Erdal Parlaklı, 48, who lives in the Muratpaşa district of the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, has been earning a living by painting pebbles for the last 20 years.
Parlaklı sells the pebbles and canvases he paints at his booth in the historical city center Kaleiçi. The details of the paintings that Parlaklı draws on pebbles of different sizes amaze those who see them.
The artist defines the entirety of the materials he uses and the art he makes as “moving the beauty of nature to an object.” As part of his artistic process, he first collects pebbles for his canvas and completes the artwork in about three days. The form of the stone he uses often defines what he paints on them. In this way, he reveals that the unorthodox art knows no bounds.
Parlaklı sells the painted stones as home accessories. The nature of his work also allows him to venture into different areas. Sometimes the stones he paints are also used to make accessories such as necklaces and rings. In an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA), Parlaklı stated that he started his profession by painting on canvases, but financial challenges led him to work with different materials.
Indicating that he started painting on pebbles due to the tough times he faced, Parlaklı said: “Stone painting means a determination to me. It means to be like a stone, to be as tough and resilient as a stone, that is, to push the opportunities to be able to do what I have done.”
Parlaklı has proven that art can be performed by going beyond the pattern limits, and it can even exist in impossibilities. Talking about featuring elements of nature in his paintings, he said: “I see people breaking away from nature and this negatively affects them. Because I have such anxiety, I paint nature on these natural materials and in a sense combine nature and art to allow people to carry it home.”
Parlaklı stated that he often depicts a wide range of topics in his paintings, but they mostly intend to draw our attention to subjects that he thinks are important. He added: “Since I don't want any subject to be looked at stereotypically from a single angle and I believe that everything can be understood better when viewed from different angles, I try to apply this view in my paintings.”
An alternative activity in self-imposed quarantine
Pebble painting can be a great hobby to take up during self-isolation. This hobby has gained a lot of popularity worldwide, so much so that many have launched social media pages to encourage and inspire others. You can also use your creativity and try your hand at it.
The materials needed for pebble painting are:
• Smooth stones
• Acrylic paints or special paint for stone
• Long and short handle brushes
• A pencil and eraser
Mostly pebbles with flat, rectangular or elliptical shapes can be used to paint on. If you live in a coastal city, you can find plenty of such stones on the beach. It is very important that the stones are flat and smooth and are of the size you want. If you cannot find these stones, you can procure them from a hobby market in your neighborhood, or you can buy them on the internet.
You should clean the stones before you paint them. Let's say you like a stone on the beach, and it is really flat and smooth, but it is mossy and slightly green. Do not be afraid to bring that stone home. All you have to do is leave it in hot water for a while and give it a good scrub.
After cleaning the stone, determine the shape you will draw and sketch it. You do not have to go into too much detail at this stage. The sketch you draw may not look very good at first, but it will begin to take shape once you start painting. The stone will start looking more magnificent with each stroke of paint.
After you finish, you can varnish it to make it look more vivid and boost its durability. This process is optional. Spray varnish is more practical for this step. After finishing the varnishing process, dry your stone.
* Make sure to wear old clothes because stray paint may not come off the fabric.
* Make sure the paint is not too watery or it will not adhere well to the stone.
* Sometimes you may need to give the pebble a base coat. Just choose a color and paint over the stone and let it dry.
* Fine details can be avoided when sketching. You can define the details when you start painting.
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