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Rocks Tell Their Own Stories

Rock zen garden stones in gravel litter box, photo by Tara Fly

[pullquote]”Geologists have a saying – rocks remember.”
~ Neil Armstrong[/pullquote]

My imagination has always been captivated by rocks and stones. Not Marilyn’s sparkling best friends, or any pretty gemstones for that matter, but real rocks found in the dirt, mud, and snake-infested streams of nature.

Where do they come from? What they are composed of? How old are they?

I love rocks with sharp, jagged edges and multiple layers, and also river stones sanded smooth by sediment flowing swiftly in the current.

I love photographing their surfaces and angles, and imagining they are tiny planets inhabited by microscopic civilizations. I love trying to recognize shapes in their contours, and painting faces and objects onto them.

Last summer, I collected triangular chunks of broken concrete that reminded me of cake or pie slices… because I wanted to dress them up as cherry pies, and adhere them to porcelain dessert saucers.
They are still resting in their natural state, on a shelf in my supply closet.

Whenever a creative idea strikes me, one that isn’t Cat Related, I feel obligated to toss it into the “maybe someday” pile of concepts in the corner of my studio. That pile is getting pretty big now; it is starting to spill out into my workspace.

These inspirations are literally stuffed inside my brain, barely allowing me room to mentally maneuver…. and I’ve noticed a reoccurring theme in almost every one.

Rocks.   And…. um, rocks.

I decided to tackle one project that tickled my quirky sense of humor…. a miniature rock “zen garden” designed in a cat’s litter box. A clean box, obviously. Although smooth river rocks do somewhat resemble cat poop; perhaps that was my subconscious intent. ;)

rock zen garden raked gravel litter box, photo by Tara Fly.

I photographed a series of them… using the macro lens of my camera.
I experimented with altering a couple of the images in Photoshop…. adjusting the brightness and color contrast, and adding a colored gradient.
They have an interesting, desert landscape appeal don’t they? … I was half-tempted to Photoshop a cactus or tumbleweeds into the picture.

So far, I’ve only uploaded a few of these to Flickr and Facebook. I’m still debating what to do with them, because it doesn’t reflect my current body of work.

I had a gut feeling that these photos would look amazing in frames…. so I did a test print on one of them, and I was right!

This print turned out lovely! In fact, after the photo-shoot was over, I left it hanging up on my wall. :)

framed rock zen garden art print by Tara Fly.

I’m trying to decide whether or not I want to put any effort into selling these and my other rock-related art ideas.
It would probably require opening a second Etsy shop, to keep everything consistent… unless I started painting Regency Cats on rocks. hehe
It would mean more work, developing different product lines.

I need more work on my plate, like we need more cat-hating neighbors.

The idea of venturing into a completely new line of work scares and excites me….

But never fear, ye intrepid Googlers in search of “TaraFly woman and her cats” … the quest to find the artist painting melancholy cats
This cautious exploration into the marketability of rocks will not cause me to abandon painting furry felines in their fine attire.

In fact, if you want “ugly cat paintings in frames“, my website will always be the purrfect place to find….

…wait, WHAT?! :P

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