Making Pigments

Bone Black Swatch from Wild Ozark Paleo Paints.

Bone Black

I made bone black, from a cow vertebra that I charred inside a small tin inside the wood stove. Previously I’d used charred wood from hickory and oak. It has been a difficult paint to re-wet and it never reached the depth of black I wanted. It was also grainier than I liked. The charred …

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What are Paleo Paints?

The Paleo Paints My husband once said my handmade paints reminded him of how the cave men made their paints for the cave drawings. And he was right! And so we called them Paleo Paints. I make them by crushing rocks, clay, charred wood, and extract certain leaves to create pigments which are then added …

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Appreciating the Brown Colors

Brown is such a ubiquitous color in the environment that it’s in danger of being invisible. But it’s very important in my palette of earthy colors.

Shades of Shale

Black shale is a common rock in our creeks and streams. The rocks are brittle and easy to crumble, and make a dark gray rub. A great candidate for making some paint.

The journal entry for my latest pigment "Pottery Shard".

Pottery Shard

A few weeks ago during my morning walk, I found an old pottery shard. So I put it in my pocket and finished my walk. It looked like it might make a nice paint, but I debated over whether or not to crush it. The shard, or sherd, as the term is known in archaeological …

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Wild Waterfall Slate

This rock lives near the waterfall and because of the various hues of colors I saw in it, became one of my first few sets of paints. I called it “Waterfall Shale”. I think it’s really slate, though.

A Paint-Making Experiment with Murdoch’s Mystery Rock

A thoughtful person by the last name of Murdoch, who happens also to know a bit of geology, enjoyed my display over at Kingston Square Arts, bought a print, and then came back and left me a box of rocks. And today I embarked on a paint-making experiment with one of those rocks. It is …

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Pink Tequila

Pink Tequila comes from a pink sandstone, but the resulting paint or pigment color isn’t pink at all. Or at least, not very much. It’s closer to orange, but there is a slight pink tinge to the orange. This one, like so many others have the past year, surprised me. As a stone, it looks …

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