Heal

There are a lot of videos on the internet showing the devastation of the disaster in Japan, footage that you would not see on mainstream television. I can’t bring myself to watch it right now. The comments are painting a picture for me and it scares me to even take a look! A lot of healing to take place in the world, a lot of internal healing also.
koru hand painted rocks
I did see in the news that there was a 60 year old man rescued 15km out to sea. That is hope for me. That all is not doom and gloom and there still is life to preserve and hold on to. And every bit of hope there is, we need to hold on to. I celebrate with this man his life, and I also am sad that he will probably never see his wife again who was swept out to sea. And this is one of many many stories, I am sure will emerge. And the reality of many people not seeing their loved ones alive, ever again.
It’s a hot day today in Gisborne, it’s like summer has returned. Such a luxury. I thought about taking my new surfboard out in the sea and then my thoughts were of the people in Japan, the water and ocean that connects us, the loss of life out there…I just couldn’t bring myself to go there…wanting to respect the huge loss of life – it has really affected me.
A time to heal land, a time to heal people.

Self responsibility to heal.
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – another soothing rock to paint, it is a pastel yellow colour called moonbean. The spiral is healing…

Sustain

This rock is full of a whole lot of stuff!
So many thoughts going around in my head at the moment. Many things happening in the world, planetary shifts, change, and plenty of internal shifts as well.
Today, I’ve been listening to stories I’ve captured on video about sustainability. It’s a funny word thats been thrown around quite a bit and used in many ways. In fact, its seen to be “cool” if you have some kind of “sustainability” attached to what you do. Many people I have talked to all have different views although one common thought is emerging and that is we need to look after our planet in order to sustain our existence on this earth. Because if we are not looking after our planet, then how can we expect our planet to look after us?
koru hand painted rocks
And our relationship with the earth is non- negotiable.
I watched in total disbelief as the tsunami in Japan totally engulfed everything in its way, this black mass moving across the land…the strength and power of the water was mind boggling and I imagine if you were in its pathway, theres a good chance you would not survive. The images and footage that have emerged are disturbing…
I think about my life, the relationships I have, my family and friends, the work that I do, the struggles, the triumphs, everything in my life that I am dealing with right now and then I see this and it puts everything into perspective for me.

What if we all ceased to exist on this earth? What if we were here today, gone tomorrow? In light of recent events, that is a very real possibility and that reality is increasing by the day. I imagine there are many around the world who are also questioning their lives and their existence…
I decided yesterday to create an evacuation plan. We’ve started stocking up on water and other things which will continue over the coming weeks. I never thought I would say it or even be doing it but the feeling to do this is so strong…
I feel even more passionate about my work than ever before. The stories I tell, the art I create, the messages I share are now more important than ever.
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – I have no anger at Papatuanuku for what has happened. I am sad for the loss of life and I am sad that it has come to this. But I also understand that this is mother nature’s way of healing herself, letting go of unnecessary things that no longer serve this planet, just as we humans go through a process of letting go to heal ourselves…

The Space In Between

I love this rock I’ve painted today. It’s one of my favorite rocks so far. It was very soothing to paint.
The weather is changing. It’s been raining for most of the day and I’ve been in a different space. An in between space where I’m neither her nor there, just in between. It’s kind of an odd feeling…a transitional space perhaps, reflective, just being…and there is probably some tired in there too! I woke this morning with a million and one ideas floating around in my mind which is great but now I’m tired!
koru hand painted rock
I feel the need to declutter again and let go of a few external and internal things and perhaps then I will see a clearer pathway and will venture out into another space. But for now, am embracing this space in between…
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – I took this photo on my laptop. I quite liked the idea of having the rock and the paint and the metallic surface coming together. The dark grey colour in the middle is the natural colour of the rock, the other greyish colour is called delta grey and the creamy colour is called manuka honey.

Orange

Feeling like sending lots and lots of aroha today to everyone wherever you are!!! I believe in the power of love and am feeling all the love flowing around Aotearoa right now!
koru hand painted rocks
I believe it is at times like this when we are vulnerable, that we reach out, we connect and we remember who we are and why we are here.

Arohanui ki a koutou katoa,
Jo 🙂
My rock is a pretty intense orange today – so hence the title!! I was quite taken with how intense it looked on the rock and then when I photographed it, it looked even more orange!! And much aroha to Jacq who called me today from Oz! Whenever we korero the words shared are always meaningful and profound. It never ceases to amaze me at how perfect the timing is – thanks Jacq xx

Risk Taking

I’ve always been a risk taker. When we were young, we were not “protected” children where our parents constantly worried about us and kept us safe. In fact it was quite the opposite and we probably should have been cared for better than we were! Love my parents to bits though, they brought us up the best way they knew how…and in hindsight this freedom as a child has enabled me to be open minded, creative and resilient.
koru hand painted rocks
We can only truly experience life I believe, if we allow ourselves to take risks and step outside our comfort zones. If we allow ourselves to feel, to really feel and express openly these feelings, to expose ourselves to those who are our worst critics and to face our worst fears, then this is risk taking…
If we are doing what we love and being who we are with no fear or no care about what others think, then we are risk taking. When I decided to be an artist full time six years ago, this was a huge risk, not only because I would no longer be getting a regular income but also because of the criticism I would receive from those who saw what I was doing as “impossible” and an “uncalculated risk” and how could I possibly live? Resilience is a big thing and teaching our children how to problem solve in this day and age will go a long way, believe me!
There is no greater joy than doing what I love and being who I am. I welcome challenges and the opportunity to take risks everyday because they remind me of my strength and resilience. Through opening my heart and my mind, I allow myself to step into the unknown, to make mistakes and just like a child, to be totally present with what is.
Life is one big risk, so we might as well risk all and make a good go of it!

Te Ao Mārama

An understanding…
te ao mārama – the world of light, life, earth, physical world
ao – the world, light, specific period, cloud, a day, dawning of the day
mārama – illuminating light, to understand, be clear, light
marama – moon, month
koru hand painted rock
And those are just the short answers!
I love our Māori language because it is so conceptual and every word is a story. I love going onto the marae and listening to our pahake speak in such poetical ways…it is one of the most beautiful languages I know…

Our tupuna (ancestors) were so connected to the environment and our language reflects this. They knew of planets in our solar system even before scientists had discovered them. They knew that the moon has an effect on the earth and that it also affects us as people living on the earth…They navigated by the stars in their journeys across the sea and they knew when the time was right for planting and what the weather would be – just by looking to the sky.
The Maori word for moon is marama. It is also the word that we use for month and just as the moon goes through its cycles every month, so a woman experiences her own cycles which are influenced by the moon…
Arohanui,
Jo 🙂
PS – Day 60 today – its been two months painting a rock a day – yay!!

Calm

This rock took me ten minutes to paint. It just came out and before I knew it, it was over. As I was painting it, it reminded me of the calm after the storm. It was very soothing and healing to paint which is perhaps why it just came out the way it did. It was good for me because I’ve been quite emotional over the past few days with what has happened down in Otautahi and feeling so grateful at the same time for everything I have. A very meditative and soothing kohatu.
koru hand painted rocks
I spoke at Pecha Kucha tonight and it was so lovely to share this rock a day project with everyone there. There were about 200 people which was fantastic for a small city like Gisborne!!! And the Dome Cinema is such an awesome venue and of course they run a pretty cool outfit there too. I had some wonderful feedback and I gave a rock away that I painted on the 18th of Feb to a woman who was sitting right next door to us who knew a family who had lost a child that was born on the 18th of Feb. So a very special gift for that whanau…
I love this rock. I know when the designs, colours and korero come out straight away, that this is a special rock…And the rocks are are all special because they come from the land and carry the mauri or energy of the land.
And this rock today is for Noeline and her husband who celebrate their 16th wedding anniversary but they’ve actually been together for 25 years! How cool is that?!
The colours of this rock are digeridoo brown, buffalo brown and purple. And I photographed this rock in amongst the daisies! Making daisy chains is a favourite pastime of mine, but also not that long ago when I was living in Opunake I used to purposely grow my grass long so that I could lie in amongst the daisies and dandelions and take photographs…
Hei apopo – until tomorrow!
Arohanui,
Jo x

Tumanako – Hope

It’s two days after the earthquake and I can’t help but base my korero around this.
As I write this, the rain is pelting down outside here in Gisborne and I think about the need for water in Otautahi, but at the same time I am so glad that it is not raining there at the moment…I can only ask that the elements hold off and allow rescue and recovery to take place so that people can either take their loved ones home or send them off in peace…
I have plenty of water here and all I want to do is send it down the line because the need there is so much more. The water that we have running out of the tap is SO precious and every time I turn the tap on I am reminded of this limited resource.
koru hand painted rocks
The rain also reminds me of Ranginui’s tears for Papatuanuku, his love for her being expressed, mourning their separation…and I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I believe this is Papatuanuku warning that if we continue to deplete our earth’s resources and disrespect mother nature this will continue…
Right now, I treasure and value all that I have and am grateful that I have my family, my friends and a roof over my head…and as my dear friend Marcia in Arizona has said moments ago in a comment on yesterday’s rock, “…hope is our way of looking at the future when we want a positive outcome. Love is our way of acting now to insure that evolution.” Thanks Marcia.
Much love and peace for our earth and our people.
Arohanui,
jo x

Rangatahi

This rock is for my niece Robyn Erana who turned 19 today!! Her and my other niece Rexina just left this morning after spending the last few days with us here in Gizzy. It was so nice to spend time with them, to talk about life and have a good laugh!
koru hand painted rock
I’m so proud of my nieces – they have grown into beautiful young women who are caring and thoughtful. I see that they have learnt to appreciate the things that they have and their life experiences thus far have instilled a certain resilience that enables them to live the best way they know how. They have endured so much already in their lives and I honour them for that…
And Robyn, I remember when you were born and on your first birthday – you were so cute and beautiful!! And you’re still beautiful darling! I hope you’ve had a wonderful relaxing day after the drive home to Rotorua – I know your sister drives fast lol I’ll see you again soon! Arohanui, Aunty xx
And for everyone else, hei taua wā ano!
Jo x

Milestone

It’s Day 50 – yay!! I think that my rock of the day kaupapa is well and truly in my psyche now! Lets see what it will be like at day 150, day 200 and day 365! – I think I’ll have to have a ROCK party at the end of it all!
So its a short post from me today as I head out the door to Reggaelution with my nieces who think their Aunty is SO cool, they want to go out with me lol And they’re trying to dress me up!! But I’ve got news for them -ha!
koru hand painted rocks
I painted my rock for today at Te Matatini and its a continuation of yesterday’s circles. I’m really liking them…It is also a reflection of all the Te Arawa teams that performed today and honours my grandmother, Arai te uru who is from Te Arawa, Tuhourangi-Ngati Wahiao…
I watched our wahine Maori on stage today and was in awe at the beauty and inner strength of these beautiful wahine! Again very grounding and feeling proud to be Maori!
Ma te wa – until then
Jo x

Simplicity

Day 2 of Te Matatini is over! Another wonderful day to be taking in some of Aotearoa’s finest kapahaka performers. Other than the amazing performances, I’m loving running into people I haven’t seen for ages and whanau who have come over from Taranaki – Yay Ria and Tamzyn, awesome to see you!! And – am looking forward to seeing all my whanaunga from Te Arawa on stage apopo…Te Arawa e!
The weather was kind of crazy though, one minute its hot as and then next minute its pouring with rain!! So if you’re coming tomorrow, be prepared!
koru hand painted rock
So I’m loving todays rock of the day! It took me 10 minutes to paint – very simple, but simple for me is beautiful. Often we forget the simple things and yet they are the most profound and meaningful. And this concentric circle form although simple has meaning that extends far and wide…
Koina taku mo tenei wa – that’s all from me for today!
Hei apopo – until tomorrow,
Jo 🙂

Te Matatini o te Ra

Kua pou te hau! I’m writing this late at night, very tired after a long day although its a good tired where I feel like I have achieved something. There was a lot of walking and meeting people on the way but the most exciting thing for me today was seeing heaps of Maori converge on Waiohika estate for what I believe to be the largest gathering of Maori in the world!
It happens every two years, Te Matatini o te Ra is Aotearoa’s ultimate in Maori performing arts where you will see and “feel” Maori culture expressed in a uniquely “Maori” way.
koru hand painted rocks
I was totally captivated today taking in the atmosphere and feeling very proud to be Maori. When the first roopu took the stage and started their performance, I got that warm fuzzy feeling inside, totally feeling the spirit of our people coming through in the waiata, it moved me to tears. It made me realise how special we Maori are and SO talented!
I haven’t been to many of these in the past but am SO glad I’m experiencing it this year…just to be around so many of your own people is such a special thing.
Other than the performances on stage, there are so many other things happening around the place. And one of the most important things for me for this festival is that the event is alcohol-free, drug-free and smoke-free and totally a whanau affair!
Need to catch some zzzzzs now but just want to finish by giving a big mihi to our two Taranaki roopu (groups) who performed today – i tu kaha koutou i te rangi nei! You all did us proud and I’m sure that our tupuna are smiling…
And am looking forward to watching my Te Arawa whanau on Saturday!
Po marie,
Jo x
PS – I had to find an alternative light source again this evening so what better place than in front of the bubbling algae…

Te Hunga Ririki

Day 46 – Te Hunga Ririki
Today’s rock is for Kiana who turns 5 today! Don’t you just love tamariki – they are so honest and in the moment! I’m posting some kōrero today that was shared via one of my rocks of the day by Tracey who is Kiana’s mum. Tracey and I used to go to school together not so long ago!!! My very first rock of the day for this year was given to Tracey and here is her response after receiving the rock in the mail…
koru hand painted rock
“Well I received my rock today much to my daughter’s delight, she sat in the back of the car talking to the rock and then gave it a big kiss, nö reira Jo, kei te tika öu körero, he wairua tö ënei kohatu hei hononga ki a Papatuänuku me mätou. (Jo, you are right. These rocks have a spirit that connect us to Papatūānuku, to the land..).

Then Kiana went on telling the kohatu that when she gets her’s (and I haven’t told her I have already penciled in her birthday!) that her’s will be pink with her name on the back!! Got to love it…. so the little kohatu has found a home for now and no doubt Kiana will take it for walks around the garden and give it different homes..for now it’s resting under the harakeke.” Thanks for sharing Tracey – look forward to hearing what she has to say about this one!
Rā whānau ki a koe Kiana! Happy birthday Kiana! Anei tō kohatu māwhero hei taonga ataahua mōu. Here is your pink rock, a beautiful gift for you. Arohanui, Jo x
Mā te wā – until then,
Jo x

Few Words

This is the first rock ever that I have used black paint on. Nearly 13 years of painting rocks and I have never used black paint!
I think black for me has always been a colour of darkness, death and sadness. And there is that association with tangi because when you go to a tangi almost everyone is dressed in black! So a colour of mourning although I do think that that is a colonial thing, but that is a personal whakaaro…
koru hand painted rock
But! I really like how it has enhanced the orange and pink on this rock. And I have used black in my other art, just not on the rocks… not sure why…
Not feeling like sharing many words today so will allow my photo and rock to speak for me. By the way, the photo was taken in amongst our kamokamo plants which have come away quite nicely in the backyard!
Arohanui,
Jo 🙂

Mama

It’s my mother’s birthday today and she is 75! This rock is for her…
I am so grateful for my mother even more now that I am old-er (not old but old-er!) Sometimes I wish I could turn back time to when I was a teenager and show her the unconditional love that she has shown me all her life. I was such a rebel as a teenager believe it or not!
Two years ago we noticed a change in our mother, she was getting more forgetful and displaying unusual behaviors. A few months ago our mother was diagnosed with alzheimers. It was a shock for all of us but we have come to accept this and who she is now.
My mother is so special. I honour her for her resilience and her beauty. The alzheimers has changed her and even though we have lost the mother we once knew, we have a new mother who responds to affection, love and laughter. She is SO funny at times! And playing the guitar is her pride and joy! She is often up and down depending on what is happening around her but is easily persuaded into a song on the guitar. You can show her a photo from 50 years ago and she will tell you who is in it and where that photo was taken.
I rang her today at the resthome for her birthday and I was pleasantly surprised when she knew straight away who I was! Normally I have to say who I am. I sung happy birthday to her and I think she took the phone away from her ear lol but she responded with a, “I don’t feel 75 years old, I’m still young.” And she is! She looks SO well, she is active and alive 🙂
She inspires me everyday. I remember when I was young and she used to walk to work every day and walk home again. And it was not a short walk! I used to walk with her sometimes, we didn’t talk much on the way but I just remember her walking. She was so determined.
koru hand painted rocks
She was always there when we were younger, supporting us in everything we did. I remember when I was living in Auckland, she would ring me nearly everyday to see if I was alright and that the house hadn’t been robbed lol and that I was safe!
When I spoke to her today I told her I love her and she responded, “thank-you dear”, so sincere, appreciative and honest.
I love you Mum – you are my valentines and you are my queen – happy birthday.

Procrastination

The BIG P!
I want to write about this because I’ve been kind of (trying to make it not sound so bad!) procrastinating throughout the day! And I know I’m procrastinating because I get side tracked into doing other things! One of those things is cleaning the house – its a sure sign that I’m procrastinating and an even surer sign when the house is already clean!
Its something that I’ve been aware of for many years but awareness of something and actually changing it are two different things!!
koru hand painted rock
One of the reasons I think I procrastinate is fear. The things that I procrastinate the most are those pressing things that give me the most reward, that are the most interesting and satisfying projects to be involved with. They are things that actually move me forward on all levels, so why do I procrastinate doing those things??

Fear. Fear of my own successes or failures. Fear of actually being good enough to complete something. I know there are other reasons and they all stem from childhood but I am grateful for awareness, to catch myself in the act so I can change it! Also getting to the root of the problem has been great for working through an issue that is actually more complicated than it appears to be.
Perhaps that is why my rock for today is tiny – so tiny it is only 3cm wide. And it’s simple. But it is still a beautiful rock and has a lovely energy when I hold it in my hand. I felt like painting something tiny today…
Hei apopo – until tomorrow!
Jo x

Pass-i-on

Passion is doing what I love, not just some of the time but all of the time, without limitations or boundaries. Free and uninhibited. I believe everyone should be doing what they love every day of their lives!! We spend so many hours of a week in jobs that we don’t like, working for someone else, pleasing other people, fulfilling someone else’s dreams and passions…why can’t we be fulfilling our own dreams and passions?
koru hand painted rock
Passion for me is also having the desire to share who I am with others, passing on the joys and fulfillment of living a passionate and purposeful life!
PASSION = PASS-I-ON
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – So I’m at day 43 for my rock of the day project – so stoked I have come this far! The rocks are fully a part of my life now, on all levels – actually they have been for the last 12 years anyway!! I was listening to Deep Purple when I was painting this rock which is kind of random because I haven’t listened to them for years, I don’t even know where that CD came from! But it was great to hear a different kind of music instead of thrashing the same music!! At least I’m going to be ready for Reggaelution on the 19th Feb and I know my words off by heart – haha!

The Circle

I couldn’t stop painting this rock…I actually started painting another rock first and I just looked at it and thought naaaaah! That was not the perfectionist in me being judgmental either, it just didn’t feel right! And then I started this one and just kept going round and round with it, piling the layers on, it was quite soothing and meditative.
koru hand painted rocks
I managed to catch the last bit of light outside to take photos and most of them were out of focus – but when I looked at them on my computer I was pleasantly surprised…the photo being out of focus had for me revealed another layer that would not be seen otherwise if it was in focus. So here it is!
It reminds me of things hidden beneath the surface, the not so obvious things that we don’t always reveal about ourselves because of fear of what people may think, fear of being judged or not being good enough. Its like the mauri, the energy of the rock is revealing itself, exposing itself for all to see…
The circle is a universal symbol that can mean many things. For me it is direct connection to nature, balance, unity and infinity -it is without beginning or end. It is the perfection of nature that inspires me to paint the koru, to paint spirals and circles. The circle – I am always drawn to paint it, to create it, to surround myself with it.
Hei apopo – until tomorrow!
Arohanui,
Jo x

Detox

Day 41
I’m detoxing right now and although its the first day, I can already feel the effects of it. Its like I’ve automatically switched into detox mode! But detox for me is not just about my physical body detoxing, its about detoxing my whole being – if that makes sense! Its like having a tune up and service for the car!
So 3-4 times a year I go through this process of internal audit which includes consciously eating foods that are good for me right now as well as emptying out mentally and emotionally.
koru hand painted rock
As I write this I remember the foods that we used to eat as children (like chocolate and sweet food!) and how my desire to eat them now would often be triggered by my emotions. Of course an emotional food for me! I LOVE chocolate, and I don’t think I will ever stop eating it, but now I am more conscious of when I’m eating it, how much I am eating and whether I’m actually eating as a reaction to something. And I’ve also found a ‘healthy’ chocolate that doesn’t give me headaches and has good ingredients in it!
I have so much to thank Vipassana meditation for. Although I am no longer practicing, the six years that I did practice really set me on the right path and I’m so grateful that it was at a young age. Vipassana was always a big ‘detox’ for me!

Now I’m using the Healing Codes which I think are very similar to Vipassana meditation in that they get to the root of the problem. They work with the energy in the body and I have had some amazing amazing results already with this healing system. So all this is part of my detox journey too…
People might think that I’m pretty hard out with my inner healing detox stuff and thats because I am. Believe me I’ve had a lot to detox and will probably be detoxing for the rest of my life. Life is one big healing journey for me…But I’ve also realised, everything in balance – I like to have fun too!!
And its SO nice to be doing yoga again and stretching out all the tightness that has been holding on over the past few weeks due to full on mahi and inspiration all around me that just kept my brain ticking over! And now I’m home in Gisborne, grounding myself again…until the next journey…
This rock is for Saul whose birthday it is today – Happy birthday Saul! When I was living in Taranaki Saul and Nikki were fantastic for helping me set up systems for my business. As an artist it was hard trying to tell myself that I needed a system to be more efficient because I was quite happy to just let my creativity ‘go with the flow’ lol. But it was the best thing that could have happened for my business. Anyway…giving a plug for Saul and Nikki here http://workflowgroup.co.nz Go check them out!
Arohanui,
Jo 🙂

Feeling the Earth

Yay – a bit of rain today! I’m really appreciating the cooler weather after the last few days and I’m sure the whenua is too…
Today I was out in the garden and really enjoyed putting my hands in the earth again. It’s so good for my soul to be nurturing the land and to be getting my hands dirty! By the way, dandelion leaves are a good bitter food for salads and there was plenty of that in the garden today. And my feet! It’s so good to feel the earth beneath my feet too…
koru hand painted rock
I just want to say thank-you to everybody who has stopped by to leave comments and to share their own personal experiences. I also want to thank those who have sent me private messages to say thank-you and to let me know they have been following the rocks too!
I appreciate you all!
Its really encouraging to know that I am being supported in this venture and that connections are being made through these rocks and the korero being shared.
Thank-you.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Boredom

I was swimming out at Makorori beach today and had this overwhelming sense of fear of this huge expanse of water that I was in and then almost in the same breathe I had this feeling of being at one with Tangaroa – like I had become the water. It was so surreal, I can’t really explain how it felt…
I’ve been lost for words lately, and I think its because I’m bored! Some days I have lots to say and then other days I really struggle to focus on saying things that really matter or things that have substance…so if this seems like its all over the place, its because it is!
koru hand painted rock
So I’ve arrived at a space of boredom, not that I don’t have lots to do because there is plenty of things to do, but you know when you just get bored with what you’re doing and you just want to branch out a bit and do something else, well thats me right now…
But this is not a new space for me, its a space that I always end up at when there are fresh ideas blooming (because I’m full of ideas!!) and fresh things on the horizon. Anyway…Its during these times where I start shedding some skin, I let go of things and invite new things to come in…you know that feeling of just wanting to break out and burst!
I also think I’m tired after the seven hour drive home to Gizzy…it always hits me on the day after the day I arrive home!
And while writing this post, I’m listening to some pretty awesome Aotearoa music! Aren’t Aotearoa musicians just awesome?? I’m listening to 1814, Six60, Katchafire, Kora, Che fu, Mihirangi, and Ardijah (and there are SO many more!!) and I feel like I’m in heaven…
Hei apopo – until tomorrow,
Jo 🙂
PS – Day 39 – wow! Some people have been asking me where I find the time to paint a rock a day. I make time – I committed to this at the beginning of the year and now there is no turning back! And I’ve told the world, so now the whole world is holding me accountable – yep, committed now! But more than that, I’ve committed to nurturing my creativity and sharing my journey and stories with others…

Ko Rangi Ko Papa

Ko Rangi Ko Papa
Ka puta ko Rongo,
Ko Tane Mahuta
Ko Tangaroa
Ko Tumatauenga
Ko Haumietiketike
Ko Tawhirimatea
Tokona te Rangi ki runga
Ko Papa ki raro
Ka puta ki te whai ao ki te ao marama
Tihe i a mauriora!
koru hand painted rock
I just can’t get away from Rangi and Papa because Rangi and Papa is where its at! This is where I get my inspiration from in everything that I do, there is no purer love, than the unconditional love shared between Rangi and Papa and after everything is gone, done and dusted, there is still Rangi and Papa.
I am looking at everything that is happening in the world and am still wondering why people are not paying attention to all these natural disasters? Natural disasters that have been created by the hands of humans and Rangi and Papa are doing their thing I believe…enough is enough they are saying and if we don’t pay attention now and change our ways then there will be consequences…
Lets start now…kia puta ki te whai ao, ki te ao marama – tihe i a mauriora!

Rangatiratanga

So it is Waitangi Day today and many people all over the country and the world are spending time today in their own special way.
What does it mean for me?
Rangatiratanga begins with me. It is about me taking control of my life and being the master of my own destiny. I believe our tupuna were all about this and were great strategists who made things happen in their lives whether it was to feed their whanau or taking a long journey by sea or land…they were always ready, always knowing where they were going and being very in tune with the environment while living their lives.
So I believe in order for me to progress forward I need to take responsibility for who I am and where I am going in my life. And for me this is about finding out who I am – where I have come from and undoing the effects of colonisation on my life and honouring who I am within. I can blame others for my circumstances or the way that my life is but ultimately I have a choice, to either stay in that place of being victim or taking that risk to move on.
When I look at my parents and the lives they have lived, I respect and honour their resilience to live despite all their circumstances. I also realise that the effects of colonisation on their lives have been huge, so ingrained that the thought of actually changing these effects for them is non-existent. But, it is still possible for me to progress forward, to honour who I am, to heal me and to ultimately have an effect on those around me.
I often think about how the world would be if we all took responsibility for ourselves to heal our past. How awesome would that be to be able to just let go of all the ‘stuff’ and really live? That is rangatiratanga to me…
koru hand painted rock
This kohatu is going to the sista Leanne today. Hard case when we first connected on FB she reminded me about when we were in school and how we used to do athletics together! I couldn’t remember her and she reckons its because she always used to come second to me! I think she is being modest!
Hope you all had a fab Waitangi day and Raggamuffin looked like a blast again yesterday in Rotorua – now looking forward to Matatini and Reggaelution here in Gizzy soooooon – yus!
Hei apopo – until tomorrow,
Jo x

Something Old Something New

Just a short post from me today as I’m struggling to stay awake after a LONG day! I’m on the road tomorrow, a seven hour journey back home to Gizzy and am looking forward to planting my feet for another month at least before I head off on another adventure…not looking forward to the sweaty, sticky heat though! But swimming, beach, relax, Te Matatini and Reggaelution are all on in the next two weeks! Oh yeah!
koru hand painted rocks
I photographed a friend’s wedding today and it was wonderful! Very low key, simple and different. Different because the couple chose to have their wedding in their own special way without all the traditional hoo ha that goes on at weddings. Who said that your father has to give you away and walk you down the aisle anyway? Who said you have to be wearing all white? Who made up all those rules about how weddings are supposed to be? Anyway, much love to Lena and Chris on their special day, to their whanau x 2 and two gorgeous boys Kauri and Tio – was so lovely to be able to capture your day on camera for you…
And still on the note of weddings, this kohatu is for Ma whose wedding anniversary it is today – 11 years ne Ma? Too much e hoa!! Was so happy to be able to paint this for you!! This rock has lots of texture, holes and bumps – fitting I think for a love that has endured so many years. Arohanui ki a korua, otira ki a koutou ko to whanau. Am sending this to you!
So a new life of marriage has just begun and we acknowledge a marriage that continues…beautiful!
Ok off to bed now – not too bad just before midnight, thats early for me! Am so looking forward to putting my feet up, even just for one day, that would be nice!!
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – There are actually four colours in this rock, white, yellow, red and buffalo brown which you can’t see, its hidden under the white. Also, when trying to come up with a name for this post all I could think of was ‘something old something new’ which is a play on the traditional weddings korero…’something old something new something borrowed, something blue’…but here, this talks about two loves, totally unconnected that have been brought together in this korero today!!

That was actually a long post after all!!! Po marie!

Forgive

I’m mindful that this weekend is Waitangi weekend and is an important time for many Maori in Aotearoa and around the world.
I remember the strength of my tupuna, my ancestors and their resilience to continue. I remember the loss of life, the sacrifices made by many of our people to continue a legacy of hope for future generations…

I also look to a new horizon in the hope that our efforts to move forward as a people are about living in harmony with each other and that we also remember our other indigenous brothers and sisters around the world who are also walking this path with us, to reconnect with who they are…
hand painted rocks
And I say now, I forgive all the wrongs done in the past, I refuse to allow the effects of colonisation to have control over me. I let go of that mamae, of that pain in the hope that healing may come for all.
It is a big risk to say this, but I believe it is through taking risks of exposing oneself that progress, change and growth can happen. I honor my tupuna by taking this pathway, and by being on my own pathway of tino rangatiratanga, of self determination because this is where it starts I believe, with me…

Stop, Breathe and Experience the Moment

I feel like I’ve been racing around like a maniac over these past few days, still slowing down from the past 2-3 weeks. My mind is full of ideas, things to do, planning for the future and yet I have to keep reminding myself to stop for a moment and breathe…
Sometimes we keep ourselves so busy, we don’t feel comfortable being in the moment because being in the moment means being with ourselves – not as easy as it sound! Often the easy option is to run away from what is right in front of us instead of dealing with it and being with it. That is how it has been for me in the past, constantly filling my life up with stuff, piling on layers of stuff, drowning myself in so many things to hide from a reality that I was not happy with…
koru hand painted rock
But I’ve learnt that the power IS ALWAYS in the present moment…and now I know this at an experiential level, (thank-you Vipassana meditation!!) I am not afraid to stop, breathe and experience the present…
Because it is a space where great healing can take place, if we allow it to…
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS -This photo was taken on the window sill again in an attempt to capture the natural light – the colours are pink, buffalo brown and digeridoo brown, randomly chosen but a nice mix, I like them!…
…and this kohatu is for Reremoana who turns 23 today!!! Ra whanau ki a koe Poni!!! He whakaaro nui tenei ki a koe. Na te aroha te taonga nei ka tukuna atu ki a koe. Arohanui, na maua ko Papa xx

Appreciation For Life

We went to Onukutaipari (Back beach) today and there was this interesting mist in the air…it was quite unusual, very humid and almost surreal…
Whats been happening today?
Well, had lunch with Donna and Denis; dear friends and whanaunga who I haven’t seen for a LONG time. Was so good to catch up on the past three years!! And they said they seen me (is that bad english? oh well!) across the road at 109 Devon St while they were having a meeting – I saw a whole group of people over there but didn’t realise it was them! If I had of known, I would have gone in to the Powder Room to say hullo but probably wouldn’t have come out haha! For those who don’t know, the Powder Room is a bar! Anyway…
koru hand painted rock
I’m starting to wind down after the full on two weeks had on the art residency and so this rock is like the calm after the storm! Not like it has been a stormy past two weeks, but it has been full of adventure, learning and high energy! So this rock is perhaps a reflection of my desire to slow down, reconnect with self and relax into the next few days.
And I just want to say I appreciate life I appreciate everything that has been, up until now and am sending much aroha and tautoko to those over in Australia who are dealing with mother nature and cyclone Yasi. I would never wish this for anyone and am hoping for a miracle that the cyclone decides to just let go…but nature is so unforgiving sometimes…And it is yet another reminder of the importance of looking after Papatuanuku. Kia kaha koutou! Me tiaki tatou i a Papatuanuku, me tiaki tatou i a tatou ano! Kia kaha koutou i ou koutou kainga maha…
Hei apopo – until tomorrow,
Jo x
PS – I very rarely take photos in the centre but this one felt like it wanted to be there. From bold, bright, earthy colours to purple and white…a dramatic shift…

Manaaki

Today, we went and watched a movie called Water Whisperers here in New Plymouth. It was about the importance of looking after our water not only for now but for future generations. It also talked about water as being the blood lines of Papatuanuku – our earth mother and if we stop that flow of life by damming or polluting our waterways, then we affect the health of our earth and ultimately ourselves. So we need to look after our planet and ourselves as well!
koru hand painted rocks
Manaaki is a word for me that is about respect and honour. Honouring the mana of another and so when we talk about manaaki whenua, we look after our land and honour our land as sustenance and life giving, something that is living and breathing just as we do. The same with manaaki tangata – honouring the mana of another person, honouring the person as a whole as being sacred and important.
Today I paint this rock for my good friend in Arizona whose birthday it is today! I remember when I travelled to Arizona nearly four years ago, I was treated with the utmost respect by all these beautiful people there who have become my dear friends. They honoured me by looking after me every step of my journey…
I am so grateful for that experience and for the opportunity to travel to such a beautiful spiritual land. I appreciate being able to exhibit my work in downtown Phoenix, spending time on Dine’ land with Eric, on Salt River Pima land with Vanessa and whanau, and all those who looked after me. Linda and friends, Wendy, Rachel, Bob, Roger and whanau, Salina and of course Cheryl whose birthday it is today!! I experienced manaaki tangata at its best on this journey…thank-you!
And thank-you Cheryl for being you and forever a strong support for me. Ra whanau ki a koe and sending you lots of aroha on your special day!
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – the colours of this rock remind me of the deep oranges, reds and browns in Arizona that add depth to the landscape. I was in awe when driving up North to Eric’s land, amazed at the rock formations that dominated the landscape and of course the canyons that were breath-taking! I hope to return one day soon…
PSST – and as Linda puts it 1/12 is done 11/12ths to go!! But whose counting – haha – me!

Release

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 🙂

Friendship

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…
Arohanui,
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

Expectation

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,
Jo:)
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…

Wai

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,
Arohanui,
Jo 🙂

Whanau

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
Arohanui,
Jo 🙂

Nurture

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!!

Aroha

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!
Arohanui,
Jo 🙂

Perspective

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!!
Arohanui,
Jo 🙂

Belonging

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 🙂

Interlude

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

Journey

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

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…

Balance

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 :)

Gratitude

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 🙂

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!

Koha-tu

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 http://handpaintedrocks.com 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
Arohanui,
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 🙂

A Rock a Day For My Creativity Today

I’ve decided that from the 1st Jan 2011 I am going to paint a koru rock a day! No matter where I am, I am going to commit to that goal as best I can to make it happen. So I’m telling the world to keep me accountable!
I’ve also set some guidelines for myself and the first one is that I am not allowed to spend more than an hour painting a rock – the idea is to be creating everyday, but to also stick to my plan of one hour a day!!
At the end of each day, I will post a photo of my finished handpainted koru rock here with a thought for the day. I will also be posting them to my page on Facebook so if you want to purchase a rock for a certain day in 2011 – connect with me on Facebook!
All rocks will be available for purchase at $39 NZD and this can be done by posting a “sold” + comment under the rock that you want, or by posting a “sold” + comment underneath the photo in Facebook. If people want to pre-book a painted rock for a certain day then they can let me know via the comments. It will be an organic process so if there are any special requests please let me know! Just know that I will be doing my best to paint a koru rock a day!

For people in NZ I am also open to exchanges of fresh seafood, especially kina, oysters and snapper haha as well as any organic healthy kai! And for everyone in the world I am open to exchanges of art, design, web development and other things. Let me know what you have in mind.

Please also check out my personalised works of art if you are wanting something extra special.
Now I’m getting nervous – there you go! I’ve put it out there, now its time to commit to the task at hand. Two days to stretch my hands and prepare for 365 hours of my life – hmmm what have I got myself into!
Mā te wā,
Jo 🙂