Discover the Fascinating Story of artist Karin Getaz - the Magic of Her Painted Rocks and Passion for Colours
"I paint because this is the first thing I want to do in the morning and the last thing I think about at night. I paint because there is no more translation needed. I paint because it makes me feel free", Karin Getaz
(Christine Onward: I took this quote from our RockStreet Collective posts. I once asked the artists why do they paint. There were about 50 comments, each more impressive and more soothing than others! But Karin's words connected with me the most, because I too find that my paintings are my best dictionary, my best translator. And I am confident that I am not the only one who feels the same as me and Karin.)
Here I invite you to come aboard a fascinating, colourful, and insightful journey to the Australian tropics. I hope you enjoy Karin's story, her astonishing painted rocks, and kindness of her heart above all. Enjoy!
Photo: Glimpse into Karin's studio and her amazing art creations
What is the story of Karin Getaz? Where was she born? Where does she reside now?
I grew up in Chateau-D’Oex, Switzerland, in the heart of the Alps. I moved next to Geneva in my twenties, and by the age of 26 I wanted to see the World! I had always dreamed of Australia… I could see myself painting on top of a rock … with a beautiful red sky above!!!!
So I moved to Australia and lived on a boat for 12 years with my husband….and when we decided to reunite with the land 6 years ago, we chose the Cassowary Coast.
At the moment I live at the beautiful Tropics of Australia, in Far North Queensland. I live in a small town called Silkwood, where only about 400 souls are residing. It's the banana and sugar cane country…. green, hot, very wet in summer and delightful in winter… I love the special light the region emanates…
When in life did you start thinking about painting as part of who you are?
Well, my father was making his living out of his paintings. He was a self-taught artist. I spent my childhood going to exhibitions, looking at his works, sometimes helping with colour decisions…But I was not encouraged to follow his steps, so I studied and worked as a chemist, then in a laboratory specialising in correcting colours. I kept drawing for years, before I met my husband in Australia and he was the force that encouraged me to paint and follow my dream!
A rare capture: Karin photographed while working
How did you start painting on rocks?
Since living in a home with more space, I started painting a lot of big canvases… One day I was out of material… so I found a stone that looked like an eye…I painted it…photographed it….and that was it! I got the bug pretty much instantly…almost like an obsession.
Could you tell us a few more things about this passion for rock painting?
For me it is important to follow this rule: find your inner artist and creator; find what makes your rocks special.
I like to paint on different types and shapes of rocks, firstly because I find it challenging and secondly because even if I use similar colours for different stones, they end up totally unique.
I am not afraid to alter the shapes of the rocks by sanding or perfecting them. I like to start with a special background and then play with the shape. I use acrylic paints, brushes and sometimes dotting tools. I mainly create dot works, but recently I have also been using a different technique with textured lines.
I am drawn to designing mandalas, optical illusions and spirals.
I work outside, always, for the light. And I particularly like working in the morning, I often start at day break.
How does the act of creating change you?
Well I paint as a means of expression. As I mentioned once in a question you asked on RockStreet Collective, art doesn’t need translation. As a reiki master, I enjoy the meditative state to channel energies instead of hands on healing. And therefore I find it a privilege to be able to create and offer a visual channel for meditation.
What is the rock that made you the happiest to create and why?
My priceless find is this one: the Gorilla. I found it on my way to the creek…and spotted this incredible naturally shaped stone that is truly nearly impossible and so unique!
And last, if you were to make the most beautiful gift, what would that be?
My mom passed away last year. I meditated on all of our family history and decided to paint a large stone for her grave to celebrate her life. The triangle represents us, the three children.
- Christine Onward