Castaways Two #13961

Matted, canvas, & high gloss metal prints available. Questions?

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The Story

Tranquil organic art is some of the most relaxing of all, like this calming rock panorama. Rock art, always good for the soul. You can actually shift mental gears by studying this close up picture of nature. Likewise, a viewer can find something new in it every time they look. It has bold colors and interesting shapes of smooth water-worn stones that only a very long time in the waves can create. Being a great decorating neutral, this rock art works well with any color used in home or office decor.

These tumbled-smooth granite and sandstone rocks were gathered at beaches along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. They were handpicked at the water’s edge for their color as I walked along the shoreline over several days photographing other things. I spent a fair time out there relaxing too, and simply gathered stones the way some people pick up shells. My pockets would always overflow and soon I needed buckets to hold them. I just love to pick up rocks as many others do too. On many trips to Lake Michigan, I’ve often brought back five-gallon buckets full!

Walking along those beaches, I’d run into locals out there and talk with them. Interestingly, a few of them said if I found a ring rock it would bring good luck. And as local superstition and luck would have it, there are a few in this panorama like the green rock with two rings in the upper left. Double ring, double the good luck I’d suppose, and nowadays that ring rock sits on the kitchen windowsill.

And the title of Castaways? Once lost forever, now they are found.

How I Made This Rock Art

To create this rock panorama, I laid the stones on black sand in the studio and took five horizontal images along the length of the layout. To keep the light even while shooting downward, I moved the work underneath the camera and lighting using a homemade trolley system on a wooden track. Then the five images were stitched together to make this calming and tranquil rock art and a picture of nature.

It was an involved project and a little tricky getting things lined up well, but above all, a fun challenge to meet. But the biggest trick here was the simplest of all. Before each shot,  I wet the rocks down with water to make the natural color of the granite and sandstone pop right out.

Rock Art Options

As an interesting option, this panorama can be hung vertically if it suits your space. It comes as 12×36 or 20×60 on either canvas or stunning metal. From listening to customers, I gather roughly one in five is hung vertically.

Many people have enjoyed this rock pano but wanted it as a regular print. To do that, I cut the piece in half and offer both sides in the usual standard sizes. Click on the links to Wet Rocks 1 #14118 with the good luck double ring rock, and Wet Rocks 2 #14119.

Additionally, if you’d like to see some of those beautiful Great Lakes beaches I visited, have a look at the Great Lakes section in the Water gallery. Try out Aquarian Touch #10021 for example.

Location: rocks gathered at various beaches along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan; photography done in the studio. Photo and text © Andrew Dierks

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