Wow – this rock just came out in a burst! Like an erupting mountain releasing all its lava…It took me about 15-20 minutes, no thinking about it, just painting…
koru hand painted rock
The weather has been pretty amazing over the last few days; warm, cool, windy, raining – all seasons in one day which is not uncommon for Taranaki! And the weather always reflects my emotions, not sure why but like our maunga Taranaki who has a major effect on me, the weather has been so up and down and so have I.
I’ve shed a lot of skin over the past few days, released a lot of “stuff” to the wind and to the sea…We went swimming in the sea yesterday and even though the initial contact with the water was absolutely freezing, it was very cleansing. I could feel the waters wash over me, healing…I really felt like I was getting a good internal and external cleanse.
Change is in the air, new life, new beginnings, passion for what is to come and expansion into the unknown and the untouched.

I am so excited for the future 🙂
And it is the last day of the month!!! 31 days = 31 rocks, now that is an achievement for me!
Hei apopo – until tomorrow,
Jo 🙂


So our SCANZ art residency is officially over and it seems like only yesterday that we the artists embarked on a journey together.
That is the amazing part about gatherings like this – you spend time with others and form life long relationships that continue to inspire and inform what you do into the future. And you always have wonderful memories of that shared experience.
I have met so many wonderful people from all around the world on this residency – from NZ, Belgium, Australia, Spain, UK, Canada, Hungary – such a mix of people with amazing talent and personalities! I was inspired every day by all of these people who although did not work in the same way that I did, were all very passionate about what they do.
koru hand painted rock
That inspires me to continue on my journey with a new view and perspective of the world and an even deeper understanding of our connection to the environment. Here’s to friendship…
Jo 🙂
PS – another ambient night photo – I’m getting good at these! I paint by day and photograph by night…now that the residency is over I will have more time to get back into the flow of painting by day and photographing by day! Ma te wa x

The Circle of Life

This is the third white rock in a row that I have painted (well actually four – one of them I didn’t post) and it has been a continuation of this spiral, this koru that goes round and round, the circle of life…it was also the last rock that I painted for an installation piece Angelo and I worked on together for the art residency which combined his work with recycled computer technology and living organisms with my hand painted rocks.
koru hand painted rocks
The circle of life, a continuation of life, a sharing of life, new beginnings, balance, as the form goes in and so it goes out…
I imagine I will be talking a lot about the koru / spiral over the coming year – its form, its meaning, its importance, its universal significance.
Ma te wa,
Jo x
PS – am posting this rock that I painted two days ago as I just didn’t have time to post it two days ago! Will be back in the flow of things again now…

Getting Back To Basics

I was having conversation today about the importance of one’s connection to self. Because you can have all the degrees in the world and yet if you are not happy within yourself what good is that?
I am not saying that education is not good, I think we should be constantly learning but if we rely on our degrees and accolades to make us feel good about ourselves then we have missed the point really.
koru hand painted rock
I think we over intellectualise things sometimes, we critically over-analyse and often through doing this we remove the essence of what it is that is in front of us.
What if we were to remove our intellects and were to just be – even just for a moment?
What if we were to just stop and breathe in the moment and allow ourselves to do this?
I love this rock because it has a sense of balance, rangi and papa…it was taken on a park bench just outside the art residency space where we are working…and three days in a row – the same colour!
Hei apopo – ma te wa,
Jo x


Day 27 – so what will I speak about today? (Btw, it is now Day 28 and I am posting this from yesterday!)
Well, so much happened today! Angelo and I had a radio interview with Davey Haskell at the Most FM and then we had another korero with Tipene and Tamzyn at Te Korimako o Taranaki. I was also video editing and trying to chase the courier to send a DVD to Gisborne but it didn’t happen and then a beautiful presentation in the park by Gisell and Stefan who are with us on the art residency…oh and a bit of an emotional outburst when I didn’t get to that courier but such is life ne? And a whole lot of other stuff in between…
So I want to talk about expectation today – expectation of self actually and how much we limit ourselves and our life experiences by the expectations we place upon ourselves. And others at times. We want the world to be a certain way, we want the world to be perfect often at the expense of authentic relationships and experiences and we will do anything to have that perfect world!
Life is not like that I don’t think. I am not perfect and this is something I am consciously remembering everyday…
koru hand painted rocks
Expectation has often been for me about being in control, wanting to control a situation through fear, lack of trust in self or others and not wanting to be out of control…
I am not perfect, and in letting go of my need to be perfect for others or for myself I allow myself to really experience the beauty of life, otherwise I miss that. And the rock that I have painted today has another simple koru which has been placed on an imperfect rock. I like it though..
Ma te wa – until then,
PS – I took this photo in the early hours of the morning when I realised I hadn’t photographed it after I had painted it. Another ambient light photo taken while holding the rock in my hand. I feel like I’ve taken all my imperfections and allowed them to just sit in the palm of my hand and to just be…

Collaboration = Connection = Change

Well I was thinking I’ve probably run out of things to talk about – 26 days is a lot of rocks and a lot of talking!
But everyday is an opportunity for me to learn something and to share an experience with others…
So I was having a conversation with Trudy today about storytelling and the power of storytelling to bring about change and how in order for there to be real change, an emotional connection needs to happen.
koru hand painted rocks
And it was a conversation that popped up as we spoke into a story box, an actual box with a microphone attached where people can sit down and share their stories about connection. It is an art work by an artist in Australia who although wasn’t there in the physical, had sent this box as her way of connecting to others through story…it’s a nice gesture I think…
So we sat with this box (yes really) and spoke about collaboration and how in working with others, we can see another perspective, we can learn to work with someone who perhaps has different views to our own and from that place of collaboration and connection, change can happen.
So I’m on an art residency right now and the most important thing for me has been about connection, working on collaborative works with others, projects that I would never have thought I would be working on and which have challenged every part of my being at times! But they have been projects that have changed me, that have inspired me to create new work, to explore new worlds and to value what I have right here in front of me.


Jan 25th = rock no. 25!
I’m looking at today’s rock and asking myself where did that come from! I was tempted once again to correct myself and allow the perfectionist within to have control but I let go and instead the design took shape.

I went to the beach this morning and it was so refreshing and energizing to breathe in the sea air and to have water running over my feet. I captured some amazing photographs and video of water and felt the life giving energy of the land and sea.
koru hand painted rock
Water is so amazing…I am constantly in awe of it’s life giving properties; without it we would not survive. But, I also have great respect for its ability to take life away. That balance thing again…I love the sound of the tide coming in and going out and the way patterns are formed when two flowing waters meet…it’s beautiful.
At the moment I am working alongside some amazing artists from around the world and a lot of what is being created has an element of water in it, whether in the physical sense, through waiata, sound, or in a way that water becomes te ia korero, or that which directs the flow of something happening and coming to fruition. Its quite refreshing and is allowing me to flow with the tide, to see another perspective and to be inspired to create new life and new things.
Ma te wa – until then,
Jo 🙂


Day 24 – It has been a long day and I am posting these rocks after midnight! I’ve had the challenge of photographing at night, something I’m not too keen on doing but a nice side lamp is doing the trick.
He aha nga hua mo te rangi?
Well…made some progress today and am seeing my way forward with a number of projects that I am working on. But, again I am reminded that balance is SO important. To balance work with rest, proper rest where you turn your mind off and do nothing…something I’m fighting with at the moment because my mind is constantly ticking over with ideas and thoughts!
koru hand painted rocks
Stress I believe, is the major cause of disease today. When we are stressed our immune system becomes weak and our mind, body and spirit are affected.
Its SO important to relax! I’m telling myself at 12.30am in the morning as I post this!
I’ve painted two rocks today, one is for a friend’s Aunty who has cancer and it is her birthday and the other is for my nephew Samuel who turned 14 today. I think he is 14, I’m sure he will correct me if its not – ne Sam!! Green I believe is a healing colour and I am reminded by others that purple is wairua…These rocks are very small but still precious…ahakoa he iti he pounamu…
So tomorrow morning I am going to gather some more rocks from Onukutaipari (Back beach) and breathe in the sea breeze of Tangaroa, I so need it…ahhhhh…tihe mauri ora!
Jo 🙂


I had a lovely time with whanau today. Spent some time with Dad, Uncles, Aunty, cuzzies, nieces and nephew and connected with another cuzzie who I haven’t seen for ages here on Facebook as well!
It was so special to see three brothers sitting at the table talking about a whole lot of stuff, laughing, you know that sore tummy laughing as cuzzin Dawn reminded me about today, reminiscing about the old days…talking about nothing at times and giving each other stick!
koru hand painted rock
Reminds me of how important whanau is, connection to place and people, whakapapa and all those things…it also reminds me of how fast time flies and how we need to look after and nurture our elders and loved ones.
I still have purple in my rocks at the moment, seems to be my colour for now and a colour called digeridoo which is deep brown and earthy.
Day 23 – I’ve painted 23 rocks this year and the more I paint, the more I want to create and share…
Hei apopo – until tomorrow
Jo 🙂

Koru no. 2

Today’s rock is pretty massive, I have to hold it in two hands! But I wanted to paint something big-ger today, to allow more freedom with my brush, not too much focus on finer detail and to just allow the koru to flow from the rock…a healing shape that always captivates me…
koru hand painted rock
Koru for me are about balance, healing, flow, new life, new beginnings, growth…
What does the spiral mean for you? What thoughts come to mind when you look at this rock? What do you feel?
Would love for you to share your thoughts…
Jo 🙂
PS – this rock is for Kerryn, for being so courageous and open enough to share her world with me. Thank-you Kerryn, you have inspired me and I’m sure you will inspire others in your lifetime. Continue to be you and keep creating because you have such talent!


Had a wonderful day yesterday. (yes! this is yesterday’s rock!!) We went from sea to bush and I spent the day with a special young woman who has an amazing talent for art. We captured sounds and visuals of the sea at Paora Rd with Leah and Keith and also the bush up at Puniho Rd. It has been a long time since I have visited the bush at Puniho Rd but I was reminded of how special a place it is – ngahere that is so untouched, natural and alive.
hand painted rocks
The day spent with Kerryn, reminded me of how important it is to nurture our young people and feed them with creativity and things that stimulate their mind, body and spirit. I wish that I had the many opportunities that our young people have today when I was younger and that my creativity was nurtured more as a young woman who was constantly adventurous and exploring the world…
This rock was painted yesterday and I am a little late posting it (well a lot late it is today now!) It is full of passion and zest for life with very bold and strong colours.
And this rock is for another young person who turned 13 today – ra whanau ki a koe Wharewera!!
Hei te po nei ka tukuna atu tetehi kohatu ano ki te ao…ma te wa
Jo 🙂
PS – my perfectionism played on me again yesterday and I was wanting to correct myself every time I was not happy with what I had painted. But I worked through it and accepted that what I had created was fully a representation of what I had experienced in the day. So many things!!


I have the urge to speak about aroha today – perhaps its because I have had conversation over the past couple of days about aroha or because this whole week has been filled with expressions of aroha both seen and felt.
The sharing of breath – that is a such a beautiful way of speaking about aroha. When you look at the word aroha it is made up of two words – ‘ha’ which is breath and so it is life. And ‘aro’ which means to turn to, to face, to focus your attention on. So when you put these two words together, they become aroha. But it means so much more than that!
Our Maori language is very conceptual and every word is a story. I like that. We are not literal, our stories and our way of seeing the world, our connection to the environment and our language allow us to feel…
And this is why I share korero, why I share stories and believe in the power of story to connect people, to inspire and to bring about change…
I look at this rock that I have created today – its a special rock and was gathered from a special place around the coast not far along from where my tupuna rest. It is Rangi and Papa, the unconditional aroha that they share. The love that is expressed when the mist rises from the earth and when the rain falls to meet her again.
koru hand painted rock
Day 20 – wow a special day!
Jo 🙂


So many interesting conversations over the past couple of days, it has me thinking about how we perceive the world and how different we are!
But I don’t think different is wrong, it is just different. Sometimes when we are brought up a certain way, with certain values it can shape our way of thinking and then as we continue on our life journey, we gather many more perspectives…and we change along the way too. I know I am a different person now to how I was ten years ago but I think thats a good thing!
koru hand painted rock
So why am I talking about this? Well…I think its important for us to see another perspective, to take a look on the other side of the fence. Not to agree or change your own way of thinking but just to see another perspective.
A project I am working on at the moment with Pukeariki – the museum here in Taranaki is using storytelling as a tool that gives the community a voice to share their perspectives about what sustainability means to them and how they see a sustainable future for Taranaki. I believe that storytelling has the power to bring about change, to heal relationships and move communities together into the future. And what this process is doing is allowing the community to see another perspective, not to say that it is right or wrong but just to take a look and see.
And stories move us to action, they inspire us, they connect us emotionally and they guide us into the future to create new stories.
I like to look at another perspective from a place of curiosity and wonder (after getting out all the inner conflict!!) When someone is coming from a different place, I say…hmmm, I wonder about that?
Day 19 – yes! I watched the sun set at Back beach this evening – a beautiful sunset, the tide was in, the waves were crashing, there was a cool breeze in the air…and then as I turned to head back into town, there was the moon sitting in the sky…po marie…

Say What You Mean

It’s nearly midnight as I write this – a red rock again! There is something about that red…
I spent my first day in Pukekura part today which is where I painted this rock!
It was a pretty low key day which suited me fine because I was still recovering from the long drive yesterday. It was nice actually being in nature, listening and recording the sounds of the trees and photographing them. Some of them SO huge like the totara and I was so glad to see our native rimu flourishing…
As I was painting in the park today I noticed a few people who passed by and none of them stopped to see what I was doing or showed any interest. And then after about an hour, I hear these little feet come up the steps and it was a young Maori girl who had walked all the way over from the waterfall just to see what I was doing. “What are you doing?” she asked.
hand painted rock
It made me realize that the people who I thought I would be engaging with in the park were not actually interested but the person who was, was three years old – curious, genuinely interested and connected.

It made my time there worthwhile and revealed to me the reality of human nature and how as we grow older we lose that curiosity, we lose the ability and desire to come out and speak our truth, to say what we mean.

It inspired me. She inspired me to remember that we can learn a lot from our children on how to communicate effectively and honestly and to be totally in the moment.
Au ki tau ki – off to bed and its midnight!!! Still raining here in Taranaki. At least it will make for some nice raindrop photos tomorrow!!
Jo 🙂


I’m writing this post, tired after a LONG drive!
I finally made it home to Taranaki – up at 5.30am and on the road at 6.30am. It was beautiful sunshine all the way and then just as we arrive in Taranaki – it rains! But I’m not complaining, its a fresh cleansing rain and goes nicely with all the lovely water korero that has been shared with my rock photos today…
Belonging. Why this title?
Well, I brought my Dad home to Taranaki today and ‘belonging’ was the most fitting word I could find right now that describes the inner joy I saw in him today. I arrived in Rotorua and he was all ready to get in the car and then when we were on the road, he was like a child again looking out the window amazed at how things had changed and so happy knowing that he was going home…
hand painted rock
I was thinking about this as we were driving, how our roles had changed. When I was younger I would be sitting in the passenger seat and he would be driving me or I would be driving him home from golf because he had become incapable at the 19th hole (haha – I laugh about that now!) He was still capable of giving me driving instructions from the passenger seat though…but how times have changed! And as I was doing my drive by photography and drive by video of the landscape, he was watching me, not saying a word, just watching me and probably thinking, “what is she doing?” But still just watching and not saying a word.
In that moment I realised that we had reached another place in our relationship, another space beyond all past experiences and totally present in that moment. A space of acceptance of one another.

I’m so glad that I have brought him home to spend time with his whanau. I was concerned in the beginning because he has been unwell at times, its a long drive for an 83 year old, I’m coming to Taranaki to do work and I won’t be able to spend time with him and all that stuff was objecting to the journey. But I’m glad I did because his wairua is alive again and he is where he belongs…

…and when we went round that corner at Mokau and Taranaki maunga was there in the distance to greet us…oh the light in his eyes! Love you Dad…
Hei apopo – until tomorrow,
Jo zzzzzzz
PS – I’ve decided to call my PS’s my photo scripts to share korero about the photos that I take of the rocks and any other last bits of korero. This is just as much a photo taking exercise as it is a painting exercise! This particular one was taken in desperation for the last bit of natural light – but I got it and I really like it! Its actually in the bathroom / toilet of the accommodation where I am staying. I did take some on top of the toilet too but I like this one better! And I wanted to get the rain in there!

So that’s that, a LONG post today and if you have taken the time to read it all – thank-you!! And one last thing before I go catch zzzzz’s, tomorrow’s the first day of my workshop for rangatahi in Pukekura Park as part of the SCANZ art residency, so if any rangatahi want to come and be creative with rock painting, video and photography in a natural environment 1-4pm tomorrow Tues at the Band Rotunda to meet and then somewhere in the park after that. We’re exploring the connection between land and people from a Maori perspective using the natural environment, creativity and digital technology as perhaps a way to move forward to heal land and people. Po marie 🙂


I’m having a bit of an interlude post today, doing a bit of venting and just letting go of some stuff! But life is like that – full of ups and downs!
I was thinking the other day, what if I have a bad day? What if I am challenged by people or things or by self? What do I post about that???

Things can’t always be roses and yes I’ve learnt over the years how to remain equanimous (thank-you Vipassana meditation and The Healing Codes!) but sometimes I just feel like I want to go to the top of the mountain and screeeeeeaaaaammm!
Ahhhhh…that was better. So I had one of those days yesterday and am able to now post about it from a more objective point of view today haha! But as I have learnt over the years, things arise to pass away, nothing is permanent and the tide will always go back out again…
I value those challenging times that enable growth and learning – but so hard when you are right bang smack in the middle of them! And I am someone who likes to face things head on and go to the source of whatever it is that is challenging me because I’ve also learnt that I will always get through it.
So there is red and white paint today. And the rock is naturally black with white flecks…I love the rocks from Taranaki and I am so looking forward to going rock gathering tomorrow when I get home. And tomorrow’s rock of the day is probably going to be painted at the beach.
koru hand painted rock
And if you’ve read down this far, I’m giving this rock away today. I’m releasing all my frustrations within this rock to the first person who can tell me about a challenging experience and what they did to work through it. (Just kidding about the frustrations bit, this is actually a calm after the storm rock so is very balanced:)) The first to share their experience, I will send this rock to you! And I will send to anywhere in the world.

And others that visit please feel free to share your thoughts anyway. Would love to hear from you!
And its decided – at the end of 2011 when I complete my 365th rock, I’m creating a book from this whole experience. Wow, the thought of it is really exciting! And the interesting thing is that over the past two days, I had four people suggest to me to make a book and I had thoughts of my own to do that – so it is done! Looking forward to reading it myself!
Hei apopo -until tomorrow (in Taranaki!)
Jo x


So I’ve made it to Day 15!

Sometimes we journey through life without having looked back to see what we have achieved. And yet if we did that, we would realise that we have actually achieved heaps! Often we focus on the end goal and yet the journey, I believe is most important because it is where we live, learn and grow…
I’ve been reminded over the past few days about my journey, where I have come from and where I am now, and I am grateful. I am grateful for the lessons that I have learnt because I would not be the person that I am today if I did not have those experiences. I am grateful for everyone who has crossed my pathway in life because every meeting and every experience has been an opportunity to grow…
koru hand painted rocks
A friend said to me today, (yes thats you Jack!) you make it sound so easy and yet it has taken me nearly 20 years to get to the space that I am at today and still counting! And I say space because I’m not talking from a material perspective but from an inner space where I am at peace with myself (for now and until the next lesson presents itself!) And my journey continues…

Today I want to share a digital story that I made in Arizona with three dear friends: Linda, Cheryl and Rachel. Digital storytelling has been an amazing tool for me and I am grateful to all of them for sharing it with me. It was made three years ago but still reflects a part of me and my journey.
Jo’s digital story
I’m on the road back home to Taranaki tomorrow for an art residency (more about that tomorrow) Going home is always a journey in itself, one because of the physical distance but because I am so emotionally connected to the land, the mountain and sea and it is always an opportunity for me to heal. I don’t get back much these days but would love to catch up with whoever when I am home!
And I’ll continue to paint my rocks while on the road and then while in Taranaki. At least I’m not going to run out of rocks!!
Hei apopo – until tomorrow!
Jo x


Freedom is a word that I love because it describes for me a feeling of satisfaction, being alive, being me, doing what I love, uninhibited.
I am always amazed at the flight of the kahu; a massive wingspan, forever searching and such freedom in their flight…they inspire me to be free…
This year, I continue to commit to my dreams, to be me, to do what I love and fly…
koru hand painted rock
Wow I’m stoked I’ve made it to Day 14 – a rock a day has been such an awesome experience! I’ve connected with so many people around the world, I’m creating every day and I’m sharing with everyone who chooses to connect. And I still have 351 days to go! Am looking forward to the days ahead, but for now, I’m being present with today’s rock of freedom…ahhh the choice to be free…


I received some lovely words of appreciation today and am so grateful for those who cross my pathway and inspire me to inspire others if that makes sense!

I’ve been really busy over these past few months (I’m sure I said that yesterday!) – well actually the whole of 2010 was pretty full on! And sometimes life has been one big juggling act balancing personal health and wellbeing with whanau and friends, with business, with creativity with a whole lot of stuff!

And there comes a time where you just have to say enough is enough. No more trying to juggle a zillion things at once! So this year in 2011 I’m saying NO. I’m not over committing myself to things and focusing on my vision and what I want to achieve in the future which involves a whole lot of other people and things of course! But sometimes we try and cram so many things into our lives and we forget that we are not machines and that we do need rest and BALANCE.
koru hand painted rock
And expectation and pressure that we place on ourselves I think, is something that happens at the expense of one’s own health and wellbeing. And I don’t think anyone expects another to do something at the expense of their own health and wellbeing but I’ve seen so many people over these past few years live their lives this way and ultimately pay for it. I’m constantly asking myself how I can sustain myself in the most healthy way while doing the things I love and that are in line with my purpose and vision. And no where in there does it say at the expense of my own health and wellbeing.

Balance is key.

And life is a gift everyday! And if we honour ourselves by nurturing ourselves and leading balanced lives, then we honour life.

If you are interested in purchasing a personalised stone for you or someone you know click on this link to find out how. I also paint Koru Stones which are available for the all time price of $47 NZD + p&p to anywhere in the world. This is the permanent price that will never change. Please click on this link here to find out more or send me a message at the contact form above. Arohanui, Jo :)


I’ve been so busy all day and have been keeping an eye on the flooding in Brisbane – hoping that water will subside sooooooooon for those people in Queensland…much aroha going out to all of those affected…

So, he aha te korero o te wa?

Well just a short post today and it is about gratitude and appreciating life. Sometimes we forget to be grateful for what we have and we forget that there are others less fortunate than ourselves who struggle for food and water every day. And its times like this and what is happening in Queensland, that we really appreciate those around us…
hand painted rock
Koina. That’s all. Appreciation. And if you haven’t told someone in a while that you appreciate them, then go do it now. It will do them a world of good and you too.

Thank-you to everyone who is leaving comments as I post these rocks daily. It’s great to be supported and I know a lot of people are looking but not leaving comments and I am grateful for you all too! It’s actually really scary when you expose yourself and put yourself out there, but every day is another journey to face that fear and every day is an opportunity to share.

For those who have just joined my journey, have a look through this album and take a look at my notes to see what I am doing and why I am doing this. And would love to hear from you!

Day 12 over and out!
Hei apopo – until tomorrow,

Jo 🙂

PS – my rock colour today is delta grey, it’s my new white or black whatever way you wanna look at it. I love it on my rocks! And I didn’t think that our grass could look so cool in a photo, but it does in this one!

If you are interested in purchasing a personalised stone for you or someone you know click on this link to find out how. I also paint Koru Stones which are available for the all time price of $40 NZD + p&p to anywhere in the world. This is the permanent price that will never change. Please click on this link here to find out more or send me a message at the contact form above. Arohanui, Jo 🙂

Tiakina a Papatuanuku

I woke up this morning thinking about problem solving (yes) and it was all a bit mind boggling for me but I realised that we have some major things happening in the world right now. And I haven’t watched the news for months, but I just had to turn on the TV to see how all our whanau and friends are doing over in Queensland.
Mother Nature is pretty ruthness ne? We’ve had so many natural disasters in the world lately and right here in Aotearoa too! I don’t think people understand how important it is to look after our planet. The earth is doing her thing, responding to the lack of respect and lack of care toward her, while she has given so freely to human life…why won’t we listen?
Why won’t we listen?
Why do we not respect our planet who without the trees and water we would not survive? Where do people think they get their air from? Where do people think they get their water from? Is this not enough to at least say, thank-you, I will treat you with equal or greater respect by honouring you and giving life back?
We all have to own things that are happening in the world and take responsibility. Responsibility starts with ourselves, with small actions in our own homes…
koru hand painted rock
So a lot of healing from this rock today and it’s my oldest sister’s wedding anniversary – 25 years if I remember right! That is a milestone! So I’ve painted this rock for her and my brother inlaw. I’m sure she’ll be delighted to have another kohatu in her home. Day 12 tomorrow…bring it on!
Ma te wa – until then,
Jo 🙂

Get Outside That Box

I think I’ve still got some remnants from Day 9’s painting because this rock is redder than that one! Not quite sure where this one came from although I have been thinking about being “outside the box” today.
I’ve always been one to think outside the box. I remember as a child, I was a loner at times and would often play in the bush alone. When someone said left, I would go right, just to see what was there. It got me into trouble a few times! But somehow, someone would manage to put me back in that box…so I’m slowly climbing out again!
I think we should create because we love to create not because we are trying to please someone else. If only we were better in the eyes of others, we might have been more successful?
hand painted rock
So red and yellow! And some purple in there too and a bit of ‘buffalo’ brown underneath that you can’t see. I love using red and yellow together. I remember they were my favourite combination of colours when I was younger…and then I went to art school and learnt about putting colours in a colour wheel! Hei aha te colour wheel I say – paint how you want to paint, use all sorts of colours together even if they don’t match!

I remember someone saying to me, ‘you should never take photos shooting into the sun’ I laugh at that. Some of my most awesome-ist photos are taken shooting directly into sunlight…
A bit of a rebellious post today but all this rock painting has got me going haha…
Day 10 over and out!
Hei apopo – until tomorrow,
Jo 🙂
PS – notice the photo is upside down? Now wouldn’t that be boring if it was the right way up! And those black rocks you see in the background are from the Wanganui river…beautiful kohatu that go all shiny when you rub them and that have a lovely energy…

The Moon…

This rock is inspired by the moon and contains the new moon, the full moon and today’s moon…It reminds me as all of these rocks do, of our connection to the whenua, to the land. It is also about the connection of a woman’s cycle to the cycles of the moon and how our tupuna (ancestors) lived by the moon and the stars and were in harmony with our natural environment.
This koha-tu was painted for a special friend whose birthday it is today and who always reminds me of the moon…
koru hand painted rock
No runga i te aroha ka tukuna atu te taonga nei ki a koe Te Wai, hei koha-tu mo to ra whanau. Ma te marama koe e arahi i tenei tau…Ma te wa xx

Pink is for Perfectionism

I don’t know where that title came from but I’m the first to admit that I am a perfectionist and it is one of those things that I am always conscious of when I am creating, especially when I am painting rocks – that line just has to be perfect! So lately, I’ve been consciously doing lines that aren’t as perfect as I would normally do them (not that you will be able to tell but I can!) and trying things that I wouldn’t normally do just to conquer that perfectionist in me!
So where does that come from?
I’d like to say that it is the Virgo in me, and perhaps that is part of it, but I think also that somewhere along the way I felt the need to be perfect in the eyes of others…I think children always want to be accepted in the eyes of those adults who are there to nurture them and love them and so we try our best to gain that acceptance.
koru hand painted rock
And then as we grow older, we still seek that acceptance whether we realise it or not. But I’ve learnt there will always be people who will like what you do and others who won’t and that’s ok! I think everyone likes to be encouraged and supported and if we do the things we do because we love doing them, and it gives us great satisfaction and joy then the response we get or don’t get from others, positive or negative – doesn’t matter.

I’ve been watching people who are visiting my photos and some of these people, I don’t even know. But I believe that these rocks are seen by those who should see them, people who are open minded and curious who connect with something that I have said or who connect with the rocks themselves. And I love that these rocks are connecting people…
And like I said on Day One about fear – perfectionism is getting the kick to the curb this year too! And it’s Day 8 and I’ve posted 8 rocks that I’ve painted, all that have helped me deal with my need to be perfect!
Day 9 tomorrow – yippeeeee! Someone’s gonna get a birthday rock tomorrow, but for today this one IS for sale. Also stay tuned next week because I am going to give another rock away! Won’t tell you when, but you’ll have to be on to it and keep watching!

Hei apopo – until tomorrow!
Jo 🙂
PS – pink isn’t my most favourite colour but I think that the little girl in me quite enjoys it hehe!


I’m writing this post as I run out the door to see a friend who I haven’t seen in over ten years – oooohhhh I’m sure things have changed since then, like we’ve gotten older and wiser haha – well I hope so! And this rock is for her and if she doesn’t already know, she will shortly because I am going to deliver it to her and tag her in the photo so the whole world knows too!
koru hand painted rocks
So my little note today is about friends; cherishing the friends and relationships that we have because nothing lasts forever and we need to treasure every moment we have…

So that’s me for today! Enjoy the koha-tu – I’m sure we will tonight as we reminisce about old touch days in Rotorua – do we really want to go there haha!
Hei apopo – until tomorrow,
Jo 🙂


Day 6 – wow! I made it to Day 6!
I’ve been thinking how amazing this has been and its only been 6 days. What’s amazing? Well when you commit to something and you tell the world about it then you are committed! So many people are watching out for you, supporting you and egging you on! There are no excuses, no chance or time to back out of that commitment and its full throttle ahead to achieve that goal.

But whats even more amazing is that when you commit to something, I mean FULLY commit to something, everything you need to sustain you on that journey is provided for you.
Like when I decided to give up working in a j-o-b to pursue what I love for a living, that was a huge leap of faith that I would be supported (from I don’t know where at the time!) and that my art and skills in whatever field I was pursuing could sustain me. And it has in many ways!!

But it was not always easy – believe me! A lot of porridge for breakfast, lunch and dinner (haha – I can laugh now!), but never was there a time where I thought that I was not doing the right thing. Why? Because I was feeding my wairua, feeding my spirit and doing what I love and no amount of money and j-o-b could provide that for me.

And I think that is why I can count the number of jobs I’ve had on one hand. I have always been committed to that because I have seen my parents and heard about my parents parents and even see people today who are in a job and are constantly unhappy! There were so many “back to work sighs” recently!

koru hand painted rock
koru hand painted rock

So the kōrero to go with this koha-tū is about commitment – committing to your kaupapa and then going for it. And I’m not perfect and not always committed – there have been times when I have bailed out of things for whatever reason, but then I think I wasn’t really committed in the first place!!
And just to finish off, so many people have been asking if these rocks are for sale. And the answer is, some are, some aren’t, and I will be giving a whole heap away but you have to watch this space everyday to know what’s what! I’ve had people already book rocks for certain days of the year as well. For more info on this kaupapa go to my blog and see why I am doing this and how much a rock will cost if you want one that is for sale on a certain day. Flick through my posts / album as well to see previous posts. And I am open to exchanges as well! This rock is for sale or exchange by the way.
Ok – until tomorrow Day 7! The rock by the way is already booked for tomorrow but still drop by to check it out! It’s for a friend who I haven’t seen for over 10 years and she’s staying down at the Waikanae camp right now. Now if she was wise, she wouldn’t read this until after I’ve seen her tomorrow – haha!! It’s going to be a special one – but they’re all special)
Mā te wā – until then,
Jo 🙂


Thought I would paint my rock this morning as one of the first things I do for the day! Since I’ve set the task of painting a rock a day for the WHOLE of 2011! (7pm – I just finished painting my rock!)
koru hand painted rock
I’ve been meaning to paint this rock for a while and it’s such a beautiful rock, it’s a work of art on it’s own with a slight tinge of red running through, lines of blue and a lovely texture. It is an unusual shape; I always try and look for the unusual ones or the ones that jump out at me. And it’s bigger than the other rocks I’ve painted.

And now that I’ve finished, I’ve realised that this rock is for me and is a reminder to me to live a balanced life. It is about connection to Papatūānuku, to the land; looking after the environment and looking after ourselves.
When I first started painting rocks back in 1998, I was living in Auckland and had gathered some rocks back home in Taranaki when I was there. There was something about them that made me want to hold them. They had a definite energy that was ancient. Two years later, I got an urge to move home to Taranaki. The maunga, the moana and the whenua were calling me home. And so I’ve been painting rocks ever since.
I’m living in the East now, but seven years in Taranaki with this amazing resource at my fingertips, I felt like I was in heaven and today appreciate having access to this beautiful natural resource.

And so each rock that I created became a story…
…and a gift which is why the name ‘koha-tu’ is so fitting for them. ‘Koha’ is a gift and ‘tu’ means ‘to stand’ but in this case means significant or special. So ‘koha-tu’ for me means ‘special gift’.
So if this is your first time here, go over to my website to check out some of my whakaaro (thoughts) about the kohatu and flick through my photos in this album to see what I have painted so far. Today is DAY 5!! Also check out my note of the day where I talk about this project and why I am doing this. For those of you who are already at my blog -see the posts below.
Mā te wā – until then
Jo 🙂

The Importance of Connection

Today I’ve connected with a few people on the other side of the world who I have never met.
One of the women I connected with also paints rocks and lives in Colorado Springs. She found me through a friend of hers on Facebook who was a friend of one of my friends on Facebook who had left a comment on one of my rock photos. Now I would never have connected with this woman if it wasn’t for these other connections. Thanks Ma and Mary!
Connections and networking are important to me both personally and for my business. Without them I would not survive and they have been the main reason why I am able to do what I love for a living. It definitely is about who you know – so get connecting and make your circle bigger by filling it with like-minded people and people whose purpose is in line with yours!

And wouldn’t it be a boring life if there was no one to connect to and communicate with! Although I must say I have appreciated silence on a ten day meditation course more times than once in the past!

It’s important for me to connect through my art, to share my art, my photography and the stories that are told through each of my creations and I love that my rocks are in all corners of the world! 12 years worth of painting rocks scattered around the globe!
So today’s rock is going to go to Tammi in Colorado Springs and in exchange I am receiving one of her rock creations from Colorado Springs. I love exchanges – thanks Tammi!
And just to end this post, Tammi wanted to know what materials I am using on my rocks. Resene test pots which = unlimited colour and a good quality paint, a variety of brushes depending on what I want to paint on the rock, normally a fine brush, water and that’s it! Paint goes straight on the rock and then a sealer is sprayed on to seal the paint in. And all hand painted! I say this because I have been asked many times in the past if I have actually painted my rocks or “did I use a stencil?” koru hand painted rock
And the colour of this rock is called ‘pumice’. It’s an off white colour that I use often on my rocks.
Day 4 today – rock painted = creativity nurtured – connections made – check check check
Day 5 – āpōpō (tomorrow) – 360 days to go!
Mā te wā – until then,
Jo 🙂

What is Self Determination to Me?

I was listening to a kōrero on TED this afternoon and a woman was talking about self responsibility and it made me think, “what does tino rangatiratanga mean to me? What does self-determination mean to me?”
For a long time now, I’ve been of the mind that I am 100% responsible for my happiness – me, no one but me. And I started thinking about this when I was 19 years old and have been on a journey of self-discovery ever since. But I know now that in any moment I choose, in any moment I decide where my life is headed…
We are so used to blaming external things or people for the way our lives are and yet we are always in control of our happiness – always!
So where is this leading?
I believe healing begins within, I am responsible for the future that I create and there is nothing outside myself that will sustain my happiness. Only I can do that. And that word sustain is very important!
Koina tāku kōrero mo te wā – that’s my kōrero for the day!
For those of you who have just tuned in, I am painting a rock a day and today is Day 3 – Jan 3rd!! And it’s my nephew’s birthday today so this rock is not for sale but will instead be sent to him. And I’m going to tag him in this photo and he’s either gonna say, “shame Aunty, or “cool Aunty!” Haha!!

17 he is – oh to be 17 again! All my old school mates will have a few stories to tell at that age – but of course I was the straight one!
Just as a side note, I’m also painting a rock for a good friend of mine who is in Arizona whose birthday it is today! She asked to have a rock for her birthday and in exchange she wanted to give me one of her works of art. Rachel is also a photographer who works in alternative photographic processes and pinhole photography and I will be SO honoured to have another of her works in my home! You can check her work out here – it’s beautiful and very thought provoking.
Oh and the rock for the day that is going to my nephew – here it is! You’ll notice two different designs, that’s because I painted both sides – not sure why, I just did! Rā whānau ki a koe e taku iramutu xo

koru hand painted rock

Stay tuned for more rocks as I continue to paint a rock a day – 362 rocks to go!! 🙂


I’m having a bit of a giggle to myself because I’m trying to give one of my koru hand painted rocks away and no-one is putting their hand up for it! In the meantime, I’ve finished my rock for Day 2 – yes!
Before I go into my kōrero for the day, I want to share something taken from my blog about what painting these rocks mean to me. You can read more about my rocks here For those of you that are reading this blog, I’m also posting this to my Facebook page which is why I mention the blog. Confused? Don’t be!
“As a child the patterns of nature fascinated me. I would be amazed and energised by the unfolding of a fern frond. Could anything be more perfect? So these shapes were firmly imprinted and I appreciate their beauty and simplicity. They inspire me…The koru is a strong feature in my work. Because it is derived from nature it tells my stories and it tells my ancestors’ stories. The koru form is healing and it is balance; it’s shape flows in and flows out with soft lines, often I am lost in it …”
So my kōrero for the day is about confidence.
The reason it took me SO long to post my first rock last night was about facing that fear I talked about yesterday! I rewrote what I wrote at least five times lol and then I wasn’t sure whether I should post it and then I did and thought oh my gosh, I posted it – just before midnight! And then I was in bed thinking what have I done? I’m committed now!
Haha (again) – and so my rock for today is red – red like a fire engine, full of life and energy to move forward. And those who know me will know I’m not a fire-y person but I think red is a good colour. It is not my favourite colour by the way, but I’ve always known it to be a confidence colour.

koru hand painted rock

Now this one IS for sale for $39NZD Still trying to give one away though from Jan 1st, so if you’re quick, you might be lucky! And there will be more for sale and more to give away too! – 365 days in the year, thats a lot of rocks!!
Take a look at my other posts that talk about why I am doing this, what parameters I have set for myself and how you can own one of these rocks.
Until tomorrow when I post the next rock – kia pai tō rā!
Have a good day,
Jo x
PS – It’s my nephew’s 17th birthday tomorrow and he doesn’t know it yet, but he’s getting a rock! And remember to connect with me on FB and Twitter!

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway

My first hand painted koru rock for 2011! 364 more to go!!
This rock was sourced from a beach in Taranaki and will fit in the palm of your hand. It is yellow and purple although the purple is not visible in the photo.

Koru Hand Painted Rock 1

So it’s the first day of 2011 and some would say an auspicious day with the numbers 01/01/11.
So what is my thought for the day?
“Feel the fear and do it anyway” – I can’t remember who said this but I know one thing for sure and that is, “fear” is so gonna get kicked to the curb this year! It is the one thing that can stop a person from achieving their goals and living a purposeful, passionate life. And it’s the reason why I’ve put things off in the past, worrying about what others may think, being overly critical of my work and being a perfectionist – the list goes on! Fear of failure and fear of success, all in the same sentence!
And because this is my first hand painted rock for the year – I’m going to give it away for free! If you want to claim this first rock go over to facebook and connect with me there. And don’t forget to mention that you have been to my website so I know why you are connecting with me.
If you want to know about my rock a day project visit my previous post or if you want to know more about my koru hand painted rocks then please look around my website. And keep a look out for future rocks everyday in 2011!
Jo 🙂