When artist Elspeth McLean walks along the shores of British Columbia, she doesn”t just appreciate the natural beauty of where she works and lives. She”s also on the lookout for more material for her nature- and meditation-inspired art. McLean uses ocean stones, worn round and smooth by years of tumbling through the sea, to create vibrantly colored pieces of art.
Using a technique she calls “dotillism” (similar to pointillism), McLean creates symmetrical, mandala-like patterns of color on the rocks” surfaces. The patterns are created using acrylic paints and a fine brush, displaying an organic, fractal-like feel that recalls both tiny organisms and the vastness of the cosmos.
Though the rocks are not largemost can fit in the palm of a handpainting them in this intricate fashion takes time. McLean enjoys the slow process, finding it meditative and grounding. The technique is simple enough, but McLean”s skill and sensitivity to subtle shifts in color and size allow her to create complex designs on a small scale.
Each rock takes on a distinct feeling and personality through the choice in color. McLean creates each one by hand, so no two are ever alike.
They”re not all mandalas. These rocks have been painted like constellations.
Besides painting rocks, McLean also creates traditional paintings and murals using her signature “dotillism” technique. Her works draw from a variety of mystical and artistic traditions. Many resemble the Aboriginal art style of McLean”s native Australia. You can see much more from this prolific artist on her website, as well as on Facebook and Instagram. Painted stones are also for sale on her Etsy shop.