Saturday, January 11, 2014

Wonderful Rock Art

I have this great love of found rock art - art created by unknown persons out in nature. For some reason, this area seems to be just full of it. Here are some of my favorites.

I found this on New Year's Day and it appears to be a V shape. Just love the whole concept. It is always fun to try to figure out not only who might have done it but why, and what it is intended to mean.

I found this cool rock art of a car on Facebook. I can't imagine how someone completed this but I just love it!  Maybe if my car stops running someday, I should do something like this to memorialize it.

I love hearts, so finding heart-shaped rocks is the best! These are not mine. Again, I found them somewhere online. I would love a heart like this that would last forever.

Sometimes I paint the rocks I find too. These are not my rock art, but that of a lady I found through Facebook, Julie Ann Stricklin. I think these are fabulous!

Andy Goldsworthy makes his rock art 3-dimensional. I love this great idea! This would be great for children too because I am sure the 3-D things can be added cheaply.

And finally, here is rock art made into a mandala. Wow, this is such a dream. I must make more rock art. I do bring home rocks all the time and paint them with words and symbols and then give them to others or hide them around their homes so that they will find them as a surprise. The possibilities for rock art are endless, and I have more photos somewhere to share another time.

Friday, January 4, 2013


Out here in the canyons of Calimesa, we have a name for the tarantulas that seem to turn up everywhere - Duskies. One of my neighbors found one crawling up his mobile home and took it to the local pet shop where they treated it like a pet and told him all about the Duskies. These giants don't really bite - they have some hairs on their bodies that have barbs and they can eject those into your skin.
Duskies drink water too. They need it like most other creatures. When my neighbor brought the Duskie home, he put it out by our fountain and he said that the Duskie got down by the water and drank a long drink.

As for qualities that all spiders have, they can each spin seven types of silk. Each is used for a different purpose. The silk is strong too - so strong that it has many uses in industry.
I have yet to find one up close and personal, even the ones that were put out by our fountain. Apparently they hide during the day mostly and come out to hunt in the dark of night. It is actually good to have them around, as is the case with many types of spiders, because they keep the overall insect population down.
There are many art forms that have been inspired by spider webs. One of the forms is spiderweb quilts. Here are some of my personal favorites. If you look at them hard enough, they will seem like the real thing. Remember too that if you want to see a larger view of a spiderweb quilt, you can click on the subject

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Little Roadside Memorials . . .

   Many times I have driven on back roads and have seen little memorials alongside the road, sometimes in the most barren and unlikely places. They are tiny works of art, sad little reminders of life that is no longer. Sometimes people come and put things on the little memorials - toys, plastic flowers, and other little things. Some of these little memorials have the names of the people on them in some way - perhaps painted on, and some have more elaborate name plates on them.

   I have always been curious about the birth of this tradition. The Hispanic culture has its Dia de Muerte, and many other cultures actually have celebrations during the year remembering the dead. Even elephants, as they pass through areas where their ancestors have died, stop to tenderly pick up the bones and feel them and then put them carefully back where they were.
   There is something very touching and harking back to a gentler time when each stage of life was something worth remembering, and something that was treasured.
   “Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there. 
   "It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”  ― Ray BradburyFahrenheit 451


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Old Friends . . .

"A good friend is a connection to life - a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world." ~Lois Wyse

   Cleaning out my files, I found so many letters I have saved through the years from friends and relatives. Many of those people are gone from my life - perhaps a divorce many years ago or a death.  But they are all folks who touched my life in so many ways, and I honestly cannot bear to get rid of any of them. Some friends suggested that I use them in some art projects, so that is what I will do.  As I run my hands over each letter, it is as though  a moment in time is captured forever. I do not need to read the letters, for I can gain my sense of my friend just by that comforting touch. I will laugh silently to myself, or perhaps a tear will come from my eye as I remember some truly touching time spent as we perhaps cried or shared a sorrow together.
   Letter writing is truly an art. There was a genuine joy in waiting with anticipation for the postman to come, then looking into the mailbox with a sense of getting a treasure.  The letter was generally carried to the house, where I delayed its opening a little longer, perhaps fixing a cup of coffee or tea to sip while I read it.  And then I would open it carefully, and pour over those words.  I would look at the handwriting and somehow understand if my friend or relative was well or not, even if the words went unwritten. Each word had a meaning beyond what was actually on the page. Some words carried a color within them that I was clearly able to see, and others perhaps a flavor or a scent, or an emotion unspoken and yet coming through clearly. 
   I am so happy that I have those sweet memories.  I am so glad I can look back on my life and time spent with those friends and others - it adds a richness to each passing day. I am going to look forward to sharing the art I create from "The Art of Writing." The colorful mailbox is mine and I painted it in this way about a month ago with the help of a little four-year-old grandson of a neighbor. If you click on any of the photos, they will become larger for viewing. The hands are from a 2006 journal quilt I made and somehow they seemed appropriate. They are photo transfers of my actual hands, and originally, the hands acted as a clasp for a quilt that opened to expose a different scene. I used the hands art because it reminded me of the hands carefully opening a letter to expose a little of the soul of a good friend.