Painted rocks spreading words of encouragement

Sabrina Molina and Jadyn Doss, from left, are creating encouraging and inspirational art works on painted stones (like these on the table), and leaving them on random people's doorsteps or driveway edges. But they also expanded their artistic skills to two paintings on canvas, Molina's “Deep Water” and Doss' “Flowers and Sun.”

Two Tivy High School senior girls have taken some of their time for visual learning from home during this COVID-19 time to create a personal project of rocks painted with colorful designs and words of encouragement.

Sabrina Molina and Jadyn Doss have been spending parts of their days (outside of school work) to create these colorful “messages,” and then driving to various neighborhoods to put their “painted rocks” on residents’ porches and driveways.

They put some of the first few into mailboxes, but decided the Postal Service wouldn’t like that, and picked other spots after that to leave their gifts.

Molina said, for her, this is her National Honor Society service project, as long as she has to be home and not in regular school activities.

Doss said she volunteered to do this to share positivity with others.

They said they got this idea about the time regular school attendance ended and the virtual learning began.

Doss said it also has been one way to adjust to the big changes and stay happy.

Molina said, “It’s kind of therapeutic,” as an activity, after playing in the Tivy Orchestra and volleyball at the high school.”

Doss said if the usual school activities were happening, she plays trumpet in the Tivy Marching Band and is the drum major for that group. She balances that with a part-time job at Starbucks.

Neither one has taken art classes at Tivy. They found some natural talent, and just enjoy doing this.

Now they’re spending some time collecting small-ish rocks, from around their homes, or down by the Guadalupe River. They check most of them for at least one fairly smooth side, to be able to paint their designs and wording.

And some days Doss comes to Molina’s home and they cover the top of an outdoor picnic table (in the shade) with many bottles and tubes of mostly acrylic paint, brushes, disposable cups of water for cleaning brushes, lots of paper towels and black Sharpies. And they paint and drink coffee while listening to music.

Doss said she sometimes picks the right words to write on them, just randomly.

“We’ve probably done 100 or more now,” Molina said. “When we get about 35 done, we split up some.”

They said they usually go together in one car, and one drives while the other one selects one painted rock at a time to get out and place it at someone’s residence.

“We’ve put them at their doors or at the edge of their driveways, mostly.”

They have written Bible references or actual Bible phrases, or designs with crosses in them. Others are general words of encouragement, like “Be Happy” or “Love” or designs featuring a sun or flower or heart. Some say “Beautiful” or “Faithful” or “Faith can move mountains” or “Smile” while others say “Live” and “Breathe” and “Come What May” and “The cup is half full, not half empty” and, of course, “TFND.”

They use the Sharpies for outlines of some designs, or the words, or the scrolled lines that Molina designed as a decorative border.

“The acrylic paints dry fast and we can get finished in one sitting,” Doss said; and Molina added, “unless we put the paint on too thick sometimes.”

The girls said so far they’ve driven through neighborhoods behind Walmart; and some streets in Riverhill. They’ve also discussed going to the Nimitz Elementary School area where one of them attended school.

“At a few places we’ve talked to residents, but mostly we leave the painted rocks and drive on,” the girls said.

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