How gorgeous is the pigment in this stone! The richness of our sandstone colors led me to creating the paints that I use in my earth tone art.
If you’ve landed on this page, you’re probably a fan of nature. Do you like the earthy colors, too? Have you ever noticed all of the colors of the ground and rocks while you’re exploring in nature? Not only are the paintings art that reflects the very soul of the Ozarks back from the canvas, but the paints themselves are a work of art… or at the very least, a work of craftsmanship inspired by nature. So what makes something an ‘earth tone art’?
What is Earth Tone Art?
It’s the colors! You probably guessed that. Anything that depicts nature could be considered earthy by some people. But to me, it’s the colors. And with my own artwork, it’s not only the colors but the source of those colors. But what specifically makes something earth toned? When you look at all of the art I’ve created so far, you’ll notice they all have something in common. While each subject is different, and the colors I’ve used are different from one another, all of the color has a sort of brownish tint to it.
The word ‘rustic’ beckons an earthy image to mind, as well. That’s because when you think of rustic, you’re probably thinking old, and then ‘rusty’. And rust is pretty much the basis of all of our earth pigments out here in the Ozarks. Rust is iron oxide. The color variations in our sandstone rocks are due to various combinations of iron oxide compounds. It’s what makes a pigment an ‘ochre’. Sometimes the iron oxide compounds contain manganese, too.
Do all earth pigments have the ‘rustic’ look?
That’s what makes earth tone art. But not all earth pigments have a brownish tinge to them. Minerals like azurite, lapis, and malachite yield nice blues and greens that have less of the earth tone look to them. But we don’t have those minerals here in Arkansas. All of the colors I get from the Ozarks do have that rustic, tint that makes my paintings earth tone art. Only the plant sources offer tones without the brown tint. But the only plants I’ve found that offers a source of permanent color are sassafras and Asiatic dayflower. Those give a nice orange and blue, respectively.
Natural pigments lead to earth tone art
The pigments in my paints come directly from the Ozarks. The rocks hold the soul of a place, and so I call my paint collections ‘Soul of the Ozarks’. I collect rocks from our creek, on the driveway, or from creeks down our road.
They’re naturally earth tone. I love the earthy colors.
What is art can be earth tone art?
I love these colors whether they’re in my paintings, on the walls of my house, or in my color palette of makeup or clothing. This is probably why I love the architecture of the southwest and west so much. Adobe and stucco in sandstone tones are gorgeous to me.
So architecture and interior design can feature earth tones. When someone creates anything intentionally to be beautiful, or even if not beautiful then at least thought-provoking, and visually interesting or appealing, it is art, too.
Abstract paintings can be earthy art, too. I don’t generally paint in this style, but I’ve seen some artists who use the earthy pigments. I’ve found that I like those expressions of art, too, even if I don’t try to paint that way myself.
Just because the subject of a painting is of something from nature doesn’t necessarily make it an earth tone art. It may be ‘nature art’, though.
The kind of art I create
My brand as an artist combines the elements of nature and earth tone art, because I use the pigments from the earth to create my paintings. More specifically, I use only the pigments I’ve gathered from here at Wild Ozark or within a very short distance from our home in the Ozarks.
It makes me happy to offer earth tone art to you so you can also bring the soul of the Ozarks into your home. My original art is usually for sale, and I offer prints as well. Here are the latest three paintings.
You can see the rest of them at my online portfolio. And if it’s the paints that interest you most, I have some sets of those available and a tutorial if you’d like to make some earth tone art for yourself.
Madison Woods is a self-taught artist who moved to the Ozarks from south Louisiana in 2005. In 2018 she began experimenting with watercolor painting, using her local pigments. She calls them Paleo Paints, and her artwork features exclusively the lightfast pigments foraged from Madison county, Arkansas. Her inspiration is nature – the beauty, and the inherent cycle of life and death, destruction and regeneration.
Her online portfolio is at www.MadisonWoods.art.
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