By its very nature, painting is a solitary activity. Amateur painter Kat Granda does her work alone. But these days, the canvass she paints on doesn’t stay with her alone.
“You paint the rocks, you hide the rocks, people find the rocks,” said Granda. “And they can either keep them or hide them.”
It’s all loosely coordinated through the Winnipeg Rocks Facebook group. Users post pictures of all kinds of painted rocks. Everything from rock M&M’s to rock dill pickles. With Remembrance Day fast approaching, many people like Granda are painting poppies on the rocks, some bearing the names of Canadian soldiers.
“It’s a way to sort of express that I haven’t forgotten these people,” said Granda. “And putting it out there, maybe people remember.”
Julie Mungall has painted about 50 poppy rocks this season. She says it’s a fun way to honor our veterans, and bring a little unexpected kindness into their day.
“I’ve been to Valour Road, I’ve been to all sorts of memorials putting them out,” said Mungall. “And the hope is that at least a handful of service members will receive a poppy rock as a gift from someone.”
Lorna Kroeker, the founder of the Winnipeg Rocks group, says the poppy rocks are a great demonstration of what the group is really all about.
“Sharing your joy, sharing your sorrows, and supporting each other, coming around each other as a community,” she said. “And it’s neat to see that on the page.”
And if you’re lucky, you might see it off the page too, at a memorial, at a park, or some other random location.