Stories from the Earth is a new series of digital art from artist Carolyn Haas revealing a secret world of images naturally formed within rocks, boulders and pebbles.

Similar to rock carvings known as petroglyphs, where images are made by pecking directly on a surface using a chisel and hammerstone, Haas uses a digital process in Photoshop to create these pieces.    She doesn’t do anything to the rocks to generate the images. Instead, the process reveals them by enhancing their natural formations.

Although there is no carving or rubbing with an actual hand tool, the digital tools are, in a sense, doing precisely that – chiseling layers away while following the patterns naturally in the rock brings forth the art in the rock. She believes these images of faces, figures, patterns, and more have always been there, waiting for discovery.

Picture above is The Sage – A wise old dog, lost in deep thought and time.

About Carolyn

An accomplished artist and lifelong lover of rocks, she only recently combined these interests into an artistic pursuit. Before this project, the artist worked in colored pencil, oil and acrylic.

Ever since I was in grade school, I began collecting rocks, starting in what must have once been a riverbed, full of fossils and semi-precious stones. My sister Mardee and I would run out the back door almost everyday to see what treasures we would find. Finding it was a dream for the child I was and continue to be! Captivated by these rocks, every place I visited, a newfound treasure would have to come home with me – a habit that has never died. More recently, I started creek walking with my water-loving dog. I found myself stuffing pockets with rocks and photographing the ones I could not take with me if it attracted me – and so many did!

Carolyn and her rock collecting companion, Emil

As her collection of stones grew, Haas began to notice images on the rocks. At first, she thought it seemed a little crazy, but it compelled her to explore further. This led her to photograph each stone collected to further inspect the patterns and images. Her next step was to enlarge the file on her computer to confirm if the pictures she thought she saw were there. This step led her to employ digital skills to enhance the images. Given the different qualities of the type of rock she found, such as Pennsylvania fieldstone, some fascinating colors emerge along with the images.  

The eyes have it.

I always look for the eyes first on a rock, then, sure enough, I see the other features. In many cases, I was stunned to see that the eyes appeared to have a bit of “light” shining in them. In almost every case, the images are animals, both as single images or sometimes multiples. At times it appears to be an image, upon an image, and so forth. I must stop myself from revealing all I see as I imagine the process might never end. Ultimately, I choose to reveal what best serves the rock and finished product

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