Soul of the Ozarks Collection No. 2021-07 contains 6 Ozark watercolor pigments in reusable tin.
Sourcing for 2021-07
All colors in this set are lightfast watercolor pigments made from rocks foraged right here at Wild Ozark in Madison county of northwest Arkansas. The geological makeup of the mountains here change considerably from location to location. Even within the Kingston area, there are some locations that are mostly limestone type rocks and some locations that are mostly sandstone, shale, and clay. I feel very fortunate that our land is mostly of this latter assortment.
The assortment of colors I’m able to derive from our own stone is impressive. The only color range I have not found yet is blue (though I have found a light-stable one from a certain flower petal). At least there is now a sort of green. I gather stones from all around our own 160 acres here, and also from Felkins creek and King’s river. Both of these other locations are a short distance away from our gate, and the makeup is similar.
The Stone Pigments of 2021-07
These are the colors included in this set. You can read about more of the other stones I use for watercolor pigments here. All of the pigments in this particular set were derived from stones found here at Wild Ozark.
2021-01a lites (Blood of the Ozarks)
This pigment comes from a small red nugget that I find most often in King’s river. Sometimes I can find them in our own creek, but they’re rare and highly sought after (by me, at least, haha). It creates a smooth paint, and stains the paper. The color does still have a slight earthy tint to it, but it is the closest thing to a true red the Ozark pigments have to offer yet. This one is named ‘Blood of the Ozarks’ because while I’m scraping the rocks to test color down by the creek, it resembles blood on the stones.
This is from a rock collected in 2019 by a friend who found it in western Madison county. In this paint, I’ve combined it with a bit of our yellow sandstone. Unless I can find more of this rock, it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to reproduce this color, so it is considered a ‘limited edition’ pigment.
2021-03b lites + limestone
A nice light yellow from sandstone that was ground and washed, with white limestone gathered in Felkins creek. It is textured and slightly pigmented.
2021-05 Creek Shale + limestone
This black is from a stone found here at Wild Ozark and in Felkins creek. This shale is dark gray and makes a very nice dark gray to black paint. As a wash it makes a nice gray, but can build to density enough for dark black. It is a washed pigment and there isn’t enough difference between heavies and lites to bother separating them. It is, however, necessary to wash this one to remove organic and sulfur compounds naturally present in the rock. It is the sort of shale that oil is extracted from during fracking. The limestone is from Felkins creek. It seems to improve the ‘blackness’ of the paint when used in small quantity.
This is another ‘limited edition’ pigment that came from a single rock of a nice orange color foraged in 2019. Unless I can find more of it, there won’t be any more of this shade produced, though I have others that are quite similar.
There is only one source of light fast green out here (that I know of so far). It comes from a grayish green stone and yields a sort of sage to cedar green. It’s the color I use for all green needs in my art. This is a smooth texture, and it does not stain. So if you draw outlines with paint, like I do when starting a new painting, then this is a color you can lift and erase if necessary. It’s called ‘blend’ because it is a mixture of lites, heavies, and a little limestone.
A Note about Color Reproducibility & Transparency
All of my colors are made from natural foraged rocks, clay, or other resources. While I may be able to come close to reproducing the color later, it’s very unlikely I’ll get an exact match. There’s enough pigment in each of these pans to paint several paintings in the style I produce. A little bit does seem to go a long ways. But if you want to make sure you’ll have more of the exact same shade, inquire to see if there is more from this same batch. It may not be in the same form, but should at least be the same color.
The Numbering System
With the numbering system I use, all batches made from a single jar of ground pigment will have a common prefix. The successive batches will have the same prefix with an additional number or letter to show it is a separate batch from the same batch of ground pigment. These colors should all be very similar to each other but may not be exact. If the number is identical, then the color should also be.
For example, 2021-03b is the name of the batch of ground pigment from yellow rocks. The paints made from this can either be ‘whole’, ‘lites’ or ‘heavies’. If I make another set of paint from this pigment at a later date, I’ll name it 2021-03b1. So, if it came from the first batch of paint I made with that pigment, it’s -03b. If it’s paint from a second paint-making day (with the same pigment) it’ll be -03b1.
But if I grind another batch of pigment from yellow rocks, I’ll give it a different number because these yellow rocks will never be exactly the same as other yellow rocks. If it’s in 2021, that number may be 2021-03c (or whatever letter I’m on, but the year will be consistent throughout the year, and the 03 will always signify yellow rocks).
Watercolor paints made from earth pigments are not as transparent as those you might be used to. All of them are more similar to gouache than not. The ones I’ve labeled ‘gouache’ are more opaque than the pigments alone. The only ones of my paints that are truly transparent are those from plant pigments, like the sassafras root bark in this collection.
Examples of Paintings Using This Paint
You can see the paintings I’ve made using these paints at www.madisonwoods.art if you’d like to get an idea of how they look.