Embracing life in meaningful ways - exceptional artist LIONA HOTTA talking about her artistic journey and the launch of an exciting new on-line learning opportunity 10
Today's article will take you on a journey into the life of a once rebel "undisciplined" child who grew up to be an exceptional mandala artist praised for her talent all around the word.
As you all know, Liona Hotta's extraordinary art distinguishes itself from others' for its sensual explosion of colours, perfection of shapes, and the vibrant positive energy it contains. I hope you enjoy seeing part of her creations depicted in marvelous photographs throughout the article.
How Liona started this amazingly inspiring career not only as a painter, but also as a musician, here is for you to find out.
Who is Liona Hotta and how did she grow up to be the artist she is today?
I like to think of myself as a person who wants to express herself through multiple forms of art.
Since very young I loved singing, painting and dancing. These arts were very present in our home, and although we were growing up in a demanding agricultural community, all members of my family were or are still practicing some form of art. It’s no wonder that I ended up marrying an artist (photographer) and now we share the love for that art too.
Artist LIONA HOTTA (photo credit to photographer Tomoyuki Hotta)
As a little girl I was a rebel. Since I was a non-diagnosed dyslexic, I had to go through hard times being called a brilliant but undisciplined child.
I continue to be very untidy and unorganized. I always listen to my feelings more than my brain. Time has taught me though that I needn't apologize for my carelessness and better continue to listen to my heart.
This coming June I will be celebrating my 50th birthday and I am truly happy with who I have become and with what I do.
Apart from painting I also perform as a singer. I am blessed with the companion of a number of talented artists who play with me in our concerts.
Over the last 3 years our band, Liona & Serena Strings has been immersing in a Sephardic music project, with which we traveled and performed all over Spain, in so many beautiful locations and theaters. This year we also had the pleasure and honor to travel and perform concerts in India (Kolkata, Delhi, Goa) and North Macedonia.
Liona and Serena Strings music band | Youtube | Website | (photo credit to Tomoyuki Hotta)
With such a busy singing career, and having to travel such long distances, how did you actually find time to start painting on rocks?
My romance with stone painting started when I was hosting intuitive vocal workshops.
I was looking for a way to make little personal presents for my students who were about to finish a course I was teaching. I decided to search for ideas on the magic internet and this is when I fell in love with mandala painting on little stones.
Has life changed for you in any ways since you started painting?
It did change tremendously.
At the beginning I was only painting at night. I immediately noticed that my sleep was improving as I was falling into it easily and peacefully.
Later, as I was making mandala-dotting part of my daily routine, I could see how it was also helping me relax and center.
At first I was just counting dots. This came to me as a natural habit that originated in the need to assure symmetry while painting (I discovered I loved symmetry).
Soon I realized I was thinking of absolutely nothing while dotting - my mind was quiet for long minutes. It became my only meditation habit (oh, I’m such a restless person I could never sit and meditate like everyone else).
Later I began listening to music, practiced guided meditations and affirmations while painting. Pretty soon I noticed how my whole life was changing - I felt more centered, calm, and able to better handle life’s hassle and challenges. Today I can actually sit down and meditate like the rest of the people... what a joy!
Starting with the 1st of December I hear you are launching a series of courses on-line about dotting mandalas with a brush. Tell us more about this upcoming event.
My most recent project is the online course “How to dot your mandala with a BRUSH"
A while ago I realized that the international dotting community is divided into those who dot with dotting tools and those who dot with brushes (and lately there is a third group rising of cone dotters).
Somehow there is (in my opinion) a misconception about brush dotting that it is hard, complicated or “reserved” for the “more capable” artists.
Firstly, I don’t think it matters what we create art with: dotting tools, brushes, sticks, fingers.. art is art.
Secondly - it's all but wrong - dotting with a brush is easy. It’s a technique, you learn, you practice and you do it (just like about anything else in life).
This course is built to take you by the hand and step by step help you understand, practice, get confident and apply this technique. And I do not offer it as a replacement for dotting tools, but as an additional enriching way to add to your backpack of possibilities.
This is a 4 weeks course, with lessons dropping once a week, beginning with December 1st. All materials of the course are permanently available to signed up users. You will be provided with access to an only-member Facebook group for this course"s participants. We will have Q&A live sessions once a week during the course, and from time to time afterwards, when needed and required by the group members.
I have opened enrollment pre-sale of this course (follow link HERE) .
There is also an early bird price offer which will be kept open until Monday, November 18th. The course will begin on December 1st and last date to sign up is November 30th.
All details are in the course sales page. Please email me if you any have further questions in case I missed any of them on my social media (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’ll gladly write you back.
Sending you all love and light,
MASTERS OF OUR DAYS - YVETTE BIEDERMANN. Realm of Happy Rocks 30
The Land of Living Rocks
- Welcome to Switzerland -
For this week's ROCK ART SNAPSHOT, I am really honoured and grateful to have obtained the consent to feature the wonderful work of outstanding artist Yvette Biedermann.
I've never looked at Yvette's work without admiration as I'm sure so have you. She has this extraordinary gift of painting animals as if they were real: smiling at you, watching you, talking to you, making you love them, and wish nothing but to hug them!
The techniques she masters so exquisitely, the warmth of her rocks' presence, as well as the quality of photographs that depict her art, made me rank Yvette among THE MOST TALENTED AND INFLUENTIAL rock artists of our times.
With the following selection I am only hoping to open a door for you; and through this door I am inviting you to take a step into the happy world where Yvette's cats, dogs, and owls come to life from mere rocks. Isn't that amazing!
YVETTE'S WORLD OF HAPPY CATS
In case you thought there are no rock cats, you are mistaken!
These cats - as photographed from reality as they may appear - have taken the artist years of practice and long hours of hard work to come to life. And if they smile at you like this, it is only because the artist has put her heart and soul to make that happen.
TRY NOT TO WANT TO HUG THEM
Yvette's painted dogs on rocks are not only wonderful depictions of shapes and colours. To my endless joy, the artist manages to capture in her paintings a large array of emotions too:
STUNNING MESSENGERS OF GOOD NEWS
Out of all the rocks Yvette has so skillfully painted, I was also enchanted by her painted owls. I was impressed by how they were depicted in delicate shapes and harmonious colours. I also loved the way Yvette displays them in these original wood stands, as if to add even more life to what she creates:
I hope you fell in love with every piece of art Yvette has created as much as I have since meeting her. It is artists like Yvette that INSPIRE US and help us grow. And for this we can only be grateful that they are in this world for us too.
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.
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 40
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEDNESDAY SNAPSHOT - Annalisa Cacciatore - Unique wearable art with a Mediterranean touch 3
HAKUNA MATATA from Italy
This Wednesday I'm taking you on a Mediterranean ride to beautiful Annalisa Cacciatore in Florence, Italy. Annalisa is a wonderfully talented person, mastering the art of rock painting like rarely seen in our days. She is known worldwide for the exquisite quality of her painted rocks in the form of wearable art. More of Annalisa's creations for you to admire and enjoy are on Hakuna Matata Italy on Facebook and @ hakuna_matata_italy on Instagram
I hope you enjoy all Annalisa's works of art inspiring:
You can discover and enjoy more art on rocks on our Facebook group, RockStreet Collective.
More painted rocks for sale are HERE
- Christine Onward
- Tags: annalisa cacciatore art art online art therapy christine onward earrings elegance harmony Italy journey love mandala meditation mediterranean necklace ocean painted rocks painted stones pendant pendants photography rock art RockStreet Collective style stylish jewelry wearable art
CHRISTINE ONWARD TALKING ABOUT ROCKSTREET-COLLECTIVE AND HER ROCK PAINTING JOURNEY 26
Life takes us on such extraordinary journeys that we often feel overwhelmed and unable to handle them. I felt this over the last three years more than ever before. I felt as if life was giving birth to a new, completely different me. I felt that I was given another chance and another purpose. I had to find what this was. I had to stop and listen to the beauty of this world. This is how I began painting on rocks.
Photo by Christine Onward. A memorable day in Diamond Beach
I started painting on rocks about three years ago. I had never painted before, unless you want to consider my mere attempts at art in school, just to pass the class really. But my little daughter, a young teenager at that time, was spending most of her time by herself, painting. I wanted to be part of her life so I invited her at the dinner table to paint and share the joy of it together. And we had fun, and stories, and plans… We had the mess, ruined all tablecloths, ate soup with a touch of brush paint, and made memories!
At some point Maria had to reduce the painting time because of her exams. But I kept on going. I kept on painting my little ladybugs, and flowers, and dots, thousand of dots. It felt too good to stop. Somehow, my worries, depression, fears, stress, tiredness… could be managed better. It was therapy.
I paint nearly every day. I generally start and finish a rock in the same day, or I lose the connection with my art. I love the bright colours. I use watercolours, not very expensive fancy ones, to be honest. But the varnish spray with which I seal my rocks thoroughly is of the best quality. Because I want my rocks to last long, be safe outside and well protected from the harsh Australian sun.
I love the medium sized rocks with interesting shapes and smooth surfaces. Here are some of the most beautifully shaped rocks I have painted on so far:
What’s on now?
In time I realised I had to share this amazing journey with somebody else. Someone who felt the same: that rocks, the touch of them, their strength, the silence within them, make you feel better.
I started this Facebook adventure: Christine Onward Decorative Art as my artist page, and a group for rock painters called Colour Therapy.
Colour Therapy was all about art on rocks, colour enthusiasm, and benefits of painting.
Since April 2017 (Can’t believe it’s been only a little over 1 year now!) I met so many rock painters, so many beautiful people, so many stories, and I made so many friends!
RockStreet Collective grew into this amazing media platform, with about 4600 members on Facebook at this moment, 6500 followers on Instagram and growing fast. In RockStreet Collective artists from more than 40 countries across the globe share the joy of showing their art works within the group, inspire others, provide support for the others, and, above all, connect with each other. I want to continue this extraordinary journey.
I want to tell the world that there is beauty in every form of art expression. And if it does well to you and others, then you should keep on doing it. After all, we at RockStreet Collective often say:
Photo and rocks painted by Christine Onward | Buy Here
- Christine Onward
- Tags: aboriginal anxiety art online australia beach buddha christine onward depression diamond beach garden decor holiday home decoration journey meditation outback australia painted rocks painted stones painting photography rock art RockStreet Collective story sunrise the stunner boutique therapy