Japanese artist Akie Nakata, also known as Stone Artist Akie, describes her stone art as a “collaboration between two fragments on earth.” On one side are her rocks while on the other is herself, painting life into them one brushstroke at a time. Both are minute pieces making up a microscopic fraction of the universe, but each an indispensable component of what makes her breathtakingly realistic stone painted artwork.

From bulldogs to pythons, Akie depicts a wide variety of animals on the surface of rocks. None of the rocks are ever altered in any way, and their natural curvatures and protuberances work together to help create one-of-a-kind masterpieces set on canvasses made by Mother Nature.

Ever since she was a child, Akie had always loved animals, rocks, and drawing. Her hobbies remained more or less the same as she grew up, and one day as she was walking along a river, she found a rock that looked to her like a rabbit. She brought it home, took out her paintbrushes, and began painting what she saw on its surface. In that moment, she felt as though the three things she loved most in the world came together as one.

From that day on, the talented stone artist’s creations have continued to come to life. But intricate as the paintings are, the most time-consuming part of the creative process is the selection of the rocks. Akie doesn’t just pick up any interestingly shaped rock; instead, she searches until she meets one that conjures her imagination. This can take anywhere between a few hours to several months. “For example,” she shared with grape Japan, “the rock I used for the octopus has the kind of shape I’ll encounter only once a year, if I’m lucky.”

Perhaps what makes Akie’s stone art look as if they’ll stand up and dance off into the horizon is her belief that there is life contained within them. Rocks quietly exist over the course of centuries, and as they travel through nature and end up in the palm of Akie’s hand, she feels earth’s history and life residing inside them. By translating what she sees inside the rocks into depictions of living creatures, she hopes to bring the spirits lurking inside into view.

For more stone art by Stone Artist Akie, head over to her Facebook, Instagram, and her blog (mostly Japanese).

By - grape Japan editorial staff.