The artist, who is self-taught, says she has always loved picking up oddly-shaped stones ever since she was a little kid. And her love for this art started from there.
Japanese artist Akie Nakata, who prefers to simply be known as Akie, is "rocking" this business of turning basic pebbles into beautiful works of art. The artist, who is self-taught, says she's loved picking up oddly-shaped stones ever since she was a little kid. She began painting animals on pebbles when she was taking a walk alongside the bank of a river when she came across a pebble that was shaped like a rabbit to her.
According to My Modern Met, she believes that each pebble already has its own destined character. She then brings these plain stones to life by painting them with acrylic colors and she's been doing this since 2011! She's only gotten better with time.
She wrote to MMM, stating, “Stones have their own intentions, and I consider my encounters with them as cues […] to go ahead and paint what I see on them.”
Once you look at her work, it might take you a second to realize it is actually stones and not actual animals, because they're that realistic. She works on each of these pebbles with utmost care. Akie usually picks these stones out herself. She's the artist, so when she sees a stone, an image flashes in her mind.
After sourcing the stones herself she tends to ask herself, “ Am I positioning the backbone in the right place? Does it feel right? Am I forcing something that disagrees with the natural shape of the stone?” For Akie, it's not just about the detailing in each pebble, but it's also about finding life in them. She paints a variety of animals on the pebbles, ranging from dogs and cats to birds and mice.
She says she feels her work is complete only when she sees “the eyes are now alive and looking back.” She adds, “To me, completing a piece of work is not about how much detail I draw, but whether I feel the life in the stone.”
For the rest of us, when we look at a stone, all we'd probably see is a mere pebble, nothing of major significance, but not for Akie. When she holds one of those pebbles she's sourced in her hand, she feels everything it has “silently witnessed over the millennia.”
She believes rocks have stories to tell and reveals, “Sometimes I paint while I talk to the stone as I hold it in my hand.” Akie wants her stones to be treated as well as people treat their own lives “because we all stand on the same earth, and we come from the same earth.”
Here are some more of her works:
Here's how she paints these rocks: