"We Are Here for One Another" - Artist Bethany Kirwen Talking about Her Lifelong Passion for Rocks and Spreading Kindness 6
“When the world’s divisive dialogue and tragic events would wound my heart and evaporate my half-full optimistic glass, rock painting was my only therapeutic joy”, Bethany Kirwen.
Dear rock painting enthusiasts and lovers of art,
Today I have the great pleasure of presenting to you the fascinating story of a lifelong journey of kindness and passion for art. I invite you to read the story of wonderful artist: Bethany Kirwen of Wisconsin, USA and her most recent plan of creating a 365 collection of “Daily Happy Rocks” with which to put together a calendar of painted rocks.
Bethany’s love for rocks started, as she beautifully writes to me, with “a simple gesture of kindness - a smile”. The passion followed her all through her life, as since that day she continued to paint smiley faces, lady bugs, or turtles just to elicit smiles from loved ones. Such joyous, simple pursuits even sparked the little girl’s and her sister’s imagination to start their own business right from their Lake Huron “little red wagon”.
Bethany's memorable "smiley rocks" which started it all
Twenty-five years later Bethany found herself gifting elementary school students and teachers with little smiley rocks she called "Happy Rocks", When introduced to classes, the Happy Rocks were accompanied with a poem Bethany wrote to encourage kindness and share smiles to the world.
The story of the Happy Rocks continued for nearly 25 years, when thousands of painted stone gifts, painted brightly, traveled the world to lift spirits, to encourage appreciation, or grow strength. How many stories must those rocks have written! As Bethany describes:
“Most of my rocks have found their own adventures. They traveled the world, were placed in the hands of the homeless, comforted hospital patients, reminded tired workers how important they were, and casually left for a surprise.”
For Bethany rocks are a “Nature’s gift”,“they symbolise strength, endurance, and resilience”. When in late 2016 Bethany found herself without her gallery representation of pastels and acrylics, she decided to return to her lifetime love for rocks. She picked the strength and endurance and resilience of the rocks she surrounds herself with and started again with a new plan: to give people an inspiring, thought-provoking message each day.
“I began to explore the power of words in a new, exciting way”, she explains.
And so the Daily Happy Rock calendar journey began.
“As a crusader for good, this was/is one small way I can promote hope, kindness, compassion, love, encouragement, inspiration, and it feels purposeful. I was Divinely moved toward the creation of a perpetual, daily, desktop calendar. I spent six months of sourcing, designing, and creatively photographing over 400 rocks with thoughtful inspirations.”
“Photographing the rocks became artful and memorable to me, especially when placing the rocks in the natural landscapes of our yard, our children’s school playgrounds, the church labyrinth, the beach, and other favorite places.”
Faith, happy to join in Bethany's rock hunting trips
“Soon however, what was once such a fun and relaxing activity began to fade into disappointment, and frustration, due to a significant health scare in the fall of 2017. My goal to have a published calendar in the hands of others became impossible and my dream had to be put on hold.
After a short period of internal pouting, I asked myself, “What is the gift? What is the lesson?” The thought of my 10 month project being unfinished left me deeply discouraged with a sense of grief.
But, isn’t life like that? We make plans and sometimes things just don’t turn out like we thought they would. What I did not expect was that the gift of grief brought a lesson of gratitude in countless ways.”
With these amazing teachings and short glimpse into the life of a person who has dedicated her entire life to sharing kindness and positivism into the world, I would like to end up by asking you to send Bethany your words of support and empowerment.
Bethany, you are such a beautiful, positive and extraordinary person. I look forward to having the calendar in my hands whenever its time may come.
Note: The calendar is being published by Daily Happy Rocks and is to be released soon.
Until then, I’ll keep on reciting your words:
“As rock artists, we share love and encouragements to inspire one another and create joyful smiles around the globe. Truly, we are making a difference. And isn’t THAT what life is all about? To walk each other through this journey of life in kindness, love, and encouragement.”
Mystical Travels in the World of Pure Rock Art - an Interview with Fascinating French Artist, Lysa Mignot 1
Welcome back to our wonderful world of painted rocks and their astonishing creators! Today I have this extraordinary opportunity to introduce to you a fascinating artist, wonderful person, and dear friend, Lysa Mignot of Toulouse, France.
My journey with the RockStreet community has allowed me to meet many interesting, talented and hard working people so far, but I must tell, Lysa has never failed to show me the deepest passion and fantastic devotion to her art as noone before.
Here is Lysa's discourse addressed to you all. I left it unedited, because I wanted to preserve the unique glow showing not only in her art creations but also in her writing:
"Bonjour, mon nom d’artiste est Lyzzz, avec 3 z car je suis une rêveuse.
Hello, my artist name is Lyzzz, with 3 z because I'm a dreamer.
I live in the south of France in the city of Toulouse, also called "The Pink City" due to the colour of its brick walls. The city is crossed by river Garonne which keeps the climate of the region quite temperate and invites to long walks along its banks. Going up the river to the Pyrenees mountains there is the wonderful Salat, a tributary of the Garonne, with its birth place in the heart of the mountains. It is in the Salat riverbed that I search for and collect my rock treasures.
Photo: Astounding capture of Salat river by the Pyrénées Mountains
I have always had the habit of collecting small pebbles. One of my biggest joys is to find the perfect stones in the shape of a love heart. Drawing has also been part of me for a very long time. I am fascinated by the antlers of the trees and by flowers. They are my insatiable source of inspiration. So I decided to meet these two sides of my personality and start painting fantastic trees and flowers on rocks.
I painted my first pebble 10 years ago, with students in my son's class. They needed to raise funds to finance a trip so we managed to sell plenty of painted pebbles at the Christmas market. I did not keep any pictures of those first stones but from that moment things went on and the adventure continued for me.
Here is a pebble heart I have created for the shop that exhibits my creations.
I rarely paint the background of the rocks. That is why I choose mostly smooth stones and solid colour to play with the contrasts. I prefer to preserve a natural part of the stone so that it releases its soul. I prefer working on pebbles of small size and create miniature works of art.
I mainly use acrylic paint with pen or brush and I also make mosaic pieces. The eggshell and mother of pearl are easy to work with and make my jewels unique and original.
Even though I always return to flowers and trees, I like to learn and progress with my art. I always look for new ideas and new techniques. Most recently and thanks to the wonderful diversity of the creations exhibited by the members of the international group RockStreet Collective, I started to be interested in owls which I am studying to enlarge my collections now.
As it is for many artists, moments of motivation at zero point sometimes torture me, so I really thank from the bottom of my heart to all the members of RockStreet Collective who allow me every day to discover a new surprise from another continent.
To you who give me your smiles and your likes, to all of you I say thank you, stay united in our family of rock painters and to continue this wonderful atmosphere of sharing and making friends.
I also thank all my friends who support me, my fans who encourage me and my customers who give me a happy means to live.
I hope I have made you travel through my mineral universe and invite you to join me on my artistic walks and enjoy the art that moves you.
When Painting on Rocks Becomes Part of Your Soul - Interview with Ineke Burgman, Remarkable Artist of The Netherlands 3The beautiful story of Dutch artist Ineke Burgman of RockStreet Collective. Find the smiles, the joy, and the strength of painting on stones.
Discover the Fascinating Story of artist Karin Getaz - the Magic of Her Painted Rocks and Passion for Colours 6The extraordinary story of artist and rock painter Karin Getaz of Queensland, Australia. Astonishing collection of painted rocks, dot mandalas and modern art.
A Visit to Italy - The Amazing Marilena Sostero Talking about Her Passion for Creating Art on Rocks 1
A beautiful day in Ancona, Italy. Photo by artist Marilena Sostero
Greetings to everyone from Italy!
My name is Marilena Sostero and I live in a beautiful city by the sea, called Ancona.
For many years I have passionately painted using oil techniques. I also loved making portraits in crayons and charcoal. Later I approached the art of rock painting, with much love and fun.
The most exciting thing about rock painting is how you can change a stone or a little pebble found by chance, into a small artwork that so many people love!
I love to find rocks in the shape of a cottage or a mushroom, which nobody appreciates , and turn them into beautiful pieces of art.
Saluti a tutti dall'Italia!
Mixed media by Marilena Sostero | I sassi di Marilena | Instagram | for sale Here
My great passion is to paint stones of every form, but my true love is to reproduce the ancient houses with the flowers lurking on the walls. I love to create these houses without painting the walls with colours, but using only shadows to create the depth. Then I add the flowers and trunks that climb around the windows with synthetic paste. I do not draw almost anything in pencil, but I rely on the brush using black colour to letting my imagination carry me on.
Here is one of the works I never wanted to sell, because it embodies the best I want to achieve.
Artwork painted rock by Marilena Sostero | I sassi di Marilena | Instagram |
If I were to give a piece of advice to someone who has just started painting I would say:
Always observe with great attention all the beautiful things that are around us … and never miss the joy of creating, like any baby would do.
Se dovessi dare un consiglio a qualcuno che ha appena iniziato a dipingere, direi: Osservare sempre con grande attenzione tutte le cose belle che vediamo intorno a noi… e non perdere mai la gioia di creare come farebbe un bambino.
Painted rocks by Marilena Sostero | I sassi di Marilena | Instagram |
I would like to thank you all for your attention and wish you best of luck with your painting in the future.
My best regards and appreciation, Hugo and Marilena
Vorrei ringraziare tutti voi per la vostra attenzione e augurarvi buona fortuna con la vostra pittura in futuro.
I miei migliori saluti e apprezzamenti, Hugo e Marilena