Recently, Petra Manos posted a photo on an Australian birds FB group I belong to. It completely enchanted the members (including me), especially when Petra shared the story behind her artwork.
She generously agreed to write this guest post.
I started in August 2020, when I got a new client who sells paint pens. I bought a set of her pens and painted a few rocks and gave them to my children. My kids loved them and kept requesting more. I read up on it a bit because I wanted to learn other techniques, and then I found out about the rock hiding groups. I joined my local group named ‘SA rocks’ and promptly found out about a whole lot of places where people go to hide rocks around Adelaide. Some people hide them at designated places and others hide them in random spots where no-one knows they’re there.
The first day my kids and I went rock hunting intentionally we found 20 rocks and then we were hooked. My kids were so excited! Ever since then I’ve been painting rocks, probably about one every day. My kids and I go walking around the river and creeks and dams and hide rocks amongst the trees and logs as we go. It keeps the kids active and I really enjoy painting them. My daughter started helping me and now she will often help with the backgrounds and I will paint the foregrounds.
It wasn’t long before I discovered painting birds. I like birds, because they’re so colourful and pretty on their own without needing a whole scene.
I like pushing myself to learn new skills, so I really enjoy the challenge of the feathers and other details. I bought some field guides on Australian native birds and started painting a lot of them.
These days I paint one rock most days. Usually I paint birds, but I also paint insects, animals, fish, plants and the occasional cartoon character. My 4 year old daughter Charlotte and I found a nice way to work together. We mix watercolours, glitter and a clear art medium and finger paint the background. We’ve also tried watercolour pencils and paint pens on the background as my daughter can use them without mess. I then paint the foreground using an acrylic paint. I varnish them using resin. My family don’t help me with that part because it is dangerous and requires protective equipment when using.
On the weekends we pack a small bag with our rocks and hide them about the place. We have enjoyed seeing many birds, lizards, insects and other wildlife during this activity. My kids have walked much further than they otherwise would, because they find rocks as well as hiding them.
NOTE FROM AN ADMIRING WEB HOST – Thanks so much Petra. By the way, as she mentioned…… it’s not all about birds!
How appropriate that Petra means rock, and Manos….. well that means hands in Spanish, very talented hands in this case.
FOR MORE INFORMATON ABOUT THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN ROCK PAINTING GROUP CLICK HERE