Rock Artist: eastern Iowa man paints what he sees in rocks - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Rock Artist: eastern Iowa man paints what he sees in rocks

by Danielle Wagner

JESUP (KWWL) One eastern Iowa man is creating masterpieces on an unusual canvas.

"I'll see a rock and I'll see something in it right away," said Dale Hemmer of Gilbertville.         

Dale Hemmer sees fish, a mouse and cheese, turtles and even a plate of breakfast food. He says the hobby just started one day about five years ago.

"I was on my deck staring at the rocks and saw one that looked like a fish, and my wife sat down beside me and I asked her what's this look like and she said a rock, Dale. So I had to go into the house and painted it up and I showed her again and said what's it look like and she said a fish. So that's how it all started back in 2003," said Hemmer. 

Hemmer uses acrylic paints and never alters the shape of the rocks. He thinks he's painted a couple hundred so far.

"Some take me an hour to do, and some of them have taken me six months to do," said Hemmer.

From a tiny frog he needed a magnifying glass to paint, to an eighty pound dog, Hemmer has all shapes and sizes of rocks.

He showed us some of his paintings at his daughter's house in Jesup. He said it took awhile to gather up all the rocks.

"I had them in the car, under the bed, in the closets. All over the place," he said.         

Hemmer isn't the only rock artist. He's passing the talent to his 10-year-old grandson Jordan Van Brocklin.

"I think they're pretty cool, and I don't think I could ever paint as good as him," said Jordan Van Brocklin.

 Grandpa might be a better artist for now, but it's about more than painting rocks.

"I get to spend time with Grandpa and it's actually fun spending a couple hours just thinking and painting rocks," said Van Brocklin.

What started as an unintentional hobby is now a life long passion. 
"As long as I live because I've got like 10,000 of them under my bed right now, just waiting," said Hemmer.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner 

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