She picked them up out of sheer curiosity but breathed new life into them…and now they stand transformed into new entities, each with a charming character of their own.
When Apsa Madhusoodhan, an Indian housewife, visited Tiwi beach a couple of years ago, she was so taken up by the smooth pebbles adoring the beach that she returned home with a bagful of those stones. Not knowing what to do with them, she initially felt it was just her passion for nature that awakened an affinity for them. But soon the dormant artist in herself woke up from its slumber and began dictating terms to her.
Apsa bought a set of acrylic paints and brushes and let her creativity take wing upon these stones. Beginning by creating a bunch of cacti, she soon started painting fancy designs as well as images of animals, especially cats, with such intricate detail that her stones resemble miniature creatures coiled up in a position of rest.
“I am not an artist but I did have an interest in art which remained hidden as I got busy with my education, career, and marriage,” said the young network engineer who had been working in the field of IT in UAE before coming to Oman two years ago. Since she wasn’t able to secure a job in Oman, she decided to utilise her time on hand with a creative hobby and the stones came to her rescue all of a sudden,
Apsa has created a whole range of artistic stones besides using some to create images and scenes in frames. A lot of friends and well-wishers who have seen her work have also placed orders with her to create fancy stone art for them, while she has gift many of her creations to friends and family members.
Yet at a nascent stage in her artistic venture, Apsa says she would like to further her talent by creating stone art of various sizes. Though most of her work includes replicas of photographs and pictures, she has not yet experimented with creating artistic images from her own memory.
“I can look at something and recreate it on stone but I find it difficult to come out with abstract concepts just for art’s sake,” she asserts, however, adding that she is aware that she can go a long way with her talent if she organises herself to cater to popular demand.
What is pebble art?
Pebble painting is also called ‘rocking’ or ‘rock art/stone art’. It is a craze that began in the US with Megan Murphy’s ‘The Kindness Rocks Project’. Meghan, who is an author, activist and life coach, came up with the idea after collecting heart-shaped stones and pieces of glass from the beach which she found quite intriguing. It involves painting and converting smooth pebbles into pieces of art as table décor which can used as humble gifts.
First, wash the pebbles clean to rid them of dirt and impurities. Then dry them well before beginning to paint designs or images of objects that interest you. Use several coats and let them dry between layers. Use fine brushes for intricate details. Oil based paint pens can also be used for creating graffiti on them.
The best paints to use for painting on stones or pebbles are waterproof craft paint or acrylic paints which are available in stationery shops or art stores. You may add a coat of varnish after the paints have dried, for added sheen.
‘Kindness rocks’ are those with a painted message or ‘thought for the day’. One can personalise it for the recipient to express joy, sorrow, gratitude or convey compliments/good wishes.