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Painted rocks - gifts to find around Upton

Rocks with uplifting sayings and colors can be found while walking around town, thanks to Kathy Pecci. Courtesy photos

By Linda Chuss

Walking past the library, post office, Firefighters Monument, and any number of places in town, people notice unique rocks on the ground. They are painted with uplifting sayings like “Be Kind,” and cheerful illustrations like a blue flower with a smiling face at the center. Because they aren’t signed, few people know who creates and leaves them.


The mystery artist is Upton’s own Kathy Pecci, who said she has always had “a thing for rocks.” Combining that with an interest in art, Pecci crafted a gratifying and compelling hobby two years ago.

“When I was in school, I took a lot of art classes,” Pecci said. “Everything from oil painting to ceramics. I could spend six periods a day in the art room. After school, I entered the business world and stopped painting. Then my sister-in-law gave me a small, painted rock and I thought, ‘I can do this.’ In 2022, I retired and started making them.

“At first, it was completely anonymous. I’d leave them for neighbors or where I took walks. Then, I started tailoring them for certain people and interests,” said Pecci. She gave a “Gone Fishin’” rock to an employee in the supermarket’s fish department, angels to other workers there, “Life is Good” rocks to postal workers, and some for different holidays. She also expanded to painting on ceramic tile magnets.

Pecci is not the only person with this hobby. She said, “It’s a worldwide phenomenon – my daughter even saw some at a fire hydrant in Italy. I follow Facebook groups for rock painters and get ideas there. People ask me to make designs for them, too, like a girl who wanted a Star Wars rock for her uncle.

“Seeing the reactions people have is very fulfilling. The rocks make people who are just doing something ordinary smile when they see one.”

Pecci enjoys the pastime. “I paint almost every day,” she said. “Half my dining room table has supplies on it, and the countertops and living room table are covered with rocks. It’s hard to organize them. Flat, round rocks are easy to paint on. I also like rough rocks – I work with the shape to make a dragon head or a duck, for example.”

Last year, Pecci started selling her rocks at local craft shows, and she takes orders from people who know about her work. “I just like to cover the expenses,” she said.

To see more of Pecci’s rocks, follow on Facebook. To contact her, email [email protected], or call 339-227-2202.