I am a lover of rocks; any kind from anywhere. Growing up, I spent many hours with my dad and brother digging for crystals and minerals all over New England. Things like garnets, all kinds of quartz, beryl crystals, etc. were all to be found if you knew where to look.
As I got older I continued to explore with my brother, taking my young sons along to dig for fossils and more rocks. We eagerly awaited the day when a gem and mineral show would come to a nearby town. I was the kid in a candy store minus the calories but much more expensive. When friends would travel overseas, they would ask what I would like them to bring back for me; a scarf? t-shirt? My answer is always a rock. One of my treasures from my friend Carole is a piece of marble from the quarry in Italy where the stone for David was excavated. So if you want to win my heart, give me a rock.
When I relocated to this island, some of my collection wandered off, never to be found again, but for the most part, my hardy friends survived the move and have found homes on my mantle, tables, in bowls and in my yard. When I pick up a snowball quartz I found in Blandford, Massachusetts, I remember that day with my brother and oldest son, clear as a crystal. My brother John is one of those great guys who loves to teach people in a gentle way. He knows so much about the outdoors, and he has helped foster a genuine love and respect of nature in my boys who are now grown men.
So when I heard about a gem and mineral show being held in Virginia Beach this past weekend, I had to go. It wasn't as big as the ones I was used to but oh, the rocks. I spent more money than I should have. But I would rather have a chunk of rock than a piece of jewelry or a new dress. So this picture shows just SOME of the ones I brought home with me; apophyllite, celestite, chalcedony, North Carolina moonstone, black psilomelane, orange and green calcite, labradorite and green opal.
I'm thinking I can find a way to incorporate drawings of these in my paintings. Where I will put my new friends I'm not sure, but hey, there's always room for a another rock.