community of vendors are most helpful and encouraging.The vibe is usually one of excitement and grateful support.

Making a table presentable is another task that is constantly being Improved and refined. The first task is to have a sign that announces your booth. Then the table has to look approachable. I have found that the "Your Spirit Rocks™" table looks best in the sunlight because of what I call the "Bling factor" ...that is, some of the rocks have a sheen or enhancement with holographic material that stands out when the light is on them.The problem however is that it gets hot in the direct sunlight sensitive skin can burn easily. This is not to mention that the rocks can get hot and not easily handled without getting dropped because of the heat. So, what to do? Canopies are essential.

    Having a canopy or even an umbrella that can be shifted around helps tremendously. Having a way to observe the rocks  "glowing"is another important and essential component. People want to see what they look like in the dark... with or without a UV black light. For this challenge I used to use a coffee can. Now I have an apparatus with an observable eye piece, and a cup that fits right over the rock to block out any ambiant light. The UV light comes in from the top and a little to the right to accomadate the eye piece. Voila! a glowing stone! The images shown below are featuring some of my best work. The first shows both the rocks and a poster I created for a backdrop. The second shows what things look like when I turn the UV light off.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Fall is in the air

 Today's Market brought lots of out of towners into our city to do a lot of browsing. The vendors had an assortment of new wares and were all enthused about meeting new people. The music of Mike and Robin was fantastic as they played a lot of oldies from generations past. Robin's voice is second to none.Lovely harmonies and superior playing. At my table, there were people who had the courtesy to see what I'm up to with my assortment of new rock creations. Many of my new designs are abstract, but that's okay. If you are meant to add a rock to your collection, it will choose you.

A few keychains, a pendant and a small assortment of decorative items that serve as keepsakes, backpack zipper pulls and desktop paper weights. Why not? All of these items can be useful, will find a nice spot and they don't take up much space at all. 

 Below is this week's Rock of the Week:

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

With Doilies !

  My friend Veda crocheted a lovely doily some time ago and just recently sent me another one. I have found that these items are just the absolute best thing to have under your Spirit Rock on a coffee table or mantle. For one thing, the wooden vaneer will not be scratched and your rock will be properly displayed.

  The other thing that adds value to this item is the fact that like the rock itself, it also glows in the dark! (with or without the activation of a UV blacklight). 

  Just like the stars that adorn a child's bedroom ceiling, the doily and rock will continue to glow after the lights are turned off. Naturally, the brilliance of these items make for a one-of-a-kind showcase piece.

  Hopefully, we will be able to feature the glowing doilies along with "Your Spirit Rocks!™" sometime soon at our local Farmer's Market. Veda says that she will take a look into this as being a possibility. 

Below, they are featured just underneath the Rock of the Week!

One: Regular Light, 

Two: UV Light and 

Three: Glowing on it's own.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Portfolio 2023

 Thankfully, I finally learned how to navigate and compose slide shows using the Apple™ Keynote app. It was after having completed the project I was able to upload it to YouTube™ and then copy the link for viewing on the Your Spirit Rocks blog here.

It was not saved at the highest resolution, so it may be better viewed on your smart device. Even still, the soothing transitions of this four to five minute video showcases some of the best rock creations of the year. The image below is this weeks "Rock of the Week"


Monday, August 14, 2023

Who collects these rocks?

 I have met a lot of wonderful people who have bought rocks as gifts for others, or to have one or two for themselves.Many people who go to the market are looking for functional items to bring home. Tourists prefer items that they can take with them that are not too big and don't require shipping. Others want a unique gift that is one-of-a-kind and is a reminder of their trip. This is what I try to provide.

    It is known that many people paint rocks to sell. Some have sayings on them, others are like small mandalas that can be used for meditation.I recognize this and try to be accomodating to those that have a preference for color, size and subject matter. This being said, I can't please everybody. For every rock I sell, I have to paint another one... and over the thirteen years that I've been doing this, I would estimate that over a million have been sold.

    People who have seen me, know that I treat everyone the same. Young and old. Never are these art pieces pushed on people. It can be said here that, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink ". I say, that if you are meant to have a rock, it will choose you. They are all different, like everyone who stops just to have a look. Thank you to all my patrons. You make my day!

    Below are two young ladies who found the painted rocks as something worth investigating.

Monday, August 7, 2023

What we own

  What we own also owns us.Concious generosity and striving for simplicity is the answer for some . Doing a physical inventory of our belongings will reveal our memories and attachments. Keeping things simple in this way is a bigger problem than what we may think. With the advent of the internet, staying focused on the present has been something of a challenge. Attending to those events,updates, texts and emails... Is it all really necessary? Do I need to go out to get this new gadget? Will having the lastest post, like, or comment on social media have any real effect on the quality of our relationships? Perhaps, but all this liking has got me thinking... how is this specifically contributing to our personal growth, and value as critical thinkers?

The less I know, the more I think I have to. 

  A weird sense of time urgency has taken over. I'm no longer missing what's going on out in the world, because it's all there at my discretion and dismissal.This is how we in the West have been trained to think for decades... and if thoughts are things, we are in big trouble.

  There is so much around that has to be sifted through and discarded. There is a lack of storage space not just physically, but in our heads! I think that we are in need of an external hard drive for our brains! 

  You don't have to miss anything of importance if you can go back, sift through it and make sense of it all.We now have the tools to become so much more expedient in our research and assertions. The problem then becomes what is called the "Deep Fake". Ever since AI has come to the fore, we now have to prepare ourselves for that which may have been a falsehood or a questionable story in the beginning. An advert quote recalled from the past... "Is it live or is it Memorex?" Good question. Time to examine things a lot more closely.

Below is this week's "Rock of the Week". It is one from the past which did draw much attention on my table at the Farmer's Market.

So I dolled it up a bit.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Doing the deal

     If it ain't one thing, it's another. Right. A Great sentence to start a paragraph. Today, i've been in the process of re-inventing myself. Much like I do most every day. Unfortunately, it seems that having a desire to change, I end up with no new habits. Habits are tough things to begin as well as to break, just as much as resolutions are hard things to keep. Be it exercise, diet, prayer, meditation, preparing a meal or limiting the amout of coffee you drink in the morning. 

    Sometimes that is the best that can be done. Washing the car and doing the laundry also fits into this category. The best advice my father gave me was to stay busy.Now, he was not talking about distracting yourself. It seems that finding meaningful work or creating leisure habits to do can be a transforming experience, no matter how humble they may appear. The work may be voluntary, a paid service...a pain or a joy. This is our choice. Hobbies and avocations serve a purpose in this regard as well. Is it something that you want to do? If so, then your happiness becomes a function of participation. It can be a solitary or group endeavor.

    Art and Rock painting has always been somewhat of a spiritual practice for me. It calms my mind, and keeps me present in the moment. Other than this, it keeps me heading in the right direction. 

  People may say that I have put all my eggs ( in this case, rocks) in one basket. To that remark, I would have to say yes. Half measures have availed me nothing. I had this attitude when devoting myself to running marathons until I injured myself. Then,  when I was at work I would be running in place (figuratively speaking ) just to please people, which ultimately did not work.

    Whatever it was that was going to take a large portion of my time, meant that I was "All in". So far, my lot in life begins at the stage of acceptance of those things which I cannot change.

Remember...It takes courage to change. Welcome it.

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

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Something like a monk

   Ever since the Covid Pandemic, "Cocooning" in my apartment has been how I spend most of my days. Keep in mind that i'm not feeling sorry for myself, or that I am intentionally isolating.It's how I roll.My day starts with some prayer, and on Thursdays and Fridays, I attend mass at the local church. Around ten, and after a large cup of coffee it is the time to get going on those creative pursuits. Prior to this, the preparation and enjoyment of a fulfilling breakfast always fits the bill.

    A nice selection of music, be it classical, R&B or meditation, having this in the background provides an uplifting experience as I approach my studio bench. Perhaps even a podcast to enjoy will also fit the bill. Preparing rocks with Gesso™ is the first step taken in what will eventually render a well-crafted rock.

    Having a focus and intention of pursuing beauty in whatever form it will take,inspires the process of creativity.At times,the process will introduce to me a lot of challenges that, unless addressed as opportunities for learning, a frustrating mess will ensue. Below is this week's Rock of the Week. It's a color saturated rock with glowing green hearts.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

That, that is...

 Some may remember a movie called "Charly" starring Cliff Robertson. In the movie there is a scene where Charlie's intelligence is increasing and he demonstrates to his mentor (Lillia Skala) that something on the chalkboard could be punctuated to make perfect sense. She disagrees, as he proceeds to reveal it's literal accuracy.

That that is is that that is not is not is that that is that that is it is

after editing, becomes:

"That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that that is,that that is? it is!"

Granted, no capitalization was added, but the execution is amazing.

Now, what does have to do with "Your Spirit Rocks!"™ ?


Nevertheless, here is this week's "Rock of the Week"

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

The Heat goes on...

 Today the temperature is moderate. This afternoon will hit 90°.Tomorrow and throughout the weekend it is forecasted to be in triple digits. Saturday's market will find me under a tree with a lot of water bottles, sunscreen and a water sprayer in the attempts to cool myself or anyone who happens by the Your Spirit Rocks!™ booth. The rocks get hot in the sun, and sometimes too hot to handle. However, having the sun on them brings out the bling factor. This, plus the glow makes these rocks unusual collectibles.

    Many of the locals arrive early to purchase fish, vegetables and fruit to bring home. By eleven, the tourists start to arrive. Some will purchase a gift rock to bring home to the kids, as these items travel nicely and usually won't get absconded by T.S.A. agents at the airport for carrying something illegal. 

    Some will ask, "What do I need a rock for, anyway?" This question can only be left to the imagination, which pre-supposes the next question... " What better object can we hold in our hand that would fire the imagination?" It has been told that Steve Jobs had an interesting story about rocks and team building. This is the short video here:

  Below is this week's "Rock of the Week". It is done with alcohol ink, which gives one a similar effect as would an acrylic pour which is usually done on a larger scale. The second image of course is what the same rock looks like under a black light. I was surprised to see that the yellow and red colors are UV reactive.


Thursday, July 6, 2023

A Rose by any other color... still a rose, as the saying goes.Many prefer yellow to traditional red roses or even violet. Color preference is a personal choice and a reflection of our experience. Even if you are color blind, the determination of hues, tones, shadows and light become highly sensitized components of ones appreciation of color, or the lack thereof.

 Now think of things that determine your own relationship of color and the role is plays in whatever you bring into your realm. The clothes you wear, the food you eat, the car you drive, even the tint of your sunglasses.

It's important to pay attention to when colors fade or lose their lustre. Are they still visually pleasing? Say a favorite old Hawaiian shirt, a deck of trading cards or even that Kodak picture from the senior prom. Rusted pipes and the patina left on a copper pitcher  still have a distinctive allure.

When purchasing a piece of art it is also important to consider how well the color(s) will age. Many artists go to great lengths to assure their patrons that a painting will retain an archival quality. Artists will choose thier palettes with this factor in mind. Otherwise, it is something more about the piece that will draw a viewer in... they're are many considerations that come into play.

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

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Waxing Philosophical

     Okay, I don't purport to be a philosopher ...but like Socrates, I have a lot of questions. Waking up this morning was like non other. Yet everything seemed to be the same as before. Then a thought came to mind, what if I had died during my sleep? What would it matter, and to whom? and why?

    Oy vey! ( Yiddish for Ay caramba! ) Is matter or energy what effects us, or do we effect matter? just " Talk amongst yourselves " as Mike Meyers would say on SNL. 

Enquiring minds want to know (Thank you, National Enquirer).

None of this has been or will be resolved, so let's get down to business...Rocks Matter! 

Nuff said.

Now, here is this week's "Rock of the Week" 

Relaxing on my couch observing a large green Africani Rock sitting on the floor of my apartment. All done in augmented reality using the Metascan™, app on my IPhone.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Having Fun with AR

Although I am not a big fan of acronymns, AR ( augmented reality ) is a technology worth exploring. Especially if you have an iPhone. Their is an App called Metascan™, which when downloaded to one of the newer IPhone models, it will prompt you to take a bunch of pictures all around an this case, a rock. Which upon taking about 50 pics you would then upload all of them and wait as they are processed (It doesn't take long, about five minutes ). What then happens is that it will render a 3D image which can be viewed in a variety of positions. Below is a video which sort of gives you an idea. Click on the link here:

After the object is rendered, it is then possible to place it in any enviroment you wish. In this case, I thought it would be fun to resize it and put it on the potty. The little green yoga skeleton is sitting on a rock cushion that was painted for this very reason.
The skeleton is not one of my pieces, but I thought I would share it with you anyway. :-)

Trust me, I did not have a rock this big sitting on my toilet.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Treasured Beauty

 Many ask me, "Where do you get your Rocks?" I usually respond jokingly,with... "If I told you, I would have to kill you". This is not what they really wanted to hear. However, it is not a question I readily like to answer because the place where I go is probably the most wonderful place you could visit and want to return to, often.

A place that you'd want to keep secret.

Just a hint, it is about four miles north of Jenner, CA. Where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean. Many have this out to be their favorite spot for a romatic interlude. Jenner by the Sea, The River's End restaurant, and Kayak rentals are a few of the joys you can enjoy before driving further up the coast to the bottom of a steep ravine.That's all you need to know.

Nothing beats a trip to the Beach, especially on a calm, moderately sunny day when seagulls scavenge for treats as the tide goes out. It's easy to get caught up in the serenity of this place, especially on a weekday when most people are probably busy at work.

Looking and finding an assortment of rocks to paint is fun for me. The criterion employed is to find rocks that are flat, smooth ( no cracks or dimples ), symmetrical and as perfectly round as possible. To think of them as little canvases helps, because you have to envision how they are to be painted.What materials, colors and adornments are you going to use? These are all questions that become apparent during the creative process.

Eventually, these treasured beauties become a reflection of another positive experience to be shared with others. Something to be passed on.

Friday, June 2, 2023

Rinse and Repeat

 Okay. So perhaps you've seen a few of my designs repeated and appearing on the table at the Farmer's Market. Pursuing excellence, and the repitition of visually appealing designs have a way of honing one's skills. Admittedly, the best work and those rocks that have sold well, have kept production time to a minimum. Twenty-five to thirty-five hours a week painting rocks, are far and away enough to foster new ideas in keeping the creative juices flowing.

Here's an example of one such rock...

What can I say? I'm dancing as fast as I can.

For every rock I sell, a new one has to take it's place. I've painted and have sold over a million rocks in the thirteen years since I painted the first rock. (See the framed piece below)

The point made is that repitition is the work worked, or more accurately, " The work performed" . In Latin, this is known as "Ex opere operato". The question begs to ask, " Does ritual and repitition breed excellence or is it merely an obsession?" Is the work done in vain, or does it serve a higher purpose... other than survival by virtue of monetary providence? Finding joy in the activity is providential but not always satisfying. These are questions I ask myself.

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

"Galaxy and the Little Bang"

Monday, May 22, 2023

A Debt of Gratitude

 Thank you. This post is for everyone who has a rock that I've painted, or who I've had the good fortune of meeting at our Farmers Market. Your Spirit truly does Rock, and I will be forever grateful to you!

This has been an intention that was set over thirteen years ago at a beach just north of Jenner, CA. Skipping stones pondering where or what was to be the next chapter in my life had me at an impasse. Only then, after surrendering to my life to a Higher Power, God, the Universe or whatever is the author of our existence left me aiming in a singular direction... self-employment, or more precisely, Creativity. 

Looking a smooth, flat rock seemed to be an ideal surface for  small paintings.Having studied Fine Art in college, it was time to pursue this as a calling.

Granted, it was doubtful that i would be making a living doing this as a profession, but I still had to give it a shot. It seems that the Universe will shift when one makes up their mind to take a leap of faith. What was my next move going to be?

Unemployment would leave little to go on,and I still had a few years before I was able to collect Social Security. Thankfully, painting rocks and a little savings have kept the wolves away from the door. 

Eventually I approached my friend Karen, who guided me in becoming a craft vendor at the local Farmers Market. What can be said? It's been a wonderful adventure that hopefully will continue well into my adolescence ( tee hee... who am i kidding? )

By the way, if you have read this far I would encourage you to see the portfolio video by clicking on the link to the right of this post ->

Below is this week's Rock of the Week

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Strength in Vulnerability

The Rock below is another Dazzler insofar as it is sending my artwork in a different direction. Black has always offered a nice contrast to whatever color or figure I place in front. In this case, the feather seemed fitting, as I knew it would be fairly easy to place the image on practically any stone. 

The glow as always, is an added feature. The other thing that filled the whole motif is the starry background. Perhaps I was "Guilding the Lilly" as it may appear, but I did want to add another dimension to the whole motif.

I like the color black because it draws the eye in, and gives it a place to rest. It is also makes a powerful statement. This is also why I find the image of a feather complimentary, because it seems to express the opposite... vulnerability and fragility.

Friday, April 28, 2023

No rest for the Blessed

 Today was practically unbearable, but I still got a lot done. I am all caught up with just about every rock I promised myself that i would paint this week. Upon checking my email, I discovered that all my stored emails had disappeared. 

Is it possible that my email address was upended by someone who has nothing better to do but to mess with other people's accounts ?  ( I don't know really what happened, and it still remains a mystery ).That being said, I was able to get through to tech support which eventually put my mind at ease. The email are still gone.

Then my keyboard started to give me trouble. It refused to make spaces wheneverIhitthespacebar !!! I finally figured out that it was the Safari browser that wasn't letting me compose anything.This too also is a mystery, but I am presently on the Chrome browser and everything is functional, at least for now. Could it be that Mercury in retrograde or something to that effect? No worries. This too shall pass.

I am blessed, because I have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, good friends and family members, and a way of supporting myself. I am truly grateful for everything that has been given me, everything that has been taken from me, and everything that is left me. 

These are affirmations that are used when I am faced with my own powerlessness. My wish is that if i focus on that which i am truly grateful for; it isn't long thereafter that I realize that i am blessed. I wish the same for you who just happeded to read this blog.

Below is the Rock of the Week...

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Pursuing Beauty

  As you invite nature into your daily routine, and allow for those moments of peaceful serenity, you begin to experience the way light illuminates all the plants and trees around you. Yet all of this goes beyond description. 

  Yesterday was a profound experience . Taking what is known in Japanese culture as a “Forest Bath” I came away with a fresh and new perspective . 

All of the usual cares and worries of the extreme political and social climate that we are presently facing…drifted into irrelevance. Having a modicum of timelessness left my friend and I speechless.No feathers ruffled here.

And of course, this weeks "Rock of the Week"

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

How to use your rock

     Everyone can enjoy the simple pleasure of having a painted rock of their own. However, what to do with one after you take it home? The good news is that most everyone enjoys the novelty of a hand-painted gift rock. Especially one that glows in the dark! Whether you paint one yourself, purchase it, or find one that has been hidden. These rocks are a special keepsakes. 

    Rocks have even been found next to gravesites as a memorial to deceased friends, family members or pets. Aside from this, on a practical level they make excellent doorstops, paperweights and bookmarks. 

     They can serve as a reminder to purchase a can of tuna for the cat when left by the front door. A particularly hard rock can also be used as a hammer or grinder when used to crush corn inside a concave stone (a la the mortar and pestle).

     A brightly painted rock can be seen as a boundary point, or a significant address marker when driving down an unfamiliar road. Rocks delineate gardens and cover holes to keep out rodents. You can probably come up with a grand list of ways to use a rock.

    To me, rocks are also spiritual items. They are in effect, one of the most ancient physical forms found in nature. Yet no two rocks are really the same, much as humans are not either. By themselves they are merely consolidated matter. As a group they can form walls and fortify castles. They play an important parts in Science, History, Art and Culture.

   Native Americans and Australian aborigines will say that they are imbued with the Spirit of their ancestors, and serve as talismans to be carried as a form of reverence and protection. Monks have used stones as a focusing device in meditation. In this sense, it serves one by keeping it in the palm of your hand, while holding someone in your best thoughts and prayers.

Friday, March 3, 2023

What a winter!

  Indeed, with more storms coming, it is a blessing to have our water table rise to pre draught levels. The good news is that more posts have been forthcoming and more rocks are being painted to refurbish the supply for every rock sold. 2022 has been a year of gratitude in continuing doing what has been a joy for the past 13 years. Whatever weather has kept me inside the apartment studio has added to a discipline and practice that is like meditating, but not quite. Music or podcasts are sometimes playing in the background. However, attaining a little serenity while painting can be a plus.

 Collecting rocks at the beach has not been as frequent an endeavour as it is in the drier months. A creek that crosses the entrance to the beach has to be travailed by rolling one's pant legs up in hopes you don't slip which could mean big trouble. Especially if you have an iPhone in your pocket. Luckily, that hasn't been the case on my last excursion. Flat, round and smooth are the criterion for finding suitable rocks. Luck in this regard has not failed, and finding other such treasures as pieces of abalone shells for making keychains is always welcomed.

 Below are samples of the latest additions to the "Your Spirit Rocks! ™" collection. The first picture is of the creek you need to cross to get to the beach.



Tuesday, February 21, 2023

A Belated Valentines day

    Today is the 21st of February, so it is a week after Valentine's Day and a day after President's Day. I love it that we have these days that make the season of Winter more bearable. I did receive some well wishes from my loved ones, and am more hopeful for a brighter future for everyone in our attempts in following our own best advice in 2023. 

    As for myself, I've taken to things like eating nutritious food, exercising regularly, meditating and paying attention to my craft in such a way that I am not merely repeating old patterns. Returning to painting with a materials like glitter, crackle, resin, ink, and puff paint are usually very effective in  producing positive results. 

 It takes a long time to master the applications however, because they are viscous, gummy, cloggy, messy and expensive.The results rendered may be abstract and colorful, yet knowing when to back off before "Gilding the Lillie" takes place, and it then becomes a necessary challenge to achieve a desirable outcome.

Here's a quick video for all of you who find my rocks to be special gifts for that special someone. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Pre-Valentine's Day

 As I write this, it is only February 8th. However, If I don't have some Valentine's rocks to sell by Saturday my patrons will be a little bummed after the Farmer's Markets this weekend. So far, I've come up with some standard heart rocks. On the back, I usually have another heart drawn in invisible ink which adds a nice touch under the keychain blacklight. These make special one-of-kind gifts to be passed on. 

Friday, February 3, 2023

Trying different things...

Always.I ordered some Bolo clips and Lanyards on Amazon™ along with some glowing lanyard material, which has sent me off in another direction. Someone suggested it at the Saturday Market and I thought to give it a try. Reluctantly, I adhered a magnet to the back of the rock and found that it will hold tightly enough to  to make it interchangeable! 

 The Bolo looks cherry in this picture because it has been enhanced with the photo editor. It still is not far off the mark in real life.After making mushroom rocks, bottle stopper rocks,Spinner rocks, Pendants, Refrigerator magnet rocks, having this suggestion work out pleases me greatly. The other technique employed was the crackle finish just for that rustic look.

The other thing tried this week was making a cameo. The white becomes glow naturally and the results are pretty awesome. Up close it has a few flaws and the resin yellows a bit, but hey, let's call this one a work in progress.

The Birds in flight are doves moving past the clouds. The original is perhaps as obvious as the glow version, but more emphasis was on getting the glow version just right.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Pursuing leisure

     How to pursue leisure in a world obsessed with work and worry. Well, first of all, take it inside. I mean that both figuratively and literally. Pursuing leisure is an inside job. It requires reflection and focus, which to some may sound like work. Conversely, it seems that the whole concept of leisure is more about escape and relaxation than focus. Taking that into account, it really is the balance between these two ideas.

    Being inside on these "Covid-induced" rainy days affords some of us the time to work on projects that move us forward by curtailing the desire to rush off somewhere to meet a deadline. Projects that point to a need for fruitful self expression, rather than adhering to that constant impulse to please some nebulous dweeb that is always demanding to be right. This  may beg to question... Why work for that ? or more pointedly, why work at all?

    Granted, human beings are for the most part, socially responsible entities designed to be altruistic by nature. We don't need to be reprimanded for pursuing individuated activities that may in truth, render us more valuable to others in time.

    Laziness though, is a perpetual condition of procrastination. When someone proclaims,"All things in moderation" (even moderation) that is not a clarion call for anyone to stop trying to better oneself. It's like the notable difference between beckoning a call, rather than trying to beckon a call.  

    That being said, there is no need to wrap yourself in a blanket of guilt if it feels like you are playing hooky in order to get ahead. After all, we should not be championing the value of work for work's sake. It is important in this regard , to worker smarter rather than harder, and with poise rather than pointless effort.

The rock below is meant to illustrate this activity.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Swirly Rocks

 Hi there, welcome to a new year, a new direction, and a new chapter of Your Spirit Rocks ! the rocks below are an indication of a style that is fairly easy to apply, although the results can head off in a variety of directions. It just takes a little steadiness of hand when following lines around the rock to give it that pooling appearance. Applying a variety of colors will inform you as to what works, as far as patterns and contrasting effects are concerned. It is a fairly simple exercise that producing pleasing results.Larger rocks seem to work better that smaller rocks when trying it for the first time, and sketching the design with a pencil prior to applying the paint with a small brush will do the trick.Feel free to post any of your creations. We would like to see what works for you!