I’ve recently gotten into rock painting. Yes, it’s a thing.
I had seen Facebook groups with “rockers” all over the United States and decided to check it out. There is a local rock painting group in my community. Group members paint designs on rocks, seal them, then hide them throughout the community for others to find. What could be more fun than getting your creativity on and brightening someone’s day in the process? I wasn’t quite sure where to start, but when my birthday rolled around in early January and my husband asked what I’d like to do that day I replied, “I’d like to go to Michael’s”, the local craft store.
Armed with the bits of information I had found on the internet, I combed the aisles for just the right paint, brushes, sponges, and sealant. Admittedly, I was overwhelmed! Have you seen the paint aisle in your local craft store? There’s water based and oil based, acrylic and latex, indoor, outdoor, and indoor-outdoor combo paints! The brush section is just as stocked with choices. Do I want real hair brushes at $10+ each? I don’t know, do I? Does a ten-dollar brush paint better than a variety pack of twelve brushes for that same ten dollars? Are sponge brushes necessary and/or useful? Don’t even get me started on the sealant? High gloss? Semi-gloss? Flat? Matte? Spray or brush on sealant? I quickly realized I could spend A LOT of money on this new hobby!
I settled on a nice selection of outdoor acrylic paint colors, a variety of quality, but not ridiculously priced paint brushes, and a gloss spray sealant. Once home I spread my purchases out on the kitchen table, ready to paint. Wait! I need rocks? No worries. I have plenty of rocks in my garden! I rushed outside with my gloves and mini shovel and began to dig! When I was in my twenties, I was into painting ceramics so I’m not completely unfamiliar with the technique. However, I’d never attempted to paint a rock and had no idea what kind of rocks lend themselves best to being covered in acrylic, but to me it seemed the smoother, the better. I dug, scrubbed and dried rocks with a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures and got to work. Some rock artists purchase their rocks from home improvement stores, but I enjoy the challenge of the hunt! Beaches provide a vast array of flat, smooth rocks and trekking a bag full of rocks back to the parking lot is great exercise!
What to paint? Pinterest comes in handy when seeking inspiration for rock designs. My very first rock was a cute, little owl sitting on a branch, painted on a plain rock with no base coat. Upon finishing this rock, I sat back and admired my work. Yes, the lines were a little shaky. The eyes lacked depth and I was a bit heavy handed on the glossy sealant I had chosen, but I was hooked! I followed up that owl with a series of owl rocks that I hid in the wooded trails of a park near my home.
Next, I painted a series of inspirational quotes and flowers, followed by a set of Valentine themed rocks. My favorite set of rocks in my early rock painting days (I’ve been at it a whoppin’ two months), was a set of VW inspired rocks. I painted a VW van with matching vintage travel trailer, a bright green hippie van with colorful flowers, and a yellow Beetle painted to look like my first car. Those VW rocks were a hot commodity! I posted photos of them online and set out to hide them. By the time I returned to my car, they were already gone!
The same was the case with a collection of four “Where the Wild Things Are” rocks. People wanted to get their hands on the rocks that evoked happy childhood memories of books read at bedtime. That is a series that I will paint again and hopefully be able to capture the personalities of the characters a little better.
I’m following several “kindness rocks” websites and social media pages, and as I go along I’m learning new techniques. When I first started, I did all my lettering and outlining by meticulously dipping a toothpick into paint and transferring it to the rock with small, steady strokes. I have learned that you can save a lot of time and get a more precise line by using a paint pen. POSCA brand is my personal favorite and can be purchased in sets on Amazon.com.
There are some amazingly talented rock artists out there. I mean really, really amazing, should be on display in a museum talented! With practice and patience, I hope to improve my designs but more than that, it’s about the heart behind the art for me. I love the idea that I’m putting a little bit of sunshine and inspiration out into the world for someone to stumble upon. Sometimes people will post a rock they have found and tell me how it has made their day but most of my rocks will be hidden and I’ll never know where they end up, and that’s okay. It is my hope that each rock somehow finds the exact person who needs it and that’s enough for me.
Recently I met two elderly ladies while I was hiding rocks. They were very excited to see me and exclaimed, “We wondered if we’d ever meet you! We’ve found some of your rocks and it made our day. You’re the Rock Fairy!” I love that; Rock Fairy! Making people smile – it’s become my passion!
If you can’t figure out your purpose, find your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose. – T.D. Jakes
What’s your passion? What makes you happy? What brings you joy? How are you serving others? If you don’t know, find out! You’ll be glad you did! Choose your bliss, find your passion and “ROCK IT”! xoxo