A few months ago I wrote a post about picking the right rock for a particular painting project in mind, called The Art of Rock Picking. I wanted to paint a tiger, and I knew vaguely what pose I wanted the tiger to be in and how big I wanted the rock to be. Oftentimes this is how I search for rocks. I’ll get a request, or an order, or I’ll just feel like painting a particular animal. I will go to my rock stash and search for a rock of a particular shape or size.
But sometimes this process happens the other way around. Sometimes I find a rock first, and see it as being great for a particular animal. It’s harder than going to search for a particular rock, and it takes some practice learning to project an animal into an unpainted rock with your mind. It’s like watching clouds, and seeing shapes in them.
I always get excited when I find a cool shaped rock that would be great as a particular animal. Like the chameleon rock above, the rock shape seemed to fit a chameleon and its curled tail so well. Surprisingly, I’ve since found another rock with a similar shape, and will eventually get to painting it. Perhaps with more color this time, to have some fun with it. The first butterfly rock that I painted happened this way; I found a triangle rock and thought, hey, this looks like a butterfly! Since then I have found quite a few triangle shaped rocks for various butterflies. There was also an elephant, a peacock, a wolf, and others. I have a few unpainted rocks like this, waiting for me to get to them. I have a Pac-man frog, a dragon, another elephant (or a buffalo, I haven’t decided yet), and a few rocks that I think would be cool with a lizard painted on them.
The wolf rock I painted last week was a happy medium between the two rock-picking techniques. I did want to paint a wolf, and went out to search for a good wolf rock. But then I found a rock with a bump in it that would be perfect for the tail. The more you look at rocks and wonder what they could be, the better you get at it. It’s really just a trail of happy discovery.
Happy Easter! And if you didn’t celebrate it, I hope you still had a great Sunday.