If you like decorating with nature, oh boy, do I have some artwork for you. Think earthy colors and natural tones: ochres, umbers, and siennas. Yellows, reds, browns, oranges, and shades of black and gray. I mean, literally, shades of nature. Nature paintings made with earth pigments are a great way to decorate with nature.
The colors I use are made from natural things like rocks, clay, and bone. These are the ‘earth pigments’. Artists before the late 1700’s used to make their own paints from these natural resources too. One world-renowned source of pigments is a region in France. You should click on that link to see how rich the color of the earth is there. I want to visit this site one day!
Decorating with nature takes on a whole new meaning when your art is literally made from nature.
Longevity of the color
If you want the colors in your original watercolor painting to last the rest of your life, you’ll appreciate the durability and longevity of earth pigments.
Earth pigments are stable. They don’t change in color with exposure to household light or oxidize from exposure to the air. All of which means they’ll last a really long time. Think about the cave drawings- those colors are earth pigments and they’ve survived hundreds to thousands of years.
A reason for fugitives
When it comes to prints, it’s not going to matter if I used a fugitive color in the original. Once the image is scanned, I will always have the fresh colors for future prints.
But when I use plant pigments for originals, unless the pigments are light-fast, the color will eventually change. The Ozark Mountains are short on minerals that offer me the opportunity to make green (or blue) paints. Therefore, you won’t see that show up often in my work.
In this painting of the Buffalo River at the Ponca access, I did use a green plant pigment.
The green(ish) isn’t light fast, but it won’t disappear (some plant pigments do!). Over time the color will oxidize and change to brown. But even as it shifts over the years it’ll maintain a natural shade of pigment. I like to think of it as a slowly evolving season, from summer to autumn. I can even touch it up later to add autumnal colors if I want. And if you bought it, I’d be happy to do the same for you at any time in the future.
Decorating with nature means paintings OF nature
Not only are my paints made from nature, my subjects are things from nature. I have paintings of birds of prey, and other birds like the crow and pelican. I’ve painted a cow and fox, too. And there are a couple of landscapes. And if you like fantasy, even those are full of nature. That’s why I call them ‘nature fantasy’. The series I’m working on now are The Elementals. So far I have a water priestess (Working the Dark Waters is the title of the painting) and the wind worker is in progress. Follow me at Instagram to stay current on that if you like. I post progress pictures there fairly often. Decorating with nature doesn’t have to mean you have to stick to reality, right?
They’re not all listed at my shop yet, but you can click the button below to see the ones that are. I’ll give you some links below to my online galleries. If you’re decorating with nature, and you would like a print or original of any of the paintings in those galleries, just email me if it’s not listed. I can let you know whether the original is for sale, but I can sell prints from all of them. If the original is already spoken for, let me know if you’re interested in having me paint a new, similar one for you.
Ideas from my inventory for your next decorating with nature project
Here’s some of my work and some pictures of the kinds of rocks I use to make pigments. I make a new gallery page at PaleoPaints.com each year. Go here to see paintings from 2018, and here to see paintings from 2019. Rest assured, there will be plenty more to come! If nothing else, I’ll probably be working on the Ozark Birds of Prey project for the rest of my life.
Some of the originals are available and prints for all of them are available. Just email me at [email protected] to inquire. I hope you’ll consider some of my work when you’re busy planning your next decorating with nature projects!
An Opportunity to See Originals
I’ll have framed original paintings with me at The Little Craft Show in Bentonville, AR on December 7. It’s a great opportunity to come out and see them. Until the end of November you can also see a few of them at the 1894 Gallery in Texarkana, AR and the fantasy painting at the Jones Gallery in Kansas City, MO. Until May 2020 Destination Unknown (the red-tailed hawk painting) will be on tour in Oklahoma.