CREATIVE HOBBIES AND HOW THEY CAN IMPROVE YOUR WELL-BEING 9
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
Stories of the Outback : Living Life in Own Sacred Ways 13
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 email@example.com.
Short video about the painting is uploaded on: https://www.instagram.com/christine.onward/?hl=en
WEDNESDAY SNAPSHOT - DANIJELA MILOSEVIC - Rocks with a Magical Touch 5
Art of Legends and Mediterranean Blues
-Welcome to Greece-
Breathtaking hues of blue and wonderful designs: painted rocks by Danijela Milosevic | Facebook | Instagram |
This week I would like to celebrate an outstanding artist and wonderful friend from Greece, Danijela Milosevic. As most of us would agree, since the launching of our group, RockStreet Collective, Danijela has never ceased to share quality art, joy, beautiful colours, and lots of encouragements to all our artists.
This is why, a peek into Danijela's out-of-the-ordinary magical works is not only long needed, but also greatly welcomed.
So many words came to mind to describe Danijela's works of art, but the one word I wanted to use the most was MAGICAL.
Watching her rocks is like walking into a realm of legend and fantastic dreams. Mystical dragons, most beloved by Danijela, lure you into stories of childhood as noone in our rock art world. It's a never ending wish to see more, to dream more, and to smile even more.
And if you think there could be nothing better than the legendary dragons of Danijela's magical world of rocks, here is more!
Danijela can lure you into yet another magical world of little stone houses with the most intricate details, cheerful colours, and a happy feel.
A FEEL OF BLUE
You can dive deep in Danijela's hues of blue. It is as if the whole Greece and all the waves of the Mediterranean sea have collapsed into Danijela's rock designs. When surrounded by them, some colors can become an endless source of energy; and this is what Danijela's rocks are: endless sources of optimism and positive energy.
Flipping through the photos I have saved for this article, I found myself thinking of the little child who gets to meet Danijela's work. How many of these would they (and us!) want to collect? How many moments of inspiration and story telling would they gain just by holding such beautiful rocks?
This is what makes our art stand out from the other's: with our paintings we offer moments of joy and inspiration to all who touch our rocks. I keep the hope to own one of Danijela's rocks some day, until then I remain with my honest admiration.
This is an article written by Christine Onward with the consent of the artist.
*Each Wednesday an artist and their works of art will be selected and presented to you in a few lines and images. If you want to be the next artist featured on our blog, please drop a message on firstname.lastname@example.org.
CREATING ART TO CALM THE SOUL - Interview with Rachel Mitchell, Exceptional Artist, Rock Painting Innovator, Teacher, and Beautiful Soul 29
GLIMPSE INTO AN EXCEPTIONALLY PRODUCTIVE AND INNOVATIVE CAREER:
Canadian artist Rachel Mitchell talking about new ways to create outstanding art on rocks
Dear Rachel, I need to say that I have been following your media accounts for quite a few years. I have since admired your ingenuity, your talent, and your energy to create the most astonishing works of art! How did it all start and where do you get your inspiration from?
Thank you so much to you and everyone for following my accounts! I can't believe I've been doing this for almost 7 years now, and for the last 4 years on a full time basis!
At first I just wanted to get all of my creativity out and share it with whoever was willing to see it.
Now my passion is to also show others what I have taught myself, tips and tricks; lessons I have learned and mistakes I have made, as well as to create unique rock jewels that everyone can love.
Colour is my eye candy. I'm inspired by so many wonderful artists and places I could only get the chance to see through the internet world. Pinterest has so many beautiful artists, ideas and creativity; It's one of my favourite places to get inspired.
Over the last years your innovative work had a major contribution to the world of rock art.Can you tell us more about your ideas and how they positively changed the way we do rock painting these days?
I am always looking for ways to make my artwork stand out.
As everyone might already know, I use a lot of metallic paints and glitters. At first I wasn't very happy with they way they shined, as I wanted my stones to be as bold, colourful, and sparkling as possible!
I saw what resin did to paintings on canvas and fell in love! I was a little scared to play with it at first. I made a few mistakes, but the result was exactly what I had been looking for. It was magical!!!
As for my DIY fine lining brush, it has helped so much!! I had spent so much money on brushes over the years! I would purchase every fine brush I could find and it never did what I needed. Lines were always too thick or too sloppy, and I felt that I would never learn the magical techniques of the big artists, their fine lines and details.
So I took scissors to my brushes!! As a child, I used to take scissors to my dolls' hair (and sometimes my own) and it had not turned out well! Now, however, my brushes have never been so awesome! I was no longer wasting my hard earned money on expensive brushes for my line work. This helped me so much - I had to share!
Here s a link to Rachel's tutorial on how to prepare your brushes for fine lining on rocks: https://youtu.be/URuCcQfG020 :
I use a variety of dotting tools, what I find work best are Nail dotting tools, with two different sizes on each one. They are perfect for most dots but you can find great things around your home for dotting as well. For instance knitting needles, toothpicks, sewing needles, the opposite end of your paint brushes have different sizes to play with as well!
The hits on your YouTube and Facebook tutorials are sky-rocketing these days. Tell us more about these tutorials. What are they about and who are they addressed to?
Just over a year ago I began sharing rock painting tutorials and it was terrifying!! I am still not very good at editing, still learning every single time I post something new. My favorite part of a tutorial is painting the stone. It could take a couple of hours to paint a stone and a full day (or longer!) to just to edit the video and have it ready to post on YouTube.
Sometimes I lose bits and pieces of my video that were really important so I end up having to redo the whole thing. Editing tends one of the most frustrating and time consuming parts of my career. However, when I think at the amount of people I'm helping, it makes it all worth it!
Each tutorial is edited with love and sometimes tears, but they are made for all those who want to create beautiful things.
Here are some of my favourite tutorials you might want to have a look at:
How to resin your stone: https://youtu.be/76K9Exf-v6Q
Sunflower on a Santorini stone: https://youtu.be/b2ES1l0-KtM
Zentangle paw painting on a stone: https://youtu.be/p8KjekWjAhI
Painting a dotted dragonfly: https://youtu.be/0iWQXZb6T9g
Some of the rocks you might want to learn to paint: Rachel's YouTube account Here
You are offering so much to the other fellow artists: beauty of art, inspiration, and enormously useful ideas. What do you expect in return?
We need to have more positivity and beauty in our lives. From kids to seniors, I want people to know that they have this creative vibe running through them!! You don't have to go to an art school to be an artist. Painting is extremely therapeutic, it calms our soul, and it gives us a healthy outlet.
To end here, I know it's a difficult one, I would like to ask you who are the artists you mostly admire and are thankful to?
This is so hard to answer because there are just so many people I admire and so many artists that deserve recognition. These are only a few of my favourites:
Bob Ross (of course),fellow Canadian artist Elspeth McLean,and Australian artist Ben Heine.
WEDNESDAY SNAPSHOT - Rock Artist Putut Agus - Originality and Thrill 41
An Indonesian Journey with Putut Agus
To celebrate an artist who made a significant contribution to the expression of art in RockStreet Collective, I chose to present to you today a snapshot of the spectacular work of Indonesian artist Putut Agus.
In search for words to celebrate his creations I first came with ORIGINALITY.
Originality is the quality of art we always aim at. For most of us finding an original pathway to express ourselves as rock artists can become a real struggle, sometimes a dream impossible to achieve. But some artists are born with the gift of originality. They have it within themselves and makes their art even more extraordinary.
Here is how I would summarise Putut’s art in just a few words:
This is an article written by Christine Onward with the consent of the artist. *Each Wednesday an artist and their works of art will be selected and presented to you in a few lines and images. If you want to be the next artist featured on our blog, please drop a message on email@example.com.
MY ART BEGINNINGS: Corrina Marie Canning talking about challenges of life and how she turned them into meaningful journeys 13
Today's article is dedicated to those who, like me, feel that life has given them a SECOND CHANCE. I found Corrina's story one early morning on Instagram. Until then I had it in my heart that I was the only one (or one of the very few) who were living A LIFE FOR RENT, and was trying to make the most of it in their own terms. To me, Corrina's words were beyond inspiring, they were revealing!
And if I am like her -on a journey- and I am not alone anymore, I am sure there will be more like us out there, just waiting for this awakening experience to happen to them too.
With these, I will let you absorb the story. I do expect you to treat it with all due respect, gratitude, and the compassion it deserves.
For all those who decided to take the time to read my story, let me introduce myself.I am Corrina Marie Canning, wild woman, Artrepreneur and Nature Enthusiast. Mother to Mitchell aged 25, grandmother to Matteo aged 3, and daughter to Dora, ageless.
I am also an artist, a tarot reader, a seeker of all things love, light, and colour. I LOVE to travel, whether it be to other countries, beaches, forests, and outside of my own mind. I am positively obsessed with sacred geometric patterns, energy, and colour.
I'll tell you something personal about my history, to give you all some insight into how I came to paint mandalas.
7 years ago I lost a baby about halfway through my pregnancy. We were on a family vacation in Cuba when it happened, hours away from the closest hospital. Thank goodness my mom was with me; I hemorrhaged badly and had an out-of-body experience on the way to the hospital.
I don’t know for how long. It seemed like lifetimes and seconds. The place I went was not a tunnel or a white light. It was like Aurora Borealis, rich in colour which I still can’t find a name for. The colours had sound, frequency, and they spoke to me and within me. I understood what felt like everything.
When I woke up in a hospital bed the next day, my body bruised and broken, but alive, I had an entirely new lease on life. And although I had always been an artist, that experience shifted the way I perceived, felt, heard and expressed it!
Within the next year I went to Bali, Indonesia with the intention to heal my body and emotions of the trauma. I had the privilege of a healing with a woman named Jero, who also saw what I had seen on the other side. She told me the colour consciousness had a message for me: that if I wanted to grow my life, I had to learn to LET GO.
She had a vision of me Painting Mandalas, holding a paintbrush. But I didn't know how to paint yet! Returning from that life changing trip I purchased my first paints, canvases and brushes. I trusted my intuition and allowed it to guide my hand.
A few months into this (oh such a fun journey!!), the first Mandala "channelled" through.
Whenever I tried to draw or paint one of my accords, nothing happened. It was disastrous. So I learned to surrender into a trance state, and this is where the magic flowed through.
Since then, I have been painting Mandalas on every kind of surface smooth enough to do it on.
I always think-breathe-flow Sacred Geometry everywhere and in everything. I see the whole world in a vast colour spectrum that endlessly fascinates and inspires me.
This photo was taken shortly after the Bali experience, as my body, emotions, and spirit were healing from the loss. I've learned that even the darkest of times bring the greatest of Treasures. What I am birthing into this world is whatever my guides, or spirit, or colour consciousness leads me to. I am an instrument. And every day I am so grateful for this gift to be able to express the world the way I see it.
I thank you all for reading my story, for following my art, and for sharing your comments with me,.
It means more than you could all know 💖.
With gratitude, Corrina xoxo