Before we came to live at the beach, my idea of heaven was lying under a shady umbrella somewhere hot and sunny, listening to waves lapping on the shore, doing absolutely nothing apart from raising a glass of something icy cold to my lips.

So for the past 14 years I’ve been able to do just that for 8 months of the year but – though I hate to admit it – it bores the pants off me now!

Which is how I began walking on the tide-line, thinking how chalky and insipid the pebbles looked as soon as they dried out and wondered if they had a coat of varnish added to them, it might preserve their hues.

A particularly gorgeous one had a blob of tar on it,  so I decided to cover it with an ink doodle – and I had a eureka moment!   Next day I took my pen and was happily amused all day as other pebbles received a glamorising treatment and over the course of the summer I’ve been churning them out.   They’re great to have ready as gifts too and I write my friend’s name and the occasion on the bottom to personalise it.

Imagine my surprise when yesterday I came across Zentangles on the net – so very similar to these but on paper.  Google Zentangles and you’ll see some amazing designs and clips on YouTube of clever folks creating them.

Just goes to show that there’s nothing new under the sun!

Even under my umbrella…ella…ella!

About Judy

Previously having lived abroad for many years in the Middle East, now happily settled back in England.
This entry was posted in Art & Craft stuff and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to zenstones

  1. Joyce H says:

    I realize this is an old post, but can you tell me what type of ink pen you used and if you clear coat them when you’ve finished the design? I’d like to try a fun project like this that wouldn’t break the bank buying supplies. Beautiful!

  2. artyjudy says:

    Hi Joyce
    Glad you liked my stones. I found the best ink was architects Rotring black applied with a Rotring pen with a medium fine nib and chose smooth, hard stones and not chalky ones so the pen glides over the surface.
    I tried several kinds of finewriter permanent types of felt pen but they tend to get blocked, whereas the Rotring one is washable.
    When the ink is thoroughly dry I sprayed it with a clearcoat varnish, in my case the kind which they use to seal the paint on cars, as craft stores in Egypt are very sparsely stocked.
    My stones have been on display on the top of a cupboard in my entrance hall and still are in good shape.
    Good luck with doing yours. I’d love to see how they turn out!
    Judy 🙂

    • Joyce H says:

      Thank you for your prompt reply. I can see that very smooth stones found on a beach would be ideal for this. I’ll shop around and see if I can find the products you mentioned or something similar. Joyce

  3. Susan says:

    My new favorite thing! Love this!

  4. Jeanne Arrand says:

    I love these rocks you have so artfully done! I have been collecting rocks for a long time and will try this. Thanks!

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  6. artclubblog says:

    I came across an image of your stones on Pinterest and had to let you know how beautiful they are!

  7. Christine says:

    I travel to Egypt regulary so the mention of Egypt sparked my interest. The designs on the rocks are so beautiful and they woud have a lovely energy. I am from Australia but my heart is in Egypt .

  8. Jen Hallam says:

    I discovered zen tangles a day before seeing your stones…a message, I think. I’m going to try using zen tangles on stones with my grade 5 students as a way to meditate…
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • artyjudy says:

      How lovely to think that my doodling can inspire others to try it! Yes it is a wonderful way to focus your mind. Would love to see what your students do!

  9. Aussie says:

    These are very beautiful. I came across them on Facebook, and I have shared this link. I keep looking at them and admiring your skill and their beauty. I am wondering, could you please tell me exact Rotring pen and ink you use? I looked online and there are so many different types. Many thanks. You have inspired me … I live at the beach in Australia and there would be many suitable stones here. 🙂

    • artyjudy says:

      Thanks for the comment. 🙂
      I found the link online to the kind of pen I used on the Rotring page.
      I think the nib size I used was the largest one (1.0) and you will also need the black ink on the same page.
      Hope this will be of help to you and good luck! xx

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  11. luc says:

    now I know why I have collected over the years hundreds of stones from the sea!
    Very beautiful.
    Do you use Sakura Pigma Micron Pen 0.2 too or only Rotring?

    • artyjudy says:

      Over the past year I have used other types of pen and not just the Rotring. Anything as long as it has a fine point, depending on what there is in the local shops.
      I have managed to buy one or two Sharpie pens which are excellent as they are also waterproof.

  12. luc says:

    Let me ask you one other question … also use pens to color the figures representing the fishes such as blue or green or white, or use the pen only for the outline and the brush to the inside

    • artyjudy says:

      Hi Luc
      Although my paintings and Fimo work are full of colour, I prefer to decorate the stones only with black.
      I have seen on the internet other stones that are brightly painted but my choice is to keep it monochrome.

  13. Reblogged this on julieroberts69 and commented:
    Gotta Try this with my special rocks I found at Camp Junction the other day

  14. Nan says:

    I love this idea! I have collected stones for many years and usually paint on them, but now I’m excited to try your idea. Thanks!

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  19. This was inspiring! Ty Judy

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  25. I love rocks and I love your crafty stones. Might bring the idea to my acrylic paint class. Looks like fun!

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  31. vidhya madhavan says:

    absolutely brilliant …thanks for answering everyone’s questions…i don’t have any questions but to say tons of thanks to you

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