Colors from the Earth
My painting process begins outside, collecting color. I pull over on the side of the interstate, or walk in the woods or along a lake bed or my own front yard, pausing to look closer at the ground. Clays, shales, and rocks colored with iron oxides and other minerals lend an essential embodiment of place and sincerity of material to my work. Back in my studio, I begin processing pigment into paint, pounding the earth in a granite mortar and pestle. I sift it through several geological testing sieves to produce a very fine powdered pigment, ready to contribute color to paint and panel. If I need to make oil paint, I'll mix the pigment with linseed oil; watercolor requires water, gum arabic, honey, and a tiny drop of clove oil. After a thorough mulling, the paint is prepared for good work.
Earth Pigment Workshops
These workshops explore ancient ways of creating with mineral pigments. Working with local earth can foster within our creative practice a deeper narrative of place and relationship with the land. We will spend time with some iron-rich rocks and learn about their cultural history. During longer workshops, we will get outside and gather colorful rocks and clays around the area. We will then process the pigments and prepare our own set of six watercolor paints. The day will end with a bit of time to paint with these beautiful colors.