Rock painting gains popularity on Vancouver Island

Facebook groups formed for people to share ideas, gift painted rocks

A rock painting trend is rolling through the region.

Artists such as Sooke resident Linda Anderson and Langford resident Kathy Cameron have taken a particular interest in rock painting, along with thousands of others throughout the Island.

Cameron, an administrator of the Vancouver Island Painted Rocks group on Facebook, said interest in rock painting and hiding has skyrocketed over the last few years, and now people can often find the creative treasures on their hikes and strolls around the region.

“We decided to start the group as a sort of sister page to the Sooke to Sidney Rock Hunt group page,” Cameron said.

“Rock painting is truly a phenomenon, it’s taken off worldwide. We have members not just from the Island but from places like the U.S., Germany, and Australia.”

Cameron said rock painting is appealing to people because it’s great for all different levels of painting, for all ages, and is an inexpensive way to get creative. She finds her inspiration through the natural world, particularly from birds, which she often paints on rocks in great detail.

“I think there is a magic in creating something from nature,” Cameron said.

Amidst the pandemic, the group created another page within the Vancouver Island Painted Rocks group called Rock Ninja YYJ, where local people can request to enter, put in their address, and get a painted rock dropped off at their door. This idea is similar to the other “ninja” groups formed, such as Wine Ninjas YYJ.

“For me rock painting is a way to gift my art to people. It is more about the giving than the selling,” said Cameron, who’s worked as a professional artist for 12 years.

“Painting is what speaks to me. It is an expression of my heart, and when I put my heart on a rock, or any painting, it is bound to capture someone else’s heart.”

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Anderson, a Sooke artist, has painted most of her life, also got involved in painting rocks about three years ago through Cameron.

“I enjoy it because it can get kind of silly. I like to give the rocks away as gifts,” Anderson said. “Most of my friends have one now. I like to hide the rocks in their gardens.”

Anderson prefers to paint on larger rocks, which she gathers from area beaches. She has painted around 20 or 30 so far.

“That is nothing compared to some people. I know others who have painted 200 or 300 and then go out and hide them,” Anderson said. “I think it’s the joy of finding them that appeals to people. It’s something positive in a crazy world.”

The Vancouver Island Painted Rocks group has more than 1,800 members, who often share their work, tutorials, inspirations and ideas, and celebrate the art of rock painting.

Cameron said groups are special because they create a close knit community of like-minded people.

“We get to know these people and become friends via Facebook. Especially through these isolating times, it brings the world closer together,” Cameron said.

“We live in a day and age with so much going on in the world, and painting is a great way to get out of your head and into your heart.”

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A rock painting done by artist Kathy Cameron. (Kathy Cameron photo)

A rock painting done by Sooke artist Linda Anderson. (Linda Anderson photo)

Artist Kathy Cameron puts the final touch on one of her rock paintings. (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)

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