Painting rocks and cutting locks: Rideau Ferry hairdresser turns rocks into a thing of beauty

·2 min read

A rock may just be a rock to most people, but Julie Larocque looks at the shape and sees the potential: a lighthouse, a flower, a horse, even a Mustang.

“I let the rocks speak to me,” Larocque said. The Rideau Ferry resident said she painted between 50 and 60 rocks when the lockdown started in March.

“I’ve always been very creative — drawing, rock-painting, knitting. I’m a natural artist,” she said. While she paints purely for her own satisfaction, she was surprised when she received messages from people wanting to buy her creations.

She sold a few painted rocks for $120 each.

Larocque sources her materials from around her property, paints them with acrylic and seals them with a urethane coating. The smallest rock painting she has is six inches in length and 12 inches in height, with the largest measuring 24 by 36 inches.

“I use them to decorate outside (of the house),” Larocque said.

A hairdresser by profession, Larocque likes the tactile nature of her job. “It’s very soothing to feel people’s hair,” she said. She had been a stylist since she was in the seventh grade.

Even though Larocque’s first haircut session didn’t go well — she cut her brother’s hair and he cried from disappointment — Larocque has had a successful career cutting hair.

Larocque’s hair salon, Solo Hair Creations, closed in March due to COVID-19, but she credits the extra time during the lockdown to “find” herself. “It was a blessing in disguise. When you’re always giving to other people, you tend to lose who you really are,” she said.

Her salon is now back to normal hours, but she feels that “people are not grounded right now; people are forgetting their appointments.”

“A lot of people have never been connected to themselves,” she observed, as her clients talk to her about their problems. “I’m (really) a psychologist, and I (cut) hair on top of that."

Larocque admitted that, “if I wasn’t doing hair all the time, I’d be painting rocks all the time. I always like to shape shift, to take something and create a thing of beauty.”

Visit Larocque on Instagram @Sol5896 or call 613-283-7255.

Yona Harvey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Smiths Falls Record News