With garden space again I was motivated to scour severeal beaches to finally come up with these two rocks and turn them this way and that until the emerging character felt 'right' and then, thoughtfully, begin to paint it. The face gave me gender and name - Joe. He's outdoors now beside the Chilean potato vine.
The rest is a repost giving some history of rock people in my life.
There are rock people here and there throughout my home and garden and I would like to introduce a few.
This is Art who lives in the kitchen and sometimes gets in the way when I need a paper towel. He has his name written on the bottom along with my initials (do sign your work! it does make a difference) but there is no date recorded which means he is old, possibly one of the originals from back in the Ontario days eighteen or more years ago.
This is Stu who may look a lot like Art but they have totally different personalities: Art is quite complacent whereas Stu, who joined the household in '93, sits on the computer table (he is just posing here on the end of the keyboard - an end I never have used but guess some people must need the numbers repeated over there - because the light was better) and takes quite seriously his job of watching the screen and/or anchoring the notes that blow across the room when the window is open.
Back in the kitchen again (which often doubles as a studio it facing south and east) is this couple. That's either Percy or Perry - I can't tell which because his name has a smear of blue paint and the '99 date tells me he became a resident a number of houses ago but which place exactly, I cannot remember, ditto with his name.
He was the first character to take on more colour: most were - and continue to be - black and white with perhaps a bit of colour in a flower or scarf and lips. He lounges on the deck in the summer but for the winter he - and Betsy - come indoors. She joined us in Feb 06; the addition of the month delights me for some reason, maybe it's the thought of knowing I made such a sunning lady in February which is when we have our flower count here in Victoria. Had I made her in February in a Toronto year it would have meant something quite different!
There are several rock people in the garden and I might photograph them when I do the last autumn harvest. They tend to stay out year round and I give them a cleaning and touch-up with paint in the early spring.
The dolls (hmmm, funny how they became "dolls" as I start to describe how to make them; maybe it is because as 'people' they 'make themselves' but since I did have to have a part and assist in the construction this is the 'doll' part) are flattish rocks, as you can see. If you have made dolls you likely realize how the doll can take part in the process of its construction and understand when I say it takes me time and consideration to find the right two stones to make each character.
When I made larger characters and had them on the steps of my house and people would stop and ask to buy them, a neighbour offered to bring me a bunch of rocks so I could make more. He had a truck. He brought me quite a lot of rocks. I only found ten that suited and made five 'people'. I don't think he understood.
Anyway, the dolls are two complementary stones which I glue together after - again - placing the head this way and that on the body until it feels and looks right. Then they get painted (with acrylics) - face first, then clothes; that's the order in which it must happen. Sometimes I know the name as I am painting; sometimes it comes later but I won't sign my initials until I hear the name and record it. And the date. Maybe, from now on, the month as well.
I saw a nice body rock on the sidewalk during a morning walk last week and did not collect it then but I know where it is and could get it and see if any of the rocks from past beach trips suit as a head; or I could take the body rock to the ocean and stroll around........
The above is a post I did several years ago. A recent mention about Pet Rocks on CBC Radio had me googling for details because I did remember them but .... not much about them. Turns out they were a fad for a few months in 1975/76 and I was 'under construction' with Middle Son at that time so my attention was elsewhere. The Net provided wonderful information about their creator etc.
And got me thinking about the Rock People who continue to share home-space with me. As re-posted thanks to the magnificent, magical Web.