Rock on: Painting stones sounds so simple

By David Talley | Published Saturday, August 5, 2017

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On the Hunt David

ON THE HUNT – David Talley lounges next to the hiding spot of one of his rocks, a bench outside Sweetie Pie’s. Messenger photo by Racey Burden

Rock hunting seems to have taken over Wise County.

When looking for a joint column idea, Racey and I landed on painting and hunting rocks as an activity because it really seems to be the hot topic right now.

To shamelessly self-promote, check out my story on page 1A if you haven’t already. The Messenger’s Facebook post pulled in nearly 200 comments by press time Friday, and several of those are attached to the story. The Facebook group mentioned in the story has more than 2,000 members, all painting and hiding rocks for the sole purpose of having others find them and re-hide them. It’s really almost too simple.

So we headed out to Wal-Mart to pick up painting supplies. Their acrylics are only about $1 apiece, so if you’re looking to get into rock painting, that’s a pretty good deal. We grabbed a pack of paintbrushes and headed back downtown to find our canvases, dropping our supplies by the office on the way out the door.

Once outside, we split up. I headed east toward several parking lots, where I knew there would be several decently sized rocks. I came back with four: one small and cube-shaped, one large and triangular, one small and round and one large and round. Prioritizing the large, round rock as probably the best canvas, I set it aside while working on the others so I could hopefully come up with better ideas for painting it.

The cube became a die, the triangle became a Texas flag and the small, round rock received green paint and purple dots. The flag was probably my fastest work because almost none of the colors had to dry before I added the others. My star came out pretty blobbish, but I just waited for it to dry and then corrected it with another layer of blue paint to clean up the points. Finally getting to my larger, round rock, I discovered that it didn’t hold paint well. It started with just a coat of red, but then I noticed Messenger Sports Editor Richard Green’s jar of Jif peanut butter on his desk. It’s red, blue, green and white – all colors we had access to.

It was fun, for a while. Painting over the small cracks and dimples in rocks with a clean, white cover is actually really cathartic. I could see myself picking this hobby up. But after finishing the first layer of paint on my rocks, it got less fun. There’s a reason “It’s like watching paint dry,” is an often-used statement for boring things.

It took forever to dry, but once it did we were ready to hide our rocks. Starting a loop, we hit First United Methodist Church, the “Greetings from Decatur” mural, the Decatur Visitor’s Center and Sweetie Pie’s Ribeyes to hide our art. I noticed Friday morning the two we hid near the Messenger office were already gone, so if you found them, let us know!

David Talley is a Messenger reporter.

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