Egg Tempera Forums

Go Back   Egg Tempera Forums > The Forums > The Forum for Tempera Painting Issues

The Forum for Tempera Painting Issues Sharing the knowledge and experience of fellow tempera painters.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-04-05, 01:59 AM
Anonymous
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default collecting native minerals

I would say I am blessed with my location. I live at the foot of the Sierra Mountains in California. I have stumbled on places that hold great colors. My ochres come from a clay deposit near a hydraulic mining area. I get terrific grade yellows, reds, and browns. From another location I found a light yellow streaked chalk. Black shale offers a near black warm gray.

From some place I can't remember where, I found deep purple rocks. I throw hard stones, along with hard porcelain balls into rock tumblers. I just mulled the purple rock. It turned out to be a purple tinted very dark and rich brown. It is lovely. I figured it would be. I successfully used the same stone dust to glaze pottery in the past.

The quality of my colors are such, I don't need to buy many commercial minerals. I actually like the found material as well, or better.

I can control grinding with these colors. Hand grinding results in uneven crystals. It is my prejudice this lends life to the pigment.

Has anybody else any experience, positive or negative, with found colors?

Vince
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-04-05, 04:17 AM
DLH's Avatar
DLH DLH is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Detroit
Posts: 123
Default

Vince,

One of the reasons I love egg tempera is that Iím close to, and in control of the raw materials of painting. You have certainly gone me one better.

Do you paint representational or abstract? Do you tailor your subjects to your colors, or do you paint any subject with the colors you find? Do you supplement your palette with commercial pigments? What do you use for white?

Have you ever tried to make pastels with your colors?

Doug
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-04-05, 04:06 PM
Anonymous
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Doug,

Are you Doug Tiller?

I would be a purist in this regard, if I could fill out my palette with found materials. I'm supplementing my natural palette with Titanium White, and some select reds, greens, and blues. I have a dull earth green, and a steely grey, that looks blue.

Actually, being a purist was my intention, when I collected this material fifteen years ago. I used my mineral colors to "paint" raw clay sculptures. It was born of an affair I had with Zen, and Japanese traditional pottery.

My prejudice towards self reliance in art materials is fueled by my experience with at mastering drawing with charcoal. I think I bought every available type of charcoal. I found the process cumbersome, and the result less than satisfactory. As a lark, I tried charcoal left behind in my fire place. I had been burning local brush. That charcoal can do it all.

I have just begun preparing to paint, using ET. My work over the last fifteen years has been of the very large, thus my monicker. The small is in my comfort zone, because I use to illustrate biology manuals.

My intention is to paint representational pictures. But, who knows?

The gallery here is thrilling. I adore many of the works on display.

Vince
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-04-05, 01:39 AM
K. Lee
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Although I feel resource is one of the things a true artist, if that is a label, can hope to become, I'd be just a bit leary without knowing the components of a material. Perhaps it's not of import, but I'd assume for the worst anything could be made into paint, and also may have unpredictable results. If I come to the point where I process paint I'd be sure to check the chemistry carefully, even avoid colecting stones or areas where tree sprays, et cetera may have been applied (probably obscure today).

Of course if longevity is not of importance in the work (which it seems many artists working today are playing credo to in mixed mediums) almost anything could be organized into a paint. It truly is an underestimated capacity when looking at old masters how they made their paint, or how it was done.


Lee
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-04-05, 02:49 AM
Anonymous
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

All of the colors I have picked up have been out in the weather, and sun. Light fastness is not an issue. The clay field I happened on (I doubt it has been spotted by anyone else, as remote it is) is in a National Forest. Pesticides, or herbicides are not an issue. The rainbow of ochres are the usual clay based pigments. I do have a few colors sourced from more pure minerals gathered elsewhere, such as the "Purple Rock. " It contains a very high percentage of Manganese. I haven't been able to find a commercial equivalent.

I just ground two Umber specimens. They came from two localities. One is more pure Manganes/Iron mineral. It is more transparent, and a touch brighter than the ochre Umber. Their hue is identical.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-04-05, 03:58 AM
Salamander's Avatar
Salamander Salamander is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Oceanside, CA
Posts: 340
Default

Hey, good work you're doomg there......keep it up!
Eric in Oceanside
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-04-05, 01:04 PM
PhilS's Avatar
PhilS PhilS is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Sargentville, Maine
Posts: 222
Default

I think it's a great idea, Muralman,
Obviously, if the rocks have been sitting out in the sun for hundreds of years they are going to be lightfast. I would love to do a painting with pigments from my backyard...
Actually, I'm getting ready to start a portrait of my girlfriend holding one of her favorite chickens in her lap. I plan to do the painting using eggs laid by that chicken. Pigments, however, will have arrived in a UPS box from somewhere in California...
If you ever get a chance, I strongly recommend visiting a place called Roussillon, France. The soil everywhere around is composed of brilliant shades of ochres: yellow, orange, red. It will blow your mind.
Phil
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-04-05, 03:23 PM
K. Lee
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Sounds excellent muralman, and PhilS, I'm jealous in a way. I'd love to have the abillity to prospect, saunter, and safely make paint that way. At the moment I'm trying to figure out a way to carve stone without making myself a personal nightmare.

Phil, I myself without a better chemical composite (knowing more about each element) would just be weary. My observation was probably more a structural one then about light-fastness, although that's a very valid observation I think. Stones can or will turn different color during or after a rain.

My concern, I guess if I were doing it myself (instead of depleting the world's source of aluminum) would be the integrity of the paint skin or film. I would think any contaminants or organics, et cetera could weaken the integrity of the paint or worse. I guess that's a consideration with any paint from the literature I've read, as well as making the pigment particle sizes equal. Correct?

Also, I suppose it can become quite a science if certain aspects are achieved, ie. different properties to obtain a earthtone from say soil, or a vermillion from say a quartz rock?

Lee
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-04-05, 06:02 PM
PhilS's Avatar
PhilS PhilS is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Sargentville, Maine
Posts: 222
Default

You're absolutely right, K. Lee,
A friend brought me some beautiful pigments she bought in an open marketplace in Turkey (I believe). I haven't used them because, like you, I worry about their chemical stability (if that's the right word). I'm making a living from my paintings and can't afford any nasty surprises...
Would be nice, though, to be able to obtain your own pigments from nature. Aside from Roussillon, I have never seen where pigments actually come from.
Phil
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-04-05, 11:25 PM
Anonymous
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I've been busy grinding up more specimens. I just did what I call, "Maroon." It is indistinguishable from Rublev Hematite in hue.

Drawing from my science major education, I think I can take the chance of using these colors. They are washed, filtered, and gravity centrifuged. They didn't come from any especially acidic, or alkyl soil.

I would also like to point out the masters who invented, and perfected ET didn't have scientific knowledge to take comfort from. The ochres they used were dug up from Italy's dirt. There is ochre and charcoal cave art that have stood the test of time.

There are those who will argue grinding mineral particles to an even size is the wrong way to go about things. My tumbler minerals are smoother. They would make great watercolor pigments. I have noticed, to these eyes, their solid stokes are less lively looking than the hand ground.

I guess I am not terribly concerned about using these materials. Believe me, though, I am very understanding about your reticence, given the reputations you've built for yourselves.

Vince
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Collecting native earths Salamander The Forum for Tempera Painting Issues 2 18-01-07 04:53 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:26 AM.
Design modifications, graphics and CSS by RobM
June 2010



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.