By Joel van der Veen
DAVIDSON — To most of us, they’re just pebbles in the park or on the road.
But for Michele Morrison, they might be the inspiration for her next piece of artwork.
Morrison, a wife and mother of two who works as an educational assistant at Davidson School, has been getting lots of attention in the last couple of months for her series of rock art pieces.
She has created roughly 20 pieces, incorporating rocks, bark and other remnants of nature into colourful, painted scenes.
“They’re all unique, one-of-a-kind,” said Morrison, who lives on a farm east of Davidson. “None of them will look the same.”
Morrison had dabbled in art in the past, including bark art and folk art pieces painted on old cream cans and school desks.
Her latest phase began with a small collection of interesting rocks and shells she brought home from Cuba. She was one of the chaperones on a cultural exchange trip with her son James and the rest of the senior basketball team in February 2016.
When she unpacked her collection, she said, “I had no idea what to do with them all.”
A star-shaped rock looked like a sunbather, and so she worked that and other objects into a beach scene, complete with birds and a fisherman sitting on the shore.
“I kind of thought it was fun,” said Morrison. “Then I kind of went out of control.”
She said she began looking for more rocks to work with, keeping an eye out around the yard or on the road for interesting specimens.
“Sometimes it takes me quite a while to find what I’m looking for,” said Morrison.
Later, she began buying aquarium rocks online and having them shipped to her.
This gives her a better selection to work with, although she added, “They’re not liking me at the post office lately.”
Each new piece begins with a theme. Morrison uses canvases or frames for most of her work, but has also created some pieces using old barn wood.
Sometimes, her inspiration comes from pictures she sees online, to which she adds her own twist.
Other pieces are inspired by suggestions from family or friends. She has also done commissioned pieces, like a recent one she did for a family that is big fans of the Saskatoon Rush.
For the first piece, she used hot glue to attach the rocks, but since then she has switched to Weldbond adhesive, finding it more effective.
Morrison has promoted her work online and also had a booth at a recent trade show in her hometown of Dundurn. As of last week, she said she has already sold three pieces.
She is making arrangements to have her work displayed at the Restless Gypsy shop on 33rd Street in Saskatoon.
“I’m running out of room in my kitchen,” she said, adding that her family has gradually warmed up to her new hobby. “They kind of thought I’d lost my marbles to begin with.”
To learn more, check out “Rock Art by Michele” on Facebook at facebook.com/morrmic7.