Yesterday our group of artists was invited to focus their thoughts on rocks, stones and pebbles. Yes, indeed. You read that correctly. Rocks, stones and pebbles. Joyce and I invited Vivian, Lino, Vange, Gloria, Louis, Anita and Patricia to focus their attention on the the grounding properties of rocks and stones and those people, places, things that create a foundation and a connection to the earth for each of them.
But, first, we began with a song. Woodie Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land helped set the tone and shifted our imaginations to the beauty of the redwood forests and the Gulf Stream waters.
Gentle movements and a prose passage from Walt Whitman’s Specimen Days came next. The journal passage (below) written on an autumn day, was read aloud by Joyce while I created gentle movements for others to follow.
A Passage from Walt Whitman’s Specimen Days
Such a play of colors and lights, different seasons, different hours of the day—the lines of the far horizon where the faint-tinged edge of the landscape loses itself in the sky.
As I slowly hobble up the [stone] lane toward day-close, an incomparable sunset shooting in molten sapphire and gold, shaft after shaft, through the ranks of the long-leaved corn, between me and the west.
Another day. The rich dark green of the tulip trees and the oaks, the gray of the swamp-willows, the dull hues of the sycamores and black-walnuts, the emerald of the cedars (after rain), and the light yellow of the beeches.
As I sit here [on the rock ledge] by the creek, resting after my walk, a warmth bathes me from the sun. No sound but the cawing of crows, and no motion but their black flying figures from overhead, reflected in the mirror of the pond below.
Our Visual Creative Process was designed to encourage appreciation of the beauty of rocks and stones as they remind us of the foundations that support and ground us. Each artist was asked to select a stone from a tray and then answer the question, Where did your chosen rock come from? Using acrylic paints on paint-friendly paper to connect to our imaginations, while making creative connections to people, places and/or things in our lives that are supportive and grounding, we explored colors and shapes that create a meaningful landscape or portrait scene for each of us.
Rocks and stones and pebbles may be found at the seashore, in a field or meadow, a garden, a mountain or canyon, a stonewall around an orchard, the foundation of a house, barn, school…. Here’s where some of our artists found their stones:
About Cynthia Bydlinski