When Japanese artist Akie Nakata looks at stones she finds the animals hiding in their contours and paints the stones to make those creatures visible to the rest of us. The self-described stone artist creates impressively realistic animals without ever actually altering the stones themselves. She paints them with great patience and skill, making clever use of their natural shapes, turning each into the most lifelike and beautiful pet rocks we’ve ever seen.
“What I paint on stone is inspired by the stone itself,” she explains. “In order to bring out the living being that I feel in the stone to its surface, I proceed very carefully. I consider step by step, for example, whether I am positioning the backbone in the right place. Does it feel right? Am I forcing something that disagrees with the natural shape of the stone?”