We recently attended a wedding of a special relative. The couple had collected rocks during their courtship from various places they had visited. All the attendees were asked to hold one of these rocks during the service, and at one point we held them next to our hearts and thought back on where we met the couple and a special memory of them. Later we returned the stones to the couple for them to continue to cherish these memories. It was a lovely part of the service and made me think more about rock memories.
After months in a Zen-like mindset I finally finished my client Fred’s magnificent spiral. The 74 rocks were those he collected in his lifetime as an explorationist. When I send him a picture of the completed work he said, “I see a lot of old familiar friends there.” All of Fred’s “friends” reminded him of the places where he discovered them and the trips to those places as well. I told him that this spiral is not just a list of those places, but the stories about those places! His memories are preserved here.
Holding a rock in your hand is holding memories of your path to uncover it. Rocks stir recollections of places visited. The rock is a piece of the place. A physical piece. A piece of the earth that means something only to you.
Rocks also hold memories. Every rock has a story of its geologic path. They are long complex stories of their journey through time. Hold a rock in your hand and contemplate that memory. It is dizzying!
I have a lot of rock friends here in my studio. They hold memories of where I came across them: in a rock shop owned by an eccentric character near Luning, Nevada; in a quarry where we were accosted by a drunken fool in the Pilbara Crater, Western Australia; after a violent rainstorm in the San Rafael Swell, Utah; from small miners bringing rare finds to my booth at the Tucson Gem Show; and while staking drill sites at the Borealis Mine, Nevada… They are concrete evidence of journeys in life taken only by me. What rich memories do your rocks hold for you?
If you want to meet some of my “friends” come to my Open Studio next month. An invitational email will be coming next week.
Fred Barnard with his spiral hung in his home
In The Field
Before the weather got too hot, Stu and I visited a fascinating badlands environment in northern New Mexico: Bisti / De-Na-Zin Wilderness area south of Farmington. It is rather remote and the road from the highway makes you wonder if you are in the right place. Then suddenly you see the edge of what is 4,000 acres of unusual rock formations. The dramatic terrain has no trails and the signage is absolutely pathetic, so you are truly on your own to discover the colorful hoodoos, petrified trees, arches and surreal erosional shapes that make up this captivating place. But it was worth the trek!
Susan in petrified log heaven Stu with a favorite hoodoo
In The Gallery
After surviving my tent getting flooded at the Breckenridge July Art Festival ;-), I decided to stay closer to home. We are preparing the studio for the Artists of Evergreen Open Door Studios September 18th and 19th. Thirty-two artists in my geographic area will be opening their studios so you can see our art and our workshops. We are having a reception the evening before at the Evergreen National Bank. Please stop by if you can!
Artists of Evergreen Open Door Studios
6 – 8 pm
Evergreen National Bank
28145 Highway 74
Evergreen, CO 80437
September 18 – September 19
10am – 5pm
6755 Ranch Lane
Morrison, CO 80465
Shangri-La– 19.0” x 27.5”, 2020, $4,500
Lepidolite pegmatite, sandstone, travertine, banded dolomite, lime, epidote with garnet, slate