Fight Stress with Rocks
By Lin Wellford
Mental health experts have long known the value of developing
creative outlets to relieve stress. This particularly applies to people who work in 'burn-out' prone professions
like teaching, nursing and social work, but these days nearly everyone is liable to feel some degree of
work-related stress. But what if you hate knitting, don't have the resources to take up scrapbooking and are
convinced you don't possess a drop of creativity? It might just be time for you get rocking!
Painting on rocks is probably the oldest art form known to man,
but according to Lin Wellford, who has been painting rocks for almost thirty years, rock painting is an ideal way
to connect with hidden artistic talent.
But why paint rocks? Not only are they free for the taking in
many places all over the world, but they have shape and dimension so that even people with very little artistic
experience can visualize what the rock could become with just a little effort.
"Rocks are not intimidating the way so many more formal art
materials are," Wellford explains. "They are natural and rather humble, and it is simply impossible to ruin a
People seem to have an affinity for rocks and stones that they
don't have for other materials. They are solid and real, and they also represent a piece of the place they came
from. Add to that the fact that they are both fun and easy to paint.
"I think there are many people who've longed to find successful
ways to express themselves creatively," Wellford explains. "They may have tried drawing or painting before and
perhaps were embarrassed by their efforts. Painting a rock is like finding a shortcut to satisfying results. I've
gotten tons of letters over the years from people who wanted to tell me how exciting it was to discover a way of
making art that they were actually good at."
Another group who have embraced rock painting are people
suffering from chronic pain. Engaging in a creative activity allows you to 'zone out' for a time, providing relief
and respite. People dealing with loss or grief also report finding immense solace from concentrating on their
Creative pastimes are an important component of living a
balanced and satisfying life, so if you have not yet discovered your hidden talents, it may just be time to take a
closer look at the art material lying right there at your feet!
Lin Wellford is widely considered to be the 'mother of modern
rock painting' for her efforts to promote this low cost, assessible form of self-expression. The author of eight
books on the art of painting rocks, including her newest book, Rock Painting Fun for Everyone!, Wellford appears
regularly on The Carol Duvall Show on HGTV. Articles about her unique art form have been published in such diverse
magazines as Birds & Blooms, National Geographic's World, The Artist, Country Decorating Ideas, Michael's Arts
& Crafts magazine and Family Circle's Weekend Homecrafts. Her new book is available at her website,
Amazon.com or at Hobby Lobby stores throughout the U.S. Along with her books, she has a video on rock
painting and also teaches and hosts workshops to introduce new painters to the basics and encourage them to
uncover their own hidden talents.
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