Learning a new art or craft has always brought me a ton of satisfaction. The process of making something from scraps of material, pieces of wood, or sheets of paper is an important creative outlet for me. I have spent many hours sewing, cutting, gluing, molding, painting, and arranging to make something original out of the ordinary. And, as many friends and family will verify, I have bombarded everyone with my final products, making sure every handiwork finds a home or a wall to hang on.
Since I am always up for something new to add to my hobby list, I was overjoyed to find a group on Facebook who has inspired me to try rock painting. Not only is it incredibly enjoyable and relaxing, but the result is a work of art that can be hidden around the community providing a small gift for strangers to stumble upon. West Coast Painted Rocks (#WCPR) is a Facebook gathering place for people who enjoy the art of painting, the tracking fun of Geocaching, and the philosophy of “Random Acts of Kindness” all rolled together.
WCPR members have varying ranges of artistic abilities, personal style, favorite themes, and locations for perfect hiding spots. The page has a pinned post to help new members get started, listing useful guidelines for collecting rocks to paint, pitfalls to avoid, paint preparation, tools to use, and finishing products for weatherproofing.
Facebook Administrator, Towmater Boston, started the WCPR group in February 2017. She became interested in painting rock Mandalas about a year before, accessing YouTube videos and Pinterest for reference.
“I found I loved painting the Mandalas. It was like a Zen thing for me,” Boston shared. “As I kept painting, the painted rocks grew. I had boxes full.”
When her husband asked what she was going to do with them all, Boston said she had no idea, but knew she was going to keep painting them.
“In January 2017, I met a person who told me about these “Random Acts of Kindness” through painted rocks,” Boston explained. “I went home and started following the two groups and saw the happiness they were bringing to others with their painted rocks. I knew then I was going to start my own group.”
From Boston’s interest in both painting and human kindness, the WCPR Facebook group was created in February 2017. Boston said it has grown bigger than she ever imagined. There are currently 2000 members and interest in the art continues to grow.
Getting on board is a breeze, just request to follow the WCPR Facebook page and you’ll be added to the group within a day or so. Plan for a small investment in acrylic paints, paint pens, a manicure set for tiny details, and spray sealant. Keep an eye open for rocks with smooth, interesting shapes to begin painting your masterpiece. Rocks and stones can be bought from craft or garden stores, quarries, or found outside just waiting to be transformed. Don’t be reluctant to give it a try. The WCPR followers are supportive to new members and everyone’s efforts are admired.
Once a few rocks are painted, the next step is to stash the treasures where people frequent. The trick is to hide a stone discreetly while making certain the sly spot is accessible and safe for the finder. Take a photo of your rocks, post on the Facebook page, and post a hint so the hunting frenzy can begin. If you include the #WCPR wording on the backside of the rocks, lucky rock hounds can post their finds, and appreciation for your artwork goes on and on.