PAGES OF REFLECTION – what it takes to become an ARTIST (LESSON 1) 2
Dear reader, wherever you may be, whatever language you speak, whichever stage in life you are, I hope you are an admirer of art.
This is because I plan to make the next few blog articles into a reflective journal about my experience of living and creating art. And as inconsistent as I am in general, I am pretty confident that this time I can give my stories continuity and meaningfulness not just for me, but for you too.
Today's LESSON 1
How do you grow into a reputable artist without any expertise or previous experience?
This is a question that keeps on bothering me every time I find yet another successful artist on Instagram. It looks as if every great artist of our days has some sort of previous art-related education, hours and hours of guided advice, work with a purpose, and of course, the TALENT.
For instance, check on wonderful Yvette Coppersmith:
-Archibald Prize, 2018
-studied at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia.
-more than 21 years of experimenting with styles and subjects
-painting self-portraits since the age of 17
Painting by Australian artist Yvette Coppersmith, winner of the Archibald Prize 2018
How does MY art journey ever come close to such a glorious artist?
I bet you too keep on ruminating about the same thing as me: Maybe it’s not even worth it. Maybe it’s yet another waste of time…
But this morning I finished painting this:
"After the Dark", by Christine Onward (all rights reserved). For sale HERE
Right through the open blinds a few sun rays started coming in. I watched them dancing merrily on the colours of the painting. That whole world, right there in the paper, was coming to life right in front of me… I was witnessing a miracle.
I had created a world that was a reflection of myself. Somewhere in this world someone like me will find themselves in this story, as much as I did. Maybe more in my painting than in other people’s paintings. Maybe I get to make them smile. And that’s the best accomplishment I can achieve.
My lesson for today is this:
Every story you create has you in it, your adventures, your memories, your sadness, your heart. Someone will surely connect with it. If not today, they will surely show up tomorrow.
The more stories there are, the more people will connect with your art. Just keep on creating. Reward will come.
Loving these stories? Here is a beautiful story from my childhood : Surreal Night in Transylvania
More outstanding products from my latest surreal paintings are HERE
Surreal Night in Transylvania - how the painting was born 0
If you ever travel to Romania, you need to know that although many places across the country are beyond beautiful, there is one part that will never fail to charm you forever. And that is Transylvania.
Original painting by artist Christine Onward, products for sale Here
I spent time with this painting thinking about Transylvania: the dark blue skies of the summer nights with the orange moon above, larger than all mountains, fantastically reflecting on the forest trees. And the stars, looking straight at you, shining straight into your eyes, and the crickets endlessly singing songs of love for their dear ones…
If done with passion and from the heart, painting has the power to take you to some of the most amazing and perhaps long forgotten memories from the past.
Painting this design took me to cousin Ghita and the night when we were waiting for the wild boars.
NIGHTS IN FASCA – Transylvanian adventures with cousin Ghita
I am 11 or 12 years old. Cousin Ghita, my best mate and most honest accomplice, 11 years old too. Days are long in summer, so many soccer games to play, so many trees to climb, geese to fly to the river, cows to run to the forest…
Wild boars have been pestering everyone across the village. We have to guard the maize from them all night until the sunrise. Then we are allowed to rest.
I jump with joy, looking forward to spending the whole night under the starry skies, covered in that large sheep skin, laying in the hay smelling of summer flowers…
But uncle decides I’m not allowed to go. What has a city girl, all silly and clumsy as me, got to do with wild boars? I must stay in my room. And I’m not allowed to protest in any way. Because it's terribly rude to not obey your relatives in Transylvania. Uncle is merciless these days.
Late in the night I try to sleep but the thought of the wild boars sneaking through the trees straight into the corn field is not easy to ignore. I hear voices at the window, like whispers calling my name. I'm not scared. It's just whispers, calling my name from outside.
I jump out the window, without no shoes, just bare feet. Cousin Ghita is waiting for me with neighbour Cornel both holding the big sheep skin coat so that I don’t get cold.
We have to march quickly down the hill, to check Cornel’s maize.
I walk in Cornel’s shoes. He doesn’t need them. He hated them anyway. To me the shoes are too large and too noisy. But I mustn't say anything, or I scare the night.
Cornel carries a little light pointing at dark animal pathways, secret holes in the trees, plants leaving chaotic shadows under our steps…
Cornel likes talking about dead men. How they also took this way to go to the valley. You can never hear their steps in the grass, because they are dead. But you can feel them cold, like a breeze, sticking to the back of your neck until you get stiff and can’t move anymore.
I walk slowly behind Cornel and in front of cousin Ghita. If there were to be dead men passing by, then there will definitely not be my neck for them to stick to, because I am wisely walking in the middle of the line, not behind, like cousin Ghita.
There are no wild boars roaming through Cornelu’s maize. It’s silence. Only deep in the forest there is a chilling whisper of leaves and sometimes night birds shouting sadly at long forgotten ghosts…
We return to the little hut that uncle built for the boys at the corn field. I hide inside, hoping that cold breeze bodies don’t get stuck to the back of my neck. The ship skin coat smells revolting, but it’s warm and soft. I can close my eyes and listen to cousin Ghita and neighbour Cornel chatting away outside…
Apparently if the devil follows you in the dark, it will definitely want to call you by your name. But you should know it’s the devil. Don't ever turn your head to see who called you in the dark. Keep walking or you’ll lose your mind and voice forever...
As my eyes are slowly going down to sleep, I hear whispers of my name inside the tent. A terrifying low voice whispers my name, calling me to follow it in the dark!
I jump outside, hardly being able to breathe from fear, and start screaming: “It’s here! It’s here!” I hit the empty metal pot, making terrible noise while the boys are laughing their heads off.
The next minute, up on the mountain and all around the village hills I see fires lighting up. It was my shouting that woke them up. Everyone is banging onto metal pots to scare the wild boars. A concert of bangs, and shouts, and howling echoing from all corners of the village! It felt like it lasted forever.
At sunrise uncle finds the three of us in deep sleep around the sheep skin coat, “like newborn lambs”.
“What a happy gang, he says. The whole village is in frenzy. There's been talk that boars have been going through everyone’s corn fields. All night long the boars moved along the line of the mountains... And here you are, sleeping like angels. Bet you have no idea what happened last night”
Cousin Ghita looks in the distance, like a wise old man and sighs deeply.. in the most dramatic voice he says: “Bet nobody does”. I can hardly keep myself from laughing. Cornel keeps busy trying to recover his shoes from my feet.
Here is Fasca,the village of the wild boars, shining fantastically in strange shapes and colours under the moon light. I’d tell you more stories if you want. But we’ll have to ask cousin Ghita for permission first. Maybe he would like to tell you more Transylvanian stories, much better than mine.
Art by Christine Onward. More products for sale here
CHRISTINE ONWARD TALKING ABOUT ROCKSTREET-COLLECTIVE AND HER ROCK PAINTING JOURNEY 10
Life takes us on such extraordinary journeys that we often feel overwhelmed and unable to handle them. I felt this over the last three years more than ever before. I felt as if life was giving birth to a new, completely different me. I felt that I was given another chance and another purpose. I had to find what this was. I had to stop and listen to the beauty of this world. This is how I began painting on rocks.
Photo by Christine Onward. A memorable day in Diamond Beach
I started painting on rocks about three years ago. I had never painted before, unless you want to consider my mere attempts at art in school, just to pass the class really. But my little daughter, a young teenager at that time, was spending most of her time by herself, painting. I wanted to be part of her life so I invited her at the dinner table to paint and share the joy of it together. And we had fun, and stories, and plans… We had the mess, ruined all tablecloths, ate soup with a touch of brush paint, and made memories!
At some point Maria had to reduce the painting time because of her exams. But I kept on going. I kept on painting my little ladybugs, and flowers, and dots, thousand of dots. It felt too good to stop. Somehow, my worries, depression, fears, stress, tiredness… could be managed better. It was therapy.
I paint nearly every day. I generally start and finish a rock in the same day, or I lose the connection with my art. I love the bright colours. I use watercolours, not very expensive fancy ones, to be honest. But the varnish spray with which I seal my rocks thoroughly is of the best quality. Because I want my rocks to last long, be safe outside and well protected from the harsh Australian sun.
I love the medium sized rocks with interesting shapes and smooth surfaces. Here are some of the most beautifully shaped rocks I have painted on so far:
What’s on now?
In time I realised I had to share this amazing journey with somebody else. Someone who felt the same: that rocks, the touch of them, their strength, the silence within them, make you feel better.
I started this Facebook adventure: Christine Onward Decorative Art as my artist page, and a group for rock painters called Colour Therapy.
Colour Therapy was all about art on rocks, colour enthusiasm, and benefits of painting.
Since April 2017 (Can’t believe it’s been only a little over 1 year now!) I met so many rock painters, so many beautiful people, so many stories, and I made so many friends!
RockStreet Collective grew into this amazing media platform, with about 4600 members on Facebook at this moment, 6500 followers on Instagram and growing fast. In RockStreet Collective artists from more than 40 countries across the globe share the joy of showing their art works within the group, inspire others, provide support for the others, and, above all, connect with each other. I want to continue this extraordinary journey.
I want to tell the world that there is beauty in every form of art expression. And if it does well to you and others, then you should keep on doing it. After all, we at RockStreet Collective often say:
Photo and rocks painted by Christine Onward | Buy Here
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Glimpse into a life of art and self-challenge, artist Pamela Campbell talking about how yoga and rock painting became part of her life 0“I feel that I need both painting and yoga to become better “
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<Why It Matters> - Artist Misty Day Talking about Her Humanitarian Visit to Honduras and How Painted Rocks Made the Difference 3
Today I am happy to share with you an exclusive interview with artist Misty Day from Ohio, USA! Recently Misty Day had the amazing opportunity of travelling to Central America on a humanitarian mission she would never forget. How her marvelous artistic skills and beautiful rocks fitted in the event is for you to find out next.
Warm regards and days with hope and inspiration,
Could you begin by telling us what was "Mission Honduras" about, how long did it last, and what was its main purpose?
There is a wonderful charity called One Child Matters that helps people sponsor children all over the world. These children live in economically challenged areas and sponsorship grants them free medical care, meals, education, and much more. This 7 day trip to Honduras was organized by One Child Matters so that people who sponsor children, can actually go meet them. I have been sponsoring a little girl, Daniela, in Honduras for almost two years now and I was thrilled with the idea of meeting her and her family!
Mission Honduras: Misty Day and Daniela meeting for the first time
Could you tell us a few words about the places you visited in Honduras. What were the most impressive things you saw?
Since this trip was geared towards working with the sponsored children and their families, we spent most of our time in the capital city, Tegucigalpa.
Photo by Misty Day: Glorious view over Tegucigalpa
Except for Tegucigalpa, we didn’t travel to many additional places. We did visit several families and the beauty of their neighborhoods was really inspiring to an artist like myself. The last day we were there, we saw a couple of cathedrals and a very creative arts display in the center of the capital. I took so many pictures while I was there because the colors and textures were amazing!
Photos by Misty Day: Sightseeing in beautiful Tegucigalpa
What were your main concerns and expectations before embarking on this journey? Did the Honduras experience end up being as you had imagined it to be?I have traveled a lot, but this was my first Mission trip to Central America. I was worried about the dangers of the area and the possibility of getting sick while there. We were strictly advised to stay with our guides at all times and to NEVER drink the water. There was one evening when protesters set up blockades all over the city and we were trapped on our bus for over 3 hours! Despite that, I still have only wonderful memories of my trip and can’t wait to go back.
Rock by Misty Day painted in the Amante style offered to the Pastor of the Tegucigalpa centre
How did your wonderfully painted rocks fit into this event? Did you take any rocks with you? Also please tell us about the rock painting classes you had there!Well, I only started painting rocks about a year ago and that was about the same time I had decided to go on this trip. It had never occurred to me that the rocks could be a great way to raise the money, but a co-worker asked if he could have one of my rocks if he donated to my trip. I’m glad he asked because I started posting my rocks on Facebook and requests flooded in!
Selling my rocks helped me pay for the entire trip. And as the trip got closer I decided I would paint a special name rock for each child. When one of the trip organizers found out how much money I had raised and about the rocks I was taking as gifts, they asked if I would be interested in teaching a rock painting class while I was there. She thought that could be a fun activity and possible a creative money making skill for the people there.
Misty Day during her rock painting classes in Tegucigalpa
I know it's difficult to decide, but could you describe what were the most amazing moments you experienced in Honduras? Were there any people who impressed you the most? Was there a moment you felt you would never forget?
That is a difficult question indeed because each day was amazing in its own way. One moment that stands out was shortly after my second rock painting class. One of the mothers came up to me and she was so excited to show me the rocks she had painted. They were so good! This was the first time in her life that she had been given the opportunity to paint and she told me (through an interpreter) that she was going to keep painting and hopefully earn money for her family. I still tear up thinking about that moment because my simple hobby of rock painting brought her joy and could possibly help her earn an income in the future.
One of Misty Day's students committed to continuing to develop her newly-learned painting skills
Among all the lessons you learnt during this journey, is there one that you would like to share with us?When people asked me about my trip, I’ve been telling them it gave me two important things: purpose and perspective. I’ve always enjoyed painting on rocks and teaching classes, but seeing how art could impact on the lives of these people has made me determined to continue in this mission. Leslie, the directory of the center told me that it was so difficult to bring art to their area because no one had any extra money or time for those kinds of things. She cried as she thanked me for bringing art and the story of Kindness Rocks to their community. And due to the large donation of a local art gallery, I was able to tell her that all the supplies we used for the class were being left for them and their community so they can paint whenever they liked!
Photo by Misty Day: fantastic rocks painted during classes held in Tegucigalpa
It’s also very humbling to give a child a simple thing like a rock with their name on it and watch them begin to cry. It reminds you of how little so many people have and how important it is to make everyone feel special.
I’ll never take my life for granted after this trip and I wake up every morning knowing how truly blessed I am.
Some of the many painted rocks offered by Misty Day to the sponsored children of the Honduras Mission
Interview with artist Tünde Fodor, winner of the BLUE Rock Event and ROCK STREET ARTIST OF THE MONTH 0
Hello again my rock-art fellow artists,
The BLUE Rock Event has now ended and, I must say, it was an unexpected success! I am still in awe at how much your imagination, hard work and passion have added to the world of painted rocks! A big thank you to all artists of the RockStreet Collective platform for sharing your blue painted rocks with us, thank you for your encouragements and support for each other during this event, and for making the world a better place. You rock!
Also big round of applause for amazing artist Tünde Fodor whose wonderful rock won the popularity prize on Instagram! I am sure you will be charmed by her innocence, ingenuity and fantastic talent.
" I want my rocks to give people smiles and make them feel special"
Christine: First of all, congratulations for your amazing success on Instagram! So many beautiful rocks were featured on the RockStreet page but you were the most popular contender! Tell me how did you grow into creating such beautiful works of art?
Tünde: I've only started painting about one year ago. I never thought I would become a rock painter, although I did love drawing art in school and also painted on pebbles like any other kid. But at some point I had the chance to do a painting in oil at my mother-in-law's. I still remember what a calm, fulfilling moment it was... and this is when I fell in love with creating art!
Since that day, I never stopped painting. I started collecting rocks from the nearest lake. I was focusing more on shapes, regardless the rough surface of the rock. And kept on trying until it felt right.
Christine: What does painting on rocks mean to you?
Tünde: Painting on rocks is like a new love. I've always loved the colours of nature, the colours of the seasons, the colours of my clothes, make up, even the colours I associate with my moods. The colours I use in my paintings are just a new source of excitement in life. That's why I continue painting.
Christine: What are the things you mostly like painting on rocks?
Tünde: Well...this is a never ending story for me. I never get bored of the things that I paint and I'm always full of fresh new ideas! I have so many things in mind that I would like to paint, so many media I would like to try working with, so many materials to use. Since I'm only new in rock painting, I feel it's never enough and there are still so many things I need to try and learn! Of all these, one thing I know for sure: I want to keep on painting, I want to make more time for my rock passion and see myself in ten years still doing this with the same pleasure I'm doing it now.
Christine: What is your biggest dream when it comes to rock painting?
Tünde: First of all, I want to see people satisfied with what I create. I want my rocks to give them smiles and make them feel special. Then I dream of selling my rocks at markets and one day who knows?, maybe have an exhibition of my own painted rocks!
I will end the interview here by thanking Tunde and all other artists for their contribution to the BLUE Rock Event in RockStreet Collective.
Next month's event will be dedicated to rock animals. If you think your rocks deserve to shine among other artists' works, do give them a chance to be featured on all our accounts including Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and this website.
If you are interested in viewing our rocks for sale or purchasing one, have a look at our most recent collections Here
Interested in selling your painted rock artworks on this website? Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I am happy to explain to you how it works.
Choose a venue that relates to your own kind of art!