Some of my favorite art supplies are rocks!

Rocks have been my favorite art supplies ever since I can remember for some really simple reasons:

1) Rocks are free

2) Rocks are everywhere/easy to find

3) Rocks are very solid/hard to break

4) Rocks have a nice weight which makes them perfect for pockets or paper weights

5) Rocks will last for a very long time

6) It is easy to draw and paint on rocks

7) Anyone can make art with rocks

8) It's fun to imagine where a rock has been

9) It's hard to ruin a rock

10) You don't feel pressured to make "GREAT ART" on a rock like you can if you're staring at a blank canvas

So there you have it. The rock featured in this post was decorated with permanent paint markers and sparkle modpodge. It has been living outside in a garden for over eight years. Every time I look at it I remember the kids art camp I was running when I made it and how much fun I had.

I forgot to add that drawing and painting on rocks helps you remember how you felt when you were a kid. This is probably one of the best reasons to make art with rocks.

See what happens for you. Find some rocks you like. Try using them as a canvas for your art. If the rock could tell you something, what would it share? How could you describe this in line and color?

Views: 207

Comment by Thaneeya McArdle on July 5, 2011 at 12:57pm
What a fun blog post, Su!  I like your list of reasons for painting on rocks.  I've seen a couple of other people on here painting rocks, so I'm sure your list would resonate with them too. :)
Comment by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on July 5, 2011 at 4:23pm

I love that we have more rock artists! I just finished a little set of painted rocks last week. I'll get them on to the site soon. They are my version of "personal" rune stones. ; >

Comment by Donna Duquette on July 5, 2011 at 11:29pm
Oooh!  Fun!  We've got a family vacation at Cape Cod planned later in the month and we've been trying to think of things to do with the grandkids.  There are plenty of nice, smooth rocks to be found at the beach so I'll have to be sure to pack some paints in our activity basket.
Comment by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on July 6, 2011 at 7:39pm
It's a fun thing to do with kids. I always include painting/drawing on rocks in my kids' art classes. I tend to use permapaque markers with children. They are much easier for little hands to control and they have good paint color!
Comment by Jeffrey A. Knight on August 30, 2011 at 5:33am
Jeff here -- I had my students do rock painting -- they would choose a shape they liked -- establish a ground with white gesso -- be sure rock is clean -- we painted with school tempera -- sealed, after drying, with gloss medium -- the kids did some beautiful work -- we would have a display of their work in the school library.
Comment by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on August 30, 2011 at 2:08pm
Great idea to use tempera paints and then seal with gloss medium! Tempera paints are certainly more affordable than acrylics! I love the idea of displaying the finished works of rock art in the school library. What a fun art exhibit!
Comment by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on September 2, 2011 at 1:37pm
I love how your rock weights eveolved into a successful annual commission Meg! Your inspiration to call them 'Friendship Stones' was brilliant. How much do you charge for a hand-painted 'Friendship Stone'? I am sure you have a way to make this profitable...but hundreds of them...OMG! That's a lot of work. I once produced a fun little papier mache box called a 'Wish Box' and sold it to stores and a mail order catalog. I made hundreds of these too. It can be a daunting task! How do you do it?
Comment by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on September 4, 2011 at 5:50pm

Thanks so much for sharing this detail Meg. I also do the production line when I have a large quantity of wish boxes or bracelets or small art cards to produce. It is a very soothing kind of work. I often listen to an interesting radio show or play a favorite movie on DVD for added background "suport" on an especially long project. For some projects I have enlisted the help of friends too. I am part of a tight-knit art community and we often share our creative labor on large productions. 

Your prices are very reasonable and I have found that this is what moves most at an art show. I have worked the shows in my community for the better part of 10 years and am always looking for these kinds of little art pieces to make and sell. Painted rocks are always a popular gift item!

I love the story about the post office clerk. It's nice to be this connected to all of the phases of production! And that you get to have a little delight as you ship them off is the frosting on the cake!

I mostly create in small bursts these days. But I have done both. I long for more uninterrupted time to make art, but I don't see this happening anytime soon. So I make do with little bursts. As long as I capture my inspirations in my journal and spend a few hours hours creating every week I feel my creative flow alive and moving. I need time to explore new ideas more than anything else right now.

How about you?

Comment by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on September 6, 2011 at 2:22pm

Tt is so wonderful to read about how you work Meg. It is one of the things I love most about The Art Colony...I get to connect with artists all over the world. I live in the middle of the United States, you are in New Zealand, we are a world away from each other. Yet when I read about your creative life there is so much that resonates for me. I have a feeling your embroidery group is very similar to my art group. We do an open studion once a week. We meet at one place for a month, then move to another studio, based entirely on who wants to host the open studio. We bounce a lot of ideas's a great place to go for fresh input.

I try to go once a month to stay in touch with the group. I also create with my sister, who live a couple of hours away. My sister is a quilt artist. Her work blows me away. I play with her fabric scraps!

I do like to play alone in my studio as much as like to create with another aritst of a group. I tend to explore on a different level when I work alone. I like taking a leap into a new project and seeing where it takes me. I plan full retreats to the north woods for such creative "germination" time. The less I take wity me the better.

I have a trip planned in two days. I am so looking forward to getting away. I will pack my art supplies tonight!

Comment by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on September 7, 2011 at 4:53pm
Thanks Meg! I'll let you know what pops out of me in the woods. I am going to bring some soft pastels and colored pencils! ; >


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