I've often used glass floral beads to make eyes for various clay or sculpture projects but never for a photography project.
I found some large glass beads at our local dollar store and then painted up a few sets of eyes in different colours and styles (mammalian or reptilian). Then while out on a hike with my family we went looking for unique features in the forest where we could place a set of eyes and give nature a face.
It became a really fun outing, hiking and seeing some beautiful landscapes while also searching out the finer details that could be given nature a face. I think we'll keep a set of eyes in our camping supplies so that we can do this again on our next hike.
Spring is here and the ice has melted off the beach. For some that means no more shovelling snow or winter boots. For me it means I have access to the rocks at the beach. It’s rock painting season!
What started as my daughter and her friend gathering a few rocks to paint to sell at the school fundraiser turned into a full rock painting extravaganza. Where we live it is hard to go to the beach and not find a perfect rock for painting. We came home with bags of them and while the girls painted I hatched a grand idea painting names rocks for everyone in my family that I could give to my Dad on his upcoming 80th birthday. My Mom and Dad are gardeners and they a gorgeous front yard and backyard landscaped with thousands of flowers and plants, greenhouses full of tropical plants and several ponds, streams and waterfalls full of water plants and fish. Plus there are the rocks, lots of rocks, outlining beds and ponds and creating tiers down the front hill. I thought why not add some more rocks, one for each person in our family. There are 16 of us in all and now there are 16 more rocks in my Father’s garden.
So 16 rocks was the intent. I inadvertently painted more than 150 while making those 16 rocks. Every time I squeezed out some paint on my palette I used any left over paint to paint a few extra rocks, adding either a base coat or dots upon dots. The girls also had extra paint left over from their fundraising rocks and so I needed to use up their paint as well.
It was a nice break from lesson planning or trying new art techniques and was somewhat more akin to zen tangling or colouring. Something easy. Just make dots. Anyways, a few days later and I had about 50 rocks to go towards the school fundraiser and about 100 more to go with my Dad to a membership drive at a community gardening event. I think I’ll continue to keep rocks at the ready to continue to use up paint leftovers.
I found this neat book at the local thrift store about painting hoses and cottages on rocks. It was very specific. Since it was half price on books that day I bought it and shelved it for a couple of weeks. Then as Father's Day drew close I thought about making a rock house for my Dad's garden.
I have painted on rocks before, many times, but I have never turned rocks into houses. It was pretty fun and soon I was painting three houses. I started with an easy A-frame house like you might see in the Swiss Alps . I then attempted two Tutor cottages. My Dad loved the presents and my Mom asked me to paint one for my Uncle's birthday. I painted three more buildings, two more Tutor cottages and one Pub.
I used acrylic paint and then coated the rocks with a protective gloss spray once they were done. The chimneys and dormers were made by molding wood glue. It was easier to work on several rocks at the same time so you can move from one to the next while waiting for first one to dry.
I gathered the rocks from my own garden and now every time I am out there weeding I keep seeing all the rocks in my garden walls as different buildings. I don't think I'll ever be able to look at rocks now and NOT see buildings.
Here is a catalog of my creative adventures and experiments