Glimpse into a life of art and self-challenge, artist Pamela Campbell talking about how yoga and rock painting became part of her life 0“I feel that I need both painting and yoga to become better “
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<Why It Matters> - Artist Misty Day Talking about Her Humanitarian Visit to Honduras and How Painted Rocks Made the Difference 3
Today I am happy to share with you an exclusive interview with artist Misty Day from Ohio, USA! Recently Misty Day had the amazing opportunity of travelling to Central America on a humanitarian mission she would never forget. How her marvelous artistic skills and beautiful rocks fitted in the event is for you to find out next.
Warm regards and days with hope and inspiration,
Could you begin by telling us what was "Mission Honduras" about, how long did it last, and what was its main purpose?
There is a wonderful charity called One Child Matters that helps people sponsor children all over the world. These children live in economically challenged areas and sponsorship grants them free medical care, meals, education, and much more. This 7 day trip to Honduras was organized by One Child Matters so that people who sponsor children, can actually go meet them. I have been sponsoring a little girl, Daniela, in Honduras for almost two years now and I was thrilled with the idea of meeting her and her family!
Mission Honduras: Misty Day and Daniela meeting for the first time
Could you tell us a few words about the places you visited in Honduras. What were the most impressive things you saw?
Since this trip was geared towards working with the sponsored children and their families, we spent most of our time in the capital city, Tegucigalpa.
Photo by Misty Day: Glorious view over Tegucigalpa
Except for Tegucigalpa, we didn’t travel to many additional places. We did visit several families and the beauty of their neighborhoods was really inspiring to an artist like myself. The last day we were there, we saw a couple of cathedrals and a very creative arts display in the center of the capital. I took so many pictures while I was there because the colors and textures were amazing!
Photos by Misty Day: Sightseeing in beautiful Tegucigalpa
What were your main concerns and expectations before embarking on this journey? Did the Honduras experience end up being as you had imagined it to be?I have traveled a lot, but this was my first Mission trip to Central America. I was worried about the dangers of the area and the possibility of getting sick while there. We were strictly advised to stay with our guides at all times and to NEVER drink the water. There was one evening when protesters set up blockades all over the city and we were trapped on our bus for over 3 hours! Despite that, I still have only wonderful memories of my trip and can’t wait to go back.
Rock by Misty Day painted in the Amante style offered to the Pastor of the Tegucigalpa centre
How did your wonderfully painted rocks fit into this event? Did you take any rocks with you? Also please tell us about the rock painting classes you had there!Well, I only started painting rocks about a year ago and that was about the same time I had decided to go on this trip. It had never occurred to me that the rocks could be a great way to raise the money, but a co-worker asked if he could have one of my rocks if he donated to my trip. I’m glad he asked because I started posting my rocks on Facebook and requests flooded in!
Selling my rocks helped me pay for the entire trip. And as the trip got closer I decided I would paint a special name rock for each child. When one of the trip organizers found out how much money I had raised and about the rocks I was taking as gifts, they asked if I would be interested in teaching a rock painting class while I was there. She thought that could be a fun activity and possible a creative money making skill for the people there.
Misty Day during her rock painting classes in Tegucigalpa
I know it's difficult to decide, but could you describe what were the most amazing moments you experienced in Honduras? Were there any people who impressed you the most? Was there a moment you felt you would never forget?
That is a difficult question indeed because each day was amazing in its own way. One moment that stands out was shortly after my second rock painting class. One of the mothers came up to me and she was so excited to show me the rocks she had painted. They were so good! This was the first time in her life that she had been given the opportunity to paint and she told me (through an interpreter) that she was going to keep painting and hopefully earn money for her family. I still tear up thinking about that moment because my simple hobby of rock painting brought her joy and could possibly help her earn an income in the future.
One of Misty Day's students committed to continuing to develop her newly-learned painting skills
Among all the lessons you learnt during this journey, is there one that you would like to share with us?When people asked me about my trip, I’ve been telling them it gave me two important things: purpose and perspective. I’ve always enjoyed painting on rocks and teaching classes, but seeing how art could impact on the lives of these people has made me determined to continue in this mission. Leslie, the directory of the center told me that it was so difficult to bring art to their area because no one had any extra money or time for those kinds of things. She cried as she thanked me for bringing art and the story of Kindness Rocks to their community. And due to the large donation of a local art gallery, I was able to tell her that all the supplies we used for the class were being left for them and their community so they can paint whenever they liked!
Photo by Misty Day: fantastic rocks painted during classes held in Tegucigalpa
It’s also very humbling to give a child a simple thing like a rock with their name on it and watch them begin to cry. It reminds you of how little so many people have and how important it is to make everyone feel special.
I’ll never take my life for granted after this trip and I wake up every morning knowing how truly blessed I am.
Some of the many painted rocks offered by Misty Day to the sponsored children of the Honduras Mission
"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.”