Photo by Lorie Palmer
Rita Mundt of Grangeville has been creating her “doodles” on river rocks and hiding them around the area for passersby to pick up. Those who find them are encouraged to either keep them or hide them for someone else to find.
As of Tuesday, November 29, 2016
GRANGEVILLE “Rocks were here long before us, and they’ll be here long after us,” said Rita Mundt of Grangeville. “They represent strength and permanence.”
What began as simply a hobby for Mundt has turned into more of an art form – though she is the first to admit she is “not an artist.”
“I’m a doodler,” she laughed.
Mundt grew up along the Salmon River and graduated from Salmon River High School in Riggins. River rocks are basically in her blood. So, she gathered them and began drawing on them.
“It’s therapeutic,” she said. “I never know when I start what one will turn out like. They just develop.” She works full-time as a dental assistant and works on her hobby in the evenings or on weekends.
She finds flat river rocks – employing the help of her husband and grandchildren – and uses paint markers to create intricate mandalas, quotes and other designs and artwork (or “doodles.”)
As she began to post some photos of her creations on Facebook, she received a lot of positive feedback.
“People seem to really enjoy them and they make them happy,” she said.
This gave her a couple of ideas.
She decided to hide a variety of her handiwork throughout the county – mainly Grangeville so far – and allow other people to find them. A message on the back reads, “Keep or hide again! Facebook/Rita’s Rocks.”
“That way, if people find them and really like them, they can keep them. But if they want someone else to experience the thrill of finding one, they can hide it,” she said. Those who find the rocks are encouraged to post a picture to “Rita’s Rocks” Facebook page.
After getting into this, she found this is a “thing” already.
“People do this in other places – there’s a site in the Lewiston-Clarkston valley,” she said. She has plans to hide some of her rocks in Clarkston soon.
She also decided to hold a get-together where women can visit and paint their own rocks.
“I’ve had one event, which was successful, and I’m planning more –stay tuned,” she said.
Mundt explained she had no intention of selling her rocks as she felt a call to give them away.
“I think God gives me the ideas and I’m meant to give them away and bring a little joy,” she said.
She keeps a sketchbook by her bed and sometimes awakens at 3 a.m. with ideas. She sketches those ideas out while she remembers them.
Mundt’s affinity for rocks runs deep as they remind her of human beings.
“The rocks aren’t perfect – and none of us is perfect,” she said. “But if we can look beyond the imperfections, there is great beauty, and that’s awesome!”