Making paint from absolute scratch, dirt and grim, flowers, seeds and maybe even a touch of lime.
If you have been following the studio on Facebook or Instaflam (gram) you probably have see me brewing some strange experiments and concoctions. Trying to pass them off as paint :p
Yes, as magically as I'm trying to make it sound, I have been doing just that, making natural watercolour paint and I dove right in. Taking to it like a puffin diving off the coast cliffs, slapping awkwardly along the water learning to fly and survive at the same time.
I had so much foraged things from the forest anyway so I thought why not actually turn my acorn obsession into something finally :p
I have been so inspired with meeting new paint makers and not feeling 'out of place' like I mostly do in the artistic realm. It is hard to explain. Imposter-syndrome let's say.
I don't like calling myself an artist but I guess that is what I am. To explain my art and to explain my muses and methods and such, I feel a bit intimated about such questions, silly enough.
What is the right answer? What is the right vibe? As an artist. When doing my art classes for both the kids and adults, what is the 'professional artist' thing to say or do. Do I teach my way, or the proper way :p
What is the artistic thing to do?
I remember I wanted to fix my poofy hair one time for a photo, the lady said oh no leave it, you're an artist, it's okay for crazy hair.. Honoured I can get away with such acts.
However, again, that title makes me slightly uncomfortable, same as any self-proclamation. Maybe just to me.
I ramble on, but the point I wanted to awkwardly make is that making paint from my 3 year old foraged acorns have really gave me a new sense of confidence and appreciation of the arts that I do. That I craft.
I love nature best. I cannot do landscapes, sure I tried, do not practise enough and thus I get frustrated. People, same, I do the occasional faeries, but again, my own way where I will not spend so much times on the skin tones and face curves. However for animals, I can spend hours doing their fur, concentrating on their feathers.
Spending so much time on someone's eyebrows, ugh I do not have the care to perfect.
Even before getting into the natural watercolours, I would look at flowers, bark, rocks, sand and wonder what colour they would be if they were paint.
My first experiments was this summer, we had few gorgeous currents left on our tree, the birds took most of them. We also have a blueberry, plum and gooseberry tree in the yard. There were also a few gooseberries left so wanted to try my first go at homemade paint, with berries and leaves.
It was as I claimed, an experiment. I wasn't hoping for too much results, considering it was my first go and I was just guessing amounts and measurements.
It turned out that the gorgeous red currant colour completely changed with the introduction of the necessary chemicals to an almost similar colour as they gooseberries. Not only that but I seemed to have acquired little to no pigment. So I moved on and focused on the gooseberry and leaves mixture.
My second experiments were spontaneously from red beech seeds. It was the very beginning of autumn this year and the trees were losing their leaves and seeds. The dry trees making such beautiful sounds in the wind and the distinctive pitterpatter of seeds falling to the ground. Ahh, fall.
I was on my way home after picking my daughter up from kindergarten. I told her to look up at the tree, so pretty. It was actually a nice sunny day too, but also meant here in Stavanger there was a tad of brisk wind along with it. As soon as I said to look to the tree, a slight gust came and blew some seeds around us making sweet little subtle taps on the sidewalk.
"Ahh, Fia, help me collect some!"
My 4 year old being the best foraging helper!
So as I mixed the solution, same as with the berries and leaves before, I had to let it sit overnight. As it sat, I also had some green acorns I picked up, again by the loving help of my daughter
I just had to do the same! They were so green and pretty!
Unfortunately I let them sit in the water for too long. Naturally, had a lot of work and kindergarten duties so by the time I extracted the acorns, it was more like the beech seeds.
I was and still am on cloud nine with this.
In high-school I was actually quite good in chemistry classes. I wouldn't say I was the best student but only a small section of subjects I was good at, being English, Physical Ed, Drama, Chemistry and of course, Arts.
So, I believe that combining the arts and chemistry was actually something that I have been missing out on.
This has, as stated before, given me a new appreciation of my paintings, my talents and my comfortability in calling myself an artist.
Painting with my own handcrafted paints. Not To Mention! Crafting them from nature itself! Absolute magic!
These days every time I need a soft addition of a colour I dip into my paint. The soft natural browns are delicate and perfect for the animals and branches I do. Even good for faery skin tones!
I have noticed however, making pigments from natural material will always be a bit less opaque than pigments made from the earth. Dirt, rocks and etc.
However, I am super excited for what is to come for the Lil' Forest Studio.
Thank you for reading and be sure to follow posts for new colours!