Field Notes RSS

Make Your Own Paint Muller and Slab

Of all the natural color-making ingredients I use, I feel the deepest contentment when I’m collecting rocks. Earth pigments have such strong characters. Even more than symbolizing a place, they ARE the place. Literally. I would like to think this is why I’ve been collecting rocks since childhood, but I bet it has more to do with a general love of nature and collections. After collecting the earth, learning about it, and processing the material into a pigment, I usually make a watercolor paint. Natural watercolor paints can be made with minimal ingredients, allowing the pigment’s personality to come through.   When I was first researching how to make watercolors from my collected earth pigments, I saw that most handmade techniques...

Continue reading

Rosehip & Railspike

Lately, I've been working with a very magical pair of homemade inks- wild rosehip and rusted railspike. The rosehip color is a light yellowy-brown this time, with the faintest hint of blush. The rusted railspike ink is a bit more dramatic. Initially it goes onto paper as a transparent beige- sometimes I forget where I've painted because it's so very light! Then while drying, a strong, staining dark brown appears. That alone is exciting to see, but even more amazement happens when these two neutrals get together.  My intention was to pair the rosehip and railspike together for a limited neutral palette. I had been working with lots of colorful berries and it was time for some subtlety. The neutral palette was indeed...

Continue reading

A week of Snow & Sarcococca

I followed the simplest berry ink recipe I know, and the Sarcococca made a beautiful deep blue-violet ink that dries in a range of cool to warm tones, depending on it's environment. The rest of the week, I have been painting with this ink and melted snow from our back porch. The qualities of the snow water cause the Sarcococca's hues to cool and allow me to add delicate, transparent details.

Continue reading