LIVING THE GOOD LIFE: SIX REASONS WHY WE SHOULD USE ART TO DECORATE OUR HOMES 2
Since the beginning of humanity, people have surrounded themselves with all kinds of beautiful objects. Early shelters were found to be adorned with colorful drawings, sculptures, and other decorative artifacts.
But why do we feel the need to add art around us? What does art change within us in such a way that we feel drawn to gathering beauty and colours around us?
Art on rock by Christine Onward. For sale here
Art gives wings to our inner self
Our home is the place where, more than anywhere else, we need to be ourselves. It is where we feel most at peace, where we are most comfortable. The reason we feel this way is due to the objects we choose to have on display.
By surrounding ourselves with objects of art that we love, we can enjoy the time spent at home even more. We can be ourselves, we can start dreaming, hope, and plan our future lives.
Paintings that we love will share with us their colours, shapes, and stories that have the power to make us feel unique, or happy, or energetic, or daring... it's all in the choices we make.
Original art, painted rock by Christine Onward. More from this collection here
Art makes our home more human
We are surrounded by a culture that incessantly tells us to hurry.
Art helps us take things easy, to slow down, and breathe. Take your time. Listen to your art.
Most of the things necessary to our home: the furniture, appliances, clothing, etc. are mass produced, machine made. There seems to be an abundance of 'things' surrounding us that are soul-less, which provide no personality to our spaces. We need fulfilling interactions with the people and things we surround ourselves with. Their stories contribute to our daily experience,
Art gives our home a human soul. With every work of art we add a sense of time, personality, emotion and value to our space.
Original art, painted rock by Christine Onward. More from this collection here
Art revives emotion and facilitates self-discovery
The art we surround ourselves with can revive powerful emotions. It can evoke cheerful memories, bring comfort or inspire us in most unexpected ways.
Art can be the echoing of our deepest emotions - whether positive or negative - through which we feel connected, understood, and never alone.
The art we choose to keep with us is almost always a flawless translator of our personality. The things we value, respect, embrace, or follow will come through the art choices we make and surround ourselves with.
Original art, painted rock by Christine Onward. For sale here
Art brings out the kindness in us
The art we choose to decorate our homes with can make a difference in someone's life.
We may choose these artworks to surround us because of all the change they inspire. They provide support to people who need it most, including the artists creating these works, and the people receiving them. Art is powerful in the many ways it can do good for you, and others.
Original art, painted rock by Christine Onward. More from this collection here
Art teaches us that everything is possible
There is an act of struggle and bravery in every piece of art.
"By doing what you love, you inspire and awaken the hearts of others" - Satsuki Shibuya
Too often we are overwhelmed by our daily work routine, boring days, lack of expectations to such a point when we begin to forget about our life long passions or hobbies.
To see that someone has never ceased to create and dedicated all their time to pursue their dreams is invigorating. The art we choose to show off with will teach us and the others that dreams and passions are always possible to achieve.
Art is the best lesson to learn; That in life everything continues to be possible.
Original art, painted rock by Christine Onward. For sale here
Art tells a story about us
Art doesn't come in singularity. Every artwork we choose says something about us. Perhaps the colours in the painting are representative for our passions. Perhaps the landscapes depicted remind us about long lived holidays, or childhood memories. Or maybe the painting revives hidden feelings, or memories we long thought forgotten
Art reconnects us with our true selves, our true memories and our thoughts.
With art we are never alone. We are only our true selves.
Original art, painted rock by Christine Onward. For sale here
More beautiful rocks and writings about creative hobbies and how they can improve you well-being HERE
If you have questions or want to contribute with your ideas to this blog, please contact Christine Onward at: email@example.com.
CREATIVE HOBBIES AND HOW THEY CAN IMPROVE YOUR WELL-BEING 4
In these daring times , living in the gloomy days of COVID 19 lock-downs, facing the loss of dear ones, the insecurity of our future, the hopeless inability to express ourselves in our old ways... how do we find a way out? How do we find ways to look forward to tomorrow, to relax, to smile, to live?
Rock art by Christine Onward. More details are here
Here are a few things I wanted to write to you about today:
Getting involved in an artistic hobby for two hours a week improves your mental well-being
A study published in 2016 involving 700 participants living in Australia showed that engaging in artistic hobbies for over 100 hours a year will significantly improve your mental health and well-being.
This means that only two hours a week of taking part in a creative activity will enhance you mental well-being and general health.
Painted rocks of Old Bar, Australia. Simple ideas for everyone.
Everyday creativity improves your mood
An article in the Journal of Positive Psychology, 2016, explains that spending time on creative activities will boost your mood, increasing joy, interest, and alertness and reducing negative moods such as anger, anxiety or fear.
What to take from this? - Daily creativity is the best source to create joy, fulfillment and happiness in our life.
My favourite creative activity: rock painting. More details about these rocks here
Engaging in a hobby means you dedicate yourself to something that brings you joy, meaning, and purpose
But what is the best hobby to suit you?
Your hobby might be either physical (take up a sporting activity), to help others (volunteer activities) or just being creative.
How do you choose between all the options? Here are some ideas:
- try a new activity each week. When the right choice comes your way, you will not want to engage in a new activity the next week.
-visit a craft or hardware store
-research locally for options
-check out educational courses
Preserving natural beauty: painted rock by Christine Onward
I recently found myself quite excited about buying a cruise bike. I picked a small and girly one ( I call her Lola!) , to take me to places in Old Bar I never get to see otherwise. Riding along the beach on little roads with almost no-one passing by is heaven! Fresh air, sound of waves whilst dreaming of Cuba, or Italy, or France; Well, that's my best way to end the day.
"Lola" checking out on some of the most beautiful lookouts in Old Bar
But the hobby that keeps me going is my love for rocks and my love for the sea.
The beautiful rocks of Old Bar, with amazing shapes and smooth surfaces often make me choose simple designs, figurative shapes, and monochrome designs.
I want to preserve the natural beauty and energy of my rocks.
I want them to share the beauty and strength of the swirls and the wind that shaped them for thousands and thousands of years, what made them become what they are today: rocks of magic.
Preserving natural beauty: painted rocks by Christine Onward
If you feel driven towards rock painting, do start by making friends with your own rocks. Let the shape of the rocks tell you what they want to become, what they want to inspire and who they want to be with.
The rock you paint can change someone's life. It's up to you to what degree and for how long it does it.
Happy rocking :) ,
Preserving natural beauty: painted rock by Christine Onward for sale here
PAINTING WALGETT IN SUNRISE SONGS, STORY BY CHRISTINE ONWARD 0
Welcome to a new series of outback stories promised to you a long time ago but repeatedly delayed due to my obstinate perfectionism (or procrastination,equally true). After a year of struggles and too high expectations from my side, I decided to let thoughts flow by freely and memories write by themselves in the way they want. I hope they eventually make sense to a point where I will be excited to tell the next episode and you will be eager to return and read it.
The journey I wanted to write (and paint) about took place a year ago in the outback Australia, more precisely in the northern part of NSW. It lasted 7 weeks and it was a blast!
For a person coming from the green pristine Carpathian Mountains of Eastern Europe, working in the bare fields of the far-far-away Australia was undoubtedly a challenge I was prepared to face. The huge emptiness of space, the scorching temperatures, the summer's dead bushes, and the desperation to survive of all living things had such a huge impact on who I was to become!
To honour the occasion, I decided to lay each meaningful experience of the outback in a painting. I wanted to add together the old me and my world as it was before back in Romania, the astonishing colours of Australia, its depth of landscapes, the victory of living- all in a series of paintings, celebrating me – the me I had become.
"Walgett-Sunrise Songs", painting by Christine Onward . More details Here
FIRST TIME IN WALGETT
Walgett on the map, 650 km away from Sydney, right at the gate of the Australian outback
We arrived in Walgett late in the night. The drive to the town had been slow and challenging. 100 km on dirt road, the dark night around us, kangaroos jumping back and forth ahead of us, and a GPS with personality only made the trip seem to last forever.
We made it to Walgett after midnight. Streets were dark and quiet, not a single man passing by. Shops had iron grills at windows and lights were off. Even the motel entrance had iron gates, secured with a big lock for which we had to recall a long code and still debate the numbers an hour later in the dark.
Dinner was quite frugal: cold chips from an early breakfast at the petrol station, wrapped in an oily paper and tasting like old jelly, some cheese, too sour from the heat, and the usual beer, to help us fall asleep.
Baby Caesar spending the night with us in a NO DOGS room (who can swear he is a dog though, most of the times he behaves like a human)
I slept that night in Walgett with the windows open to let the scents of the eucalyptus trees come inside. A bird kept shouting sad songs in the empty night, kept talking to me, and I let the sadness sink inside, because there was no escape, only the red road, over and over again until the end of my days...
THE SUNRISE SONGS
Photo taken close to Walgett - dirt road on the way to the property of Mungunya
Morning; 5 o’clock rise. I can still feel the taste of eucalyptus essences on the lips and bird's sad song in the ears.
Shirt on, boots on, cap on, insect repellent and a lot of sunscreen spread to whatever spot left uncovered. Bags back in the trunk, work instruments in the ute; time for one more long drive in the unknown.
I panic and I want to cry, as I always do when I think of unknown.
“It's just an adventure, I say, and who doesn’t like adventures”…
And off we are, this yet ANOTHER day...
The flowing artesian waters of Mungunya
Right outside the town of Walgett I opened eyes on a big sun rising from the bushes. Few cows grazing quietly under a tree, doves’ songs coming to life from all around the bushes… and suddenly I feel I am part of it. I do belong. And there is nothing in the world that can take this moment away from me: the place where I first belonged.
Living the life of the outback: unspoiled beauty and endless reds
On the radio a song starts. I want to imagine it as a sign for me, and for everyone else who was welcoming the day in song of birds and golden rays of sunrise: Only a fool breaks his own heart…
The start of a new day with Walgett left behind
I ripped through the bare red of the desert to let the magic of the moment come to life: the day when I BELONGED.
I added flowers in the empty trees of Walgett, and I added leaves with golden dots to shine happily in the sun.
The red dust, I turned it into lands of merry colours and joyful patterns, the way I knew them to be like back home in the Carpathian Mountains.
And all the sunrise songs and happiness of living, I gathered them together in this fantastic bird with golden feathers.
There is always a victory in us, we only need to find it.
After all… only a fool…
Stories of the Outback : Living Life in Own Sacred Ways 5
Every journey to the outback I had so far was a new discovery. I am not talking about the discovery of new (extraordinary!) places only. I am talking about discovering new lessons of life, the lessons you carry with you throughout life, think of them, use them, and, at meaningful times, share them with others.
This year’s outback discovery was meeting people who chose to live their lives on their own terms; people who chose to live as if other’s rules of living did not exist but their own. Out of all other ways people chose to live, their own was sacred.
It’s a wonderful lesson to learn: regardless of the rules of life others obey to, the one you choose for yourself is sacred and is worth standing for.
Memorable travels in outback Australia: road from Bourke to Wanaaring (right before the sunset)
TALKING ABOUT M.
Meeting M. was a moment long sought for. We had tried to call her a few times, unsuccessfully though. A couple of times we had had driven to her farm. She was not there. The gates were locked.
But every try was worth it as we discovered when we met M. the first time.
AT THE GOONERY
Entrance to the Goonery farm (under clear blue skies)
Reaching M’s house was quite an adventure, as recent rains made access to the barracks really tricky.
A hundred metres drive from the gate and we turn a sharp left. A large muddy pond spreads in front of us right from the middle of the road. At the other end of the pond a white car is bogged into the mud all the way up to the windows.
Rare occasions of flood in the area
We drive carefully on the edge of the muddy waters and continue on for a few hundred metres on bare dirt road. All around us there are old vehicles, rusty engines, metal scraps, and piles of useless wires.
I’m beginning to think of snakes hiding between all this strange gathering of disregarded stuff. Apart from snakes, rats also come to my mind. And that is terrifying.
As we get closer to the house, everything becomes even more cluttered. Old tanks, water pumps from old times, rusty trucks, 50 years old or more, make access to M.’s place even more trickier. In the distance I see animal paddocks, few horses running free, and a couple of dogs resting in the shade.
It is so quiet.
M.’s house is hidden behind a tall fence and wild vegetation.
As far as I can see, the house walls are scratched and torn; some of the windows are covered with plastic boards and rugs. It’s sad, painfully sad to watch all these.
We call M. out in lower after some careful thought. Who is this lady of the scraps and what she might look like?
She comes out quickly with a large smile on her face. She looks tall, taller than me at least, small built, with short grey hair.
Her clothes are old and torn. Grey patches cover the holes in her over sized jeans. The collar of a once yellow shirt is revealed and I can’t decide if it’s actually dirty or grey from too much use:
She had surgery. Then went to Dubbo to help a friend who was struggling with cancer.
I’m watching her talk quickly with large gestures and continuous smiles. Her happy demeanour is contagious and I begin to love her, despite previous concerns. I feel no pity for her, no sadness for this life she chose. I only love her because she is nothing but light and full-on positive energy. And she is humble and eager to help.
She is the master of what she chose to be.
THE PAINTING OF "QUEEN MAGG"
The memory of M. remained fresh in my mind for many weeks. I didn’t know what to do with what I had seen at the Goonery. I didn’t know if it was sadness, or bravery, or illness what I had seen. All these were with me, tearing me apart, until I decided to paint M., to give her a new life, a life on my own terms.
I cut through the bare scene of red empty sands and placed inside a merry garden of flowers, as M. deserves. Between such flowers I gave life to a new M., to “Queen Magg”.
I threw the torn grey clothes away and gave her a magical dress painted in joyful patterns and happy colours. As for the eyes, the tired empty eyes I met at the Goonery, I wanted to give them life too. I wanted them to shine, to share hope, and share love. I wanted her to be remembered as she deserves: as a queen.
"Queen Magg", painting by Christine Onward. Description and other details are Here
Disclaimer: none of the photos used in this article belong to the Goonery (except for the entrance at the farm). The name of the described character was hidden to protect her privacy. Apart from that, the story is real and presented through my own lenses. If you feel you need to know more, please send an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Short video about the painting is uploaded on: https://www.instagram.com/christine.onward/?hl=en
Rocking the World – Australian Artists Making Their Mark in the World of Painted Rocks 4
The Indigenous art of Australia is considered to be the oldest unbroken tradition of art in the world.
Some Indigenous rock art paintings are estimated to be around 40,000 years old. They are located in the Pilbara Region and Olary district of South Australia.
Aboriginal rock art in the Kimberley, Western Australia could be the oldest in the world. More details HERE
Original Aboriginal rock art "Dinuni" by Biripi artist Russel Saunders OAM
ROCKING THE WORLD – Australian Artists Making their Mark in the World of Painted Rocks
There are a great number of extraordinary Australian rock artists whose talent and expertise have reached the farthest and widest corners of the world. For all their hard work and passion I can only show my respect and gratitude. However, in this article I am only aiming at talking about five of the many Australian artists whose work I greatly admire:
ELSPETH MCLEAN – ETHEREAL TOUCH OF COLOURS
The critically acclaimed rock painting artist, Elspeth McLean of Perth - Australia has been known to create some of the most vibrant and hypnotic designs. In the last years her original approach to rock painting has made the greatest impact onto the rock art community worldwide.
What I mostly admire about Elspeth’s work is not only the extraordinary dotting skills she never fails to amaze us with, but also the array of colours she puts together to create positive moods. In her art I find energy, passion, strength, and motivation to overcome all things that come with life.
KARIN GETAZ – FLUID EMOTIONS IN BRILLIANT HUES
From the Australian Tropics in the far North of Queensland - Australia, Karin Getaz has been “conquering” the world of painted rocks with mesmerizing elliptical constructions and other harmonious dot designs.
I am always in awe of how, with the graceful movements of her brush, Karin creates romantic moods. It is art that allows emotions to flow hypnotically with colours and invite you to dream.
Art of fluid emotions and brilliant colours by Karin Getaz | Instagram |
TAMMY WARD – LOVABLE, "AWKWARD", AND FUN
Tammy Ward is an artist with an inexhaustible energy to create and offer joy to the world. The electrifying colours she uses as well as her brilliant imagination and attention to detail have attracted a considerable amount of attention in our community of rock painters. Tammy’s flamboyant pirates, dragons, the beautiful owls and bright fish are some of the most sought after rock collectibles in the world! If you travel to Queensland, Australia make sure you take a moment to visit some of the local markets in Gladstone or Hervey Bay to see her joyful works of art.
Fun art in electrifying colours by artist Tammy Ward at Awkward Art Painted Rocks | Facebook | Instagram |
SCOTT DODSON – ROCKS WITH WHIMSICAL TEMPER
What I mostly admire about Scott’s rocks is that you can always expect them to talk to you!
His exquisite rock art will charm you with its energy, originality, and youth. You will find in Scott’s rock collection some of the most dazzling characters: mummies, werewolves, scary clowns, the bewitching gnomes and so on. With bright blocks of colours, Scott’s rocks are given different personalities; some will smile at you, some will challenge you with endearing looks.They will all make you love them. This is what Scott brings magically to the world: life on rocks.
JAN SINGLETON – LOVE FOR ALL LIVING THINGS
Jan is an amazingly skilled artist who has never failed to depict the most adorable animals on rocks! Her talent and passion for everything she creates is more than captivating. There are so many rocks to love in Jan’s collection: little dogs and cats, owls, hippos, seals, panda bears and so many others! Just have a look and smile.
CHRISTINE ONWARD - ROCKS OF "THE DIAMOND"As for me, I owe it all to Diamond Beach in Australia. I lived there for nearly three years and I am grateful for each day I went to the beach just to find the most amazing rocks in the most beautiful shapes in colours. These rocks have changed my life into what I am now: a passionate admirer and creator of art on rocks.
I hope you enjoyed my invitation to know some of the Australian rock artists I love. If you too live and create art on rocks in Australia, please let me know. I would love to continue the series with a new set of artist from our country. Thank you.
Celebrating One Year of Community and Love for Rocks - Interview with Parrish Jefferson, Collector and Ardent Supporter of Rock Art 12
Welcome to a new series of Rock Street publications presenting the life and achievements of our rock painters, their latest works of art, rock painting tutorials, and other news from the world of rocks!
Today I have the extraordinary occasion of interviewing the most significant collector of rock art of our days, amazingly supportive person, and activist of kindness in the world of art, Parrish Jefferson.
Exactly a year ago Parrish began her Instagram journey and started collecting painted rocks. Since then she has been encouraging hundreds of artists to continue their work, promoted rock art campaigns, and acquired art works from artists from all around the world! If you are one of those artists who had the chance to meet and talk with Parrish, you will agree that she never failed to show her endless passion for rock art.
Hope you enjoy the reading and her beautifully painted rocks.
Celebrating One Year of Community and Love for Rocks - Interview with Parrish Jefferson, Collector and Ardent Supporter of Rock Art
Who is Parrish Jefferson and how did this passion for art begin?
I'm just a gal from Texas, highly educated but have never been able to keep a stable career due to my husband's job which required frequent reassignments. It allowed me to see much of the world though. They also translated into helping me relate to artists from many places, in every corner of the globe!
A traveler's passion for art - glimpse into part of Parrish Jefferson's collection of rocks from all over the world!
At last estimation I have about 350 rocks! I collect all genres, colors, themes etc., from USA, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Latvia, Korea, Indonesia, every country in Europe. What's heartbreaking is that in some countries postal costs are so high, it isn't even feasible to do business with the artists who live there. It is frustrating for them and myself all the time, unfortunately.
Part of Parrish's rock collection in blue hues
Displaying so many rocks has become really challenging for me. I often display in vignettes featuring certain colors or by theme (such as my Southwestern Style collection or that with a Native American look). I've also collected special bowls from several artists to provide more beautiful displays for rocks. I even have some on wall sconces! It's almost time, however, to purchase some new wall shelves!
Parrish's stunning collection of rocks and the decorative plate in hues of turquoise
Has collecting painted rocks changed your life in any way?Collecting rocks and becoming part of the rock painting community on Instagram has changed my life in so many positive ways I'd never dreamed possible!
It began with a simple first purchase....from Valeria Campagna. Boy, did I set the bar high! I was so impressed, that I posted awful pictures (my fault!) and shared my excitement with the few followers I had. That began one of the most important relationships in my life. Valeria is a dear friend and actually, we will be working together soon on a new project involving Etsy, other artists, and it will include opportunities for new artists as well! That's all I can say at this point, but I'll be making announcements in May.
I also have in the works a world wide 'Rock Olympics' (rather an annual rock painting competition). N.A. More details about this event will be published in a few weeks on this website
With a touch of boho-chic and admirable colours
With the positive feedback received from posting such beautiful works, collecting rocks soon became a passionate hobby! I had to hone my staging and photography skills and learn what a hashtag was! I made an advice sheet for new artists who wanted to make a name and sell Art. Artists then began coming to me for advice, wanting to be featured on my page; this was an honor to me and a happy and productive use of my time. It's been a joy.
Over the last year you have shown tremendous support for rock artists from USA and from across the globe. You frequently tag new artists in your posts, share their achievements, encourage new releases and new campaigns. Why? Where is this desire and energy to help others coming from?
As I collect from established and well known artists as well as beginners, I tend to meet thousands of them, even tangentially! I fully believe that one's motives are what matters in this life of soul-growth. Therefore, helping artists, featuring their art to best highlight its beauty, to support and encourage, to introduce new talents...well, it's a way of paying it forward. Spreading beauty is always a treat! Further, promoting the business side of art is often distasteful to artists, so I help there as much as I can!
I also want people to know that artists have been VERY KIND to me! Not a week goes by without receiving gift rocks I didn't even realize had been sent! I'd estimate at least 30% of my rocks have been gifts. I consider that I'm overpaid in unexpected, generous gifts and say as much when people commend me for helping artists! And by the way, I never charge and never have, for any help. It just wouldn't feel comfortable for me.
Rock art mastered with magnificent skill and patience
I know this is going to be very difficult to respond to, but is there a specific rock in your collection that has a special significance for you or story attached to it that is worth talking about?
I do admit to having one favorite stone. Valeria painted the 'Parrish Rock' inspired by my energy (her words) and it is not only sentimentally the most meaningful rock, but also aesthetically one of the most beautiful rocks you'd ever hope to see! It has a sacred place in my home, with her framed words, and Christine, when I received it, it felt like I had won a Grammy or the Nobel Peace Prize!
Val Campagna, the "Parrish Rock" and framed are Val's words about inspiration and friendship across oceans
Over this last year since your Instagram launching, you have surrounded yourself with a huge number of rock artists of outstanding talent and success. Along the way, some of them have also become good friends. Could you mention some of your artist friends?
They will be so many! I will only mention SOME of my wonderful, talented, and amazing artist friends, I do hope you will jump to check on their accounts for their art works are absolutely divine: Valeria Campagna, Andrea Moebes, Yosy, Purvi Patel, Sandi O., Corrina Marie Canning, Oti's Art Studio, Summer Tan, Vallerie, and special regards to Viola, Karin Getaz and, the Empress, Liona Hotta
Last but not least, knowing so many artists and being involved so deeply in their creative world, what is the message you would like to send to them? Can art change things for the better?
The last words would be about the great therapeutic value of rock painting. Painting on rocks is something everyone should experience. It's calming, fun, creative whether one has innate skill or not.
Recently however consciousness has been raised regarding the ubiquitous problem of art theft. I've done several postings and had dozens of artists contact me in distraught over this issue. Artists, please tag those who inspire you, never take advantage from a peer's design, and finally, if it happens to you... TAKE ACTION! Let's keep this world of rock painting a beautiful thing!
Stunning art works and memorable colours from Parrish Jefferson's collection. Thank you for kindly enchanting us with such marvels and your kind words!
Parrish and I are welcoming your comments in the section below. Also you can make inquiries or add info on email@example.com.
If interested to buy, the rocks for SALE are here.