Earlier this holiday season Nordstrom was the topic of many news stories for its popular leather-wrapped rock that sold out quickly online. A rock as a gift? We may have laughed at it, but many people were happy to snag one as a gift this year. This isn’t the first time we’ve fallen in love with rocks; the pet rock craze of the 1970s found many people caring for a small item that’s often found out in their driveways.
Whether you keep a rock as a pet or as an office accessory to keep papers straight, rocks can actually act as a great crafting surface. Archaeologist and artist F. Sehnaz Bac knows that to be true – and talks about it – in her latest how-to book, The Art of Stone Painting. Her book offers 30 designs to unleash the artist in crafters of all ages.
From painting techniques to tips on finding the best rocks to pain on, The Art of Stone Painting acts as a helpful guide for creating mini masterpieces. You’ll find ideas on how to make a variety of themes, from flowers and animals to geometric patterns and holiday motifs.
With the colder winter months ahead of us and the need to find some quiet crafting projects great, I got to learn more about Bac and her inspiration.
How did you become interested in art and painting on stones?
Drawings have always been a part of my life and my work in archeology. They vary: some of them are technical images, and some others were artistic. Most of them have also been published in different scientific publications.
When I was growing up, I didn’t think of becoming an artist even though I was always drawing. My parents loved traveling and exploring beautiful places that were full of natural beauty and had traces of ancient cultures. I always thought that I could be an archeologist. Since I was also drawing as long as I can remember, after being archeologist, I realized that I had always chosen work that connected to drawing. Presenting myself as an artist, however, took a very long time. I always thought of myself as an archeologist first. Making that switch was difficult.
Did working in archeology lead you to painting stones or has it provided inspiration for you?
I think a little bit of both. Making technical drawings of small finds in archaeological excavations as fragments of pottery and ceramics helped me to improve my skills about observing small details. My curiosity and imagination inspire me to create, colorful and detailed artworks. İ love to use my imagination; I am still learning to see the things with different eyes, without using standard forms and colors.
Do you have any stories from people who are inspired by your stone painting about how it affects them?
Almost every day, I receive many messages via emails from people who tell me they are inspired by my painted stones. They tell me that they are trying to paint, draw and they feel better, happier and peaceful because of this new project they have based on my work.
How do you find your stones and what do you look for?
I collect stones from beaches of Adriatic Sea because that is where I live, but you can find stones wherever you are – it does not have to be on a beach. It can be in a forest, on the side of the road or in an open field. I look always for uniform, smooth surfaces. In the beginning, I was collecting any stone I could find and could work with it, but now that I have been doing this for a while, when I see the stone on the beach, I can already imagine what design I will paint on it!