For years I've resisted all the expert advice that authors are given: update your website regularly, add new photos, start a blog... I knew they were right, it's just that making myself sit down and figure out how to do all those things... well, it feels painful! I am easily frustrated, and so-called easy software often defeats me. If only my clever grandson lived close-by, he might be able to tutor me. Alas, he lives many states away. I am on my own.
But the thing is, I do have things I want to say to people who are looking into painting on rocks. In the 37 years since I picked up my first rock and saw a bunny in it, and felt the magic when a few details made it seem to come alive, I've learned so much. I've learned that everyone has some measure of talent, even if it was never discovered or nurtured. And that creativity can help with depression, with grief, with chronic illness. When you are tapping into your creative talents, it can transport you to a 'zone' where your worries, sorrows and illness are forgotten for awhile.
That's why art therapy has become a recognized tool for mental health professionals. People of all ages with all kinds of challenges have found relief and hope as they explored various art activities.
One of the reasons I especially appreciate rock art is that it is such an accessible way to be creative. Rocks have shapes and dimension so it's easier for people to turn them into animals, houses, plants or whatever else their imagination shows them. Painting on a flat surface means you start from zero, and have to figure out what the background is, and how to make whatever you are painting look 'real' if that is what you are after. So, in a way, painting on rocks is like a shortcut to better result! Plus it's cheap and fun to find your own 'canvas' to paint! A few brushes and a small selection of acrylic paints can set you up to paint dozens and dozens of rocks! The skills you learn painting rocks can transfer to other mediums, as well. Many people over the years have shared with me that they started out with rocks and went on to paint on more traditional surfaces as their skills improved.
Since I started out painting watercolors, which then needed to be matted and framed with a glass cover, I love that once you finish a rock, there are no further expenses involved. I also love that rocks, like sculptures, can be displayed so many places, while painting usually must be hung on walls.
If you are just visiting the site out of curiosity, I encourage you to look at the easy rock painting projects offered here, and maybe try your hand at something simple, just to see if this is an activity that you like. With summer coming, rock painting is a great way to keep kids busy and allow them to improve their hand-eye coordination, color mixing skills and use their imaginations. Al of these are things we can all use our whole lives!
In June, I'll attend a Rock Painting Party in Golden, MO. This will be the 16th annual event, where people gather from all over to collect rocks from one of my favorite spots, then spend an entire day painting, participating in a guided class, exchanging ideas, admiring the work of others, and laughing a lot! That should give me plenty on inspiration for my next blog effort.
Until then, Keep Rockin'!