Monday, March 29, 2010

Selina Littler

Selina Littler is a Tucson artist who works with natural materials. In her own words, she describes the beginnings of her artistic experience:
When I was nine, we moved away from the city and out into the desert. I used to spend most of my time outside, playing with friends wherever we wanted, building forts of stone and wood, running and hiding in the hills of mesquite, cholla and boulders. When alone I would build little dwellings out of twigs and pebbles, leaves and seedpods, making elaborately decorated living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms. Before I had those materials, I remember drawing my little houses in colored pencil, with great detail. I suppose having had access to abundant materials and spending much of my time in the desert, the transition from creating in two dimensions to working in three was inevitable.

"Bride," approximately 18 inches tall

"Nike," approximately 18 inches tall

"Ground Spiral #8," approximately 15 feet in diameter

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Judith Kruger

Judith Kruger is a modern master of the ancient art form of Nihonga, Japanese mineral pigment painting. She paints with pulverized minerals, which are mixed with a warm hide glue (and sometimes seaweed) binder and layered in varying particle sizes onto stretched handmade Japanese paper. She uses a combination of sized and unsized paper to achieve different depth within the work. Metallic leaf is often incorporated within the layered works, reminiscent of the prized byobu (folding screens) of centuries past.

Judith employs a purely traditional Asian palette, which is derived from 100-year cured oyster shells, sumi, malachite, azurite, tiger’s eye and cinnabar, to name only a few. She prepares her materials using the same methods as historic works dating back from the Heian period with strong influences from the Momoyama and Edo periods.

However, being an American living in the 21st century, she is taking the liberty to “break the boundaries” of the medium. Depth, transparency, beauty and luminosity are her mantras throughout a meditative, multi-layered painting process conveying both the complexity and serenity in our natural environment without direct representation.

Judith currently teaches Nihonga at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is also launching her Judith Kruger Studio fine mineral pigmented, hand-crafted tableware collection nationally, a collaborative project with artisans in Japan and India.

You can see more of Judith's work on her website.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

India Flint

India Flint is a textile artist who works with natural dyes, rust, mud, the sun, and flowers and leaves to create color and design on cloth. She layers her techniques to get rich hues and complex patterns.

She has a new book just out titled Eco Colour, available only in Australia, or through mail order in other parts of the world. It's a fabulous book with beautiful photographs and invaluable information for anyone interested in creating color naturally.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tom Irizarry

Tom Irizarry is a Brooklyn, NY artist who grinds his own pigments for oil paints from verdigris, azurite, lapis, and other minerals. He combines the ground pigments with linseed oil and soft and hard resins, and even makes his own gesso.

"Breathes Minion," oil on canvas, 18" x 14":

"Crimsoned East," oil on panel, 12" x 9":

"Amorous Tempest," oil on panel, 12" x 9":

You can see more of Tom's work on his website.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Joel Ferraris

Joel Ferraris is a Hong Kong artist who creates artwork from rubbish.

"Manicured Canyons and the Howling Winds of Homesickness," made from phone cards.

"Using phonecards to depict a modern but crowded city skyline, which is clearly recognizable from a certain distance, underscores the gravity of how foreign workers were forced by circumstances to work abroad and how they value their families back home."

"Digital Dreams v4," mixed media on CD cases:

You can see more of Joel's work on his blog.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Cassandra Tondro

I thought I'd take a minute to update you on my own work using natural materials. These are a few of my favorite pieces from my "Decomposition" series. The mediums used are natural dyes, Earth pigments in a soy milk binder, and organic stains (mold) on raw cotton canvas.

Passage, 56" x 42":

Codex, 52" x 38":

Journey, 54" x 40":

Abyss, 54" x 40":

And of course you can see more of my work on my website!

Michael Price

Michael Price is a British-born New York figurative artist who grinds his own pigments for use with various binders to paint on canvas and paper.

"Michael Price paints with natural and mineral pigments. He has published his research about the preparation protocols of these pigments for use as oil paint. His oeuvre presents a ground-breaking alternative to the modern usage of synthetic colour. These paintings reveal the exquisite beauty of natural and mineral pigments and the contemporary chromatic possibilities of the lost world of the Renaissance palette. The pigments include: lapis lazuli, azurite, cinnabar, malachite, stibnite, purpurite, cerussite, vivianite, pyrolusite, orpiment, realgar, the natural ochres and root madders."

Tyger, Tyger burning bright:

The Lapis and the Opus:

The Meditating One:

Bryce Canyon:

Michael also teaches workshops on grinding and using natural pigments. You can see more of Michael's work and find information about his workshops on his

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Mick Fredrickson

I saw Mick Fredrickson's work in the September 2006 gallery issue of the Surface Design Journal, and went to check out his website. He uses an ingenious technique of applying pigmented pulp onto a support to create his paintings. The pulp is the same as pulp used to make paper, but Mick is using it as a binder.

"Pulp Painting is how I describe my new series of work. I paint on canvas with finely beaten, pigmented pulp made from flax. The pulp is applied in a variety of ways; brushed, extruded, but I most often apply the pulp using trowel-like broad blades much the way oil paint is applied with a palette knife or in a method similar to the way stucco is applied to buildings here in the Southwest. I achieve textures and treatments I was never able to achieve with paint."


Glory Hole

Twilight Line

You can see more of Mick's work on his

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Linda Fries

Linda Fries uses hand ground pigments for her abstract paintings.

"My paintings are made with hand ground earth pigments. For the past several years I have been committed to creating art in the most natural way. I have developed a landscape/abstract painting process using only nature's ingredients. I collect my own pigments from the earth. I grind these colored soils by hand and mix them with a plant-based medium to make paint. Some soils are finely ground, while others are left in their original rugged state.

The colors are exactly as I have found them, untouched by any additives or mixing. While the manufacture of most modern art materials can and often does produce toxic or potentially harmful substances, the use of natural earth colors recalls an earlier, more basic way of making art. By painting with these earth pigments, I avoid adding new and often unknown chemical or ecological dangers to our environment."

This is some of her work.

Earth Weave 2:

Earth Weave 2

Canyon Series 1:

Canyon Series 1

Earth Series (Hill) 38:

Earth Series (Hill) 38

You can see more of Linda's work on her

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Maggie Remington

Maggie Remington creates her Earth Paintings onsite, using pigments dug from the site and a glue binder. She lets her paintings dry on the ground, and they don't dry flat or square, becoming sculptural objects.

"I search for my earth colors, studying the landscape and getting to know a place before I dig (always with permission). A southwestern road- or trailside can furnish a glorious batch of natural pigment: gold, green, blue, orange, brown, silver, black, red, pink. I collect dirt, mud, sand, and rock that I crush and mix. Then when wind and weather are right, and I've found the right patch of ground for laying out unprimed unstretched canvas, I'm bent over for about two hours applying color and texture with my hands or weeds, branches, or brush. The piece may then take up to three or four hours to dry enough-to a consistency like a tanned hide-before I can move it. A completed work can suggest, simultaneously, huge forms seen from long distances or small things much magnified. My earth paintings are celebrations of nature: river beds or mountain ranges seen from ten miles up, a canyon's geology, the anatomy of a trout jaw, an amoeba extending a pseudopod, the diagram of a molecule. They provoke reflection and evoke responses to a place and deep healing. They are spiritually expansive and healing; both in the making and the viewing."

These are some of her Earth Paintings.

Log Hill, SW, CO:

Log Hill

Casa Tonanta Tlayacopan, Mexico:

Casa Tonanta

Tiyaweh Trails, Montrose, CO:

Tiyoweh Trails

You can see more of Maggie's work on her