Stones have been around for a long time — they're the oldest thing on this planet. They've seen the planet born, ice ages and civilizations come and go, and these quiet non-complainers will outlast us and many civilizations to come.
Historically, stones have been the "memory-makers" of societies past. Ancient tribal customs had symbols, stories and scriptures all engraved in rock - to last tens of thousands of years in time, and inform generations to come. So, rocks have held mankind's stories, but rocks also hold their own. Although "memory" and other features of animate life — like consciousness itself — cannot easily be applied to inanimate objects like stones, stones, simply put, have their own personality: character, geography, texture, shape & weight. It's also interesting that each one — like grains of sand, like snowflakes, and like human beings — are unique: there are no two alike.
I have a natural affinity for rock & stone. Probably living in the pacific northwest rain-forest most of my life has pre-disposed me to seek a counter-point as balance: meaning dry, desert-like areas with a predominance of rock, sky, sun, and the ancient stillness & silence that accompanies this type of solitude. My times in the Southwest, Canyon-lands affirmed this connection with me. Also, I spent many years contemplating the relationship between the natural elements and human life: earth, air, wind, water, fire. I saw that humans, in a material sense, are made up of all these elements, and we naturally seek to balance these elements within ourselves.
The element of stone or earth represents the qualities of timelessness, forbearance, patience, stillness, "groundedness" (literally!), protection, the womb, mothering or nurturing, solidness, strength. In an age where human society is "speeded up" - often to a frantic, chaotic level - the "groundedness", silence, and timeless place that earth and stone represent, bring in a much needed contrast to the destructive and chaotic mental turbulence of modern times.
When I paint stones, there is a multi-dimensional evolutionary experience going on. Sorry to make it sound so complex, because it's really not — it's really very simple! The rocks tell me what to do and I do it. It's a process both of me learning the art & craft of working with brush, color, shape, form & design; and it's also an experience of christening the rock with color — in essence, giving it a "name" that conforms with its inherent personality. Make sense?
On the Technical Side, stones are scrubbed clean, base-coat applied, up to 6 coats of acrylic metalic finish, followed by one or two coats of clear satin laquer, to protect the finish and ensure endurable wear, even in out-doors environments.
To make ART out of rocks is a challenge. One one level, these are very humble, mundane beings. On another level, these are timeless, wise sages. So, the best thing here is to simply get out of the way, and let it happen! You could say that about most things in life, especially creative, romantic, spontaneous or magical things.