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 to a binder to make paint.
The type of binder used determines what kind of paint it is: gum Arabic for watercolors, linseed oil for oil paints, and egg yolks for tempera. Other binders can be used to serve the same purposes, but these are the three most people are familiar with.
I crush the rocks by hand with a mortar and pestle. But before that, I collect the rocks or herbs, or clay or char.
When I see a rock that looks like it’ll make good pigment, sometimes I’ll crush a part of it on a larger rock out in the field to see what I might expect from it.
You’ll often find me with bulging pockets because I’ve seen something wonderful that needed to be made into paint and didn’t go out prepared to carry more than a handful home.
The colors in my palettes are earthy, and rich with the essence of place. Each color carries with it a story that tells the origins of earth’s history for that particular spot where it lived.
By working with these materials to make paint, I feel a sense of collaboration and partnership – a harmony I have no other way to translate other than by making art.
I hope it brings the sacred tunes of ancient and ever-adapting life to your soul when you work with them, too.
Where to Find my Paleo Paints?
They’re at Etsy! Whenever they’re ready to ship, I list them on Etsy. The sets available can change quickly, though, so check back often. Look for the “Paleo Paints” section.
You can also see them (and try them out!) in person on Saturdays when I’m at the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market (indoors at the Ozark Natural Foods). Check my schedule to see when and where I’ll be.
I’ll also have some soon at Kingston Square Arts in Kingston, Arkansas.
The Birds of Prey are generally not for sale at this time. I sold all of the kestrels before I realized I’d be working on a complete collection of them, but now I’d like to keep the entire collection intact until I’m finished with it. Anything not a bird of prey is generally for sale. Email if you see something you want ([email protected]).
I have a lot of derivative products like prints, stickers, note cards! Those are all at the Etsy shop, and at the farmers market too.
About The Artist
I live in northwest Arkansas with my husband on 160 acres far from paved highways. This gives me a front-seat ride with nature and is a huge influence on my life and work.
When I’m not painting or writing, I’m probably smashing rocks or out soaking up some nature and gathering photographs. I use the earth around me to create the paints for my works. My focus is on the Ozark pigments, but I will on some occasions use sources purchased, donated (people send me rocks!), or collected during travels. I love to capture the essence, the very soul of a place, with its earthy colors.
In direct contrast to that, my favorite subjects are creatures of the air. Raptors fascinate me because they’re gorgeous, yet deadly. I believe I like to paint them not only because they’re challenging, but also because they’re a dynamic opposite of the earth from which my paints are made.
When I choose a subject I look for flow of movement, intended movement, or an expression in the eyes that I want to capture.
Additionally, since most of the colors I use are created from wild-crafted rocks here in the Ozarks, I look for subjects with colors I can represent with the earthy colors in my palette.
I’m self-taught and only use the paints I make for paintings. I also use Prismacolor pencils for drawings.
010819- Interviewed by KUAF about the Ozark pigments and my art
011319- Juried into Artists of Northwest Arkansas Annual Member’s Show 2019 (Fox No. 1)
1-29-19- Works accepted to the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ 2019-2020 Artists Registry. They’ll be uploaded to the website (acnmwa.org) by February 4, 2019. (not sure which works yet, will update after Feb. 4.)
Here’s my Etsy link: www.etsy.com/shop/wildozark
Here’s where you can see the paintings I’ve done so far: www.paleopaints.com/paintings/
Follow me on Instagram to stay current with what I’m doing: www.instagram.com/wildozark