THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW: IRYNA SWARTZ
Hello, fellow artists and colours enthusiasts of the RockStreet Collective. This week I had the great pleasure of talking to an amazing rock painter, beautiful mother, and charity supporter from Colorado, USA, Iryna Swartz. I met Iryna about six months ago while browsing on Instagram for rock painting ideas. I saw the wonderful, perfect mandalas she was posting on her account and I just wanted to live in her world of colours and never leave! Here are some awe- inspiring excerpts from my chat with Iryna:
How long have you been painting and how did this journey start?
I have been painting for about a year now, maybe a little more. It started the day my daughter received a little ladybug painted on a rock as a birthday present. She wanted to paint the ladybug too and return it to her friend. So we painted ladybugs on rocks (quite ugly I must say – she says with a lovely laugh) and it was such a happy time to spend together! I decided we could do this again. I went on internet for some little ideas and there I was, mesmerized at what I saw: So many ideas, styles, so many artistic sides to rock painting! I started painting more and more often. I couldn’t stop. I wanted to go on and on...
Rocks painted by Iryna Swarts | Facebook
How does this journey of painting on rocks make you feel?
I feel great, I feel like an ARTIST!! You know, I have never been an artist before, although I wanted to. I wanted to study drawing in school. But it was not the time for arts back then. My mother said it was not something to choose for a career, so I moved on.
You see, rock painting is like a dressing up game. I dress the rocks up: different, festive, happy, full of colours! I put meaning and messages in my colours. And that is such a fantastic thing to do.
Is there a lesson you have learned from this experience?
It’s an amazing thing what I’ve learned from painting on rocks: the effect on other people when they see the rocks. Some of them smile, some of them cry, some look at the rocks with hope, or as some sort of a sign, a good omen.
Recently, a lady asked me if I could send her one of my painted rocks. She had recently had a stroke unfortunately. She felt the rock would do good to her, would help her to recover. And how can you not feel you are part of a universe where you can help and change people’s lives
What is your biggest dream when it comes to your artistic journeys?
I haven’t thought much about this. I am enjoying what I have for now. And when I start painting, I think I want to paint something more beautiful than before. Maybe in the future I’ll do some Christmas decorations, or glass art, like Russians do so amazingly, or decoupage. I’d certainly love to do decoupage.
And now, for the last question: Do you feel you are alone in this?
Sometimes. I don’t know anyone who paints rocks nearby me. I know a person living about 100 km away from me. I’d like to meet her, maybe paint together, or exchange rocks, I don’t know. But my life is a bit hectic right now, so I might leave it for when I have more time to spend on rocks. I have my husband though. He has been so very supportive and encouraging with everything I needed for my rock painting. And I also have my girlfriend, she has been such a great supporter and advisor. She even helps me at times exhibit my rocks at her mother’s store Son Glow Boutique. For now I think I have enough and I am grateful for everything I have.
- Christine Onward